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Leigh Jones

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Everything posted by Leigh Jones

  1. My humble opinion: into the future the kitchen of tomorrow most cooking surfaces and methods will have fine temperature control. Microwave ovens will optionally sense the surface temperature of the food being cooked, or even the interior of the food could be detected by a probe, CrockPots will be settable to precise temperatures like water ovens, and indeed will be usable for a wide range of tasks including sous vide and deep frying. Ovens will have an air circulator so that the interior air temperatures can be similar to water ovens and still transfer heat quickly enough to bring the core temperature to safe levels quickly and/or have temperature probe sensors in the core of the food to allow automatic temperature reduction to forever prevent overcooking. It's great to see the beginnings of the change occurring in products. This is the first precision cooktop with fine grained temperature control, with more to come.
  2. OK Chris, I am a home cook with literally over a thousand sous vide supper's experience. On first reading, I got the impression that your beef came out tasting like it was braised and this was a surprise to you. I take it that you believe your beef was of lower quality and hoped to turn it into something more palatable using a long cooking time to tenderize. As one response above clearly states, with many cheaper cuts of meat it's hit and miss. This is my experience also. I buy supermarket beef from a store very local to me, it is an inexpensive store with a large display case fully stocked, butchers on duty in daytimes, lots of choice. Have very few complaints here except (1) they stock very little choice beef and what is there is expensive (2) they sell the beef in record time, meaning they do not age it in any manner as far as I can tell. This means I can get extremely tough beef at a low price, but often it will not be possible to satisfy my wish to make it acceptably tender. And reiterating, I am extremely experienced cooking sous vide. By comparison to my own experience, what you describe above is a remarkable stroke of luck: your complaint was not that the beef could not be chewed after 36 hours in the water bath! But, when I put it that way, it sounds like I must not be cooking right. Untrue, my experience has proven very useful, my sous vide beef is far more tender and flavorable than it would be if conventionally prepared. It's just that once in a while the results with sous vide London broil or round steak can border on the results conventional grilling or searing of dry aged tenderloin. But more often the round steak disappoints by comparison. I still cook London broil sometimes to keep pursuing perfection with cheap cuts, but I've discovered ways to work with the round steaks that turn out tough. My favorite is to thin slice them to make sandwich meats out of them. When I want to be confident that the dinner will be splendid, I'll cook a 3-4 lb tri tip roast at 131F for 12 hours. When I want to reliably get the best results from a 3 lb London broil, I'll cook it for 3-4 hours at 130F. In each case, I'll avoid salt in the cooking bag, and will cool the meat before popping it into my backyard gas grill to produce grill marks, then I'll season and carefully slice against the grain.
  3. Interesting. I have a habit of cooking dinner entrees sous vide for about 12 hours, putting it into the water bath before leaving to work in the morning. I have cooked hundreds of pork loin roasts and tenderloins in my sous vide cooker (and at least a thousand other meals) on my home made sous vide cooker without ever realizing that someone might have the opinion that 12 hours was too long. The results have been astoundingly good, except when I'm browning it on the barbecue, to finish it, a pork product will sometimes flame up and cook hotter than I had intended with the expectable results. But most of my 12-hour pork tenderloins are slightly pink and as juicy and tender as you could wish for.
  4. If you are a restauranteur, you're going to follow your approved health plan. Otherwise, you have some personal influence. Clostridium perfringens Is not guaranteed to die at these temperatures, but neither are they when grilled or broiled to medium rare temperature traditionally. Their numbers are significantly reduced. Sous vide has the capability of making a given level of doneness more healthy than traditional cooking methods and with greater reliability. Now, sure, 72 hours at 55 degrees would probably be great, too, but remember that Clostridium perfringens stops reproducing and beggining to diminish in numbers at well below these temperatures.
  5. I hope you won't hold it against me, but I have a somewhat different method. Simply put, five nights a week I have to put the meat in the water bath before going to work in the morning, then I get home 12 hours later. This has made me quite comfortably with longer cooking times for a variety of SV meats. I wouldn't do this with filet mignon, but it works great with New York steak, sirloin, and tri-tip. In fact, they could be in the water bath all night, too, without worry. Leave the meat in the water bath until several minutes before searing, then un-bag and cool a while to protect against overcooking before browning. I prefer making grill marks.
  6. I wouldn't think cooking a whole turkey sous vide is ideal, either. As a minimum I'd suggest parting the turkey like fried chicken pieces and bagging separately -- a few hours at 60C/140F. Pull out the white meat, pour in a teapot of boiling water, and set the temperature to 65C for 20 minutes to cook the dark meat more fully. After a few minutes cooling, sear the skin side of the white meat briefly in butter if desired. Similarly, cool and sear the dark meat. Deglaze the searing pan with reserved bag juices and make gravy.
  7. I'm not a professional chef and have responsibility to satisfy only my tastes and those of my family and guests. When I eat meat at a restaurant and encounter fat, I cut it away and set it aside to NOT eat. When I prepare meat at home, I select relatively lean cuts, such as tri-tip, and trim away as much fat and silverskin as I have the patience for prior to marinating or cooking. My own family agrees that this is how they prefer it. For me, meat should be savory, so I usually marinate and cook with techniques that increase the savory flavor with umami-increasing ingredients. Whatever fats I cannot trim away, I attempt to render, though I will not sacrifice tenderness to achieve this. I realize that there is a different school of thought regarding fat, that to some taste buds the roots of meatiness are in the fat, but this is not the case according to my tastes. And everyone who has eaten my lean, medium rare sous vide tri-tip loves it.
  8. I happen to prefer the sous vide method, followed by a short cooling period, and then grilling on a backyard propane barbecue to add cross-hatched grill marks. Before cooking in the water bath, an overnight brining in two cups cold water, a tablespoon of salt, a tablespoon of sugar, with some chopped kombu and dried shitaki mushrooms, and half a teaspoon of Marmite. In the cooking bag, season only with pepper. 130F for 4 to 12 hours.
  9. A sous vide method for sterilizing the milk at the early stages of cheese making would definitely work for tiny batches, but most cheese recipes call for larger quantities of milk, so as to produce uniform curd sizes with familiar rates of evaporation, aeration, etc., resulting in cheese that is true to the traditional flavor. For the larger quantities of milk, bagging and bathing is less attractive than adding some degree of process control to large closed vessels. A PID controller might be of value, but a 10 gallon vat of liquid or larger has a great deal of thermal mass, making heating by flame attractive. Of course, many traditional cheeses are made without reliance on that degree of sterility. After the milk is reduced to a curd and the process becomes one of drying and curing, maintaining controlled conditions for flavor and texture control is important, but this must be done in an atmosphere rather than under water.
  10. It's a simple matter. Break down the turkey into component pieces -- leg and thigh together, boneless split breasts, wings, carcass. Set the carcass aside with giblets to make stock later. Brine the prime pieces overnight and discard the brine. Season (no salt at this time) and put the bagged legs and thighs into the water bath first at 67C 153F for 3 hours. Set the temperature to 60 C 140 F. Allow the water bath to come to a few degrees above the new temperature or add some cool water to accelerate the process. Add the bagged breasts to the water bath and cook for 4-6 more hours. Make a roux. Add water and bring to a boil. Boil the carcass, skin, and giblets with carrots, celery, onions, and bell peppers cut into 1/2 cm 1/4" cubes. Reduce and season to make a gravy, removing the carcass when appropriate. Remove the legs/thighs/wings and allow them to cool for perhaps 15 minutes. Preheat the broiler or grill, Season the skin on the legs, thighs, and wings and commit to the broiler until browned. Remove and rest. Remove and un-bag the breasts and slice thinly, then season and dress the slices with gravy. Similarly, slice and dress the thighs and legs from the bones to provide dark meat.
  11. Of course, fish sauce is used to provide umami (savory). Per most recommendations, the most effective umami is a combination of sources of umami in lieu of a single one. That means not just fish sauce but also some combination of tomatoes, mushrooms, yeast extract, seaweed extract, Maillard reaction, garlic, onions, cheese, fats, etc., even salt and pepper, depending on the recipe. The 72 hour thing isn't critical. For sous vide, there would be some tendency for exuded juices to rinse added flavorings away, so perhaps it's more effective to add umami flavorings after the water bath.
  12. "jjahorn wrote: The PID is from a German company (Pohl) the controller is called A-senco TR11. The technical specs say display resolution 1C, measuring resolution 0.1C. This may not be correct information for your PID controller, but many PID controllers have two ways that temperatures can be displayed for PT100 sensors. Typically you'd select between the two display modes by selecting either the PT100 sensor option for 1 degree display resolution and alternatively select sensor type PT10.0 for a PT100 sensor in 0.1 degree display resolution mode.
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