Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment, 2012


rotuts
 Share

Recommended Posts

After several months and a lot of cheap-o Chinese parts, I finally finished the world's cheapest - and most janky - sous vide setup. ($40 doesn't buy you much. That said, risk of shock aside, it works pretty well.) In the continued spirit of cheapness, I'd like to use it on some beef chuck and feed a large crowd.

According to this guy, three days at low temperature and a few seconds on a wicked hot frying pan makes for quite a steak:

http://meandmytorch.com/recipes/72-hour-sous-vide-chuck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just my two sense, i have never cooked scallops in sous vide. But, with steaks, once they reach thier desired temperature, you can keep them there for quite awhile over the suggested time. So, if scallops work the same, and the temp is the same for the steak and scallops, time should not really matter in this case.

With tender steak, keeping them at temperature too long degrades the texture in my experience. For example a filet left in the bath for four hours can taste mushy. Egg yolks also can change texture significantly. The only way to know with scallop is to try.

If you cut a hole in the steak, you will need to sterilize the steak (with a torch or a quick dunk in boiling water) before you cut the hole unless you ate planning on cooking to pasteurization).

If he's cooking and serving the dish within 2 hours of coming out of the fridge then pasteurization isn't necessary.

PS: I am a guy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So over here Kerry reported on her success dry aging some beef. She arrived at my house today with a very generous piece of that beef and I would like to cook it sous-vide and then sear before service. It is however 7 cm thick (700 mm) and though she tried using Sous Vide Dash to get time and temperature it seems that it exceeds the thickness covered by the software. Anyone care to offer a suitable time and temp to end up with a medium rare (closer to rare than medium) steak? I have never cooked a steak that thick sous-vide though I certainly have on my outdoor grill.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So over here Kerry reported on her success dry aging some beef. She arrived at my house today with a very generous piece of that beef and I would like to cook it sous-vide and then sear before service. It is however 7 cm thick (700 mm) and though she tried using Sous Vide Dash to get time and temperature it seems that it exceeds the thickness covered by the software. Anyone care to offer a suitable time and temp to end up with a medium rare (closer to rare than medium) steak? I have never cooked a steak that thick sous-vide though I certainly have on my outdoor grill.

ooops - too late to edit out that extra 0. Should be 70 mm! Sorry.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is another iphone app that is free called sous vide pro (created by Vac-star who make the circulator that I have just purchased and am awaiting delivery of). Their time for a 70mm sirloin to medium rare (water temp 58C) is 3 hours 30 minutes. Given this time and temp, you'll most likely wind up with a core temperature of 57C, which should be rare-medium, rather than medium-rare.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

700mm = 70cm = 27.5 inches, can't wait to see the cow that came from :wink:

Yeah - thinking that might be why is wasn't in the program! Even at 70mm SVDash says that >6 hours is required to pasturize, >4 hours just to get to temperature.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just my two sense, i have never cooked scallops in sous vide. But, with steaks, once they reach thier desired temperature, you can keep them there for quite awhile over the suggested time. So, if scallops work the same, and the temp is the same for the steak and scallops, time should not really matter in this case.

With tender steak, keeping them at temperature too long degrades the texture in my experience. For example a filet left in the bath for four hours can taste mushy. Egg yolks also can change texture significantly. The only way to know with scallop is to try.

If you cut a hole in the steak, you will need to sterilize the steak (with a torch or a quick dunk in boiling water) before you cut the hole unless you ate planning on cooking to pasteurization).

If he's cooking and serving the dish within 2 hours of coming out of the fridge then pasteurization isn't necessary.

Is this beef that you would feel comfortable eating raw?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My short answer is that for a 70mm steak 3.5 hours at 58°C is likely to produce decent, but not exceptional results. For really thick steaks, one often has to use water hotter than the final core temperature in order to get to the desired temperature in a reasonable amount of time. This results in uneven final temperatures. The core can be medium rare but the edges can be closer to medium, as in more traditional cooking methods.

In the upcoming SVD 3.0 release, we try to highlight and explain this and other effects as much as possible, rather than simply giving you the big red warning message. The idea is to help people diagnose why the app says certain things, so they can make changes to get the results they want. Here’s a little bit of how it works in this case.

First, let’s start with that 70mm steak in 58°C water, aiming for a core that is a classic 54.4°C medium rare and pasteurizing at the surface. Here’s what we get.

58 to 54.4.png

Notice that when the core reaches 54.4 the surface is at 57.6, which is heading more towards medium. There is an orange warning in the cooking journal to alert us to this in case we don’t notice it on the graph. It is also worth noting that we just missed four hours by three minutes, so it's not a major disaster. In fact, we pasteurized the surface much earlier than that.

If we touch the info icon on the warning, it expands, and we get a full explanation of what is going on and why the warning was produced.

Expanded Warning.png

Essentially, we are losing some of the magic of sous vide because we are not getting even doneness from edge to edge.

Another thing that greatly affects time to temperature is shape. The steak setting is designed for steaks that are thin enough that the heat which reaches the center comes overwhelmingly from the top and bottom. Once a steak gets really thick relative to its other dimensions, it tends to reach temperature more quickly because more heat from the sides reaches the center. If we change the shape to a medallion, we see this happen.

Medallion.png

The overall cooking time is quicker, but we still have different temperature at the surface and the core.

Because temperatures are not the same at the surface and core, the core temperature will actually continue to rise even after we remove the food from the water bath. This can happen even when we drop it directly into an ice bath, as shown here.

Shark Fin.png

The shape of the black core temperature curve looks like a shark fin. If we zoom the graph in a bit we can see this. It is also pointed out in a warning.

Shark Zoom.png

Even though the surface temperature begins to plunge immediately after the food hits the ice, we don’t actually reach peak core temperature until the steak has been in the ice bath for almost eight minutes. If the steak were not put in an ice bath, the peak at the core would be even higher and later. Now it is starting to seem more like the behavior you expect from a roast than from sous-vide cooking.

If we drop the desired core temperature to 53 but keep the water at 58, we can get away with something closer to three and a half hours, but then we have even more of a temperature gradient.

58 to 53.png

The final issue I have with quoting a 3:30 time the way SousVide Pro does is that they quote it for 60-70mm thicknesses. The problem is 60 is very different than 70. Cooking time grows roughly as the square of thickness. Their 10mm ranges and the smaller end, e.g. quoting a time for 20-30mm are even more suspect. 30 is 50% larger than 20, which leads to a time to temperature that is 125% longer. Looking at other apps and tables like this with large ranges is what led me down the path of writing my own code. That code eventually became SVD. Just to illustrate the point further, here are the same settings but for 60mm. Notice the time drops by about 3/4 of an hour.

60mm.png

We can spot check this by squaring the ratio of the thicknesses and seeing if it matches up with the ratio of cooking times. (70/60)^2 = 1.36. And for the times, 216 min./ 162 min. = 1.33. Pretty close, with the difference only due to surface effects.

All of this sums up why I personally tend to stay away from very large cuts done sous vide. I rarely do anything thicker than 30-35mm. Thicker pieces just don’t get you the consistent edge-to-edge results you can get with thinner cuts that you can bring to a constant temperature. The only exception is really long cooks where tenderness is the goal, though even there we have to be careful with size to ensure reasonably rapid pasteurization to the core.

Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe I cooked a mock tenderloin from Buther and Larder in Chicago - I just followed my normal for cooking tenderloin - 130 degrees F for 2 - 4 hours.

Your mileage may vary.

Todd in Chicago

Hmmm...thanks- I'm finding this all so confusing, since it really is from the shoulder and considered chuck, so I was thinking it might require 24 hours. Isn't tenderloin a much softer piece of meat to begin with so that it doesn't require the longer cooking times?

Looking further I've seen 12 hours at 131 degrees suggested for chuck tender steak (which is another name for mock tenders/shoulder tenders/petite fillet/fillet roast/kolichel).

Anyone else have suggestions for this cut?

Thanks!

Edited by m61376 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My short answer is that for a 70mm steak 3.5 hours at 58°C is likely to produce decent, but not exceptional results. For really thick steaks, one often has to use water hotter than the final core temperature in order to get to the desired temperature in a reasonable amount of time. This results in uneven final temperatures. The core can be medium rare but the edges can be closer to medium, as in more traditional cooking methods.

....

Thank you so much for the detailed explanation. Anna N

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if your cut of meat is really the 'tender' from the shoulder, it cooks like a tender steak. just trim it carefully first to get rid of the chewy bits around it.

i used to get these a long time ago in the 7 blade cut and trimmed them out carefully an treated them pre-SV like a rib steak and they were delicious cooked fast. the rest of the 7 blade went into a stew or shuch.

so 131 for 2-4 would work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My kit is here and its already cooking my first batch of chicken thighs!

Would the sv dash cooking time be different with more bags of chicken inside vengroff?

As long as water circulates around each bag the cooking time is the same regardless of the number of bags.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My kit is here and its already cooking my first batch of chicken thighs!

Would the sv dash cooking time be different with more bags of chicken inside vengroff?

As long as water circulates around each bag the cooking time is the same regardless of the number of bags.

That's true, assuming the water bath temperature remains constant.

Obviously, if you throw six bags of cold chicken in a small pot, the temperature of the bath will decrease, and then it is a question of how quickly the water bath reheats.

A good rule of thumb is that the amount of water should be on the order of six times the volume of the food you are cooking.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried the aubergine in 85c for 55 minutes. I was totally blown away, it tasted amazingly.

My only concern right now is that my vac pack machine does not create an absolute vacuum and the whole liquid thing, even with the trick that was posted i still have some liquid collecting and not the vacuum that I would like.

1 week with it and already looking for something better? :(

edit: maybe its because i am using the small bags?

Edited by Toufas (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You need a long tail to successfully draw all the air out of a liquid filled bag using a non-chamber vacuum. I'd get either some larger bags or a roll of the narrower bags so you can adjust the length.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My kit is here and its already cooking my first batch of chicken thighs!

Would the sv dash cooking time be different with more bags of chicken inside vengroff?

As long as water circulates around each bag the cooking time is the same regardless of the number of bags.

That's true, assuming the water bath temperature remains constant.

Obviously, if you throw six bags of cold chicken in a small pot, the temperature of the bath will decrease, and then it is a question of how quickly the water bath reheats.

A good rule of thumb is that the amount of water should be on the order of six times the volume of the food you are cooking.

I agree with the above. Also, with multiple bags I find it very useful to have some kind of stainless steel rack in the bath to keep good separation between them so the water flows smoothly around all of bags. If you inadvertently create regions with little or no water flow you are going to have a hard time maintaining uniform temperature in the bath.

Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the above. Also, with multiple bags I find it very useful to have some kind of stainless steel rack in the bath to keep good separation between them so the water flows smoothly around all of bags. If you inadvertently create regions with little or no water flow you are going to have a hard time maintaining uniform temperature in the bath.

I bought a dollar store cheap rack and it serves the purpose, but cheap is cheap and the coating is wearing off in spots. I am trying to find stainless racks like you suggest- any links to who carries them?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quote name='m61376' timestamp='1327702954' post='1860206']

.....

I bought a dollar store cheap rack and it serves the purpose, but cheap is cheap and the coating is wearing off in spots. I am trying to find stainless racks like you suggest- any links to who carries them?

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks- do you happen to know the dimensions of the pouch rack you linked? I can't find the dimensions listed anywhere.

In case anyone else looks for the dimensions of the pouch rack is 7x7x7, as per the cs rep.

Edited by m61376 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...