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Experimenting with Sous Vide

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    Experimenting with Sous Vide

    I can credit this site for pushing me in the direction of combining science and cooking; since I've started loitering around here two years ago I've only taken it farther.

    Now I'm starting to experiment...combining sous vide cooking (water circulating, ANOVA precision) along with my old trusty Weber kettle grill. The results have been amazing so far and I thought I would share.

    My method so far has been: smoke the meat cold (meaning chilled, walking directly from the fridge) at between 150-200 and sous vide for over 24 hours.

    My beef short ribs didn't come out so well. This was partially because I applied salt to them before I sealed them into the pouches, a bad idea if you're going to swim in the bath for over 24 hours.

    With my pulled pork, I wet brined a Boston Butt for 24 hours, dusted it with Memphis Dust and smoked it at 150 for three hours. Then I stuffed it into a pouch and put left it at 62 C in the water for 36 hours. The results were excellent.

    Has anyone else fooled around with the vacuum bags?

    #2
    There are a few on here that have been discussing sous vide. I love it for steak! Have you checked out chef steps.com? They have some good info on sous vide. I use a poor man's version. Vacuum the meat and use a pot of water on the stove and monitor the temp using a maverick digital and adjust temp up or down as needed. I have not tried doing any smoking before or after sous vide, so I'm glad you're experimenting and sharing.

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      #3
      Yeah. Love Chef Steps. I find that when you combine their techniques with the stuff you learn on this site, you make some amazing things. I used their Turkey Roulade recipe and made a turkey crown using Meathead's technique and served them side by side. Big, big hit.

      I gotta say tho: you should try upgrading to a water circulator. I used the poor man's method before and it certainly makes a difference when the water is constantly moving. Sous Vide sticks are dropping in price so you can get away with a quality machine for under $200

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        #4
        ericthomas810, was there a bark at all when you pulled the PB at 150 and then did the sous vide step? Just curious.

        Kathryn

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          #5
          I have done ribs, skirt steak etc but I prefer sous vide first, then smoke (straight out of the refrigerator) as I warm the meat for serving.

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            #6
            I've been doing sous vide for years. IMO it's best for steaks. I buy them when they're on sale and vacuum pack and freeze them. They go straight from the freezer into the bath at 125f for an hour then onto the super hot gasser with grill grates for a quick reverse sear. I also do tri-tip this way now as SWMBO doesn't like them smoked. The tri-tips get 4 hours because they're thicker. The best is to take a chuck roast, season with BBBR, seal and sous vide for 24 hours. Then a quick reverse sear. Slice all the individual muscles across the grain and you'll have the most tender meat, like prime rib or filet, but with much more flavor and much lower cost. That creates a lot of jus that I reduce and simmer with mushrooms to make a great sauce.

            Also great for corned beef. 180f for 8 hours. I pre soak the corned beef to remove salt, then vacuum pack with the spice packet. It creates a lot of liquid which I use to cook the cabbage and carrots.

            I have also done ribs. They come out very tender but I prefer them straight smoked.

            I also do a char siu pork tenderloin using the char siu marinade as a dry rub. 140f for 4 hours then baste with honey and a good reverse sear. Yum.

            I've done veggies, but I prefer the microwave or stir fry to sous vide.
            Last edited by mgaretz; May 5, 2015, 10:39 AM.

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            • mgaretz
              mgaretz commented
              Editing a comment
              125f

            • scorched_porch
              scorched_porch commented
              Editing a comment
              Do be careful at 125 for longer soaks (Like more than 4 or 5 hours). You are in the danger zone.

            • mgaretz
              mgaretz commented
              Editing a comment
              If 125 bothers you, you can bump it up to 130f and be perfectly safe.

            #7
            first try over cooked it... haven't had a chance to do second. To me best steak is a smoked one tho...

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              #8
              I tried it for the first time yesterday but with short rib leftovers that I vacuum sealed the night before. The next morning I filled up my chafing pan with hot water, placed it on top of 2 stovetop burners, got it up to temp and then set both to low. I clamped my iGrill probe into the water and let the meat sit in about 190 water for about an hour and a half. Placed the sealed bag into a small cooler and poured some of the hot water into it then took it to work. The water had cooled a bit by lunchtime but the internal temp was around 155. I'm going to try a full cook sometime soon.

              BTW, I have no idea if that's the right temp on reheating. My reasoning was that I had 2 slabs that would take a bit to warm up.
              Last edited by eugenek; May 6, 2015, 07:52 AM.

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                #9
                Huge fan of Chef Steps (and they seem to like us too). I have done side by side sous vide and reverse sear on two steaks from the same rib primal. The sous vide was then seared alongside the reverse sear (red neck sous vide). The sous vide was more tender and slightly juicier, but not a lot. The reverse sear was MUCH tastier.

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                  #10
                  Yeah, Chef Steps sends you a lot of love. Their grilling article gives mentions this site many times.

                  Agreed on the tastiness. Grilling is unbeatable for taste, and my family (the votes that count) seems to agree. Although I'm finding that Sous Vide is a good method for large, stubborn cuts of shoulder. Haven't tried brisket yet, but that's on the list.

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                    #11
                    Vegetables and fish are fabulous using sous vide. Butter poached lobster is wonderful (you don't need nearly as much butter as a traditional one). It's just a means to an end - not an end in itself, so try and avoid the trap of having sous vide being a solution in search of a problem. I love short ribs (T. Keller does them 72 hours) sous vide and nice steaks. I try and steer clear of it when combined with low and slow applications. I've done ribs with it, but something tactile is lost. I guess I look at it as a tool. If you want to see some really cool stuff, pick up a copy of Thomas Keller's "Under Pressure" - great pics and wild recipes.

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