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Qwerty

Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment, 2011

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I think quick chilling is only vital if you want to store the food while it is still under vacuum, on account of anaerobic bacteria - once it is out of the pouch and on the plate it's pretty much subject to the same vagaries of time and temperature as any other traditionally cooked food.


Patty

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Patris and Paul,

I understand that (per Doug Baldwin's book) there are some pathogen spores that survive the relatively low heat of sous vide cooking. I understood this to mean that we *always* need to rapidly chill our meats if we aren't eating them right away.

And I can't realistically see restaurants telling their customers that they can take their food home as long as they promise to chill it in an ice water bath before putting it in the fridge.

I did perform a search in the old (original) egullet sous vide thread, and I couldn't turn up any explicit mention of this topic regarding doggy bags/takeaway.


Edited by DaveJes1979 (log)

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Those spores survive all cooking (short of high temp sterilization) - out of the bag, there's no difference from food cooked any other way.

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So, it's true that we'd like everything to be rapidly chilled. The outgrowth of spores of C. perfringens isn't reserved to just sous vide cooking, since very little food that we cook is sterilized (as bmdaniel reiterated above). For customer leftovers and family leftovers, the portions are usually small enough that the refrigerator is able to cool them fast enough and people are told to use it or throw it out in a few days (so subsequent growth isn't a big problem). I harp about rapid chilling of sous vide cooked food because it's likely that you may want to hold it in your fridge for weeks (since it's safe at below 38°F to hold it for three to four weeks) and the pouch is frequently large enough (or you've cooked a large batch of items) that your fridge alone may not bring the temperature down fast enough to prevent outgrowth of spores. So if you've cooked a large item sous vide or a bunch of smaller items sous vide, I'd strongly suggest using an ice water bath. But if you have just a few chicken breasts leftover and you plan to use them in a day or two, you probably don't need to go to the effort of rapidly chilling them in an ice water bath and can just put them in your fridge (preferably on a wire shelf for increased airflow).


My Guide: A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking, which Harold McGee described as "a wonderful contribution."

My Book: Sous Vide for the Home Cook US EU/UK

My YouTube channel — a new work in progress.

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As Douglas says, food isn't sterile. People get freaked out over sous vide, but of course everybody has been saving leftovers for years and the issues are basically the same.

In general you want food to either be hot, or cold, and not in between. So ideally you would rapid chill anything before it goes into the refer. This also protects other food in the refer from heat you introduce. So it is always good practice.

That said, this is not usually necessary.


Nathan

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Douglas Baldwin's Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking: direct links to tables and chapters

Douglas Baldwin has added a table of contents and a list of tables to his Guide.

This will enable easy linking directly to tables or sections.

Go to Douglas Baldwin's Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking, right-click link the appropriate link and copy link-address.


Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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Just bought a Sous Vide supreme and have used it a few times. Very happy with the results so far. I have so many questions. I am receiving Mr. Baldwins book any day now and am looking forward to learning more about this technique. Just a quick question if anybody can help me out. The other day I made flank steaks @ 134 degrees F for about 24-25hrs. What do you do with the juices in the bag? I felt terrible dumping them down the drain. I was a little concerned with food safety issues. The steak was amazing anyway even without a sauce but I was just wondering if the juices can be used for a jus or gravy. Love all the informative posts about sous vide. Thanks for all the hard work.

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Just bought a Sous Vide supreme and have used it a few times. Very happy with the results so far. I have so many questions. I am receiving Mr. Baldwins book any day now and am looking forward to learning more about this technique. Just a quick question if anybody can help me out. The other day I made flank steaks @ 134 degrees F for about 24-25hrs. What do you do with the juices in the bag? I felt terrible dumping them down the drain. I was a little concerned with food safety issues. The steak was amazing anyway even without a sauce but I was just wondering if the juices can be used for a jus or gravy. Love all the informative posts about sous vide. Thanks for all the hard work.

You can put the juices in the microwave to coagulate the proteins, filter them out, and use it as a cooking liquid (say, reducing for a sauce)

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Just bought a Sous Vide supreme and have used it a few times. Very happy with the results so far. I have so many questions. I am receiving Mr. Baldwins book any day now and am looking forward to learning more about this technique. Just a quick question if anybody can help me out. The other day I made flank steaks @ 134 degrees F for about 24-25hrs. What do you do with the juices in the bag? I felt terrible dumping them down the drain. I was a little concerned with food safety issues. The steak was amazing anyway even without a sauce but I was just wondering if the juices can be used for a jus or gravy. Love all the informative posts about sous vide. Thanks for all the hard work.

I save the juices, make a roux with some duck fat (or any other fat you have on hand) and Wondra and then whisk the juices in to make a sauce. it works great and has tremendous flavor. Try this with the juices you get from short ribs done in the momofuku recipe and you will be convinced that this is a good way to use these juices. Last week I did Beef

Wellington for 50 people and saved the juices. last night I made a sauce as I described above but the protein coagulated and made it very "lumpy". A quick spin in the blender made it into a powerful beefy gravy.


Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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Scotty Boy, you rock......wow. The meat looks fab.

Thanks, my beet dirt is wonderfully dirty!!!

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I just made wonderful duck breasts following Douglas' recipe with the sweet potato/apple chutney (which is absolutely excellent!). Everything turned out great, had some arugula salad on the side. The only thing I'd like to change - if possible - is the duck skin. It got wonderfully crispy in between the two baking sheets, but it was still soaked full of fat, which made it a bit too greasy for my taste. ( I could also still taste it in my mouth hours later, but that might be normal/just me).

So, I'm wondering, cooking the meat SV turned out amazing, what if I'd put the skin on a cooling rack that fits in my baking sheet, maybe even on top of parchment paper through which I punch a lot of holes for the fat to drain, then cover with an other parchment paper and the 2nd baking sheet. Would that get me thinner and less fatty skin? It also took a lot longer to crisp up, almost an hour.

Oh, and I'll salt a bit less "liberally" next time too, I might not salt at all unless it's necessary for some reason, then sprinkle with salt once the skin is done.

All in all a great dinner though, first time I ever made duck breast, which I finally found at Whole Foods in the specialty freezer next to the meat counter.


"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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Just bought a Sous Vide supreme and have used it a few times. Very happy with the results so far. I have so many questions. I am receiving Mr. Baldwins book any day now and am looking forward to learning more about this technique. Just a quick question if anybody can help me out. The other day I made flank steaks @ 134 degrees F for about 24-25hrs. What do you do with the juices in the bag? I felt terrible dumping them down the drain. I was a little concerned with food safety issues. The steak was amazing anyway even without a sauce but I was just wondering if the juices can be used for a jus or gravy. Love all the informative posts about sous vide. Thanks for all the hard work.

I used to coagulate the solids out and use the juice for sauce. Looking at the coagulate, I realised that it could be subjected to heat to give an approximation of the maillard effect that you get on pan residue when frying. The process I use is:

1. heat juices to coagulate solids

2. strain off clear juice (osmazome)

3. Put solids in saucepan and heat until maillard effect occurs

4. deglaze pan with alcohol of choice

5. add some stock

6. add osmazome from step 2

7. add veal demi glace

8. boil to thicken/use potato starch mixed with water as a thickener

9. adjust seasoning

10. add an acid (sherry vinegar or similar) to taste before serving

The sauce is delicious. If I have any left over, I freeze it in ice cube trays and use one cube per person as a sauce on steak. Variation: sautee some sliced mushrooms in butter, add sauce and serve.

Enjoy playing around with it but please don't tip all that taste down the drain.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

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I agree the juice is a delicious component, but I am puzzled why it does not set to a gel in the fridge.

I have just cooked a piece of brisket (63C for 24 hours) and naturally saved the bag juice, having boiled and filtered it.

The juice did not set up in the fidge overnight, like a normal stock.

If the tenderness of the meat comes from the collagen dissolving to gelatine, I would have expected gelatine in the bag juice.

learly something different is going on.

Any ideas?

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You raise a very interesting point, and I'm afraid that I don't have a complete answer.

I think that the reason the juice does not gel is that relatively little juice comes out of the meat. The juice that does get generated does not contain much gelatin. The heat and time do convert the collagen into gelatin, but it is mostly not dissolving and leaching out of the meat. So yes, there is gelatin, but it pretty much stays in place.

What this suggests is that it make take higher tempertaure to dissolve the gelatin and remove it from the collagen matrix than it does to convert the collagen in the first place.


Nathan

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I can only add an observation:

Last week I did 20 pounds of well trimmed beef tenderloin (24 hours @ 55C) and saved a bit over 2 quarts of juices. They did not gel in the refrigerator.

Two weeks earlier I did 10 pounds of well trimmed picnic pork (24 hours @68.3C) that produced a bit under a quart of juices that gelled very nicely overnight in the refrigerator.

Both produced great tasting stocks.


Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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I've been prowling on Medline trying to get an answer to the gel/no-gel question. No clear answers yet, but it is clear that temp isn't the only issue in solubilizing collagen and re-aggregating it as gelatin. Salt and pH have some effect too, and might well make all the difference.

I suggest an experiment. Get a non-gelling stock and adding a small amount of acid or salt and compare results after chilling.

The presence of bone in the initial stock might also be a factor. Heck of a lot of collagen in bone and its membranes.


Edited by gfweb (log)

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This is a really interesting discussion.

When I made osmazome from mince as an experiment (see this post), the resultant extract gelled marvellously. It was cooked at the relatively low temp of 56C.

Subsequently when making it from the juices of intact pieces of meat such as long, slow cooked brisket, I've observed that it doesn't gel. The mince had no salt or acid added to it during cooking.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

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My experience gels (ahem!) with nickrey's. For instance, when I SV sausages, the juice will start gelling even before it gets into the fridge.

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Agreed... anyone who has done duck confit knows that the liquid in the bag gels like crazy when cooled... I wonder if what's most important is the cut of meat being used to create the juice. As paulpegg stated above, the juices from the tenderloin did not gel (there's very little connective tissue in tenderloin), but the juices from the picnic shoulder (lots of connective tissue) did gel. Both are full of flavor (both being osmazome), but one had connective tissue as part of the meat mix, which turns to gelatin, the other did not.

As to the discussion of vinegar/salt - it's an interesting concept. But when I make chicken stock (granted, not SV, but in the pressure cooker - see the pressure cooked stocks thread), there is no salt added at all, and I can cut the resulting stock into cubes the next day after being in the refrigerator.

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It seems to me that the size and cut of the meat is a critical element in the gel/no gel issue. Because cooking SV at lower temperatures, the further the distance of the surface of the meat from the center the less likely the juices will gel since the gelatin must migrate from the collagen matrix to the liquid. At lower temperatures, more of the gelatin remains in place. At higher temperatures it can migrate further. Thus the total surface area is increased and the distance to the surface is reduced. Just a thought.

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Yes, the size and surface/volume ratio is certainly revelant.

Low temperatures and long time will definitely convert collagen, but it does not cause the shrinkage of collagen fibers that tends to cause juice to be actively expelled. As a result, I think that the gelatin remains in-place and does not go into solution.


Nathan

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There was a considerable volume of juice, maybe an equal weight to the cooked meat (which had become spoon tender). Since the juice escaped from the meat, the gelatine should as well. Gelatine will dissolve perfectly well in warm water over the cooking time period, and something tenderised the meat...

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