Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by EnriqueB

  1. We have had some discussions about the unit here in Spain in a cooking chat group. Some members have seen the presentations by those "elite chefs" and even talked to them, and some bought the unit. My contention has always been -and the owners of the unit could not prove me wrong- that this is just an electric pressure cooker. It just has programs to cook with or without pressure, but those programs (like the ones promoted by the chefs for the black caulifrower and the like) do not advertise their actual pressure/temperature combinations anywhere. There are no physics I can think of that make this any different from an electric pressure cooker where you put your food in a container inside the cooker and steam-pressure cook or at a given temperature without pressure if below 100ºC. In fact some people has been able to replicate the dishes promoted by the chefs just cooking in a glass jar inside a standard pressure cooker (see http://afuegolento.com.ar/2018/04/12/la-coliflor-negra-clon/, in Spanish).
  2. No, you're absolutely right in your statements. I would not dare to follow such a recipe.
  3. I totally agree with you. Some thoughts: 1) A book which is just about sous-vide recipes would be ok for me without much theory, but the thread seemed to be about good SV books to learn. 2) Many of the books suggested are not announced (or inferred by their names) as just recipe cookbooks, but as general books about SV, some of them even saying "Complete", "Techniques", etc. In those cases, ignoring the critical things I've mentioned above is an important flaw to me. 3) SV itself lends more to theory than to recipes when compared with most other cooking techniques (I'd put charcuterie and fermenting at the same level). Any serious author explaining the technique should take that into account. And in some points (times, temperatures, and safety) it differs so much from conventional techniques than I'd consider authors who ignore those issues (and don't just announce their books are recipe cookbooks) very unprofessional. 4) Whereas I understand that for entry-level books authors may fear that dealing with those types of issues may frighten cooks new to the technique, it is my contention that all of this can be explained even at beginner level without overwhelming. In fact I teach Sous Vide courses to all type of cooks, from professionals to home cooks and it has always been my challenge to explain those details to everyone. It can be done. I'm not pretending that all books be at the level of Baldwin or MC, but things can be explained in simple terms and summarized for everyone. As I said, the last book by Joan Roca does the job pretty well and is selling a lot in Spain.
  4. Thanks for the suggestions, rotuts. The second one looks terrible, just by looking at the pages available in amazon. It does not seem to include much theory/technique according to the table of contents, and the recipes are set for specific sizes (a 4-cm steak) without any explanation about how to adjust if your steak just happens to be 3 or 5 cm wide. Any serious book on SV must include a table on each recipe that includes core target temperature, water temperature (if different from target, i.e. when applicable), time (which, if it depends on width, should be explained or options given), safety level/indications, and conservation details. Also, it is a good approach to offer a variety of profiles for some recipes (such as a "long time / low temp" or "shorter time / higher temp" for tough meats). That's what I would expect from a book that includes the words "Complete" and "Techniques" on its name. Even introductory books can include this type of information without being overwhelming, for example the new book from Joan Roca for home low temperature cooking (only available in Spanish, as far as I know) does include this type of things (it is weak in other aspects, but still much better than most introductory-level books I've seen).
  5. I've read those chapters and this would be another example of what I said above. No mention whatsoever of how time (for tender cuts) depends on size and how it can be calculated. No safety details neither. Those two issues are "forgotten" by most books, whereas both topics can perfectly be covered at an introductory level, and they should be.
  6. That's total nonsense. Science and experience say exactly the opposite, if the profile is selected correctly.
  7. There are 3 conditions for a safe storage time like that (and normally I've seen 21 days, not over a month): 1) Full pasteurization (equivalent to 6,5D reduction in Salmonella) - and see my concern about pasteurization for your profile in my previous message; 2) Rapid cooling, to <3ºC in less than 2 hours - don't know whether you do this; and 3) guaranteed storage at <3ºC - though you say you fulfill this, a home refrigerator may have its door open frequently and it is typical that it gets temperatures higher than 3ºC even it its coldest areas.
  8. About the chuck roasts, that profile is, to me, quite risky. Let me quote/repeat what I said to the ChefSteps team (they never bothered to answer) for a profile at 54ºC (this has also been discussed here in the past): I am concerned about the suggestion to go as low as 54ºC for such a long time. The rule that Douglas Baldwin established himself, and now he works with ChefSteps, was that the safety minimum threshold for long cooking times was 54.4ºC. Furthermore, when we push the limits like this a small error in our equipment calibration can be critical, so this is, to me, just pushing the boundaries of safety. See for example the several comments saying that they had bad odors after that profile. I understand that you are using several hurdles here (nitrites and likely pre-searing, but these are not mentioned explicitly in the entry as critical requirements). I understand the logic of the 54ºC, I guess. Whereas the 54.4ºC threshold was established as the lowest value where C. perfringens had been shown to die, it should not grow from 52ºC upwards. But still I think this is pushing the limits. Specially taking into account the review by the ComBase team. They are serious microbiologist that developed one of the most well-known models of bacteria growth and destruction, and whereas they themselves start modelling death of C. perfringens from 54.5ºC, they indicate too that this was not intended for very long cooking times, and tell us that, in their opinion and review of the experimental data backing that, there is not enough evidence of the bacteria population kinetics in the area of the growth/no-growth (to which 54ºC would belong) for long cooking times.
  9. Going back to the original question about SV books. I teach Sous-Vide classes and try to evaluate all new publications on the topic. Lately there are a lot of new books but most of them look disappointing. The ones I've finally bought were, in fact, quite disappointing. I personally find that any SV book needs to explain some theory, in fact more theory that for most other cooking techniques. Safety is quite different from other techniques and how it does differ must be explained minimally, in my opinion. It should also empower minimally the reader to be able to cook SV without a recipe, i.e. it should explain how to determine the time/temperature profile for most foods. It just happens that almost no book does this properly, in my opinion, except for Baldwin and Modernist Cuisine. My perfect starter book would do that, although at an easier level that those already-classics, then have appealing recipes. I'm still searching for such a book.
  10. In fact I own the book and find it quite uninteresting. Barely any theory, and recipes that don't call my attention.
  11. Not at all (the chicken, I mean).
  12. I though my messages in this sense were largely ignored by the community here, so happy they are useful for someone Some recent research points out possible problems in the same vein as the ones highlighted in the post you link. The article Genetic determinants of heat resistance in Escherichia coli shows some strains of E. coli that survive core temperatures of 71ºC, which, extrapolated to our usual sous-vide core temperatures would imply much much longer times that Baldwin or SousVideDash tables currently provide. On the other hand, those bad news are somehow compensated with new research (don't have the links now with me) that suggests that many facultative anaerobic pathogenic bacteria die a bit faster inside the vacuum bag that they do when cooked exposed to air. Current tables assume the same die rate as has been studied without taking into account the vacuum, so that would be very good news.
  13. As a tender cut, you just need to reach temperature at core and, if desired, add time for pasteurization. Given your water temperature and meat thickness, you would have needed just about 1:30 h according to SousVideDash, and about 2:30 h for pasteurization. Meat kept at a given temperature in the water bath is ok for a good amount of time, but your profile doubled the required pasteurization time, so that's likely the reason for bad texture, typical of too long cooking of tender cuts. If you salted the meat in advance that would not help neither. Never salt meat tender cuts before sous-viding unless you're looking for a kind of "cured" texture, do it after, just before searing.
  14. Changed the color, and removed all equipment brands except Polyscience ones. Still there are generic circulating and non-circulating though, which should do the job. For a while both versions were available in the App Store, but SousVideDash was removed about a couple of months ago, which is a pity.
  15. EnriqueB

    Sous Vide Log

    Normally I would add "Shape" to "Thickness". Most often the shape would be determined by the food type, but at times not, i.e. a beef tenderloin can be cooked whole, so its shape would be "cylinder" or cut into medallions so it would be "steak-like". The time to temperatue depends on both thickness & shape. Temperature is also not enough for me. I would track both water-temperature and target-core-temperature. They are almost equal if you use an equilibrium strategy, but different in Delta-T. Also, the cooking/safety strategy: either time-to-temperature, pasteurize-to-core, or pasteurize-surface, if you use the strategies defined by SousVideDash. Plus, what Tere has already said.
  16. Too simple? No, that's exactly how an authentic paella must be. Most rices called "paellas" are not that, even in Spain and even in Valencia, and precisely overcrowding them is considered one of the worst mistakes. The star of any real paella is the rice and it must shine over any other ingredient.
  17. I have used both, I own Anova PC and have worked with the Vac-Star for the Sous Vide classes I teach. Both are good units, but unless you absolutely need the higher capacity, I'll choose the Anova for home use. Smaller profile, which means both easier to store when not in use and can be used in smaller containers. And it is the unit best adapted to usage in different size containers, even small ones, which comes handy at home, something that cannot be done with the Vac-Star.
  18. That's exactly what I told them in Twitter. The main benefit I see is not forcing home users to use bags. The only talk "low temperature" and not "sous-vide" on their website, as if that would be less scary for home cooks. Of course they are the #1 restaurant in the world now and all the press is talking marvels about how they are bringing "their" incredible technique to the homes, saying they are the first to do such a thing. As if egullet, Baldwin, Modernist Cuisine, SVS, cheap circulators, etc had never existed. I started to teach sous vide classes to home (and sometimes professional) cooks in Spain some years ago precisely because there was none, but all of a sudden they have invented everything
  19. In fact El Celler de Can Roca, fist restaurant of the world in some lists and well known for its work in sous-vide, has just launched a home appliance to cook "low temperature" (they always use that term instead of sous-vide in their site) that mimics Paragon: rocook.com Currently available only in Spain, I think. I am a bit surprised that they followed this type of equipment instead of a circulator. I think it is to foster the "low temperature" part of sous-vide allowing cooking in the pot at a given temp without necessarily using bags.
  20. Hi, you may try Taberna Verdejo, Lakasa (currently moving, should re-open soon), El fogón de trifón, Askua barra. Cañadío, La Catapa, La Ardosa, La Caleta, or Sacha. All excellent restaurants or "barras de tapas". Not of the "fancy" types thoug some would not exactly fit the "family run" description neither. Try La Daniela or Casa Carola for great "Cocido Madrileño", the traditional Madrid stew. And go to El Corral de la Morería for excellent food and no-tourist-trap best flamenco show in the world.
  21. My only issue with cooking in a sauce is that, if a low temperature is used (around <=65ºC), some water soluble proteins leak out of the meat, unlike in braises because at a high enough temperature those proteins are denatured fast enough and are no longer soluble. They are not very pretty and are usually removed by boiling and filtering the raft that forms. Also, the leaked juices are usually quite thin and lighten the sauce, which, to compensate, must be denser to begin with. Not big issues, just an additional step that must be taken into account. I think using temps above 70ºC this problem is avoided.
  22. Egg yolks do not contain microbial spores, the main factor limiting storage time of sous vide cooked food. Unless you introduce the spores in the yolk separation & bagging process, your only concern should be salmonella. So, it is likely that sous-vide pasteurized egg yolks can be safely kept for weeks, but this really depends on fast chilling and your fridge temperature. Under 5ºC I would keep for a month, if temperature is higher I would reduce that time.
  23. You don't need to sterilize for botulinum spores for safe storage, which are the treatments that are being suggested here. A heat treatment of 90ºC/10 min is considered enough for fridge storage of food under vacuum below 8ºC(http://acmsf.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/mnt/drupal_data/sources/files/multimedia/pdfs/acm777annex.pdf). And the juices will not be under vacuum after the initial SV cooking, so it would be even safer. So just boil the juices for 10 minutes, make them cold fast and keep in the fridge as cold as possible. But take into account that with that treatment spoilage will arrive earlier than any botulism hazard, so in any case I suggest you freeze the juices after boiling them.
  • Create New...