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KaffirLime

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

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A quick comment about vacuum equipment. This week for individual portions of dark meat chicken, I compared FS with a handheld system that uses a modified ziplock bag. There was no difference in the final product both were great. With the 1 quart bags, it was more convenient and they required less space. I expected leakage, but a bag with dry couscous in it showed no sign of moisture getting in.

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I did a trimmed brisket at 135F for two days. When I served it, people asked what kind of steak did I use, it was that tender. I seemes to me that cooking it at 131F - 135F keep the meat medium rare while converting the connective tissue to gelatin.

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Have been reading the Sous Vide thread with gusto (almost 2000 posts!), but have a few questions:

Anyone know anything about upcoming consumer-grade sous vide appliances? There were one or two posts about about Polyscience abandoning attempts to develop/market a consumer immersion circulator, but wasn't sure if that was just a rumor or not.

I also found some references to Viking and/or Kenmore working on it. See here in the NYTimes (http://themoment.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/20/sous-vide-not-longer-astronauts-only/) and here in an eGullet thread (http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=116482&view=findpost&p=1583223).

Anyone know any more about these efforts? Not sure why a $1000 Viking solution would be any better than a $1000 Polyscience solution, maybe more stainless steel and chrome to make it a status item?

I guess for those wanting to spend less than $500, eBay and the PID controller kits are still the only way to go.

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Also had another question:

In the NYTimes Mag "Under Pressure" article, Bruno Goussault emphasizes the importance of multi-stage cooling, e.g. heating the protein to temp and then having it "cooled, successively, at room temperature, in cold water, then in ice water, before being reheated and served."

Is there some reason for multi-stage cooling? If the point is simply to get the protein to safe holding temperature, wouldn't ice water get it to that temperature the fastest?

Another confusing quote: "Foods must be chilled before sealing, otherwise the pressure inside the machine will cause them to cook during the sealing process. The pressure must also be calibrated for every type of food, so the food stays compact but firm."

Anyone have any idea what that means?

Thanks!

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That makes sense only if you want to store, then reheat the food. If you are planning on taking the food out of the bag and serving it immediately, there is no reason to cool it at all.

I don't understand the idea of multistage cooling. What you want to do is get it from the cooking temperature through the "danger zone" and into storage temperature as rapidly as possible. This argues for cooling in ice water right out of the water bath.

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Have been reading the Sous Vide thread with gusto (almost 2000 posts!), but have a few questions:

Anyone know anything about upcoming consumer-grade sous vide appliances? There were one or two posts about about Polyscience abandoning attempts to develop/market a consumer immersion circulator, but wasn't sure if that was just a rumor or not.

. . .

In the July issue of Food & Wine there is an article about Polyscience working to develop an immersion circulator in conjunction with the release of Under Pressure, I gather, since he (Philip Preston of Polyscience) has a draft of the book.

Here's a link to the article.

Edited to add link.

Edited for better clarity.


Edited by Anna N (log)

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Having just received my Sous Vide magic from Canada a week ago, I did my first very slow cooked meal tonight.

This was beef cheeks cooked for 30 hours at 70 degrees Celsius.

To provide a degree of bite and texture, I baked some egg-glazed puff pastry as a base.

Onto this was added a layer of mashed potato enriched with horseradish and sour cream.

Next came the beef cheeks across which I laid diagonally two eschallots (scallions) that had been blanched and then fried on a griddle pan to give the nice dark marks.

Used a sauce from a lamb shanks dish I did last night to which was added the juices from the Sous Vide bags. This was then boiled down to get to the right consistency and enriched with butter.

Served the meal with fried oyster mushrooms as well as baby spinach cooked in butter and lemon with butter-fried pine nuts added.

The meat was superbly moist and tender and the other elements added a lovely flavour and texture.

Sorry there are no pictures but it disappeared quite rapidly.

:smile:


Edited by nickrey (log)

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In the NYTimes Mag "Under Pressure" article, Bruno Goussault emphasizes the importance of multi-stage cooling, e.g. heating the protein to temp and then having it "cooled, successively, at room temperature, in cold water, then in ice water, before being reheated and served."

Been thinking about this "slow-cooling" a bit more. It doesn't make any sense from a food safety perspective, like slkinsey said, because you want to get it cold as quickly as possible. Perhaps it has to do with moisture/texture/taste or something like that? Don't have my McGee handy, but perhaps more moisture will be reabsorbed during protein relaxation if it's cooled slowly than cooled rapidly? Or perhaps this is simply a confusion on the part of the author of the article...

Another confusing quote: "Foods must be chilled before sealing, otherwise the pressure inside the machine will cause them to cook during the sealing process. The pressure must also be calibrated for every type of food, so the food stays compact but firm."

With regards to the other quote pressure "cooking" the food during sealing, perhaps this is the same as "softening" vegetables (without cooking them) in the vac chamber?

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I recently got my SousVide Magic, Foodsaver,

put in some brisket yesterday, looking for 36-48 hours at 150 or so

Checking it today, the meat has shrunk a bit and released a lot liquid.

Bag is no longer tight


Edited by lennyk (log)

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Also had another question:

In the NYTimes Mag "Under Pressure" article, Bruno Goussault emphasizes the importance of multi-stage cooling, e.g. heating the protein to temp and then having it "cooled, successively, at room temperature, in cold water, then in ice water, before being reheated and served."

Is there some reason for multi-stage cooling? If the point  is simply to get the protein to safe holding temperature, wouldn't ice water get it to that temperature the fastest?

Another confusing quote: "Foods must be chilled before sealing, otherwise the pressure inside the machine will cause them to cook during the sealing process. The pressure must also be calibrated for every type of food, so the food stays compact but firm."

Anyone have any idea what that means?

Thanks!

There is NO point to multi-stage cooling.

If you are going to store the SV product after cooking, then you should cool it to storage temp (very cold - ideally just above freezing) as soon as possible. The best way to do this is to either immerse in ice water, or use a blast freezer (like a convection oven, but with cold air not hot).

The point about chilling before vacuum packing is that the boiling point of water drops with pressure. If you try to vacuum pack hot broth, it will boil over - if cold it may still boil over but can take more vacuum before it does.

However, for most meat, vegetables etc, this is pointless.

Some people think that the amount of vacuum matters (the last point) but there is little evidence for this for most food. Some very delicate foods can get crushed by full vacuum, but the idea of calibrating the vacuum pressure to each type of food is not at all required.

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I recently got my SousVide Magic, Foodsaver,

put in some brisket yesterday, looking for 36-48 hours at 150 or so

Checking it today, the meat has shrunk a bit and released a lot liquid.

Bag is no longer tight

The meat does throw some liquid so don't give up on it too soon. My bags tend to not be as tight after a while as when I put them in as well. I'd be tempted to leave it and see how it turns out.

While there is nothing wrong with rebagging the meat, using a Foodsaver you carry the risk of some of those juices getting into the seal, which means you will wind up with a worse problem.

If it has leaked and not given a good outcome with this piece, next time you do it try doing a few more seals above your original seal without vacuum just to make sure the package is nice and secure.

Good luck

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Hi John,

I think that you will find that for under $175 you can pick up a tabletop roaster and a PID and a cheap aquarium air pump that will give you results that will rival a much more expensive setup. (I would also throw in a $20 presto multicooker if you are ever going to be cooking thing like chicken breasts for 2 or 3 people).

I have heard from two people that have both a setup like this and a more expensive setup with lab equipment and they have both said that only significant difference was that the lab circulator was more convenient. Now, if money is not an object, convenience is great. But if saving a few hundred dollars seems worthwhile, you won't be disappointed with a $100 PID plus appropriate heat source.

I would expect that any large company that comes out with a sous-vide appliance will be aiming at a high-end home user. There isn't a mass-market in waiting for a sous-vide appliance and margins are pretty small for manufacturers of things that sell through big-box stores.

--E

Have been reading the Sous Vide thread with gusto (almost 2000 posts!), but have a few questions:

Anyone know anything about upcoming consumer-grade sous vide appliances? There were one or two posts about about Polyscience abandoning attempts to develop/market a consumer immersion circulator, but wasn't sure if that was just a rumor or not.

I also found some references to Viking and/or Kenmore working on it. See here in the NYTimes (http://themoment.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/20/sous-vide-not-longer-astronauts-only/) and here in an eGullet thread (http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=116482&view=findpost&p=1583223).

Anyone know any more about these efforts? Not sure why a $1000 Viking solution would be any better than a $1000 Polyscience solution, maybe more stainless steel and chrome to make it a status item?

I guess for those wanting to spend less than $500, eBay and the PID controller kits are still the only way to go.

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For what it's worth. I have done briskets at 135F and 147F (several times at each temperature) and would say that to my taste, 135F was vastly preferable. The meat had better texture and was moister at 135 (for 40 to 48 hours) than at 147.

No matter what you do, a lot of moisture will leave the meat. Also, you need a well-trimmed brisket (especially at 135F) that also has reasonable marbling. The flat of some briskets does not have enough marbling and will yield something that turns out "dry" no matter what temp.

At 135F for 48 hrs, you end up with meat that is fork tender, deliciously pink and has its full visual integrity (it doesn't look stringy or fibrous at all).

gallery_51976_6006_88148.jpg

The picture doesn't do the meat justice (it was a lot pinker than it looks in the pic).

--E

I recently got my SousVide Magic, Foodsaver,

put in some brisket yesterday, looking for 36-48 hours at 150 or so

Checking it today, the meat has shrunk a bit and released a lot liquid.

Bag is no longer tight

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There is NO point to multi-stage cooling.

If you are going to store the SV product after cooking, then you should cool it to storage temp (very cold - ideally just above freezing) as soon as possible.  The best way to do this is to either immerse in ice water, or use a blast freezer (like a convection oven, but with cold air not hot).

The only other reason I can think of for multi-stage cooling (before storage) is to let the core temp reach the desired cooking temp in cases when you've been cooking in a water bath significantly above your desired cooking temp. This is related to the "resting time" in the tables that Nathan has previously posted (e.g. here). For example, as in the table, if you had a 100mm (~ 4-inch) steak cooking in a 65 C (149 F) water bath, you would want to take the steak out of the bath after 2 hours and 50 minutes, when its internal temp is 124.8F. It would then take a further 33 minutes and 10 seconds for the core of that steak to reach 130F, the desired final cooking temp. (Not sure if Nathan's calculations had the bag resting at ambient temp in air or with a no heat flow boundary condition, though the specific boundary condition may not make much of a difference.)

Nevertheless, if you were to pull said steak out the ice bath at 2 hours and 50 minutes, and plunge it immediately in an ice bath instead of letting it rest for 30 minutes, the core temp wouldn't reach 130 F. It would only reach desired temp of 130F if you did multi-stage cooling, e.g. let rest at room temp in air, then put it in ice water. (Of course, you could redo all the calculations to assume that you were letting the bag "rest" in ice water, but we're crossing the line into absurdity here...)

So why would you ever cook a 4-inch steak in a water bath that is 20 F above your desired cooking temp? You wouldn't, which is why there's no point to multi-stage cooling!

So perhaps Goussault/Cuisine Solutions has complicated water bath temps that necessitate complicated cooling procedures, but if your water bath is set at your desired cooking temp (or +1 F from desired cooking temp as most people do), then immediate ice bath/blast chiller cooling is the way to go if you're storing the food.

Glad that's settled...

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Brining, I do it with all my poultry when roasting. Does anyone have experience doing it with SV? I didn't see anything about this in earlier posts, but I have been known to have missed things. Oh, to have a search function....


Edited by Mikels (log)

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For what it's worth. I have done briskets at 135F and 147F (several times at each temperature) and would say that to my taste,  135F was vastly preferable. The meat had better texture and was moister at 135 (for 40 to 48 hours) than at 147.

No matter what you do, a lot of moisture will leave the meat. Also, you need a well-trimmed brisket (especially at 135F) that also has reasonable marbling. The flat of some briskets does not have enough marbling and will yield something that turns out "dry" no matter what temp.

At 135F for 48 hrs, you end up with  meat that is fork tender, deliciously pink and has its full visual integrity (it doesn't look stringy or fibrous at all).

Checking it today, the meat has shrunk a bit and released a lot liquid.

Bag is no longer tight

I think that the difference is easy to explain. At 135, you have medium rare brisket, while at 147, it is medium to medium well done. With the connective tissue reduced to gelatin in both cases, the tenderness is a function of internal temperature. If you think about it, we are used to brisket being well done.

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Brining, I do it with all my poultry when roasting.  Does anyone have experience doing it with SV?  I didn't see anything about this in earlier posts, but I have been known to have missed things.  Oh, to have a search function....

I frequently brine both pork and poultry when cooking sous vide (see my guide for details). That said, pork chops cooked at 131F (55C) for 12 hours and poultry breasts cooked at 140F (60C) until pasteurized are perfectly acceptable without brining. I feel that brining is important when cooking pork shoulders and poultry legs confit style (8--12 hours at 176F {80C}). Additionally, the meat can also be mechanically tenderized using a Jaccard.

There is indeed a search function at the bottom left-hand side of this page. If you had noticed the search, you would have discovered that brining has been discussed at some length up thread. (But, there is always room for additional discussing :smile: ).

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Hello, SV Gang,

I am looking for purely numeric answers to my question:

Momofuku Ko has 48 hour SV Short Ribs on the menu - any ideas/guesses/estimates as to what temperature they may cook it at? ( in this case we already know the exact cooking time)

That's what their ribs look like:

gallery_57905_5971_76246.jpg

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Thanks, e_monster:

135F @ 48 hours - would it be high enough to melt the fat, though?

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I have cooked them at 135F several times (followed by a quick sear) and people love them -- they are sure that it is some expensive cut of meat--very tender and very rich. and they look very much like what you posted.

135F softens the fat but it won't render all of it--so you need to start with well trimmed short ribs. When you sear some will render and some help form a nice crisp crust.

I sous-vide with the bones and remove the bones before searing.

I put the empty pan on a high burner for 10 minutes or so which gets the pan to about 700 F before doing the sear. The ribs get just 10 to 20 seconds per side (I sear the four sides). If you cook sous vide it at a high enough temperature to render the fat, you miss out on the wonderful texture that a medium short rib can have. The pictures look like what my short ribs look like at 135F. I will try to get my act together and post some pictures.

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Not sure about the SV temperature, but the Ko shortribs are deep fried afterwards.

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e_monster what goes into the bag with your short ribs? Just dry seasoning or do you add some liquid?

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I haven't been seasoning the shortribs before bagging. I just put them into the bags by themselves. When I take them out I season with salt and pepper before searing. It might be co-incidence but it seems like when there is salt in the bag on a long cook that the meat doesn't come out quite as juicy.

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Hi All,

I am a new member but a longtime reader. I have seen sous vide demonstrated many times but this thread actually convinced me that I should try it!

I've been using a Sous Vide Magic in combination with a consumer rice cooker for about 2 months now. It has been tough finding the right temperature for whichever protein I've decided to cook. I find that my tastes tend to be closer to rare than other members here.

Since I am from Montreal, and if you ask me Montreal has the best smoked meat, I have been searching for the best technique to smoke a whole brisket and not have it come out dry or too harsh in its smokiness. I don't have the luxury of a commercial sized smoke house so I have had to make due with my Centro brand electric smoker and I find that the temperature control is too finicky and the resultant smoke too harsh.

What I did last week was dry cured a couple of small briskets from the flat side in a rub containing kosher salt, black pepper, coriander seeds, celery seeds, paprika, and a few bay leaves. I left this in the fridge in a zip lock bag flipping it every day. After three days I rinsed and dried the meat and then re-spiced it. I then put it in the smoker with mesquite chips and set the temperature to 155F. It took about 15 minutes for the smoke to begin forming and at that point I let the meat smoke for exactly 15 minutes. When I removed the meat the wood chips were not yet completely black and smoldering. I feel that this is critical.

I let the meat rest and then put it in the freezer for about 1 hour to solidfy any blood and juice. I vacuum sealed each brisket seperately using my Food Saver 2460 and then cooked them sous-vide for 2 days at 135F.

At the end of 2 days the meat had lost quite a bit of juice and the bags were pretty loose. The flavor and texture though were unlike any other smoked meat I ever had. It was not at all like something you would find at Schwartz' or some other fine smoked meat restaurant but it was still great. As I said, the texture was soft but not crumbly. The meat was moist throughout and the smoke flavor was not at all harsh. It was subtle and sublime. Though 15 minutes in a smoker is not enough to develop a smoke ring, bathing in it's own juice which obviously was filled with smoke flavor allowed the essence of smoke to permeate throughout but not be over-powering. The only thing I forgot, and I am kicking myself now, was to add some garlic to the pouch. I am also thinking of adding some sort of citrus... not a lot but just a bit to counteract some of the carcinogens in smoke.

Thanks for reading and I'd appreciate any comments!

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