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Old 01-01-2020, 05:16 PM   #1
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Sous Vide Turkey Breast

Til now all I've done are some carrots and ham hock, both pretty easy. I guess this turkey breast is easy too but anything new feels awkward at first. Getting the breast into a one-gallon freezer bag turned into a wrestling match. Then getting all the air out of a bag with a breast cavity was a problem I hadn't seen yet. And finally, the thing isn't quite totally submerged. But all in all I think it will turn out okay. Picture included below in case anybody spots a fatal error that I can correct before it's too late.
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Old 01-01-2020, 05:21 PM   #2
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If it doesn't submerge, can you turn it over every 30 minutes or so without the bag leaking?

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Old 01-01-2020, 05:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
If it doesn't submerge, can you turn it over every 30 minutes or so without the bag leaking?

CD
Maybe but not maintaining those clips holding the bag. I just now opened one corner to release some of the air out of the bag. May need to repeat as the temperature inside the bag increases. The container is full to the brim and the bottle is holding the bag very close to the waterline.
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Old 01-01-2020, 06:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker View Post
Til now all I've done are some carrots and ham hock, both pretty easy. I guess this turkey breast is easy too but anything new feels awkward at first. Getting the breast into a one-gallon freezer bag turned into a wrestling match. Then getting all the air out of a bag with a breast cavity was a problem I hadn't seen yet. And finally, the thing isn't quite totally submerged. But all in all I think it will turn out okay. Picture included below in case anybody spots a fatal error that I can correct before it's too late.
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We'll be much interested to know how it turns out for you.
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Old 01-01-2020, 06:45 PM   #5
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When freezing veggies, if you put the bag in water and then seal it, the water acts as a vacuum. My brain's a bit fuzzy, but I think I saw that trick on PBS ... the guy from New Orleans or P. Allen Smith...
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:08 PM   #6
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When freezing veggies, if you put the bag in water and then seal it, the water acts as a vacuum. My brain's a bit fuzzy, but I think I saw that trick on PBS ... the guy from New Orleans or P. Allen Smith...
Yup. The pressure of the water forces the air to the top of the bag. When just one corner of the bag is open and above the water level it works pretty well. But if the contents barely fit into a big bag and contain a hollowed-out section that lungs were designed to fit into, expelling air inside the bag is tricky, to say the least.
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:10 PM   #7
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The risk is if the hot water doesn't reach the flesh, you risk undercooked turkey. I'd double check with an instant read thermometer.

How long is the cooking time for a turkey breast?
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:38 PM   #8
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Fifty minutes remaining of a three-hour cook and all seems copacetic. As the plastic cover has become less rigid with heat the water bottle has pushed the meat deeper into the water bath. At this point, I am no longer concerned with that issue.
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Old 01-01-2020, 08:41 PM   #9
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Came to the end of the three hour cook time and read comments on the recipe. My meat is about 5.5 lbs bone-in. Giving it two more hours.
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Old 01-02-2020, 12:45 AM   #10
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I can't wait to hear how it turns out. Turkey breast can easily dry out with cooking. I hope sous vide takes care of this problem.

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Old 01-02-2020, 06:09 AM   #11
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Well, that extra two hours turned into a lot more than that. Sadly I don't know exactly how much though. I woke up at 2:30 am with a turkey to contend with. At that point, I didn't care about the skin but I felt like I owed something to you guys so I heated up 1/4 cup olive oil in a dutch oven on a stovetop and tried browning the skin with mediocre results. The broiler in a regular oven would have done a better job but that isn't an option for me. A cup of broth accumulated in the bag so that plus the oil used for browning and a little milk ought to make a gravy. Not sure I want to go to that trouble though.

Carved almost three pounds of sliced breast meat and it is moist and tender despite the who knows how long cook time. The temperature was set at 145 so it really could have been held for a long time at that rate. I'll probably pull another half pound of meat off the bone for breakfast before tossing it into a stockpot. All that plus about twelve ounces of turkey gravy, in for a penny, in for a pound after all. Reckon I got my money's worth out of that 99¢/lb Butterball Turkey Breast.
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Old 01-02-2020, 09:53 AM   #12
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That's the beauty of SV. If you cook it a little longer, it doesn't ruin it. It can't have been easy to try to brown/crisp the skin on such an irregularly shaped piece of meat. But as long as it came out good, you're the winner.

I have a couple of boneless skinless turkey breasts in the freezer from my Thanksgiving parts turkey. I plan to SV them when the time comes.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:42 AM   #13
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Kenji has a technique for the skin in this scenario.



He takes the skin off the breast before bagging for the sous vide. He then spread it on a sheet pan, and covered it with a second sheet pan, then baked it in the oven. Meat was juicy & tender from the water bath, but the skin was crispy.



I'm sure you can find it on the Serious Eats site.
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