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Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 2)


francois
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I assume you're stalking eBay. Small baths can that don't look like total crap can be found for about $100, you just have to be patient. With that said, with all the time you're spending trying to find a bath for $100 you're probably better spending $50 more at which there are bound to be a few options.

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I also recommend a water bath. Some immersion types come with tanks and for the most part just unscrew from the top of the tank. You can then mount them on anything you like. I use a full size counter steam table. It was cheap, stainless, had a spigot for draining, insulated AND can be used as a steam table.

Spend the money, you can always sell it later. These guys are holding value and increasing.

Edited by pounce (log)

My soup looked like an above ground pool in a bad neighborhood.

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This 1505 looks pretty good.  Likely more expensive than my 1205, but, as I mentioned just above, I was trying to save some money because I was buying a used water bath of unknown functionality on eBay and would only be experimenting for a few weeks before I had to go back to school.  Anyway, if I really like this pulse feature.  I hadn't seen it on the other units, and it simply seems like a useful feature.  Having that control will, to a certain extent, be helpful.

Well, I got the V1505 today and I am very happy with it. The pulse feature is great and allows one total control over vacuuming anything from fragile potato chips to raw meat. It is a bit more expensive than some of the other models, but it is very well designed. This is the complete opposite of the Deni sealer that I owned at one time. It was really a horrible product, and the bags were horrible too. These Foodsaver bags, on the other hand, are incredibly strong and durable. I'm looking forward to trying some sous-vide chicken soon. Also, I don't know if anyone has pointed this out, but the instruction manual actually mentions by name sous-vide cooking on page 9. It must be gaining in popularity.

Alan

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Thanks for all the advice. I decided to order both since they each have there plus' and minus' depending on the application so I ordered the PolySci circulator and the small size bath, and since I couldn't resist I sprung for an ant-griddle also. Thanks for the feedback folks.

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Has anyone had any experience with the Julabo ED model circulator? They are now marketing this as "sous vide equipment". I saw a demo at the Restaurant Show at the Javits and was quite impressed. The price was also a bit lower than Lauda etc. I would appreciate some feedback.

Ruth Friedman

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No, but I spoke with the sales rep for the midwest on the phone the other day. He offered to have me talk to the chefs at the Greenbrier Hotel and the Greenebrier Sporting Club who each bought one from Julabo.

I think it is safe to say that any of the products that meet the exacting standards required in a lab are more than what we really need for culinary uses. The one thing I did not see on the Julabo (which you can find on the data sheet for the Polyscience, for example) is the media quantity in an open bath that the heater can hold at a given temperature.

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From my experience and contacts in the cooking world the hands down preferred units are the Polyscience models. I have been told this by top chefs and seen them in the majority of kitchens I have had the privilege of touring.

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Has anyone had any experience with the Julabo ED model circulator? They are now marketing this as "sous vide equipment". I saw a demo at the Restaurant Show at the Javits and was quite impressed. The price was also a bit lower than Lauda etc. I would appreciate some feedback.

No, but I spoke with the sales rep for the midwest on the phone the other day. He offered to have me talk to the chefs at the Greenbrier Hotel and the Greenebrier Sporting Club who each bought one from Julabo.

I think it is safe to say that any of the products that meet the exacting standards required in a lab are more than what we really need for culinary uses. The one thing I did not see on the Julabo (which you can find on the data sheet for the Polyscience, for example) is the media quantity in an open bath that the heater can hold at a given temperature.

I have a Julabo unit and it works great. Like you say if it's fit for a lab it's more than fit for a kitchen. My Julabo is very well made. I believe they are German engineered. I can run it with my laptop using some free software Julabo offers on it's website. You can schedule the unit to turn on and off and if you wanted you can set up an advanced cooking pattern that changed over the cooking duration. You can also log and graph the temps etc and can control more than one at a time.

My soup looked like an above ground pool in a bad neighborhood.

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Well i bought a Julabo. It is their least expensive model and does not have a data port on the back - a bit of a relief as that would really have complicated my life. So far I am delighted. Cooked a 3 cm thick filet of wild striped bass for 20 minutes at 60°C. It emerged just cooked through with delicious flavor and texture. I pre-seasoned the fish and added a little olive oil. Just one problem. I was able to brown the skin with a blow torch but it did not become crisp. I think a super hot pan would have done a better job.

Ruth Friedman

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My magret duck breast sous vide (4 hrs at 130° (55°) emerged medium rare and tender. I removed the skin as I knew that the temperature was not high enough to melt the fat. Although I added some duck fat to the pouch somehow that "ducky" flavor was missing. Would a muscovy be a better solution? It has less fat and perhaps one could avoid removing the skin. Any thoughts anyone?

Ruth Friedman

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  • 2 weeks later...

I cooked two lamb shanks sous vide yesterday. They were seared, seasoned and put in vacuum bags with brown chicken stock. We removed the bone from one shank only and cooked them both for 7 !/2 hours at 175°F. Both emerged tender but the bone-in shank was, as expected, juicier.

I would like to know if anyone has done this with veal shanks and made an osso bucco sous vide?

If so would the time and temperature be similar? I am hoping to try that in a few days and would appreciate some input/advice.

Ruth

Ruth Friedman

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im not too sure if this has been mentioned but there is i believe a spanish book with tips and tequnicks on sous vide cooking aptly named sous vide cuisine by joan roca and salvador brugues. you can definetly find a copy at books for cooks in notting hill. i hope this helps! :biggrin:

I am wondering if anybody has sources for recipes for sous-vide cooking - which is to say, cooking done in sealed vacuum bags.

It started out in Europe as a means to do large scale cooking - like airline catering - where food is cooked in a factory and reheated elsewhere. the idea was the cooking was done centrally, and reheating done elsewhere/later.

Some chefs in the US use it that way - for example for late night food at Las Vegas restaurants so a minimal kitchen staff can prepare it. However, there is a clear trend toward high end chefs using it as a tool in its own right rather than simply a means to centralize cooking. Charlie Trotter gave an interview in a restaurant trade magazine saying that 50% of his plates have at least one component made this way. Daniel Boulud and a number of other chefs are using it.

Typically the ingredients are sealed in a plastic bag under vacuum (similar to various home vacuum sealer machines). The bag is then cooked at low temperature - typically at less than boiling (150 degrees), and sometimes even lower. Typical cooking times are long - hours. It is basically a very gentle form of poaching.

I have a vacuum sealer machine, and I got some heat proof sealing bags. So I have been experimenting. However, there are very few recipes out there. This is a bit surprising because it is pretty widely used in Europe. So, one would expect there to be more recipes or even information of a general nature.

There is one book on the topic from Amazon - it is very expensive, and utterly worthless - it is more about industrial processes and gives few if any details.

Art Cullinaire had an issue with several recipes in it in Spring 2002 - for example: http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m0JAW/2...457/print.jhtml

On eGullet, the only references seem to be to restaurants that use it - like Trio near Chicago.

My questions are does anybody:

- Have any recipes themselves?

- Know of other sources (books, magazines, web sites)?

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I would suggest that you start reading this thread from the beginning. Read Norman's posts very carefully. There are also several chefs who have posted their methods for cooking a large variety of meats, fish and shellfish sous vide. You will find the whole thread very rewarding.

Ruth

Ruth Friedman

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What Ruth said. This is probably the web's best resource for real sous-vide cooking. Lots of experiments from chefs and home cooks like me and Percyn. Take the time to read through eG and you'll undoubtedly come out much wiser.

edited to add: I believe Ruth was referring to nathanm's posts. He's awesome and offers a wealth of information. He alone is the web's best source of information on sous vide cooking.

Edited by BryanZ (log)
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Thanks for the kind words

Today I visited Cusine Solutions in Virginia, the largest sous vide food processor in the country. They operate in five countries, and produce literally millions of pounds of sous vide food per year. Their primary business is pre-cooked frozen sous vide entrees for banquets, airlines and other contexts.

Their products are distributed at retail through Costco - I'll look for them next time I'm there.

It is a very impressive operation. They have water baths that hold 2 tons of water in a single bath - and they have a LOT of them.

Interestingly enough, the technique is almost identical to the small volume sous vide - just organized at a different scale.

Nathan

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I too wanted to add in my thanks here to all who have contributed to the assemblage of knowledge here, especially NathanM. I've gone through back to the very beginning and read through, and am now the proud owner of a tilia foodsaver 1205 and a VWR 1230 water bath. I did some test chicken breasts last night which came out quite well, thanks to Nathan's excellent time/temp tables. I'm looking forward to trying my hand at some longer-duration proteins soon. (Brisket this weekend I think).

Now if I could only find a quick way to calibrate the water bath...

Nathan, great article in the WSJ today btw.

Edited by bigred93 (log)
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Lamb Rack (De-boned)

You will need a thermal circulator, a thermometer with a hypodermic probe, some weather stripping, and super glue.

Set the circulator to 60 C. Sear the lamb. Place in fridge or freezer until cold. Vaccuum the meat. place a small ammount of glue on a small square of weatther stripping and glue it to the bag. Insert the thermometer so it reads at the center of the piece of meat. Place it in the water bath until you reach an internal temperature of 56 C. Remove the meat and let rest in cold water for 30 minutes, then in ice water for 30 minutes, then to the fridge. To serve, re-sear.

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For veal shanks,

sear the meat and place in the fridge to cool. When cold vaccuum it with a strong, but not too salty sauce, about 2 T per shank. Cook at 64 C for 30 hours. You will not be disappointed.

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What Ruth said.  This is probably the web's best resource for real sous-vide cooking.  Lots of experiments from chefs and home cooks like me and Percyn.  Take the time to read through eG and you'll undoubtedly come out much wiser.

edited to add: I believe Ruth was referring to nathanm's posts.  He's awesome and offers a wealth of information.  He alone is the web's best source of information on sous vide cooking.

Thanks for the correction Bryan. Ridiculous that I did not notice my error. Nathanm, of course

Ruth Friedman

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  • 2 weeks later...

Marvellous, Percy. What is the status of sous vide in Philly now?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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