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adey73

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

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Please let me know your opinion:  Last night I cooked Berkshire bone-in pork chops (from Ottomanelli in NYC) and feel I overcooked them (both temp and time) partially due to a timing problem w/ our guests.

The chops were bone-in, hand-cut by the butcher to about 1.5" thick, resulting in about 3/4 lb each.  Using a 30-qt rice cooker and an Auber PID, I planned to cook them for an hour at 144F.  At an hour we were not ready to eat, so rather than pull/chill/re-heat for service, I chose to drop temp to 140F for the 30-40 minutes required before I could take them out and sear.

They were very good, still pink on the interior (though not as pink/rare as I'd have liked).

My questions:  Was 144F for an hour too high and/or too long to begin with, and that's why they were overcooked?  Secondly, is the technique of dropping temp for a period of time possibly helpful or just ill-advised?  Does it accomplish anything (so long as healthy guidelines are maintained)?  Thanks.

144F is definitely too high for my taste, so that may have been the problem. I don't think dropping the temp afterward helps, other than to make the collagen conversion go slower (which I don't think you would want). In your example, leaving them in at 144F wouldn't do any harm: certainly there's no risk of overcooking since your bath is the desired final temperature. Try 135F as per Ruth's suggestion and see if you like it better.

A question of my own: does anyone have experience with SV and wild game? Are there any special concerns beyond what you would do with 'regular' meat?

I think 144 for a pork chop is over cooked.. My desired temperature would be in the medium rare to medium range.. But if you are going to sear it, definitely have it at medium rare..

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Fur or feather?

Wild game will almost certainly have been shot and then hung, so you cannot assume the inside of the meat is sterile.

This time of year is getting toward the end of the game season, so the birds will be getting tough. Thus recipes that are more like braises and confits may work better.

Both. I'm doing a game dinner feat. SV for a few friends. My planned SV courses currently include

leg of deer with flageolets

(adaption of leg of lamb from Keller's Bouchon book, I was planning on 130F for 36 hours)

mallard breasts

(130F for 2-3 hours)

grouse breast

(130F for 1-2 hour)

I'm also doing snowshoe hare confit for rillettes and mallard leg confit, but those are pretty standard methods. I needed to find a compromise temperature (since I only have 1 water bath), and I thought 130F would be it. It's high enough to kill the nasties over long braising periods, but low enough not to overcook the breasts (I think). Everything was previously frozen. I guess I was just wondering if there were special concerns (safety,longer cooking times, heightened gaminess etc...) that I should be aware of or that anyone had experience with.


Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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I'd imagine that using UVC on bagged meat in sous vide and cryovac packs would be a simple way to esure safety. As long as the bag material isn't blocking UVC treatement would be pretty simple and have little or no effect on the processing or temp of the item.

A person has to be very careful with UVC as it's harmful to eyes and skin etc, but I wonder out loud if the addition of a UVC light in commercial sous vide equipment might be an interesting feature. If the tank being used was enclosed or the material blocked UVC from escaping I think it could help cut down on contamination in baths that run at low temps for things like seafood. It could help both the bath water/medium and the item in the bag closer to sterile. I'd imagine that in a restaurant cross contamination from bath water might be an issue.

Back to the example of the steak at 122 for 18 hours. I haven't tried this, but does anyone know for a fact there is a significant difference in outcome from 18 hours at 122 vs. 18 hours at something closer to 125 degrees where things are a little safer?

Unfortunately plastic is degraded by UV light, so I don't think this would work. You certainly could use UVC to sterilize the water in a water bath - small UVC units are used to sterilize water in aquariums, and one of these could be adapted. However, for most people it is cheaper and easier to just dump the water out.

You certainly can tell the difference between 122F and 125F in the meat, but it is a fairly small difference which you might well decide is worth it.


Nathan

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the best to prevent this in a low temp SV setting within a Rational is to put the packages into deep GN pans filled with water. At the highest fan setting, enough to agitate the water. Even if the combi itself fluctuates by up to 10 degrees the water barely does by more than 2-3 degrees.

I have one of the waterproof onset data/temp loggers on order, just to see what is going on in the SV bag.

That approach works well, but it costs you time. It is one of life's litte tradeoffs. The fastest way to transfer heat to food is with condensing steam - nothing else comes close. So using a Rational for steam gets you very fast heat up. If you put the water in the gastronorm pans, you definitely smooth out the fluctuations, but you also need time to get the water heated. For precise low temp work use the water, but for high temp where the fluctuation does not matter steam will be faster.


Nathan

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My plan is to put them in a 160f bath for ~ 10 hours (start them in the morning, take them out when I get home), then brush with some smokey home made BBQ sauce and either blow-torch them or throw them on a hot cast iron grill.

This ought to work well. However there are two issues.

First, you won't have smoke flavor. Smoking the meat at low temp for an hour prior to going in the bag makes a big difference.

Second, 160F is kind of low for ribs, because you won't get any fat rendering. The meat itself will be fine. This is a matter of personal preference, but most people are used to having some fat render out of pork ribs, and you need higher temperature to achieved this.


Nathan

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Somebody recently asked me for a URL to the tables I posted here. So I went back and looked, and the formatting has changed. They are in HTML, and this used to work fine and look great, but now it doesn't and raw HTML code is displayed. This must be some setting with eGullet

Here is a link to the posts

I am not sure who handles technical issues like this, but somebody at eGullet must...


Nathan

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Somebody recently asked me for a URL to the tables I posted here.  So I went back and looked, and the formatting has changed.  They are in HTML, and this used to work fine and look great, but now it doesn't and raw HTML code is displayed.  This must be some setting with eGullet

Here is a link to the posts

I am not sure who handles technical issues like this, but somebody at eGullet must...

Here's the linked table in a text format.

Bath C  Bath F  mm      inch    Cook time       Rest time       Core C  Core F  Early -1C       Late +1C
61      141.8   5       0.2     0:01:30         0:00:03         59.9    139.9   0:00:15         ∞
62      143.6   5       0.2     0:01:16         0:00:03         59.9    139.8   0:00:10         0:00:14
65      149     5       0.2     0:00:57         0:00:03         59.5    139.2   0:00:04         0:00:04
61      141.8   10      0.39    0:06:00         0:00:10         59.9    139.9   0:01:01         ∞
62      143.6   10      0.39    0:05:01         0:00:10         59.8    139.7   0:00:34         0:00:56
65      149     10      0.39    0:03:46         0:00:11         59.5    139.2   0:00:16         0:00:17
61      141.8   15      0.59    0:13:23         0:00:20         59.9    139.8   0:02:09         ∞
62      143.6   15      0.59    0:11:17         0:00:23         59.8    139.7   0:01:16         0:02:08
65      149     15      0.59    0:08:29         0:00:26         59.5    139.2   0:00:36         0:00:43
61      141.8   20      0.79    0:23:47         0:00:37         59.9    139.8   0:03:49         ∞
62      143.6   20      0.79    0:20:03         0:00:42         59.8    139.7   0:02:15         0:03:48
65      149     20      0.79    0:15:06         0:00:45         59.5    139.2   0:01:04         0:01:12
61      141.8   25      0.98    0:37:07         0:00:55         59.9    139.8   0:05:57         ∞
62      143.6   25      0.98    0:31:19         0:01:01         59.8    139.7   0:03:30         0:05:56
65      149     25      0.98    0:23:35         0:01:12         59.5    139.2   0:01:41         0:01:53
61      141.8   30      1.18    0:54:29         0:54:28         60      140     0:08:41         ∞
62      143.6   30      1.18    0:46:02         0:46:01         60      140     0:06:03         0:08:40
65      149     30      1.18    0:33:56         0:01:47         59.5    139.2   0:02:34         0:02:42
61      141.8   35      1.38    1:11:27         0:01:52         59.9    139.8   0:09:40         ∞
62      143.6   35      1.38    1:02:04         1:02:03         60      140     0:06:47         0:09:38
65      149     35      1.38    0:47:30         0:47:29         60      140     0:04:58         0:03:47
61      141.8   40      1.57    1:31:28         0:02:34         59.9    139.8   0:13:56         ∞
62      143.6   40      1.57    1:17:53         0:02:44         59.8    139.7   0:08:17         0:15:04
65      149     40      1.57    1:01:22         1:01:21         60      140     0:03:56         0:02:55
61      141.8   45      1.77    1:52:44         0:03:13         59.9    139.8   0:16:54         ∞
62      143.6   45      1.77    1:36:16         0:03:23         59.8    139.7   0:10:31         0:16:52
65      149     45      1.77    1:13:29         0:04:03         59.4    139     0:04:55         0:05:56
61      141.8   50      1.97    2:14:52         0:04:02         59.9    139.8   0:19:58         ∞
62      143.6   50      1.97    1:55:24         0:04:22         59.8    139.7   0:12:59         0:19:57
65      149     50      1.97    1:28:32         0:05:01         59.4    139     0:05:48         0:07:00
61      141.8   55      2.17    2:37:32         0:05:05         59.9    139.8   0:23:07         ∞
62      143.6   55      2.17    2:15:01         0:05:25         59.8    139.7   0:15:01         0:23:06
65      149     55      2.17    1:43:25         0:06:14         59.3    138.8   0:06:38         0:08:38
61      141.8   60      2.36    3:02:38         0:06:07         59.9    139.9   0:28:29         ∞
62      143.6   60      2.36    2:34:50         0:06:37         59.8    139.7   0:17:04         0:26:18
65      149     60      2.36    1:58:58         0:07:36         59.3    138.8   0:07:31         0:09:06
61      141.8   65      2.56    3:25:50         0:07:28         59.9    139.9   0:31:57         ∞
62      143.6   65      2.56    2:54:37         0:07:59         59.8    139.7   0:19:07         0:31:57
65      149     65      2.56    2:14:29         0:09:08         59.3    138.8   0:09:01         0:10:10
61      141.8   70      2.76    3:48:51         0:09:00         59.9    139.9   0:35:26         ∞
62      143.6   70      2.76    3:14:16         0:09:31         59.8    139.7   0:21:10         0:35:24
65      149     70      2.76    2:29:05         0:10:50         59.3    138.7   0:09:12         0:11:10
61      141.8   75      2.95    4:11:29         0:10:32         59.9    139.9   0:38:52         ∞
62      143.6   75      2.95    3:33:33         0:11:12         59.8    139.7   0:23:11         0:38:51
65      149     75      2.95    2:43:16         0:12:48         59.2    138.5   0:09:59         0:13:03
61      141.8   80      3.15    4:33:52         0:12:24         59.9    139.9   0:42:28         ∞
62      143.6   80      3.15    3:52:25         0:13:14         59.8    139.7   0:25:10         0:42:13
65      149     80      3.15    2:57:51         0:15:08         59.2    138.5   0:11:38         0:14:09
61      141.8   85      3.35    4:56:48         0:14:36         60      140     0:47:10         ∞
62      143.6   85      3.35    4:10:44         0:15:18         59.8    139.7   0:27:06         0:47:10
65      149     85      3.35    3:12:03         0:17:28         59.2    138.5   0:12:32         0:15:10
61      141.8   90      3.54    5:18:37         0:16:49         60      140     0:51:20         ∞
62      143.6   90      3.54    4:28:27         0:17:49         59.8    139.7   0:28:58         0:51:20
65      149     90      3.54    3:25:42         0:20:19         59.2    138.5   0:13:21         0:16:15
61      141.8   95      3.74    5:39:49         5:39:48         60      140     0:55:33         ∞
62      143.6   95      3.74    4:45:29         0:20:29         59.8    139.7   0:30:46         0:55:33
65      149     95      3.74    3:37:46         0:23:09         59.1    138.4   0:14:05         0:17:08
61      141.8   100     3.94    5:59:15         5:59:14         60      140     0:58:41         ∞
62      143.6   100     3.94    5:01:51         0:23:20         59.8    139.7   0:32:31         0:57:32
65      149     100     3.94    3:49:11         0:26:20         59      138.2   0:14:45         0:19:13

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Images of the tables:

gallery_35591_5711_5758.jpg

gallery_35591_5711_42837.jpg

gallery_35591_5711_41584.jpg


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

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Since I always set my water bath at just above my desired core temperature, I put just those times in a convenient PDF for myself. I uploaded it here if you would like to download it.


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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Pork Ribs were postponed until today, modified method is as follows after thinking about it some more and due to my inability to be home to control/watch things:

1.) Rubbed, vacuumed in fridge for 2 days

2.) Put into 140f/60c water bath for 11 hours

3.) Temperature bumped to 161f/71c for 5 hours

4.) Temperature bumped to 172f/77c for 6 hours

5.) Removed, brushed with home made BBQ sauce and put underneath a hot overhead grill - turned to crisp/caramelise both sides.

Will report back tonight!


Edited by infernooo (log)

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Second, 160F is kind of low for ribs, because you won't get any fat rendering.  The meat itself will be fine.  This is a matter of personal preference, but most people are used to having some fat render out of pork ribs, and you need higher temperature to achieved this.

Nathan,

What temp do you recommend for "fall-off-the-bone" ribs? Any experience with veal shank/osso bucco/pork knuckles?

Thx,

MT


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

Michael T.

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You can get ribs to fall off the bone at nearly any temperture if you cook long enough. However, the fat rendering doesn't happen much below 180F/82C.

So, 180F/82C for 8-12 hours depending on the specific cut of meat. I would start at 8 hours and then move up if you wanted it more falling-off-the-bone. Note that when you do long times like this the exact value is not that important - 8 hours is not that much different from 9 hours, for example.

You can cook them at higher temp - up to 200F/93C, and the times are shorter - say 2-3 hours for ribs.

The same times/tempertures work for most meats that you want to braise and/or confit.

The issue here is personal preference. A rare steak is a different experience than stewed beef. We are used to assuming that each cut has a particular cooking method - nobody stews a fillet mignon, nor do they grill stew meat cuts and serve rare.

However, with sous vide you have the opportunity to achieve different effects. I have done osso bucco down to 130F, but the texure is so unfamilar, and the fat does not render. Most of all, people are very set in the ways and if you serve osso bucco that has a non-traditional texture it can freak people out.

In general I cook osso bucco and lamb shanks confit style (i.e. with oil in the bag) at 180F/82C for 8 hours. But don't let that stop you from experimenting on your own favorite combination!


Nathan

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Mike, what kind of ribs (spare ribs or baby backs) are you asking about. For spare ribs, I would agree with Nathan. But if you are cooking baby backs, I would a shorter time will be more than enough. See my post up-thread. If you are cooking baby backs, 170F for 6 hrs is sufficient for falling off the bone meat -- or rather a degree of tenderness where all of the meat come of the bone clean without the bones actually falling out when you unbag -- and the fat rendered too. The people that tried these loved them and all agreed that they did not feel that longer cooking would have improved them.

I found 15 to 20 minute in a stovetop smoker sufficient to add plenty of smoke flavor.

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After reading through this amazing thread, I thought I might try and summarize the information into a brief guide for new (and old) users. The first draft is linked below:

http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html

It is of course woefully incomplete, but I will continue to work on it in the coming weeks/months. Any suggestions for improving the guide would be greatly appreciated.


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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Extremely impressive Douglas. I'd rather visit your page than read through 54 pages if I am looking for a quick reference. The most useful part to me is the cooking times for different types of meat. You should add one for eggs since I know alot of people want those perfect soft boiled eggs.

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So, I'm thinking about lamb chops. Here are my thoughts so far:

130F for 10 hours with garlic powder, butter, s&p.

Served with curried Rancho Gordo Runner Cannellini beans.

Comments/Critiques on this dish are welcome. In particular, I'm curious about ideas for seasoning the lamb so that it complements the curry idea, but is still well adapted to being cooked sous vide.

Thanks!

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Why so long? Lamb chops are already very tender


Ruth Friedman

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Hmmm… Maybe I missed something, but I’ve seen a few posts referencing this time and temp combo? What would you recommend?

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Lamb chops should only need to come up to temperature. I'd recommend cutting them into individual (single or double, depending on your preference) chops and bagging them separately rather than cooking the rack whole. The smaller pieces will come up to temperature more rapidly, and you can trim them up more easily and thoroughly as you are portioning them.


--

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It is possible to take tender meat and cook it too long - it gets too soft and the texture suffers.

As per other posts I would cook lamb for just long enough to reach temperature - depending on the thickness (see the tables) this is likely a hour or less.


Nathan

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After reading through this amazing thread, I thought I might try and summarize the information into a brief guide for new (and old) users.  The first draft is linked below:

http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html

It is of course woefully incomplete, but I will continue to work on it in the coming weeks/months.  Any suggestions for improving the guide would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks Douglas - this is a great reference!

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It is possible to take tender meat and cook it too long - it gets too soft and the texture suffers.

As per other posts I would cook lamb for just long enough to reach temperature - depending on the thickness (see the tables) this is likely a hour or less.

Thanks! I'll try this out this weekend and report back!

Also, I'm still open to suggestions for my dish (in terms of flavors/combos). If it's too off-topic, pm me!

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Many thanks Douglas - this is a great reference!

You are most welcome.

I calculated the cooking times for frozen meat last night, but it meant solving a nonlinear heat equation that is numerically "stiff" (that is, very difficult to calculate). I only have a thermapen and so have not been able to test the accuracy of my calculations. Indeed, all my calculations are based on the thermal conductivity and specific heats I found in journal articles and not my own experiments. If any of you have the equipment necessary to check my calculations for frozen meats, I would really appreciate.

Thanks,

Douglas


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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      The recipe does not say how to blend or when to stop.
       
      Hoping one of the gurus can give me guidance before I try this again.
       
      Many Thanks
      Luke
    • By onemorebitedelara.com
      Has anyone used Valrhona Absolut Crystal neutral glaze particularly to thicken a coulis or to glaze a tart?  If so, how did you like it and is there another glaze you think worked as well but is less expensive or can be purchased in smaller quantities?  
    • By kostbill
      Hello.
      I would like to buy some pectinex ultra sp-l.
      However I am worried about the temperature during the shipping time.
      I read that the storage temperature should be between 2 and 8 C. It works best from 15 to 50 C, and if it stays a lot of time in 25 C, it will gradually be deactivated.
       
      It needs a week to come here (Greece), then will it affect its abilities?
       
      Do you know if I can find a document somewhere that explains the gradual loss of power as a function of time and temperature?
      Did you have any experience with pectinex not working well due to bad storage?
       
      Thanks.
    • By Galchic
      Hello, folks, thanks for reading.
       
      My husband thinks, I should start selling my popcorn seasonings (which I make for my family), it’s a good product. But I'm not sure if it’s interesting to other people... So, what do you think, guys?
       
      Our story: 
      We’ve bought an air popper machine, but popcorn came out pretty tasteless. Then, we’ve bought different “popcorn seasoning” mixes... But it always ends with all the seasoning at the bottom of the bowl. Then, we've added butter, oil and so on before seasoning...  we got soggy, chewy popcorn. Lot’s of disappointments…
       
      When we almost gave up… the magic happened! I figured out the way to make seasonings that:
      Stick to popcorn, but not sticky to fingers (or T-shirt  , Easy to apply, May be pre cooked in bulk and stored… And popcorn appears crunchy, tasty, thoroughly covered with seasoning.  
      Sounds good, yep? Now, when I want to treat myself  - I only need 2 mins to turn tasteless popped popcorn to a real treat.  
      The only moment - it request 1 extra effort: after you toss it over popcorn, you need to microwave it for 1 min, and stir after.
       
      So, I was wondering, if you like popcorn like myself - would this seasoning be interesting for you to purchase? Are you ready for a little extra work (microwave & stir) in the goal to flavor popcorn, or it feels too much effort?
       
      As I have no experience in manufacturing and retail, your answers would help me to make a very important decision - to dive in or not... 
       
      Thanks in advance for your answers, it means the world to me.
       
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