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Sous Vide cooker for home

Sous Vide cooker for home
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  • Post #61 - February 27th, 2012, 8:53 pm
    Post #61 - February 27th, 2012, 8:53 pm Post #61 - February 27th, 2012, 8:53 pm
    Another one the kid loves is chicken parts cooked in the SV with a thinned out maple syrup
    A quick blast with the torch when it comes out to carmelize and he could eat that forever.....
  • Post #62 - March 1st, 2012, 8:16 pm
    Post #62 - March 1st, 2012, 8:16 pm Post #62 - March 1st, 2012, 8:16 pm
    Bill/SFNM wrote:I have always been very pleased with 48 hours for short ribs. It is more than enough time to break down the collagen. Tough cuts have a pretty wide window of doneness.

    ronnie_suburban wrote:This recipe, which, by coincidence, I happen to have started last night on my Sous Vide Professional (brand new, first cook), calls for 72 hours.

    Since I'd packed my short ribs into 2 separate bags, I pulled one from the IC after 48 hours and one after 72. They were fairly similar in texture but I think I preferred the slight additional tenderness of the longer-cooked ones just a bit. The bottom line is that, even after a single cook, I think this is an amazing method for cooking tough cuts and I plan on getting into some frequent experimentation right away.

    I strayed a bit from the recipe I linked above by adding single sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary to each of the bags, along with a scallion and small pat of unsalted butter. I'd planned on using a bit of bacon too but I wasn't happy with the bacon I had on hand, so I scrapped that idea. Also, on the advice of RAB, I cooked at 136 F, not the recommended 140 F. Tonight, after a long day at work, I came home, took the chilled bags of short ribs out of the fridge (they'd finished in the IC on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings respectively) and placed them back in a 136 F water bath for about an hour. After that, I removed the short ribs from their bags, dried them off, seasoned them with kosher salt and cracked black pepper, and browned them briefly with some butter in a saute pan. While I certainly left myself plenty of room for improvement, they were still pretty darned good. The beefiness was right up front and they tasted like a properly cooked rib roast. It was a new experience to be eating totally tender, fall-off-the-bone short ribs that were still almost entirely pink in color.

    I'm thinking about trying a brisket out this weekend. For that, I'll have to use a lexan vessel, as the stockpot that came with the SVP probably won't be big enough. As much as I love the point, I'll probably go with a flat, just to see how well the SVP handles what I consider to be a fairly touchy cut.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #63 - March 2nd, 2012, 7:29 am
    Post #63 - March 2nd, 2012, 7:29 am Post #63 - March 2nd, 2012, 7:29 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I'd planned on using a bit of bacon too but I wasn't happy with the bacon I had on hand, so I scrapped that idea.


    Ronnie,

    I too have made short ribs for 72 hours and have been very impressed. Mine cooked in a home rig, varying about 134-137F. I love the contrast of the amazingly tender medium-rare short rib and a heavy crust from the post-cook sear.

    The first time I tried them I used bacon and was a bit disappointed. I believe it was the cure from the bacon gave the beef an odd, almost hot dog flavor. Not sure if it was a one time thing, but I've stayed away from it on my longer cooks since. Haven't had the same issue on shorter cooks. Maybe a smoked and uncured bacon would be better?
  • Post #64 - March 2nd, 2012, 8:29 am
    Post #64 - March 2nd, 2012, 8:29 am Post #64 - March 2nd, 2012, 8:29 am
    OK gang, I've settled on my first attempt. In spite of what Bill and others have said re: short ribs, I just realized that I've got a lovely little lamb boneless shoulder roast in the freezer. It's about the size of a can of beans. Should be a lovely candidate. What would yinz think about rubbing in a bit of rosemary+garlic+soy, cooking at 140°F for 48 hours? I'd like to brown it, but should that be done before or after the SV?

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #65 - March 2nd, 2012, 9:31 am
    Post #65 - March 2nd, 2012, 9:31 am Post #65 - March 2nd, 2012, 9:31 am
    Dlongs wrote:The first time I tried them I used bacon and was a bit disappointed. I believe it was the cure from the bacon gave the beef an odd, almost hot dog flavor. Not sure if it was a one time thing, but I've stayed away from it on my longer cooks since. Haven't had the same issue on shorter cooks. Maybe a smoked and uncured bacon would be better?

    Maybe it's for the best that my bacon wasn't up to snuff. If I do eventually try it, I'll cook it with a separate portion of meat, not an entire batch. And yes, maybe some uncured, smoked meat would be a good idea.

    Geo wrote:What would yinz think about rubbing in a bit of rosemary+garlic+soy, cooking at 140°F for 48 hours? I'd like to brown it, but should that be done before or after the SV?

    I'm curious about this because I'd be concerned that rubbing it before the sv cook would really amplify the rub, especially the soy element. Obviously, I don't have enough experience with this to know. On the same note, I'd sear afterwards but that's only a hunch. I'm thinking that if you sear beforehand, you really won't end up with the exterior texture you're seeking.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #66 - March 2nd, 2012, 9:59 am
    Post #66 - March 2nd, 2012, 9:59 am Post #66 - March 2nd, 2012, 9:59 am
    Geo wrote:OK gang, I've settled on my first attempt. In spite of what Bill and others have said re: short ribs, I just realized that I've got a lovely little lamb boneless shoulder roast in the freezer. It's about the size of a can of beans. Should be a lovely candidate. What would yinz think about rubbing in a bit of rosemary+garlic+soy, cooking at 140°F for 48 hours? I'd like to brown it, but should that be done before or after the SV?

    Geo


    Geo,
    FWIW, I've stopped cooking big cuts of lamb SV. Not sure if it is just me or the local lamb, but there is certain odor - related to the expected gaminess of lamb, but stronger - that becomes amplified after SV. I love the texture, but that smell puts me off. Rack of lamb and loin chops are great. After cooking in the bath till rare, I blast them in the WFO to create a crust.

    I'd like to hear how the shoulder comes out for you.

    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #67 - March 2nd, 2012, 6:06 pm
    Post #67 - March 2nd, 2012, 6:06 pm Post #67 - March 2nd, 2012, 6:06 pm
    Geo wrote:OK gang, I've settled on my first attempt. In spite of what Bill and others have said re: short ribs, I just realized that I've got a lovely little lamb boneless shoulder roast in the freezer. It's about the size of a can of beans. Should be a lovely candidate. What would yinz think about rubbing in a bit of rosemary+garlic+soy, cooking at 140°F for 48 hours? I'd like to brown it, but should that be done before or after the SV?

    Geo


    Geo, I would advise using garlic powder, rather than raw garlic. I don't have firsthand experience with raw garlic as I opted to leave it out after reading about 'off' odors. I do know for sure that (fresh) grated ginger or ginger juice leads to mushy meat (even in an hour).
    Rule of thumb is to cut back on aromatics (as you are using a sealed bag) but not on salt.

    Exvaxman, I'm curious about using garlic juice - no off odors? And these are for long cooks?
  • Post #68 - March 5th, 2012, 9:03 pm
    Post #68 - March 5th, 2012, 9:03 pm Post #68 - March 5th, 2012, 9:03 pm
    A dork friend of mine found a water heater from a lab - his own personal VWR brand sous vide machine!
  • Post #69 - March 5th, 2012, 9:33 pm
    Post #69 - March 5th, 2012, 9:33 pm Post #69 - March 5th, 2012, 9:33 pm
    Betcha VWR charged just a teeeny bit more for that apparat than Costco charged me for mine! :lol:

    Used to deal w/VWR, they ain't cheeep!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #70 - March 5th, 2012, 9:39 pm
    Post #70 - March 5th, 2012, 9:39 pm Post #70 - March 5th, 2012, 9:39 pm
    Is your friend certain that it was only used to heat water and not in contact with harmful substances? I'd clean and sterilize the bujeebees out of it, even if the food might not be in direct contact with the equipment. Circulators in labs are used with all kinds of VERY toxic things.
  • Post #71 - March 6th, 2012, 10:52 am
    Post #71 - March 6th, 2012, 10:52 am Post #71 - March 6th, 2012, 10:52 am
    Oh-oh, I may have made a serious screw-up. I looked at my little roast after 48 hours at 60°C, and discovered that about 10-15% of it was uncovered--obviously some water had evaporated. Does that raise contamination/bacterial issues??

    Damn, it smells sooooo good! :oops:

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #72 - March 6th, 2012, 12:11 pm
    Post #72 - March 6th, 2012, 12:11 pm Post #72 - March 6th, 2012, 12:11 pm
    Geo wrote:Oh-oh, I may have made a serious screw-up. I looked at my little roast after 48 hours at 60°C, and discovered that about 10-15% of it was uncovered--obviously some water had evaporated. Does that raise contamination/bacterial issues??

    Damn, it smells sooooo good! :oops:

    Geo

    I'm really not sure but I do think it's interesting that you can smell it at all. The few cooks I've done have produced zero aroma at all until the bags were actually opened.

    I have found evaporation to be an issue, which is probably worse this time of year. I routinely add water to the vessel and conveniently, my hot tap water usually runs right about 138 or so.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #73 - March 6th, 2012, 2:12 pm
    Post #73 - March 6th, 2012, 2:12 pm Post #73 - March 6th, 2012, 2:12 pm
    Sorry for the delay in replying.
    I make my own "garlic juice" in a vita-mix with a couple of pieces of garlic and some water. So it is weaker than pure garlic juice.
    One thing that the neighbors like is when I do a clove of garlic in a cup of water, and add a tablespoon of liquid smoke.

    They love this for steaks, chicken and salmon. Personally, I just put in a slice of lemon and some butter for the individual salmon servings.

    Also one thing that goes over well -
    I can get a vacuum pack of mussels (or clams or oysters, etc) from a local asian store very cheaply. I often let them unfreeze, and reseal with some crushed garlic, a small dollop of liquid smoke, a pat of butter, and commercial clam juice. They come out great when topped with a bit of gruyere and the cheese browned a little with a torch, while served on large scollop shells. Makes for a great appetizer.
  • Post #74 - March 7th, 2012, 8:04 pm
    Post #74 - March 7th, 2012, 8:04 pm Post #74 - March 7th, 2012, 8:04 pm
    As I documented in this post, I got some beef shanks from PQM and cooked them for 72 hours at 137.5 F. Unlike the short ribs I'd cooked earlier with great success, the results here were disastrous. When I opened the bags, a god-awful odor, like nasty, stale cheese, filled the room. The shanks looked beautiful and were perfectly tender but they were disgusting and inedible. They are now in the garbage where, unfortunately, I can still smell them.

    In trying to figure out what went wrong, I'm really at a loss. I basically cooked these exactly the same way that I cooked the marvelous short ribs. There were a few differences, though:

    1) Grass-fed beef
    2) Shanks, not short ribs
    3) 137.5 F, not 136

    Can any experienced sous viders help me figure out what might have happened here?

    Thanks,

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #75 - March 7th, 2012, 9:42 pm
    Post #75 - March 7th, 2012, 9:42 pm Post #75 - March 7th, 2012, 9:42 pm
    I'm curious as to what happened as well. I purchased some premarinated short ribs from hmart over the weekend, and sous vide them for 48 hours with fantastic results. Perhaps you didn't get a good seal? Was the water clean when you pulled the meat out? Time to invest in a chamber vacuum sealer? :wink:
  • Post #76 - March 7th, 2012, 10:02 pm
    Post #76 - March 7th, 2012, 10:02 pm Post #76 - March 7th, 2012, 10:02 pm
    pacent wrote:I'm curious as to what happened as well. I purchased some premarinated short ribs from hmart over the weekend, and sous vide them for 48 hours with fantastic results. Perhaps you didn't get a good seal? Was the water clean when you pulled the meat out? Time to invest in a chamber vacuum sealer? :wink:

    The seal was completely intact. I'd actually double-bagged the shanks with my foodsaver. The water in the cooking vessel was clean and it wasn't until I opened the bag that the odor was noticeable. Is it possible that I cooked them too long? That doesn't seem likely, given how great the 72-hour shortribs turned out. I'm really at a loss here. The good news is that the meat was relatively cheap and other than the initial set-up and occasional checking of the water level, I didn't spend a whole lot of time on it. But it will be annoying to move forward without accurately diagnosing what happened this time.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #77 - March 7th, 2012, 10:10 pm
    Post #77 - March 7th, 2012, 10:10 pm Post #77 - March 7th, 2012, 10:10 pm
    Ronnie,

    Not sure what happened, but it is possible the meat was tainted. Dave Arnold has expressed his preference for browning meat before sealing as a way to kill any microbes on the surface of the meat.
  • Post #78 - March 7th, 2012, 10:23 pm
    Post #78 - March 7th, 2012, 10:23 pm Post #78 - March 7th, 2012, 10:23 pm
    blow torch to the rescue!
  • Post #79 - March 7th, 2012, 10:28 pm
    Post #79 - March 7th, 2012, 10:28 pm Post #79 - March 7th, 2012, 10:28 pm
    Bill/SFNM wrote:Ronnie,

    Not sure what happened, but it is possible the meat was tainted. Dave Arnold has expressed his preference for browning meat before sealing as a way to kill any microbes on the surface of the meat.

    Thanks, Bill, for the info and the link. That actually makes perfect sense. So much to learn.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #80 - March 7th, 2012, 10:45 pm
    Post #80 - March 7th, 2012, 10:45 pm Post #80 - March 7th, 2012, 10:45 pm
    I'm with Bill on this. From what I've read, it's a bit dicey about the condition of the protein before bagging and cooking. Sources say to take it out of the fridge and *immediately* bag and put in the pre-warmed bath. I made the mistake of putting meat into the process that had defrosted overnight at ambient (Québec) temperatures. Maybe it would be best to cleanse things a bit with a sear *before* beginning the sous vide bath.

    There's still much to be learned about this methodology folks; let's try hard not to either kill anyone or eat vile food in the process! :?

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #81 - March 7th, 2012, 10:50 pm
    Post #81 - March 7th, 2012, 10:50 pm Post #81 - March 7th, 2012, 10:50 pm
    Geo wrote:Sources say to take it out of the fridge and *immediately* bag and put in the pre-warmed bath.

    This, I did but clearly, it wasn't enough. The meat was only out of refrigeration long enough to double bag it and the bath was 137.5 F when I dropped the bag into it. I can still smell that horrible meat! Yikes! :shock:

    Geo wrote:...let's try hard not to either kill anyone or eat vile food in the process!

    Some worthy goals, indeed! :D

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #82 - March 8th, 2012, 6:53 pm
    Post #82 - March 8th, 2012, 6:53 pm Post #82 - March 8th, 2012, 6:53 pm
    Exvaxman--

    I'm planning to do your 'chicken parts' with legs (drum + thigh) and maple syrup—we've got a bit of maple syrup here in Montréal! :)

    A couple questions: these are skinless, right? and what's your time and temp? would you recommend a quick torching *before* SV?

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #83 - March 11th, 2012, 10:24 am
    Post #83 - March 11th, 2012, 10:24 am Post #83 - March 11th, 2012, 10:24 am
    5 lb USDA Prime boneless ribeye roast 6 hours at approx. 130˚ in my stockpot on the stove then tossed on a 600˚ gas grill for 5 min or so...
    Maybe a touch rare for me, next time 135˚
    Image
  • Post #84 - March 11th, 2012, 10:59 am
    Post #84 - March 11th, 2012, 10:59 am Post #84 - March 11th, 2012, 10:59 am
    Geo wrote:Exvaxman--

    I'm planning to do your 'chicken parts' with legs (drum + thigh) and maple syrup—we've got a bit of maple syrup here in Montréal! :)

    A couple questions: these are skinless, right? and what's your time and temp? would you recommend a quick torching *before* SV?

    Geo

    To comment on the torching aspect, personally I would use a kitchen torch after removing from the package, but very careful to avoid burning due to the sugars. My experience has been that texture is improved by torching, searing, broiling after cooking sous vide.

    My concern with using skin-on chicken with maple syrup is that you'd require a longer sear or similar to get the skin to the right texture after cooking sous vide, and I'm afraid this might cause the chicken to burn because of the maple syrup.
  • Post #85 - March 11th, 2012, 12:39 pm
    Post #85 - March 11th, 2012, 12:39 pm Post #85 - March 11th, 2012, 12:39 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:As I documented in this post, I got some beef shanks from PQM and cooked them for 72 hours at 137.5 F. Unlike the short ribs I'd cooked earlier with great success, the results here were disastrous. When I opened the bags, a god-awful odor, like nasty, stale cheese, filled the room. The shanks looked beautiful and were perfectly tender but they were disgusting and inedible. They are now in the garbage where, unfortunately, I can still smell them.

    In trying to figure out what went wrong, I'm really at a loss. I basically cooked these exactly the same way that I cooked the marvelous short ribs. There were a few differences, though:

    1) Grass-fed beef
    2) Shanks, not short ribs
    3) 137.5 F, not 136

    Can any experienced sous viders help me figure out what might have happened here?

    Thanks,

    =R=

    Thats too bad...this has me thinking though...the first thing that comes to mind is that "was your thermometer working correctly?" I know that even digital ones +/- a few degrees after a few uses..u would be surpised by how many people have un calibrated thermometers.....and another question...137.5 seems to be right on as far as the temp but if u didnt use an immersion circulator to regulate it, it probably didnt stay at a constant temp.....if it dropped to 130 for a few hours without you knowing it may have spoiled............anyways those are just my thoughts. let me know if you figure anything out
  • Post #86 - March 11th, 2012, 12:55 pm
    Post #86 - March 11th, 2012, 12:55 pm Post #86 - March 11th, 2012, 12:55 pm
    gocubs88 wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:As I documented in this post, I got some beef shanks from PQM and cooked them for 72 hours at 137.5 F. Unlike the short ribs I'd cooked earlier with great success, the results here were disastrous. When I opened the bags, a god-awful odor, like nasty, stale cheese, filled the room. The shanks looked beautiful and were perfectly tender but they were disgusting and inedible. They are now in the garbage where, unfortunately, I can still smell them.

    In trying to figure out what went wrong, I'm really at a loss. I basically cooked these exactly the same way that I cooked the marvelous short ribs. There were a few differences, though:

    1) Grass-fed beef
    2) Shanks, not short ribs
    3) 137.5 F, not 136

    Can any experienced sous viders help me figure out what might have happened here?

    Thanks,

    =R=

    Thats too bad...this has me thinking though...the first thing that comes to mind is that "was your thermometer working correctly?" I know that even digital ones +/- a few degrees after a few uses..u would be surpised by how many people have un calibrated thermometers.....and another question...137.5 seems to be right on as far as the temp but if u didnt use an immersion circulator to regulate it, it probably didnt stay at a constant temp.....if it dropped to 130 for a few hours without you knowing it may have spoiled............anyways those are just my thoughts. let me know if you figure anything out

    Yes, the unit's thermostat is working perfectly. I know this because I was also measuring the water temp throughout the cook with my thermapen as I had to occasionally top off the water. I've also done a few cooks with this machine and they've all been fine . . . except for this one.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #87 - March 11th, 2012, 12:57 pm
    Post #87 - March 11th, 2012, 12:57 pm Post #87 - March 11th, 2012, 12:57 pm
    mhill95149 wrote:5 lb USDA Prime boneless ribeye roast 6 hours at approx. 130˚ in my stockpot on the stove then tossed on a 600˚ gas grill for 5 min or so...
    Maybe a touch rare for me, next time 135˚

    Looks fantastic . . . perfect rareness for me! :P

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #88 - March 11th, 2012, 4:34 pm
    Post #88 - March 11th, 2012, 4:34 pm Post #88 - March 11th, 2012, 4:34 pm
    Finally finished assembling and wiring up my homebrew immersion circulator. Was a bit frustrating from start to finish; I actually started this over a year ago, and shelved it for a while:
    • Finding an adequate clamp was quite difficult -- I ended up using a Hot Wheels track clamp, which unfortunately raises the whole thing up about 3/4" -- I'll have to notch the cooking vessel so that I don't need the water up quite so high (but of course it will still end up close to the height of the notch -- perhaps a different clamp is in my near future). As it is, it tilts somewhat because of where I had to place the clamp to get the water pump to pump across the heating elements (yeah, let's change out that clamp).
    • I also miswired the relay positive to negative so the first attempts weren't turning on the heating elements.
    • The programming instructions for the controller are awful, it was supposedly set to Farenheit, but was reading 80F when it was only about 68F -- when I finally found how to set it to Celsius, it matched the digital thermometer I have.
    • My last rewiring bent the switch contacts so they touch -- have to fix that, but hey, at least it's turned on (but I have to unplug it to turn it off).

    So finally, it's heating water. I'm doing the traditional test run of a soft-boiled egg at 63.5C.

    Image
    Homebrew immersion circulator by joelfinkle, on Flickr
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #89 - March 11th, 2012, 4:41 pm
    Post #89 - March 11th, 2012, 4:41 pm Post #89 - March 11th, 2012, 4:41 pm
    Good luck JoelF!

    Could someone tell me about the "traditional test" of a soft-boiled egg at 63.5°C? e.g., how long? cold egg? etc.

    TIA!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #90 - March 11th, 2012, 5:23 pm
    Post #90 - March 11th, 2012, 5:23 pm Post #90 - March 11th, 2012, 5:23 pm
    Results of 63.5C egg -- 75 minutes. Due to become part of a serving of ramen.
    Image
    Sous vide soft boiled egg by joelfinkle, on Flickr

    For more details than you'd ever want to know about sous vide soft-boiled eggs, go to the Khymos blog: Toward the perfect soft boiled egg
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang

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