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mercury529

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  1. I have enjoyed the book immensely, but I have been running into some issues with the recipes that call for baking soda to enhance the Maillard Reaction (I have tried the pressure cooker carrot soup, some of its variants, and the pressure cooker caramelized onions). Specifically, I am getting an off-flavor at the tail end. I am weighing all my ingredients, including using a scale with .1 gram resolution for the baking soda (Arm and Hammer - recently opened and from a shaker container stored in cool place). And yet, I am still encountering the off-flavor. Has anyone else experienced this? Are there any tricks for getting rid of this? Thanks for any input.
  2. I can understand that. I believe I was the only user on the previous Anova thread (Anova Sous Vide thread - http://forums.egullet.org/topic/146244-anova-sous-vide-circulator-part-2) to suggest the connectivity + app approach (which I imagine was already in development before they requested feedback) so I had the moment of indignation as well. The indignation was even stronger when the Kickstarter sold out of the $99 price point before 7:30 am PST. But, I sucked it up, contributed at the $129 level, and did something needlessly compulsive. I refreshed periodically until someone, inconceivably canceled their $99 Founder's Club backing. I consider myself fortunate in that regard. At the same time, the pricing on the new units (even with the later Kickstarter tiers) are a tremendous bargain in the current world of at-home sous vide. And as Jeff mentioned, I think Anova was in no way prepared for the massive show of support and quick time to sell out on the Founder's Club level. As one other note for those considering the Hacker Special level. I inquired about warranty service on the prototype unit, and there are currently no plans for warranty support. If that is important to you, you may want to take it into consideration.
  3. I have been very happy with my purchase, and I have recommended to Anova to numerous friends and family members based on my experience. Thanks for your work on a wonderful device. 1.) I like the use of LCDs. Like many here, I agree that the potential of the LCD screen has gone largely untapped. The ability to create user temperature presets for different food types would be useful. The ability to switch between F/C without restarting the unit would be nice (some temperatures are easier to remember in one unit). 2.) Longevity is most important to me followed by feature set followed by design. That said, I am assuming based on previous research that I should expect the mechanical components to breakdown on an immersion circulator before the LCD. I would be disappointed if a malfunctioning LCD screen rendered an otherwise functional Anova out of commission outside the warranty period. 3.) I personally like the touch screen. I expect kitchen devices to increasingly incorporate this and other innovative features. If you were to get particularly ambitious, wireless connectivity and an app would be very cool. Being able to monitor the status of the bath would be great for those who are the paranoid sort. And for me, getting alerts when the cooking time was over or if something unexpected happened (for instance low water level shutoff or actual temperature dropping significantly from target temperature) would be great. The wireless approach would also simplify software updates (assuming you give users that option in the future). That might be overly ambitious, but I would find great value in it. I hope the feedback is of use. And by all means if you need someone to beta test, it's a very tough job but I will reluctantly lend myself to the cause .
  4. mercury529

    Sous Vide Duck

    Hey Everyone, Thanks again for all the input. I wanted to update everyone on the results. I took pictures but they frankly are not terribly illuminating so they won't bring anything to the table. So for my experiment I quartered a duck into 2 breast quarters and 2 leg quarters and scored the skin. I brined the duck for 3 hours. I then removed the quarters from the brine and patted them dry. I placed 1 leg quarter and 1 duck breast directly into a vacuum bag (individually sealed). I placed the remaining 2 quarters into a colander and steamed them for approximately an hour. After that was complete, I sealed both in vacuum bags. I prepared the duck breast the same day and saved the legs for the next day. For the duck breasts, I followed the Serious Eats method. I set the temperature to 135 F and placed the duck breasts in for 1 hour. I removed both from their packaging directly into a cold All Clad Saute Pan skin side down. I turned the heat to high until it sizzled. I dropped the heat to medium and rendered out as much of the fat as I could. I removed the breasts to a paper towel-lined plate and rested them for 10 minutes. The fat rendered out more completely from the steamed duck breast and resulted in a slightly crispier skin. The steamed duck breast may have been slightly drier near the ends as a result of the steaming. The results for the duck legs were much the same (the same method but 167 F for 12 hours). Both the breasts and legs came out very flavorful, nicely seasoned, and at a great doneness. It was undoubtedly the best duck I have ever made. Even with a mediocre frozen grocery store duck which I got for $1 per pound, it was better than most of what I have had in restaurants. While the steaming method yielded better results for the skin, I don't feel it was frankly worth the extra effort. But I am glad I did the experiment. The next time, I will try removing the skin and crisping it separately as suggested previously. I think that will frankly yield a more desirable result. Thanks again for all the input.
  5. mercury529

    Sous Vide Duck

    A lot of good discussion here. Michael, any thoughts on whether you could remove the bag of fat/gelatin after sous vide, chill it, and freeze it from there for a later use? I often don't have immediate use for what I render and wouldn't mind being able to store it in the same bag. Have you tried freezing the skin beforehand to firm it in up in the grinder? Maybe that would help with the cleaning aspect.
  6. mercury529

    Sous Vide Duck

    Thanks a lot for the responses. Now that I think about, the sous vide provides the perfect opportunity to compare techniques. I could steam one half of the bird not steam the other half and cook in the same water bath (ensuring a controlled cooking comparison pre-sear). And if I sear in the same pan, I should get a fairly controlled result for comparison. I'll share what I find. rotuts: Good suggestions for crisping up the skin and rendering. I'll look into Baldwin's book. I am not a picture-takey person by nature. But maybe if I convince myself it's for science, I can be dcarch: What compelled you to even attempt that in the first place, haha? Michael: I'd never heard about that grinder technique. That sounds like it might be considerably easier than the steaming method for rendering fat (no worrying about water content or burning the fat). Is that your favorite approach for rendering duck/goose fat now? I assume after separating the gelatin, can you add it in with the remainder of the carcass to make a good stock?
  7. Hello All, I am newly registered on the forum, though I have read a lot of material from the forum. It is a wealth of information and knowledge, so I thought I'd reach out. I recently purchased an immersion circulator, so I am learning about sous vide techniques. I have decided to tackle duck sous vide. Before I had my immersion circulator, I followed Alton Brown's method for preparing duck (quarter, brine, steam, and sear). My favorite part of the technique was the significant amount of duck fat that rendered into the steaming vessel for other uses. Without any research, my inclination would be to brine and steam the duck quarters, sous vide cook to desired internal temperature, and crisp the skin in a blazing hot pan or via blowtorch. When I researched duck sous vide, I could not find any recipes that included the steaming step and very few with a pre-sous vide rendering step. So I had a few questions: 1.) Would duck quarters cooked sous vide benefit from a steaming step to render out some of the excess fat? 2.) Do duck quarters cooked sous vide, without a pre-sous vide rendering step, still allow for you to gather and save the rendered fat for later use? 3.) Is there a good technique for cooking a quartered duck in a single water bath for a single meal? Thanks a lot for any input you can give.
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