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  1. how are you braising? stovetop or oven, and at what temp? randall
  2. casing broke! problem? I was moving around my hanging sausage and between two sausages the casing was tight and it broke open! is that a problem?
  3. Grey/green sounds like a problem. Is it fuzzy? Pix? ← Ill take some pix...but its not on or above the surface, it looks like discoloration of the casing or meat right underneath. it smells fine, isnt slimey or squishy..just on odd color... randall
  4. Sausage touching in cellar- I noticed that two of my sausages air dying in the cellar were touching and left a raw spot on the sausage. ITs starting to dry out, but has a slightly grey/green color to it - anyone had this problem? It has curing #2 as well a bactoferm in the meat, so it should have enough of the good bugs to keep away bad stuff...but... TIA
  5. Curing Lardo in Sous Vide - I have lots of Berkshire fat back from my charcuterie so I decided to make some Lardo (brine/cured with herbs over 3 months.) I was able to use much less space /containers, and eliminate a majority of the oxygen which Ill assume is helpful. The chamber vacuum came in handy to seal in all the liquid.
  6. Hmmm...the tuna I did last night seemed to be overdone at 140F, but the milky white appears at 120F, too. Keller does the following: 1) Bass 143.6F 2) Monkfish 147.2F 3) Tuna 139.1F ← a tip to stop the milky white is to brine your fish for 15-20 minutes in a basic brine (sugar salt water - spice optional) It will stabilize the fat. good luck!
  7. I love the duck proscuitto that I make based on the MR recipe. When using the larger duck breasts inevitably the meat side gets quite dry. im curing at 56-58 and 60-63 humidity for about 1.5-2 weeks on a big duck breast I was thinking of melting down some duck fat to a paste and coating the exposed side to keep it more even...has anyone tried that? or have any other solutions? randall
  8. ← Its better to overstate for safety reasons I would like to think- especially for the majority of folks here that dont have ServeSafe certification, or understand the nuances for modified atmosphere cooking/storing protocols. Even the smallest baths Ive seen (and I trained in a 2-star Mich with multiple IC stations) in restaurants all have a IC; with water baths being much cheaper than a IC- still choose a circ. Ive asked the water bath vs IC question to most of them, and discussed at length with Dave Arnold at FCI, and the common opinion is that circulation is key, can you LTC w/o - sure, but its not good practice. randall
  9. randallrosa

    Making Bacon

    I've come across a great technique that came from me over curing my belly- I started from the book's recipe for smoked bacon, but I was consistently getting salty bacon (even reducing my cure to 5 days). I assume that Im using too much initial cure- which Ill reduce dramatically next time. After rinsing the cure (which Ill scrub off next time) off I dried for 12-24 hours, and then low temp smoking (175F cherry/apple for about 3 hours or 150F internal). It was too salty so I soaked the slab for about 1-2 hours in ice cold water- Which pulled a lot of a salt out. I then dried it off and put it into a sweet brine (50% brown sugar, 50% salt, and pepper) over night. Next day I dried it off and let it dry out in the fridge for a couple of hours. I then smoked it again (about 200F this time for about 2 hours until 150F internal) which helped carmelized the outside more. The result it complex layering to sugar, salt and smoke. It really brought out the wonderful Berkshire flavors - which it didnt have even when it was too salty. Anyway, anyone with a little patience, I recommend it! Randall
  10. I would seriously consider involving some some of circulator- it is critical to the process of temperature stability and safety. randall
  11. c circulation is critical in a sous vide environment as well, for consistency and health reasons. There are full circulating baths that are 'for food'- but you'll pay quite a bit for getting a complete package. you can research CLIFTON and POLYSCIENCE to start. good luck
  12. I had a similar issue. Instead of blanching before cooking indivdual strips, I soaked the whole belly in cold water for about 1 hour, I completely dried it, and it seems to reduce the salt dramatically. I did loose some smoke flavor so I put it back in the smoker for about 1 hour and got the smoke profile back. I think the recommended 7 day cure is assuming a thick belly (2 inch +), and some of the thinner bellies can be cured in about 5 days. I give the belly a tap test- once the meat of the belly is hard, its time to move it to the cold smoke ( after a day of drying) hope that helps. Randall
  13. It is good to know that they make some that are intended for cooking. If people use Ziplocs (or any other bag) they should make sure they are using ones intended for cooking and not the ones just for food storage. I've seen people make comments that they are all the same and that is not the case. Thanks for the info. ← yes very important point make sure to get the right bags. Or- spend the money on a foodsaver with the boil in bags to eliminate the issue! There are LOTS of restaurants that circulate in proper ziplock bags because they dont want to deal with the HACCP issues and health dept. that comes with sous vide. If you are going to sous vide, you NEED to be very familiar with food safety with modified atmosphere packaging issues. randall
  14. If there is an expectation of texture with Salmon, one could always torch or broil the salmon for 1 min to get the texture more traditional (less slimey) I've run tests for Salmon from 47-53 and found that Salmon 50C for about 25-30 minutes( for my taste ) tastes like perfectly steamed Salmon and texture isnt toothy. Historically professional chefs that cook fish this way have about a 10 degree delta (10C over target temp) and with practice know when to pull the fish at choice temp. However most city chefs use a CVAP cause they cant get a HACCP approved for fish in sous vide. Also, a cool tip is to do a quick brine on the fish so it doesnt bleed milky fat that happens with salmon or other fatty fish. Great looking food! Randall
  15. Btw, I don't think this has been discussed much on this list, but I don't think it is a good idea to cook in plastic bags that were not meant to have food cooked in them. Ziplock bags and most other such bags were not made to be food safe at cooking temperatures. There are some pretty unhealthy chemicals that can leach out of soft plastics into the food when the bags get hot. Bags designed to be cooked in have (at least in theory) been formulated to minimize the nasty stuff that leaches out. Bags meant only for storage were formulated with storage in mind and are likely to have stuff that will leach out at temperature. I would be cautious about doing much sous-vide cooking in bags not meant to be cooked in especially if you are going to be feeding kids or young adults or women that might be (or become) pregnant. The chemicals used to make plastics pliable are known to be endocrine disruptors and pose other health risks as well. While there is some "controversy" on this topic, there is growing consensus about the health risks of these chemicals in the scientific community (except for that part of the community funded by the industries that rely on these chemicals for their profitability--hence my putting controversy in quotes since most of the disagreement is from the side with a vested interest). ← There are >specific< ziplock bags for freezing and reheating food in, but you must read carefully that they are safe at boil temps, which is way above temp. for most of the techniques talked about here. I most certainly wouldnt take generic plastic bags and put them near heat (lo temp or otherwise) or microwaves- or wrap food in generic plastic wrap for cooking. It certainly is an important point, and one should do their own research. This exact question came up while I was at FCI in a sous vide class and was discussed at length with the food scientist (Dave Arnold). Please be careful and pay attention! randall
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