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Any proof that adding oil to meat cooked sous vide makes it "juicier"?


torolover
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Lots of recipes say to add neutral tasting oil to the bag when you sous vide meats.

 

Has it been proven that adding neutral tasting oil to the meat when cooking sous vide will make the meat "juicier"?

 

I often sous vide pork belly, short ribs, and duck legs without adding oil.  I usually cook it from 9-48 hours and wondering if adding oil really makes a difference. 

 

Has anyone done experiments with adding oil vs no oil, or has it been proven scientifically?

Edited by torolover (log)
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I've never heard the claim made by someone who cited evidence, experience, or even a theory.

 

Really doesn't make sense to me. Oil won't enter the meat (molecules are too large). And juices will leave the meat (whether there's oil there or not).

 

The only things I can think of that will effect the travel of anything in or out of the meat are ones that work osmotically, like aqueous solutions. Brine is an example. For obvious reasons I don't put brine in sous-vide bags.

 

I often put in a bit of stock, because I use ziploc bags and need to push out air. But increasingly I've just used water, and really can't tell a difference in the meat, or even in the bag juices after they're reduced and browned.

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Notes from the underbelly

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Lots of recipes say to add oil to the bag when you sous vide meats.

 

Has it been proven that adding oil to the meat when cooking sous vide will make the meat "juicier"?

 

I often sous vide pork belly, short ribs, and duck legs without adding oil.  I usually cook it from 9-48 hours and wondering if adding oil really makes a difference. 

 

Has anyone done experiments with adding oil vs no oil, or has it been proven scientifically?

 

Doesn't make any sense to me.  Just like barding a roast never made sense. Now if the meat is chopped, eg meatloaf... perhaps a layer of bacon makes sense re juiciness.

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'Juicy' is a complex phenomena.

 

its not just flavored water that something something juicy, but a complex interaction between flavored water and semi-liquid or hot at least

 

fat

 

I think barding a roast does work for a tough cut that's braised for a while:  some of that 'dryness' in those cuts cooked this way

 

is not just the loss of flavored water to the braising liquid but the melting and loss of fat

 

in the Olden Days of La Belle FR, this helped keep fat 'in each bite'

 

it also helped to have someone else go to this trouble.  Ive done it twice.

 

but SV : adding fat just makes the 'supernate' tastier, if you are careful with your selection of fat.

 

and the solution to 'dry-ish' meat is a fantastic fat/flavored water addition :  gravy, w fat emulsified in it.

 

Yum Yum

Edited by rotuts (log)
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I know when I first started cooking protein sous vide the received wisdom was to add some fat and I dutifully did so. Somewhere along the line I stopped doing it. I could not tell you why. So yes, I would be interested to hear where that came from.

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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First of all I'm only talking about neutral tasting oil.  If adding oil doesn't prevent moisture lost from meat during sous vide, then why does Modernist Cuisine and Modernist Cuisine at Home have instructions to add Neutral Tasting Oil with meat during sous vide?

 

For example, the MC at Home Lamb Curry recipe has instructions to add neutral tasting oil with the lamb shanks and sous vide at 144F for 48 hours.

 

The MC at Home sous vide steak recipe has directions are to add neutral tasting oil to beef strip steaks and sous vide at 131F for 50 min.

 

Why did they add oil?

Edited by torolover (log)
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Adding a little oil to the bag helps to ensure that you have completely filled up any potential voids or irregularities in the food that might create air pockets or otherwise reduce the efficiency of thermal transfer.  It also makes it easier when you want to slip the food out of the bag, which is especially important for delicate food items like fish.

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There's less leaching of gelatin when oil is used rather than water and the like and that preserves "moisture."

~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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Adding a little oil to the bag helps to ensure that you have completely filled up any potential voids or irregularities in the food that might create air pockets or otherwise reduce the efficiency of thermal transfer.  It also makes it easier when you want to slip the food out of the bag, which is especially important for delicate food items like fish.

 

This.

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There is a good discussion / presentation about it over on chefsteps: http://www.chefsteps.com/activities/level-up-sous-vide-presentation

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John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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excellent ref, thanks  johnder

 

""Adding oil to fish before you cook it sous vide will allow the albumin to run off your food and sink to the bottom of the bag""

 

I rarely do fish as its very difficult and $$$ to get the type of say Salmon Id like to have

 

those SV FishHeads :  have you seen the above ?

 

again fine ref.  points Your Way

 

 

johnder
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There is a good discussion / presentation about it over on chefsteps: http://www.chefsteps.com/activities/level-up-sous-vide-presentation

Thank you. Thank you. That is exactly what I wanted to see. It makes sense now. I shall be making adjustments (and applying a balm to my bruised ego). I was so sure I was right to do it my way.

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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There is a good discussion / presentation about it over on chefsteps: http://www.chefsteps.com/activities/level-up-sous-vide-presentation

 

Nice.

 

So no change in taste, but it looks prettier with fish and fowl.

 

Good tip.

 

I wonder if this trick will work with steaming fish. I hate the way salmon gets all albumin-y when steamed.

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no need to Steam These Days.

 

:raz:

 

I do a nice steamed salmon that rests on shaved onion/fennel/carrot to cook. The salmon juices flavor the liquid which I cook down and serve as a sauce under the salmon.

 

I suppose you could do this SV somehow, but it'd be more work.  For similar reasons, I often short ribs the old fashioned way.

Edited by gfweb (log)
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no problem, glad the link was helpful.   I find there is a lot of useful information on that site in general, I even signed up for a few of their classes in the past.  The infusion / whipper one was particularly interesting to me.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Tasty Im sure !   :biggrin:

 

Id only suggest, depending on how you like your S. (  I like the Good Stuff still a bit wiggling in the center )

 

and only "Close to the Head ie just next to it "

 

I give Up.

 

as I said  and it just that :  Tasty im sure

 

but .....

 

did the steam over cook any of the S. ?

 

S. very fresh  etc  is a good as it gets

 

I took back then an Idea from Jamie Oliver,

 

who knows a lot about about a lot ...

 

and did a BBQ / Grill  layer-d item on the Weber.

 

the salmon went on the top after the ( these are the layers )

 

1) new potatoes

 

2) mushrooms

 

3) decently blanched fresh green beans

 

4) Salmon  ( filet  next to the head )

 

each layer needed its own time

 

but it got gobbled up so fast ........

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No overcookage. Inside pretty pink, but not exactly raw. Cook is at a low simmer for IIRC about 10 minutes.

 

It looks real pretty if wrapped tight in a big blanched dark green lettuce leaf with the end of the leaf-filet squared-off before serving.

 

If you don't cut the ends it looks sloppy...as in this photo

salmon good.jpg

Edited by gfweb (log)
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Back In the Day

 

at Cook's in Menlo Park CA a to die for fresh Seafood Place

 

when I visited my father  

 

I used to get close to the head stunningly fresh Salmon.  I( got to know these people

 

they sent more away than they kept.

 

the rest went into there restaurant at the end or mid day

 

I used to get 3 X what I needed for dinner

 

Why ?  lunch for me, not my father was sashimi salmon.

 

best ever. !

Edited by rotuts (log)
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There is a good discussion / presentation about it over on chefsteps: http://www.chefsteps.com/activities/level-up-sous-vide-presentation

So the site shows that adding oil helps with the presention of the meat.  It still doesn't say if adding oil helps keep the moisture in meat.   I guess not?

 

What if I added water instead of oil to the meat while cooking sous vide?  Would water cause any moisture loss to the meat?

Edited by torolover (log)
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