Modernist Cuisine BBQ......

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by diggingdogfarm, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. I was reading through Modernist Cuisine tonight and found it quite interesting that all of they're BBQ recipes, pulled pork, pork ribs, beef short ribs and beef brisket are all smoked at 64° C / 149° F and 65% relative humidity for 7 hours and then sous vide at 60° C / 140° F to 65° C / 150° F for 72 hours! :icon_eek:

  2. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member how many hours is that per pound?[​IMG]
  3. I keep meaning to buy that series...been saving up my gift cards!
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Martin, morning....  I wonder, if they make one mistake, will that be the end of the magazine ???  

    The sous vide method is very interesting... I have been tempted to try it...  Have not been willing to face the consequence if I screw up....  

    It's kind of like jumping from an airplane with a parachute.... what if you didn't pack it right ??? 

    Or eating blow fish.... what if the chef didn't clean and prepare it right ??? 

    Or eating mushrooms picked by a guy who says, "This is my first time at picking mushrooms"....

    A "black and blue steak" cooked for 3 minutes is more appealing to me than a "smoked, sous vide steak cooked for 3 1/2 days at 140 deg".....
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2012
  5. Those who have tried their method have raved about the flavor and texture, I'm willing to try it someday.

  6. ponderingturtle

    ponderingturtle Fire Starter

    That seems like a view that is not based that strongly on evidence.  As long as the food reaches temperature relatively quickly, and in a circulating water bath it will unless it is too thick, you are comparing food that is thoroughly cooked with food that isn't and declaring it more risky.

    There are risks, but there are in any method of food storage and preparation, but they are not right next door to lethal poisons like you seem to be thinking.  So what is your evidence for this risk?
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Turtle, morning.....  I don't have any evidence that this "sous-vide" method is dangerous... It just goes against everything I learned... I did some reading when this thread started and it is pointed out the "expert of the day" who wrote the book and gets such high acclaims and accolades is a "mathematician in Colorado", or something like that...Can't remember for sure, but I was interested in his background....  Doesn't seem too noteworthy....   I was hoping this guy had worked in a food lab and conducted blind or double blind studies on bacterial formations in foods cooked that way...  Maybe even with thickness testing of meats to provide definitive guidelines for idiots like myself whom want to sous-vide...  So a 1" thick steak is OK... A 2" thick steak is not OK... Who knows ???   Is a 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" etc.. OK to sous-vide ???  

    I could not find a research that says, "This is definitely safe and that is not safe" when it comes to simple things like thickness.... 

    OK, I'm an alarmist, some are probably saying.... I'm just pointing out a few things that ring the bell.... After working in a technical environment dealing with quality assurance for a period of time, there are certain rules that come into play...  Food safety should be held to a very high standard, in my humble opinion.....   

    Home canning of food can be dangerous in the bacterial, pathogen department...   The FDA finally determined that at temp X, for time Y, in a canning jar of Z size at an altitude of 1500 ft, at a pressure of 15 psig, for 90 minutes, "your food is safe"....  

    The real problem arises when this "sous-vide" method is done at home, in a home made sous-vide machine, home made recirculating system, A thick piece of meat, with a thermometer that has NOT been calibrated to a N.I.S.T. source, death can result..... 

    The other problem could be, calibrating at 32 deg and 212 deg depending on altitude, does not make a thermometer accurate at 140 deg... 

    Well I have said enough about this method....  You can eat all the meat you want cooked this way....  I think it needs further explanation as to the possible flaws of the method.... 

    Until a reliable source tests this method and reports it's findings, with approved guidelines, I'm a little leery of trying it...

    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  8. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I Dave and I to have your concerns about sous vide foods. Now I did eat a steak hat was sous vide an it was great. The chef was good and I got to watch him cook many many dishes. Now I do like this restaurant for you or me can sit and watch the kitchen work. It's really cool. They sous vide a lot of their meat dishes so they don't have to have the meat sitting in warmers I guess. Now they offered steak, lamb, and beef shanks and they were all in the sous vide machine and it was a higher end place to.
  9. It might work with commercial equipment, but I'm thinking not so much with the average home equipment.
  10. ponderingturtle

    ponderingturtle Fire Starter

    There are a lot of different sources on this.  The Moderinist Cuisine book was written by a former chief technical officer at microsoft, and is really a vanity project done large, which you can do as a billionaire.  There were numerous chefs hired to work with him on that project.  The thing is that for any long cooking technique it is fine for cuts at least 2" thick.  I was talking about say a whole brisket or some large solid chunk of meat.

    And apparently eggs are a good metric for how accurate your thermometers are as there are points that a few degrees makes clear noticeable differences in how they set up.  Look into the cooking issues blog and podcast for someone who does taught this at the french culinary institute.  And for a lot of the cooking being off by a few degrees will not magically get into unsafe territory, given the time involved lower temperatures kill bacteria just as effectively as higher temperatures.
  11. ponderingturtle

    ponderingturtle Fire Starter

    What is the average home unit?  The units sold for this are the sous vide supreme($400), which is problematic as it does not circulate, and the $800 polyscience immersion circulator.  Home built units might be possibly problematic but if people are building that, then hopefully they are doing their research and know how to calibrate their equipment reasonably well.  It has some additional advantages in a commercial kitchen as you can shift times and such to make the kitchen more efficient(such as cooking it first, rapidly refrigerating it and then rewarming it and finishing it right before serving)
  12. I'm not disagreeing with you and I should have worded it differently instead of average home equipment, I should have said the average person at home (like myself). I'm sure knowing the proper procedures, which I don't and won't attempt, could do successfully do it. 
  13. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Amazing to think that, on a forum dedicated to cooking with fire, there is more than one thread about cooking with warm water.[​IMG][​IMG]
  14. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    As I have had heated debate over this before the only comment I will make, once again, is this...To be done properly and at the highest level of Safety...A Circulator is a must! The Convection of the hot water bath is just as important as maintaining a constant temperature. I don't care how many blogs some guy posts or how many times you got away with doing it...Slapping a PID on a Hot Plate and using a Cast Iron Dutch Oven is NOT the same as using a well made and accurate Circulating Bath. If circulation didn't matter then Circulators would not be used on Commercial Sous Vide machines as they are one of the most expensive parts. No One would pay the extra $$$ for some thing that is not needed...JJ
  15. FWIW, the Sous Vide Supreme relies on passive convection rather than circulator....this isn't an endorsement, just an observation.....anyway...just sayin'.

    ~Martin :33:
  16. ponderingturtle

    ponderingturtle Fire Starter

    And this is why many or most people who build their own use an aquarium air pump to promote circulation.  Personally I find it odd that I don't seem to see baskets being used to hold the food away from the edges as well.

    Of course on a forum that includes curing meat at home this does not seem to be anything close to the most risky issue on these forums.
  17. Don't forget that USDA consumer safety recommendations are VERY conservative and dumbed WAY down.
    I have been studying SV a lot lately.
    Douglas Baldwins calculations are based on numerous scientific and government studies and resources, all well referenced.
    He doesn't just pull numbers out of thin air.
    It's a very interesting subject.

  18. mamakawama

    mamakawama Newbie

    it's funny, I'm coming from the other side.  I've never not done it the 65C way, so I'm worried about cooking my first pork shoulder without using my sous vide setup.

    mine is totally ghetto, using a homemade Arduino PID controller, a teacup heater, aquarium pump, automotive temp sensor and a 20liter cooler/ice box, (though it holds temp forever within about 0.1C)

    I just now built a heatermeater v4 so I'll be making an auto-UDS and might just try conventionally cooked shoulder and brisket... but I'm worried it will be too dry.  SV has spoiled me!

    edit:  JimmyJ, you are right about the circulator, it is absolutely critical for certain cooks however it is not important after about an hour for any cook on my system (of normal size) because of the insulation, and water mass.  It just becomes homeostasis, with or without circulation.  It is a solid block of temperature.
    Last edited: May 25, 2013

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