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Seeking Recommended eGullet threads for a Sous Vide neophyte


Porthos
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Baldwin recommends brining for pork.  I tried it following his method and I did not have good results.  Not to mention the mess in the refrigerator.  That he did not have to clean up.

 

But I have never brined my sous vide chicken.  And I've not had anything but good results from unbrined sous vide chicken, thighs or breasts.

 

 

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On ‎6‎/‎5‎/‎2016 at 8:11 PM, Porthos said:

So now that my southern faire season is over I had time to try out my Anova circulator.  I went simple with chicken breasts. I seasoned them, put them in a bag and did an hour at 153F. My DW was pleased with the moistness. I did something out of character and picked up no-name house-brand boneless skinless breasts. Poor choice, they were moist but they were stingy. When I do breasts again I will go with Foster Farms. I have been consistently pleased with FF over the years.

 

Things I learned. I used too large of a stock pot, a cheap thin-walled one that I usually reserve for cooling down steamed hard-cooked eggs when doing batches of 5 dozen eggs. It took way too long to come up to temperature. I will try using my heavy-walled 12 qt stock pot when I try SVing some tri-tip Monday night. On the good side suspending the bag clipped to a long wooden spoon made positioning very easy.

 

Because storage space is a bit of an issue I will buy a lidded plasic tub to store it in and keep it in the storeroom. I'm being lazy on this. I want to keep the circulator in the pot clamp. Otherwise I would just use the packaging it came in.

 

For the tri-tip I am planning on a mesquite dry rub from Garlic Fesival, and instead of a ziploc I will vacumm-seal it in an 8" bag. The gallon bag is almost the diameter of the 12 qt pot and I want freely-circulating water.

 

I did a bit of reading from some of the links provided and the information gleaned was very helpful.

 

Thank you one and all for helping launch me into the world of SV.

 

@Porthos having gone back to read this thread again, "stringy" sounds like the temperature was way too high.  (Disclaimer, I do not mind stringy chicken, myself.)

 

In my experience, even with the inexpensive thin walled pot I use, the anova comes up to temperature in seconds.  Literally just a few seconds.  And I've timed it recently.  Admittedly I have the original anova which may be higher wattage than the one you have.

 

For your wife consult Douglas Baldwin's table of pasteurization times for poultry:

http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html#Poultry_and_Eggs

 

Lastly in my experience and from my measurements, with the anova you do not need a lot of "freely-circulating water".  The anova has a good pump.  Use your own thermometer and draw your own conclusions.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

For your wife consult Douglas Baldwin's table of pasteurization times for poultry:

http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html#Poultry_and_Eggs

 

I have bookmarked the page and already printed out the beef pasteurization table, still need to print out the poultry table. And, yes, after more reading my temperature was too high.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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On 6/5/2016 at 11:34 AM, rotuts said:

PS  a rub with salt will not get your TT corned at 6 - 7 hours.

 

On 6/5/2016 at 11:31 AM, rotuts said:

 

...  Penzies Chicago steak ...

 

 

I made to Penzies yesterday afternoon. I purchased nothing but will be taking my DW there Saturday when we go to cook a dinner for my FIL. Penzey's is about 2 miles from is home.

 

As soon as I saw the smell-testing vessel of Chicago Steak Seasoning I knew it was out of the running. The second ingredient is pepper. One of the balancing acts I do is peppering foods that I prepare. My DW had weight loss surgery 7 years ago and one of the unexpected changes was that she became very sensitive to any kind of pepper as a taste issue. I can use small amounts but if I peppered a steak the way I think it should be done she would be unable to eat it. I keep a pepper grinder next to me at dinnertime to add pepper to my servings. The majority of their seasoning mixes had predominant amounts of pepper. There are a few others that I want my DW's opinon on.

 

I do appreciate the suggestion and it did get me off my keister to finally go there.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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when you stop by Penzey's ask about blends that have no pepper

 

Ive used Mural of Flavor ( relatively expensive , no salt and freeze dried shallots ) and Fox point   ( cheaper, has slot )

 

Im sure there are others .   good luck

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@rotuts I think I liked the Mural. We will see what my Sweetie thinks Saturday.

 

Has anyone used the Reynolds Oven Bags for SV?

 

On to my trip-tip. Only a couple of pictures.

 

This was a small tri-tip. After trimming only 40mm thick. I did a light rub of Garlic Festival brand Mesquite Grill and sealed it into a Food-saver pouch.

 

Prepped Tri-tip.jpg

 

I SVed it for 4 1/2 hours at 134 F.  I then patted it dry and seared it in a cast iron pan with corn oil heated to about 400 F.

 

I served it with Ranch Style Beans and steamed carrot slices with butter and Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute (which my Sweetie reminded me has a lot of pepper in it - oops)

I put a generous dusting of fresh-cracked pepper on mine after taking this picture.

 

Plated Tri-tip.jpg

 

I was pleased with the results. It was tender and very flavorful. The flavor from the rub had penetrated the meat deeply and I especially liked that; I had not expected that much flavor from a lightly-applied rub. My Sweetie was pleased with it.

 

When I realized that my SIL was going to be later coming home from his job than I had thought he would be, I turned the Anova back on, put his portion in a ziptop bag and put it back into the bath so he could have it served warm. I was jazzed about that benefit.

 

I know I have a lot to learn but I am encouraged both by finding a cooking technique that aids in preparing food that for a while had not been accessible to my Sweetie, and for it opening a new vista of ways to cook meat. Outside of pasteurizing in-the-shell eggs I don't see myserlf branching out in other directions for a long time, if at all.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Boneless pork loin chops tonight from my local supermarket. Nothing special.  20mm thick. Salt and Lawry's Garlic Powder.  140 F for 2 hours, then seared. Quite moist enough. Flavor was good but nothing spectacular.

 

I will be putting the circulator away for now since my schedule says no more time to use it at the moment.

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Porthos Potwatcher
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I've been using the Sous Vide Index that nickrey posted the link to and I've been using Douglas Baldwin's tables to understand the minimum time required for pasteurization.

 

The amount of information in the Sous Vide Index is daunting to say the least. Here is the help I could use. I am looking for information on the other end of the timing spectrum; How long for a given piece of beef do I have (as a starting point) before the meat starts to turn mushy?

 

I am going to be SVing a 30 mm top sirloin steak today at 134 F. Baldwin's chart tells me to cook it for a minimum of 2 hours. Would it be mush at 6 hours? If this is discussed somewhere in the items linked to in the Sous Vide Index could someone point me to it. I can't seem to find it if it is there.

Porthos Potwatcher
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FWIW, haven't done top sirloin (to my recollection) but do bottom (tri-tip) from time-to-time.  That I routinely cook 8 hours, as I find it benefits from some collagen reduction.  I think top would be okay at six.

 

No idea about your general question, btw.  Decided fairly early on that I was better off working out times to my own preference.

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An easy way to think of beef is to divide into "steak" cuts and "butcher" cuts.  The steaks, tenderloin, t=bone, strip and ribeye, do not need the tenderizing that the butcher cuts do.  I use roughly 1 hr/inch for steaks.  Have tried shortcut a tenderloin once and had it in bath for less than 2 hours (meeting a schedule) and the beef looked right, temped right, but had a raw consistency when chewing.   Have not had any problems with steak going to mush when left in for 1.5x cook time.

 

The butcher cuts are the tougher pieces that need to break down while in the bath.  Including the sirloin.  For these I'll look at a 6 - 8 hr bath for 2-3 inch thick pieces, longer for a roast.  I've not done a brisket SV but would think that would be the longest cook for a piece of cow.

 

That said the 30mm (1 inch?) sirloin would be properly cooked in two hours.  Better cooked in about 4 hours.  Fine in 6 hours. 

 

My difficulty with Baldwins tables is that he seems focused only on proper pasteurization and forgets that we started cooking to eat.
 

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1 hour ago, daveb said:

Pls report back w pics.  Too late to talk you into 131F?

I'm not comfortable going that low. My DW's immune system isn't in tip-top shape and I put a little "Personal Comfort" factor into my temp.

 

No pics of it prepped but I will try to snap a shot of it plated.

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Frankly, I don't think there's much difference in the outcome at those temps (and I use 131ºF for beef).  And, yeah, bumping the temp a few degrees is prudent if you've got immune system issues to deal with.  EnriqueB has argued for years here (sorry, no link handy) that there aren't as many studies at the lower temp as we'd like.

 

ETA: Here's a post by EB I particularly had in mind, which links to various earlier discussions of the lower limit issue.

ETA2: I use 131º for short cooks of beef.  For long cooks, I don't go below 135º, in part because of this issue.

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IMAG1165.jpg

 

I was not pleased woth the outcome. Not mushy exactly, but losing the resistance and texture of beef. Flavor was just ok but I don't think I seasoned it very well.

 

I have one more piece of this meat. I will season it better and use 133 F for 4 hours.

 

That is homemade kasespatzle for the starch. I enjoyed it more than the meat, and I'm a die-hard carnivore.

 

Note the sad face in the conclusion:

sad face.jpg

Edited by Porthos (log)
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2 hours ago, Porthos said:

 

I was not pleased woth the outcome. Not mushy exactly, but losing the resistance and texture of beef. Flavor was just ok but I don't think I seasoned it very well.

 

 

As a tender cut, you just need to reach temperature at core and, if desired, add time for pasteurization. Given your water temperature and meat thickness, you would have needed just about 1:30 h according to SousVideDash, and about 2:30 h for pasteurization. Meat kept at a given temperature in the water bath is ok for a good amount of time, but your profile doubled the required pasteurization time, so that's likely the reason for bad texture, typical of too long cooking of tender cuts.

 

If you salted the meat in advance that would not help neither. Never salt meat tender cuts before sous-viding unless you're looking for a kind of "cured" texture, do it after, just before searing.

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5 hours ago, pbear said:

Frankly, I don't think there's much difference in the outcome at those temps (and I use 131ºF for beef).  And, yeah, bumping the temp a few degrees is prudent if you've got immune system issues to deal with.  EnriqueB has argued for years here (sorry, no link handy) that there aren't as many studies at the lower temp as we'd like.

 

ETA: Here's a post by EB I particularly had in mind, which links to various earlier discussions of the lower limit issue.

ETA2: I use 131º for short cooks of beef.  For long cooks, I don't go below 135º, in part because of this issue.

 

 

I though my messages in this sense were largely ignored by the community here, so happy they are useful for someone   :D

 

Some recent research points out possible problems in the same vein as the ones highlighted in the post you link. The article Genetic determinants of heat resistance in Escherichia coli shows some strains of E. coli that survive core temperatures of 71ºC, which, extrapolated to our usual sous-vide core temperatures would imply much much longer times that Baldwin or SousVideDash tables currently provide.

 

On the other hand, those bad news are somehow compensated with new research (don't have the links now with me) that suggests that many facultative anaerobic pathogenic bacteria die a bit faster inside the vacuum bag that they do when cooked exposed to air. Current tables assume the same die rate as has been studied without taking into account the vacuum, so that would be very good news.

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10 hours ago, Porthos said:

I was not pleased woth the outcome. Not mushy exactly, but losing the resistance and texture of beef. Flavor was just ok but I don't think I seasoned it very well.

 

That's why we do trials.  It takes a little time to dial in what works for you and sometimes the answer is conventional.  For example, I don't like low temp steak, nor seafood cooked to pasteurization.  Both of those I cook conventionally.

 

ETA: I do like seafood cooked very low temp, but that generally only can be done safely with stuff that's been frozen to kill parasites.

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14 hours ago, pbear said:

Frankly, I don't think there's much difference in the outcome at those temps (and I use 131ºF for beef).  And, yeah, bumping the temp a few degrees is prudent if you've got immune system issues to deal with.  EnriqueB has argued for years here (sorry, no link handy) that there aren't as many studies at the lower temp as we'd like.

 

ETA: Here's a post by EB I particularly had in mind, which links to various earlier discussions of the lower limit issue.

ETA2: I use 131º for short cooks of beef.  For long cooks, I don't go below 135º, in part because of this issue.

 

 

I had forgotten about that linked topic.  It has good depth (thank you, @EnriqueB and others) and is good additional reading for us neophytes. One of my immediate takeaways is the importance of rapid chilling unless the food is to be finished and served quickly.

 

Thanks for that post link, pbear.

 

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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