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Sous vide fail: advice please

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  • bcostlow
    Former Member
    • Jul 2016
    • 94
    • San Antonio TX

    Sous vide fail: advice please

    I had a moment of weakness and picked up a joule. I was captivated by the apple braised pork shank recipe and bought some large food grade marinating bags from amazon so I could cook up a big dinner for the family.


    Turns out that there seems to have been a reverse osmosis thing going on and the liquid in my cooking bag doubled in the 24 hour cook. So, no sauce, meat was actually tender but not a lot of flavor.

    I know I could probably double or triple bag to reduce the amount of liquid seeping in the future but I am curious what everyone else is using to cook with. I am dying to try the rib end chuck roast but am cautious at this point.

    Is there a bagging solution for large portions that works better?
  • Steve Vojtek
    Charter Member
    • Mar 2015
    • 612
    • Melbourne Australia
    • 6 & 2 burner gas BBQ's
      Diy electric smoker
      A-maze-n-tube 12 inch
      Gas powered pizza oven
      GMG Davy Crockett with Wifi
      Rosle 24 inch charcoal kettle
      Slow'nSear - my favourite
      2 x Thermapens
      2 x wireless thermometers
      3 x wired thermometers
      Favourite drink:
      Scotch whiskey various brands
      American Honey WT
      And beer ....
      And at work just plain old chilled water....

    Did you reduce the glaze till it was really thick before SV? It is quite normal for meat to release some juices during a SV cook and the Chefsteps recipe also recommends (after SV) to strain and simmer the glaze until it has turned into thick sticky sauce.


    • Northside Brian
      Club Member
      • Aug 2016
      • 104
      • Fort Worth TX

      vacuum sealing works best for guaranteeing no liquid gets into or out of the bag. If you are using zipper bags, try keeping the sealed edge above the water line if you can.


      • cookingmadly
        Club Member
        • Mar 2017
        • 19
        • Los Osos, CA
        • Memphis Grills Pro
          Alfa Forno 4 Pizza Oven
          ... and some cheapo gasser that can't even put grill marks on a hot dog.

        Since you're cooking at higher temperatures, you either need to use dedicated vacuum seal bags or ziplock freezer bags. Many bags, such as ziplock storage, are not adequate for high temp/long cooks sous vide.


        • Breadhead
          Banned Former Member
          • Jul 2014
          • 0

          A good vacuum sealer is part of the necessary buy in for SV cooking. You can play with learning the idea with zip-lock bags but... you're going to have some leakage now and then. There's no leakage with a vacuum sealed bag.


          • bep35
            Founding Member
            • Jul 2014
            • 297
            • Pierre,SD
            • 1987 Weber Kettle (Still going!)
              2004 Cookshack Smokette (The original!)
              2012 Weber Genesis (Wonderful for steaks and chops!)
              2014 Pit Barrel Cooker (Lovin it!)
              Thermoworks Thermapen
              Thermoworks Mini Handheld Thermocouple & Meat Needle Probe
              Various other wireless remote thermometers

              Beer...Bud Light (Timeless)

            I don't know if this would work for large portions but it is cheaper than a vacuum sealer.Click image for larger version

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            • Potkettleblack
              Potkettleblack commented
              Editing a comment
              you ain't getting a pork shank in that.
          • EdF
            Club Member
            • Jul 2016
            • 3207
            • Atlantic Highlands, NJ
            • Uuni Pro (new kid in town)
              Karubeque C-60
              Large BGE since 2002 + plate setter + pizza stone + upper grid + stainless paella pan for drippings (the best!)
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              Thermapen Air
              ThermaQ (or its predecessor)
              Thermoworks Hi temp IR
              BBQ Dragon & Chimney of Insanity
              Various other stuff

            If you're serious about sous vide, just get a decent sealer. It'll save you trouble. In case you think you might want to dry age some beef, check the models they list here: https://www.drybagsteak.com/vacuum-sealer-support.php


            • Corvus
              Club Member
              • Nov 2015
              • 126
              • NW Missouri and NW Washington
              • Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire. Exo 12:9

                2- WSM, 18" Weber kettle, 22" Weber Performer, SNS, LBGE, Weber Genesis II, KettlePizza, Joule, red ChefAlarm, red ThermaPen, blue ThermaPen, Smoke and............ an even longer wish list.

              I found that in a pinch, oven bags (like you'd bake a turkey in) worked okay on a 28 hour roast. I doubled them up for extra measure, but I think one would've been fine. All of my other cooks have been 4 - 12 hours and zip-locks held up well. I have a vac sealer and sealer bags, but I have not used them for SV, maybe wondering if the seals will hold up in hot water.


              • tbob4
                Charter Member
                • Nov 2014
                • 2305
                • Chico, CA
                • BBQ's
                  California Custom Smokers Intensive Cooking Unit
                  California Custom Smokers Meat Locker
                  Santa Maria Grill
                  Vision Grill

                  Sierra Nevada IPA


                You have hit upon a very good question and one that I have wrestled with since I got the SV. Others have reported similar results here. I love my SV machine and have used it for a bunch of different cooks. However, I have found that the flavors I normally get from rubs/marinades are diluted greatly in the process. I have even done the scrambled egg thing SV style. I added onions, jalapeños and cheese in the same portions that I would to a normal scramble. Normally, the eggs come out with a bite from the jalapeños and a sweetness from the red onions. SV'd the flavors washed away until I doubled the portions of peppers and onion. With steaks, texturally, I have found that things out of SV come out beautifully uniform but there is a loss or "wash-out" of rub flavors. I often times wonder if there should be a recipe section for BBQ that takes this phenomenon into consideration. I vacuum seal everything prior to cooking SV.


                • Breadhead
                  Banned Former Member
                  • Jul 2014
                  • 0

                  tbob4 ...

                  My SV'ed steaks don't get any Rub on them at all. I salt them for dry brining and then vacuum seal them in a bag overnight. The next day I put them in the bath tub for 4 to 8 hours and then I remove them from the bags, blot them dry and coat them with beef love. I sear them to get the crust I like and then hit them with some fresh ground pepper. No Rub on steaks.😬


                  • Skip
                    Founding Member
                    • Jul 2014
                    • 3314
                    • Blue Earth, Minnesota
                    • MAK Pellet Grill, Large BGE, Weber Kettle with SnS, Weber Gasser, Pit Barrel Cooker, Cast Iron Pans & Griddle, Grill Grates, Mostly Thermoworks Thermometers

                    I have had good luck with Tri Tip SV style. Also tried bacon SV overnight which was very good after a light sear. The scrambled eggs with peppers and onions I did only once but they were ok. Probably need a little more practice on the eggs. HOWEVER last week I did some boneless pork chops cut 1.5" thick. They were terribly dry, just the opposite of what I thought I'd end up with. Anyone have a good idea for boneless pork chops?


                    • Mikey C
                      Mikey C commented
                      Editing a comment
                      What time and temp did you do the chops at?
                  • Potkettleblack
                    Club Member
                    • Jun 2016
                    • 1961
                    • Beautiful Downtown Berwyn
                    • Grill: Grilla Original / Weber Genesis EP-330 / OK Joe Bronco Drum
                      Thermometers: Thermapen / iGrill 2 / Fireboard
                      For Smoke: Chunks / Pellet Tube / Mo Pouch
                      Sous Vide: Joule / Nomiku WiFi (RIP Nomiku)
                      Disqus: Le Chef - (something something something) - it changes


                    "At temperatures above around 158 °F / 70 °C, the seams of ziplock-style bags can fail, exposing your food to the water in the bath."

                    The bag you used is not designed for high temp. They say it will hold boiling water, but I suspect that is a short term thing, for the assembly of brine, rather than a prolonged soak in fairly hot bath water. Yeah, you need something with a better seam and a better plastic for long and hot. 158* is about the peak of what you can use a freezer ziplock for.

                    I would recommend something like this:
                    A sealer is pretty useful, though you can use these bags for some applications "sans-vide"... Vegetables are good sans-vide, as they can give up some gas that makes vac bags float. 24 hour pork shanks... not so much.

                    On the pork chops... time and temp? I prefer 135 for just long enough to cook it. Others like it whiter and dryer. 140 is what they like.


                    • Atalanta
                      Club Member
                      • Jul 2016
                      • 431
                      • Barnsley's Ford
                      • Grills: 22" Weber (wood handles) (another Weber on the way), Lodge Sportsman "hibachi"
                        Smoker: None yet, part of why I joined
                        Thermometer: 10+ yr old Taylor digital thermometer with remote
                        Sous Vide: Anovo Imersion Circulator (1st gen)
                        Coffee Roaster: Hot Top Coffee Roaster
                        Adult Beverages: Fighting Cock Bourbon, Leinny Shandy, Troegs Mad Elf

                      Yes, be careful of the bags you use. I made the mistake of re-using a bag for corn on the cob and it broke. Ewww. Learned NEVER re-use a ziplock bag and ONLY use freezer bags.


                      • CandySueQ
                        KCBS President, and Moderator
                        • Jul 2014
                        • 1523
                        • Pellet Fired Jambo, T1000 Woodmaster, FEC100, MAK 2 star, Yoder 640, Backwoods Pellet Chef, 14" & 22" WSM, 22" Weber Kettle, Stoven, Hot Box Grill, Hasty Bake Portable

                        I use freezer bags and clothespin the seal part at the top of the pot. Never had a leak in Food Saver vacuum bags.


                        • fzxdoc
                          Founding Member
                          • Jul 2014
                          • 5087
                          • My toys:
                            Weber Summit Charcoal Grilling Center (WSCGC) aka Mr. Fancypants
                            Pit Barrel Cooker (which rocks)
                            Weber Summit S650 Gas Grill
                            Weber Kettle Premium 22"
                            Weber Jumbo Joe Premium 22" (a weird little 22" kettle mutant on 22"-long legs) (donated to local battered women's shelter.)
                            Camp Chef Somerset IV 4-burner outdoor gas range

                            Adrenaline BBQ Company's SnS, DnG and Large Charcoal Basket for WSCGC
                            Adrenaline BBQ Company's Elevated SS Rack for WSCGC
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                            Grill Grate for SnS
                            Grill Grates: five 17.375 sections (retired to storage)
                            Grill Grates: six 19.25 panels for exact fit for Summit S650 gasser
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                            Fireboard Extreme BBQ Thermometer Package
                            Fireboard control unit in addition to that in the Extreme BBQ Package
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                            Maverick ET 73 a little workhorse with limited range
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                            Grill Pinz
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                            BBQ Dragon and Dragon Chimney

                            Shun Classic 8" Chef's Knife
                            Shun Classic 6" Chef's Knife
                            Shun Classic Gokujo Boning and Fillet Knife
                            Shun Classic 3 1/2 inch Paring Knife

                          I use ZipLocks for anything below 140°F or so. (I know, 158°F is supposed to be Ziploc's limit, but I'm extra cautious). After that, it's Food Saver Game Saver Heavy Duty all the way.



                          • Potkettleblack
                            Potkettleblack commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I have found that my ziplock 2 gallon bags inspire more confidence than the 1 gallon freezer bags, so I'm good with them up to about 150 or so. Having eaten some things that had leaky bags, I'm not that eager to do so again.

                          • fzxdoc
                            fzxdoc commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Plus the fact that food products leaking into the water that then is circulated by and through part of the sous vide machine would require some pretty deep cleaning of the sous vide machine, I would guess. It's one thing for the Joule, for example, to unscrew the foot and rinse out the inside after every use but to try to get food particles out of the inside might be more of a challenge. The leaky/broken bag scenario is not one that I want to experience. Sorry to hear you've had to face that, Potkettleblack . Ugh.




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