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I guess we know what BP does on 3-day weekends...

 

 

My chief weapon is surprise!... Surprise and tongs... tongs and surprise... My two weapons are tongs and surprise... and ruthless efficiency with sea salt and fresh pepper! My three weapons are tongs, and surprise, and ruthless efficiency with salt and pepper... and an almost fanatical devotion to the coals... My four... no... Amongst my weapons... Hmf... Amongst my weaponry... are such elements as tongs, surpr... I'll come in again.

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My new Sous Vide setup:

 

Chuck Roast vacu-sealed and in the path for 48 (47.5?) hours.

 

The roast and the liquid that came out of it (I used that liquid to make gravy for the roast).

 

browned and partially cut:

 

and fully cut:

 

 

Next time I'll try a marinade, and/or smoke it prior to cooking. I have leftovers for at least a few days this week (this last pic is actually taken after dinner.

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I've never cooked sous-vide, but one of the best fall-apart-at-a-touch beef joints I ever cooked was a cheap cut, smothered in whole grain mustard, sealed in cling film/plastic wrap and cooked in the oven for as long as it took at the minimum electric fan oven temperature. Somewhere between 60 and 75 C, I think (140-170 F).

 

Apart from the slight risk of taking up something nasty from the plastic (and it's food grade after all), I doubt that the end result differed much from a similar time in a sous-vide bath at similar temperatures.

Edited by DB
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The name of the game, physics wise, is the precision temperature control. It is very easy to achieve with water, much more difficult with other means - but certainly achievable. Air is a poor medium for conducting heat energy, so your oven set at 350F will eventually get your meat up to 140F... but to get the center up to 140F you push the exterior up to 180, and then you have a gradient from the core at 140 to the surface at 180 (while the oven is pumping out 350).

 

With Sous Vide you are using a very good temperature conductor, water. You set the water temperature to 140, and it brings everything in the bath up to 140. The center of the meat is 140. The surface of the meat is 140. Everything in between is 140. Pasteurization of beef at 140 takes about 12 min. Breakdown of connective collagen starts at about 130. Longer cooking "tenderizes" or "softens" the meat. The Tenderloin I made tonight was a perfect 140 through and through. A quick brown to get the Maillard reaction umami flavor added, cut into medallions, and served. It was 140 through and through, with just a little bit ever seeing temps higher than that - and then only very briefly.

 

If you cooked your brisket in a 140F oven, aside from it taking a LONG time to get into the safe range (bacterial growth is fastest just before the kill temps start at 130), it would eventually reach equilibrium with the air temp and have much the same effect. I can take a cold or even frozen cut of meat and get it through the "danger zone" (40F to 130F) in a very short time, and get it to safe to consume in not terribly much longer (it takes about 45 min to pasteurize beef at 130, 12 min at 140, 2 min at 150 and instant at 160 - caveat, check the tables for hard numbers); so anything above the minimum safe cooking time/temp is about desired consistency of the resultant cook. Whatever method you use to get it there matters little, so long as it is a safe and effective method.

 

This weekend's experiment is a half pork shoulder, with a Brown Sugar BBQ marinade (Wegmans prep), cooking for 18-24 hours at 160F. It's been in for about 3 hours, so it is (I think) safe to consume already, but I want it fall-apart tender, which needs another 15 hours to reach.

 

I found a good inexpensive source for full Beef Brisket, so that will be one of my future cooks (working on putting together a good dry rub and/or marinade for it - and I've got enough meat cooked or cooking to last me another week or two).

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Pork Shoulder came out of the Sous Vide at 22hrs. I drained it, dried the surface, and put on a brown sugar based BBQ rub and put it in the oven at 300 for an hour to put a good crust on it. Pulled it from the oven, and then used a pair of forks to pull it to shreds. Even without the smoke it is FANTASTIC. It's like meat candy.

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  • 1 month later...

Did a mass produced Corned Beef Brisket point at 160 for 36hrs. It was AMAZING. Gonna have to clear out the store of all the "Discounted" corned beef briskets tomorrow. I think I'm ready to move onto doing "ordinary" brisket myself.

 

I've taken to double-bagging my long cooks... vacu-seal (with double end seals) the meat, then place in zip-lock with water to fill any voids. This puts the holding/handling stress on the ziplock, which if it fails is no big issue. IF the vacu-seals fail (only ever had that happen once, and only when pulling it out of the bath), then very little water from the ziplock intrudes; and the bath as a whole is not contaminated (nor is the food irrevocably wrecked).

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Nobody expects the Barbecuish Inquisition! :D

 

However, one could say that sous vide does not boil meat, as temperature does not reach boiling point of water.

 

 

Many many many years ago, there was a thread on steaks that devolved into a flame war. It involved Ray Manning who IIRC held the position that if one puts gravy on a steak, it means the steak wasn't good at all, that a steak was prepared and cooked right if it didn't need any gravy.

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Good steak can stand on it's own with just a little salt. I love Gravy, but it has no place on a steak. Sauces are most often about covering the fact that the meat is bad.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, each to their own, but I love a good whole peppercorn sauce, or a decent bearnaise. The only thing that should never be done to a steak is to overcook it, and even then, if someone likes chewing shoe-leather, they're free to do so.

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  • 2 years later...

So, Santa brought me an Anova Immersion Circulator this year. I'd been researching them for a bit, and they had come down to a price point that I was willing to start experimenting with them. My visiting family were the beneficiaries of these experiments.

 

I am currently using a 6qt stock pot (aka Spaghetti pot) to hold my water bath. The clamp for the Anova is designed for a thicker wall (like a cooler wall), but it holds well enough.

 

First up: Eggs. Just to play with. I did a perfectly poached egg, in shell, in 45 min. (at 146F). I have never been able to properly poach an egg the traditional way. Harder eggs is, well, harder. Hardboiled eggs are easy enough (16+ min @185F). I'm still finding out how to do a hard white and a soft but not runny yolk.

 

Next: Sausage patties and brats: an hour at 140F pasteurizes, and a finish with a little bit of oil in a HOT pan and they are great. Better finish would be a few minutes on a grill. I think come summer, I'll pre-cook this way, chill, and then do a reheat/browning on the grill for service. The patties are so much juicier and flavorful than a normally fried patty.

 

Bacon: Took a whole pack of thick-cut bacon, ran it overnight at something like 140-145. Then chilled for later use. Very tender, but very messy. It was better than usual bacon, but not enough for me to do it again. Though I expect I'll do some bacon-wrapped stuff this way in the future.

 

Beef Flat Iron Steak: Salt, pepper, a couple sprigs of rosemary, a splash of red-wine vinegar, a splash of balsimic. Marinated for a few hours, then sous vide at 140F for 4-10 hours. It practically fell apart in my hands as I took it out of the bag to brown it. There were no leftovers, and the serving plate was licked clean.

 

Marinated Chicken (grocer prepped): juiciest most flavorful chicken I have ever eaten. Again, no leftovers, and the serving plate was licked clean (I started to think we needed to double up on meat prep because it didn't seem to be going anywhere near far enough).

 

Beef Skirt Steak: this one took 24 hours too cook, again at 140F (for medium). Same prep as the Flat Iron. Again, fall apart tender, and again no leftovers. Only complaint is that it was too thin a cut to take the most advantage.

 

Pork Tenderloin: It was softer than the sweet potatoes we served with it. There was one Medallion of the cut leftover; and while it was still excellent the next day, microwaving to reheat cooked it harder than I would have liked. Re-heating via the sous vide bath (at 130F for about 15 min) is much better at warming to serving temp without re-cooking/overcooking.

 

 

Tonight was my latest: A Ribeye and a Fillet. Both done with salt and pepper. Both Sous Vide'd for 2 hours at 140F. Both browned for not more than 2min total. I had the Ribeye, my wife the Fillet. The end result was both textbook, and AMAZING. This Ribeye was, hands down, the best steak I had ever eaten. The Fillet looked just as amazing. Looking at them both on their plates, I figured this Ribeye was WAY too much for me to eat. Then I started on it and I couldn't stop. Even now, a couple hours later, I am painfully stuffed... and I wanted to have the fillet too. My wife used to get her steaks Well Done. I talked her down to Medium Well. Usually when I have done steaks before, it wasn't done enough for her... even when over done for me. This time......... it was PERFECT. She no only didn't complain about it being only done medium, but loved every bite.

 

 

I'm gonna have to get serious about my workouts now; the meat is WAY too easy to make so fantastic.

You and a friend have raved about how good this process works, I might just order one this summer.

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