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


adey73
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Well, my waterbath arrived last week, and I just got a consumer-level vacuum sealer, so I'm finally ready to go. :smile:

I'm looking for advice re: prawns and scallops. I've looked upthread, and noted that Nathan cooks prawns to 45C / 113F -- I'm assuming the same would work for scallops? And, how long should they cook for after reaching core temp? I know with temps this low, it shouldn't be more than "a few hours" but that still leaves a lot of lee-way.

Has anyone tried cooking shrimp or scallops at a higher temp for longer?

Thanks! Any input would be valued.

jk

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JK,

I have not given scallops a try yet, but as far as shrimp/lobster I would suggest 46-47C/115-117F for a 15-20 minutes. 45C was a bit rare, and I had to finish it in a stove. "Few hours" for shellfish is a certain overkill - there is simply not enough connective tissue to justify that kind of cooking time.

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

Michael T.

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My flickr collection

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["Few hours" for shellfish is a certain overkill - there is simply not enough connective tissue to justify that kind of cooking time.

When cooking below 130F, you basically need to keep the cooking time as short as is necessary to get the food up to temp. It can be held a little bit longer (as long as you keep it within the safe limits for food in the hot zone) but you don't want long cook times. (All items that cook for a long time are done so at temps that are outside of the danger zone).

A few hours at under 120F is dangerous rather than overkill. At 113F to 130 F (especially under 120F), your bath is an incubator -- the pathogens will multiply much faster at these temps than at room temp.

So, take a look at Nathan M's tables up-thread and base your cooking times on the time to get the food up to temp.

Also, find Nathan's posts where he discusses the safe time that food can be in the 'hot zone'. He lays out valuable little understood information very well. [Maybe a FAQ or thread that contains just that information could be started? Everyone should really have that info on hand.]

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My own experience cooking shrimp to 113F was less than great. I ended up tossing them into a hot skillet with butter to give them a quick sear and firm up the texture. Others with more sophisticated tastes no doubt disagree.

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Thanks -- I was mostly interested in whether anything interesting would happen re: texture, etc., with cooking times longer than necessary to get to core-temp with shellfish (I have Nathan's excellent tables printed out and next to my waterbath for easy reference -- thanks for all the hard work, Nathan!). I'm hearing that the answer is a) no, not really, and b) it wouldn't be worth the risk, even if it was.

I searched for but couldn't find Nathan's posts re: safe time limits for the so-called danger-zone. My "a couple of hours" comment was based on Nathan's up-thread comments that cooking times of greater than a few hours for fish and shellfish at 113 or so would be best avoided, because of the greater risk of bacterial growth / spoilage more generally. But if nothing interesting is going to happen to most shellfish after the product gets to core temp, then there isn't any need to push it at all, I think.

After I get everything set up and checked, I'll post reports of my experiments... I've got some frozen "truffle juice" that I'm excited about using...

Thanks again to everyone for their hard work and willingness to share!

jk

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I was looking for the "tables" and found some about #180. Except they were not formatted properly so I could not make heads or tails of them...I looked at them a few months ago and they were easy to read, but I unfortunatly did not print them out..any ideas would be appreciated....

Bud

The forum isn't rendering the HTML, probably because of security concerns with script injection or something similar. The easiest option is to copy the HTML text and use "paste special" in Microsoft Excel (other spreadsheet programs probably have similar features). If you don't have such a program, just save it to a file with an HTML extension (via notepad or similar) and open it with your favorite web browser.

I'll try to post the meat table here in a monospaced font, but I'm not confident it will render perfectly:

Bath C  Bath F  mm      inch    Cook time       Rest time       Core C  Core F  Early -1C       Late +1C 
55      131     5       0.2     0:01:41         0:00:02         54.4    129.9   0:00:23         ∞
56      132.8   5       0.2     0:01:19         0:00:03         54.3    129.7   0:00:11         0:00:20
60      140     5       0.2     0:00:53         0:00:03         53.8    128.9   0:00:03         0:00:04
65      149     5       0.2     0:00:41         0:00:03         53.1    127.7   0:00:02         0:00:01
55      131     10      0.39    0:06:39         0:00:09         54.4    129.9   0:01:25         ∞
56      132.8   10      0.39    0:05:16         0:00:10         54.3    129.7   0:00:41         0:01:24
60      140     10      0.39    0:03:32         0:00:13         53.9    129     0:00:15         0:00:16
65      149     10      0.39    0:02:43         0:00:14         53.1    127.7   0:00:08         0:00:08
55      131     15      0.59    0:14:58         0:00:21         54.4    129.9   0:03:11         ∞
56      132.8   15      0.59    0:11:50         0:00:23         54.3    129.7   0:01:33         0:03:10
60      140     15      0.59    0:07:58         0:00:28         53.9    129     0:00:33         0:00:38
65      149     15      0.59    0:06:06         0:00:31         53.1    127.7   0:00:18         0:00:19
55      131     20      0.79    0:26:57         0:00:38         54.4    129.9   0:06:00         ∞
56      132.8   20      0.79    0:21:02         0:00:38         54.3    129.7   0:02:45         0:06:00
60      140     20      0.79    0:14:10         0:00:50         53.9    129     0:00:58         0:01:09
65      149     20      0.79    0:10:51         0:00:57         53.1    127.7   0:00:32         0:00:34
55      131     25      0.98    0:41:29         0:00:56         54.4    129.9   0:08:48         ∞
56      132.8   25      0.98    0:32:52         0:01:02         54.3    129.7   0:04:17         0:08:46
60      140     25      0.98    0:22:08         0:01:18         53.9    129     0:01:31         0:01:48
65      149     25      0.98    0:16:57         0:01:27         53.1    127.7   0:00:50         0:00:54
55      131     30      1.18    1:00:51         1:00:50         54.4    130     0:12:48         ∞
56      132.8   30      1.18    0:48:17         0:48:16         54.4    130     0:07:13         0:12:38
60      140     30      1.18    0:31:40         0:01:50         53.8    128.9   0:02:00         0:02:45
65      149     30      1.18    0:24:25         0:02:09         53.1    127.7   0:01:11         0:01:17
55      131     35      1.38    1:19:33         0:01:54         54.4    129.9   0:15:15         ∞
56      132.8   35      1.38    1:04:20         0:02:03         54.4    129.9   0:07:34         0:15:30
60      140     35      1.38    0:42:57         0:02:32         53.8    128.8   0:02:54         0:05:15
65      149     35      1.38    0:33:11         0:02:51         53.1    127.7   0:01:36         0:01:45
55      131     40      1.57    1:41:38         0:02:26         54.4    129.9   0:20:31         ∞
56      132.8   40      1.57    1:21:30         0:02:46         54.3    129.7   0:10:06         0:20:17
60      140     40      1.57    0:57:59         0:57:58         54.4    130     0:03:36         0:04:16
65      149     40      1.57    0:45:46         0:45:45         54.4    130     0:04:41         0:02:11
55      131     45      1.77    2:05:05         0:03:14         54.4    129.9   0:24:54         ∞
56      132.8   45      1.77    1:40:39         0:03:34         54.3    129.7   0:12:14         0:26:28
60      140     45      1.77    1:09:12         0:04:13         53.8    128.8   0:04:28         0:05:18
65      149     45      1.77    0:57:18         0:57:17         54.4    130     0:02:28         0:02:40
55      131     50      1.97    2:31:22         0:04:03         54.4    129.9   0:31:20         ∞
56      132.8   50      1.97    2:00:35         0:04:23         54.3    129.7   0:14:26         0:31:18
60      140     50      1.97    1:23:29         0:05:22         53.8    128.8   0:05:41         0:06:15
65      149     50      1.97    1:05:16         0:06:11         53      127.3   0:00:58         0:03:14
55      131     55      2.17    2:56:40         0:05:05         54.4    129.9   0:36:18         ∞
56      132.8   55      2.17    2:21:01         0:05:25         54.3    129.7   0:18:05         0:36:17
60      140     55      2.17    1:37:39         0:06:35         53.7    128.6   0:06:02         0:07:09
65      149     55      2.17    1:16:48         0:07:35         52.8    127.1   0:03:24         0:03:42
55      131     60      2.36    3:22:16         0:06:17         54.4    129.9   0:41:21         ∞
56      132.8   60      2.36    2:41:38         0:06:47         54.3    129.7   0:20:33         0:41:21
60      140     60      2.36    1:52:26         0:08:07         53.7    128.6   0:06:50         0:08:06
65      149     60      2.36    1:28:24         0:09:27         52.7    126.8   0:03:49         0:04:37
55      131     65      2.56    3:48:32         0:07:39         54.4    129.9   0:47:04         ∞
56      132.8   65      2.56    3:02:15         0:08:09         54.3    129.7   0:23:02         0:46:26
60      140     65      2.56    2:06:32         0:09:49         53.6    128.4   0:07:34         0:09:42
65      149     65      2.56    1:40:10         0:11:18         52.6    126.7   0:04:28         0:04:53
55      131     70      2.76    4:14:54         0:09:11         54.4    130     0:53:04         ∞
56      132.8   70      2.76    3:22:44         0:09:41         54.3    129.7   0:25:31         0:53:03
60      140     70      2.76    2:21:04         0:11:41         53.6    128.5   0:09:00         0:10:43
65      149     70      2.76    1:51:14         0:13:40         52.4    126.4   0:04:37         0:05:35
55      131     75      2.95    4:41:42         4:41:41         54.4    130     0:59:53         ∞
56      132.8   75      2.95    3:42:51         0:11:33         54.3    129.7   0:27:57         0:59:28
60      140     75      2.95    2:34:35         0:13:53         53.5    128.3   0:09:03         0:11:37
65      149     75      2.95    2:02:14         0:16:18         52.3    126.1   0:05:00         0:06:04
55      131     80      3.15    5:06:33         5:06:32         54.4    130     1:05:06         ∞
56      132.8   80      3.15    4:02:31         0:13:35         54.3    129.7   0:30:22         1:05:02
60      140     80      3.15    2:48:27         0:16:25         53.5    128.3   0:10:34         0:11:41
65      149     80      3.15    2:12:51         0:19:18         52.2    125.9   0:05:56         0:06:31
55      131     90      3.54    5:53:50         5:53:49         54.4    130     1:11:56         ∞
56      132.8   90      3.54    4:43:10         0:18:29         54.4    129.9   0:38:03         1:11:54
60      140     90      3.54    3:13:59         0:22:08         53.4    128.2   0:12:05         0:14:19
65      149     90      3.54    2:32:05         0:26:09         51.8    125.3   0:06:39         0:07:18
55      131     100     3.94    6:37:46         6:37:45         54.4    130     1:19:06         ∞
56      132.8   100     3.94    5:20:05         0:24:13         54.4    129.9   0:41:31         1:19:03
60      140     100     3.94    3:36:12         0:28:50         53.2    127.8   0:13:19         0:17:02
65      149     100     3.94    2:50:01         0:33:10         51.6    124.8   0:08:03         0:08:03
55      131     150     5.91    9:23:30         9:23:29         54.4    130     1:49:35         ∞
56      132.8   150     5.91    7:35:58         7:35:57         54.4    130     1:01:10         1:48:09
60      140     150     5.91    5:02:25         0:52:34         53      127.4   0:19:42         0:25:11
65      149     150     5.91    3:53:28         0:58:03         50.5    122.9   0:10:43         0:12:58

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That seemed to work well enough, here are the fish tables in the same format.

Bath C  Bath F  mm      inch    Cook time       Rest time       Core C  Core F  Early -1C       Late +1C 
46      114.8   5       0.2     0:01:23         0:00:03         44.9    112.8   0:00:15         ∞
47      116.6   5       0.2     0:01:08         0:00:03         44.8    112.6   0:00:09         0:00:15
50      122     5       0.2     0:00:50         0:00:03         44.5    112     0:00:04         0:00:04
46      114.8   10      0.39    0:05:31         0:00:10         44.9    112.8   0:00:58         ∞
47      116.6   10      0.39    0:04:36         0:00:11         44.8    112.7   0:00:36         0:00:57
50      122     10      0.39    0:03:21         0:00:13         44.5    112     0:00:17         0:00:19
46      114.8   15      0.59    0:12:25         0:00:24         44.9    112.8   0:02:09         ∞
47      116.6   15      0.59    0:10:20         0:00:26         44.8    112.7   0:01:22         0:02:08
50      122     15      0.59    0:07:32         0:00:29         44.5    112     0:00:38         0:00:45
46      114.8   20      0.79    0:22:04         0:00:43         44.9    112.8   0:03:50         ∞
47      116.6   20      0.79    0:18:22         0:00:43         44.8    112.7   0:02:26         0:03:49
50      122     20      0.79    0:13:23         0:00:51         44.5    112     0:01:07         0:01:21
46      114.8   25      0.98    0:34:27         0:01:04         44.9    112.8   0:05:58         ∞
47      116.6   25      0.98    0:28:42         0:01:10         44.8    112.7   0:03:47         0:05:57
50      122     25      0.98    0:20:54         0:01:23         44.5    112     0:01:44         0:02:00
46      114.8   30      1.18    0:50:37         0:50:36         45      113     0:09:42         ∞
47      116.6   30      1.18    0:41:13         0:01:37         44.8    112.7   0:05:24         0:09:41
50      122     30      1.18    0:30:05         0:02:04         44.5    112     0:02:30         0:03:02
46      114.8   35      1.38    1:06:30         0:02:07         44.9    112.8   0:09:55         ∞
47      116.6   35      1.38    0:56:59         0:56:58         45      113     0:06:51         0:09:41
50      122     35      1.38    0:40:50         0:02:45         44.5    112     0:03:22         0:05:34
46      114.8   40      1.57    1:25:15         0:02:48         44.9    112.8   0:14:05         ∞
47      116.6   40      1.57    1:11:40         0:02:58         44.8    112.7   0:07:22         0:14:03
50      122     40      1.57    0:55:09         0:55:08         45      113     0:03:59         0:04:50
46      114.8   45      1.77    1:45:11         0:03:36         44.9    112.8   0:17:03         ∞
47      116.6   45      1.77    1:28:44         0:03:56         44.8    112.7   0:11:01         0:17:02
50      122     45      1.77    1:05:35         0:04:35         44.4    111.9   0:01:42         0:05:53
46      114.8   50      1.97    2:05:58         0:04:34         44.9    112.8   0:20:08         ∞
47      116.6   50      1.97    1:46:32         0:05:04         44.8    112.7   0:12:59         0:20:06
50      122     50      1.97    1:19:14         0:05:54         44.4    111.9   0:05:44         0:06:57
46      114.8   55      2.17    2:27:13         0:05:46         44.9    112.8   0:23:17         ∞
47      116.6   55      2.17    2:04:45         0:06:16         44.8    112.7   0:14:59         0:24:16
50      122     55      2.17    1:32:47         0:07:16         44.3    111.7   0:06:34         0:08:29
46      114.8   60      2.36    2:48:44         0:07:09         44.9    112.8   0:26:30         ∞
47      116.6   60      2.36    2:23:10         0:07:39         44.8    112.7   0:18:21         0:28:27
50      122     60      2.36    1:46:55         0:08:58         44.3    111.7   0:07:55         0:09:36
46      114.8   65      2.56    3:12:27         0:08:41         44.9    112.9   0:31:56         ∞
47      116.6   65      2.56    2:41:33         0:09:21         44.8    112.7   0:20:32         0:31:54
50      122     65      2.56    2:01:02         0:11:00         44.3    111.7   0:08:50         0:10:44

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Let me throw this one in the proverbial "simmering" pot:

How many people prefer the idea of cooking at the core/final temp, thus eliminating the risk of overcooking, vs. the higher SV temps, and thus shorter cooking times.

I am a big proponent of the cooking temp=core temp approach, just because of the ideal core temp results. Any input, anyone?

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

Michael T.

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My flickr collection

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I am with you on the cooking temp=core temp approach. It's the only method that I have ever used. I have not had undesirable results yet. OK, besides vegetables. Not overcooking the protein has to be the biggest reason that I started dabbling in SV.

Mike Ramsey (A.K.A. Chefjerky)

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Same here. Cooking at target temp also avoids the need to recalibrate if starting temperature is different from that used by Nathan and the possibility of overcooking portions of cuts that are of varying thickness (e.g., chicken breasts).

SV'd some beef chuck eye steaks tonight, browned and cooked with wine, tomato paste and herbs for 7.5 hours @ 131F. Powerful good.

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Same here. Cooking at target temp also avoids the need to recalibrate if starting temperature is different from that used by Nathan and the possibility of overcooking portions of cuts that are of varying thickness (e.g., chicken breasts).

SV'd some beef chuck eye steaks tonight, browned and cooked with wine, tomato paste and herbs for 7.5 hours @ 131F. Powerful good.

Rob,

did you have wine in your SV bag, or did you use it just during the searing process?

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

Michael T.

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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.

I add bay leaves and leeks.. But, thats pretty much my recipe.. I also use a 6 pound piece of double smoked bacon and no necks.. I then press the bacon, peel it, and then cover in a dry rub for another dish.. But that stock I then cook down and save..

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Was meat texture any different from what it would be without wine? I've been hesitant to put wine in SV bags becuase of some feedback form "up the thread". Sounds like you are pretty satisfied with your recent results, so I may give it a try.

Global question: does wine/alcohol belong in SV bags?

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

Michael T.

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

My flickr collection

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I did have a problem with mushy meat when I had wine in the bag. This was a couple of years ago and one of my earliest ventures into sous-vide. We thought the alcohol might have denatured the protein. Perhaps I used too much but I have not used wine in the bag since then.

Ruth Friedman

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Thomas Keller suggests as much in TFLC, specifically suggesting that raw alcohol can "cook" (in effect) the exterior of the meat, preventing flavors from being fully absorbed. This advice was specific to marination (12+ hours sans heat), but I think it would also apply here.

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Nathan, I am curious - what kind of equipment do use in your SV set-up?

I have a lot of SV equipment! Many water baths - both immersion circulators and integral baths. I also use Rational combi-ovens to use low temperature steam for SV. I have a couple vacuum packers, but my current favorite is Henkelman (a Dutch company that is not distributed very much in the US).

I recently got one of the Auber Instruments units to test, and it seems very useful for an inexpensive approach to SV.

I also have a couple smokers and a lot of other kitchen equipment.

Nathan

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I thought I'd share our current favorite way of preparing Tilapia:

- buy the individually vacuum packed frozen fillets from the local grocery or Costco

- put directly from the freezer into 118deg water for 20min (or longer, I've left it in there for up to 40min with little difference in texture)

- season with salt & pepper, dredge in flour -> egg -> Penko

- pan fry in HOT oil till the Penko "looks right"

serve with whatever works for you.

This really shows off the power of sous-vide for me, we have cooked these at least 5 times and the results are exactly the same each and every time (moist flaky fish, crisp breading). No worries about undercooked thick parts, or overcooked thin parts.

we have a large rice cooker and a PID controller (bought it before Auber released their pre-built unit)

Edited by henri (log)
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Something I've found (and I must admit I stole the idea from Heston Blumenthal) is replacing some of the salt I use to season my meat with smoked salt before sealing. I've done this with pork shoulder that I turned into carnitas and steak. While it doesn't completely substitute for the smoke flavor real smoke imparts, it does do a pretty good job.

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My trusty FoodSaver seems to be dying after several years of service and I will need to replace it in the not-too-distant future. I am having trouble deciding which model to getl

I have a question for anyone that has experience with both those FoodSavers with the PulseVac option vs. those with the extended seal time option. Costco has one with the PulseVac option for around $100. Tuesday Morning has an older model that has no PulseVac option but has an 'extended sealling time' button.

Any thoughts of the relative merits of these options -- especially vis-a-vis packing food for sous vide?

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