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Guy MovingOn

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

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The temperature inside a dehydrator is not very uniform, in addition, the thermostat is most likely a bi-metal type and is highly inaccurate (+- 10 degrees or more).

In any case, it is to dehydrate, so you may be making jerkies if you cook meat long enough inside.

Moving air is a very good thermal conductor, I think.

dcarch

I was using a thermoworks thermometer, which according to the manufacturer is accurate within .4f. And according to that thermometer, my dehydrator was holding a temp to +/- 2f over the course of 3 hrs. So temp control doesn't seem to be an issue, although I haven't checked it in different spots within the unit to see if it's consistent across the area of whatever I'd be cooking.

What I'm not certain about are any potential health issues even if I maintain a temp above 130f since there's no plastic protecting the food.

If there aren't any issues, I'm gonna try it out on dry rub style ribs - kalbi or "traditional" american bbq - since one of the downsides of sous vide is that it always stays wet in the bag.

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My previous posting was based on the assumption that you would be putting the food in a vacuum bag and that you were hoping to use the dehydrator in place of a water bath. Health issues aside, if the food isn't in a bag, you are going to be dehydrating the food and won't get any of the sous-vide benefits.

Air of any sort is a terrible thermal conductor compared to water. That's why we use temperature-controlled water baths rather than PID-controlled toaster or roaster ovens.

The temperature inside a dehydrator is not very uniform, in addition, the thermostat is most likely a bi-metal type and is highly inaccurate (+- 10 degrees or more).

In any case, it is to dehydrate, so you may be making jerkies if you cook meat long enough inside.

Moving air is a very good thermal conductor, I think.

dcarch

I was using a thermoworks thermometer, which according to the manufacturer is accurate within .4f. And according to that thermometer, my dehydrator was holding a temp to +/- 2f over the course of 3 hrs. So temp control doesn't seem to be an issue, although I haven't checked it in different spots within the unit to see if it's consistent across the area of whatever I'd be cooking.

What I'm not certain about are any potential health issues even if I maintain a temp above 130f since there's no plastic protecting the food.

If there aren't any issues, I'm gonna try it out on dry rub style ribs - kalbi or "traditional" american bbq - since one of the downsides of sous vide is that it always stays wet in the bag.

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I was using a thermoworks thermometer, which according to the manufacturer is accurate within .4f. And according to that thermometer, my dehydrator was holding a temp to +/- 2f over the course of 3 hrs. So temp control doesn't seem to be an issue, although I haven't checked it in different spots within the unit to see if it's consistent across the area of whatever I'd be cooking.

What I'm not certain about are any potential health issues even if I maintain a temp above 130f since there's no plastic protecting the food.

If there aren't any issues, I'm gonna try it out on dry rub style ribs - kalbi or "traditional" american bbq - since one of the downsides of sous vide is that it always stays wet in the bag.

You might consider Heston Blumenthal's Steak with blue-cheese-infused butter and mushroom ketchup: after blow-torching the outside of the two-bone fore rib steak (=sterilizing), he keeps the steak in the oven at 50°C for 18 hours after core temperature has reached 50°C (which takes 4-8 hours!). This is well in the danger zone, so you have to be sure that your meat has not been jaccarded or otherwise punctured (which would bring surface contaminants to the inside of the meat), and you have to blow-torch the roasting tin, the tong with which you will grasp the meat, and the complete surface of the meat (there should be no clefts that you don't reach with the blowtorch), and the tip of the temperature probe (just fractions of a second!).

Temperature stability ±1°C is excellent for this purpose, see my earlier post in the context of the temperature stall discussion which has been relocated to a new topic.


Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

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I dislike making stock, but I like stock/broth. One of my problems is the "scant simmer" required to get the bones to release their good stuff. Since it is a lower than boil temperature process, I was wondering if people had made stock SV. I can think of arguments for and against, but haven't seen a recipe. (and searching this thread for stock doesn't really help)

Thanks....

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I bought a bernzomatic (sp?) MAPP self lighting torch from Home Depot as I needed for beef and couldn't wait to order the iwatani. I have been pretty happy, it works quickly, I can't imagine going much hotter. The flame has sort of two cones an inner bright whitish-blue and a more faint outer blue. The whiter flame is hotter, so my goal has been to keep the meat just out of range of the whiter flame and to keep it moving (sort of like spray painting). I can get a reasonable crust on one side of a filet mignon in roughly 45 seconds (I have not dried it first - which may speed up the process, but hard to imagine it going much quicker.) This might help you calibrate times.

What type of proteins are you cooking? In my opinion, torches are mostly useful for beef. They aren't so useful on poultry or pork (except perhaps very fatty cuts like ribs).

Using sugar will make matters worse. The reducing-sugar wash trick is for browning in pans to allow the browning to happen at a lower temperature than usually required.

I have never used MAPP gas, it is hard for me to imagine that there is much advantage in this context to using it over Propane or Butane. Personally, I think the Iwatani Butane torch is the way to go. It is inexpensive, powerful and has a very adjustable flame and the refill cartridges are cheap. I used to use Bernzomatic propane torch before switching to the Iwatani.

There is some practice required. I find that it is important to keep the torch moving back and forth over an area and far enough away from the meat that it doesn't burn the meat instantly. I start with the flame far away and move in and find the distance where if I move the torch back and forth I have control over how browned the meat gets.

Buy a propane torch, but use MAPP gas.

MAPP is similar to propane but it burns hotter, and has less of an issue with flavor transfer.

I prefer "self-lighting" or "trigger start" propane torches. They are about $50 - available at Amazon, or Home Depot.

Even better, in my view, are torches that give you a hose between the tank and the torch - they are much less tiring to hold. here is an example.

The non-self lighting torches are cheaper - less than $20.

I picked up a MAPP torch from Home Depot but haven't figured out how to achieve appealing browning on my SV proteins with it. The flame is so hot it burns surface irregularities before browning the overall surface. I've only used it 2-3 times so far, so I need to experiment a bit more with how far to hold it away from the food, how quickly to move it, etc. Perhaps drying the protein surface and/or coating with a light glucose solution would help. I'm also thinking about getting a flame spreader attachment. Does anyone have advice on technique using MAPP torches?

I'm also now wondering if the extra heat of the MAPP gas vs. propane is useful in culinary applications. If you have to hold the flame farther away or move it faster across the protein then it seems the extra heat is not really being taken advantage of. nathanm said something similar ("A propane torch is already hot enough that there is no increased utility in MAPP.") a few years back, but seems to prefer MAPP now. Perhaps there are some other advantages to MAPP?

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Can anyone report on torch effectiveness on turkey skin post-SV?

I haven't yet found an effective way to use a torch on poultry skin, and I have tried a lot. Of course, I may simply not have figured out the right technique. I have tried chicken, turkey and duck and tried various techniques and never succeeded in getting it right -- and it seems like others have consistently reported the same difficulty. The two techniques that I have found effective have been a quick trip under the broiler and (even better but more work) is a brief frying in a skillet with peanut oil.

I have read of people that are very happy with the results of pour-over frying but haven't tried it myself. It makes sense that it would work. The hot oil would only be in contact with the skin for a brief time. That would be enough to crisp the skin but not long enough transfer heat to the meat underneath it.

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I have read of people that are very happy with the results of pour-over frying but haven't tried it myself. It makes sense that it would work. The hot oil would only be in contact with the skin for a brief time. That would be enough to crisp the skin but not long enough transfer heat to the meat underneath it.

This makes a lot of sense. I've seen a fish cooked in this way and it is very effective.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

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I dislike making stock, but I like stock/broth. One of my problems is the "scant simmer" required to get the bones to release their good stuff. Since it is a lower than boil temperature process, I was wondering if people had made stock SV. I can think of arguments for and against, but haven't seen a recipe. (and searching this thread for stock doesn't really help)

Thanks....

Forget the vacuum-sealing part of sous vide, but apply the principles of LTLT (low-temperature/long-time) and the techniques for precise temperature stabilization used in SV cooking! A pot or roasting tin in an oven may work well, see Temperature stability with a water-pot in an electric convection oven. A rice-cooker or stock-pot controlled by a PID-controller may be ideal, as these cookers come with an easy-to-clean inner pot. You'd rather not soil an immersion circulator with stock.

For many valuable informations on stock making (more "why" than "how"), see On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee on page 598 ff (search "The Importance of a Cold Start and Uncovered, Slow Heating" for a preview).


Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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I have read of people that are very happy with the results of pour-over frying but haven't tried it myself. It makes sense that it would work. The hot oil would only be in contact with the skin for a brief time. That would be enough to crisp the skin but not long enough transfer heat to the meat underneath it.

This makes a lot of sense. I've seen a fish cooked in this way and it is very effective.

Makes sense to me, too. Might give a test run using a turkey breast in preparation for Thanksgiving. If I can find a quick way brown a SV turkey this year.....


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I dislike making stock, but I like stock/broth. One of my problems is the "scant simmer" required to get the bones to release their good stuff. Since it is a lower than boil temperature process, I was wondering if people had made stock SV. I can think of arguments for and against, but haven't seen a recipe. (and searching this thread for stock doesn't really help)

Thanks....

If you SV some meat or bones for stock, this is what I expect would happen:

(a) you won't get as much liquid released from the meat - a good thing if you want to eat the meat, a bad thing if you want to eat the stock!

(b) the soluble proteins given off by the meat won't coagulate at low temps, so you'll just have to boil the stock later to coagulate them and strain it anyway.

But I look forward to hearing what actually turns out.

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What type of proteins are you cooking? In my opinion, torches are mostly useful for beef. They aren't so useful on poultry or pork (except perhaps very fatty cuts like ribs).

So far I've used the MAPP torch on SV chicken (skinless breast, thigh) and seafood (shrimp chorizo); haven't tried it on beef yet. Maybe the lean protein is the issue -- perhaps a light coating of oil before torching would help even things out. If not then I'll just have to break down and sear on a hot skillet. One more thing to wash ...

I bought a bernzomatic (sp?) MAPP self lighting torch from Home Depot as I needed for beef and couldn't wait to order the iwatani. I have been pretty happy, it works quickly, I can't imagine going much hotter. The flame has sort of two cones an inner bright whitish-blue and a more faint outer blue. The whiter flame is hotter, so my goal has been to keep the meat just out of range of the whiter flame and to keep it moving (sort of like spray painting). I can get a reasonable crust on one side of a filet mignon in roughly 45 seconds (I have not dried it first - which may speed up the process, but hard to imagine it going much quicker.) This might help you calibrate times.

Thanks for the advice; I'll try your technique on my next filet!

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It seems to me that the biggest problem I have with poultry skin is rendering the fat underneath and gelatinizing the collagen, rather than the crisping of the surface. Turkey skin is pretty tough and leathery (lots of collagen) unless you do something to convert it, and then it can be crisped successfully.... The problem is how to cook the skin long enough to convert the collagen without killing the meat underneath. I haven't found a solution yet, other than removing the skin and treating it separately - that seems to be the consensus here so far. Pour-over frying works pretty well at rendering some of the fat and crisping, but it's a real pain in the neck as hot oil splatters all over the place and it still doesn't do a completely effective job. 2 years ago, for thanksgiving, I did a turkey breast ballantine (with the skin on) that I tried browning the skin in a hot pan. The legs/thighs were done confit style and the skin from the confit was crisped between two sheet pans in a hot oven. The results: at the end of the night, when cleaning the plates, just about all had finished the white meat ballantine, but left the skin on the side. The crisped thigh/leg skin was completely gone, as well as the confit.

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Heat tolerant aquarium pumps for forced circulation in sous vide cookers

JanK mentioned the March 809 pump at over 100$.

Patrik Svensson promised to test the Eheim 600 pump (28$ plus 8$ S&H) at 80°C, but I could not find a post with his result.

I just found this: DC 6V Mini Submersible Water Pump 35 GPH (P-32A) at 14$ plus 10$ S&H.

Specifications are:

Noise: <=35dBA/10cm

Working temperature: -35C ~ +80C

Service life: 26000 hours up

Did anyone try this pump?


Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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i have recently been working at a private club in which we have two poly science ciculators and use them for EVERYTHING.....the latest venture has been the 55 min egg in which you submerge the egg (no bag neccesary) in a water bath held at 146.4 degrees farenheit for 55 to 65 minutes detemined by your preference what this allows is the the albumen or (white) which contains all the protein and begins to coagulate between 144 and 149, now the yolk on the other hand contains all the fat and lecithen(thickening agent in eggs)and it coagulates between 149 and 158 now by cooking the egg at a constant temprature that stradels these two temprature ranges you get an egg that the white has been cooked slightly leaving it tender with almost the texture of the perect poached egg and the yolk has begun to take on a almost custard like texture very creamy and rich and the time has alowed us to bring out the very essence of the eggs flavor which is why i highly recomend this for duck eggs or a nice local free range egg that will hold its own the the flavor department

the process as we discussed earlier covers the cooking of the egg now the egg should be cooled in an ice bath immediatly if not going to be consumed right away it takes ten minutes to reheat using the same procedure

extraction lightly tap the egg with the back of the spoon then gently dump e egg in a bowl there will be a part of the egg white which will fall off leaving a beautifull round glossy egg then scoop it up with a spoon and use it how you like

this is a must try for anyone who loves foodsousvideegg1.jpg

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This is a reworking of a breakfast classic steak and eggs as far as the tecnique ,absolutely leave the egg in the shell it is natures gift.as for the dish it a buffalo new york strip steak that has been pan seared and finished with salt pepper and lemon juice. Sitting on the steak is a yukon gold potatoe"boat" that has been steemed the hollowed out and fried which acts as a cradel for the egg.Thin slices of jalapeno(the ones in the pic are sloppy sorry) for a garnish and the green liquid is a chive oil. At our restaraunt we serve this as a dinner appetizer and its a fun dish that really get the palate rolling.

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well as far as the sv stock option i wouldnt know where to begin but a while ago a friend of mine shared a technique with me that he had been taught to him while working at a Charlie Trotter restaraunt in vegas now what the do there to avoid trying to capture the ever ellusive perfect simmer they build the stock as usual mirepoix bones sachet more mirepoix wine and pincage tomatoe now in the initial build the stock is treated as normal and it goes for a much shorter time say four hours for beef bones adding the veggies at about the 2 and a half mark then the sachet for say an 45 to an hour this is to avoid bitterness from the veggies and the herbs as they breakdown now then the stock is strained the bones picked out and re added to the liquid now they place the stock in an oven at about 200 degrees depending on the unit if you braise in it you know what temp to use but the they allow the stock to cook in the oven this way uncovered for 6 to 8 even over night of course adding another round of mirepoix and herbs before removing depending on desired results now the ending product my friend is a rich well developed stock that will blow you away the only downside i found is the ending result can be preety spendy and we only ever used it for sauce production the other issue i had is i dont get to skim as much as i would like too but try it the result will change your mind about stock production

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I would just go traditional with stock, SV can get a little out of hand when tradition is the best road to take. I actually only use chicken bones and water to make my chicken stock, same with all others (only the bones) it's a clean flavor.

Epicureanrebel, you obviously have a lot to contribute but would you mind cleaning up your grammar a bit? Your posts are a little hard for me to read. Welcome!


Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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sure thing Boss, I just get a litle excited and begin to ramble,hahaha thanks for the welcome.Spencer's pantry is a unique concept ,I had thought about doing something similar. Looks like it is treating you well? Talk soon.

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This won't help Pedro as I believe he is in Europe, but those in Western Canada might find this useful

Princess Auto 12V Bilge Pump for $15

4270013.jpg

(Sorry for the big picture. Can't find a way to post the smaller version.)

It doesn't have a temperature rating on it, but I've been using it for months now and it has been working great. It says it runs from 4.5-12V, but I run it all the way down to 1.5V. This reduces pump noise and still gives more than enough water circulation in my slow cooker. It also uses much less current at this voltage so I can use a wall wart to power it. I use a 3/8" piece of hose to get the water from the pump intake at one end of the cooker to the other end. The pump is nice and small, too. Absolutely perfect for SV.

By the way, this is my first post after lurking for a few months. As an engineer, I've been impressed by the science and the level of precision I've read in this thread. I hope I can contribute in a small way.

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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).

How long do you cook the pork belly at 80C?

Would 20 hours be too long?

Thanks,

Edward

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Not sure if the brining would affect timing, but my favourite pork belly setting, gleaned from various postings on this very thread, is 78-80°C for 10-12 hours. The fat melts, the meat gets stunningly tender and all's right with the world.

Based on the texture of mine, I think anything over 12 hours at that temperature would certainly be too long.


Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

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I've done stock a couple of times using SV equipment. Don't want to call it SV, since in at least one case there was no plastic bag at all - simply the "low and slow" heating method. Yesterday I did duck stock using a rice cooker and a Ranco ETC controller (the bang-bang variety, not a PID). I set the controller for 202F and left the duck carcass (which I had roasted previously), the carrots, onions and celery, the herbs, and the water to simmer for about 8 hours. Using the controller, I was able to maintain a nice super-low simmer for as long as I wanted, even though with this particular setup I get about a 5 degree variation in temp. Turned out great!

Normally I use a much larger, well insulated container (28 Qt) with a 300W heat source and the same controller. With that setup, I can maintain temps within about 1 degree F, which I find is just fine for everything I've ever tried. My equipment is very basic - a plastic tub inside of an old styrofoam cooler, the Ranco controller, an aquarium bubbler, and two different heat sources. I use a 1200W water heater element ($8 at Home Depot) to bring the temp up initially, then switch to the 300W element to maintain the temps. The one downside of this controller is that it has a slow response time, and when a powerful heating element is used, it can overshoot significantly, which is why I switch to the smaller element after the water has reached close to the desired temp. The smaller heating element is actually one of those thingies designed for heating up cups of water when you are traveling. I got it for about $6 at the local hardware store. The whole setup is ugly as sin, but it works! There's plenty of room for cooking multiple items or big hunks of meat.

I'll take some pics of it if anybody is interested in seeing what it looks like.

I picked up the rice cooker at a garage sale for a few bucks a couple of weeks ago, so I've been trying it out just for grins.

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