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adey73

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

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OK- now I see what you are getting at. Since I have always (so far) cooked to temperature, i.e., if I want 130F as final then I cook at 131F I wasn't understanding the temperature difference you meant. Thank you.

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I have a large ham from a neighbors pig (organic, free range, outdoor, home brine cured and then soaked to remove excess salt). I would like to cook it sous-vide.

Any idea as to time/temperature?

I'm inclined to say its just a large piece of meat and use 60C for 18hours or so, but could argue for anything from 55C to 75C.

Needs to have time for the collagen to dissolve

Suggestions?

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So here is the sous vide machine:

2117385185_988ab72172.jpg

Bagged with an ounce of chocolate, some cinanmmon sticks, star anise, maple sugar, and a couple of other things..

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Love the even cooking and I guess by a lot of people's preference, this would be ideal.. However, I am looking for a more rare finish..

2117385467_a7ca8f257c.jpg

Sliced and eventually I added the sauce back..

2117388507_8de03f5fbc.jpg

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Salmon cooked to finish at 113 F..

Simple salmon added truffle butter, salt and pepper..

2117401193_3c29ceb6bd.jpg

It was really well cooked.. Had properties of both raw and cooked.. Had a really nice flake to it..

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Bite:

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It was super moist and flavorfull.. I put it in the fridge and enjoyed it cold as well..

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Oh, that sounds astounding.

I made up some truffle butter this weekend (Washington White Truffles), and that sounds like a lovely use.

And I can do salmon sous vide the old fashioned way (i.e. pot, thermometer, burner).

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I have a large ham from a neighbors pig (organic, free range, outdoor, home brine cured and then soaked to remove excess salt). I would like to cook it sous-vide.

Any idea as to time/temperature?

I'm inclined to say its just a large piece of meat and use 60C for 18hours or so, but could argue for anything from 55C to 75C.

Needs to have time for the collagen to dissolve

Suggestions?

I would be inclined to go a little longer than 18hr, but the temperature is about right (actually I would smoke it with apple wood for 12 hr@ 250°F, then @225°F until it reaches a core temperature of 190°F - about 23 hr total, but this is the sous vide forum so you get the sous vide answer). I do Tri-tip for 24hr@59°C and you are probably quite a bit thicker, so maybe 30-32hr. Others may have more experience with sous vide pork and thus provide more relevant guidance.

Doc

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This is my low budget sous vide setup. Controller from Auberin, a pot and an electric plate. Note that Auberin doesn't recommend using an electric plate. Partially for safety reasons (although this plate actually has an adjustable independent thermostat shutoff), partially because I guess you will get a more even heat distribution with a rice cooker.

Nevertheless, this setup looks pretty promising. With some tweaking of the PID parameters I belive I can get it to keep stable within 1 C, although there will some uneven heat distribution in the pot unless you stir or add a pump.

gallery_56770_5388_102948.jpg

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Interesting setup. That is a very small volume water bath. What do you propose to cook in there?

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I tried the exact same setup, except that instead of a PID i used an on/off temperature controller. It worked quite well. If i remember, it had the least overshoot if i set the hotplate to minimum.

Remember you'll have to retune the PID if you change the volume of water, the pot or the hotplate setting, so try to keep everything the same every time.

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Interesting setup.  That is a very small volume water bath.  What do you propose to cook in there?

The pot isn't actually that small (12 cups), maybe it is the fish eye lens on my cellphone? I've manually sous vided two portions of cod in it without any problems, and I guess 2-3 portions of anything wouldn't be a problem.

But that was just a test setup. As jmolinari notes, it is better to tune the system to a specific volume of water so I think I will tune it to one of my larger pots just to have more flexibility. That will probably also increase the thermal stability of the system, but might increase the problem with different temperatures at different depth.

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So here is the sous vide machine:

2117385185_988ab72172.jpg

Wow - PolyScience 8306C. If I can stop taking 122 flights/year I might actually get around to buying one of these. Did you get it directly from them? And have you conducted your bean experiment yet?

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Yeh, I am pretty happy with the PolyScience machine... I purchased it through JB Prince..

I have yet to do the beans but, last night I made something..

Cooked a duck breast, lamb chops and some milk fed baby goat riblets..

The duck breast was salt and pepper..

The chops were done with garlic, butter, salt and pepper.

The riblets with Cajun Mustard.

They were all cooked for about 10 hours at 120 degrees F..

I seared them all before serving along side roasted radishes,parsnips, shallots, and garlic with cubed duck skin throw in at the end..

I was very happy with the lamb and not so happy with the duck..

I only cooked duck twice but, nothing has come close to pan searing a duck breast and finishing in the oven yet..

I would love to hear someone's favorite way to sous vide a duck breast.

Making duck legs confit is something I am so looking forward to..

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They were all cooked for about 10 hours at 120 degrees F..

120 degrees F sounds like a dangerous temperature to cook at for so long -- at that temperature you can be incubating some nasty microorganisms -- especially when cooking for a long time. My impression has been that for lengthy cooking 130 F is pretty much the minimum temperature that one can use without the water bath becoming an incubator.

Hopefully Nathan will chime in -- as he seems to have a very good handle on this topic.

Anyone?

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I was very happy with the lamb and not so happy with the duck..

I only cooked duck twice but, nothing has come close to pan searing a duck breast and finishing in the oven yet..

I SV skinless duck breast similar to what NathanM and BryanZ have described: moulard breasts with salt, pepper, little bit of solidified duck fat at 130ºF for about 3 hours. When they come out I color them in a pan with some butter and a blowtorch. Maillard goodness, evenly-colored tender duck.

Still playing with the best way to do crispy skin as accompaniment. Haven't quite worked out the crispy transparent skin chip technique but have tried and like Blumenthal's skin crochet.

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I was very happy with the lamb and not so happy with the duck..

I only cooked duck twice but, nothing has come close to pan searing a duck breast and finishing in the oven yet..

I SV skinless duck breast similar to what NathanM and BryanZ have described: moulard breasts with salt, pepper, little bit of solidified duck fat at 130ºF for about 3 hours. When they come out I color them in a pan with some butter and a blowtorch. Maillard goodness, evenly-colored tender duck.

Still playing with the best way to do crispy skin as accompaniment. Haven't quite worked out the crispy transparent skin chip technique but have tried and like Blumenthal's skin crochet.

I got 4 hours on thicker breasts, about 3 on thinner ones. As I've stated many times, as long as it's in moderation you'll be fine. Anywhere from 2.5-5 should be totally fine. I know some people like doing really short cooks, but I'm not sure I'm sold on any tangible benefit. I go at 55C. I've been cooking with S/P and foie gras butter in the bag.

I quickly sear in the pan. Don't bother with the blow torch.

For the crispy skin, obviously you take off the skin, season with salt and pepper (I use grains of paradise here), and press between two sheet pans with some foil or silpats. Cook at 325 until very crisp. It makes for a nice duck chip. It's not super thin, but it gives the CSV duck a bit more of that salty, duck fat/skin taste the everyone loves.

In general, CSV duck is quite different than a pan roast. The latter to me tastes heartier; the former more delicate. I like both very much.

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120 degrees F sounds like a dangerous temperature to cook at for so long -- at that temperature you can be incubating some nasty microorganisms -- especially when cooking for a long time. My impression has been that for lengthy cooking 130 F is pretty much the minimum temperature that one can use without the water bath becoming an incubator.

Hopefully Nathan will chime in -- as he seems to have a very good handle on this topic.

Anyone?

So, here is the story.

FDA rules say the lowest you can do to sterilize (i.e. kill pathogens) is 130F, for times given by tables elsewhere in the post (the FDA tables, not my timing tables). But basically 90 minutes at 130F is considered safe by FDA.

FDA says you can be below 130F for no more than 4 hours. So, technically speaking the FDA rules are OK with up to 4 hours at < 130F, but no more.

This is a guideline of course - it is a rule that is sometimes excessive, but sometimes not.

So, if you want to follow the FDA rules, then no more than 4 hours between refrigerator and done if less than 130F. Or, 130F for 90 minutes or MORE.

Does that mean that if you do 122F for 5 hours you will get sick? Probably not, but it is technically outside the rules.

Doing 120F for a really long time could be a problem however

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All this duck talk reminded me that I had a nice plump organic muscovy duck breast in the freezer. I thawed it in the fridge then seasoned with salt and pepper and a little garlic power. I sliced a blood orange from the garden thinly and covered the non-skin side of the breast with the slices and sealed it all up in a bag. I cooked it for just under 2 hours at 128 to 130. I pan seared the skin side and put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes. After removing the breast to a plate, I put the pan (which now had some lovely duck fat) back on a medium flame and added the jus from the bag and reduced.

The skin LOOKED great but was a bit tough. So, I removed it. What I was left with was heavenly. The seasoning and blood oranges had worked better than hoped for. The duck was very tender and infused with a hint of orange which accentuated the flavor rather than over-powered it.

I will have to give some skinless chicken breasts the same treatment.

Pretty clearly I should have removed the skin before cooking and cooked separately as Brian recommended. Other than that, I was thrilled with the result.

I don't know if anyone else is finding this, but I am finding that seasoning with some garlic powder when cooking sous-vide seems to result in better flavors than trying to use fresh garlic.

Has anyone added a little roasted garlic to the bag to infuse with garlic?

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I don't know if anyone else is finding this, but I am finding that seasoning with some garlic powder when cooking sous-vide seems to result in better flavors than trying to use fresh garlic.

I think most SV applications don't attain a high enough temperature to "cook" the garlic in a way that provides the garlic flavor most of us are looking for. In general, meat SV temperatures are not sufficient to cook vegetables. With something highly aromatic like garlic, it's possible that meat SV temperatures might cause unexpected/undesired flavoring results by facilitating certain reactions but not others. In general, I think most people do not like using fresh garlic for SV.

Has anyone added a little roasted garlic to the bag to infuse with garlic?

Yes, but the flavor is quite mild. If you want a more traditional garlic flavor, you might try cooking minced fresh garlic in oil or butter to the appropriate stage, quickly chilling/freezing the oil-and-garlic mixture to stop any further cooking and adding that to your bag.

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Uh, I have an embarrassing question, how the hell am I supposed to get the water out of this thing? :biggrin:

ETA: Never mind, I just used a large plastic quart container and then dried it with a few paper towels..


Edited by Daniel (log)

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Uh, I have an embarrassing question, how the hell am I supposed to get the water out of this thing? :biggrin:

How about the old siphon through a hose into the sink trick?

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Uh, I have an embarrassing question, how the hell am I supposed to get the water out of this thing? :biggrin:

Which raises questions in the mind of this bystander...

... how often *need* the water be changed, not being in contact with the food?

... and would there be any point in dosing the water with a drop of anything to keep it (and any awkward to clean corners - like inside the pump) sanitary?

... what's the laboratory practice here?

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Has anyone tried to make fried chicken using sous vide.. Brine the chicken, sous vide with Buttermilk and spices, then deep fry.. Sounds like it would be pretty damn good to me..

I ask this because one of my favorite Fried Chicken places in Manhattan, Forte Baden Baden, does rotisserie first, then deep fries..


Edited by Daniel (log)

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I change the water whenever it starts looking kind of murky, which is about every other week. It's a bit of a hassle as I have hard water in my area, and so to allow calcium to settle out, I boil a huge stockpot full of water first, and then pour it into my water bath.

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