• 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 an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

TdeV

Cooking Frozen Meat Sous Vide

31 posts in this topic

I notice that D. Baldwin says that one can reheat frozen cooked sous vide meat in a one hour waterbath, so that makes me think that frozen meat unfreezes quickly.

Lots of the meat which I will eventually cook sous vide is now sitting in the freezer vacuum-sealed in cook-safe bags.

Can I put the frozen meat directly into a water bath and just extend the cooking time? Or is this a really dumb idea?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This a good idea. Fast thaw and a speedy passage thru the danger zone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do it with raw frozen hamburger patties. But they are very thin so they reach pastuerization temp in 1-2 hours. But to answer your question, it is safe as long as the meat reaches 131.5F in 4 hours according to Baldwin. This is red meats. Im not sure about poultry though. I have a turkey breast loaf cooked to 146F frozen in my freezer. It took 4 hours to reach 130F and 8 hours to reach 146F. Someone told me it was safe to eat but im still debating if i want to test it. I hate to waist a good 8/lb turkey breast loaf.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the laws of physics, putting frozen food in a properly controlled water bath cannot be slower than any room temperature method of defrosting. Think about it, by the time the center is 4C, the outside is already 50+C and transmitting heat so the center is going to get to pasteurization temps faster. Thus, from a food safety perspective, anything that's safe for defrosted food is also safe for frozen food.

The only concern is if your heating element is inadequate and you put in enough frozen food to bring the water bath temperature down to unsafe temperatures for too long but this can easily be detected and fixed.

1 person likes this

PS: I am a guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Shalmanese. I guess I could afford to start with hotter water then? I.e. if my long cook temp is 140C, then I should be able to start with 160C water, right?

Wait. I've just figured out how silly this is, my heating element won't turn on until the temp falls below 140C. :blush:


Edited by TdeV (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thaw, or cook from frozen, all the time. I've only ever had a problem once. I left some lamb rumps that were already close to use by date - and which were subsequently frozen because I was going overseas - in the SV for twice the normal cooking time. They tasted okay, but the texture was so spongy as to be off-putting. In all other cases I can't spot the difference.

I put the frozen meat/fish/poultry into the SV at the temp I want the food cooked at. There can be a drop of 5F or so when first put into the SV, but that lasts about 5 minutes max.

So if I wanted my food cooked at 140F that's what I would set the SV for, certainly not anything higher, much less 160.


Edited by Ozcook (log)
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have sous vided many times the entire frozen 18-20 lb turkey.

There is only one problem doing it this way, can you guess?

The giblets in that paper bag will be cooked inside the turkey.

dcarch

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Shalmanese. I guess I could afford to start with hotter water then? I.e. if my long cook temp is 140C, then I should be able to start with 160C water, right?

Wait. I've just figured out how silly this is, my heating element won't turn on until the temp falls below 140C. :blush:

This is not as silly as you think. The frozen meat will cool the water when it is added. It is also phase shifting from frozen to thawed so it will have a larger effect than would be predicted simply adding the masses and temperatures. I start off with water warmer than my target temperature then monitor the temperature after the food is added. As it drops below target temperature, which it will, I add more hot water to bring it back up. I do this by scooping out some of the water and replacing it with hot water. Once it reaches equilibrium, I leave it to heat through and then treat it as for normal sous vide cooked food.

I far prefer this method of cooking to thawing in the refrigerator and then reheating. The thermal conductivity of water means that it passes quickly through the danger zone. Moreover, it is very convenient.

Edited to add: I just converted your temperatures to Celsius and your temperatures are way too high. I wouldn't reheat pre-cooked food in a water bath anything above 57C (135F). You're only reheating it, not cooking from scratch.


Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Shalmanese. I guess I could afford to start with hotter water then? I.e. if my long cook temp is 140C, then I should be able to start with 160C water, right?

Wait. I've just figured out how silly this is, my heating element won't turn on until the temp falls below 140C. :blush:

The problem is not during the first few moments of cooking, it's if your bath is struggling to keep up for hours on end. This is really only an issue if your bath size is on the upper end of what your heating element can accommodate *and* you overfill your bath with food. Keep both the bath size and food:water ratio sane and you shouldn't have to worry.

I actually do the opposite and just throw the food into the room temp bath as soon as it's turned on and let it come up to temp as it's defrosting. This is largely because I'm impatient and want the food reheated as fast as possible.


PS: I am a guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually do the opposite and just throw the food into the room temp bath as soon as it's turned on and let it come up to temp as it's defrosting. This is largely because I'm impatient and want the food reheated as fast as possible.

I basically do the same, but fill the bath with hot water.

Why NOT give it a head start?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TdeV: I think you're misreading Baldwin. Table 2.3 of his Practical Guide gives heating times from frozen and, while some are under an hour, most are more (how much more depending on shape and thickness). I don't have any experience with the question you're asking, as I never cook from frozen, but this table would give me pause. I'd fear the outside would be overcooked getting the core to temp and holding it there long enough to pasteurize. This probably isn't a problem for long-cooked braising cuts, but could be for tender ones (especially something thick, like a turkey breast or beef roast). Also, if there are pasteurization tables for cooking from frozen, I don't recall having seen them. Perhaps you could back into the calculation by tacking together Table 2.3 and the pasteurization times from the regular tables, using the minimums as the core presumably is already at temp, but that seems a bit ad hoc. Rather, I'd defrost conventionally (which keeps the meat cool) and cook from 41F as the standard pasteurization tables assume.

FeChef: That would be me. FWIW, the four hour rule I mentioned in the earlier conversation comes in Baldwin in the text following Table 2.3. To understand why this works, review his discussion of food safety (earlier in the Guide). There, he explains, "Most food pathogens stop growing by 122°F (50°C), but the common food pathogen Clostridium perfringens can grow at up to 126.1°F (52.3°C). So in sous vide cooking, you usually cook at 130°F (54.4°C) or higher." Notably, of itself, reaching temp only stops further reproduction of the pathogens. To reduce them to safe levels, i.e., to pastueurize, the meat must be held at temp for the times given in the pasteurization tables. As I recall, you did that, which is why I said you're good to go. But, of course, only you can decide whether you're comfortable doing so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do this all the time. sometimes I dont have enough turkey dark meat for a 'full bath' ie 12 - 14 packages so these I freeze and label as such.

when I get enough ( i use a large beer cooler for these longer cooks ) i use hot water to get the bath started, then add the fz legs/thighs

some times while the bath is getting to temp I put the tzhe dark meat in pots of hot tap water first to get them going

10 - 20 minutes then into the bath this keeps the bath water from dropping too low. never do I use a bath water temp above the target temp for the cooking item. makes no sense to me

works fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with all that is said on cooking from frozen. Water is a great conductive medium and the meat defrosts very quickly. If you're using your final temperature or a few degrees above, I can't see how you'd overcook the outside of the meat. Use Douglas's tables or those in sous vide dash and you will be fine.


Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone mentioned it being safer to thaw in the heated water bath because its quicker but i disagree. Its safer to thaw in water below 40F. I always thaw large meat items in a bucket of 35-38F ice water in the fridge overnight. Smaller meats like steaks only take an hour or so to thaw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

here is some of PedroG's work on this:

http://sousvide.wikia.com/wiki/Core_temperature_development_in_frozen_versus_refrigerated_meat

If Im aware that Im going to re-heat SV from FZ the day before I leave overnight in the coldest part of my refrig. : the lower back.

if not, I use hot tap water ( 120 ) for two 10 minute cycles then into the preheated bath.

if just depends on what you personally think of that " 1 hour " window.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone mentioned it being safer to thaw in the heated water bath because its quicker but i disagree. Its safer to thaw in water below 40F. I always thaw large meat items in a bucket of 35-38F ice water in the fridge overnight. Smaller meats like steaks only take an hour or so to thaw.

There are 3 separate procedures that need to be distinguished: thaw from frozen, reheat from frozen and cook from frozen. If your goal is to thaw from frozen for later cooking with another method, then you should ideally thaw in a circulating 4C water bath until defrosted. However, if you intend to thaw and then immediately cook or reheat SV, then it is better to combine the thaw and cook into a single step and thaw directly in the bath.


PS: I am a guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at Pedro's data, heating from 5C to 55C took 67 minutes. From -10C to 55C took 98 minutes but cooking to 54.9C took 75 minutes. This is most likely a function of the temperature of the water bath being set at the target temperature: it is not uncommon for extended time periods to be added if you don't cook at a slightly higher than target temperature. It looks like the rule add another third to cooking time if cooking from frozen works, at least in this instance.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at Pedro's data, heating from 5C to 55C took 67 minutes. From -10C to 55C took 98 minutes but cooking to 54.9C took 75 minutes. This is most likely a function of the temperature of the water bath being set at the target temperature: it is not uncommon for extended time periods to be added if you don't cook at a slightly higher than target temperature. It looks like the rule add another third to cooking time if cooking from frozen works, at least in this instance.

Interesting, I overlaid the two graphs on top of each other:

anim2.png

The heating curve for the frozen sample is faster initially as predicted but then slows down around the 40C mark. This doesn't seem explainable by the sample being frozen since every part is well above freezing at this point. I wonder if the frozen sample was slightly thicker than the non-frozen sample, leading to naturally longer cooking time that overwhelmed the effect of freezing.


Edited by Shalmanese (log)

PS: I am a guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at Pedro's data, heating from 5C to 55C took 67 minutes. From -10C to 55C took 98 minutes but cooking to 54.9C took 75 minutes. This is most likely a function of the temperature of the water bath being set at the target temperature: it is not uncommon for extended time periods to be added if you don't cook at a slightly higher than target temperature. It looks like the rule add another third to cooking time if cooking from frozen works, at least in this instance.

Interesting, I overlaid the two graphs on top of each other:

attachicon.gifanim2.png

The heating curve for the frozen sample is faster initially as predicted but then slows down around the 40C mark. This doesn't seem explainable by the sample being frozen since every part is well above freezing at this point. I wonder if the frozen sample was slightly thicker than the non-frozen sample, leading to naturally longer cooking time that overwhelmed the effect of freezing.

These experiments were all conducted with the same bagged pile of wet rags with a 1mm dia temperature probe inserted through foam tape in the following order:

1. ambient to 55°C

2. 55°C to 5°C in the fridge

3. 5°C to 55°C

4. 55°C to -20°C in the freezer

5. -20°C to 55°C

I cannot rule out that the foam tape was not perfectly tight and that the bag might have soaked up some water from experiment to experiment, as I did not measure the weight of the bag before and after each experiment. This might explain the slightly slower heating rate in the experiment from frozen.


Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, I have this 8/lb boneless turkey breast loaf that i cooked sous vide to 146.5F It took 4 hour to reach 130F and 8 hours to reach 146.5F. It was then flash frozen. I have decided to take the risk and bring it back to a safe temp and deep fry to crisp the skin then slice thin and portion it out into 8oz vacuum packs. If i thaw it to 38F , how long should it take to reach 135F? 2 hours? More, less? Should i set the water bath to 146.5F and give it the same amount of time as if i was shooting for 135F? Reason being is i want it to reach safe temp in as short time as possible so it doesnt spend too much time cooking and getting mushy/mealy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the turkey breast loaf turned out great. I deep fried it for 10 minutes to get the skin really crispy. But if i ever do this again I will cook the two breast halves seperately.

And 24 hours later no stomach problems so thats good.


Edited by FeChef (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know it's probably not best practice but I'd be interested to know if there's any scientific reason why it would be dangerous to eat food from a pasteurised pouch that had been frozen and thawed more than once?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

If it hadn't been opened, or left thawed for a long time, I can see no risk.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, gfweb said:

 

 

If it hadn't been opened, or left thawed for a long time, I can see no risk.

 

+1

I agree. If reasonable safety precautions are respected, re-freezing and re-thawing is much more an issue of quality.

2 people like this

~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By eG Forums Host
      Introduction

      Welcome to the index for the Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques, & Equipment topic, one of the largest and most influential topics on eG Forums. (The topic has been closed to keep the index stable and reliable; you can find another general SV discussion topic here.) This index is intended to help you navigate the thousands of posts and discussions to make this rich resource more useful and accessible.

      In order to understand sous vide cooking, it's best to clear up some misconceptions and explain some basics. Sous vide cooking involves vacuum-sealing food in a plastic bag and cooking it in a water bath at precise temperatures. Though it translates literally as "under vacuum," "Sous vide" is often taken to mean "under pressure," which is a misnomer; not all SV cooking involves food cooked in conditions that exceed atmospheric pressure. (See below.) In addition, calculations for SV cooking involve not only time and temperature but also thickness. Finally, due to the anaerobic conditions inside the bag and the low temperatures used, food safety issues are paramount.

      You can read the basics of SV cooking and equipment here. In the summer of 2005, Nathan Myhrvold (Society member nathanm) posted this informative, "I'm now going to answer my own initial questions" post, which addresses just about everything up to that point. For what came next, read on -- and be sure to order Nathan Myhrvold's highly anticipated Modernist Cuisine book, due in spring 2011.

      As with all indexes of on-going discussions, this one has limitations. We've done our best to create a user-friendly taxonomy emphasizing the categories that have come up repeatedly. In addition, the science, technology, and recipes changed over time, and opinions varied greatly, so be sure to read updated information whenever possible.

      Therefore, we strongly encourage you to keep these issues in mind when reading the topic, and particularly when considering controversial topics related to food safety, doneness, delta T cooking, and so on. Don't read a first post's definitive claim without reading down the topic, where you'll likely find discussion, if not heated debate or refutation, of that claim. Links go to the first post in a series that may be discontinuous, so be sure to scan a bit more to get the full discussion.

      Recipes were chosen based solely on having a clear set of information, not on merit. Indeed, we've included several stated failures for reference. Where possible, recipes include temperature and time in the link label -- but remember that thickness is also a crucial variable in many SV preparations. (See below for more information on thickness.)

      History, Philosophy & Value of SV/LTLT Cooking

      Over the years, we've talked quite a bit about SV as a concept, starting with this discussion about how SV cooking got started. There have also been several people who asked, Why bother with SV in the first place? (See also this discussion.) What with all the electronics and plastic bags, we asked: Does SV food lack passion? Finally, there have been several discussions about the value of SV cooking in other eG Forums topics, such as the future of SV cooking, No More Sous Vide -- PLEASE!, is SV "real cooking," and what's the appeal of SV?

      Those who embrace SV initially seek ideas about the best applications for their new equipment. Discussions have focused on what a first SV meal should be -- see also this discussion -- and on the items for which SV/LTLT cooking is best suited. There's much more along those lines here, here, and here.

      Vacuums and Pressure in Sous Vide Cooking

      As mentioned above, there has been great confusion about vacuums, pressure, and their role SV cooking. Here is a selection of discussion points on the subject, arranged chronologically; please note that later posts in a given discussion may refute earlier ones:

      Do you need a vacuum for SV cooking, and, if so, why? What exactly is a "vacuum"? Click here, here, and ff. Are items in vacuum-sealed bags "under pressure"? Does a vacuum sealer create a vacuum inside the bag? Do you really need a vacuum, or can you use ZipLoc bags? Also see here, here, and here. If "sous vide" means "under pressure," aren't the items in the bag under pressure? There is more along these lines to be found in this discussion.  

      The Charts

      We've collected the most important of many charts in the SV topic here. Standing above the rest are Nathan Myhrvold's charts for cooking time versus thickness and desired core temperature. We worked with him to create these three reformatted protein tables, for beef, fish, and chicken & pork.

      Nathan provides additional information on his charts here. Information on how to read these charts can be found in this post. For an explanation of "rest time" in Nathan's tables, click here.

      Other Society members helped out as well. Douglas Baldwin references his heating time table for different geometric factors (slab/cylinder/sphere) here; the pdf itself can be found here. pounce created a post with all three tables as neatly formatted images. derekslager created two monospace font charts of Nathan's meat table and his fish table.

      Camano Chef created a cumulative chart with information gathered from other sources including Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc. Douglas Baldwin shared this chart devoted to pasteurizing poultry. PedroG detailed heat loss and steady state energy consumption of sous vide cookers in these charts.

      Finally, there is also an eG Forums topic on cooling rates that may be of interest.

      Acknowledgment & Comments

      This index was built by Chris Amirault, Director, eG Forums. It was reviewed by the eGullet Society volunteer team as well as many Society members. Please send questions or comments to Chris via messenger or email.
       
       
    • By TdeV
      Wikipedia defines pork wings as: a pork product made from the fibula of a pig's shank - a single bone surrounded by lean, tender meat.
      Images from the internet look like a finger-size bit of meat around a bone.
      Mine, however, look more like the meat (lots) which surrounds a bone. My butcher called this cut pork wings.
      You can see on the right that there's a small amount of bone.
         
       
      My butcher said he regularly ate SEVERAL of these. But this one measures 15 oz (425g).
      He also said it had to be cooked slowly.
       
      So, if I cook these sous vide, what temp and for how long?
    • By jedovaty
      Good morning!
       
      Long story short: I am doing a spin off the coconut/chocolate/almond candy (almond joy), and trying to create a specific shape out of the almond.  My hands are cramped after a couple dozen failed attempts whittling roasted almonds, so now I'd like to try a different approach, and instead, create some kind of sub-candy or cookie with roasted almonds that I can put into a mold or use a mini cookie cutter.  I'm fairly new to sweets, my knowledge in this area is pretty slim.  Some ideas so far, I don't like any, but it might help turn some gears:
      1. dusting almond over a stencil, but that's not enough almond nor crunchy enough
      2. almond brittle, but that's too hard and sweet, I'd like it more of a soft crunch, and bringing the almond flavor forward
      3. meringue with almonds (sort of macaron-ish), however, weather has been humid and raining here, and I'm ending up with a gooey mess instead of that soft crunch
       
      In addition to having almond-forward taste and soft crunch texture, it'd be fun to explore something modernish - I have a accumulated a few tools and ingredients not customarily found in homes.
       
      There are dietary considerations I will have to account for, however, no need to worry about that now, I am just looking for ideas and a place to take it from there
       
      Thank you for your time in reading!
    • By Franzisaurus_Rex
      FOOD BRETHREN!
      I need some advice. I have one last piece of pork belly confit in the fridge. I brined these bitches for about 5 days (brine included pink curing salt), vacuum sealed the squares of pork belly with lard and sous vide them at 158 F for 16 hours. I cooked this on 11/10/16 and its been in my refrigerator since. 
      Here is the general recipe I followed, with some modifications based on my taste: https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/...
      The last piece is still vacuum sealed and submerged (mostly) in lard. Any visible pork only has contact with the bag. 
      It's staring at me. And calling my name.
      I want to deep fry this sucker and have a little date night with the handsome devil I see in the mirror every morning, but the last thing I want is spoiled food. I can't find any conclusive information about how long pork confit lasts for. I've only seen references that duck confit or in general that the confit technique will last for months in the fridge. I have found no sources which directly addresses pork confit.
      Questions/Factors I'm Considering:
      - Does pork confit keep for as long as duck confit?
      - Does vacuum sealing have any effect on the length of preservation?
      - Does sous-vide cooking method affect the length of preservation?
      I know I am probably being a bit paranoid, but I thought I would do my due diligence before taking the plunge, so to speak. Any advice on these questions would be extremely helpful and appreciated!
      The Franzisaurus-Rex
      PS - you should totally make this if you are into sous vide, confit, food, or have any respect for the enjoyment of life. Flash-searing these things after cooking was OUT OF THIS WORLD.
    • By JoNorvelleWalker
      The NY Times has a current article in the science section "A Universe of Bubbles in Every Champagne Bottle".
       
      The article asserts that it is better to serve Champagne at warmer than refrigerator temperatures so that the bubbles are larger and convey more flavor.  Also to serve in a narrow glass.
       
      However Gerard Liger-Belair (who is referenced as an authority in the Times article) points out in his book Uncorked (forward by Herve This) that the colder the wine the more viscous and the more dissolved CO2.  Liger-Belair also prefers a goblet to a flute.  I bought Uncorked after reading about it in Liquid Intelligence from Dave Arnold.
       
      Discuss.
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.