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MikeTMD

Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 6)

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e_monster:

How aggressively do you trim away the fat on the the brisket and the short ribs? As I said in the post above, I have these USDA Prime brisket that I'm going to try at 134F for 24 hours. I'm wondering if I should experiment with the fat cap on, or should I aggressively trim away the fat like I did the first one.

Also, now that I've experimented with shorts ribs quite a bit, I have to say that its a huge letdown eating short ribs at a restaurant that are braised vs. sous vide. The braised version tastes like pot roast, while SV short ribs properly, tastes like incredible steak. What I mean, is that the meat comes apart in strings for the "pot roast" style, while cooking it SV, you can slice it and the meat melts in your mouth.

Anybody else have comments?

What about the new freezer gallon ziplocks that I mentioned with the liner bag that seem really difficult to remove the air?

Thanks

R0Y

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I cooked Duck again tonight in the Sous Vide Supreme. 57.5C for 1.25 hours. This was a moulard duck breast I got from Hudson Valley Fois Gras. I have read several posts talking about how this kind of duck breast is tough and not good. Boy was I worried since I spent a lot of money getting those breasts. So, I am here to tell you this has not been my experience, at all. The first time I prep'd one of these breasts last week, I cooked it at 59C for 4 hours. It was good, and it was soft and tender and nice and pink but it was bordering on too soft (not steak-like) and I like mine more rare.

P3130722.JPG

This time, at 57.5C, it came out exactly the right doneness. Also, by shortening up the cooking time, I got a product that had a more steak-like chew but it was not at all tough. It was like a perfectly cooked, tender ribeye. I removed the skin before bagging, seasoned the meat with salt and chinese 5 spice. I fried the skin in a skillet under a bacon press, after seasoning it with salt and Chinese 5 spice and served the crispy bacon-like pieces of fatty goodness right on top.

I served it with steamed parsnips which I glazed with a brown, nutmeg infused butter and haricots vert.

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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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e_monster:

How aggressively do you trim away the fat on the the brisket and the short ribs? As I said in the post above, I have these USDA Prime brisket that I'm going to try at 134F for 24 hours. I'm wondering if I should experiment with the fat cap on, or should I aggressively trim away the fat like I did the first one.

Also, now that I've experimented with shorts ribs quite a bit, I have to say that its a huge letdown eating short ribs at a restaurant that are braised vs. sous vide. The braised version tastes like pot roast, while SV short ribs properly, tastes like incredible steak. What I mean, is that the meat comes apart in strings for the "pot roast" style, while cooking it SV, you can slice it and the meat melts in your mouth

You need to trim aggressively. At 134F the fat will soften but it won't render. So you only want fat in there that you are going to want to eat. A thin layer (very thin) can be nice if you do a good job searing -- because the browned fat is very yummy. If I cook a whole brisket, I will reserve the fatty end for making hash.

The place where I get the Wagyu brisket trims it nicely but they only have the center cut. It is only $5.99 a pound which blows me away. It is the only brisket that I have done that is tender after 24 hours. Let us know how yours turns out. I have never tried prime-rated brisket.

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I seen some pork side ribs in a big pack for dirt cheap, so bought them hoping for a plan later :) Yesterday, tried doing a rack sous-vide; I used Baldwin's instructions and rub as a starting point. Did the brine overnight, then the sousvide during the day (80 C for about 11 hours). I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. I smoke ribs a lot during the summer and wasn't expecting a lot out of this technique (especially since I didn't have the greatest of luck with the smoking of side ribs, only back ribs). They don't taste the same as smoked, but they were extremely good with a little BBQ sauce. Very very succulent and moist and flavourful; a duck confit type texture and moistness (and richness of flavour). I'll likely use the meat for pulled-pork style sandwiches this evening, but I think I can foresee it in salads and just plain alone too.

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I cooked the pork gammon (ham) joint I posted about earlier at 60C for 24 hours. Beforehand, I marinaded it for 24 hours in a alcoholic cider, honey, and many other spices mixture.

I served it with some random vegetables leftover in the fridge, and reduced marinade to form a sauce.

The texture was nice, but honestly not that much superior to traditional cooking methods. Definitely not worth the time involved in the preparation. However, it could have been my technique, marinade, time/temp which caused the less than spectacular results.

iPhone Pic:

12427_359077225558_500890558_3689597_5649977_n.jpg

I was planning to cook beef brisket for 48 hours, but unfortunately it expired before I got a chance :(

However I defrosted some pork ribs... i forgot to brine them, but put them in the bag with some budweiser honey bbq marinade, some hickory liquid smoke, a mixture of smoked chilli salt and pepper, some dark soy sauce, and some normal cracked black pepper. Not really sure what that will taste like, but who cares? At the moment I'm just after amazing texture. Since I started the cooking at 12:30am, and planning to eat tomorrow evening, I chose a temperature of 72C. I guestimate they will be in there for about 20hours or so.

Will post results later :)

This was also the first time that I used my new Foodsaver V2860.

I have to say, despite just using the pulse mode and instant seal buttons, I was really impressed with the results! You can tell from the feel of the machine that it is well built. It also has a huge host of features and useful design. It managed to get almost all the air out, I was quite hesitant since there was quite a bit of marinade in the bag. However it sealed with absolutely no problem at all! I did a second seal, just in case!

It's really easy to use, comes with 2 instruction/guide booklets, has a vacuum canister, and a selection of bags and a long roll.

I would really recommend it to sous-vide newbies! Even though I have only been doing sous vide for less than 2 months, I was really really tempted to get a vacuum chamber machine, but now I really don't think I would need one at all!

Before this, I was submerging my ziploc bags in water and trying to squeeze out the air. The Foodsaver DEFINITELY beats this method!!!

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This was also the first time that I used my new Foodsaver V2860.

I have to say, despite just using the pulse mode and instant seal buttons, I was really impressed with the results! You can tell from the feel of the machine that it is well built. It also has a huge host of features and useful design. It managed to get almost all the air out, I was quite hesitant since there was quite a bit of marinade in the bag. However it sealed with absolutely no problem at all! I did a second seal, just in case!

It's really easy to use, comes with 2 instruction/guide booklets, has a vacuum canister, and a selection of bags and a long roll.

I would really recommend it to sous-vide newbies! Even though I have only been doing sous vide for less than 2 months, I was really really tempted to get a vacuum chamber machine, but now I really don't think I would need one at all!

Before this, I was submerging my ziploc bags in water and trying to squeeze out the air. The Foodsaver DEFINITELY beats this method!!!

Well, I could say "I told you so". :raz:

There is a common misconception that "Foodsaver" specifies a specific product.

Its a RANGE of products. Or rather multiple ranges of products.

This one was the top end of the obsolescent 2000 series.

It makes a decently wide seal, and has 'damp sealing', seal now, pump while pressing ("pulse"), and variable pump speed. All worthwhile features for sv.

A full-auto machine is practically useless for sv. This has great manual control.

At clearance prices its a bargain.

Used with just a little care, its great as a domestic machine.

Only slight snag is the size of the 'neck' on the bag, a couple of inches, due to the geometry of the sealer.

To make sealing liquid stuff easier, use the slow pump speed, and have the machine raised slightly above your work surface, so the bag is "more upright". A stack of magazines makes an adjustable shelf, while you experiment.

BTW a good UK source for bags is Nisbets. http://www.nisbets.co.uk/products/ProductList.asp?TopGroupCode=C25&ParentGroupCode=S1358&GroupCode=10806 but remember (trade supplier) prices don't show the VAT.

The V2860 package in the UK includes a rectangular vacuum box, which is great for vacuum marinading. (Save bags!)


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

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Ive been browsing the Nisbets site since there are a few other items I want to purchase, but I didn't realise their prices dont include VAT :(

My V2860 didnt include a rectangular box!!!!!!!! I just got a cylindrical vacuum canister, 5 small bags, 5 large bags, and a roll! I'm upset now!

Also I paid £108 including delivery. Do you think that was an ok price to pay?

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Absolutely standard to quote prices without VAT when you expect to be selling to business people who are VAT registered -- for them its not a cost as its reclaimable.

Free delivery is of purchases over £70+VAT by phone (or £30+VAT online).

Nisbets will bombard you with catalogues after they have your address. (Good or bad, you decide.)

I thought the UK V2860's all had the rectangular one! Its ideal for marinating, but I'm sure you'll find plenty stuff to do with your jar.

That's almost exactly the same price as I paid a few months ago. I think its less than half what they were originally.

I'm very happy indeed with my purchase.


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

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Yes I understand the VAT exempt thing, I was just disappointed :(

I don't mind the catalogues, something interesting to read at least :)

BTW, when you do your vacuum marinading, you put the meat and marinade in the canister and vacuum on high... but then do you release the vacuum immediately to return the pressure so that the marinade can penetrate? Or just leave the canister with a vacuum applied?

Cheers!

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BTW, when you do your vacuum marinading, you put the meat and marinade in the canister and vacuum on high... but then do you release the vacuum immediately to return the pressure so that the marinade can penetrate? Or just leave the canister with a vacuum applied?

Probably deserves its own thread.

However, marinade under (partial) vacuum ("sous vide" ).

I too reckon that the RE-pressurisation must drive the marinade in.

But originally, it was done in bags (minimising the marinade quantity) but basically a a single depressurisation.

I tend to vacuum, (sometimes wait a while), release, rearrange in the container, vacuum, leave to marinade, release and cook.

No idea if that is optimal. Always open to suggestions for improvement!

Beware that the V2860 isn't rated for continuous duty. (That's what commercial machines are about.) So give the motor a chance to cool off between exertions. Emptying a (much bigger than a bag) cannister on high speed pumping is about as hard as its life gets. Be kind to it! Don't vacuum/release/vacuum too often, too swiftly ...


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

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Don't mind the catalogues, something interesting to read at least :)

BTW, when you do your vacuum marinading, you put the meat and marinade in the canister and vacuum on high... but then do you release the vacuum immediately to return the pressure so that the marinade can penetrate? Or just leave the canister with a vacuum applied?

I guess meat does not contain air, so vacuum infusing meat with marinade will not have the same effect as vacuum infusing fruits and vegetables (see http://sousvide.wikia.com/wiki/Infusing_cucumbers_melons_etc and http://sousvide.wikia.com/wiki/Instant_rum_pot ). Marinade is said to penetrate 1cm/day. For vacuum-sealing meat with marinade see . If you want to cook with more liquid, just use ziploc-bags.


Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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I think also it is important that it is not just about penetration, marinades sometimes contain an acid component that helps tenderizing the protein.

I think the benefit of using bags and vacuum is that you will need much less marinade then if you float the protein in a container.

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I've had a chance now to try a few things and am starting to get the hang of SV. It seems like it takes a bit of trial/error to really get things right.

Here's a question I have for people, so far, I've been converting recipes I use (mostly on the grill) to SV, using the same kinds of rubs/marinades. They are either as good (like a steak with a dry rub that is better cooked but not quite as flavorful on the outside) or slightly worse (Like a couple salmon recipes I did SV that I normally do cedar plank, soy sauce/brown sugar & a hone/lime/mustard or some scrambled eggs I did).

What is the one kind of meat or recipe that I should try that will really show me the advantages of SV? Short ribs? Brisket? etc?

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I have just started experimenting recently too but even in a short time I have learned quite a bit. I think that SV fish might turn out to be near the top of the list. I did halibut last night - 57.5 for 15 minutes - and it was the most perfectly cooked halibut I have eaten. I gave it a hit of heat and a light crust with my torch and served it with a shrimp butter and white wine sauce - for a first try it was super. I love the way you don't have to worry about it falling apart and totally love that it does not smell up the house. I have also decided that I never want to eat another chicken breast that isn't cooked SV/slow and low. And have a look at my post (a few above here) about the duck breast - it was fantastic - much better than if cooked on the grill or in a pan.


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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If you genuinely like fish (not just a good fried flavour), I think you'll find sous-vide incredible. We have fish done sous-vide several times every week. Tonight it was Tilapia. We do sometimes make a sauce (last week, a mango salsa) but often just with a little S&P & lemon. Different species like slighly different temperatures; for example, Mahi-mahi seems to like 58, but I think the Tilapia wants 58.5 or 59. We shall see.

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Do you do much with it other than just cook it? i.e. a marinade or something? For instance how did you do the tilapia? (whole foods had some local tilapia on sale this week)

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If you genuinely like fish (not just a good fried flavour), I think you'll find sous-vide incredible. We have fish done sous-vide several times every week. Tonight it was Tilapia. We do sometimes make a sauce (last week, a mango salsa) but often just with a little S&P & lemon. Different species like slighly different temperatures; for example, Mahi-mahi seems to like 58, but I think the Tilapia wants 58.5 or 59. We shall see.

Thanks Paul. Actually, I don't eat fried anything, very often at least, since I have a very obese person inside of me always fighting to get out. That is one of my motivations for learning to cook SV - the ability to cut down on the fat.

But I have a question about figuring out temps and times for the fish. As I said the Halibut was pretty perfect but last week I made swordfish and it was dreck. One thing I know I did was cook it for way too long (1 hour) but I also might have cooked it too hot. Can you give me a generalization for different "classes" of fish? For instance (1) the soft flaky white type (i.e. sole or trout); (2) the meaty, solid type (i.e. swordfish) and (3) the medium dense but flaky type like halibut or salmon. And how about crab? Would you do that like lobster?


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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I know a lot of people on this thread don't agree with me, but I like to pasteurize all my fish and shellfish. I do this by cutting the fish into individual portions and cooking them in a 140F (60C) water bath for 40--50 minutes. I use 140F (60C) because the fish becomes mushy at lower temperatures (since it takes much longer to pasteurize) and dry at higher temperatures (since the muscle fibers contract and squeeze out the water held between them). I find that 140F (60C) for 40--50 minutes gives safe, moist, and flaky fish.

If you buy sashimi-grade fish, you can heat the fish for 15--20 minutes in a 108F (42C) water bath for rare or a 122F (50C) water bath for medium-rare. I say "heat" because you cannot pasteurize fish at these temperatures. I'm not saying that rare and medium-rare salmon isn't delicious---because it is---but if I'm buying sashimi-grade fish, I'd prefer to eat it as sashimi.


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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Those of you who have tried fish cooked at a lower temperature will know what I mean by some people actively disliking what they term the "cold, weird textured, fish."

For this reason, fish is the one item that I cook for a set time at a temperature higher than the target. In this way, the outside is served at a more conventional temperature while the inside just reaches target temperature.

I cook salmon, for example, at 68 degrees celsius for seven minutes. Why this temperature and time? One of our most successful exponents of modern cooking techniques In Sydney, Brent Savage, uses this combination and if it works for him...

People often say to me when I raise this topic: why do sous vide if you have to time it so carefully? The answer to my mind is that it combines the advantages of sous vide cooking (I bag it with olive oil, dill, and salt) with conventional techniques to give a more widely acceptable product.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

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This is my first post here. I've been reading the forum though for quite some time.

I've just finished my second homemade waterbath and thought I'd share with you.

It think it turned out quite nice.

I bought a PID from Auber Auber PID 36$

A pt100 sensor from the same place PT100 sensor 16$

For the heater I use a 900W heater from a cheap water boiler it cost me approx. 14$

Then I use an aquarium pump Eheim Compact 600 Pump

I would have bought the 300 but my local shop just had the 600. But I'm pretty sure the 300 would work just as well.

Then for the actual container I use a Polycarbonate Canteen with a lid.

The pump actually is not supposed to be used above 35C but a friend have used this pump in 80C to 10h without any problems.

So I decided to go with the pump to get really nice circulation.

I've calibrated the pid in ice water and controlled with a basal thermometer at 38.0C. Spot on. The PID holds the temp amazingly good.

Sometimes it drops 0.1C for a few seconds but most of the time it's exactly the right temp. I'm counting on the accuracy to be at least 0.5C.

More images here FLICKR also images on my other waterbath.

Cheers,

Patrik

WB1.jpg

WB2.jpg

WB3.jpg

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But I have a question about figuring out temps and times for the fish. As I said the Halibut was pretty perfect but last week I made swordfish and it was dreck.

I don't have any general guidance. About the only thing I go by is to start fatty fish at a bit of a lower temp then lean fish. The real outlier -- tuna -- I don't do sous-vide (I love it seared too much). Fish can be cooked -- and loved -- in a huge variety of ways, and I think the only way to get your way is to experiment. If the fish is a bit too firm and dry (and falls apart out of the bag), I'd say it is too hot. If it is a bit too wet, or squishy, it is too cool. A degree or two is a fairly big change, so you don't want to change it much. I usually use Douglas Baldwin's pasteurization times, more or less, so I wouldn't consider an hour to be a long time in the bath, though I've never cooked much beyond an hour or drastically shorter (maybe 1/2 is my shortest), so I am not sure about the impact of smaller variations of time on texture.

I never marinate fish (just a personal choice). Sometimes I S&P before cooking, sometimes after. Occasionally I use a touch of garlic powder before. Usually, if I wish to dress the flavour, I use a sauce.

The thing about fish is that peoples concept of a "fish dish" varies pretty wildly. In my experience, most people like fish pretty buried in other flavours. I actually like fish, as fish, so my preference may not align with others well. I like the taste of fish. Of course, it has to be served with the right things; if you serve it with very strongly flavoured dishes, the fish will be extremely bland; it has to be a balanced meal.

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I am pasteurizing my fish too. I buy some at whole foods and it is very visible that it is not always super fresh. Texture is great, no smell, and cooking times are very doable.

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Potentially stupid question - but how does one keep the liquid temperature constant during the cooking time?

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You use a lab type circulator - expensive - or a product like fresh meals solution PID controller or sous vide supreme.

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Potentially stupid question - but how does one keep the liquid temperature constant during the cooking time?

Please see most of the preceding 114 pages ... :biggrin:

The short answer is with a 'smart' controller (generally called a "PID") rather than a plain thermostat, and ideally in conjunction with some form of forced circulation to help even out the temperature in different parts of the bath.

For an example of a DIY system see Patrik Svensson's post just 7 hours ago, a few posts upthread. And check out his links for info on the parts.

----->>>>> Great first post Patrik !!! (And thanks for the recommendation for that specific pump - I intend to give one a try.)

As an alternative to a DIY project, you can buy a ready-made controller (see this thread for more details on all these options) or a complete 'water oven", or if you want to splash the cash buy a pro "immersion circulator", or, if you are brave enough, repurpose some cheap used lab equipment ...

Most of these solution centre on a PID. These use an electronic temperature probe (plural different technologies available) and importantly NEED tuning to your specific water bath and heater (most nowadays have an 'autotune' feature).

Patrik shows an excellent low cost, (but should be high performance), approach.


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

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