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KaffirLime

Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 4)

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On a somewhat related note the NYT article on Thomas Keller / Sous Vide (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/14/magazine/14CRYOVAC.html) mentions that the watermelon is "cryovacked" at 20 pounds per square centimeter.

...

I am not aware however of a vacuum chamber sealer that can also pressurize the chamber, do such things exist and are they ever used? Or is this just a case of something being lost from spoken to written.

I think its a mistake.

I do hope its not Keller's.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=116482&st=32#


Edited by dougal (log)

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So here is some information that would be good to keep in mind while doing something like this with a non chamber vac.

Sugar (and salt and other things) lower the freezing point of water. If you freezer is like mine and does not do a great job freezing things you may wish to mix marinades with out these additives.

I made Kalbi marinated short ribs (and if anyone wants to critique my recipe its a small variation on Dok Suni's here). I use half a kiwi along with one small clove of garlic finely chopped and no wine for four packages of 1lb each (I didn't have any but if I did I would just cook off the alcohol first, chalk it up to laziness).

Long story short this meant my marinade never froze and I had to get them into the water soon as 36 hour ribs were becoming 34 or less hour ribs, so I had to just pour it in semi gelled and hope for the best (I have a foodsaver). I think that if I had mixed the soy sauce, oil, garlic, and kiwi separately or maybe even leave out the kiwi and the garlic it would have gone a lot smoother.

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hey all, first post on eGullet. excited to participate and learn from u guys in the future.

i recently bought a water bath on ebay, i think i slightly overpaid but the shipping was cheap and it looked like a nice piece of equipment so i went with it. it hasnt arrived yet, but here is the model:

2043_1.JPG

fisher isotemp 10l. anyone tried it?

anyway, before i won tis one, i put out a silly tester bid on an immersion circulator, also from fisher, that i didnt expect to win. it looked super nice and it retails for $1150, so i have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA why i managed to snag it for $100. here it is:

fc43_1.JPGf50d_1.JPG

now, i pretty much just wanted to make sure i haven't effed up somehow. do the both seem like decent purchases? will the FoodSaver V2840 be good enough with this other equipment?

grateful for all help,

ben

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nice, i got the same IC unit but mine labelled as a Haake c10. $100 thats a bargain and your one looks in very good condition.

Just remember to give it a very thorough cleaning before it even goes near your kitchen.

You should try to get a good digital thermometer to calibrate the IC unit as my one was a little out it meant my first 8 hour egg was 8 hours wasted. You need a fine flat head screwdriver and you can use the fine adjustment to set it.

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Sorry to hark back to some earlier posts but I've been catching up on some earlier entries.

Anyway back to the perenial favourite of safe storage of SVed items. Most of the calculations above tend to make the reasonable assumption that for an intact roast the inside is sterile and one need only perhaps take the precaution of searing the outside if SVing at less than 130F.

Fair enough, but recently I've taken to using the Jaccard tool (on the recommendation of Nathan and others) as it produces a more tender mouth feel and does materially reduce the amount of juice emitted from even SV meat. The point of contention though is that with my use of the Jaccard I no longer have a guaranteed sterile intact piece of meat and have possibly introduced some bacteria inside the meat muscle via the blades of the Jaccard.

Given this do you think that we should add any additional safety proceedures or extended times for Jaccarded joints?

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now, i pretty much just wanted to make sure i haven't effed up somehow. do the both seem like decent purchases? will the FoodSaver V2840 be good enough with this other equipment?

I also just got a circulator on ebay. My advice is to clean the heck out of it when you get it. I did this by a) boiling water in it b) scrubbing the heck out of it c) putting hot water and bleach in it to sit for two hours, d) boiling water in it again e) hot water and Citranox f) boil it water in it again for a few hours.

Rinsing between each step. This may be a little paranoid but I think its better then getting some nasty bug.

That foodsaver is what I have and I love it so far does everything I ask it to.


Edited by NY_Amateur (log)

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Made fried chicken the other night.. Had one batch of chicken soaking in a salt water brine, the other soaking in buttermilk..

2847890148_7dcf09ca9d.jpg

Took it out of the bag:

2847897866_b9a1cd2c1d.jpg

Dipped in buttermilk:

2847069589_e530022ece.jpg

Dipped the chicken into flour mixture back into buttermilk back into flour.

2847071393_e598714232.jpg

Then fried for only 4 or 5 minutes:

2847062509_504fe4c08e.jpg

Chicken was fantastic.. The inside was perfeclty cooked, the outside was perfectly crispy.. I was looking over the fried chicken thread cook off thread and noticed that many of the chickens were burnt..

2847100825_3625327bea.jpg

Frying chicken is hard because how do you keep the outside from burning while cooking the inside.. Using the sous vide method takes all the hard work out of frying chicken.. Not to mention it is such a shorter cooking time that you can easily prepare three times the amount of chicken you would in the same time.. Hot chicken for everyone. I made enough for 10 people and it was effortless.

I want to try this with frying duck legs next..


Edited by Daniel (log)
  • Like 1

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I did something smiliar not long ago. Bagged chicken thighs with buttermilk and seasonings. Cooked SV. Cooled. Added the bag liquid to some additional buttermilk (why not get the extra chicken flavor, right?), coated and fried. As you point out, one of the major advantages of this technique is that it goes much faster. And, of course, you don't have to worry that it might be overcooked. Since I like my fried chicken closer to room temperature, it doesn't even need to be heated all the way through when it is fried.

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Funny enough, out of the people that were there, results were mixed.. I know Scott Peacock's recipe calls for 24 hours of brine then 24 hours of buttermilk.. And would have done that if I had more time.. I walked into my butcher and he was offering whole chickens for .99 cents a pound.. I couldnt resist so, I bought 6 chickens.. And thats what brought me to frying chickens.

I liked the water brine better.. I added a ton of white pepper and salt and really liked the flavors there.. I felt the buttermilk was a little too milky.. It reminded me of eating blue cheese and wings.. I also make a blue cheese stuffed Buffalo Wings that it kind of reminded me of.. However, thats personal preference..

But in the future, if making for myself, I would just do salt brine.. And another batch of something else to experiment with. Maybe do a tradional jerk marinade for a couple of days and then fry.. Might be a little strange though.


Edited by Daniel (log)

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nice, i got the same IC unit but mine labelled as a Haake c10. $100 thats a bargain and your one looks in very good condition.

Just remember to give it a very thorough cleaning before it even goes near your kitchen.

You should try to get a good digital thermometer to calibrate the IC unit as my one was a little out it meant my first 8 hour egg was 8 hours wasted. You need a fine flat head screwdriver and you can use the fine adjustment to set it.

thanks for the helpful comments. this might a nooby question but how do i calibrate it? do i just keep in mind that the analog setting "55" on the IC really means 57? or can i set it straight in some way?

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Sorry to hark back to some earlier posts but I've been catching up on some earlier entries.

Anyway back to the perenial favourite of safe storage of SVed items. Most of the calculations above tend to make the reasonable assumption that for an intact roast the inside is sterile and one need only perhaps take the precaution of searing the outside if SVing at less than 130F.

Fair enough, but recently I've taken to using the Jaccard tool (on the recommendation of Nathan and others) as it produces a more tender mouth feel and does materially reduce the amount of juice emitted from even SV meat. The point of contention though is that with my use of the Jaccard I no longer have a guaranteed sterile intact piece of meat and have possibly introduced some bacteria inside the meat muscle via the blades of the Jaccard.

Given this do you think that we should add any additional safety proceedures or extended times for Jaccarded joints?

There is little evidence that cooking at less than 55C/131F has any advantages. I recently came across a journal article [J Food Sci 46 (1981) 475--478] which compared the tenderness of beef cooked at 50C, 55C, ..., 65C for up to 24 hours. For steers and cows less than four years old, the meat was most tender when cooked at between 55C/131F and 60C/140F for 24 hours. This was true of both freshly slaughtered and aged (up to 7 weeks) beef. Indeed, they found that beef cooked at 50C/122F was up to 6.1 times tougher than beef cooked at 60C/140F. This tenderizing is a result of a reduction in connective tissue strength and proteolytic enzymes which are active at temperatures below 65C/150F and decrease the myofibrillar tensile strength.

Just to be clear, my calculations do not assume that the interior muscle is sterile. When doing cook-chill sous vide, it is typically assumed that there is high bacterial load of 10^4 vegetative cells of Listeria monocytogenes per gram and that pasteurizing will reduce the number of vegetative cells to less than one cell per 100 grams. (Note: Listeria is used because it is the most heat resistant non-spore forming pathogen and because it can grow at refrigerator temperatures.) While it is possible to reduce such a bacterial load of Listeria at 50C/122F, the common spore forming pathogen Clostridium perfringens can grow at up to 53C/127.5F. Therefore, the lowest typical temperature for pasteurization is 54.4C/130F.

While it may be reasonable to assume that the interior muscle of meat and fish is essentially sterile (as Nathan and many food scientists do), I have never been comfortable with this assumption --- especially when the provenance of the meat or fish is unknown. In any case, I would recommend pasteurizing at 54.5C/130F and above if you are serving high risk individuals.

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nice, i got the same IC unit but mine labelled as a Haake c10. $100 thats a bargain and your one looks in very good condition.

Just remember to give it a very thorough cleaning before it even goes near your kitchen.

You should try to get a good digital thermometer to calibrate the IC unit as my one was a little out it meant my first 8 hour egg was 8 hours wasted. You need a fine flat head screwdriver and you can use the fine adjustment to set it.

thanks for the helpful comments. this might a nooby question but how do i calibrate it? do i just keep in mind that the analog setting "55" on the IC really means 57? or can i set it straight in some way?

get hold of a good digital thermometer check the thermometer is accurate against steam and melting ice.

Then turn on the IC select 50C and let it run until the water is at constant temperature, the yellow light will turn off.

Then check the water temp on your digital thermometer corresponds to the analogue scale.

If the IC until is out by more then 1C, you can adjust it using the fine adjustment screw, you will need a thin screwdriver to do that.

Just turn it until the water temp, digital thermometer and analogus scale all match up.

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Anyway back to the perenial favourite of safe storage of SVed items. Most of the calculations above tend to make the reasonable assumption that for an intact roast the inside is sterile and one need only perhaps take the precaution of searing the outside if SVing at less than 130F.

Just to make this very clear, there are three approaches:

1. Sear the outside to 145F/63C, then cook SV at lower temp (any temp you want).

2. Cook SV at very low temp - 38C/102F or higher, but for less than 4 hours total from refridgerator to plate.

3. Cook SV so that core temperature reaches 130F/54.4C and then stays there for 112 minutes (or high temp for lower time - see fda tables reproduced in various posts or Douglas Baldwin's site). Cooking at higher temp than 145F/63C means that the time requiremnt is so short that by the time you reach temp you are done.

#1 is FDA approved for "intact" beef steak. However, as a practical matter it ought to be fine for any intact muscle food, because the inside of muscle is sterile until and unless you penetrate it.

#2 is within FDA rules for any food so long as you warn on the menu. Carapaccio and sushi are not heated at all, nor is salad etc. By heating this food for less than 4 hours you are serving raw food warm or "lightly cooked" as far as FDA is concerned.

#3 is cooking to "sterilization" or "pasteurization" (many of these terms are used loosely and interchangably. It is the FDA guideline for cook-chill sous vide.

Meanwhile #1 and #2 are not approved for cook chill - they are only for immediate service and consumption.

Given this do you think that we should add any additional safety proceedures or extended times for Jaccarded joints?

This is a very interesting question.

If you use approach #1 - sear first, then jaccard, then cook SV, it ought to technically meet FDA rules, and ought to be safe so long as the cooking time is reasonable (4 hours or less).

By searing first you are sterilizing the outside, so when the Jaccard blades pentrate into the meat you are probably not carrying anything with them.

If you use approach #2 above - just heat for a short time - then again it ought to be OK, for the same reason that it is OK if you chop your salad and serve it raw.

If you use approach #3 then it ought to be safe too, because you are heat sterilizing the interior.

What I would NOT do is Jaccard, then marinate or otherwise store for a while then use #1 or #2. If you are going to marinate, brine or otherwise introduce things into the interior of the meat (including by injecting marinade) then you are best off using approach #3.

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There is little evidence that cooking at less than 55C/131F has any advantages.

If your goal is making the meat more tender this is exactly right. Tenderizing the meat is going to be very slow below these temperatures.

But, this is really a personal preference. If you like your steak rare, then you need to cook it less than 55C/131F. if you have tender meat (like fillet mignon), and/or if you are jaccarding, then you probably don't care if the cooking is not doing any tenderization.


Edited by nathanm (log)

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I've done an experiment with flank steak - I took 1 piece of flank steak and separated it into 2 pieces - jaccarded and seasoned both equally, cooked one piece SV at 131.5F for 24 hours, cooled, then patted dry/seared in hot pan just before service... the other was cooked the "standard bistro way" - seared then pan roasted until medium rare (just about the same degree of rareness as the SV version)...

My blind taste test subjects (the test was blind, not the subjects - haha) all concluded that the SV version was signficantly more tender than the standard pan roast version with better mouthfeel... and slightly more "beefy"... they concluded that the non SV version was more "chewy" and overall less enjoyable... they compared the texture of the SV version to filet mignon (although I don't know if I'd go that far - I thought it was tender, but had a much different mouthfeel than filet)

Unfortunately, if you like a really good hangar steak bloody, this doesn't really apply... but the medium-rare crowd thought the experiment was interesting... how you could take $6.99 a pound flank steak and make it tender enough that you could pass it off as $20 a pound filet medallions...

BTW - I can't say enough how much I've learned from this post - this post made me join EGullet in the first place and now I'm an addict... thanks especially to nathanm and DouglasBaldwin....

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There is little evidence that cooking at less than 55C/131F has any advantages.  I recently came across a journal article [J Food Sci 46 (1981) 475--478] which compared the tenderness of beef cooked at 50C, 55C, ..., 65C for up to 24 hours.  For steers and cows less than four years old, the meat was most tender when cooked at between 55C/131F and 60C/140F for 24 hours.  This was true of both freshly slaughtered and aged (up to 7 weeks) beef.  Indeed, they found that beef cooked at 50C/122F was up to 6.1 times tougher than beef cooked at 60C/140F.  This tenderizing is a result of a reduction in connective tissue strength and proteolytic enzymes which are active at temperatures below 65C/150F and decrease the myofibrillar tensile strength. 

I think there is a point that is worth mentioning. There is no advantage in terms of TENDERNESS for cooking below 131F. However, for people that like their steaks on the rare side of medium rare: one can cook reasonably tender cuts (ribeye, even filets) at 125F to 131F for SHORT periods of time to bring the core to the desired doneness for people that like rare to medium rare steaks. A steak prepared like this and then finished off for 15 to 30 seconds per side in a VERY hot pan yields a steak that has a lovely crust and desired "bloodiness" (misnomer I know) in everywhere else. Also, when prepared like this, the fat is softened throughout in a way that you don't get when pan-frying to the same doneness.

When using this method, one needs to make sure that the beef is at this temperature only long enough to bring it to the desired temp as staying too long in the danger zone is risky.

This is a method to use only with cuts where one is not trying to increase the tenderness.

--E

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If your goal is making the meat more tender this is exactly right.  Tenderizing the meat is going to be very slow below these temperatures.

But, this is really a personal preference.  If you like your steak rare, then you need to cook it less than 55C/131F.  if you have tender meat (like fillet mignon), and/or if you are jaccarding, then you probably don't care if the cooking is not doing any tenderization.

I think there is a point that is worth mentioning. There is no advantage in terms of TENDERNESS for cooking below 131F. However, for people that like their steaks on the rare side of medium rare: one can cook reasonably tender cuts (ribeye, even filets) at 125F to 131F for SHORT periods of time to bring the core to the desired doneness for people that like rare to medium rare steaks. A steak prepared like this and then finished off for 15 to 30 seconds per side in a VERY hot pan yields a steak that has a lovely crust and desired "bloodiness" (misnomer I know) in everywhere else. Also, when prepared like this, the fat is softened throughout in a way that you don't get when pan-frying to the same doneness.

When using this method, one needs to make sure that the beef is at this temperature only long enough to bring it to the desired temp as staying too long in the danger zone is risky.

This is a method to use only with cuts where one is not trying to increase the tenderness.

You are both quite right. My comment assumed that joesan wanted to cook the meat for a long time at below 130F/54.4C to allow enzymatic tendering of the meat (since this thread has long assumed that these enzymes are only active below 130F/55C). If joesan simply likes rare beef, than he should absolutely follow Nathan's recommendations above.

Moreover, unless you want spoon tender meat, I would not recommend cooking tender (or very well aged) cuts of meat at 130F--140F (55C--60C) for more than 6 hours. At least to my palate, well aged (4 wk) tender cuts of grass fed beef are unacceptably tender when cooked for more than 6 hours at 131F/55C. Minimally aged supermarket beef, however, may well need 24 hours at 140F/60C to be acceptably tender.

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Douglas, Nathan - thank you both for your sage words. Your advice is much appreciated.

I actually like to try a variety of meat types - after all anyone can cook something beautiful with an expensive well-aged piece of filet but it's sometimes more fun to try to make something out of the cheaper more challenging cuts. I have found the Jaccard works wonders on nearly all cuts of meat. Coupled with Sous Vide just about anything is possible.

I'm not a fan of "spoon tender" meat as to me it is an unnatural texture for the majority of meats. More I am aiming for rare meat with a fully meaty flavour and some tenderness but not too tender.

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how big of a difference does the jaccard make anyway? it seems amazing that it isnt more widely used since it's something like $30 to get one. even a marginal difference in meat retention and tenderness should be worth a measly thirty bucks imo.

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It makes a pretty significant difference. I will be measuring this for my cookbook -I don't have good quantitative results yet. Previous results are ~10% by weight effect in juice retention.

Many steak houses use jaccard. They have larger versions of the machine that have higher throughput. Some butchers do it routinely. You have to look VERY closely to tell.

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I can definitely recommend the Jaccard. I now use it on just about every steak, even on the finest filet and also some other meats like lamb or venison. I would be willing to bet that many of us have tried Jaccarded meat without knowing.

After buying one I kept an eye out for seeing it in action at any steakhouses that I went to. Quite quickly you can detect where it has been used, but at Nathan says you have to look very closely. There's a mid-range French chain here in the UK called Chez Gerard that sells a very tasty cut called Onglet, it's served with Bearnaise Sauce and very good Frites. This is a normally tough but flavoursome and meaty cut similar to Hanger steak. I noticed last time I was there that it had been over-enthusiastically Jaccarded - I could see many cuts in the meat fibre - and concluded that they must use this tool to make their steaks more tender. Look very closely at your next Steak in your Steakhouse and I think you may well see the tell-tale cuts.

As the previous poster says for $30 you can't go far wrong to experiment.

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It makes a pretty significant difference.  I will be measuring this for my cookbook -I don't have good quantitative results yet.  Previous results are ~10% by weight effect in juice retention.

10%, that's pretty sick to be honest. for the cost of less than what the meat is in many cases, it's just unbelievable. getting one right now.

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I received the following reply from the UK Microbiological Safety Division, Food Standards Agency, that may be of interest.

"There are no guidelines that are laid down in any UK or EU regulations for Sous Vide foods. The Agency is aware that Sous Vide is a cooking style that is becoming popular and may be looking into it further."

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      Throughout his career, Jose’s vision and imaginative creations have drawn the praise of the public, the press and his peers. José has received awards and recognition from Food Arts, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Saveur, the James Beard Foundation, Wine Spectator, and Wine Advocate. In addition, José has been featured in leading food magazines such as Gourmet as well as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Good Morning America, Fox Sunday Morning News with Chris Wallace, the Food Network, and USA Today.
       
      Widely acknowledged as the premiere Spanish chef cooking in America, José is a developer and Conference Chairman for the upcoming Worlds of Flavor Conference on Spain and the World Table at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, November 2 – 5, 2006.
       
      In 1993, Jose moved to Washington, DC, to head the kitchen at Jaleo. From there, Jose took on executive chef responsibilities at neighboring Café Atlantico and later Zaytinya. In July of 2003, Jose embarked on his most adventurous project to date with the opening of the minibar by jose andres at Cafe Atlantico. A six-seat restaurant within a restaurant, minibar by jose andres continues to attract international attention with its innovative tasting menu. In the fall of 2004, Jose opened a third Jaleo and Oyamel, an authentic Mexican small plates restaurant and launched the THINKfoodTANK, an institution devoted to the research and development of ideas about food, all with a view toward their practical applications in the kitchen.
       
      Every week, millions of Spaniards invite Jose into their home where he is the host and producer of “Vamos a cocinar”, a food program on Television Española (TVE), Spanish national television. The program airs in the United States and Latin America on TVE Internacional.
       
      Jose released his first cookbook this year, first published in English, Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America (published in the United States by Clarkson Potter) and shortly after in Spanish, Los fogones de José Andrés (published by Planeta). The book is an homage to Spanish cooking and to tapas, one of Spain's gifts to the world of good cooking.
       
      Jose Andres is passionate, intelligent, dedicated, witty and a fan of FC Barcelona.
       
      Jose has been a member of the eGullet Society since 2004.
       
      More on Jose Andres in the eG Forums:
      Cooking with "Tapas" by Jose Andres
      Vamos a Cocinar - cooking show with Jose Andres
      Jaleo
      José Andrés' Minibar
      Zaytinya
      Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, Crystal City
      Cafe Atlantico
       
      Jose Andres recipes from Tapas in RecipeGullet:
      Potatoes Rioja-Style with Chorizo (Patatas a la Riojana)
      Moorish-Style Chickpea and Spinach Stew
      Squid with Caramelized Onions
    • By gibbs
      With Modernist Cuisine I waited a couple of years and ended up with a copy from the 6th printing run the advantage of this was that all errors picked up in the erratta had been corrected in the print copy.  I am looking to get modernist bread soon and wondered if someone had purchased it recently to check or if someone knew of hand if they have printed any additional corrected runs 
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