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  1. I bought a bernzomatic (sp?) MAPP self lighting torch from Home Depot as I needed for beef and couldn't wait to order the iwatani. I have been pretty happy, it works quickly, I can't imagine going much hotter. The flame has sort of two cones an inner bright whitish-blue and a more faint outer blue. The whiter flame is hotter, so my goal has been to keep the meat just out of range of the whiter flame and to keep it moving (sort of like spray painting). I can get a reasonable crust on one side of a filet mignon in roughly 45 seconds (I have not dried it first - which may speed up the process, but hard to imagine it going much quicker.) This might help you calibrate times. I picked up a MAPP torch from Home Depot but haven't figured out how to achieve appealing browning on my SV proteins with it. The flame is so hot it burns surface irregularities before browning the overall surface. I've only used it 2-3 times so far, so I need to experiment a bit more with how far to hold it away from the food, how quickly to move it, etc. Perhaps drying the protein surface and/or coating with a light glucose solution would help. I'm also thinking about getting a flame spreader attachment. Does anyone have advice on technique using MAPP torches? I'm also now wondering if the extra heat of the MAPP gas vs. propane is useful in culinary applications. If you have to hold the flame farther away or move it faster across the protein then it seems the extra heat is not really being taken advantage of. nathanm said something similar ("A propane torch is already hot enough that there is no increased utility in MAPP.") a few years back, but seems to prefer MAPP now. Perhaps there are some other advantages to MAPP?
  2. I dislike making stock, but I like stock/broth. One of my problems is the "scant simmer" required to get the bones to release their good stuff. Since it is a lower than boil temperature process, I was wondering if people had made stock SV. I can think of arguments for and against, but haven't seen a recipe. (and searching this thread for stock doesn't really help) Thanks....
  3. Pedro, Thanks for that reference, I didn't find it when I searched. I'm trying to approximate the pressure I can achieve with the Ziplock system, so I will warn people that there is some math coming. One idea is to assume that when I pump the air out I am exerting an upward force (which I can measure) across the surface of the handpump piston (again I can measure and get a surface area), then the pressure inside the bag would be equivalent to the pressure I am exerting, since it should quickly come to equilibrium. Which would mean that to achieve results similar to the Foodsaver reported in post 2049 (200 mBar or ~20,000 Pa) I would need to decrease the pressure in the bag by roughly 800 mBar or 80,000Pa. So if the piston in the Ziplock pump is about 1 cm in diameter, that means the surface area of the piston is 3 cm2 which is 3 x10-4 m2, so to get a pressure difference of 80,000 Pa between inside the bag and out, I would need to exert a 24 N force, which isn't much. What this means to me is that I think it is reasonable to think that I have a shot at doing the compressed cucumbers in Thomas Keller just using my Ziplock system if they will compress at 200 mBar. Please correct me if my reasoning is horribly, horribly wrong. Then again I could just go try it and when I get a cucumber I will.
  4. I use the ZipLock SousVide bags with the hand pump because I am cheap and don't have the space for a vacuum system. Generally I find it works pretty well. Looking at the Thomas Keller Under Pressure book and was surprised at how often he uses the vacuum sealer as much as he does a water bath. He does things like compressed cucumbers. He gives very precise settings (vacuum on medium), but I don't know what medium means, what kinds of pressures can he achieve with a high quality vacuum sealer, what about a lower quality type vacuum? What kinds of pressures can I get with my ZipLock? Can I pull off any of the compressed vegetables that he does?
  5. One thing that my new SVM has done is made me plan way in advance, it is Monday and I am thinking about Easter dinner already. I'm going to SV a boneless leg of lamb in an attempt to outdo my wife's family recipe. So what about it gang, want to help me out? I'm planning 55C for 24hr, give me some seasoning ideas...no need to worry about tradition (obviously).
  6. The brine was above the 5% salinity, but I rinsed them pretty well and they spent 9 hrs in the sous vide and ended up a little salty, but not bad, there is a maximum saturation level with salt, so even 36 hrs was acceptable...
  7. I have seen plenty of reasons to brine meats/poultry and have seen minimum times listed, but have never seen a maximum time. I ask because I have duck legs and breasts being brined and didn't quite get to putting them in the sous vide this morning, so would it be good tomorrow? It would have been in the brine for 36 hrs tomorrow morning. Are there any safety issues? Are there any flavor issues?
  8. Does anyone know where I can get fresh duck legs in Miami? (publix, whole foods, fresh market all say no) I've got a new sous vide rig and want to get my duck confit on. If you know where frozen can be had that would work too.
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