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Sous vide? AKA "The best tasting steak I've had in years, and it was $2.99/lb"

Discussion in 'Beer & Food' started by dante, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. sstalder5

    sstalder5 Turbo Monkey

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    Well the steak turned out pretty damn good. I think next time I'll go for a leaner cut, and use a less intense marinade. It'll probably take a few tries to perfect but my results were already pretty good. My cooler has a triangular style lid so I cut out a piece of styrofoam to cover the top and poked my digital thermometer through it. It worked awesome. I started it at 128 at about 2:30, and when I got back from class at 5:30 it was still at 126.5.

    Also, if you try Greyhound's cooler method be careful when dumping the water.. You may end up with ~3 gallons of water on your kitchen floor like I did.. :doh:
     

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  2. sstalder5

    sstalder5 Turbo Monkey

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    Giving sous vide a try with cheap tilapia filets now. They come vacuumed sealed so I figured it was worth a try. Gonna do about an hour at ~135 and then sear on some lemon pepper and creole seasoning in a little olive oil. Should be good.
     
  3. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Ok, couple updates:

    1) We've been keeping the juices that are trapped in each bag after sous viding, and a couple weeks ago finally got around to combining it all into a single batch of beef broth. Really, really, really amazing, like a super-concentrated broth. The flavor is unbelievable, made a beef stew with it and also used it in the following:

    2) We sous vide(d) a couple of Sirloin Tip Steaks for ~24h, and since we had to use up some mushrooms made this mushroom steak sauce with some of the broth. The thing is, though, while it called for a full cup of broth, I'm guessing that for 2 people (and 2 steaks) 1/2 a cup would have been fine, which is about the amount of juice that was left over from the 2 steaks that we had just cooked. So next time I'm thinking about cooking the steaks, and ~10min before we're ready to eat steal the juice from each bag and make a sauce out of it. Sort of like using Turkey juice to create the gravy.

    Tasted great, since it just added more beef flavor to the already flavorful Sirloin. I am wondering whether I'm getting spoiled by this, or at the very least accustomed to some of this massive beef flavoring and will miss the nuances of something like a well-cooked NY Strip the next time I get one at a restaurant...
     
  4. boogenman

    boogenman Turbo Monkey

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    This is awesome! I will be trying this soon, gonna do your set up Dante. Where are those short rib pics?

    Anyone ever do a brisket?
     
  5. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    No short ribs pics, I'm usually devouring them the minute they come out of the water... :)

    Here's an older shot of some yummy steak, though:



    Actually picked up some short ribs from Costco to have when my parents get out here next weekend, so maybe I"ll see if I can hold off on eating them long enough to take a picture. Haven't done a brisket, did Flank though. And yes, totally yummy.
     
  6. Westy

    Westy the teste

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    Built up an Arduino Controlled sous vide kit from Adafruit to control my crock pot. Modified the control program that adafruit posts in a tutorial to add a feed forward term and a forgetting factor to the integral term. My crock pot takes a lot of time to get up to temp but the controller quickly stabilizes the temp with very little overshoot. Just cooked up a few Denver cut steaks, cooked them in the pot at 53 C for about 4 hours before putting a nice sear on each side. Added a little garlic and black pepper before vacuum sealing the bag. One of the best steaks I have ever had, not the cheapest cut of meat but far from the most expensive.
     
    #46 -   Aug 8, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2013
  7. kazlx

    kazlx Patches O'Houlihan

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  8. boogenman

    boogenman Turbo Monkey

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    I got a controller, I can't wait to use it!
     
  9. jdcamb

    jdcamb Tool Time!

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    Where did you get it?
     
  10. boogenman

    boogenman Turbo Monkey

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    Amazon
     
  11. Miloszbartender

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    Well.. WOW o_O
     
  12. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    HMFBD to me!!! Ok, it's a month and a half past my birthday, but the Johnson Controls temperature controller sh!t the bed while I was trying to cook food last week (it read -4F while the water was boiling) so broke down and ordered an Anova Immersion Circulator.



    Now trying to figure out what I want to cook. I ruined two different vacuum-sealed steaks (brisket, nothing important) with the JC temperature controller setup, so now I'm fresh out of prepped steaks. Thoughts? My favorite butcher shop here in town gets whole sides and cuts to order, although the good pieces (Ribeye/NY/Porterhouse) are ungodly expensive. But thinking about something like an arm steak, or possibly something from the bottom round ("Western Griller")? They also do heritage pork, which means that it might have some flavor (as opposed to the normal pigs which have basically had the flavor bred out of them).

    Will post whatever I end up getting.
     
  13. UNHrider

    UNHrider Monkey

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    i thought the one of the reasons for using sous vide was so that you could make cheaper cuts of meat more tender, and thus better?

    Still haven't gotten around to building a controller dedicated to this.
     
  14. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Well, "cheaper" is relative. But yes, I was thinking about trying out something along the lines of arm steak, a western griller, etc, basically stuff that's cheaper and yet still really (really) flavorful. Ended up getting 2 lbs of heritage pork shoulder, and so brined it first (salt/sugar), wiped it dry, rubbed it with sugar, smoked paprika, pepper, and some generic BBQ seasoning and then tossed it in the pot for 24h at 160F.



    So far the immersion circulator works well, and OH MY GOD IS IT EASIER TO SET UP. The biggest issue I had with the crockpot setup was it took forever to get up to temperature. And so I'd boil some water on the stove, and then transfer it to the crockpot hoping to get it around the temperature I needed it to be at. With the circulator I just plopped it all in, set the temperature and timer, and it hit 160 in.... less than 15min? So, SO much easier. And now it's just going to hang out and do it's thing for the next 24h.
     
  15. blackohio

    blackohio Generous jaywalker

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    I bought my lady a Nomiku Immersion Circulator. HAve been using it the last 2 weeks straight. steak, chicken, pork, scrambled eggs.
     
  16. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    I have to admit, even with the older setup I found myself using it FAR more often for just normal meals than for special dinner parties (which I also used it for, but I guess we don't throw those often enough). I'd buy a large hunk of meat, split it into portions, season them, vacuum seal them, and then just throw them in the freezer. Then I'd be ~90% done with making steak fajitas, all that was required was throwing it in a water bath the night before and chopping/sauteing some peppers and onions right before we were ready to eat. I wouldn't bother putting a sear on it since it was just going to get sliced up and put in a tortilla shell anyway.

    Another stupidly easy one are the individually-bagged chicken breasts from Costco. Since they're already vacuum-sealed, just pull it out of the freezer, throw it in some 144deg water and ~an hour and a half later they're done. Great for a stir-fry, since (again) you don't have to sear it for texture.
     
  17. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Update on dinner - total success. No idea whether it was the heritage pork, the rub or the brine, but it was juicy, and incredibly flavorful. Will go a little easier on the sugar next time, but otherwise the meat was perfect. I reduced the liquid and it made an incredible BBQ sauce to go with it. I honestly can't figure out why more BBQ sauces aren't broth-based?

    Now have a grass-fed brisket in it, should be ready for tomorrow night...
     
  18. kazlx

    kazlx Patches O'Houlihan

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    Dante, how do you figure cook times?
     
  19. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Intricate knowledge of specific molecular structures inherent in collagen. That and both scouring the internet and pulling **** straight out of my ass. :)

    For something that I'd be worried about undercooking, the internet is definitely your friend. It's how you can get something like times and temperatures for chicken breasts to ensure that you don't end up getting salmonella. For longer times (ie, to break down collagen structures), it depends. If there's consensus on the internet (ie, like that short-rib recipe), then it's pretty simple to go with that. However, sometimes there's a wide variance in time and temperatures. For the pork shoulder, I found: 12 hours @170, 18h @167, 24h @160, and 48h @140. Because it was a heritage breed (ie, more fat, *gorgeous* marbeling) I opted for 24h @160.

    That being said, it's pretty hard to get a *bad* result. Everything I've done has ranged from "good" to "orgasmic", and so even when we did a brisket that I think turned out a bit dry, my guests loved it (dryness was probably from salting it a bit too heavily beforehand. I've since cut *way* back on the salt rub and even started brining in an effort to keep the juiciness).

    The other thing you can do is change things slightly to fit *your* tastes. When I do chuck steak now (especially for things like stir fry and burritos) I do it at ~134 for 24h because I like there to be a little bit of body left to the meat. I've never been a fan of "you can cut it with a fork" filet mignon, and so adjusted my recipe accordingly.

    Sous vide has gotten more popular since I originally posted this, so there's a decent bit more information out there about what people have tried. Just search for sous vide and then whatever type of meat you're cooking and you can probably get pretty close.
     
  20. kazlx

    kazlx Patches O'Houlihan

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    Good to know. I'm a fan of meals I can prep while I'm at work, like the slow cooker. This seems like a good way to mix it up and having cooked meat ready to go when I get home. It's hard to do small portions in the slow cooker.
     
  21. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    You just need a small slow cooker. We picked up a 1.5qt one and it's *perfect* for one portion of meat. This one is $13 from Amazon.

    But yes, having meat fully cooked and ready to go when you walk in the door makes dinner planning insanely easy.
     
  22. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Remember that bit about trial and error? Apparently at 137 brisket should cook for 2 days instead of one. Was still a little on the tough side, so it went back in the bag (with the juice) and we just whipped up something else for dinner last night.

    Oh well, it. happens.
     
  23. blackohio

    blackohio Generous jaywalker

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    we bought dirt cheap steaks and cooked for 48hours. They were tender enough to cut with a fork, but were on the dryer side (it seemed like pork to be honest) That recipe will need adjusting for sure.
     
  24. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    What cut did you use? Try to get something with a decent fat content (like chuck), as the low fat cuts like top round are both flavorless and dry. If in doubt, give it a decent marinade or brine it ahead of time, but overall anything with a good marbeling will be fine.
     
  25. dante

    dante Unabomber

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    Follow up: DON'T FORGET THE BRINE!!! Recreated this again and it was a bit dry, and only difference was skipping the brine ahead of time. Definitely a better way to get salt into the meat than adding it in the sous vide bag.

    Dinner tonight was sous vide duck. Wife quartered it, I brined it, scored the skin (was far thicker than I was thing was going to be) and threw it in bags with garlic, smoked paprika, thyme and fresh pepper. Cooked for ~3 hours at 134. Removed it and threw on the grill for ~2 minutes skin side down.

    Total success, meat was EXTREMELY flavorful, juicy and tender. The skin was a bit much, though, and the grill was probably not the best way to finish it. The recipe called for frying it in a pan till the skin is crispy, but since that utterly smokes out the entire house I tried using the grill instead. Well, within 2 minutes there was a HUGE grease fire in my grill, and I had no choice but to pull the meat off (usually I just put the lid on, but that sort of defeats the purpose of sous vide). So next time I'll either remove the skin ahead of time or just throw a cast iron skillet on the grill and keep any mess/grease/etc outside instead. Might try both...

    But was crazy good, and our local supermarket has duck for $2.99/pound. Definitely going to be picking more up to see if I can fine-tune the recipe, but overall was very impressed. SO much better than chicken.

     
  26. jonKranked

    jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    i love duck, and it does tend to have thick skin.

    i would second the cast iron skillet idea.

    now that i have a johnson temp control unit for my keezer, i'm tempting to hijack it for an afternoon to try this whole sous vide idea.
     
  27. UNHrider

    UNHrider Monkey

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  28. -BB-

    -BB- I broke all the rules, but somehow still became mo

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    I just picked up a new Ranco controller and I'm planning on doing it up for V-day on Saturday night. Got a nice thick Top Sirloin, and I was also planning on doing either a brined pork-chop (Turf n Turf) or some Salmon confit (Suft n Turf I guess).

    Anyone done the top sirloin? I figure it is a "steak", so it will have good flavor but isn't too $$$. Looking for a medium rare but NOT "fork tender". Do you think 135f for about 3 hours will be good?

    Overall plan if I do the pork n beef is to start the pork at 145 for an hour or two, then turn it down to 135 and add the steak and cook them both an additional 2-3. Take them both out and sear them off in a cast-iron.

    Thoughts? Too long on the chop? Too short on the steak?
     
  29. UNHrider

    UNHrider Monkey

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