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JohnV

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  1. First consumer sous vide cooker announced! The Sous Vide Supreme. Announcement Web Site Will retail for $449. $50 discount if sign up at the site for the release in October. It looks pretty decent in the photos. The rack looks like a good idea. Some friends and I had toyed with the idea of developing a cooker for the home market. Glad that somebody did it.
  2. Pretty decent survey by the Wall Street Journal today on doing sous vide at home: WSJ Sous Vide Article Highlights include quotes and recipes from Nathan, a shout-out to this eGullet thread, and the big news that some consumer-targeted sous vide appliances will be released this fall, just in time for Thomas Keller's new cookbook. Fresh Meals Solutions (who resell the Auber Instruments PID controller as "Sous Vide Magic") will be releasing the "eiPot" for $399, and it includes circulation and an internal probe sensor. Sur La Table will be selling immersion circulators starting at $1000. And there is also confirmation (as I linked to up-thread) that Viking is developing sous vide appliances that will be integrated into their product line. The article also reports that Nathan's book is scheduled for late 2009. Says that equipment is being tested as part of that project. Is that just for review and testing, or is the plan also to develop new appliances as part of the project?
  3. Have you tried it? ← Haven't tried it yet, but see post above for what appears to be thoughts from a fish processing scientist. John
  4. Thanks Nathan, that was exactly the sort of quantitative info I was looking for. To answer the other part of my question (about the effect of freezing rate on fish quality if you're using a home freezer to kill parasites) I found a discussion that says that rate does not generally affect quality, but storage temperature does. The specific numbers suggested are to "freeze" within 8 hours or so, and I'm presuming that "freeze" just means get to 32F/0C. Thus, it seems likely that a home freezer would be adequate for both quality and safety with the parasite problem, haven't tested it myself though. See here. If anyone has contrary info, let me know. John
  5. HOST'S NOTE: Split off from the Sous Vide topic. In light of these recent articles about tapeworms/Diphyllobothrium, (e.g. Gourmet, SF Chronicle), I was wondering if anyone had thoughts on sterilization temps for tapeworm larvae in fish, and salmon in particular. There have been many posts about "mi cuit" salmon on this board and others, but it appears to be quite risky if not using deep-frozen fish. I don't have a blast freezer, so there is really no way I can achieve the required temps for sterilization at home. And freezing and holding in the comparatively warm home freezer would likely lead to significant decrease in quality during the slow-freezing process. I did some brief searching for specific info on tapeworm sterilization temps, but could only find the consumer-oriented 140F cooking recommendations for fish. Anyone who's more familiar with the food safety scientific literature come across this info before? Most information we've been discussing has been about bacteria rather than parasites.
  6. The only other reason I can think of for multi-stage cooling (before storage) is to let the core temp reach the desired cooking temp in cases when you've been cooking in a water bath significantly above your desired cooking temp. This is related to the "resting time" in the tables that Nathan has previously posted (e.g. here). For example, as in the table, if you had a 100mm (~ 4-inch) steak cooking in a 65 C (149 F) water bath, you would want to take the steak out of the bath after 2 hours and 50 minutes, when its internal temp is 124.8F. It would then take a further 33 minutes and 10 seconds for the core of that steak to reach 130F, the desired final cooking temp. (Not sure if Nathan's calculations had the bag resting at ambient temp in air or with a no heat flow boundary condition, though the specific boundary condition may not make much of a difference.) Nevertheless, if you were to pull said steak out the ice bath at 2 hours and 50 minutes, and plunge it immediately in an ice bath instead of letting it rest for 30 minutes, the core temp wouldn't reach 130 F. It would only reach desired temp of 130F if you did multi-stage cooling, e.g. let rest at room temp in air, then put it in ice water. (Of course, you could redo all the calculations to assume that you were letting the bag "rest" in ice water, but we're crossing the line into absurdity here...) So why would you ever cook a 4-inch steak in a water bath that is 20 F above your desired cooking temp? You wouldn't, which is why there's no point to multi-stage cooling! So perhaps Goussault/Cuisine Solutions has complicated water bath temps that necessitate complicated cooling procedures, but if your water bath is set at your desired cooking temp (or +1 F from desired cooking temp as most people do), then immediate ice bath/blast chiller cooling is the way to go if you're storing the food. Glad that's settled...
  7. Been thinking about this "slow-cooling" a bit more. It doesn't make any sense from a food safety perspective, like slkinsey said, because you want to get it cold as quickly as possible. Perhaps it has to do with moisture/texture/taste or something like that? Don't have my McGee handy, but perhaps more moisture will be reabsorbed during protein relaxation if it's cooled slowly than cooled rapidly? Or perhaps this is simply a confusion on the part of the author of the article... With regards to the other quote pressure "cooking" the food during sealing, perhaps this is the same as "softening" vegetables (without cooking them) in the vac chamber?
  8. Also had another question: In the NYTimes Mag "Under Pressure" article, Bruno Goussault emphasizes the importance of multi-stage cooling, e.g. heating the protein to temp and then having it "cooled, successively, at room temperature, in cold water, then in ice water, before being reheated and served." Is there some reason for multi-stage cooling? If the point is simply to get the protein to safe holding temperature, wouldn't ice water get it to that temperature the fastest? Another confusing quote: "Foods must be chilled before sealing, otherwise the pressure inside the machine will cause them to cook during the sealing process. The pressure must also be calibrated for every type of food, so the food stays compact but firm." Anyone have any idea what that means? Thanks!
  9. Have been reading the Sous Vide thread with gusto (almost 2000 posts!), but have a few questions: Anyone know anything about upcoming consumer-grade sous vide appliances? There were one or two posts about about Polyscience abandoning attempts to develop/market a consumer immersion circulator, but wasn't sure if that was just a rumor or not. I also found some references to Viking and/or Kenmore working on it. See here in the NYTimes (http://themoment.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/20/sous-vide-not-longer-astronauts-only/) and here in an eGullet thread (http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=116482&view=findpost&p=1583223). Anyone know any more about these efforts? Not sure why a $1000 Viking solution would be any better than a $1000 Polyscience solution, maybe more stainless steel and chrome to make it a status item? I guess for those wanting to spend less than $500, eBay and the PID controller kits are still the only way to go.
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