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Guy MovingOn

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

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Hmm, that's strange, more was coming up for me earlier. It still seems like you can search for something and it will show you the pages.

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I recently got a PolyScience Sous Vide Professional, and I've cooked a couple of different things in it so far: first, a 64-degree egg, which I thought was pretty great. Then I did boneless pork loin chops, which I cooked for an hour at 141F, after brining them for an hour. I wasn't that impressed with the result; they just didn't seem markedly different from pork chops cooked in other ways. One of my friends has suggested that pork chops just aren't that great done sous vide. Has anyone here had more success with them?


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I recently got a PolyScience Sous Vide Professional, and I've cooked a couple of different things in it so far: first, a 64-degree egg, which I thought was pretty great. Then I did boneless pork loin chops, which I cooked for an hour at 141F, after brining them for an hour. I wasn't that impressed with the result; they just didn't seem markedly different from pork chops cooked in other ways. One of my friends has suggested that pork chops just aren't that great done sous vide. Has anyone here had more success with them?

I do pork chops SV for the sole and only reason that they can be cooked evenly throughout - i.e. you can avoid having them get over cooked in places. I have never found that I have been able to get an altered texture with SV cooking of pork loin. But, you can cook a 12-15 mm chop for about two hours or so at a rather low temp (57C), after brining, and get a juicy piece of meat that is very appealing after being torched for some carmelization. I usually put a teaspoon of bacon grease in the bag.


Edited by Merridith (log)

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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Yeah, that's what I was aiming for, too. It sounds like you do them at a slightly lower temperature than I was using, so I guess I'd just have to try it again at 57C instead of the 60.5C I was doing them at. Thanks! (Bacon grease sounds like a nice touch, too.)


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I have been in a Hobson's chioice dilemma about using my pid controller and crock pot with fish bubbler vs getting the poly sic pro for some time now. The reality is that after three months of my jury or Jerry rigged system, I am not sure I need to upgrade??? I mean the results of my cooks have been pretty good. Putting aside the costs, will u share with us why the Polysci pro is the way to go, please?? It is so much more cool, but????

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If your PID controller is working well, there really is no reason other than convenience to spend money on something like the PolyScience. Convenience, of course, is no small thing. I have been in contact with several people that "graduated" and all said that the results they got with their PID setups was equal to what they got with the PID. You might find that getting a tabletop roaster or a large rice cooker will come in handy when cooking things that won't fit in the crockpot. But those are items that you can add cheaply. I personally haven't felt the need to get a fancier rig. My 2 Auber PIDs are serving me well. These rigs will do awesome eggs at the temperature of my choosing and salmon mi-cuit. These are items that put a setup to the test.

If the amount of money that a PolyScience rig would run feels like "real money", I think that you would be better served by spending the money on something else: better knives or pans or Nathan's books when they come out.

That's my opinion.

I have been in a Hobson's chioice dilemma about using my pid controller and crock pot with fish bubbler vs getting the poly sic pro for some time now. The reality is that after three months of my jury or Jerry rigged system, I am not sure I need to upgrade??? I mean the results of my cooks have been pretty good. Putting aside the costs, will u share with us why the Polysci pro is the way to go, please?? It is so much more cool, but????

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I recently got a PolyScience Sous Vide Professional, and I've cooked a couple of different things in it so far: first, a 64-degree egg, which I thought was pretty great. Then I did boneless pork loin chops, which I cooked for an hour at 141F, after brining them for an hour. I wasn't that impressed with the result; they just didn't seem markedly different from pork chops cooked in other ways. One of my friends has suggested that pork chops just aren't that great done sous vide. Has anyone here had more success with them?

If you are looking to cook dishes that show of the 'transformative' nature of sous-vide -- where you get results unlike anything that you can get by conventional methods, I would do 24 hour skirt steak or 48-hour short ribs and 116F salmon. Chicken breasts at 135F are lovely, too. But not as radically different from what you get by traditional methods as the aforementioned items. These dishes all come out very different from anything that you can do with traditional techniques.

If you love beef, skirt steak (24 hours at 133F) and short ribs (48 to 60 hours at 133F) will give you dishes that will have your guests inviting themselves back to dinner. And wanting those sous-vide eggs for appetizers.

Use the search field at the bottom of the page to find the postings about these.

In my opinion, you can make lovely pork dishes and cook perfect steak -- but those are all dishes where you are getting reliable easy-to-reproduce high-quality results but you aren't getting a result that is dramatically different from what you get by doing executing a conventional method with great skill.

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If you are looking to cook dishes that show of the 'transformative' nature of sous-vide -- where you get results unlike anything that you can get by conventional methods, I would do 24 hour skirt steak or 48-hour short ribs and 116F salmon. Chicken breasts at 135F are lovely, too. But not as radically different from what you get by traditional methods as the aforementioned items. These dishes all come out very different from anything that you can do with traditional techniques.

If you love beef, skirt steak (24 hours at 133F) and short ribs (48 to 60 hours at 133F) will give you dishes that will have your guests inviting themselves back to dinner. And wanting those sous-vide eggs for appetizers.

Use the search field at the bottom of the page to find the postings about these.

In my opinion, you can make lovely pork dishes and cook perfect steak -- but those are all dishes where you are getting reliable easy-to-reproduce high-quality results but you aren't getting a result that is dramatically different from what you get by doing executing a conventional method with great skill.

Thanks for the detailed reply. I certainly intend to try all the cuts you mentioned - in fact, I have a 24-hour flatiron in the circulator as I type. I guess I was just surprised at the extent to which the pork chops really were just like with conventional methods. I'd been hoping that being able to cook them sous vide would make me see what I think of as a pretty bland cut in a different light. Of course, it's also possible that I was cooking them at too high a temperature!


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Thanks for the detailed reply. I certainly intend to try all the cuts you mentioned - in fact, I have a 24-hour flatiron in the circulator as I type. I guess I was just surprised at the extent to which the pork chops really were just like with conventional methods. I'd been hoping that being able to cook them sous vide would make me see what I think of as a pretty bland cut in a different light. Of course, it's also possible that I was cooking them at too high a temperature!

Bland in, bland out. Pork chops are a pretty bland cut. Sous-vide can influence texture but it won't make something bland taste better. I have yet to find a cut of pork that is transformed dramatically but maybe I haven't tried enough. Many are tasty and convenient to cook sous-vide but I don't think they are transformed the way tasty, rich but tough cuts of beef are. I mean if you love pork chops, sous-vide will make it possible to reproducibly cook them to whatever degree you like them done (the way that it makes cooking perfect ribeye a no-brainer) but it won't turn a pork=chop or a chicken breast into something rich like a spare rib.

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Thanks for the detailed reply. I certainly intend to try all the cuts you mentioned - in fact, I have a 24-hour flatiron in the circulator as I type. I guess I was just surprised at the extent to which the pork chops really were just like with conventional methods. I'd been hoping that being able to cook them sous vide would make me see what I think of as a pretty bland cut in a different light. Of course, it's also possible that I was cooking them at too high a temperature!

Bland in, bland out. Pork chops are a pretty bland cut. Sous-vide can influence texture but it won't make something bland taste better. I have yet to find a cut of pork that is transformed dramatically but maybe I haven't tried enough. Many are tasty and convenient to cook sous-vide but I don't think they are transformed the way tasty, rich but tough cuts of beef are. I mean if you love pork chops, sous-vide will make it possible to reproducibly cook them to whatever degree you like them done (the way that it makes cooking perfect ribeye a no-brainer) but it won't turn a pork=chop or a chicken breast into something rich like a spare rib.

Sous vide is not always better, especially in pork

I fully agree with e-monster (and Merridith): for tender cuts sous vide is convenient and fool-proof, but the outcome is not automatically better.

We had two identical pork neck chops a few days ago, both were bagged with spices, marinade, mustard and hickory smoked salt, and kept at 1°C for 2 weeks. One was seared the traditional way without SV, starting on low heat and increasing until the rice bran oil started smoking, the second one was done SV 75min at 51°C (for my taste pork needs lower temperature than lamb and beef) and seared in smoking hot rice bran oil. Oddly the SV chop was even more chewy and less juicy than the traditional one, and the latter also tasted better, my wife did not complain about the "sous vide taste". Both were pink inside as desired.

There is one cut of pork I should do SV (LTLT) again: pork shoulder. Some time ago I did three equal cuts of pork shoulder, bagged with marinade and spices for 9d/1°C, and cooked SV 55°C for 24h / 48h / 72h respectively. All came out tender and succulent, the fat perfectly soft; the 72h cut was softest, but with a tendency to fall apart, and the lean parts were rather dry. I guess 36h to 48h will be best.


Edited by PedroG (log)

Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

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I do think that pork chops that you brine, SV, chill and hold for a day or two are excellent reheated to about 3-5C below temp and then seared or grilled hard. And, as with most things, bacon grease works wonders, along with some quatre epices.


Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Skirt steak or hanger steak? Diaphragm anyway.

When I have done hanger steak it, I have cooked it 24 to 36 hours at 132F and it was super tender. It was very good but I didn't find it nearly as flavorful as skirt steak nor did it have the same lovely mouthfeel as the skirt steak. The hanger steak that I had would have been too tender if cooked longer. But I suspect there is a lot of variation in the quality of the steaks out there. I would check it at 24 hours and judge how much longer it needs.

Thanks! I do not know if it is skirt or hanger, the butcher said it is from the diaphragm and in German it is "Rinds-Leistenfleisch", it looks well marbled, the cubes are 15-25mm thick, I marinated and spiced it, the main portion will be 55°C/24h and a small portion will be just seared for comparison. The price was 2/3 the price of brisket.

If it is a skirt steak, you are in for a real treat. So far, everyone who has had my sous-vide skirt steak has said that it is the best beef they have had. Skirt steak I would cook for no longer than 24 hours. It comes out as tender as a high-quality filet and even more flavorful than a rib-eye. With a really nice luxurious mouth-feel. Sadly, in the U.S. skirt steak is no longer cheap like brisket. 15 years ago, it was a very cheap cut.

And here are my results:

The two mouthfuls seared without sous vide were tasteful, but rather chewy and dark red inside, after a few seconds more in the skillet it was more pink, chewyness and taste unchanged.

The main portion was SV 55°C/24h, dabbed dry and seared in smoking hot rice bran oil. It came out with a nice crust and pink inside, definitely less chewy than without SV (but not perfectly fork-tender), and very tasteful.

This was my first experience at all with beef diaphragm, it was pleasing, but not the ultimate "treat" as e-monster predicted. One reason may be that we have grass-fed beef in Switzerland and never ever the quality of beef you have in the USA. Another reason may be it was pre-cut in cubes and from a supermarket's self-service shelf, not the real "butcher's steak". I will definitely try to get skirt steak from the butcher who dry-ages his beef, and maybe I should increase SV-time to 36h.


Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

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Skirt steak or hanger steak? Diaphragm anyway.

When I have done hanger steak it, I have cooked it 24 to 36 hours at 132F and it was super tender. It was very good but I didn't find it nearly as flavorful as skirt steak nor did it have the same lovely mouthfeel as the skirt steak. The hanger steak that I had would have been too tender if cooked longer. But I suspect there is a lot of variation in the quality of the steaks out there. I would check it at 24 hours and judge how much longer it needs.

Thanks! I do not know if it is skirt or hanger, the butcher said it is from the diaphragm and in German it is "Rinds-Leistenfleisch", it looks well marbled, the cubes are 15-25mm thick, I marinated and spiced it, the main portion will be 55°C/24h and a small portion will be just seared for comparison. The price was 2/3 the price of brisket.

If it is a skirt steak, you are in for a real treat. So far, everyone who has had my sous-vide skirt steak has said that it is the best beef they have had. Skirt steak I would cook for no longer than 24 hours. It comes out as tender as a high-quality filet and even more flavorful than a rib-eye. With a really nice luxurious mouth-feel. Sadly, in the U.S. skirt steak is no longer cheap like brisket. 15 years ago, it was a very cheap cut.

And here are my results:

The two mouthfuls seared without sous vide were tasteful, but rather chewy and dark red inside, after a few seconds more in the skillet it was more pink, chewyness and taste unchanged.

The main portion was SV 55°C/24h, dabbed dry and seared in smoking hot rice bran oil. It came out with a nice crust and pink inside, definitely less chewy than without SV (but not perfectly fork-tender), and very tasteful.

This was my first experience at all with beef diaphragm, it was pleasing, but not the ultimate "treat" as e-monster predicted. One reason may be that we have grass-fed beef in Switzerland and never ever the quality of beef you have in the USA. Another reason may be it was pre-cut in cubes and from a supermarket's self-service shelf, not the real "butcher's steak". I will definitely try to get skirt steak from the butcher who dry-ages his beef, and maybe I should increase SV-time to 36h.

Time for grass-fed would be probably be different--as will the taste/mouth-feel. While I like the idea of grass-fed beef, the quality of grass-fed beef here is very variable -- so we don't quick with it a lot in our house (really good grass-fed beef being extremely expensive).

I would get it from a butcher. And make sure that they remove the membrane. I wonder if what you got might have been hanger steak -- it is also from the diaphragm. While wikipedia indicates that hanger steak is more flavorful, we have consistently liked skirt steak more. Hanger steak (for us) has (like flank steak) turned out very well but hasn't wowed us the way that skirt steak has.

You might want to print out a picture of the cut from a U.S. site that shows beef cuts and show it to your butcher since it might be butchered differently in Switzerland than it is here.

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On the pork subject, I've never done pork chops but I do a pork fillet dish that is very tasty.

After cooking the fillet sous vide, I wrap it in prosciutto and sear the outside in a hot frypan.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

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It sounds like the consensus opinion is that it mostly isn't worth the trouble of doing pork chops sous vide. (BTW, when I said "bland" above, I was actually thinking about texture, rather than flavour: I was hoping for a superior texture by using sous vide.) I still have high hopes for pork tenderloin, belly and shoulder, though!

Last night's 24-hour flatiron steaks came out wonderfully, though a friend raised the question as to whether it really requires 24 hours, since flatiron is already a pretty tender cut, despite being from the shoulder. Has anyone tried it for shorter periods of time with any success?

I also did a side-by-side comparison of searing in a hot pan vs. with a torch, and found that the steak seared with the torch stayed more pink than the one done in the hot pan, though the latter still had a great texture. I suspect my underpowered stove and the thinness of the steaks I had were to blame, so I think I'll be using the torch a fair bit from now on.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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It sounds like the consensus opinion is that it mostly isn't worth the trouble of doing pork chops sous vide. (BTW, when I said "bland" above, I was actually thinking about texture, rather than flavour: I was hoping for a superior texture by using sous vide.) I still have high hopes for pork tenderloin, belly and shoulder, though!

Last night's 24-hour flatiron steaks came out wonderfully, though a friend raised the question as to whether it really requires 24 hours, since flatiron is already a pretty tender cut, despite being from the shoulder. Has anyone tried it for shorter periods of time with any success?

I also did a side-by-side comparison of searing in a hot pan vs. with a torch, and found that the steak seared with the torch stayed more pink than the one done in the hot pan, though the latter still had a great texture. I suspect my underpowered stove and the thinness of the steaks I had were to blame, so I think I'll be using the torch a fair bit from now on.

I don't agree. I think that even though the texture is not transformed with the loin chops, that SV cooking the chops is worth the result - pork is unpredictable, sometimes dry, sometimes over cooks more quickly, sometimes more tough, etc. I buy only all natural, organic, routing, pasture raised heirloom pigs (Red Wattle, Birkshire, etc.) and although the taste is far superior to commercial meat, the texture can still be challenging. The advantage of being able to get an even reliable cook with SV is worth the trouble. As far as a transformation, the shoulder, butt and picnic are ABSOLUTELY transformed by SV cooking. Better than the crock pot or braise because all the juice that stays in and all the flavor you can infuse. Use your favorite rub and aromatacs and you get incredible results. Then, the fat just separates off and you have lean, delicious completely eatable chunks of juicy, not overdone pork. I use 24-48 hours at 57c for this, usually, and it is GREAT!


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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On the pork subject, I've never done pork chops but I do a pork fillet dish that is very tasty.

After cooking the fillet sous vide, I wrap it in prosciutto and sear the outside in a hot frypan.

There's an idea I'm gonna steal.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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It sounds like the consensus opinion is that it mostly isn't worth the trouble of doing pork chops sous vide. (BTW, when I said "bland" above, I was actually thinking about texture, rather than flavour: I was hoping for a superior texture by using sous vide.) I still have high hopes for pork tenderloin, belly and shoulder, though!

Last night's 24-hour flatiron steaks came out wonderfully, though a friend raised the question as to whether it really requires 24 hours, since flatiron is already a pretty tender cut, despite being from the shoulder. Has anyone tried it for shorter periods of time with any success?

I also did a side-by-side comparison of searing in a hot pan vs. with a torch, and found that the steak seared with the torch stayed more pink than the one done in the hot pan, though the latter still had a great texture. I suspect my underpowered stove and the thinness of the steaks I had were to blame, so I think I'll be using the torch a fair bit from now on.

For a change of pace, we went back to the pan sear method for ribeye (I get the pan SUPER hot) and the results were nice but I have to say that we all liked the torched steaks better. We also cooked a nice thick ribeye using the Ducasse method -- the crust looked gorgeous but the consensus was that while the crust looked better than the torched steak, it actually was less tasty than the torched crust. And much more of the steak was 'overcooked' than sous-vide plus torch.

I wouldn't say that pork isn't worth the effort. I would say that if you are looking for transformation, you won't find it as much in pork as in other cuts (you might find it with pork belly or shoulder, but I haven't tried belly and my pork shoulder experiment was very good but nothing compared to my 14 hour slow smoked shoulders).

I agree with Merridith that sourcing seems even more critical than with beef. I also never cook pork sous-vide without brining first.

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It sounds like the consensus opinion is that it mostly isn't worth the trouble of doing pork chops sous vide. (BTW, when I said "bland" above, I was actually thinking about texture, rather than flavour: I was hoping for a superior texture by using sous vide.) I still have high hopes for pork tenderloin, belly and shoulder, though!

Last night's 24-hour flatiron steaks came out wonderfully, though a friend raised the question as to whether it really requires 24 hours, since flatiron is already a pretty tender cut, despite being from the shoulder. Has anyone tried it for shorter periods of time with any success?

I also did a side-by-side comparison of searing in a hot pan vs. with a torch, and found that the steak seared with the torch stayed more pink than the one done in the hot pan, though the latter still had a great texture. I suspect my underpowered stove and the thinness of the steaks I had were to blame, so I think I'll be using the torch a fair bit from now on.

For a change of pace, we went back to the pan sear method for ribeye (I get the pan SUPER hot) and the results were nice but I have to say that we all liked the torched steaks better. We also cooked a nice thick ribeye using the Ducasse method -- the crust looked gorgeous but the consensus was that while the crust looked better than the torched steak, it actually was less tasty than the torched crust. And much more of the steak was 'overcooked' than sous-vide plus torch.

I wouldn't say that pork isn't worth the effort. I would say that if you are looking for transformation, you won't find it as much in pork as in other cuts (you might find it with pork belly or shoulder, but I haven't tried belly and my pork shoulder experiment was very good but nothing compared to my 14 hour slow smoked shoulders).

I agree with Merridith that sourcing seems even more critical than with beef. I also never cook pork sous-vide without brining first.

Good point...I do brine as well: a 7% salt 3% sugar brine is my favorite. I did cook belly twice and it was sublime - and transformed. I cooked it relatively high (80C) to get the fat softened, after first brining for 24 hours with aromatics. I took it from the bag and quick chilled it, cut it in cubes and then flash fried it to "brown and serve." It was sensational, decadent and DEFINITELY transformed. I used the bag juices, amended with reduced sweet cider, cider vinegar, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, and this made a fabulous sauce. Brine, formula is: 7–10% salt, 0–3% sugar, water solution (70–100 grams salt and 0–30 grams sugar per 1 liter).


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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Today, I am doing a sous vide boneless leg of lamb. I purchased this at Costco and it came with netting. Before sealing in my chamber vacuum, I seasoned the meat and put a bit of apple cider in the bag, but I did not remove the netting which surrounded the meat from the original package. What are your thoughts of about not removing the netting? Will this cause a flavor shift or other issues? Would you recommend the netting be taken off before searing? What are best practices? Any hints about your success with different times and temperatures?


"A cloud o' dust! Could be most anything. Even a whirling dervish.

That, gentlemen, is the whirlingest dervish of them all." - The Professionals by Richard Brooks

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On the pork subject, I find that tenderloin benefits from SV. Though I guess not in texture as I usually do them for relative short periods, but for consistency it is great. One thing I have found with tenderloins is that a minute or two too long on the grill and I have dried pork. It is not a bg deal when I am focused, but if we are entertaining, it is too easy to get distracted. With SV they are always fantastic. Like others, I put a little bacon grease into the bag (I am a good Southerner and have an old mayo jar full of BG). I finish in a hot cast iron skillet, but only b/c I have not bought a blow torch yet.

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Today, I am doing a sous vide boneless leg of lamb. I purchased this at Costco and it came with netting. Before sealing in my chamber vacuum, I seasoned the meat and put a bit of apple cider in the bag, but I did not remove the netting which surrounded the meat from the original package. What are your thoughts of about not removing the netting? Will this cause a flavor shift or other issues? Would you recommend the netting be taken off before searing? What are best practices? Any hints about your success with different times and temperatures?

I just SVed a delicious leg of lamb. My family much prefers meat in the well done range and so it went in at 70C/160F for 24hrs. This worked well. (In the past I have done it at temps down to 55C/130F also for about 24hrs and that worked fine for a more rare result. But one advantage of well done is that the plentiful fat becomes softer.) I don't see why the netting would be a problem since presumably it is the type designed to go into an oven to be roasted at much higher temps. Sometimes I've had beef with netting and left it on in the SV bag and noticed no ill effects.

By the way, the lamb I cooked was from New Zealand, and I noticed a little symbol that the meat was "halal". I wonder if NZ meatpackers automatically slaughter to halal rules for unbelievers and believers alike.

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      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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