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Thread: Sous Vide cooking Great stuff

  1. #1
    Storage? I am Storage! Santilli's Avatar
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    Sous Vide cooking Great stuff

    Hi
    I've been trying to cook high protein food, with little fat. Only thing is, it's easy to overcook.

    Look into this hot water cooking, under vacum seal stuff. I'm playing with it, and so far, it provides very tender meat, and, major margin for error.
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    Fatwah on Western Digital Fixture Mercutio's Avatar
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    I really don't want to take 40 hours to make a hamburger.

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    I can't believe I'm a Fixture LunarMist's Avatar
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    It sounds like something from an infomercial.
    I would not trust low heat on many meats; there are too often contaminated with pathogens.
    --Lunar

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    I can't believe I'm a Fixture LunarMist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mercutio View Post
    I really don't want to take 40 hours to make a hamburger.
    One really must plan meals far ahead with that method.

    I might not even know what state I will be traveling to 40 hours later.
    --Lunar

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    Storage? I am Storage! Santilli's Avatar
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    It's really not that bad. I sear the meat before finishing it with sous vide. For example pork loin seared in the oven broiled. Pull it out, season it, put it in a plastic bag, and cook for a couple hours at 165.

    Same with steak. Came out so tender I couldn't believe it.

    The meat cooks through, but doesn't have the extreme variation you get when you try and cook something rare, and end up with the tips well done.

    I've been using the beer cooler method.

    http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/c...vide-hack.html

    For Chicken breasts:
    1

    Preheat water oven to 140°F. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Place in sous-vide bags and seal. Cook in water oven for at least 1 hour 35 minutes and up to 10 hours.

    After a couple hours, at 165, they were pretty near perfect.

    I do want the temperatures to be at least what they would be if I was cooking the food in the oven. I usually heat the water on the stove to boil, pour it in, then add some hot water from the tap until I'm in the 160-180 range, and let it sit for 2 hours for chicken breasts.

    You can even cook stuff over night without major fear of overcooking.

    So far, so good.
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    Serial computer killer Hairy Aussie CougTek's Avatar
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    Plastic near food, particularly hot food, should be avoided as it disintegrates and sends carcinogen particles into the food. I'm sure it tastes great, but I would want to eat that too often for too long. I know I'm difficult, but I just have a problem with food that threaten my lifespan.

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    I can't believe I'm a Fixture LunarMist's Avatar
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    I'd be more concerned about leachables than particles, although you may mean that. Presumably the bags are designed for the purpose and would meet the requirements. Perhaps sensitive individuals should avoid that technique. Frequency of use would be a key factor for most people.
    --Lunar

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    Storage? I am Storage! Santilli's Avatar
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    I have those concerns as well. I'm using some rather tough freezer bags, and, I do take large top sirloins, cut them into manageable sizes, and use the machine to pull out the air and freeze them.
    Kind of a natural after doing that, to thaw and cook Sous Vide. Only thing is I need to sear the meat after the cooking.

    http://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-Adva...5563542&sr=1-1
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    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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    Searing at the end is better anyway, the crust comes out better.
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    Fatwah on Western Digital Fixture Mercutio's Avatar
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    Former Microsoft bigshot Nathan Myervhold (no I'm not looking up the spelling) did a huge publicity tour for his vanity cookbook project, Modernist Cuisine, last year. If you want a $500 cookbook to tell you how to boil stuff in a bag and then sear it with a blowtorch, it's pretty interesting and easily steal-able from the usual sorts of places.

    For something a little bit more down to earth and genuinely interesting, ORA published "Cooking for Geeks" a couple years ago and I found that quite interesting, even as a person who really doesn't cook any more.

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    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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    It's worth mentioning that the photography in that book is gorgeous.

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    Fatwah on Western Digital Fixture Mercutio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilbo View Post
    It's worth mentioning that the photography in that book is gorgeous.
    Of course it is. It's a cookbook. People don't buy those to learn how to cook. They buy them to look at pictures of food.

    And then you get to read some doofus celebrity chef's dissertation on why you need to own $3000 worth of special pans and a local source for llama milk and organ meats in order to make half the recipes in the book and then you realize what a waste it is to buy most cookbooks.
    Last edited by Mercutio; 01-03-2012 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Removed unnecessary comma. See Greg it IS possible.

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    I found the Wired article on that cookbook interesting.

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    To Serve Man was a fine "cookbook."
    --Lunar

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    Merc: I argue with myself to go with your total skeptic outlook, or to go with my own, WAY worse outlook.;_)
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    Has anyone beside Santilli tried a Sous Vide? I'm super tempted to get a Sous Vide setup w/ vacuum sealer now that you can get them relatively inexpensively at Monoprice.

    Their Sous Vide is $69.99 shipped and the Vacuum sealer is $79.99 shipped.

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    Serial computer killer Hairy Aussie CougTek's Avatar
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    I'd rather not eat food cook in a plastic bag. Plastic particles tend to be transfered in the food when heated and are supposed to increase chances to dvelop cancer. Taste might be great, but I'll pass.

    I probably do a lot of other things that are bad for my health, but I avoid what I'm aware is unhealthy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CougTek View Post
    I'd rather not eat food cook in a plastic bag. Plastic particles tend to be transfered in the food when heated and are supposed to increase chances to dvelop cancer.
    According to whom? The temperatures are too low to cause any problems with the plastic melting or breaking down and the plastics used don't have BPA or other chemicals people are worried about. Do you ensure your food has no contact with plastic?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post
    According to whom? The temperatures are too low to cause any problems with the plastic melting or breaking down and the plastics used don't have BPA or other chemicals people are worried about. Do you ensure your food has no contact with plastic?
    I'd be more concerned about the food not being hot enough to kill bacteria.
    --Lunar

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    Quote Originally Posted by LunarMist View Post
    I'd be more concerned about the food not being hot enough to kill bacteria.
    That's always a concern, but people eat sushi with raw fish and "undercooked" steaks and seafood all the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post
    That's always a concern, but people eat sushi with raw fish and "undercooked" steaks and seafood all the time.
    Yes, so you better know the raw meats were handled well.
    --Lunar

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    Quote Originally Posted by CougTek View Post
    I'd rather not eat food cook in a plastic bag. Plastic particles tend to be transfered in the food when heated and are supposed to increase chances to dvelop cancer. Taste might be great, but I'll pass.

    I probably do a lot of other things that are bad for my health, but I avoid what I'm aware is unhealthy.
    Same reason I avoid plastic cups and don't store leftover food in plastic containers. The general concept with this type of cooking seems interesting. Maybe a variation where you seal the food in metal foil instead of plastic might work?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    Same reason I avoid plastic cups and don't store leftover food in plastic containers. The general concept with this type of cooking seems interesting. Maybe a variation where you seal the food in metal foil instead of plastic might work?
    I like plastic. The risks aren't the highest in this life. The effect on mortality is probably less than driving 11,000 miles and flying 37,000 miles a year.
    --Lunar

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    Quote Originally Posted by LunarMist View Post
    I like plastic. The risks aren't the highest in this life. The effect on mortality is probably less than driving 11,000 miles and flying 37,000 miles a year.
    You might be right if you look at it that way. Personally, I fly 0 miles and ride as a car passenger for probably under 300 miles annually. Given that, my risk from plastic containers could well dwarf that from traveling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    Same reason I avoid plastic cups and don't store leftover food in plastic containers.
    Most food is packaged in plastic. Milk, cereal, bread, chips, crackers, cookies, condiments, soda/pop, water, etc. I can't see how your two small precautions are reducing your exposure to plastic on your food.

    The general concept with this type of cooking seems interesting. Maybe a variation where you seal the food in metal foil instead of plastic might work?
    How would you seal the food in metal foil under vacuum and keep the water water out?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post
    Most food is packaged in plastic. Milk, cereal, bread, chips, crackers, cookies, condiments, soda/pop, water, etc. I can't see how your two small precautions are reducing your exposure to plastic on your food.
    The difference is those foods are not exposed to heated plastic. Chemical reactions are about two times more energetic for every 10°C increase in temperature. Long term for sustainability reasons we should probably go back to glass for liquids and cardboard/wax paper for everything else.

    How would you seal the food in metal foil under vacuum and keep the water water out?
    Induction heating? Actually, if you do the joints properly, foil can be essentially waterproof. Maybe I'll try it one day just as proof of concept.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    The difference is those foods are not exposed to heated plastic. Chemical reactions are about two times more energetic for every 10°C increase in temperature. Long term for sustainability reasons we should probably go back to glass for liquids and cardboard/wax paper for everything else.
    130-150F is hardly "heated" when it comes to the plastics used. Some products see higher temps than that in shipping.

    Induction heating? Actually, if you do the joints properly, foil can be essentially waterproof. Maybe I'll try it one day just as proof of concept.
    Why would you need induction heating if you can get it waterproof? The cooking is in a warm to hot water bath. By the way, isn't Aluminum foil bad for food too? I think there's more solid science behind the dangers of cooking acidic food in aluminum than in the dangers of sous vide cooking in plastic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LunarMist View Post
    Yes, so you better know the raw meats were handled well.
    Well, it seems the situation is a bit more complex. This goes into lots of detail: http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html#Safety

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    Yes, I've had steak heated to medium rare temps via Sous Vide. We have cooked steak several times like this at work. We have people here with memberships to Restaurant Depot and when they run a sale on the New Zealand Grass fed Ribeye from Silver Fern Farms, we go in and buy boxes of this stuff (usually 10-12lb cuts) and Sous Vide it with salt & pepper rub and then sear it on the grill. The rest I vacuum seal and take home to freeze it for later. Fantastic quality steak with great marbling at $7.99/lb.

    We use these bags to vacuum seal the meat and also use it to heat the meat. My coworker uses this Sous Vide machine.

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    How's the steak taste and compare to when they're conventionally cooked? I note from your comment you haven't gone Sous Vide'ing yourself.

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    For me it's more of a tenderness and texture difference than a major flavor difference. The steak becomes perfectly heated to the desired temperature 100% throughout the meat and then a very quick sear at high temperature delivers a nice crust while keeping the majority of juice in. Whereas conventionally cooking the meat on flame or pan you get more of a gradient of temperature through the meat depending on how you might cook it.

    I don't own a Sous Vide machine but the one I linked has been on my short list to buy some day. I've not done it myself but I've seen it done a handful of times here where it's pretty simple to do. We've also done Salmon with the Sous Vide and it came out great. I still cook my steaks in a steal pan on the range with salt & pepper then finish with a little butter.

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    I can't believe I'm a Fixture LunarMist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post
    Well, it seems the situation is a bit more complex. This goes into lots of detail: http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html#Safety
    I like 60Co. Just hit everything with 25 KGy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LunarMist View Post
    I like 60Co. Just hit everything with 25 KGy.
    I have no idea what you just said.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LunarMist View Post
    I like 60Co. Just hit everything with 25 KGy.
    Do they still use Cobalt 60 to irradiate food? 25kGy is on the low end of the dosage spectrum for meat...

    Edit: Guess they do...according to wikipedia at least.

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    So I went ahead and bought a vacuum sealer and Sous Vide from Monoprice. They showed up last week. I'm waiting on my plastic container that I'm going to use for my hot water bath to get here from Amazon. I played with the vacuum sealer a bit tonight to make sure it works. I was a little surprised to see the manual basically says not to make more than one seal every 5 minutes. I bought some rolls of the vacuum "bag" material from Amazon. Making a bag from the roll takes two seals, so I guess you can't move too quickly. I'm sure at the beginning it will take me about 5 minutes to get everything ready and into the pouch after the first seal, but down the road a 5 minute wait time will probably become annoying.

    And, of course the roll of bag material I bought is too large to to fit in the dispenser compartment in the top. Not a real big deal there. I can cut them with a scissor until the roll fits.

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    Fixture ddrueding's Avatar
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    That timing cuts the options a bit. I'd imagine you can make the first seal before prepping, then the second after filling it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddrueding View Post
    That timing cuts the options a bit. I'd imagine you can make the first seal before prepping, then the second after filling it?
    Yes, that was my thought process also.

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    I cooked my first Sous Vide item today, a piece of salmon. I roughly followed this article. I went for 120F and cooked it for about 50 minutes while I was mowing. I used some seafood seasoning that was in the cupboard along with some salt and pepper on it. I was not nearly as generous with the salt as they show in the picture. They seem to have encrusted it. In contrast, I sprinkled some salt on it from a shaker.

    The end result result was pretty good. Better than how my ex-wife overcooked it. I'll have to buy some more frozen salmon pieces from Costco.

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    Today I made a boneless/skinless chicken breast with the sous vide. I seasoned it with Weber Kickin' Chicken seasoning, sealed it in the vacuum bag with a very small drizzle of olive oil and cooked it at 148F for 2 hours. It was only slightly defrosted which is why I cooked it for so long. I just opened the bag and put it on my plate and ate it. It was quite juicy and had good texture.

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    I suggest you try and cook something that hasn't been frozen. I think it.makes a huge difference to the taste.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fb View Post
    I suggest you try and cook something that hasn't been frozen. I think it.makes a huge difference to the taste.
    That's somewhat challenging in the grand scheme of things. I'm cooking for only myself, sous vide isn't a the way you cook something when you want leftovers for the week, & decent prices on food are obtained by buying more than a single serving of something. So, even if I buy the meat in a non-frozen fashion, I'm going to end up freezing some quantity of it since I don't want to eat the same thing 4-5 days in a row and fresh meat doesn't keep any longer than that, especially once it's been opened and exposed to the Oxygen in the air.

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    Storage? I am Storage! jtr1962's Avatar
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    I think it's more how food is frozen than the fact it's frozen which affects the taste. A few years back, we used to regularly order from Omaha Steaks. The meat was shipped in a styrofoam container with dry ice, and each piece was individually wrapped in plastic. To me it tasted better than fresh store-bought meat. They must have used some flash-freezing process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtr1962 View Post
    I think it's more how food is frozen than the fact it's frozen which affects the taste. A few years back, we used to regularly order from Omaha Steaks. The meat was shipped in a styrofoam container with dry ice, and each piece was individually wrapped in plastic. To me it tasted better than fresh store-bought meat. They must have used some flash-freezing process.
    My logic was basically that individually wrapped stuff that comes frozen should be better than if I toss extras in the freezer because I'm not flash freezing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stereodude View Post
    My logic was basically that individually wrapped stuff that comes frozen should be better than if I toss extras in the freezer because I'm not flash freezing.
    Your reasoning seems sound to me. A home freezer isn't going to be able to freeze food all that fast.
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    I finally got around to making my first steak in the sous vide last night after not using it for several months. I bought a whole tenderloin from Costco, cut it up, seasoned the steaks, and individually vacuum sealed each steak. All but one went into the freezer. I cooked the one I didn't freeze. I did 135F for 1 hour. I'm going to bump up the temp a little bit next time.

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    Y'know, I've always been interested in how this method of cooking works and whether it'd be tough to achieve the right degree doneness on your food. Also, you actually need the machine itself to go into the method of cooking right?

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    12,715
    The heater/cooker helps but isn't absolutely required. I'd certainly recommend it if you want consistent results in getting the meats to the desired temperature and reduce your own risk of foodborne illness.

  50. #50
    Not really a Fixture
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    10,039
    I can't imagine trying to accurately control the temperature of the water bath without one. I mean I'm sure someone could Arduino something up with closed loop control, but any sort of open loop double boiler or something would seem extremely difficult to achieve and hold the desired temperature.

    I used my Monoprice Sous Vide tonight for the first time in several months. My steak (beef tenderloin) was absolutely delicious.

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