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Everything posted by danelks

  1. OK, found it - 180 for 1 hour. They were still quite crisp at this point but I really enjoyed the texture - somewhat similar to a lightly cooked lotus root or water chestnut.
  2. In addition to all of the above - vegetables can be magic done sous vide, as well as still relatively quick and entirely hands-off. Carrots are perfect tender-crisp every time at both the thin and thick ends (~45 minutes at 180 as I recall). Zucchini or other summer squash is a revelation cut into 1/4" slices and cooked 20 mins at 165. Peeled and coined sunchokes were also stellar, though I don't have my notebook handy to remember the time/temperature I settled on... That said, it has taken me a fair bit of experimentation to find what I liked best - using various recipes found on the internet or other cookbooks (MC in particular) as a starting point and tweaking as needed...
  3. For what it's worth, the meat did come out of the brine excessively salty to my tastes. After soaking for 1 hour, 2 hours, then eventually overnight, the salt had dropped to a somewhat more reasonable level, though still a bit on the high side compared to my usual level of seasoning. It's in the circulator now sealed with additional water (double the amount called for in the recipe) in hopes of drawing out a bit more while it cooks. Next time I'll probably use at most half of the salt concentration in the brine.
  4. Thanks folks. I will let it brine the full 72 hours then do the fry taste test and soak as needed, seems like a perfectly reasonable solution that I didn't think of late last night.
  5. I'm attempting ChefSteps' braised pork belly recipe here: http://www.chefsteps.com/activities/braised-pork-belly The pork is has been in the brine (equilibrium version) for a bit over 24 hours, but as I look over the math again I'm a bit worried about the final salt concentration - if my calculations are correct it should equilibrate at around 2.5%, which seems very high for a brine (my copy of MC seems to agree). Has anyone attempted this before? Is my math off or does that seem high to anyone else? I suspect maybe the idea is to serve this in small portions as an accent rather than as a main protein... Assuming I'm not out to lunch...to salvage I'm thinking I might be best to take it out after 48 hours, soak in a few changes of fresh water for 2 hours (per MC, roughly following the high-concentration brine method, though at a lower salt concentration and for less brining time...), then re-seal for 24 hours to let the salt concentration even out in the meat. Last thing I want to do is oversalt and ruin this nice piece of meat, and it needs to be ready to cook by Thursday morning...any advice (or even words of encouragement) would be greatly appreciated!
  6. I've definitely seen relatively cloudy oil become crystal clear after a couple of conditioning runs (you need to let it settle for a few hours afterwards, as it will draw in a lot of air). No soft air knob on mine, just the software program. I imagine we must have different revisions. The only problem I've had is the one I described a few posts back, where the conditioning program sometimes terminates early with an error message. No issues with the display that I've seen. It seems given my location I may have to install the replacement control card myself - which I'm actually not too concerned with (provided it doesn't affect my warranty). I wouldn't mind getting a look at the guts of the machine in all honesty.
  7. I too am very happy with my 35XP, aside from the odd issue with the conditioning program (which is still an ongoing discussion with MiniPack - it appears I may need a replacement control card). I use the soft air and infusion cycle so frequently that I can't imagine not having them. Horseflesh, for what it's worth, running the conditioning program tends to get rid of that cloudy/milky consistency in the oil. I think the manual suggests replacing the oil after a certain number of cycles but I don't remember the total off the top of my head. The machine keeps track of that for you buried somewhere in those menus...I intend to replace the oil no less than once per year though, even if I don't hit that total. Better safe than sorry.
  8. I've just been keeping an eye on the oil and running it when it looks cloudy from water vapor. Depends how much you seal liquids, I think. I haven't had that problem in particular. I have been talking with someone at Minipack actually, but they haven't come up with much yet...still back and forth.
  9. @Unpopular Poet - wiring for my issue seems less likely but I can't really rule it out - faulty wiring would I'd assume cause the same failure each time. Since the XP series have a more complicated embedded microcontroller I'm thinking it's more likely to be a programming fault... I will follow up to the thread if and when I get more info from Minipack.
  10. I finally received my 35XP a few weeks ago and have been using it extensively. Having lots of fun with infusion and compression, some cucumber and red radish pickles I made this past weekend with aged sherry vinegar on a 5-minute infusion cycle were a particularly noteworthy success. I have however been having one seemingly minor issue with the conditioning program, which has the rep at Testek stumped...waiting for some more information from Minipack themselves. Specifically, this always fails on the first run with a "SERVICE - VACUUM TIME" message with exactly 2:39 left on the countdown clock. If I run the cycle again immediately, it seems to always succeed the second time. Any other XP-series owners run into something like this with their unit? It seems a relatively minor thing, but I'd obviously like to rule out that it's a symptom of some more serious problem.
  11. Absolutely, it was a surprisingly significant portion of the cost for something that seems (to me) a bit frivolous.
  12. Just wanted to pop in to this thread and thank all the contributors for the wealth of information. I just ordered myself an MVS-35XP (minus the printer) via Testek (PolyScience's Canadian distributor - who were extremely helpful). Will follow up here with my first impressions when I have it in my hands (which won't be for a few weeks yet unfortunately).
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