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adey73

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

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It depends on what you put in the bag. Use more bag than needed and position the item from the bottom before sealing. Be sure the area of the bag under the sealing strip is free of food etc.

Can you tell us what you put in the bag when you had some challenges?

How far from the end of the bag do you put things. I don't have any problem making the seal. So the problem isn't in the sealing strip area. The bubbles (small ones) seem to form on the side of the meat closest to the bottom of the bag and get caught in the wrinkles that form as the air is sucked out. Maybe I am putting the meat too close to the bottom of the bag.

The amount of liquid in the bag doesn't seem to make a difference. They don't always appear. My particular unit doesn't have either the pulse or extended vacuum feature.

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Tonight we ate a smallish (4 lb) brisket cooked or 48 hours at 147F which is what the French Laundry is claimed to do. With this brisket 48 hours was too long at this temperature (at least with this particular piece of meat). The brisket was tender to the point of mushiness and was inclined to fall apart when sliced. The folks eating it enjoyed the concentrated flavor but I was disappointed.

The texture of the brisket I did last week for 27 hours was much better although that one felt like it would have benefited from a bit more time.

My next experiment will probably involve getting a larger brisket and cutting it in half so that I can cook half for 27 hours (which is what I did last time) and the other half for 36 hours.

Has anyone else gone that long at that temp with brisket?

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Like you, I did brisket at 147F for 48 hours, after first seasoning and browning the meat. The result wasn't at all mushy. In fact, I'd say it had better structural integrity than a brisket done in a traditional braise.

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Interesting. Thanks. It makes me wonder whether the size and/or quality and/or trimming of the brisket OR the prep was the problem with mine. The 48 hour brisket had marinated for a few days and there was a fair amount of the marinade in the bag (whereas my 27 hour brisket had been dry rubbed and packed with no additional liquid).

Any thoughts?

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Last night I wanted to SV some chicken, so I opted for a dish from Singapore: chicken & rice.

gallery_57905_5669_565413.jpg

Chicken breast were SV @67C/153F for about 2 hours. I think next time I would drop the temp just a little bit. Garnishes on the plate are garlic-lime-Thai chili, ginger, plate painted with dark soy sauce, topped with ginger-chiken stock foam and spring onions. Rice was first roasted with sesame seed and garlic, then cooked in chicken stock with fresh scallions.

What's the lowest temp OK for chicken breasts? Anyone?


Edited by MikeTMD (log)

"It's not from my kitchen, it's from my heart"

Michael T.

***************************************

My flickr collection

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Its just meat, so around 57.2C/135F for at least 36 mins at temperature

If it degrades the meat protein it will degrade the bugs as well

Allow 2 hours per inch of meat thickness.

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Ditto. In fact I prefer mine at 130F for 45 minutes


Ruth Friedman

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Poultry at 130F for 45 minutes is not long enough to be considered safe. While many people eat poultry that hasn't been sterilized without getting sick, I wouldn't recommend it. The odds are low that you will get sick any particular time that you undercook poultry but if you do get sick with any of the nastier strains of salmonella that have been created by the modern world, you won't want to take the risk again.

According to the FDA safety tables (which everyone cooking poultry sous vide should download) the time that chicken needs to be at 136F is 63 minutes to kill off salmonella. Remember that is the time AFTER the food is completely up to temperature. For poultry, the tables only go down to 136F. (The FDA tables that I have go down to 130 for beef but not for poultry).

At 140F, the time needed is only about 25 minutes. At 147F the time is about 5 minutes. As you can see the time needed goes down drastically with temperature.

I have cooked poultry at 131F (leaving ample time for sterilization) but found that I preferred the texture at 140F -- plus the sterilization time is so much shorter. The texture at 147F is really nice, too and it cooks a lot faster and is safe to eat a lot faster than at lower temps.

I find Nathan M's tables plus the FDA safety tables to be essentials.

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It makes me wonder whether the size and/or quality and/or trimming of the brisket OR the prep was the problem with mine. The 48 hour brisket had marinated for a few days and there was a fair amount of the marinade in the bag (whereas my 27 hour brisket had been dry rubbed and packed with no additional liquid).

Any thoughts?

I'm thinking the same thing you are. If the meat had marinated for several days before you SV'd it, then sat for two additional days in the marinade as it cooked, that's at least 5 days of marination. If you'd been marinated for five days, you'd be mushy too.

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I cook chicken breasts with the wing bone on at 56 C for one hour. I would not go above 64 C as the meat seems to dry out by that time.

I have had a concern for the area around the bone with this temperature, but we cook the chicken before service, shock it, then crisp the skin in the pan with brown butter. While the skin is crisping, you can baste the area around the bone with the browned butter.

I don't own the book, but I've heard that 52 C is used in Alain Ducasse's Dictionary. Has anyone had any luck at such a low temperature that does not utilize a further cooking procedure after sous vide?

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52C (126F) does not sound like a safe temperature for poultry. At 126F, one is incubating salmonella rather than killing it off. Chicken is not like beef (where the concern is surface contamination) in that you can't just cook the outside and feel confident that the interior of the meat is safe.

Chicken in a 56C (132F) bath for just one hour doesn't sound like it is in the safe range either by itself (the chicken is not going to spend much time at 132F in this scenario). Or do you mean that the chicken spends an hour in the bath after getting up to temp?

If you are cooking again for service, the temperature/time at which you cook the chicken is important. You need to know the temp that the meat reaches during your secondary heating. Crisping the skin (unlike searing the outside of a steak) does little to make the chicken safe to eat if the meat itself was not cooked long enough to be safe.

I have cooked chicken breasts quite a few times at temperatures throughout the range from 130 to 150 and if one doesn't cook it too long at 147, the chicken should come out as plump and moist as the chicken cooked at 130 but the texture is different (I prefer the texture at 140F but that is a matter of taste). From what I can tell (after a lot of trials), when chicken comes out dry when cooked at 140 to 147 for a reasonable time (one to 1.5 hours) it is a problem with the quality of the chicken. (There isn't any benefit that I have found in cooking chicken any longer than is necessary to be safe). For this reason, I drop the temperature in the bath to 135F once the chicken is safe to eat if I need to hold the chicken for service.

I have never done 160F but on Top Chef Hung (the winner of the most recent season) cooked chicken at 160F for 20 minutes and got rave reviews from the judges. It is on my list of things to try.

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Has anyone SV pheasant or quail?


"It's not from my kitchen, it's from my heart"

Michael T.

***************************************

My flickr collection

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Dry Rubbed ribs for two days.. Sous Vide with smoked bacon stock for about 12 hours at 85 c.. Grilled the ribs for a couple minutes on both sides while applying a bbq sauce.. If I wasnt lazy would have hit it in the indoor smoker for 15 minutes..

The meat was fall off the bone tender and everyone loved..

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Sounds intriguing. I have been wanting to experiment with hybrid smoke/sous vide techniques. (I have considered smoking brisket for a couple of hours before packing it and putting it into the waterbath).

Would you consider sharing your smoked bacon stock recipe?

I have also wanted to try exposing chicken breasts to smoke before sous vide-ing, but my one attempt didn't get much smoke flavor into the chicken (I didn't want to dry the chicken out so I reduced the flame in the stovetop smoker once the smoke got going to a temp that was so low that I don't think there was much smoke in there).

I would love to hear from anyone that has succeeded in creating a smoke/sous vide hybrid.

(The following faux smoke technique has been successful for chicken breasts but am embarrassed to mention it: slice a lemon into 1/4 inch slices, sprinkle the slices with liquid smoke, season plump skinless/boneless chicken breasts with salt and pepper and some granulated garlic. Put a lemon slice or two on each chicken breast. Put the chicken in the vac bags with a pad or two of butter per breast. Cook at 145F for an hour -- and drop bath temp to 135 if the food needs to be held in the bath for a longer time).

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Liquid smoke was the first thing I thought of when you mentioned the problem with the stove-top smoker. Thank you for sharing your "faux smoke technique". Probably smoked salt along with the liquid smoke would not hurt either. I plan to use your method for my next chicken breast


Ruth Friedman

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I've done pork ribs in an indoor cameron smoker for 15 minutes, followed by sous vide for 12 or so hours (don't remember the temp), followed by a few minutes under a broiler. Not to be immodest, but they were some of the best ribs I've ever had.


---

al wang

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Would you consider sharing your smoked bacon stock recipe?

Here's mine that I think works pretty well...

1 lb Applewood smoked Bacon

2 lb chicken wings or backs

3 Liters of water

1 Onion

1 Carrot

3 thyme sprigs

10 black peppercorns

2 cloves

1 clove garlic

1 star anise

1 tsp coriander

½ cinnamon stick

Brown the bacon and then sweat the vegetables and spices in the fat for a bit, then add the chicken and water. I would estimate probably 2 hours of simmering but I'm not 100% sure because I've been using Heston Blumenthal's pressure cooker method for stock lately. If you have a pressure cooker, let it go for 30 minutes, take it off and let it sit until the pressure goes down. After straining and defatting you can either use it or clarify it, depending on what you're using it for.


Edited by AvsKick21 (log)

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I don't own the book, but I've heard that 52 C is used in Alain Ducasse's Dictionary.  Has anyone had any luck at such a low temperature that does not utilize a further cooking procedure after sous vide?

I took a look and he doesn't go quite that low. The lowest he goes is 59 C for breasts and his suggested temps range between there and 80 C for some thigh preps.

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What book did you use as a reference?


"It's not from my kitchen, it's from my heart"

Michael T.

***************************************

My flickr collection

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Here's mine that I think works pretty well...

Sounds yummy. Thanks (to you and all that posted tips/recipes today).

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OK, for the ribs - do we smoke'em first and SV later, or vice versa?


"It's not from my kitchen, it's from my heart"

Michael T.

***************************************

My flickr collection

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There is evidence that smoke does not adhere well, or penetrate properly if the meat is cooked (proteins denatured) so most of the flavor enhancement occurs early in the smoking process.

This means you are better off smoking first, then doing sous vide. I have done this on many things, and it works well. First you smoke, in order to season with smoke taste, then you sous vide to get tender texture.


Nathan

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