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adey73

Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 3)

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What is the lowest temperature that is safe to do a long cook of red meat? I've done 12+ hour cooks of 'roast' beef at 135F, but is doing it at 130F going to be an issue?

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The 2005 FDA food code goes down to 130F/55C for most meats - there are time & temperature tables. There is no problem with 130F.

If you have an intact muscle - i.e. steak or roast - then FDA does not specify any minimum internal temperature - just that the exterior must be brought to 145F/63C.

Of course serving carpaccio is legal, as is warm carpaccio. According to FDA you have 4 hours between 40F/4C and 140F/60C. So if you wanted to serve beef at 100F/38C you could, so long the total amount of time it spends above 40F/4C is less than 4 hours.

Those are official guidelines. They are conservative

Pragmatically speaking I routinely cook at 122F to 125F for red meat for many hours. That is both technically legit up to 4 hours. Beyond 4 hours there is scientific data that would say that 125F is more than enough, and certainly 127F - which is why the conservative FDA sets it at 130F.

However, usually when I am cooking for a very long time, I use 130F because you want the highest temp you can for denaturing collagen. At 125F the times would be substantially longer than at 130F.

That is all red meat. Other things get lower tempertures. I cook Fish down to 100F/38C, but I do not do that for very long (certainly less than 4 hours).

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OK, I got something on my mind:

has anyone tried SV poaching with buttermilk in the bag?

I am anxious to try chicken/buttermilk/ginger/Szechuan peppercorns combo.

Feedback, please!


Edited by MikeTMD (log)

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Yes it works very well - gives a great flavor and texture. However, if you are using a Foodsaver the easiest way is to freeze the buttermilk in the bag before you vacuum it. Alternatively, if you are using only a tablespoonful or so of buttermilk enclose all the ingredients in saran wrap before putting them in the vacuum bag. You should then be able to get a vacuum without pulling out the liquid.

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Interestingly, I was searching the library of congress database and came up with this:

LC Control No.: 2007049387

Type of Material: Book (Print, Microform, Electronic, etc.)

Main Title: Under pressure : the art and science of cooking sous vide / Thomas Keller ... [et al.] ; photography by Deborah Jones ; foreword by Harold McGee.

Published/Created: New York, NY : Workman Pub. Company, 2008.

Projected Publication Date: 0810

Related Names: Keller, Thomas.

Description: p. cm.

ISBN: 9781579653514

Subjects: Paper bag cookery.

Pressure cookery.

Food--Packaging.

LC Classification: TX833 .U47 2008

Dewey Class No.: 641.5/87 22

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Sorry for being such a gurning lickspittle, but I care more for NathanM's impending book.

Please though Nath, impend more.

(have you played with a cvap over the rational Combi, if so, you still think the Rational is better or they the same product?)


Edited by adey73 (log)

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Just thought I would report on my first SV trials:

poached egg: I did this at 64.5C (148.1F) for 45min . This was unlike any other poached egg. Sort of jarring, but delicious nonetheless. I think I would prefer this as a smaller bite (quail egg?)

pork : 140F (60C) for 90 min and briefly seared. Great flavour (superior to the usual sautéeing), but definitely overcooked for my taste. I should have known this, since I normally cook chops to about 135.

smelts: 114F (45.5C) for 20min and briefly touched skin-side down to a super-hot skilled. I butterflied the smelt so that the final thickness was about 1cm. Wow! Far superior texture and flavour to the usual pan-fry. I tried them both straight out of the bag and seared, and definitely preferred the seared ones. This could seriously revolutionize all my seafood cooking if future trials turn out as well as this.

Overall, I'm happy I made the investment and am looking forward to doing the SV classics (medium-rare braising, duck breast etc..) Thanks to everyone who's contributed valuable information to the thread so far!

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Sorry for being such a gurning lickspittle, but I care more for NathanM's impending book.

Please though Nath, impend more.

(have you played with a cvap over the rational Combi, if so, you still think the Rational is better or they the same product?)

I'm working on the book, but it is going to be a little while yet.

CVAP is a low temperture steamer. It is similar to low temp steam mode on a Rational combi-oven, but not any better. Rational has many other modes so is a lot more versitile (and also more expensive). It can do high temp steam and humidity controller roasting and baking.

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The CVap Cook and Hold is more than just a steamer. I heard about it on Shola's blog. They claim that the processor can calculate the FDA hold time automatically. Interesting.

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The CVap Cook and Hold is more than just a steamer.  I heard about it on Shola's blog. They claim that the processor can calculate the FDA hold time automatically. Interesting.

There are a bunch of low temperture steamers - the key here is low temperture rather than high temp steam. Steam is important to get good heat transfer, and to prevent evaporation from the food. Sous vide solves those problems by putting the food in a bag where there is essentially no air, and no evaporation.

You can use a low temperture steamer to cook sous vide instead of a water bath (but temperture control is nowhere near as good). Or, if the food will tolerate getting wet, you can cook in it without a bag.

There is no magic in calculating the FDA times - it just means it has a timer, and a table of time/temperture.

There are many other brands besides CVAP. For some reason New York city chefs discovered Winston CVAP - I think Wylie may have been first - and it spread like wildfire in the last year or two. But in reality it is a very old technology and there are tons of brands with essentially the same specs.

Rational (and other brands) of combi-ovens have this sort of functionality too, but they also do much much more.

Most low temp steamers have a thermostat, which injects steam as needed to keep the temperture constant (but typically are off by +- 2 degrees and often +- 5 degrees F).

The most technologically interesting low temperture steamer is Accutemp. Their systems maintain the temperture a bit differently - it actually pulls a vaccum in the chamber to lower the boiling point of water. This improves heat transfer, and has some other small advantages. The same company also has a very interesting griddle.

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Bought to sous vide cod for thirty, or not.. Playing around with a few pieces now.. Have people experimented with cod at all? I am thinking I want to get the internal temp to 120 and then sear it.. Any suggestions would be appreciated?

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The Roca recipe is Warm Cod with Spinach, Idiazabal Cream, Pine Nuts and Pedro Ximénez Reduction

Seal the cod (with skin) under low-ish pressure so it doesn't get damaged in the process. Roca puts olive oil in the bag. The recipe calls for "de-salted" cod, so I don't know how this will translate to fresh cod. The portions are 3 1/2 oz each.

Let the fish warm to close to room temp (18°C/64°F) before cooking. Cook at 50°C/122°F for 12 minutes. This will warm the cod through but not gelatinize the proteins. It should be somewhat translucent.

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With a little experimentation last night, I put the cod in with some simple french butter.. Or burrrrrr as they say.. I then just cooked it at 45 C for like an hour.. I had about 14 bags of three pieces in there. I then placed in fridge and will just dredge and cook in clarified butter for seconds a side before serving.. Adding to a blood orange-ish sauce with some things.. See how it goes..

I tried putting some foie gras oil left over from a terrine I made last night and also tried olive oil.. But the butter was more gentle because I want to highlight the fish..

Thanks for looking out Edsel.

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I'm expect it will be OK, but that is not optimal

a) 45C is below safe temperature, so you don't want to hold the fish at that temperature long. 15 mins is more than enough, and then serve or cool rapidly.

b) Some acid will help inhibit botulism and other nasties

c) If you are frying it anyway, unless the cod is unaturally thick, the frying process will cook it by the time the outside is brown, and the sous vide process has no advantage.

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They are thick pieces of cod and I really might sear them for 10 seconds a side... If anything it got me to portion out the fish ahead of time and keep it vacuum sealed for easy storage. Though maybe I wont sear it tonight, I have some extra pieces of play with, see how it works best in the final dish..


Edited by Daniel (log)

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Daniel: As a general rule of thumb, I'd say that you don't want to cook-and-store fish (or anything, really) that you've cooked at such a low temperature. It's not safe. What you want to do is cook it for the shortest period of time possible for it to come up to your desired temperature (for this, Nathan's charts are invaluable) and then serve it immediately.

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Hi guys - great thread! I was just wondering, would it be acceptable in cooking meats sous vide to use a blowtorch for browning afterward and not using a pan on the stove at all?

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I agree, although searing in a pan would be my preference -it allows to caramelize a larger surface than a blowtorch, and it get's done at once. The temp should be very high, so searing is quick. My lipid of choice for after SV poaching would be clarified butter, BTW.

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I have a question about cooking steaks/roasts at temperatures lower than 131F (55C) for long times.

I am thinking about Heston Blumenthal steak recipe, where he sears the outside of a roast and then heats it too 122F (50C) and holds it there for 18 hours. (Is this to allow the cathepsins enzymes plenty of time to tenderize the meat?) Anyway, I would like to try this sous-vide (with a single steak), but don't want to get food poisoning either.

If I understand correctly, the main concern with steaks and roasts is surface pathogens. Since I always sear after cooking, I have been very careful to make sure I either cook the steak for less than 4 hours or at 131F for longer times (e.g., 12-24 hours for flat iron steaks {as per nathanm's suggestion in posts #203 & #675}). I am very leery however of cooking a steak in a 122F (50C) water bath for 18 hours, since that is well within the growth range of clostridium perfringens (which grows between 59F-127.5F {15C-52.3C}). In post #897, nathanm said even after searing it (officially) shouldn't be held at 125F for more than 4 hours (and then said unoffically that searing first and doing 8 hours at 125F would probably be fine).

Do you think it would be safe to: drop a frozen (vacuum sealed) steak into a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, then put it into an ice water bath (for a minute or two), and then into the 122F (50C) water bath for 18 hours?

That is, would dropping the frozen steak into boiling water for 30 seconds be sufficient to destroy the surface pathogens? And, is 122F (50C) for 18 hours asking for trouble?

Thanks,

Douglas

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Image from one of NathanM's posts:

gallery_35591_5711_7509.jpg

It's probably safe, but I wouldn't do it. Just a few more degrees and you are fine.

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Hello everybody

First and foremost let me tell you how great of a topic this is. I actually joined eGullet because of a google search looking for sous vide recipes. It took me a while to read from page 1 to now page 52. It answered many of my questions and also raised many more.

As this is my first post in the forum I want to take the opportunity to introduce myself. I have been cooking now for a few years. My family has been in the restaurant business for almost 400 years. I used to do extensive sous vide cooking for a few years, over ten years ago when I was in Europe. Ten years later I feel that I lost most of my knowledge and notes about sous vide cooking and basically start back at square one.

This 4 year old thread has helped me tremendously and I want to thank Nathan for all his hard work, dedication,research and answers. Almost 4 years ago in March Nathan had the same questions I have now and over the years Nathan has evolved to the "sous vide authority" not only here in this forum.

Over the weeks of reading this particular topic as well as Juan Roca's book it crossed me a few times to get on and compiling a guide or even writing a book. Well midway reading the topic I gave up the idea when I learned that nobody else than the sous-vide professor himself, Nathan, is actually working on a book already.

Thank you for everybody else for contributing to this topic. Sous vide is unique and personally I am experiencing an era of renaissances of a cooking technique I "shelved" for too long

Z

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Err, that graph was one of mine, and shows the safe holding time for food once cooked, with temperature, NOT the safe cooking time

The safe cooking time. based on the FDA guidelines is here

gallery_7620_135_74340.jpg

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