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Sous Vide Supreme and other home options: 2009-10


weinoo
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I received my Demi yesterday, the same day their universal pouch rack appeared for sale on their website. I grudgingly ordered it. Suppose it would have been possible to improvise a rack with various kitchen utensils/tools but the one for sale seems so much more convenient. It's a little strange and annoying that they don't include it with the Demi but I guess they're aggressively keeping costs down on the machine.

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ah, thanks, I just ordered mine too. Also just got a reply but all they told me is that it's now on their website, no comment on why it's not part of the demi delivery or why it's not clearly noted that this would be something essential to buy. I thought about using a rib rack, but this thing is custom made and will hopefully work better.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I received my Demi yesterday, the same day their universal pouch rack appeared for sale on their website. I grudgingly ordered it. Suppose it would have been possible to improvise a rack with various kitchen utensils/tools but the one for sale seems so much more convenient. It's a little strange and annoying that they don't include it with the Demi but I guess they're aggressively keeping costs down on the machine.

Let us know how it fits in the demi. I assume it will since they are selling it, but I am interested to see if it will work on all sides.

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That my vac bags leave an odd surface on food from those little channels on one side of the plastic is an other issue, also the chicken breasts all looked like pillows in a way, I guess SV comes along with some trimming before serving. The surface can't be avoided unless one has a vac packer that uses bags that are smooth on both sides I guess. No big deal at home, it does make for some artificial man made looking meat though :-D

What sealer are you using? I know with the Foodsaver bags, the channels are on only one side, so I just make a point of serving that side down.

Wrapping the marinated meat in cling film avoids the pattern on the surface; furthermore you do not need maximum vacuum (see Dave Arnold: vacuum machines affect the texture of your meat ), especially for fish and poultry you might even prefer ziploc-bags. If your clamp type vacuum sealer does not allow setting a reduced vacuum level, you may connect the adaptor of the tube you use to evacuate vacuum containers and close it only partly with your finger tip; this is especially helpful when bagging food with a lot of liquid: as soon as the liquid starts crawling up towards the sealing bar, you stop occluding the auxiliary port, allowing air to enter the system thus reducing the vacuum level. Verify that the seal is perfect, eventually apply a second and third seal.

Vacuum-sealing with liquid_k.jpg

Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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I was going to wait for my universal pouch rack to arrive, but have a strip steak that I want to try for tonight. For a single item like that, do you all think that placing it horizontally flat onto the bottom pan in the Demi will be a problem? This will be my first sous vide attempt and really looking forward to it.

Also, this is probably not the thread for it, but I plan on seasoning the steak with a regular amount of kosher salt and pepper (the same amount I'd use if I were cooking non-sous vide), vacuum sealing with my foodsaver, then cooking at 130 for around 45 minutes or however long it takes to get up to temperature, followed by a quick sear in a blazing hot cast iron skillet. Bases covered?

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unless the steak is as big as the entire inside you'll be just fine, putting it down flat is I think how it's supposed to be. Just make sure the water can get up around it everywhere. And fill the machine to the fill line.

As for the rest, that's how I've done it, s&p and a quick 60 sec sear in a very hot cast iron pan. Turned out fantastic. Maybe dab it a bit dry to allow for better/quicker sear.

I then slice steak for serving and sprinkle a bit fleur de sel or some black salt etc over it, plus an other grind of fresh pepper. Should not need more.

As for the time, it's not so much about "up to temperature" but also takes time for the fat and collagen to dissolve and get all juicy. It won't overcook as the temp never goes above med rare at 130, but I'd guess it'll take more than just 45 min. Search around a bit and see how tough or lean your meat appears. My short ribs cooked for some 8 hours and could have used more.

I just submerged 3 thick pork chops that got s&p, dried garlic and dried oregano on it. I still have to read up on using fresh garlic etc (grows in ground where botulism spores live), and dry rubs are - well - dry. These will swim for some 2-

3 hrs.

I'll also flash them in the hot pan, hoping for some nice moist and tender meat, not the usual rubber these cuts tend to turn into all too often.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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It won't overcook as the temp never goes above med rare at 130, but I'd guess it'll take more than just 45 min. Search around a bit and see how tough or lean your meat appears. My short ribs cooked for some 8 hours and could have used more.

I'm a little confused about knowing when the Demi has gotten my steak up to temperature. I filled the Demi with hot water from my tap, then put in the vacuum sealed ny strip steak which had been out of my refrigerator for about fifteen minutes. Within a matter of maybe five minutes the temperature display on the Demi registered 130 degrees. Now there's no way the steak has actually reached that, right? So how am I to know when it has? Is there a problem with my Demi?

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The gauge only shows the temperature of the water, not the temperature of the centre of the meat.

The speed at which the meat heats up is proportional to the thickness of the piece.

Check out Douglas Baldwin's practical guide to Sous Vide cooking for more detail and cooking times.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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we're all learning :-)

Use the cooking chart that came with the demi, it shows for how long you have to cook something at least, and also the max time you should allow. Or follow the link above.

Also, do fill the demi with hot water, but wait until it's up to temp before adding the food! I wait some 10 or so min to make sure water temp is stable before adding food. And the food has been out of the fridge for a while by then, so it's close to room temp. I usually take it out when I turn the demi on.

Oh, and the pork chops came out fantastic, among the best I've ever had! 3hrs in the water and a flash fry all over.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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I just received my optional bag rack today. It fits into the Demi just fine, but if you put it on it's side so you can put bags on top of each other you could only fit 2 bags, maybe 3 if it's something thin, the 4th shelf would be above the water line.

No issue for me, I'm not sure why I'd want to have bags in there flat, seems vertical offers better circulation, but if that's something important to you now you know :)

I still think it should be part of the package, I can't imagine that thing costs much to have made, but it's also not absolutely necessary for family size amounts. I had my pork chops standing in the grill the Demi comes with. They stand on the bottom piece with the holes, but don't cover all that many and heat convection seemed to work just fine. Still a nice addition.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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As for the rest, that's how I've done it, s&p and a quick 60 sec sear in a very hot cast iron pan. Turned out fantastic. Maybe dab it a bit dry to allow for better/quicker sear.

I took Dave Arnold's advice over at Cooking Issues and have been pre-searing my beef, bagging with butter, and searing again afterward. There is a significant difference to me in the color the meat gets when searing twice...if I wanted it that color post-sous vide without the pre-sear I'd have to leave it on the skillet long enough that the gray band would appear around the meat, defeating the purpose of sv'ing it in the first place.

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I'll have to try that pre-sear idea, not so much for color, but I'm wondering what it does to the taste, having those nice brown bits slowly melting in the bag.

I did not get a gray band, I put mine into a very smoking hot cast iron skillet for about 60 sec each side. Got a wonderful golden brown and crunchy(!) sear with no heat travel to the inside. Meat was cooled down a bit after SV.

Got two Angus steaks going in in minutes, not enough time to play with pre-sear today.

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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  • 2 weeks later...

I purchased the Sous Vide Supreme directly from the manufacturer. Their customer service couldn't be better! I noticed a puddle underneath mine while doing a 52 hour short rib cook, emailed customer service and they shipped a new one to me the next day. I just cooked some scrambled eggs with boursin cheese (delicious!) and realized that my first machine probably had an inaccurate thermostat. The new one gets much warmer. I had thought that my ribs cooked at 133 in the first one were a bit rare. I didn't check the first one with a thermometer; next time I use the new one, I probably will.

I also saw that Costco.com has a demi package now (online only). $350 with the Sous Vide vacuum sealer, extra bags and Doug's book, including shipping and handling.

I am going to try Michael Ruhlman's Sous Vide Pastrami next....

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  • 4 weeks later...
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