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Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 9)


Rahxephon1
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wonder why all the flipping of the strands.

That's cheddaring.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

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

 

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I think many people "getting into" sous-vide, aren't too worried about the vacuum bit but arereally looking for is cooking at temperature-controlled, low temperatures.

So from my perspective, to "get into" Sous Vide, you should probably follow the path as outlined next:

- Get a cheap probe thermometer. One of those cheap (6 pounds/10 US dollars) ones that you can stick into either a piece of meat or pop the meats into a ziploc bag, work out the air from the bag and place it in a pan of 55-60 celcius water. - Using the thermometer for measuring, keep the temperature of your "water bath" constant. Remove meats when internal temperature is over 60 celsius.

- Same thing but use an oven instead of a water bath and stick the thermometer into the meats being cooked, 60+ means done. You'll now be able to consistently cook juicy meats, though it might take watching them for up to 4 hours.

Step 2 - get a temperature controlled hotpot. I got a 1L hometek HT-335. Too small, temperature control with an accuracy of 5C. Cost me all of 17 pounds, sending costs included. This introduced me to 72-hour cooked pork belly.

If you know anything about electricity at all, you may want to skip this step.

Step 3 - Get a deep fryer or rice cooker (if you don't have one already) non-immersed heating element and drawing up to 10 amps/220 volts or 20 amps/100 volts.
Hook up to a cheap Chinese STC-1000 temperature controller. This will give you more precise temperature control than the HT-335 and more room to cook. You'll be a year or more older by this time, yet your overall sous-vide costs so far will *still* be lower than when you had bought a commercial sous-vide device (under 50 pounds all-in for this last version, about half if you already have a slow cooker, rice cooker or deep fryer with non-immersed heating element.

After all that, you may have decided whether or not to get a "proper" sous-vide kit with circulator. By then you're probably a year on, and their prices will hopefully have come down, so overall I'm guessing the step-by-step method won't set you back any more than going "pro" right away. All you're doing is spreading the risk, but while eating yummy food in the meantime.

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Thanks for all the help and info guys.

I'll be cooking for myself and one other using the water displacement method. Can I put two steaks or two chicken breasts or two of whatever else in one bag or do they need to be sealed in their own bag (both for safety reasons and even cooking, etc.)? Using the water displacement method may make it harder to do two meats in one bag too, right? Thank you!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been using foodsaver branded bags for SV - ie. the genuine branded bags, not generic or bulk bags. This is simply because I can buy them at the local supermarket, even though I could possibly save a few dollars by ordering generic rolls online. But I have assumed the foodsaver bags are decent quality.

Today I tried SV beef cheeks at 80C and after about 10 hours the bag failed. It wasn't the heat seal that failed - I usually double seal anyway - but the side of the bag just sort of opened up along the seam. I usually SV at temperatures around 60C so this was new to me. It definitely wasn't a tear, the bag just unstuck along the manufactured seam.

I know that there are 'special' vacuum bags that are rated for higher temperatures and also 'special' bags for above boiling point, but I was surprised to have a normal bag fail at 80C, I didn't think it was unusually or uncommonly hot.

What are other's experiences with bag failures and higher temps? Are foodsaver branded bags any better or worse than generic bags? (by bags I mean rolls - the waffled ones for foodsavers type vacuums and not chamber sealers, which use different bags that can vary more widely)

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Quick question - I apologize if it's been covered already but I'm still working my way through the whole Sous Vide thread, and this came up the other day when talking to my mother. I know you can sous vide eggs, and I think it's possible to do so such that you get a yolk that's pasteurized but not set? Would it be possible to do eggs using sous vide to the point where they're pasteurized but still 'raw' enough for other cooking methods? (I.e. salad dressings and things that traditionally for raw eggs, and fried or otherwise cooked eggs where you desire a runny yolk.)

It came up because my mom loves many of those food items, but she has a somewhat suppressed immune system and so as much as possible she avoids things that are potentially 'unsafe' (has burgers fully cooked also, etc.) I would move sous vide equipment up my list of stuff to get and play with if it seemed reasonable that it would allow me to safely prepare some of the things that she's currently going without.

(Obviously I would be very careful about checking temperature accuracy and so on with my set up, so I could be sure items were actually being held at the necessary temperature for the correct amount of time.)

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

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

 

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There is a lot written on this across the threads. To summarise, yes it is possible to pasteurise eggs without cooking them by way of a temperature controlled water bath (I hesitate to call it sous vide because there is no vacuum involved).

It is also important not to leave them overly long in the bath as the egg will be affected so you need to balance temperature and time.

A 2003 scientific paper says 75 minutes at 57C (135F) (link here) will achieve the desired outcome.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

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That site isn't working for me. Can anyone else access it?

There is a lot written on this across the threads. To summarise, yes it is possible to pasteurise eggs without cooking them by way of a temperature controlled water bath (I hesitate to call it sous vide because there is no vacuum involved).

It is also important not to leave them overly long in the bath as the egg will be affected so you need to balance temperature and time.

A 2003 scientific paper says 75 minutes at 57C (135F) (link here) will achieve the desired outcome.

Thanks. That was the impression I had from reading so far, but there is a huge amount of information in the threads and since the entire sous vide approach is new to me I'm finding it works best to actually read through properly rather than trying to skip around searching for specific topics, and it's taking me a while. :)

i think my holiday gift to myself this year may be one of the sous vide gadgets...

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Modernist Cuisine proposes a lower temperature and longer time for in-shell egg pasteurization: 2 hours at 55ºC. I have used it but could not find a scientific paper to back it up, as for the proposed profile from previous comments.

Harold McGee says pasteurized eggs can replace fresh eggs in any application, though they may lose some emulsifying capacity and slightly alter the soft taste of eggs. But most likely he refers to higher heat pasteurization. I have prepared mayo with pasteurized eggs without noticing any loss of emulsifying power.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I know this was discussed before but I don't think it was very complete, even MC didn't have practical advice: what do I have to do to prevent botulism in:

1) plain stored food (like cheeses or meats) that aren't yet cooked; my cheeses come vacuumed sealed so can I put a meat in the fridge vacuum sealed for an extended period?

2) Non-pasteurized sous vide food

I'm not looking for freezing (I know this will prevent it)

“...no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”

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" meat in the fridge vacuum sealed for an extended period? "

the vacuum seal wont help anything that already has bacteria that will grow in your frig unless you freeze.

that being said, Tj's has 'fresh' CA goat cheese that's sealed. it keeps w/o mold for a long time in the refrig. open it and it keeps for much less time

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Over on Food52 (http://food52.com/blog/8524-alon-shaya-s-whole-roasted-cauliflower-with-whipped-goat-cheese?utm_source=FOOD52+Subscribers+List&utm_campaign=0e2cb77db4-Midweek_Edit_Prov_10_09_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_191568346e-0e2cb77db4-19684649) there is talk of a whole cauliflower being cooked sous vide and then finished in an 800F pizza oven. Does anyone know the time/temp they may be using for the sous vide stage and what is included in the bag with the cauliflower? Kerry and I are intrigued.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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

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

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Bladwin says for cauliflower :

185 (85 C) for 30 - 40 min. Id try that and consider making the 'florets' good sized but not whole, say 2 - 3 / person sized. they

would also allow more browning surface later ( :cool: )

love to see how your project turns out.

PS what ever you decide to do, would you consider ThemaPenning the 'core' just as you take the Caul. out of

the bag to see what the internal temp might be? im new to SV Veg, and interested in this. may thanks.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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I've always found it difficult to keep veggies from floating - even "dense" ones like asparagus... I can't imagine what it would take to weigh down a whole head of cauliflower! Maybe using a chamber vac, but I'd be afraid that too much vacuum would crush the head and snap the branches. Please keep us posted! Pics if possible?

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in a separate bag, smaller of course, VacPak some marbles / heavy ceramic pie-baking weights / etc and re-use.

got to be something 'perfect' at the Thrift Shop.

people on the SV thread in the past have gotten steel shafts cut at HomeDepot etc for this.

Edited by rotuts (log)
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Regarding botulism, what about meat that come vacuum sealed in the store? For instance, I purchased a pair of vacuum sealed duck breasts that (according to the label) will keep for a month. Why isn't botulism an issue here? The meat isn't even properly refridgerated in the store, and I'm sure someone, sometime, has left it out in room temperature for a long time or refridgerated it for months and months, without dying :)

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I've always found it difficult to keep veggies from floating - even "dense" ones like asparagus... I can't imagine what it would take to weigh down a whole head of cauliflower! Maybe using a chamber vac, but I'd be afraid that too much vacuum would crush the head and snap the branches. Please keep us posted! Pics if possible?

Marbles work well. I bought 3 packs of whiskey stones on woot. They are useless as that purpose but they have found a new purpose as SV weights

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Over on Food52 (http://food52.com/blog/8524-alon-shaya-s-whole-roasted-cauliflower-with-whipped-goat-cheese?utm_source=FOOD52+Subscribers+List&utm_campaign=0e2cb77db4-Midweek_Edit_Prov_10_09_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_191568346e-0e2cb77db4-19684649) there is talk of a whole cauliflower being cooked sous vide and then finished in an 800F pizza oven. Does anyone know the time/temp they may be using for the sous vide stage and what is included in the bag with the cauliflower? Kerry and I are intrigued.

You can read about our experiment here:

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/145862-excellent-adventures-on-manitoulin-continued/?p=1935396

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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

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

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I know this was discussed before but I don't think it was very complete, even MC didn't have practical advice: what do I have to do to prevent botulism in:

1) plain stored food (like cheeses or meats) that aren't yet cooked; my cheeses come vacuumed sealed so can I put a meat in the fridge vacuum sealed for an extended period?

2) Non-pasteurized sous vide food

I'm not looking for freezing (I know this will prevent it)

The only thing you can do is ensure cold conditions (very fast chilling in the case of sous-vide food, then refrigeration at <3ºC) and limit refrigeration time (depending on refrigeration temperature, water activity, pH, etc this may go from just a couple of days to maybe 10 days).

See this document from UK Food Standards Agency.

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Regarding botulism, what about meat that come vacuum sealed in the store? For instance, I purchased a pair of vacuum sealed duck breasts that (according to the label) will keep for a month. Why isn't botulism an issue here? The meat isn't even properly refridgerated in the store, and I'm sure someone, sometime, has left it out in room temperature for a long time or refridgerated it for months and months, without dying :)

If it keeps for a month at standard refrigeration temperatures, it must have received some type of treatment. See this document and this guide from the UK Food Standard Agency, which summarizes the usual recommendations for companies doing this type of packaging. The duck breasts must have been either cured with nitritres, or given a heat treatment equivalent to 10 minutes at 90ºC.

If, as you say, the cold chain is not maintained, or the expiry date ignored, the meat can for sure become deadly poison. But it does not have to. It may not have any spore to begin with. Or, even if there was some spore germination and toxin production, it normally stays on the surface and may be disabled from the high heat of meat searing.

Edited by EnriqueB (log)
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