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Victor Lin

Can't figure out how to sous vide that keeps moisture but also breaks down collagen.

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I have the Anova and I have a bit of a conundrum. 

 

I want my meats to be both juicy and for the collagen to melt in your mouth. Meat that is dry (in my opinion) has the sensation of sucking moisture away from your tongue, so that's how I judge dryness.

 

I've tried whole chickens and a large chuck roast but I can't seem to get it right. 

 

- The chuck roast I did at 66C for 28 hours (this is LTLT right?). The collagen was not melty AND the meat was overcooked and dry. In order to make the meat not feel dry I have to slice the meat and dip it back in the juices first before eating. And yes, I let it rest.

 

- The whole chicken I did at 73C for 3 hours. The collagen was breaking down nicely but the breast was dry. 

 

- Another whole chicken I did at 66C for 2 hours. The collagen wasn't broken down at all and was unpleasantly crunchy. The breast was good. There were areas of redness and while I understand that the meat is totally pasteurised, the visuals of red chicken meat are not appetising. 

 

I'm beginning to think that what I want is not actually possible. For collagen to break down into something gooey, the temp needs to be in the high 60s to 70s and it requires a long time. Unfortunately this necessarily-long time dries out the meat, so the only option is to create a sauce with the juices to make the meat not so dry.

 

For a chicken, at least I can separate the white meat from the dark meat and cook them separately, but I can't really do that for a chuck roast.

 

Any advice?


Edited by Victor Lin (log)

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Try a pressure cooker.  The collagen will melt, but cooking time is short and the meat won't dry out.

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24 minutes ago, Victor Lin said:

I have the Anova and I have a bit of a conundrum. 

 

I want my meats to be both juicy and for the collagen to melt in your mouth. Meat that is dry (in my opinion) has the sensation of sucking moisture away from your tongue, so that's how I judge dryness.

 

I've tried whole chickens and a large chuck roast but I can't seem to get it right. 

 

- The chuck roast I did at 66C for 28 hours (this is LTLT right?). The collagen was not melty AND the meat was overcooked and dry. In order to make the meat not feel dry I have to slice the meat and dip it back in the juices first before eating. And yes, I let it rest.

 

- The whole chicken I did at 73C for 3 hours. The collagen was breaking down nicely but the breast was dry. 

 

- Another whole chicken I did at 66C for 2 hours. The collagen wasn't broken down at all and was unpleasantly crunchy. The breast was good. There were areas of redness and while I understand that the meat is totally pasteurised, the visuals of red chicken meat are not appetising. 

 

I'm beginning to think that what I want is not actually possible. For collagen to break down into something gooey, the temp needs to be in the high 60s to 70s and it requires a long time. Unfortunately this necessarily-long time dries out the meat, so the only option is to create a sauce with the juices to make the meat not so dry.

 

For a chicken, at least I can separate the white meat from the dark meat and cook them separately, but I can't really do that for a chuck roast.

 

Any advice?

 

 

I think your temperatures are too high.  See Baldwin:

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

 

...or any of the eGullet sous vide threads.

 

 

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Just now, Lisa Shock said:

Calibrate your thermometer and lower your temps. Dry meat only happens when it is overheated during cooking.

 

Hmmm... so say that I get a whole chicken or chuck roast and cook it at 55C for 24 hours. Would this result in a juicy breast but completely denatured collagen?

 

Also, myoglobin that's responsible for the red bloody color won't disappear until around 76C, so it appears that getting a whole chicken where the breast is juicy (55C), the collagen is denatured (55C for hours and hours), and the redness of the myoglobin to disappear (76C) doesn't seem to be possible?

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Welcome to eGullet Victor.

 

There are so many threads and posts on sous vide cooking that an index was created to enable people to search through information and answer any questions they may have from posts made by people experimenting with the process, dating back to 2004.

 

Click on the link below and I think all of your questions will be answered.

 

ps. most of us wouldn't think of cooking a whole chicken sous vide because the breast and leg meats are so different.

 

 

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

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

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As mentioned above you should read through Baldwin's work, as well as reading through the eGullet SV threads. Time and temperature are based upon pasteurization. I agree that your temperatures seems to be high. I can imagine ever going above 63C for beef.

 

I do not SV whole chickens. I do chicken breasts at 63C and use Baldwin's tables for what the minimum time must be. I go beyond that because of personal preference. For steaks I use 56C and then sear in a hot pan.

 

Best of luck and welcome to eGullet.


Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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@Victor Lin  

 

another SV'er who will get it right , fairly soon.

 

as sated above , your temps are high for juicy meat

 

the proteins contract and squeeze out the intra-mustcular moisture into the bag

 

that ' jus ' in the bag is almost braise-like. at the temps you listed

 

start w a simgle muscle group from the shoulder or flap meat etc

 

try 130.1  for 24 - 48 and see what you get

 

keep a journal of your studies so you can refer back and not repeat past mistakes.

 

a red engineering note book works best :

 

https://www.staples.com/engineering+paper+notebook/directory_engineering%20paper%20notebook?

 

its been acclaimed on these threads for years !

 

suprise.gif.5baa0c06b85a2567d64b00555b1e983c.gif

 

what's important to understand about SV is 

 

1 ) time swimming in the bag = tenderness

 

@PedroG  had some wonderful tables that pointed out which exact proteins denatures at what temps

 

if you go above these temps the muscle contracts  .  Thus a Braise w jus for gravy but dry meat.

 

2 ) temperature of the Pool  = doneness   i.e. rare , med etc

 

its that simple

 

there is more information here on SV that is  member calibrated    

 

than anywhere else on the Net.


Edited by rotuts (log)
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What everyone else said. For reference, I cook chicken breasts at 60°c, thighs at 64.5°c. breasts until core reaches temperature (around 40 mins); thighs for 3 to 3-1/2 hours. Juice for miles.

I don't think a whole chicken is a good candidate for sv cooking—different parts have different requirements.


Edited by paulraphael (log)
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Notes from the underbelly

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With the chuck, there's going to be a wider range of good answers, depending on how much you want it to be like a braise vs. a prime rib. 

No matter what, I think the answer with a cut like that is to butcher it to steaks. 1-1/2" thick is ideal, both from a searing perspective and a time/temperature perspective.

If you want it like medium rare prime rib or rib steaks, you're looking at 55°C for 36 to 48 hours. Less time=juicier, more time = more tender.


Notes from the underbelly

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12 hours ago, paulraphael said:

What everyone else said. For reference, I cook chicken breasts at 60°c, thighs at 64.5°c. breasts until core reaches temperature (around 40 mins); thighs for 3 to 3-1/2 hours. Juice for miles.

I don't think a whole chicken is a good candidate for sv cooking—different parts have different requirements.

 

 

My DW doesn't care for the texture of the chicken breasts when at 60C. For me SV is all about what works for my DW.  We just celebrated our 39th anniversary earlier this month and I am more than happy to choose times nad temps that she prefers. She is fine with steaks at 56C and then seared.  I haven't worked up any enthusiam to try a roast.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Welcome to Sous Vide Victor!

There used to be a sous vide page in WikiGullet, but unfortunately WikiGullet has been completely discontinued. I saved this sous vide page to the sous vide Wikia.

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Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

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