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adey73

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

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I thought about putting some rice wine vinegar in with his one, but I was leery of the effect the acid would have on the meat texture sealed in the bag like that. I take it this is not a problem?

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Rice vinegar (with maybe a hint of added sugar and maybe a little soy sauce or miso) would work nicely. When you aren't cooking for a very long time -- it isn't a problem and I am generally finding that a little flavorful acid (such as cider or rice vinegar or lemon juice or orange juice) adds nice depth/contrast without overwhelming the meat or changing the texture. I have NOT had good luck with marinades in the bag when doing long cooks (such as 48 hr brisket). You also only need a small amount of liquid.

When I did the pork, bagged it with the marinade the day before cooking (that hadn't been the plan but it worked out well). I hadn't intended to marinade overnight but we had a change of dinner plans between the time that I prepped the pork and the time it was supposed to go in the bath. I was a little concerned before hand that it might have a negative impact on the texture but it didn't at all.

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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.

The problem is that C. perfringens can grow very fast under some circumstances - with doubling time of 7.5 min at 37C. This depends on the strain and so forth, but unless you really know. Worse, the spores are activated by preheating to 70C. So, this case MIGHT be one where you a lot more than 10X. To know for sure you'd have to know the strain, the pH and various other conditions.

If the meat had cooled down to 120F/48C, then I would say go ahead. But the final temp was right in the maximum reproduction range, and we don't know how long it was there.

Bottom line is that it is far safer to throw them out.

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I forgot to add that the second cooking would like the bacteria - but the problem with C. perfringens is that it makes a toxin (actually more than one kind depending on the strain), and it takes lots of cooking to destroy the toxin.

This, by the way, is the same pathogen that causes gas gangrene, and a diease called pig-bel, as well as two different types of toxin. It is not a friendly bug.

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Tomorrow I am going to start another 48 hr brisket attempt. Have any of you found a temp/time combination that works great for you. I know that people say that the French Laundry does brisket at 147F for 48 hrs -- but I had a problem the last time I tried that (meat fell apart entirely).

If anyone has cooked brisket and had a great result, please let me know the temp/time you used. (This time I will use a dry rub and put no liquid in the bag as that might have contributed to my last attempts mushiness).

Thanks in advance.

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I don't have an answer, but I'm wondering whether you're using the whole brisket, just the flat, or just the deckle. Do you know what the French Laundry uses?

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I would love to hear peoples experiences with vegetables.. I have made collards, broccoli rabe and asparagus so far.. All have come out pretty spectacular.

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Daniel: Please describe your experiences, techniques, goals and results with collards, broccoli rabe and asparagus. I'm interested to hear.

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I need to start writing down temps and time..

I have had two experiences with collards.. One at a high temp and one at a low temp.. With the collards I placed bacon, frozen pork stock in the bag, and a shot of apple cider vinegar. I placed the collards in at a low temp (130 ish) for a few hours at the high temp it was maybe an hour or so.. Both times the collards came out al dente and with a wonderful texture.. I then finished with apple cider vinegar..

Most recently I used white asaparagus.. I placed with nothing inside the package.. I went a high temp I think around 180 degrees.. I let them cook for a think around a half hour.. It could have been more or less.. I basically just kept feeling the bottom..

I took that out and topped it with crawfish in a creamy crawfish andouille sauce.

Brocolli rabe was just a quick little dip with a little lemon juice.. I topped with lemon, sliced and diced raw garlic, mashed anchovy dots, crushed red peppers, olive oil and lemon.. Served cold..

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Do you think you achieved results that wouldn't have been possible with conventional cooking?

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With everything sous vide, its so much neater, more controlled, and more convenient.... I am sure I could have cooked the collards that way but, it would have taken 10 times the amount of pork stock to cook them in.. It would have taken a lot of hassle to watch them, pots to clean, and even then I dont know if they would have come out as perfect..

The asparagus was again so easy.. No having to stand them up to make sure the stem part cooks first, then worrying about it over cooking.. I just vacummed sealed them and placed them in a water bath.. Didnt have to worry about the ice bath shocking afterwards or the cleaning up..

I have yet to do a lot of cooking with vegetables sous vide.. But I like the idea of cooking them on low temps to ensure them coming al dente.. I also like the minimal use of stocks, butters, or sauces that is required.. And anytime I can have more space range space and less dishes to do, I am a happy man..

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If anyone has cooked brisket and had a great result, please let me know the temp/time you used. (This time I will use a dry rub and put no liquid in the bag as that might have contributed to my last attempts mushiness).

I made a brisket a few weeks ago that came out nicely, though it was a little drier than I expected. This is probably because it was a supermarket flat cut that was trimmed a little too much. Anyway, I hit it with some salt and pepper and then seared the meat before bagging it. I used The French Laundry temp/time (147F/48hrs).

Honestly, I probably could have done a better job on the sear, but I ended up broiling it for a few minutes to develop a crust after I took it out of the water. Next time I try this, I'm going to get a better piece of meat, maybe the point if I can find one. Anyway, here's a pic.

gallery_54948_5817_20400.jpg


Edited by inuyaki (log)

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Seems like a strange temperature to hold the brisket at.. When BBQ'ing a brisket I am trying to keep my smoker at 200 to 225.. Then you do it for 8-12 hours depending on how it looks.. I want to have an interenal temp of `180 degrees.. I dont know why 147 would be a good temp to cook at?

Does Keller discuss why 147? and what internal temp he wants to finish it at.. 48 hours seems very long to cook something for when you arent really breaking down much of the collagen..


Edited by Daniel (log)

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Collagen actually does break down at this temperature BUT it takes a lot longer than at higher temperatures. The temperature usually given for collagen breakdown is the temperature at which it breaks down in a reasonable time -- but some chemical reactions (like this one) will take place at a slower rate at a lower temperature. The breakdown of collagen is related to both temperature and time. Given enough time at 147 the collagen does break down. I suspect that is why Keller cooks it for so long. (The fat however doesn't really render at this temp it just softens).

I did a small brisket (no marinade just a dry rub) a few months ago at 147F for 27 hrs -- the taste was great but it was not as tender as I would have liked (although my diners gobbled it up and claimed it was the best that they'd had). When I did it for 48 hours, the collagen so completely broke down that the meat fell apart (I suspect marinade in the bag was a big mistake and contributed).

Has anyone done brisket at a lower temp? I have been curious about something in the 135F range.

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You are quite right, according to the research papers I found, collagen begins dissolving into gelatin at 131°F (55°C).

While I could be wrong, I suspect the reason Keller chooses 147°F is because the saturated fatty acid palmitic melts at 145°F (62.8°C). In beef and pork, roughly 60% of the saturated fat is palmitic. It takes higher temperatures (above 157°F {69.6°C}) to melt the saturated fatty acid stearic, which makes up 30-35% of the saturated fat in beef and pork. (The rest of the saturated fat, 5-10%, melts below 131°F {55°C}.)

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So the intent is to leave 30-35% percent of the fat solid? I guess that seems about right.

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I'm new here, although I've been following this thread from beginning to end, including the side threads on equipment and meals. It has been informative and inspirational to me as a home cook, and I've started to jump in. A big thank you to all of the contributors, and to the various tables and end results posted.

I did my first SV with some nice bacon-wrapped angus fillets that my cousin had gifted me ; these came frozen and vacuum sealed, so I used them as is, with no seasoning other than the bacon. I cooked one for 4 hrs., and the other for 1.5

hrs. I aimed for 130 F, but they were 122 F when I took them out. I seared them on the top and sides for just a few seconds in a very hot cast iron pan to give color, crust, and a bit of flavor. (I had planned to sear them with the blowtorch, but I forgot as crunch time came.)

Not having (yet) any dedicated equipment, I ended up using a pot of water sitting in an electric skillet. The skillet was filled with water, and the pot sat on some skewers so it did not have direct contact to the skillet. I was able to keep the water between 126 F and 133 F; a wider range than I wanted, but still not a disaster.

The meat was very uniformly cooked, and very tender, much more so than others of the same batch I had grilled. The 4 hr. one was slightly more tender, but just barely. The strong bacon taste I'd feared was not present; it was well balanced, and nicely beefy. It was comparable to sous-vide beef I've had at several good restaurants.

I served them with a shallot and Merlot reduction; I emptied the juices from the bag into the reduction and reduced it slightly further. We also had a cauliflower & leek purée, garden asparagus sautéed with garlic and raisins, and a salad of garden greens. Photos of the whole thing are here (and the purple plate really does not show it off well):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/smashz/sets/72157604105656712/

I have an Auber controller on order, and several options for baths on hand.

I have a few questions:

- In general, talk about contamination is for surface germs. If a Jaccard is used, does it move surface contamination into the bulk, and is this a problem?

- I do lots of BBQing, and have followed the BBQ/SV mentions with great interest. I, for example, rub a brisket and then smoke it at 180-210 F for about 18 hrs. I'd like to transition this to SV (and plan to report once I do). For those who have done BBQ/SV hybrids:

- does the tendency of a little flavoring going a long way also carry over here? For example, is a little smoking (before SV) adequate or even overpowering? Is a little spice rub too much? (I like things pretty spicy, so I do a rather heavy rub/crust.)

- after the SV, is there a visible smoke ring?

- Any recommendations for pulled pork? From reading some comments way upstream, it seems like it might be closer to a confit than a lower-temperature SV.

And to lump things all into one post, there was some discussion upstream about smoked salt. I make it in my smoker. I simply dissolve sel gris into a small bowl, and then smoke until dry and crusty, usually when I'm doing other stuff. I like making it with cherry wood, but have also gotten good salt with fig wood. The salt itself tends to crawl up the bowl as it crystallizes, and usually fully envelops the container, inside and out.

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Hi,

I am interesting in using a PID with a rice cooker or steam table but have not seen specific product recommendations in the thread. Could anyone point me in the direction of some units you may have experience with?

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I use my Auber PID with a $25 Presto Multicooker for small cuts of meat and an 18 qt Hamilton Beach Table Top roaster for large cuts like baby back ribs and brisket. I got the roaster for $10 at a thrift shop; you can buy them new (or the Nesco or Rival versions -- which are virtually identical) for less than $40. With the table-top roaster, you will want to use an aquarium air pump (less than $10) to ensure even heat distribution.

(When switching between heat sources, it is necessary to change the PID settings -- the roaster has much more thermal latency than the multicooker and needs very different settings).

Hi,

I am interesting in using a PID with a rice cooker or steam table but have not seen specific product recommendations in the thread. Could anyone point me in the direction of some units you may have experience with?

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I use my Auber PID with a $25 Presto Multicooker for small cuts of meat and an 18 qt Hamilton Beach Table Top roaster for large cuts like baby back ribs and brisket. I got the roaster for $10 at a thrift shop; you can buy them new (or the  Nesco or Rival versions -- which are virtually identical) for less than $40. With the table-top roaster, you will want to use an aquarium air pump (less than $10) to ensure even heat distribution.

(When switching between heat sources, it is necessary to change the PID settings -- the roaster has much more thermal latency than the multicooker and needs very different settings).

How does the roaster work? It looks like a giant crock pot or slow cooker to me from pictures. Are there exposed elements? Do you need the heavier duty Auber to handle the roaster? Also, everyone keeps mentioning calibrating the PID and setting parameters. How exactly is this done?

Would the air pump be a simple circulating one to move the water around?

I was wondering if anyone knows if the new Thomas Keller book on Amazon "Under Pressure" is his long awaited volume on Sous Vide. The title sounds weird for Sous Vide and the price is somewhat high.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/157965351...d=2L04EQJX0EJWI

Considering The French Laundry and Bouchon are cover price $50 a piece, this is not surprising.

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How does the roaster work? It looks like a giant crock pot or slow cooker to me from pictures. Are there exposed elements? Do you need the heavier duty Auber to handle the roaster? Also, everyone keeps mentioning calibrating the PID and setting parameters. How exactly is this done?

Would the air pump be a simple circulating one to move the water around?

The roaster is kind of like a giant crockpot. The heat comes from the sides. There is no exposed heating element and there is a pan within a pan that holds 18 quarts. The Auber comes with recommended settings for various devices and explains the parameters that can be tweaked. I basically started with their recommendations and explored variations. For the multicooker, the default settings work perfectly. The recommended settings for the tabletop roaster worked ok but it took a little longer for the temperature to stabilize than I wanted -- a little experimentation got things working nicely.

For the aquarium pump, you just need a cheap air pump (less than $10) and you run the air hose into the water (I use a long airstone that I put under the meat -- but a bare 1/4 inch tube would work just as well). It does not take very much water movement to keep the heat evenly distributed.

I have the heavy duty Auber -- I figured it was worth an extra $30 to not have to worry about the wattage of my devices. The cheaper one would probably be fine AS LONG AS you start with water that is more or less up to temperature.

I always get the water close to the target temperature before adding it to the cooker.

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Hi,

I am interesting in using a PID with a rice cooker or steam table but have not seen specific product recommendations in the thread. Could anyone point me in the direction of some units you may have experience with?

Check out SousVideMagic

It is the same as Auber, but the site has lots of helpful information on cooking sous-vide with rice cookers.

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I realize there's no difference but the SousVideMagic branding is kind of off-putting to me. I will wait another week or two to see if the Auber comes back in stock before I make a decision.

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I'd just like to say that I bought mine as a "Sous Vide Magic," and I had a very good experience. The owner of the business has contacted me to make sure everything was working alright, etc. I'd highly recommend it.

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