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Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 7)


Guy MovingOn
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Nathan

Thank you for taking a moment to reply to my Rational question. Mine is at home as well. Have you considered a new thread topic here to discuss better utilizations? Most all of my experience is trail and error and following Rational's recipes.

Also, any chance you will cover PacoJets?

I look forward to when your book is published so I can learn so much more!

OF COURSE we cover Pacojets. I had the 2nd Pacojet in the United States, back in 1995, and have used it ever since.

We have a whole chapter on combi ovens.

I did start a combi-oven thread many years ago, around when I started this thread. There were no takers...

Edited by nathanm (log)

Nathan

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My wife just got me a SousVide Supreme for my birthday, so I'm happily trying various dishes in it. So far, everything has been great.

I just picked up a nice wagyu chuck roast at the butcher today that I'd like to sous vide, but I haven't found many details online for this cut. Douglas Baldwin's guide makes a passing mention of cooking it at 131-140°F for 24-48 hours. With this being wagyu, should I aim for the low end of that and do it for 24 hours at 131°F? Would it work better to finish it with a hot pan-sear, or in a hot (450°F) oven for a few minutes? Should I brine it first, or will all that nice marbling keep it sufficiently moist?

I'm sure this can be tasty, but I'm trying to get some guidelines so I don't mess anything up too badly.

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My wife just got me a SousVide Supreme for my birthday, so I'm happily trying various dishes in it. So far, everything has been great.

I just picked up a nice wagyu chuck roast at the butcher today that I'd like to sous vide, but I haven't found many details online for this cut. Douglas Baldwin's guide makes a passing mention of cooking it at 131-140°F for 24-48 hours. With this being wagyu, should I aim for the low end of that and do it for 24 hours at 131°F? Would it work better to finish it with a hot pan-sear, or in a hot (450°F) oven for a few minutes? Should I brine it first, or will all that nice marbling keep it sufficiently moist?

I'm sure this can be tasty, but I'm trying to get some guidelines so I don't mess anything up too badly.

Congratulations on the new acquisition. Expect a lot of fun as you experiment.

If it were me, I wouldn't bother brining it, would cook it at 134F or 57C for 24 hours, and would definitely sear it on an extremely hot pan or with a blow torch. The oven is simply not hot enough to give a decent Maillard effect without extended cooking and a consequent spoiling the sous vide cooking process.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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My wife just got me a SousVide Supreme for my birthday, so I'm happily trying various dishes in it. So far, everything has been great.

I just picked up a nice wagyu chuck roast at the butcher today that I'd like to sous vide, but I haven't found many details online for this cut. Douglas Baldwin's guide makes a passing mention of cooking it at 131-140°F for 24-48 hours. With this being wagyu, should I aim for the low end of that and do it for 24 hours at 131°F? Would it work better to finish it with a hot pan-sear, or in a hot (450°F) oven for a few minutes? Should I brine it first, or will all that nice marbling keep it sufficiently moist?

I'm sure this can be tasty, but I'm trying to get some guidelines so I don't mess anything up too badly.

The first thing to realize is that not all Wagyu is created equal. I have cooked Snake River Farms Wagyu Brisket and Chuck Roast and found that they became tender much more quickly than the non-Wagyu chuck roast and briskets that we have down.

For the Snake River Farms, we found that 24 to 36 hours at 132 to 133F was about right. At 48 hours, it was a bit too soft for my preference.

By the way, I highly highly highly recommend doing skirt steak -and cooking at 132F for 24 hours. Since we discovered it, it has become our go-to cut of meat when we want to wow guests. People consistently tell us that it is the best beef that they have ever had. It is even tastier than short ribs. I put a couple of tablespoons of 5 to 7% brine in the bag along with 1/2 cap liquid smoke. (And then sear it with a torch before serving).

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Sous vide rigs may fail, so there should be an alarm when temperature deviates from the set-point.

Lately it happened to me that the FreshMealsMagic triggered the GFCI (ground fault circuit intterrupter) and bath temperature dropped from 49°C to about 48°C during 2h20' cooking. This did not cause me any problem, but if it happens during a 48h-cooking without being noticed, you have to discard your food. It may also happen that a sensor fails or shifts and bath temperature rises or drops.

As my SV-rig resides downstairs in the air-raid-shelter, I looked for a way to baby-sit my SV-rig without going downstairs every hour, and when ordering Nathan's book at Amazon, I also ordered a two-channel remote smoker thermometer Maverick ET-73 which arrived yesterday. It has a channel for the food temperature with a high-alarm and a channel for the oven temperature with high- and low-alarm; the latter can be used to sound an alarm whenever the bath temperature goes outside your set limits.

A known issue with the ET-73 is poor range, especially through walls. I had to place the receiver on the kitchen floor as near to the transmitter as possible to get a signal. So I hacked the receiver and did the Maverick ET-73 Range Modification From LilSmoker with a small modification shown in the pictures below, soldering the antenna wire to the rear side instead of the front side of the small PCB with the horseshoe shaped circuit board antenna, so the antenna wire does not have to be bent to exit the case. Now the range is sufficient to place the receiver anywhere in the kitchen and have a good signal. It's far from the 100 feet that Maverick claims, but an air-raid-shelter is a bit of a Faraday cage, so I am satisfied with the result. It is possible to make a similar modification on the transmitter, see http://www.instructables.com/id/Increasing-the-Range-of-a-Wireless-BBQ-Thermometer/, but in my case this was not necessary.

gallery_65177_6866_10351.jpg

0.7mm SS antenna wire soldered to the rear side of the small printed circuit board

gallery_65177_6866_102531.jpg

Small PCB replaced after soldering the antenna wire to its rear side

gallery_65177_6866_22617.jpg

Length of the antenna wire measured from the soldering point has to be exactly 6.5" / 16.5cm which is the quarter wavelength of 433MHz

gallery_65177_6866_12353.jpg

Small notch in case to accommodate antenna wire

gallery_65177_6866_15704.jpg

The end result.

Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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Electrolux makes a countertop professional grade combi oven that is $1900, so that is much more affordable.

Several home oven manufacturers like Miele and Gaggenau are now making home combi ovens. So while a Rational 61SCC is not a home oven for most people, there are other alternatives.

The Electrolux is a very nice appliance, especially suited for small kitchens.

The Gaggenau appliances have direct water in - and outlet. Unique with household appliances, AFAIK.

The Eloma Compact is a compact (household appliance size, 6 x GN 2/3), professional combioven with according features and, ahem, price (~$8000).

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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I bought some nice looking brisket the other day and cooked it for around 30 hours at 57C.

Not sure what to do with it, I searched my cookbooks using the new eat your books library bookshelf and found that beef brisket was recommended for David Thompson's Beef Penaeng Curry. On consulting the curry recipe in the Thai Food cookbook, it is one where you cook the beef separately, cook the sauce, then add the beef to heat through.

So I made up the sauce from scratch, simmered it until cooked and then added sliced, already sous vide cooked, beef brisket along with some of the bag juices to increase the beefy taste. Instead of simply reheating, I left it sitting for an hour for the flavour to infuse the beef and then reheated. The result was absolutely delicious.

I have a piece of brisket here (ground some for burgers last night) and got inspired by your idea, Nick. Rubbed the brisket with some smoked salt, smoked coconut powder, and roasted Thai chile peppers, along with a scant tablespoon of peanut oil. I'll give 30ish at 57C a try as soon as I take the short ribs in the SVS out.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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" I'm trying to get some guidelines so I don't mess anything up too badly".

Has anyone posted whether the product to be SV'd should be brought to room temperature before placing in the water bath I have scallops that have been seasoned and vacuumed but I don't know if I should let them come to room temp for two hours before placement into the bath????

alanjesq

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I grabbed a Wagner heat gun at Home Depot for $25; here it is on Amazon. Turned it up to high/1KF, brushed a bit of fat on the short ribs I just pulled from the SVS, and it did a great job. Maybe for restaurant production it's a bit too slow, but I can't imagine needing anything faster.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Electrolux makes a countertop professional grade combi oven that is $1900, so that is much more affordable.

Several home oven manufacturers like Miele and Gaggenau are now making home combi ovens. So while a Rational 61SCC is not a home oven for most people, there are other alternatives.

The Electrolux is a very nice appliance, especially suited for small kitchens.

The Gaggenau appliances have direct water in - and outlet. Unique with household appliances, AFAIK.

The Eloma Compact is a compact (household appliance size, 6 x GN 2/3), professional combioven with according features and, ahem, price (~$8000).

Ok, maybe this is a really dumb question but I will ask anyway. Can you use the steam function in a combi oven to bake bread? Also, FYI Sharp makes one that is a countertop steam/convection/microwave for about $800 - I have been planning to get one when my regular convection/micro dies, which I expect will happen soon as it is more than 20 years old.

I've got one body and one life, I'm going to take care of them.

I'm blogging as the Fabulous Food Fanatic here.

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" I'm trying to get some guidelines so I don't mess anything up too badly".

Has anyone posted whether the product to be SV'd should be brought to room temperature before placing in the water bath I have scallops that have been seasoned and vacuumed but I don't know if I should let them come to room temp for two hours before placement into the bath????

alanjesq

Definitely not. Just drop then in. I put frozen items in the SV tub often. Like Sam said, they will get to temp much quicker in the water.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Buying some skirt steak tomorrow

Thanks for the heads up, I can totally see this being my go-to considering the yield, cooking time, flavor and price.

Skirt steak cooked sv is fantastic. I made the best fajitas by bagging the beef with my normal marinade, a rick bayless recipe, made from grated onions, garlic, cumin, lime juice and a little oil. I cooked them for 10 hours at 135, then seared them in a very hot cast iron pan.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I grabbed a Wagner heat gun at Home Depot for $25; here it is on Amazon. Turned it up to high/1KF, brushed a bit of fat on the short ribs I just pulled from the SVS, and it did a great job. Maybe for restaurant production it's a bit too slow, but I can't imagine needing anything faster.

The heat gun works better than a blow torch for searing? I've been meaning to pick up a blow torch to finish off my sous-vide meats, but I may have to go for this instead.

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I grabbed a Wagner heat gun at Home Depot for $25; here it is on Amazon. Turned it up to high/1KF, brushed a bit of fat on the short ribs I just pulled from the SVS, and it did a great job. Maybe for restaurant production it's a bit too slow, but I can't imagine needing anything faster.

The heat gun works better than a blow torch for searing? I've been meaning to pick up a blow torch to finish off my sous-vide meats, but I may have to go for this instead.

In my opinion, a heat gun is nowhere near as good as a good torch. The heat gun will cook the food much more than a hot torch will in the time that it takes to get a nice crust since the heat gun doesn't get nearly as hot. In my opinion, a super hot pan (i.e. one that has been on high heat for 10 minutes) works better than a heat gun. (NOTE: I have both a heat gun and a few torches). An Iwatani blow torch is $30 or less and the butane canisters about $2 a piece. One canister lasts quite a long time. So, the cost per use is quite low (the bags you use will cost more per use than the gas).

By the way, I don't know of a single person using an Iwatani that has ever complained of a chemical taste. I have only read complaints about chemical taste in connection with people using propane torches -- and that only happens when one doesn't use the torch correctly OR has a defective torch. I have experienced it when mis-using my now retired propane torch but never with the Iwatani.

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I grabbed a Wagner heat gun at Home Depot for $25; here it is on Amazon. Turned it up to high/1KF, brushed a bit of fat on the short ribs I just pulled from the SVS, and it did a great job. Maybe for restaurant production it's a bit too slow, but I can't imagine needing anything faster.

The heat gun works better than a blow torch for searing? I've been meaning to pick up a blow torch to finish off my sous-vide meats, but I may have to go for this instead.

In my opinion, a heat gun is nowhere near as good as a good torch. The heat gun will cook the food much more than a hot torch will in the time that it takes to get a nice crust since the heat gun doesn't get nearly as hot. In my opinion, a super hot pan (i.e. one that has been on high heat for 10 minutes) works better than a heat gun. (NOTE: I have both a heat gun and a few torches). An Iwatani blow torch is $30 or less and the butane canisters about $2 a piece. One canister lasts quite a long time. So, the cost per use is quite low (the bags you use will cost more per use than the gas).

By the way, I don't know of a single person using an Iwatani that has ever complained of a chemical taste. I have only read complaints about chemical taste in connection with people using propane torches -- and that only happens when one doesn't use the torch correctly OR has a defective torch. I have experienced it when mis-using my now retired propane torch but never with the Iwatani.

I got no experience with the heat gun, but like you, I do like my Iwatani. I probably have to change the canister maybe once every ten months. I do use my cast iron skillet for most of my searing though.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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How hot does the Iwatani get?

I believe that the temperature is somewhere in the 2800 to 3100 F range -- so hot that if you aren't paying attention, you will turn the outside into something resembling charcoal. They burn hotter and with a more useful flame area than a heat gun. The flame of the Iwatani is very controllable. And don't be fooled by the pictures on the web, these aren't wimpy little creme brulee torches (although if you are making creme brulee it would be an awesome tool for the job). It is more powerful than my bernzomatic propane torch which has been retired for cooking since I got the Iwatani due to the more controllable flame and lack idiot-proofness as far as gas-aftertaste (the taste that people mention with propane happens if you hold the torch too close to the meat which results in spraying the meat with some uncombusted propane).

Btw, while a heat gun doesn't use a gas canister it uses lots of energy. Electricity is a much less efficient way to generate heat than burning gas.

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How hot does the Iwatani get?

I believe that the temperature is somewhere in the 2800 to 3100 F range -- so hot that if you aren't paying attention, you will turn the outside into something resembling charcoal. They burn hotter and with a more useful flame area than a heat gun. The flame of the Iwatani is very controllable. And don't be fooled by the pictures on the web, these aren't wimpy little creme brulee torches (although if you are making creme brulee it would be an awesome tool for the job). It is more powerful than my bernzomatic propane torch which has been retired for cooking since I got the Iwatani due to the more controllable flame and lack idiot-proofness as far as gas-aftertaste (the taste that people mention with propane happens if you hold the torch too close to the meat which results in spraying the meat with some uncombusted propane).

Btw, while a heat gun doesn't use a gas canister it uses lots of energy. Electricity is a much less efficient way to generate heat than burning gas.

Butane blowtorches achieve about 1400°C/2500°F.

Wagner HT3500 heat gun is said to achieve 730°C/1350°F, but was recalled in 2009

Rice bran oil has smoke point 247°C/475°F, heat transfer is much faster than hot air or flame.

Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

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Rice bran oil has smoke point 247°C/475°F, heat transfer is much faster than hot air or flame.

In my opinion, hot pans with oil are less effective than a torch for pieces of meat that have irregularly shaped surfaces. Brisket, skirt steak, or any other cut that is not essentially flat on both sides benefits from the torch.

Given how much more time it takes to clean up a pan after pan-searing (not to mention the 10 minutes or so that it takes to get a pan to temp), I now use the torch for all my beef searing.

Torches aren't very useful for pork or poultry in my experience.

I used to exclusively use a VERY hot pan (somewhere around 700F) for searing but for many cuts of meat I find that a torch works better for developing crust without cooking the meat and even for cuts with an even surface (like rib eyes) I have switched to a torch because the result is just as good as with a pan and there is much less work involved.

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