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Old 01-27-2012, 05:39 PM   #1
silverbrewer
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Default Water bath cooking, or "Sous vide" section?

Could we start a section on Sous Vide cooking?

There is a shed load of hype and expensive gadgets out there to do this cooking style, and while some have their place for those with unlimited funds, us brewers can not only do it with the equipment we already have, but can get pissed into the bargain ...so it's a win win, fall over situation.

I have had a bit of a search, and have found nothing here on this cooking method, which considering how we have mostly all got water temperature control systems in our breweries is a bit of a shame.

Once you have tried a steak, or better still, a rack of lamb cooked this way, there is a fighting chance you will use it more often, especially as it lets you cook several or more steaks ready to pop on the barbie, and will not overcook them if a guest arrives an hour late!!!!!!!!

Here's how it goes for those who have not met this type of cooking before, bear with me , and read the lot.....Basically, all you do is stick the meat in sealed bags, warm it up until it is cooked, then burn the outside with a blow torch or barbie!

The idea is the food gets slowly cooked, at anywhere between 45 mins for an inch thick tender cut of meat to 72 hours for larger, or tougher joints!!! The temperature you set the water bath to, controls how "done" the meat is (120F for Rare, 140F for medium, and 150F for well done) and the time is set depending how thick the meat is and how tough the meat type is, It does not matter (within reason) how much longer than the set minimum time the meat is cooked for, as it stays perfectly cooked for hours and hours!! The food gets put in vac bags and lowered into luke warm water.....simple as that.

As an example, you are having mates round for a piss up and a barbie. All the guys like medium rare steaks, so before festivities kick off, you bag up 15 ribeye steaks, and hurl them in a tub of water at 134F for 50 minutes. After 50 mins, each steak will be perfectly cooked, medium rare from one side to the other, and mouth wateringly succulent. The awesome thing is, that each and every one of those steaks can sit in the tub for 4 or 5 hours, and will still be perfectly medium rare!!!!!!!!

Anyhow, the slight bummer is that fresh out of it's bag, it will not have the seared look and taste that we are used to, but that is no biggie, as you hurl it on the barbie for say thirty seconds to a minute a side to burn it up to your visual liking....remember, it is already cooked, you are only browning the outside to look the part, so do not over do it.

Now I am proud to say I can flame cook a steak to perfection. BUT, doing fifteen of them (when pissed) is a pain in the arse. Do it this way, and the buggers are done and dusted, and only need "fettling", which can be left to the individual owners, or if needs must by you.

If there is no barbie going on, then you just pan fry in a searingly hot pan, or blast the meat with a blowtorch (butane or propane) for thirty second to a minute.

Google Sous vide for recipes, or www.sousvidesupreme.com for how to videos and expensive ready made equipment.

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Old 01-27-2012, 05:44 PM   #2
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I have had a bit of a search, and have found nothing here on this cooking method, which considering how we have mostly all got water temperature control systems in our breweries is a bit of a shame.
There's a bunch threads on this here. I know, I've posted to them.

I don't think there is enough traffic in this subject to warrant a dedicated topic. True, though, it sorta splits the Electric Brewing and the Cooking & Pairing topics, so there isn't a perfect place to post.

I've been occasionally using my HLT as a sous vide cooker, works great.

BTW, here is an excellent online reference for sous vide: http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
There's a bunch threads on this here. I know, I've posted to them.

I don't think there is enough traffic in this subject to warrant a dedicated topic. True, though, it sorta splits the Electric Brewing and the Cooking & Pairing topics, so there isn't a perfect place to post.

I've been occasionally using my HLT as a sous vide cooker, works great.

BTW, here is an excellent online reference for sous vide: http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html
I agree.

Please post in this section.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f56/
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:14 PM   #4
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I would like to say thanks silverbrewer. Even though there won't be a section on this I had never heard of it until this thread and now my mouth is watering. I can't wait to give it a shot!

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Old 01-27-2012, 07:31 PM   #5
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The only reason I haven't really given Sous vide a try is because not everybody I know want's their food cooked the same. If I were going to try steaks this way I'd have to have two different temps just for me and my wife. I wouldn't have to add too many friends and suddenly I need four temps.

I'm still interested in the idea though, so I'll look forward to your posts in the cooking&pairing section.

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Old 01-28-2012, 04:32 PM   #6
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Camiller, you need to put the most "done" items in the bath at their higher temp for their required cook time, then cool, by replacing some of the water, then re-set the controller to the second lower "doneness" temp, and cook the second item for it's allotted time! This does take twice as long, but the first item can sit in the bath during the second cook time as the lower temp will have no effect on it whatsoever. Bit of a "faff", but hey, you are sitting somewhere drinking beer while this is going on.....

H-ost, The whole point of the post was to spread the word, so I am glad it has worked
When searing the cooked meat at the last stage it is scary how much it shrinks due to the heat, but do not be put off! there is a tendency to only sear the meat for a scant time as you are aware it is already cooked, but then it is not burnt enough for your palette when you get to eat it, so don't be afraid to give it a full minute each side or whatever, and then if it was too much, back off a bit the next time.

My home made kit consists of a stainless 1/3 size 200mm deep "gastronorm", a small electric automotive coolant pump, a cheap plastic household kettle, and an aquarium temperature controller......so let's say $35 because the gastronorm was $4 and the pump was free.

The whole lot is plumbed together with 1/2" silicone brewery pipe and the flow goes into the kettle at the top side and gravity drains out through the lower side. If the pump fails, the kettle level drops to just above the element, the kettle boils, and turns itself off.

The temp probe is fitted in the gastronorm up the inside of the return tube.

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Old 01-30-2012, 08:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbrewer
Camiller, you need to put the most "done" items in the bath at their higher temp for their required cook time, then cool, by replacing some of the water, then re-set the controller to the second lower "doneness" temp, and cook the second item for it's allotted time! This does take twice as long, but the first item can sit in the bath during the second cook time as the lower temp will have no effect on it whatsoever. Bit of a "faff", but hey, you are sitting somewhere drinking beer while this is going on.....

H-ost, The whole point of the post was to spread the word, so I am glad it has worked
When searing the cooked meat at the last stage it is scary how much it shrinks due to the heat, but do not be put off! there is a tendency to only sear the meat for a scant time as you are aware it is already cooked, but then it is not burnt enough for your palette when you get to eat it, so don't be afraid to give it a full minute each side or whatever, and then if it was too much, back off a bit the next time.

My home made kit consists of a stainless 1/3 size 200mm deep "gastronorm", a small electric automotive coolant pump, a cheap plastic household kettle, and an aquarium temperature controller......so let's say $35 because the gastronorm was $4 and the pump was free.

The whole lot is plumbed together with 1/2" silicone brewery pipe and the flow goes into the kettle at the top side and gravity drains out through the lower side. If the pump fails, the kettle level drops to just above the element, the kettle boils, and turns itself off.

The temp probe is fitted in the gastronorm up the inside of the return tube.
Great looking set up. I have a circulator at work, but before got it I looked at a lot of homemade setups. You can also use fat in the bath if you want to confit. Steaks are great sous vide, but love low temping game birds & rabbit. You end up not losing flavor & no one will say it taste just like chicken!
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:13 PM   #8
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Here's a large chunk of beef (bottom round cut I think) and a port loin, overnight at about 135. Both were excellent the next day. Beef brisket is exceptional too (really, really tender).

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