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adey73

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

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We have the Foodsaver from Costco and I think the Pulse feature is essential for sous vide. It lets you have control over the vacuum so you can decide when you want to seal the bag. I almost always use the Pulse feature instead of the automatic settings.

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hope I don't make anyone feel to bad....But...I found a perfect f/s pro II the other day for $9.00 at the thrift store...Hope that is not using up all my luck for the year...

Bud

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I dont understand the extended seal. My old old foodsaver almost overmelts the bags when sealing, i cut it off before it does...i can't imagine extended seal.

It's helpful when sealing liquids. If you have good control you know when and how much liquid is going to get sucked into the spill trough. If you make a seal and there is liquid in the way the extra sealing time helps to get a good seal.

Also, if you use bags that aren't FS and are heavy duty they can take a little more time.

I sometimes seal commercial packaging like chips and dried fruit packages without using vacuum. If you have folds and multiple layers etc the extra time helps get a seal all the way through.


My soup looked like an above ground pool in a bad neighborhood.

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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.]

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

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.

Guys try this:

The first thing I ever SVed was shrimp. The recipe I used was:

Shrimp (Fresh Tiger Shrimp is my next test project)

Ginger

Lemon

Sea Salt

Pepper

25 mins @ 140

Excellent. Best shrimp ever. Incredible texture!

I have not tried the 113 yet but will in the future.

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When I got my FS Pro III I spent an hour with the instruction manual and on the Internet trying to figure out how I was supposed to set the "Sea Level" control. Only later did I look closer and see it was "Seal Level".

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e_monster,

I actually buy my smoke salt, simply because it's so much cheaper than the amount of work it takes to make it. I get mine at World Spice Merchants here in Seattle. (http://worldspice.com/spices/0697alderwoodsmokedseasalt.shtml)

But, I have made liquid smoke, and I imagine that the process would be quite similar. Just put some brine (either salt water or other) in a smoker until it evaporates and you get salt.

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I picked up a nice leg of MUTTON at the butchers Mutton, not lamb.

Organic rare breed etc... flavoursome but potentially tough.

I have in mind to serve it with caper sauce, as the sous vide equivalent of boiled leg of mutton.

What time and temperature to do it justice?

12 hours at 76C? 24 hours at 58C?

Flavourings? (some of garlic, rosemary, bay, pepper)

Advise please...


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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I had problems with a leg of lamb which I boned and rolled and then cooked at 56C for 12 hours. But this was a really young animal and the texture was just not right. Perhaps you will have better luck with an older animal at a higher temperature


Ruth Friedman

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Well, I am not exactly a mutton specialist! I've never cooked mutton SV, at least so far.

The classic thing to do with mutton is to cook it to death - meaning braise for a long period of time to to get very tender, grey meat with a texture similar to other long-braised (osso bucco) or confit cooked meat.

Part of the reason to do this is to tenderize the meat, which can be tough, but part of the reason is that most old-time traditional recipes cooked meat to death.

To get this effect you would cook at roughly 80C (or 76C if you prefer - the exact temperture is not critical but something at above 75C) for 12 hours. If you want confit like texture put some oil in the bag.

If you cook at 55C to 60C, you will get a less-cooked-to-death texture, but you will need to cook much longer to get it tender. 24 hours at least, and it could easily take 36 or even 48 hours. I have cooked some tough beef cuts up to 96 hours. The lower temperture will eventually convert colagen to gelatine and this is an important aspect of tedenization.

However, tenderization is not the only reason to braise meat at high temp - if you do pork shoulder or other fatty cuts one can cook them at 55C, and get them tender, but the fat does not render at that temperature, which can be a bit of a surprise. I don't know to what extent that is a problem with your mutton.

I don't know how tough the mutton is, so it is pretty hard to say what you should do here. One approach is to throw it in for a period, take it out, test it, and if it is not to your liking put it back in for a while. There is no reason you can't rebag and cook sous vide. Obviously this wouldn't work if you are planning it for a dinner party.

Good luck, and by all means post your results so we can all learn from them!


Nathan

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Well, I received my Auber Temp Controller in the mail yesterday, and I'd like to get down to using it tonight. I'd prefer to start with something that I can begin early afternoon today and eat for dinner, so no 24 hour + projects, etc.

Anyone have any suggestions?

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Mike,

Try a really big thick steak. Would only take a couple of hours and then you take it out and sear it nicely. Very tender and a really nice effect to see a couple of inches thick steak perfectly evenly cooked all the way through with a nice crispy outside.

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I picked up a nice leg of MUTTON at the butchers Mutton, not lamb.

Organic rare breed etc... flavoursome but potentially tough.

I have in mind to serve it with caper sauce, as the sous vide equivalent of boiled leg of mutton.

What time and temperature to do it justice?

12 hours at 76C? 24 hours at 58C?

Flavourings? (some of garlic, rosemary, bay, pepper)

Advise please...

As an s-v spectator (for now), may I ask whether it'd be usual to cook this whole (as seems to be implied) or to portion it before 'bagging' -- which I had understood to be the restaurant practice ???


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Well, I received my Auber Temp Controller in the mail yesterday, and I'd like to get down to using it tonight.  I'd prefer to start with something that I can begin early afternoon today and eat for dinner, so no 24 hour + projects, etc. 

Anyone have any suggestions?

Mike,

Try a really big thick steak. Would only take a couple of hours and then you take it out and sear it nicely. Very tender and a really nice effect to see a couple of inches thick steak perfectly evenly cooked all the way through with a nice crispy outside.

Thanks for the advice. Any suggestions on what temp to cook at?


Edited by MikeHartnett (log)

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Thanks for the advice.  Any suggestions on what temp to cook at?

What temperature do you like your steak cooked to? For a long cooking steak, I usually go with 135F as that is high enough to not worry about pathogens, but still leave the steak medium rare. If you like a steak more medium adjust the time up.

Personally, when doing a thick steak I like to season it first (and I always use some smoked salt), then seal it, and let it sit in the fridge for a bit first while the bath gets up to temp. Then I cook it through (or longer for flat iron, hanger steak, and flap meat) in the bath. When I'm satisfied it's done, I sear the outside with a blow torch or a smoking hot cast iron pan.

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Thanks Nathan,

You raise an interesting point about the fat rendering. I think the temperature stall of BBQ smokers when smoking brisket at around 72C is the fat melting.

This joint has an outer layer of fat, but the meat itself looks lean.

gallery_7620_135_131837.jpg

This is for a dinner party tomorrow night, so I am cooking it whole.

I am fortunate to have a large Grant Instruments bath

I have a maximum of 24 hours, rather then 36 or more.

It would indeed be normal restaurant practice to portion it beforehand and bag each portion seperately for ease, better portion control and less wastage, and in a restaurant I'd probably use neck fillet.

However, 2.25kg of boned leg is what I have, and here it is vac packed with rosemary, bay, garlic and some goose fat.

gallery_7620_135_15534.jpg

Current thought is 12 hours at 76C, unless anyone suggests different.

The only reference on the web I can find is Chris Staines from 2005 http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2005...-big-sheep.html which is bizarre: 20 mins at 80C, then roast 20 mins at

180C. I cannot imagine the heat penetrating the meat in that time, nor the collagen dissolving, so I guess there is a misprint.


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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Well, I received my Auber Temp Controller in the mail yesterday, and I'd like to get down to using it tonight.  I'd prefer to start with something that I can begin early afternoon today and eat for dinner, so no 24 hour + projects, etc. 

Anyone have any suggestions?

Mike,

Try a really big thick steak. Would only take a couple of hours and then you take it out and sear it nicely. Very tender and a really nice effect to see a couple of inches thick steak perfectly evenly

cooked all the way through with a nice crispy outside.

Thanks for the advice. Any suggestions on what temp to cook at?

What is your heat source going to be?

How bloody do you like your steak? I like mine at the rare side of medium rare. If you are planning on searing it afterwards (which I recommend), you don't need to cook to sterilization -- which will be just as safe as pan frying to rare/medium-rare. I cook mine somewhere between 125 and 131.

Since you aren't tendering the meat, there is no need (or even benefit) for leaving it in the bath longer than needed to bring it up to temp (use Nathan's tables to determine how long that is).

Here are a couple of searing tips:

0) Use a THICK high-quality steak. Rib-eye is my favorite and I prefer a steak (when cooking sous vide) that is an inch or so thick (or more).

1) Heat your pan (preferably NOT a non-stick pan since they don't like really high temps) for at least 10 minutes on a high flame/burner. You are looking to get the cooking surface hotter than 750F.

2) Use a paper towel on the steak after taking it out of the bag. Removing the moisture allows the crust to form very quickly.

3) Sear for only 30 seconds or so per side (if the pan is hot enough you won't need even that long).

ALSO, if you like poached eggs, try cooking eggs at 145F or 146F overnight. They don't need that long but it is really nice to put the eggs in the cooker before going to bed and wake up with delicious poached eggs ready to eat. My wife has become addicted to them.

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Thanks, arbeck and e_monster! My heat source is a slow cooker. I think I'll try the ribeye, and possibly the poached eggs tonight, and I'll report back.

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Little bit of cross posting here - sorry Jackal10.

Mike - I pretty much go with what has been said above. I'd just add cook about 51-52C, 125f or maybe just slightly higher. For extra flavour season the steak before it goes into the bag with plenty of salt, if you have it add a little goose fat (but don't worry if you don't).

Also I recommend really really searing the steak to get a flavoursome crust afterwards. eMonsters method looks good. But you really must do this for the flavour to be all it can be. You'll love 'em!

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Thanks, arbeck and e_monster!  My heat source is a slow cooker.  I think I'll try the ribeye, and possibly the poached eggs tonight, and I'll report back.

Hey Mike,

I know it has been mentioned up thread, but I would highly recommend using an aquarium air pump to circulate the water. I noticed substantial differences in temperature at different locations in my slow cooker before I add the bubbler. Just put the tubing into the slow cooker (no air stone required) with a little weight to keep it on the bottom and you will be good to go.

I now use an immersion circulator, but find that the results are no better than my previous slow cooker, air pump, PID system.

Best Wishes

Douglas


Edited by DouglasBaldwin (log)

My Guide: A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking, which Harold McGee described as "a wonderful contribution."

My Book: Sous Vide for the Home Cook US EU/UK

My YouTube channel — a new work in progress.

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...

This is for a dinner party tomorrow night, so I am cooking it whole.

I am fortunate to have a large Grant Instruments bath

I have a maximum of 24 hours, rather then 36 or more.

It would indeed be normal restaurant practice to portion it beforehand and bag each portion seperately for ease, better portion control and less wastage, and in a restaurant I'd probably use neck fillet.

However, 2.25kg of boned leg is what I have, ...

The thinking behind my portioning question was that individual 'tranches' would surely cook much, much faster... :smile:


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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No, this is low temperatrue cooking.

The time for the food to some to an even temperature does indeed depend on thickness, but is slow (2 or 3 hours) compared to the total cooking time. WHile it is important for, say, cooking steak or a roast at high temperature, in this context other things, and in particular the collagen dissolution is what governs the time.


Edited by jackal10 (log)

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...

Current thought is 12 hours at 76C, unless anyone suggests different.

The only reference on the web I can find is Chris Staines from 2005 http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2005...-big-sheep.html which is bizarre: 20 mins at 80C, then roast 20 mins at

180C. I cannot imagine the heat penetrating the meat in that time, nor the collagen dissolving, so I guess there is a misprint.

You see this is what doesn't make sense to me.

In "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", Julia Childs et al speak of a final core temperature for lamb/mutton (incidentally, no difference between them in cooking times and temps they say) after traditional cooking, of 170F as being distinctly "well done", and 160/165F (~72C) as being preferable.

And for "medium rare" Childs et al suggest a final core of just 145 to 150F (~64C).

I'd have thought that equilibrating the whole lump at an even higher temperature than that suggested traditional final core (for "well done" meat), and holding it there for, say, another 8 hours was going to result in "overcooked" meat.

I've been thinking that one picked the equilibration temperature as matching, or rather determining, the desired "degree of doneness" (and that holding it at that temperature shouldn't/couldn't overcook it in any reasonable timescale). But yes the length of time held at that temperature should be long enough to complete any desired processes that will happen at that temperature, whether for hygiene or tenderness sake.

I appreciate that you want to hurry along collagen breakdown, but it seems to me as though 76C is rather higher than I'd expect.

Are you planning any additional higher temperature Maillard browning and flavouring, as with the recipe you linked?

It strikes me that if you are tight for time, then (from nathanm's tables) reducing the meat to thick slices before cooking, would give you at least an extra 3 hours or so of "time at temperature", which, in the context of a 12 hour total timeframe, looks as though it might be significant.

However, personally, I'm just trying to get my head around this stuff, before I go and add a PID and vac-packer to my cluttered life! :smile:

So, I look forward to hearing what course might be chosen, and what then resulted, not least to develop my own understanding of this mysterious niche.

Bon appetit!


Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Thanks Nathan,

You raise an interesting point about the fat rendering. I  think the temperature stall of BBQ smokers when smoking brisket at around 72C is the fat melting.

This joint has an outer layer of fat, but the meat itself looks lean.

As an fyi, I have read a few places that the temperature stall is related to the transformation of collagen to gelatin rather than the rendering of the fat. I have found a number of references to it on the web BUT haven't found an authoritative quotation (from someone like Blumenthal or Harold McGee).

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Well, I cooked strip steak at 51C tonight, and it came out great. I probably could have kept it in a bit longer, as the outside was still a bit chewy, but the inside was perfectly tender and pink. I made a mushroom sauce and served it with Joel Robuchon's fries.

Thanks for all the advice!

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