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adey73

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

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A combi oven inevitably has temperture fluctuations of a couple degrees. Gas units are much worse than electric in this regard.

At very low temp, putting water in the pan helps even out temperature fluctuations.

Above 60C/140F, the fluctuation matters less, so I usually don't do it.

Always use steam mode when cooking sous vide in a Rational or other combi oven.

Nathan

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One thing that I was thinking about trying with my unmodified unit is that it could effectively be used like a low cost Thermomix. Set the nice low temperature and activate the stirrer and you could make a nice hollandaise or risotto with little manual intervention. I haven't bought one of the special stir bars yet but plan on getting one from eBay.

Well I got my stirrer bar and tried it. The results were great. Don't want to hijack the thread so here is the new thread. Hollandaise - Laboratory Style

I figure if you like to sous vide you'll want to try Laboratory Hollandaise. :biggrin:

It's fun and it really works.

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Wired Online today features a nice article on our spiritual leader Mr M.

Egullet gets a mention too...

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The article was ok, but about 3 years behind (link). I found their attempts to cloak the whole thing in some sort of mysterious aura (the Jedi Master of some sort of obscure internet cult) kind of annoying.

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Sorry for the delay getting back to you, it's been a crazy week. I saw the steam table at a Costco Business location (they are different from the regular Costco). Not sure if they have more of them around the country, or just the one here in AZ...

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I hope Nathan doesn't feel uncomfortable coming on here now. I wanted a signed copy of his damn book!

Anyway, was that a Fluke thermometre with the large screen and data storage facility in the forefront of the photo?

I was just going to PM him if he thought 'Sous Vide and Cook-chill Processing for the Food Industry (Chapman & Hall Food Science Book)' by Sue Ghazala is worth the price tag. I want more detailed health & safety and more info on cook and hold.

Now I won't in case he think he's got a long distance English stalker :biggrin:

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I hope Nathan doesn't feel uncomfortable coming on here now. I wanted a signed copy of his damn book!

Anyway, was that a Fluke thermometre with the large screen and data storage facility in the forefront of the photo?

I was just going to PM him if he thought 'Sous Vide and Cook-chill Processing for the Food Industry (Chapman & Hall Food Science Book)' by Sue Ghazala is worth the price tag. I want more detailed health & safety and more info on cook and hold.

Now I won't in case he think he's got a long distance English stalker :biggrin:

I'm still coming on the thread.

I too want a signed copy of my book! Alas it is not done yet. We are working on it, but like a tough piece of meat it is going to require a long cooking time to make it consumable.

I do not think very highly of the Ghazala book.

Yes, it is a Fluke thermometer. However I also like Extech. My favorite one (posted up thread) takes two probes so you can monitor two temperatures at once.

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I finally get to participate in this thread, instead of just living vicariously through the rest of you... a few months ago I picked up a laboratory circulator on eBay for $5 plus $20 shipping. It is just the pump, controller and heating element, with no container or hosing, which I just got around to picking up today. All told, I spent about $60 on this setup:

gallery_56799_5337_44507.jpg

The controller is only proportional, and the dial is analog, so I use an external thermometer to monitor the temperature. For this experiment I am doing a duck breast at 55 C for four hours. It took about a 30 minutes to get the temperature dialed in, but once it was there it was rock steady (to within a degree, as fine as my thermometer measures). I've got a duck breast in there now, so we'll see how that goes...

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I get to participate for real too now. I've done a few quick cooking items sealed in my food saver and monitored with a candy thermometer. But I finally got myself an immersion circulator so now I can join in on long cooking with precision control.

I've been searching eBay for a deal on an immersion circulator since January, and earlier this month I found a Haake DC1 that I won for just over $100. I've quickly discovered that with this unit you need a fairly deep vessel to avoid spilling water everywhere. I don't have anything deep enough on it' own, but I rigged some aluminum foil around the interior of my 8-quart stock pot and it did the trick. Does anyone have a recommendation for a large cooking vessel that doesn't take up much space when stored? I'm in a small NYC apartment.

One thing I like about the Haake circulator is that it basically stands up on its own. To make sure it didn't tip over I fastened it the the handle of the pot with some rubber bands, but it was fairly stable without it. I suppose I should buy myself a clamp to make sure the electronics never fall into the water.

I also like the digital control, but I'm not sure what all the buttons do. Nathan, are you familiar with all the functions and buttons on this unit?

Anyway, like Chris, my first trial was with Duck breast. I did two of them last night at 55.2 degrees for just over three hours. Then I put them in a pan to brown and render the skin side. I started them in the pan on a medium low heat and gradually moved the heat up to medium high for the last two minutes. The browning process had a minimal impact on the temperature of the meet. I served them with poblano peppers stuffed and roasted with rice, shallots, currants, and a little bit of chopped olives. Everything was finished with a 'vinaigrette' of wine wine vinegar, port, a splash of white wine, some of the rendered fat, and peppercorns.

Overall, the dish came out pretty well. However, I'm not convinced the sous vide process did much to enhance the meat. I think I could have gotten similar results doing the whole thing in a pan. Next time I might go at a slightly lower temperature (maybe 54.5) as I'd like it slightly more rare. But I was also hoping for the meat the come out a little more tender and I'm not sure how to help that.

Next up are the legs from said duck which are ready for a long confit.

gallery_24992_5808_32909.jpg


Edited by zEli173 (log)

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Duck breast sous vide at 55C for 3.5 hours, then seared over very high heat for a few seconds each side:

Pre-sear:

gallery_56799_5710_89152.jpg

Final plated dish:

gallery_56799_5710_110747.jpg

As you can see, I still don't have a proper vacuum machine, so I'm using the Reynolds Handi-Vac system, lining their bags with an additional layer of heat-safe plastic. Actually works pretty well (for $10!!). If found the duck to be as perfectly cooked as any I have ever had.

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Does anyone have a recommendation for a large cooking vessel that doesn't take up much space when stored?  I'm in a small NYC apartment.

The container I've been using most often is a $5 Rubbermaid bucket. Works great, lightweight and easy to handle, and stores in the bottom of any closet. If cooking at high temperature, I place aluminum foil over the top to minimize evaporation. And for large quantities, I use . . . a larger oval bucket!

gallery_57479_5594_9742.jpg

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I put my duck legs in late last night at 82 degrees (180 F) and when I woke up this morning I discovered that my circulator had shut off overnight. I covered loosely with foil, but I guess a lot of water evaporated. By the time I found it, the water temp was down to 37 degree. Is the meat ruined by the risk of spoilage or is it ok for me to just resume the cooking process?

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Anyway, like Chris, my first trial was with Duck breast.  I did two of them last night at 55.2 degrees for just over three hours.  Then I put them in a pan to brown and render the skin side.  I started them in the pan on a medium low heat and gradually moved the heat up to medium high for the last two minutes.  The browning process had a minimal impact on the temperature of the meet. [...]  I think I could have gotten similar results doing the whole thing in a pan.

I was following the method BryanZ detailed in this post, removing the skin and rendering it separately. I think that by re-cooking the breast to render the fat from the skin you were essentially defeating the purpose of the sous vide technique. The breast I made was incredibly tender and juicy, much more so than when I use a stovetop cooking technique. Any of the local sous vide experts care to comment?

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I put my duck legs in late last night at 82 degrees (180 F) and when I woke up this morning I discovered that my circulator had shut off overnight.  I covered loosely with foil, but I guess a lot of water evaporated.  By the time I found it, the water temp was down to 37 degree.  Is the meat ruined by the risk of spoilage or is it ok for me to just resume the cooking process?

probably not but why risk it?

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Its St Patricks Day.. No corned beef and cabbage a la sous vide?

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I put my duck legs in late last night at 82 degrees (180 F) and when I woke up this morning I discovered that my circulator had shut off overnight.  I covered loosely with foil, but I guess a lot of water evaporated.  By the time I found it, the water temp was down to 37 degree.  Is the meat ruined by the risk of spoilage or is it ok for me to just resume the cooking process?

probably not but why risk it?

Because I was really looking forward to my duck confit :sad:

Seriously though, I guess the important question is whether spoilage will be obvious (e.g. a rancid smell) or it won't be apparent until some unfortunate time after I eat.

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Seriously though, I guess the important question is whether spoilage will be obvious (e.g. a rancid smell) or it won't be apparent until some unfortunate time after I eat.

Assuming the duck legs were heated through to 180F (82C) before the heater shut off, then all the common food pathogens would have been destroyed. The problem, is that the temperature is not sufficient to destroy the spores of clostridium botulinum (type A,B) or the spores of clostridium perfringens. If either of these spores started growing and multiplying, they would not cause any obvious signs of spoilage. However, heating the meat through to 180F (82C) and holding it at that temperature for at least 10 minutes will inactivate the c. botulinum neurotoxins. Moreover, the spores of c. perfringens need about 15 hours below 130F (55C). So, finishing your cooking is probably okay, but it is outside FDA guidelines.

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Its St Patricks Day.. No corned beef and cabbage a la sous vide?

I did a corned beef sous vide once before. Came out pretty good. There was a lot of shrinkage of the meat and production of liquid from the meat. The liquid was, as one might imagine, quite salty. I used the liquid to boil potatoes and steam wedges of cabbage. Came out pretty good, as I remember.

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Seriously though, I guess the important question is whether spoilage will be obvious (e.g. a rancid smell) or it won't be apparent until some unfortunate time after I eat.

Assuming the duck legs were heated through to 180F (82C) before the heater shut off, then all the common food pathogens would have been destroyed. The problem, is that the temperature is not sufficient to destroy the spores of clostridium botulinum (type A,B) or the spores of clostridium perfringens. If either of these spores started growing and multiplying, they would not cause any obvious signs of spoilage. However, heating the meat through to 180F (82C) and holding it at that temperature for at least 10 minutes will inactivate the c. botulinum neurotoxins. Moreover, the spores of c. perfringens need about 15 hours below 130F (55C). So, finishing your cooking is probably okay, but it is outside FDA guidelines.

The risk of Clostridium perfringens is too high - throw them out.

Of course I don't know that your duck was contaminated by C. perfringens, so there is a chance you'd be OK, but why take a chance of getting really sick?

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While I certainly agree that it is far wiser to throw them out, doesn't it really depend on how long the temperature of the meat was between 120F and 55F (49C to 13C). According to Steele and Wright (2001), so long as the meat is cooled from 120F to 55F within 8.9 hours then (to 95% confidence) there would be less than a 10 fold increase in clostridium perfringens (which is what the FDA requires). Moreover, wouldn't the second cooking destroy the clostridium perfringens that had outgrown and multiplied?

Anyway, I'm a mathematician and not a food scientist -- so I would listen to Nathan and throw them out.

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Two quick questions.

1) what temperature/method do you use for poached and hard cooked eggs?

2) has anyone ever tried to render lard via sous vide?

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Two quick questions.

1) what temperature/method do you use for poached and hard cooked eggs?

I do eggs at both 140F and 147F overnight (I put them in the bath before I go to bed so that they will be ready for breakfast in the morning).

I prefer the 140F as I like very soft yolks and at 147F they start to firm up (they are still tender and translucent and yummy at 147F just a bit more set than my preference). The drawback to 140F is that even when left overnight the whites are softer than some people like.

Both time and temperature matter. When cooking at 140F, the yolk and white are firmer when left overnight than when cooked for must a few hours.

My wife prefers the texture at 147F due to the whites.

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I cheat with eggs. I crack them into small jars and put them in the bath with lids. Got the idea from the antique egg coddlers I got from my grandmother. After trying the in-shell approach a few times I got lazy. :laugh:

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Tonight I did a sous vide pork tenderloin at 60C for one hour, per Nathan's recommendation. I assume with a cut this tender, there is no point in going any longer with it? I.e. the hour is just to bring it up to temp, not holding it there for any length of time? I am still astonished by the texture of the proteins that can be achieved with this technique... I have to learn to be more careful with spices, though. A little goes a long way...

Here is the final dish (cross-posted from the Dinner thread):

gallery_56799_5710_62946.jpg

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We did a pork tenderloin on Sat. at 60C for a couple of hours and our guests raved that they had never had pork that was so tender and flavorful. I am now relying on sauces added post-cook to provide 'big flavor' and using subtle seasonings in the bag -- since one doesn't want to overwhelm the flavor of the meat. This time, I rubbed the pork down with my favorite rub recipe and dumped a marinade in the bag made of: 1/4 tsp of liquid smoke, a teaspoon of apple cider, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce and a splash of olive oil.

After slicing the tenderloin and being plated, some slices were dressed with true artisanal aceto balsamico and some were lightly dressed with a homemade spicy bbq sauce.

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