Sous Vide & DBS?

Started by porterdriver, January 07, 2011, 03:59:45 AM

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Interesting.  Like some have asked, is it worth it?

Habanero Smoker

As mentioned by JF7FSU, sous vide is a method of poaching food in it's own juices without water, air or evaporation. You get the concentrated flavors of all the food, and it is incredibly tender and flavorful. Since the food it poached, and if you are using this method on steaks or other meats, you can brown the meat first for color.

I think it is worth it, if you already have the equipment; such as a PID to control and electrical appliance - a two probe is better then you can monitor the temperature of the meat. The appliance can be rice cooker, or most crock pot will provide enough heat, or a hot plate and a pot. Since the food will be in a air tight bag, and if you are going to be using temperatures below 140°F, and most recipes call for lower temperatures, you may want to Google sous vide and read the safety concerns about botulism for dishes that may take longer then 4 hours. It's not a major concern, but something you should familiarize yourself with.



As Habs, so well described, - it's a slow indirect poaching method.  The only difference from poaching is that there is an impermeable membrane between the food and the simmering liquid and the food is often in a vaccuum.  Often there is no additional liquids added to the food that has been sealed up in the cooking bag - so the food cooks in it's own flavor - often very low and slow - sometimes in the 24 to 72 hour long range.  On the short side a thin cut of fish will only take a few minutes.  The advocates extol the moistness, the tenderness and the "pure" flavors derived from this type of cooking.  However, I'm not a particular fan.  I grew up with the Maillard Reaction and all the wonderful virtues of chargrilling, smoking, browning, etc.... and the flavors they produce.  Bold, strong, out front flavors are what I grew up with - not nuances.  So for me, the extra time, expense and fuss involved in soux-vide is not worth it.  However, ones who are intrigued with nuances and the "pure" taste of foods as well as the textures that are inherent in soux-vide, I'm sure it is well worth it. 

However, I have wanted to try two things soux-vide.  One is a steak cooked to 130 or so soux-vide then seared in a very hot pan.  And the other is something like a flat iron steak cooked soux-vide for 24 hours or so.  It's said to be tender as  prime tenderloin then.  However, I bet I will still prefer a good old wood fired steak over the soux-vide. 

Quite a few years ago, I worked with an expert in the field of commercial soux-vide and cook-chill techniques.  We were working together to come up with a design and construction proposal for a cook-chill facility for the State to feed the inmates of all the State Prisons from one centralized facility.  I got to be in his test kitchen a few times and ate a few meals prepared in it.  It can be very good.  But just not what I prefer. 
"A man that won't sleep with his meat don't care about his barbecue" Caneyscud

"If we're not supposed to eat animals, how come they're made out of meat?"


Quote from: Habanero Smoker on January 12, 2011, 01:55:20 AM
- a two probe is better then you can monitor the temperature of the meat.
How do you monitor the temp of the meat if it is in an airtight bag? Wouldn't the probe puncture the bag and eventually cause a leak? Is there a some other method?
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            You can use closed cell foam tape. Stick the probe though it though the bag, & into the center of the meat. It wont let air in until you pull it out. I haven't tried this yet, but that is what I read. I have a chuck steak in my rice cooker with the PID right now, it has been in there 14.1Hrs.. I will taste it in approx. 10 more hours. I think most Sous Vide cooking is done by time, at least that's what I have been reading.
They have Charts with different thickness meats & types. That will tell you what temperature & how long.


Foods that lend themselves well to "poaching" can do very well via sous vide.  For me that's mostly seafood.

Like HabS noted, there are food safety concerns, but if done with care and not pushed to extreme  time limits there really isn't a problem.

A lot of good info and recipes are available on the net.
I like animals, they taste good!

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Habanero Smoker

As Sirpro02 pointed out you use closed cell foam tape, which is more commonly known as foam mounting tape. This is a double sided tape. To make the probe insertion easier, do not remove the paper backing. Also get a brand name type.