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Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment, 2011


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have any SV-ers here had 'bag failure' due to too high a water bath temp? this was mentioned in MC and wondered

what brand do you use? have they 'melted?'

i decided on the Weston system

http://www.amazon.com/Weston-65-0201-Pro-2300-Vacuum-Sealer/dp/B001GP81R2

rather than FoodSaver after seeing an America's Test Kitchen ep. on this and freezer burn. the Weston bags are said to be thicker and did not get freezer burn. i buy green coffee from Sweet Maria's and though this feature would be worth it to me to store GB's in the freezer for at least a year.

Im trying veg. now for the first time. there were some wonderfull small carrots in the farmers market today so they will get the SV later today about 175.

I did see a recipe in MC ( maybe for squid? ) that took the bath up to 195. Hot Hot Hot.

i emailed weston and they said they dont SV but not to take their bags above 200.

does anyone use the weston system? in your system have you had bag failure due to tem?

many thanks

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I've had a couple of bag failures, but nothing I could blame on temperature.

I've done vegetables (carrots, baby turnips) at 85°C (185°F) in FoodSaver bags without a problem. Would the FoodSaver struggle to seal thicker bags?

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
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... Would the FoodSaver struggle to seal thicker bags?

People are missing important info when they just talk about "the FoodSaver".

There is a vast difference in s-v suitability between different models made by FoodSaver Inc.

I had a V475.

I now (still) have a V2860 - bought new on clearance.

Chalk and cheese difference for sous vide.

The V2860 has a much wider (and more secure) seal, with a 'damp' setting (for longer sealing time) - and has happily handled all the various bags I have tried.

The V475 was one-button-full-auto-only, whereas the V2860 can both pump (at variable speeds) and seal under manual control -- which makes it perfectly workable for bagging liquids/sauces/etc.

All FoodSaver machines are 'clamp-type' rather than chamber machines, and so need embossed bags.

My expectation would be that any high-end FoodSaver-branded machine should work happily with any reputable embossed bags.

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

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Made Ice cream base yesterday, could not have been easier. Whizz all ingredients in blender, then 20 minutes at 82C. It will even hold for a week+ so you can churn at will!

Mike

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Just thought I'd share a post sous vide cooking technique with you that I used on pork belly yesterday.

I cooked it sous vide al a Thomas Keller at around 82C for 12 hours then chilled in ice water. Interestingly, this allowed me to pour off the "porkmazome' that was still liquid and remove the meat from the now congealed fat. The fat I then microwaved to liquify it again and strained into ice cubes to use as rendered pork fat in later dishes. Following Keller's advice, I trimmed the belly and removed the skin and most of the top layer of fat. I then cut the belly into serving sized pieces. So far this follows a conventional approach. Keller's recommendation is to fry it on all sides until it is browned and serve it. As I wanted to serve it with a choucroute à l'alsacienne I realised that the dish would need a bit of crunch. So here's the variant. I crumbed the now refrigerated pork belly and deep-fried it for service. Both my wife and I thought this was the best way we have tasted sous-vide cooked pork belly so far.

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
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Nick, that is how David Chang (Momofuku) does his pork belly and it is amazing. The sugar in his

Marinade really makes for a crunchy finish which frying really enhances.

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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Tonight we tried sous vide brisket. It was about 2lb 6 ozs after trimming all the fat away (and it was extremely lean to begin with). Sous vide at 130F for 44 hours - no seasoning in the bag, just the meat. Then a quick sear on the BBQ:

The whole piece after searing:

brisket-whle.jpg

And after slicing:

brisket-sliced-2.jpg

We ate it plain, no sauce, just with salt and pepper. It wasn't dry but not real juicy either. It was tender for brisket, but not meltingly tender as I had hoped. The taste was, well, brisket. Nothing amazing. When we eat the leftovers I plan to make a mushroom sauce.

Mark

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Tonight we tried sous vide brisket. It was about 2lb 6 ozs after trimming all the fat away (and it was extremely lean to begin with). Sous vide at 130F for 44 hours - no seasoning in the bag, just the meat. Then a quick sear on the BBQ:

.....

We ate it plain, no sauce, just with salt and pepper. It wasn't dry but not real juicy either. It was tender for brisket, but not meltingly tender as I had hoped. The taste was, well, brisket. Nothing amazing. When we eat the leftovers I plan to make a mushroom sauce.

Hi Mark,

thank you for reporting your experiment!

  • Temperature: 130°F/54.4°C is at the edge of microbiological safety and not recommended if you did not calibrate your Sous Vide Supreme against a calibrated reference thermometer, and it is very low from an enzymatic point of view. I did brisket 55°C/48h so far, but lately I experienced somewhat disappointing tenderness, so I plan to go 1-2°C higher in the future. See also the sous vide page in wikiGullet.
  • Fat: Buying extremely lean meat is buying tasteless meat, and trimming the residual fat away is trimming the last bit of taste away. Why low fat, I think you prefer low carb? Fat as a lubricant enhances taste and felt juiciness, see MC 3•18.
  • Juiciness and tenderness: juiciness at first bite comes from the water contained in the meat, but juiciness on continued chewing comes from the saliva provoked by spices, marinades, sauces, fat and Maillard reaction products. Brisket loses about 20% liquid during 48h cooking (maybe 10% in dry aged meat); this liquid is for the sauce, not for the sink. I almost always marinate my meat with acid marinade for more taste and tenderness and microbiological safety (pH<4.1). Note that thick tendons may not be gelatinized by collagenase as collagenase sits in the sarcoplasm (the cytoplasm of muscle cells) and has a long way to travel into thick tendons.
  • Searing: heat transfer is quickest and most even in a screaming hot skillet with smoking rice bran oil (smoke point around 247°C) or other high smoke point oil, e.g. grape seed oil. I cut brisket either into individual portions or into cubes before searing, exposing more surface to the Maillard reaction for taste.

With relish

Pedro

Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

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have any SV-ers here had 'bag failure' due to too high a water bath temp? this was mentioned in MC and wondered

what brand do you use? have they 'melted?'

i decided on the Weston system

rather than FoodSaver after seeing an America's Test Kitchen ep. on this and freezer burn. the Weston bags are said to be thicker and did not get freezer burn. i buy green coffee from Sweet Maria's and though this feature would be worth it to me to store GB's in the freezer for at least a year.

i emailed weston and they said they dont SV but not to take their bags above 200.

does anyone use the weston system? in your system have you had bag failure due to tem?

many thanks

I have been using these bags in my Foodsaver 2460 with excellent results. They have a mesh strip down the middle which helps control liquid migration to the pump and they are almost half the cost of the Weston's and 1/3 the cost of Foodsaver bags. I have used them up to 85C with not a single failure.

Edited by paulpegg (log)

Paul Eggermann

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Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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Sous Vide and the Smoking Gun

Although I cook virtually all of my meat, and most vegetables (especially corn) sous vide, there is one thing missing from the outdoor BBQ, and that is the smoke-flavor that comes from a charcoal grill.

Since I just received my new PolyScience "Smoking Gun," I thought it would be useful to try to add some smoke to a nice thick rib-eye we were having for dinner.

The steak was cooked in my usual way, at 120F/50C for a couple of hours, then seared with a very hot Le Creuset panini grill and press to produce a cross-hatch pattern. I had previously spritzed the steak with a glucose solution plus some olive oil to enhance the Maillard reaction -- I don't oil the skillet and especially the top press, because it tends to flame too much if I have to heat it up again.

Once the steaks were done, I covered them on a dinner plate with a large glass bowl, inverted, while I fired up the Smoking Gun. Then I inserted the tube under the bowl, and filled it with smoke from hickory chips.

(In the process, I also imbued the kitchen, my clothes, and my face with some smoke, despite having the exhaust fan over the stove cranked up all the way, so maybe next time I'll do this on the porch, or outside.)

The resulting overall taste and aroma was quite satisfying, and went well with the smoky Bloody Mary I had mixed earlier. I had had similar subtle but good results the previous evening with a smoky spinach salad, as per the PolyScience video.

Compared to reviews of the Smoking Gun in eGullet from 2008-2009, this unit seems much improved. At least the bowl is no longer made out of wood, and although I haven't done it yet, it appears that the bowl and mesh should be relatively easy to clean.

However, although perhaps I didn't use enough of the hickory chips and tamp it down firmly enough, I only got about 20-30 seconds of smoke, and had to fill it and light it again for the second steak. I've now learned to use a long candle lighter -- a cigarette lighter held upside down just gets too hot.

But my main complaint is with the plastic stand that holds the gun. It is just light weight plastic, and several times I have had the unit fall over and dump smoldering particles on the kitchen counter. Not only is that annoying, it is also potentially dangerous. I'm going to have to see if I can find some thick metal, or perhaps a small but thick piece of ceramic tile, and glue it to the base to give it better stability.

Three stars out of five, so far.

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Just thought I'd share a post sous vide cooking technique with you that I used on pork belly yesterday.

Exactly how I do it. Though after I shock it in ice I place a sheet pan with a little bit of weight so when I cut it into portions It comes out nice, flat and purdy.

5940093393_f985808995_z.jpg

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

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

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Just thought I'd share a post sous vide cooking technique with you that I used on pork belly yesterday.

Exactly how I do it. Though after I shock it in ice I place a sheet pan with a little bit of weight so when I cut it into portions It comes out nice, flat and purdy.

5940093393_f985808995_z.jpg

Looks great and I will try this but I actually crumbed mine with Panko breadcrumbs and then deep fried it (is that what you call breaded?).

Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

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I agree with PedroG's points, but in addition I would suggest cooking your brisket for 72 hours.

Bob

72 hours is what Modernist Cuisine recommends. But liquid loss increases with time (and also with temperature). I could not find any scientific paper quantifying the relation between time and liquid loss, time and enzymatic conversion of collagen to gelatin, temperature and liquid loss, temperature and enzymatic conversion of collagen to gelatin. This would answer the question whether it is better to increase cooking time or cooking temperature (in the range from 55°C to 60°C) for increased collagen gelatinization with minimal increase of liquid loss. Who will do the experiment?

Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

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Checking out the bacon post in Nick Reynold's great foodblog, I realized that I've been using SV to finish bacon after smoking: just pop it in a bag and heat through to 65C, then ice it down and put it in the fridge for later slicing -- or freeze it as one piece.

Hi Chris,

I've got some pork belly which was dry cured over the last 8 days and is now rinsed and drying in racks in the fridge. I plan to smoke it tomorrow @ 65C (150F) in my Bradley smoker controlled by a Sous Vide Magic PID. The Ruhlman & Polcyn book suggests smoking for 2-3 hours at that temp, but MC suggests 7 hours. I was going to try smoking for 4 hours and holding it in the smoker at 65C for a further 3 hours.

I wonder if I should just do the smoking part and then bag it and cook it SV. Have you done a comparison of the methods? What time did you cook the bacon SV for?

What I would like to do given I have 3 pieces of belly is to smoke them for 4 hours and remove 2 from the smoker keeping one in for another 3 hours. Of the 2 removed one would be cooled and sliced as is, and the second bagged and cooked SV @ 65C for ? hours. The only problem with drawing a final conclusion is that 2 pieces came from the same pig and the other piece from a totally different butcher - so the raw material difference could cause me to draw incorrect conclusions. Maybe the controlled test should wait until I have equal samples?

I'd appreciate your feedback,

Cheers,

Peter.

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Hi Peter,

I wonder if I should just do the smoking part and then bag it and cook it SV. Have you done a comparison of the methods? What time did you cook the bacon SV for?

I haven't done a comparison and would be very interested to read about yours! As for cooking the bacon SV, I don't time it precisely, since I just want to get it to temp and can hold it there a bit longer. Plus it's usually warm going in. So... maybe 90m?

Chris Amirault

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Looks great and I will try this but I actually crumbed mine with Panko breadcrumbs and then deep fried it (is that what you call breaded?).

Ohhh you deep fried. Yeah that would be awesome

ScottyBoy, how did you brown/crisp your pork belly? I have a problem sometimes with it sticking to my pan. The bits that stick to the pan taste amazing but it mars the presentation. Yours looks lovely.

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I agree with PedroG's points, but in addition I would suggest cooking your brisket for 72 hours.

Bob

72 hours is what Modernist Cuisine recommends. But liquid loss increases with time (and also with temperature). I could not find any scientific paper quantifying the relation between time and liquid loss, time and enzymatic conversion of collagen to gelatin, temperature and liquid loss, temperature and enzymatic conversion of collagen to gelatin. This would answer the question whether it is better to increase cooking time or cooking temperature (in the range from 55°C to 60°C) for increased collagen gelatinization with minimal increase of liquid loss. Who will do the experiment?

I have generally been disappointed with brisket. (I have had a few that were awe-inspiring but most have been very good but nowhere near as succulent as short ribs). But I am now wondering if cooking it, and letting it rest for half an our or an hour at room temperature followed by searing might let some of those juices re-absorb into the meat. We tried that last weekend with tri-tip and it was the most succulent that we have done yet. We weren't able to do a proper scientific experiment but anecdotally, it seemed more perfect than usual. Granted, tri-tip has never been disappointing (only 7 to 8 hours at 133F) but this seemed stellar. It was inspired by the discussion of the Ideas-in-Food people recommending resting before re-warming and searing.

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I agree with PedroG's points, but in addition I would suggest cooking your brisket for 72 hours.

Bob

72 hours is what Modernist Cuisine recommends. But liquid loss increases with time (and also with temperature). I could not find any scientific paper quantifying the relation between time and liquid loss, time and enzymatic conversion of collagen to gelatin, temperature and liquid loss, temperature and enzymatic conversion of collagen to gelatin. This would answer the question whether it is better to increase cooking time or cooking temperature (in the range from 55°C to 60°C) for increased collagen gelatinization with minimal increase of liquid loss. Who will do the experiment?

I have generally been disappointed with brisket. (I have had a few that were awe-inspiring but most have been very good but nowhere near as succulent as short ribs). But I am now wondering if cooking it, and letting it rest for half an our or an hour at room temperature followed by searing might let some of those juices re-absorb into the meat. We tried that last weekend with tri-tip and it was the most succulent that we have done yet. We weren't able to do a proper scientific experiment but anecdotally, it seemed more perfect than usual. Granted, tri-tip has never been disappointing (only 7 to 8 hours at 133F) but this seemed stellar. It was inspired by the discussion of the Ideas-in-Food people recommending resting before re-warming and searing.

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I originally posted this message to the Modernist Cuisine thread, but I think it probably belongs here instead.

First, I must state I have never cooked anything sous-vide (yet), but getting ready to try it.

I was looking at the sous vide table for slabs in MC (2-279) and reminded me of long exposure tables for photography :)

It would be rather fun to have the thickness expressed in terms of "Meat-Stop" increments: 1, 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4... etc. And perhaps in 1/3 meat-stops :) or 1/2 meat-stops increments!

For instance, 1cm is M/1 meat stop, 2 cm is M/2 meat-stops. The distance between M/1 and M/2 is 2 meat stops :) so if it takes 6minutes to cook at M/1, then it would take 12 at M/1.4, and 24 at M/2, 48 at M/2.8, 96 at M/4, etc (that

would be row \Delta 80).

In fact, if we think in terms of meat-stops we only need to have a table for M/1 at every \DeltaT, and we can compute the time for any other Meat-stop.

which begs the question, how much "meat-stop" time would be considered within a safe error margin before overcooking/undercooking? 1/3 meat-stop? Perhaps, like in the old days, we should say: when in doubt, overexpose (overcook :)

--dmg

Edited by dmg (log)
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ScottyBoy, how did you brown/crisp your pork belly?

After I press it and take it out of the bag I trim the top layer of fat so it's flat. Then just a medium high cast iron with oil. Start on the skin side, flip and turn the heat off to let it warm through.

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

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

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ScottyBoy, how did you brown/crisp your pork belly?

After I press it and take it out of the bag I trim the top layer of fat so it's flat. Then just a medium high cast iron with oil. Start on the skin side, flip and turn the heat off to let it warm through.

Thanks. So, you are leaving the skin on?

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