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Qwerty

Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment, 2011

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When you try to find optimal PID-tuning values, you may consider the paragraph I contributed to Frank Hsu's PID Tuning Guide:

Pedro,

Thank you for the link to the guide for tuning a PID. It is the first time I have seen such a lucid and comprehensive article on this subject. My big cooler has been working just fine but now I will fine tune it according to the article.

Hi Paul,

Thank you for the flowers, which I pass on to the main author Frank Hsu and the other co-authors Robert Jueneman and Peter Black.

The authors might eventually work on an updated version of the PID tuning guide. If anyone has any suggestions, please PM me.

BTW: is your big cooler really 75 liters?

Regards

Pedro


Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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[

BTW: is your big cooler really 75 liters?

Regards

Pedro

No, I filled it two days ago and it holds 55 liters. The 1000 Watt heater kicks it up about 1C every two minutes.

I just did a 48 hr Momofuku Short Ribs preparation and they came out FANTASTIC! I used your method of sealing wet stuff in a Foodsaver, double sealed the bags and then double bagged them. There was a little air in the interior bags so I weighed the outside bags down with some glass beads (I am a stained glass artist from 30 years ago). 48 hrs at 60C and they came out perfect. The bags did not float and the outer bags did not leak, nor did the inner bags. My guests just left muttering that they have to learn about sous vide!

Thanks for all that you do.

Paul


Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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...

So far I've made 4 beef dishes with cook times of 24-48 hours at 56-60C. Two were short ribs following the Momfuku recipe which includes a flavorful marinade in the bag. These turned out spectacularly well both times. The other two where boneless short ribs and bone-in chuck roast, each time seasoned with just salt & pepper before going into the bag. In both of these cases the smell of the juices/meat coming out the bag was...unappetizing to say the least. It didn't smell exactly spoiled or rotten; just off somehow. The meat came from different sources (Costco short ribs; grain-fed chuck roast from a local farm) and were prepared at different times. I confirmed bath temperature each time with a Thermapen. The prep conditions were sanitary and meat kept cold until entering bath and consumed within 30 minutes of leaving the bath. The bags hadn't puffed up or leaked. I ended up eating the meat in both cases and felt no ill effects. The meat itself tasted OK, especially after being torched & seasoned. The main issue really is just the smell of the meat when it comes out the bag.

Has anyone else experienced this kind of bag odor with non-marinated beef? Are marinades for SV beef important to have a more appetizing aroma? Could this smell really be some sort of spoilage and I'm just lucky I didn't get sick?

.....

I have never experienced this and have done a lot of 48 to 72 hour cooks at 132F -- however -- a few people have mentioned it in the past. I don't know if the culprit was definitively identified by I seem to recall that there is a non-toxic organism that can produce this sort of off-taste -- and even if it is killed by cooking eventually, it may thrive as the meat gets up to pasteurization temp.

It could be that the place where they butcher the meat has that organism (was it a malo-lactic sort of bacteria?) Or, it could be on your cutting board. If it happens with meat from multiple purveyors, it is probably in your kitchen.

In any case, you can take care of it by either dunking the bag briefly in boiling water OR pre-searing the meat to sterilize the outside.

Do a search for 'lactic' in the old Sous-Vide thread and you will find out more about this. Perhaps it is covered in the index.

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Holy crap - http://makeprojects.com/Project/Sous-Vide-Immersion-Cooker/471/1

I'm ordering the parts and building this!

Take a look at my version of this approach. I didn't care for having all the electronics in a plexiglas box directly over the water bath and wanted to be able to plug in different size heaters and multiple circulators. I spent a few bucks more since the heater is larger and I bought the PID from Canada with relatively high shipping costs. There is also no soldering to be done in my approach. I can have the control box on a counter and the water bath on the floor or in a large sink. I usually put the stock pot in a large sink in the basement and the cooler on the floor. This doesn't need to be in the kitchen at all.


Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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...

Has anyone else experienced this kind of bag odor with non-marinated beef? Are marinades for SV beef important to have a more appetizing aroma? Could this smell really be some sort of spoilage and I'm just lucky I didn't get sick?

...

Do a search for 'lactic' in the old Sous-Vide thread and you will find out more about this. Perhaps it is covered in the index.

Thanks for the pointer! I actually had read all of the old thread's posts many months ago when first getting into sous vide but didn't recall that topic until you reminded me. The smell could indeed be coming from surface bacteria reproducing as the meat warms from refrigerator temp to bath temp. The next time I do long-cooked beef I'll dunk the bag briefly into boiling water before going into the bath and see if that helps.


Edited by Borgstrom (log)

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Holy crap - http://makeprojects.com/Project/Sous-Vide-Immersion-Cooker/471/1

I'm ordering the parts and building this!

Take a look at my version of this approach. I didn't care for having all the electronics in a plexiglas box directly over the water bath and wanted to be able to plug in different size heaters and multiple circulators. I spent a few bucks more since the heater is larger and I bought the PID from Canada with relatively high shipping costs. There is also no soldering to be done in my approach. I can have the control box on a counter and the water bath on the floor or in a large sink. I usually put the stock pot in a large sink in the basement and the cooler on the floor. This doesn't need to be in the kitchen at all.

I prefer Paul's approach. The Marshalltown 742G Bucket Water Heater plus the cables of the pump and the temperature probe are less bulky on the water surface of the container, allowing to use a cover with only a small notch to prevent evaporation (which is important in LTLT cooking), and the electronics are away from the moisture in the bath.

If the aquarium pump should quit service when you cook at 60°C or above, you might consider a heat tolerating pump, see my post in the old SV topic (it's 6V, so you need a power adaptor). And as Paul stated, you are more flexible with the PID-controller in a separate box. As for the temperature probe, I should recommend one with a long mantle tube, so the junction with the cable does not have to be submersed.


Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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Regarding custards, is it:

a) possible to cook them via sous vide method

b) safe to do so

Custards are not too difficult by conventional means, but assuming the oven or range elements are all tied up, can it be done? If it were, I suspect it wouldn't be sous vide so much as simply heating in a controlled water bath, since the custards cannot be sealed.

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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.

Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Holy crap - http://makeprojects.com/Project/Sous-Vide-Immersion-Cooker/471/1

I'm ordering the parts and building this!

Take a look at my version of this approach. I didn't care for having all the electronics in a plexiglas box directly over the water bath and wanted to be able to plug in different size heaters and multiple circulators. I spent a few bucks more since the heater is larger and I bought the PID from Canada with relatively high shipping costs. There is also no soldering to be done in my approach. I can have the control box on a counter and the water bath on the floor or in a large sink. I usually put the stock pot in a large sink in the basement and the cooler on the floor. This doesn't need to be in the kitchen at all.

I prefer Paul's approach. The Marshalltown 742G Bucket Water Heater plus the cables of the pump and the temperature probe are less bulky on the water surface of the container, allowing to use a cover with only a small notch to prevent evaporation (which is important in LTLT cooking), and the electronics are away from the moisture in the bath.

If the aquarium pump should quit service when you cook at 60°C or above, you might consider a heat tolerating pump, see my post in the old SV topic (it's 6V, so you need a power adaptor). And as Paul stated, you are more flexible with the PID-controller in a separate box. As for the temperature probe, I should recommend one with a long mantle tube, so the junction with the cable does not have to be submersed.

The thing though is I already have the Auber PID/rice cooker setup. I'm looking for something more compact and love projects like these...also I love that it doesn't cost $800 like the Sous Vide Professional

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As my first post on this site I'd like to say thank you for all the useful advice posted in this thread. I have read quite a bit about it while deciding what to buy. I've decided to get into sous vide as I love to cook, and I already had half the equipment - a chamber vacuum.

With that said, any idea why the warranty on the sousvide professional is only 1 year? This is the only reason I didn't get it straight away - I ordered a sousvide supreme demi. I figure if I love the method and run out of space in the SVSD I can always order or build an immersion circulator later and have two water baths. (Good idea? Bad idea? Useful at all? I have 30 days to return the demi...)

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POH

I also began with a chamber vacuum before I purchased a Sous Vide Supreme a bit over a year ago when they came to market. I imagine their warranty is like so many companies in that they pick a sufficient time to cover the machine during the period when most issues arise. More important than the warranty written on a piece of paper is how the customer service approaches problems and issues. From what I have read here, their customer service department seems to be most helpful and quick to send new machines if a problem is discovered. My SVS has worked perfectly from day one so I have not had to call the company.

Personally, I would not trade my SVS for anything. It has worked well, exceeded my expectations and continues to be a part of my weekly cooking. Subsequently, I did buy a second machine which is a Sous Vide Professional from Polyscience. The advantage in having two whether it be two Demis, a Demi and a Sous Vide Supreme or a Demi and a SVP is that you can do foods at two different temperatures. For example, you can do proteins at 135F in one and a vegetable at 185F in the other so each can be finished and on the table together for your meal. You will be able to add a second Demi and probably be under the cost of buying the SVP. Also having two machines allows you to scale up when doing more items for a dinner.

Keep the Demi, you will find it spends more time on your counter, plugged in and working than many of your other kitchen appliances!


"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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Thanks for the response! Glad to hear from someone who has both a SVS and a SVP that both can be useful. Vegetables and protein separately was what I had in mind with two systems.

My concerns on the warranty were regarding the professional. Immersion circulators seem more delicate to me than a SVS. (Maybe this is incorrect?) I was hesitant to spend $800 on the SVP with only a 1 year warranty, but not with the SVSD which also only has a 1 year warranty. Maybe illogical on my part. :)

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My regular salad is what I am currently growing so right now a lot of winter veg. I pack them all with a little butter, salt and with the carrots a pinch of sugar. All at 180F Cauliflower 8 minutes, sliced purple carrots 12 minutes, toybox carrots 15 minutes and baby parsnips for 18. Dressed with preserved meyer lemon, honey mustard and champange vinegar dressing. I've dried out the bull's blood beets amd ground it into a powder. In a seperate bed I plant sprouts of all the things I am currently growing.

In this application SV works so well at preserving the flavor of each, not to boil in a large pot of water. The bright dressing just gives the right amount of zing and the beet dust brings that earthy flavor.

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

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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I pack them all with a little butter, salt and with the carrots a pinch of sugar. All at 180F Cauliflower 8 minutes, sliced purple carrots 12 minutes, toybox carrots 15 minutes and baby parsnips for 18.

How "cooked" is the end result? My guess is that these short times are leaving the veggies hot but crunchy - is that about right? (The end result looks/sounds great!)

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They are all a little crunchy. Whats great about this is I get them all at relatively the same texture. Cauliflower is the shortest obviously but baby parsnips are surprisingly tough and need the longest looking time. I would say they are cooked "al dente" there is very little if any raw in the middle but they still have a nice firm mouth feel

Oh I missed the "hot" part. No I shock them all in ice water then wash off the poaching liquid and spin dry them. Served at room temperature.


Edited by ScottyBoy (log)

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

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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I got a Sous Vide Magic for Christmas which I'm using to control a slow cooker. This weekend I had my first go at cooking something for a very long time: 2 ox cheeks, one with a Porcini rub similar to the one Chris Amirault suggested recently for short ribs, the other in a beer marinade.

The first cheek was cooked at 60C for 33 hours by the end of which time there was obviously some gas in the bag and a slightly cheesy smell. It didn't smell off as such, so we ate it and it was very nice but the cheesy smell lingered for some time afterwards. I assume that I was unlucky enough to get some thermophilic bacteria in the bag and in future I should probably recognise this and bin the food straight away.

My question really is whether there are any steps I can take to minimise the chance of this happening again?

The other cheek I left in for another 12 hours then chilled down in ice and is currently sitting in the fridge for a day or two. It doesn't look like I've any problem with that one.

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I got a Sous Vide Magic for Christmas which I'm using to control a slow cooker. This weekend I had my first go at cooking something for a very long time: 2 ox cheeks, one with a Porcini rub similar to the one Chris Amirault suggested recently for short ribs, the other in a beer marinade.

The first cheek was cooked at 60C for 33 hours by the end of which time there was obviously some gas in the bag and a slightly cheesy smell. It didn't smell off as such, so we ate it and it was very nice but the cheesy smell lingered for some time afterwards. I assume that I was unlucky enough to get some thermophilic bacteria in the bag and in future I should probably recognise this and bin the food straight away.

My question really is whether there are any steps I can take to minimise the chance of this happening again?

The other cheek I left in for another 12 hours then chilled down in ice and is currently sitting in the fridge for a day or two. It doesn't look like I've any problem with that one.

Hi Duncan --

There was some discussion on this last year but as I recall, the advice was to do a quick dunk (30 sec) in 180 deg F water to quickly kill off any surface pathogens. I did that with some short ribs that were suspect and did end up tossing them in the trash after cooking as the smell lingered, but that was mostly my fault for keeping the meat far longer than I should have before bagging it.

Mostly now I try to bag quickly, and always do a smell test before bagging.

Keep experimenting!


Edited by stomsf (log)

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I got a Sous Vide Magic for Christmas which I'm using to control a slow cooker. This weekend I had my first go at cooking something for a very long time: 2 ox cheeks, one with a Porcini rub similar to the one Chris Amirault suggested recently for short ribs, the other in a beer marinade.

The first cheek was cooked at 60C for 33 hours by the end of which time there was obviously some gas in the bag and a slightly cheesy smell. It didn't smell off as such, so we ate it and it was very nice but the cheesy smell lingered for some time afterwards. I assume that I was unlucky enough to get some thermophilic bacteria in the bag and in future I should probably recognise this and bin the food straight away.

My question really is whether there are any steps I can take to minimise the chance of this happening again?

The other cheek I left in for another 12 hours then chilled down in ice and is currently sitting in the fridge for a day or two. It doesn't look like I've any problem with that one.

Hi Duncan --

There was some discussion on this last year but as I recall, the advice was to do a quick dunk (30 sec) in 180 deg F water to quickly kill off any surface pathogens. I did that with some short ribs that were suspect and did end up tossing them in the trash after cooking as the smell lingered, but that was mostly my fault for keeping the meat far longer than I should have before bagging it.

Mostly now I try to bag quickly, and always do a smell test before bagging.

Keep experimenting!

I was the one who had the same problem last November. I was trying to make a roulade and think the pounding coupled with the stuffing and bagging it the day before contributed to the problem. I plan to repeat it in the next week. My plan is to do a quick dunk in boiling water, place the stuffing on the meat while it is still hot, tie it up with string dunked in boiling water, then bag it and toss it in. Wow, sounds like what I did when making wine and beer. I'll let you know how it comes out.

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I made some sous vide lengua earlier this week following this recipe from Serious Eats. Essentially I bagged the tongue with some cilantro, tomato and onion and cooked for 48 hours (I would do less next time) at 76 C. Nothing too fancy, but it was delicious. I do wonder though, how the tongue would turn out at a lower temperature, say 55 or 60 C. Has anyone tried tongue at medium?

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Greetings!

I am new to eGullet and this is my first post.

I am also new to Sous Vide, having just completed a home DIY set-up within the last week... Just made poached eggs this morning... delicious. Made a tri-tip roast, also great. And just put in two chuck roasts (based on your recommendations re. this being one of your favorite cuts to sous vide) for company tomorrow evening.

I have a question I hope you can help me with. My daughters bought T. Keller's book "Under Pressure" for me for Christmas... I had already devoured yours and one other. One of the things that TK states in the book in the section on safety is as follows:

"The maximum time food sealed sous vide can safely remain in the bad in danger-zone temperatures (this includes cooking time if cooking below 60C (140F) is 4 hours.... If any vacuum-packed protein, either cooked or raw, has been in the danger zone for 4 hours or longer, we recommend that it be discarded." (Under Pressure, pg. 35)

To underscore the point, in his chart on cooking times/temps., TK has very few listings longer than 2 hours, and the ones that do go longer are always at the higher temperatures.

Understanding a bit about how bugs grow, pasteurization, etc., and having read other Sous Vide resources (including yours) it would appear that it really is ok to cook lower and slower... that given proper time,pasteurization will occur above 131F. Do I have this right? Any thoughts on TK's section on safety relative to this?

Thanks so much... You have contributed greatly to my learning on this subject...

Best,

Keith

"Chance favors the prepared mind." ~Louis Pasteur

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Welcome, Keith!

Nathan has a long post about this subject here. You can read more using the index to the original sous vide topic.

Short answer: there's general agreement here that Keller's temps and times are overcautious. Smarter people than I can weigh in on the particulars.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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