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Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment, 2011


Qwerty
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While we're on the chicken topic, I'm planning to cook up some whole legs (bell and evans brand from the supermarket) to serve simply with some rice and beans and leftover chimichurri.

I've done breasts a couple of times, but this is my first try at SV dark meat poultry and I'm a bit confused by the wide range of recommended times/temps - from Thomas Keller (64 C for 60 min) to Douglas Baldwin (70 C for 8-12 hrs or 80 C for 4-6 hrs.) and everywhere in between.

How do you like your legs? (cooked that is :-) )

I actually discussed this with Douglas via email and he said that while the dark meat would technically be cooked in shorter space of time (similar to white meat) that many simply prefered the taste/texture when it was cooked for a longer period. My wife likes dark meat, and I prefer white. I solved the problem by cooking a bunch of thighs, two per package, per Douglas' recommendations and then quick cooling and then freezing them. When we want chicken I put the raw white meat in the bath along with the thawed thighs and the bath just reheats the thighs. (separate bags if that's not obvious)

Edited by mgaretz (log)

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Yesterday I fixed a cornish game hen for the two of us, and used about just about every appliance in the house.

First I butterflied the hen and added S&P, then sealed in a big bag with my chamber vacuum. Cooked it SV for about six hours at 63C.

Then I opened it up, dried it, and immersed it in a double-walled bowl that was half-filled with liquid nitrogen for 30 seconds.

Then into the deep fat fryer for 60 seconds.

The game hen was perfectly cooked, and the skin was nicely crisped and brown.

Served with a couple of stuffed portobello mushrooms.

Perfect!

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Smoke then SV or SV and then smoke?

I read with interest the latest posts about brisket, smoking and SV. Some while back I read an opinion which I now cannot find that it didn't matter if things were smoked then cooked SV or vice versa (I think attributed to Nathanm).

Back in September (see post #778) I asked some questions about SV cooking and bacon. Nobody replied, but I did perform a reasonably controlled experiment to get some answers.

As a relatively new owner of a smoker and a convert to home made bacon I wanted to determine which way worked best. This may not apply to brisket, but here's what I did:

Cured 2 pork bellies using the cure from "Charcuterie by Ruhlman & Polcyn" for 12 days.

I cut one belly in half and after washing and drying vacuum packed one half and cooked it SV @ 65C for 90 minutes. The SV half was chilled in an ice bath and then removed from the bag and dried.

All 3 pieces were left overnight in the fridge on racks to allow to dry further in preparation for smoking.

The 3 pieces were smoked @ 70C for 4 hours in my Sous Vide Magic controlled Bradley Smoker.

The half belly which hadn't been cooked SV was then bagged and cooked SV @ 65C for 90 minutes before being chilled in an ice bath.

All 3 pieces remained in the fridge again overnight on racks before slicing the next day.

So in the end I had 3 almost identical slabs of bacon - one cured then smoked, and two cooked SV - one before and one after smoking.

After slicing all the bacon was vacuum packed into ~200g packs.

The 2 SV cooked samples were identical in appearance. The one not cooked at all had a slightly translucent look to it like proscuitto or jamon. It had a slightly redder colour. The 2 cooked samples were slightly more pink, that said the difference between the cooked and uncooked was not huge.

I distributed samples among friends (including Nickrey) with nothing other than a batch number to differentiate between them.

With a few friends I decided to give them only 2 samples at a time so that they only had to say which was best rather than ranking among 3 samples. I then gave them a different combination to see how their feedback changed.

When comparing the bacon not cooked SV with that cooked SV after smoking nobody liked the SV bacon.

When comparing the bacon not cooked SV with that cooked SV before smoking everybody liked the SV bacon.

Those who had samples of pre-smoke and post-smoke SV were less unanimous, but 5 out of 6 preferred the bacon which was cooked SV before smoking.

I know that this is not an exhaustive test, but I went to quite an effort to make sure that the only difference between the samples was the SV cooking and when it occurred.

None of the tasters had any idea what I'd done differently between the samples that they had to taste.

Another interesting point is the amount of loss due to processing - the batch with no SV cooking at all lost 8% of its weight, that smoked then cooked (the favourite) lost 13% and the least favourite the one cooked then smoked lost 11%.

I am now convinced that there is a difference between cooking then smoking or smoking then cooking AND that I will now always make my bacon by curing, SV cooking and then smoking - at least until someone comes up with a good reason not to.

Cheers,

Peter.

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PedroG sent me a private email pointing out an error. Where I said:

Another interesting point is the amount of loss due to processing - the batch with no SV cooking at all lost 8% of its weight, that smoked then cooked (the favourite) lost 13% and the least favourite the one cooked then smoked lost 11%.

I was wrong - I should have said:

Another interesting point is the amount of loss due to processing - the batch with no SV cooking at all lost 8% of its weight, that cooked then smoked (the favourite) lost 13% and the least favourite the one smoked then cooked lost 11%.

To make it clear:

Sample #1 - Smoked only - no SV cooking

Sample #2 - Cooked SV then smoked

Sample #3 - Smoked then cooked SV

Everybody preferred #1 over #3

Everybody preferred #2 over #1

5 out of 6 preferred #2 over #3

Sorry if I've left you all totally confused.

Regards,

Peter.

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Since I neglected to take pictures of the game hen, I fixed it again last night. Again, I think the skin came out perfectly,.

Same procedure as before, but this time I cooked it at 60C for four hours.

Then 30 seconds in the LN2, and 60 seconds in the deep fat at 190C, flipping during both the LN2 and fryer, because of the size.

My wife had said that she thought the previous night's attempt was a little bit on the dry side, which is why I lowered the temperature a bit. Even so, it was still a bit dry.

I don't cook chicken all that often, much less with this setup, but what causes the dryness? Too high a temperature, too long, or what? Maybe just the nature of a Cornish game hen?

Bob

Sous vide game en with LN2 and deep fry-4485.jpg

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blackp - RE: Pork Bellies

I cured a slab using the Buckboard Bacon product - 12 days also. I'd rather make my own cure (for economic reasons) - if your cure recipe is something you can send me, I'd love to see it.

After curing/washing, I used a half sheet pan and put it on my smoker for 30 mins, then directly back into my walkin cooler. I "smoked" it 4 times, each time chilling it after. Since our smoker runs at 225 during the day, I didn't want to cook it, just get some smoke on it.

I've only sliced it and pan fried it. Its salty, and yummy. Still have a piece in a bag, so I could easily SV it. Its raw pork still.

Q: You say you've cooked them. How do you eat yours? Cold? How are you heating it, since its edible as it is.

I can't speak as to whether or not the SV step of bacon is even worth it. Since you've got a smoker, maybe try this - we take commercial (did it with the sliced belly too) bacon, place it on a removable rack, put a rub on 1 side and smoke it for an hour. Chill it, then its easily reheated (we put it on a 500deg pizza stone for 15 secs) for breakfast, sandwiches, salads, burger, etc. I'm QUITE happy with that method and quality - so I'm wondering what the SV benefit is. PS _ while it can be placed directly on the smoker rack, we feel that 1) you lose time/smoke/heat while loading the pit, vs. just dropping in a rack w/20 pieces already laid out, 2) the bacon cooks "harsher" on the racks in the pit cause they are already hot, and the bacon pre-loaded on a oven rack cooks more gently and doesn't wrinkle/shrink as much.

thx

jaymer...

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While we're on the chicken topic, I'm planning to cook up some whole legs (bell and evans brand from the supermarket) to serve simply with some rice and beans and leftover chimichurri.

I've done breasts a couple of times, but this is my first try at SV dark meat poultry and I'm a bit confused by the wide range of recommended times/temps - from Thomas Keller (64 C for 60 min) to Douglas Baldwin (70 C for 8-12 hrs or 80 C for 4-6 hrs.) and everywhere in between.

How do you like your legs? (cooked that is :-) )

I actually discussed this with Douglas via email and he said that while the dark meat would technically be cooked in shorter space of time (similar to white meat) that many simply prefered the taste/texture when it was cooked for a longer period. My wife likes dark meat, and I prefer white. I solved the problem by cooking a bunch of thighs, two per package, per Douglas' recommendations and then quick cooling and then freezing them. When we want chicken I put the raw white meat in the bath along with the thawed thighs and the bath just reheats the thighs. (separate bags if that's not obvious)

I ended up cooking the legs at 80 C for about 4 1/2 hrs then iced and refrigerated them. After reheating in the bath and searing, they were moist, juicy and cooked perfectly all the way to the bone - definitely not overdone.

I think I'll pick up a couple more this week and try a different time/temp combination. (Gonna have to wait a couple of days though - I just got back from costco with a big tray of short ribs!)

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Peter - thanks for the testing and effort. I'm sure others are also, but I, for one, am listening! Your results concur with my much less controlled studies - I find that SV first and then smoking is better than smoking than SV. Do you have any ideas as to why your tasters had their preferences? Was it smoke flavor, texture, combination of them, etc? A big problem I have with smoking prior to SV is that I lose quite a bit of smoke flavor during the SV step - like lots of us have experienced smoky smelling bath water with perfectly intact seals. Especially during long SV or using hot temps...

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I'd rather make my own cure (for economic reasons) - if your cure recipe is something you can send me, I'd love to see it.

Q: You say you've cooked them. How do you eat yours? Cold? How are you heating it, since its edible as it is.

My cure is pretty simple (and cheap). I've converted the R&P recipe to percentages to make it easier to scale to any size of pork belly. I've also added the Sodium Erythorbate as suggested by Modernist Cuisine as it helps the Instacure to work.

CURE:

Salt (plain or Kosher - not iodised) 2%

White Sugar 1%

Instacure #1 0.33%

Sodium Erythorbate 0.06%

FLAVOURING:

Lightly crushed fresh garlic 1%

Roughly crushed black peppercorns 0.5%

Roughly torn Bayleaf 0.025%

The cure ingredients are well mixed and then massaged well into the belly. I then add the flavourings to the bag and any left over cure and vacuum seal the bag @ 95% vacuum. They are then left in the fridge for 12 days (or so) and turned over each day before removing from the bag, washing and drying.

I cook all the bacon in a pan. I find it best to use a cold dry pan and slowly bring the heat up. This renders the fat from the bacon meaning you don't need any oil or other liquid to fry the bacon.

I find that I get enough smoky flavour using this method. The sample cooked SV after smoking was noticeably less smoky - possibly a reason nobody liked it best.

Edited by blackp (log)
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Peter - thanks for the testing and effort. I'm sure others are also, but I, for one, am listening! Your results concur with my much less controlled studies - I find that SV first and then smoking is better than smoking than SV. Do you have any ideas as to why your tasters had their preferences? Was it smoke flavor, texture, combination of them, etc? A big problem I have with smoking prior to SV is that I lose quite a bit of smoke flavor during the SV step - like lots of us have experienced smoky smelling bath water with perfectly intact seals. Especially during long SV or using hot temps...

I didn't get detailed feedback from all the tasters, but from my own experience the bacon cooked SV after smoking was less smoky and therefore less appealing to my taste.

When it comes to texture, while everybody's favourite was the cook then smoke sample, the next favourite was the smoke only sample. It seems flavour is king and texture may be a secondary consideration.

I'm not sure I'll bother with another controlled test - I have 3 bellies curing right now sourced from 3 different butchers. I'm going to treat them identically (SV cook first then Smoke) to see if I can identify the best supplier of bellies.

Cheers,

Peter.

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Peter - thanks for the testing and effort. I'm sure others are also, but I, for one, am listening! Your results concur with my much less controlled studies - I find that SV first and then smoking is better than smoking than SV. Do you have any ideas as to why your tasters had their preferences? Was it smoke flavor, texture, combination of them, etc? A big problem I have with smoking prior to SV is that I lose quite a bit of smoke flavor during the SV step - like lots of us have experienced smoky smelling bath water with perfectly intact seals. Especially during long SV or using hot temps...

I didn't get detailed feedback from all the tasters, but from my own experience the bacon cooked SV after smoking was less smoky and therefore less appealing to my taste.

When it comes to texture, while everybody's favourite was the cook then smoke sample, the next favourite was the smoke only sample. It seems flavour is king and texture may be a secondary consideration.

I'm not sure I'll bother with another controlled test - I have 3 bellies curing right now sourced from 3 different butchers. I'm going to treat them identically (SV cook first then Smoke) to see if I can identify the best supplier of bellies.

Cheers,

Peter.

I wonder if this would apply to non-cured smoked items, also. Or, if there is something about curing that might be relevant to whether it is best to smoke or sv first.

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I've been having some trouble with my bagged items getting sucked towards the circulator and blocking the pump, so i decided to make a guard of sorts.

I have 1 question though. I got a decorative aluminum sheet made out of mill spec aluminum, apparently uncoated. Normally these sheets are used as decorative things on doors...i should be ok health wise right? I know we cook in aluminum pots, and i don't buy into the aluminum/Alzheimers connection...but want to make sure i'm not poisoning myself based on the aluminum grade or type.

got it at home depot. Cut it, and rolled it into a cylinder.

photo.JPG

How's this working out so far Jason? I have an IC of a very similar Lauda model and I need to do something to keep items away from the pump as well.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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How's this working out so far Jason? I have an IC of a very similar Lauda model and I need to do something to keep items away from the pump as well.

Works well, it seems to already be "corroding" (i know it's not corroding, but its showing some surface issues). I like SLKinsey's idea of bending a stainless cake rack. Just bend into a rectangle, and zip tie...i might do that!

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How's this working out so far Jason? I have an IC of a very similar Lauda model and I need to do something to keep items away from the pump as well.

Works well, it seems to already be "corroding" (i know it's not corroding, but its showing some surface issues). I like SLKinsey's idea of bending a stainless cake rack. Just bend into a rectangle, and zip tie...i might do that!

Yeah, that is a good idea. I might even have one lying around.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Sous vide cheesecake works very well. I bagged the custard and cooked at 80C for 3 hours then piped into molds. The pictured cheesecake I gave a dusting of sugar and bruleed. My recipe uses a mixture of whole eggs, egg yolks and corn starch. I believe time/temperature will change based on egg scalling relative to the rest of the liquids.

IMG_3078%252520edit.jpg

IMG_3080%252520edit.jpg

Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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Sous vide cheesecake works very well. I bagged the custard and cooked at 80C for 3 hours then piped into molds. The pictured cheesecake I gave a dusting of sugar and bruleed. My recipe uses a mixture of whole eggs, egg yolks and corn starch. I believe time/temperature will change based on egg scalling relative to the rest of the liquids.

IMG_3078%252520edit.jpg

IMG_3080%252520edit.jpg

That looks really interesting, what were the other elements? Any chance of a recipe?

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I used my base cheesecake recipe. So I start with cream cheese (100%) and cream with sugar (35%), salt (1%) and corn starch (1.9%). I then emulsify in the whole eggs (20%) and yolks (7.5%). Lastly, I mix in some cream (10%) and whole milk (5%). As far as flavorings go, I do that to taste and they are added at the end, right before bagging. Bag and 80C for 3 hours, pipe, chill and you are good to go.

All ingredients should be at room temperature.

The other elements were shattered raspberry and chocolate cookie crumbs.

Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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avaserfirer@egstaff.org

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I used my base cheesecake recipe. So I start with cream cheese (100%) and cream with sugar (35%), salt (1%) and corn starch (1.9%). I then emulsify in the whole eggs (20%) and yolks (7.5%). Lastly, I mix in some cream (10%) and whole milk (5%). As far as flavorings go, I do that to taste and they are added at the end, right before bagging. Bag and 80C for 3 hours, pipe, chill and you are good to go.

All ingredients should be at room temperature.

The other elements were shattered raspberry and chocolate cookie crumbs.

Any particular reason why you do not use sour cream?

I like it since it doesn't change the taste too much and "stretches" what is ordinarily a rather expensive dessert.

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Any particular reason why you do not use sour cream?

I like it since it doesn't change the taste too much and "stretches" what is ordinarily a rather expensive dessert.

I've never been fond of the texture sour cream imparts. My philosophy is make it as good as possible and less often if it is something expensive, thinking of it as rare treat.

That said it could probably be added to the formula above, it has been a while since I've experimented with it, but I would probably start with 10-15% and see how it works. Of course that isn't really stretching the recipe too much. You could probably go all the way up to 30% (although this might require some more egg), but I don't think the results are worth it.

shattered raspberry

Curious....what is involved?

Dip a raspberry in liquid nitrogen until frozen solid and then hit gently. The raspberry breaks along the natural seams so each fruit aggregate (I don't know their actual name) is separate. They are very fragile after this, so plate while frozen and let them thaw on the plate.

This same technique also works on citrus and other similarly structured fruits.

Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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avaserfirer@egstaff.org

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