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Old 05-07-2014, 12:46 PM   #21
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No, I don't think the method will fade away either. My point was that they will continue to come down in price and be more affordable. Case in point is microwave ovens and pocket calculators that once cost 10 or more times what they do now.
As I posted here, I've always lusted after one but find the price tag too prohibitive for me----- plus the counter space. (Factoid: If an appliance isn't out, I don't use it!)
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:56 PM   #22
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Silver, thank you for your supportive post. Fact is that (1) I use my Sous Vide more than I let on, and (2) I've been distracted by moving into my new house (last June) and being focused on my business, and have not been able to fully explore my Sous Vide.

Matter of fact I'm having SV rib-eye steak this evening. I put it in at 3:45 p.m. and now it's 5:45, and I could probably take it out and serve it at any time. That's one thing many people don't realize is that there is a minimal cooking time and then a very wide band of acceptable serving times. Once you have denatured the proteins they are denatured. More time won't denature them any more. Low heat assures that continued maintenance at the cooking temperature (in this case 122F) will not over-cook your steak.

I'm now in a grace period where I can serve at any time once I sear the outside.I've tried blow torches of various varieties and power outputs, and I prefer my cast iron pan with a grill patterned bottom, for steaks.

My steaks work particularly with Trader Joe's rib-eye cryovac steaks. No option to season them unless you break the seal, season, then repackage them, but they have been turning out very delicious!

What amazes me is that I can cook 2-4 hours, and then break out the steak and sear it at any time and the result is just the same. In a way it is analogous to microwave cooking.

With microwave you grab it from the freezer and nuke for X minutes.

With Sous Vide you have to pre-plan when you want it to be done, but in many cases you have hours of leeway in when you actually serve it, like my steak. I can serve it now, or I can serve it in a few hours, and it will be almost the same steak. It's been sitting at 122F for a few hours, hot enough to denature the proteins, not hot enough to ruin and over cook it.

Well I need to go tend to it now. I need to get the mashed potatoes and vegetables going, and get ready to bust my rib-eye out of the SV and sear it.
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Old 05-07-2014, 10:10 PM   #23
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Just to add, I had a very nice rib-eye steak tonight, I don't now how long it spent in the Sous Vide, maybe 3 to 3.5 hours at 122F. I brought it out and seared it quickly (on a cast iron griddle with bar pattern on the bottom) and it was perfect: browned on the outside and a thick band of MR pink on the inside.

I doubt people without a Sous Vide will ever experience this type of steak.
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:38 PM   #24
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I've just had my first sous vide cooking experience, and it won't be a passing fad for me. First, my setup.

Anova immersion circulator. - It was a close thing among the three reasonably priced competing products. I chose this one based on an array of factors. I'm very happy with it, but I suspect I would feel the same about the others. It feels like a very robust device, feels "commercial." Ample power. $200

FoodSaver V2244 Vacuum Sealer. - I picked this one as reasonably priced, with separate VAC&SEAL and SEAL ONLY functions. (You really want that for sous vide.) $70

Vacuum Bags. Vacmaster 8x11-1/2, 100 ct. $21

I went with the immersion circulator because:
(1) Didn't want to dedicate the space to a complete tank/heater unit.
(2) Wanted to use a variety of sizes of tub.
(3) Price

I have used my large stock pot to do ten chicken thighs in five bag. I can use my canning pot if I need something larger, or buy a Camwear food tub, good to 210F.

I rubbed the thighs heavily in a mix of kosher salt, rosemary, and thyme ground in my spice/coffee grinder, then 24 hours in the refrigerator. Rinsed off the salt/herb and patter dry. Vac sealed two thighs to a bag. Placed them in the tub preheated to 150F for two hours. As is the case with most sous vide, they would likely have been fine in 1-1/2 hours and not significantly changed after five. Quick chilled four bags and opened one for tonight, browning the skin in the skillet with a touch of duck fat.

The result was perfect, and I realized that perfect chicken can be startling. It's exactly the same all the way through. No overcooked outer layer. Very moist. I see. So this is what chicken is supposed to be.

I'm becoming aware that this thing can do great things AND will pay for itself and then some. Why pay outrageous prices for tender but less flavorful cuts of beef when 72-hour boneless beef ribs can be delicious and fork tender medium rare at less then $3 a pound in "family pack." Multiple meals with one prep. Just brown for use. Like the chicken. Ten thighs, six dollars, five meals, one prep, and the bagged thighs are Pasteutrized. I understand now why restaurants can offer tender, rare sirloin. And they can hold an evenings supply, cooked and ready, held at target temperature unchanged for hours to be browned as needed.

I will also be using this for queso. It's difficult enough to deal with Velveeta bogus cheese in a slow cooker without it eventually getting burned or cold, much less the difficulties of dealing with real cheeses. With this rig, I can hit exactly melting temp and hold batches in bags in the hot bath to come out one at a time as the party consumes them, all perfect for hours. And the excess is already bagged to store for the next party.

When not in use, the device sits in one cup of my commercial six-hole utensil rack. I can put the lid on the pot and even save the water for multiple sessions. This thing makes you really understand the meaning of finished core meat temperatures and, as Greg observed, if cooked at medium rare target core temp, it can sit at that temp for hours and still be medium rare. It's said to do amazing scrambled eggs, too.

Mashed potatoes, too. If you understand the science behind the problems with mashed potatoes, you realize this has great potential there. I have little interest in most of what's come under the heading of modernist cuisine, but this one is a keeper.

Next week, duck confit sous vide.
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:03 AM   #25
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...........Next week, duck confit sous vide.
Duck confit is one of my favorite things to make sous vide! You don't need nearly as much duck fat - just a few tablespoons per bag. I seal them one per bag, then freeze right in the bag after they're done. No more greasy mess to clean up.

Since duck confit is definitely my last meal on earth, I keep it in the freezer at all times, just in case it's my time to go.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:37 AM   #26
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Duck confit is one of my favorite things to make sous vide! You don't need nearly as much duck fat - just a few tablespoons per bag. I seal them one per bag, then freeze right in the bag after they're done. No more greasy mess to clean up.

Since duck confit is definitely my last meal on earth, I keep it in the freezer at all times, just in case it's my time to go.

And duck confit on top of risotto made with duck stock doesn't suck either.
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:11 PM   #27
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I've just had my first sous vide cooking experience, and it won't be a passing fad for me. First, my setup.

Anova immersion circulator. - It was a close thing among the three reasonably priced competing products. I chose this one based on an array of factors. I'm very happy with it, but I suspect I would feel the same about the others. It feels like a very robust device, feels "commercial." Ample power. $200
When not in use, the device sits in one cup of my commercial six-hole utensil rack.
This keeps me interested and wanting one!
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:12 PM   #28
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Don't forget the potatoes fried in duck fat. I think of that as the classic. Duck confit, duck fat fries, and arugula salad with basic vinegarette.
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:25 PM   #29
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This keeps me interested and wanting one!
It is not a small device, 15-1/2 inches. You can kind of get the wrong size impression from photos. It comes out of the bath quite hot. There's a small fan cooling the electronics that will keep running for a while. Not a problem on my stainless steel counters, but think about where you'll put it.

Of course, it can stay in the tub or pot, but the cooling fan will run for a long time as that large mass of water slowly cools, and I like to clear the counter top of the pot, Ultimately, it may find a permanent home on the lower deck of the stainless roll-around table. It really doesn't have to be monitored, except to make sure evaporation hasn't lowered the water level during a 24 to 72 hour cook.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:53 AM   #30
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One way or the other you pay for it, either the convenience of the Sous Vide Supreme, or the inconvenience of the less expensive alternative.

By the way the Sous Vide Supreme is extremely light when empty of water.
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