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  1. I have the Vacmaster VP215. It was with "heart in mouth" that I made space for it on my kitchen counter. I wasn't sure how much I would use it. I have to say that having had it now for 7 or 8 months, I use it all the time, far more than I would've predicted. I haven't yet had to change the oil, but might do so soon, just for preventive maintenance. It doesn't look difficult and does not require me to remove the "beast" from the counter. I merely have to rotate it in place to have access to the rear panel. It is easy to use. I don't know that I have all the technical aspects of how much vacuum to pull for various food products, but it appears to work very well and has been 100% reliable. Judy
  2. I have had the VP215 for 3 or 4 months now. It's been reliable with no problems. Maybe there was a bad batch or something. I'm soon getting to the point where I should probably change the oil. No complaints here.
  3. I am new to sous vide, but I would like to draw your attention to a slow oven roasting method that Cooks Illustrated published a few years ago. I have used it several times and the meat is pink to the edges with a nice crust. The result is quite delicious. Can it be adapted to what you're trying to do? Here's their method: SLOW-ROASTED BEEF Published January 1, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated. Serves 6 to 8. WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS: For an inexpensive slow-roasted beef recipe, we transformed a bargain cut into a tender, juicy roast by salting the meat a full 24 hours before roasting and then cooking it at a very low temperature, which allowed the meat's enzymes to act as natural tenderizers, breaking down its tough connective tissue. We don't recommend cooking this roast past medium. Open the oven door as little as possible and remove the roast from the oven while taking its temperature. If the roast has not reached the desired temperature in the time specified in step 3, heat the oven to 225 degrees for 5 minutes, shut it off, and continue to cook the roast to the desired temperature. For a smaller (2 1/2- to 3 1/2-pound) roast, reduce the amount of kosher salt to 3 teaspoons (1 1/2 teaspoons table salt) and black pepper to 1 1/2 teaspoons. For a 4 1/2- to 6-pound roast, cut in half crosswise before cooking to create 2 smaller roasts. Slice the roast as thinly as possible and serve with Horseradish Cream Sauce (see related recipe), if desired. INGREDIENTS boneless eye-round roast (3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds) (see note) teaspoons kosher salt or 2 teaspoons table salt teaspoons vegetable oil plus 1 tablespoon teaspoons ground black pepper INSTRUCTIONS 1. Sprinkle all sides of roast evenly with salt.Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 18 to 24 hours. 2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 225 degrees. Pat roast dry with paper towels; rub with 2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle all sides evenly with pepper. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until starting to smoke. Sear roast until browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer roast to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Roast until meatprobe thermometer or instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 115 degrees for medium-rare, 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours, or 125 degrees for medium, 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours. 3. Turn oven off; leave roast in oven, without opening door, until meat-probe thermometer or instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 130 degrees for medium-rare or 140 degrees for medium, 30 to 50 minutes longer. Transfer roast to carving board and let rest 15 minutes. Slice meat crosswise as thinly as possible and serve.
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