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Discussion in 'Sous Vide Cooking' started by sqwib, Mar 8, 2014.
Gerk, pretty interesting stuff, but I have to disagree with the above statement, I add a few pinches of salt right before sealing and never had dry meat, quite the contrary.
Yes salt will pull moisture initially but it is reabsorbed due to osmosis. Salt helps the cells of the meat hold on to water. Plus I have found it aids in the penetration of herbs and spices.
Basically similar to brining.
From Science of Cooking.
Brining meat (that is, putting meat into a salt-water solution) adds moisture to the meat through osmosis. Osmosis happens when water flows from a lower concentration of a solution to a higher concentration through a semipermeable membrane. In meat, this membrane is the plasma membrane that surrounds the individual cells. When meat is placed in a brine, the meat's cell fluids are less concentrated than the salt water in the brining solution. Water flows out of the cells in the meat and salt flows in. The salt then dissolves some of the fiber proteins, and the meat's cell fluids become more concentrated, thus drawing water back in. Brining adds salt and water to the cells so that when the meat is cooked and water is squeezed out, there is still water left in the cells because water was added before cooking.
Anyhow, this has been my results.
A lot of folks who prefer pre-salting in other forms of cooking find that pre-salting negatively affects meat when cooked sous vide.....
It's been discussed ad nauseum on eGullet, ChefSteps and other venues.
To each his own.
Interesting Read Martin, thanks for posting
A rib-eye was salted, seared, placed in a vacuum bag, and cooked at 55 C for 1.5 hours, chilled, stored for two days, rethermed at 52C for one hour, seared, and served (Salted Cook-Chill).
A rib-eye was seared without salting, placed in a vacuum bag, cooked at 55 C for 1.5 hours, chilled, stored for two days, rethermed at 52C for one hour, seared, salted, and served (Unsalted Cook-Chill).
A rib-eye was salted, seared, placed in a vacuum bag, and cooked at 55 C for 1.5 hours, dropped to 52 C and held for one hour, seared, and served (Salted Direct-Serve).
The panel easily and unanimously correctly distinguished between the salted and unsalted cook-chill meats. As expected, the salted meats were firmer, and had a more cured color than the unsalted. Everyone preferred the unsalted meat. The panelists were also all able to distinguish between the salted direct-serve meat and the unsalted cook-chill. Here, the panelists also preferred the unsalted cook chill, because the direct-serve steak, although juicier than the cook-chill steak, had a stringier texture. The differences between these two steaks were not as stark as with the salted and unsalted cook-chill meats. In my opinion, the differences between these two could simply be due to inter-steak variation. More tests are in order.
If you are serving your meats within a couple of hours, salt before you sear –it’ll be great. If your service is many hours or days away, lay off the salt till service time.
This open-ended time reference made me chuckle:
Sous Vide Beef Brisket Recipe/Time
Bring your sous vide setup up to the proper temperature (see chart below).
Cut it into portions.
Put the beef brisket into individual bags, along with a cooking fat like butter or olive oil, as well as some salt
Seal the bag and place it in the water bath for some time.
Remove the bag from the water bath, and the beef brisket from the bag.
That particular site is horrible for that, I think that they say that for pretty much every recipe they post
Thanks for posting this Martin. I am with the "no salt" crowd, but it's definitely a personal preference. I've done the tests myself and can say for sure that I prefer not salting before cooking sous vide and going with finishing salt. Unlike their tests I test with steaks cooked side-by-side cut from the same cow That takes some of the guess work out of the whole situation as the multiple pieces of meat are about as similar as possible when they came off the same cut of beef and were side-by-side until my knives make it different.
I urge people to try for themselves and see what they think. For me, even when serving right away, I find that the meat is definitely stringier/tougher when pre-salted, but some people may prefer that type of texture as well. Test for yourselves an an A-B is the only way to see what the differences are.
You guys are gonna make me a no-salt convert, next round of Sous Vide Beef I'm gonna try some testing as you suggest Gerk
After experimenting with Sous Vide with an induction heater I finally bit the bullet and purchased the Anova unit. The $169 price, with free shipping from Amazon was too good to pass up. I am looking at playing with a combination of Sous Vide with classical grilling and smoking. The previous work done with the induction heater was a good enough proof of concept to convince me good results could be produced. Now I want more precise and granular control which can only be done with a real Sous Vide unit.
I am building one from an old PolyScience unit. They had a fascinating mercury thermostat built in but that is a sidebar discussion. This is a Fisher but they are identical. Mine is a basket case at the moment.
The impeller motor was burnt out - turns out the impeller had a pseudo bearing that expanded in the hot bath and froze the shaft which in turn cooked the motor. All before my ownership. I am taking it off an fabbing a new button bearing from Delrin.
I have disassembled the unit and am fitting a new C-Frame motor. Its a little bigger so it will be like having an Evinrude in the bath. The motor-to-impeller shaft had an interesting design, they just got them close and spanned the gap with .025 PEX tubing then pinned it. No need for perfect alignment and cheap.
I plan to chop off the impeller pump's circulating piping, maybe form it in the proper orientation of just clip it off and epoxy in a new elbow to jet out the front.
I ordered a flatware cutlery holder for the basket.
I am removing the entire works from the tank in the photo, whacking off the extra stainless and will mount it using two quick release bar clamps. I will have to reverse the clamp as built but that is one hole and one screw per clamp.
Then the PID, the scr, the paint, etc.
Just read a post on here that they were cooking the Beef Brisket one day, then steaming it the next day.
Would this work as good or even better, to cook it on day then sous vide the next day, that way you would be sure to get the smoke flavour and the tenderness and moistness of sous vide? :33:
I am not a SV expert, and have not done anything with my new cooker, only with my made up one. But I think for the brisket you would smoke for a short period of time to give it the smoke flavor and then SV to finish. From what I understand the SV cooking process enhances or increases the flavors you have added.
There are better authorities here than myself they will be along shortly to no doubt correct me if I am wrong.
Great thread. I love my sous vide steaks so much it has ruined me for other methods. I vacuum seal 2" thick ribeye or porterhouse and into the water bath for 2 hours at 126 degrees. Then remove the steak, pat dry then season to your own personal preference (I only use sea salt.) Next I lay the meat directly on hot hardwood lump charcoal for 90 seconds per side. If you don't like the direct charcoal method a screaming hot cast iron pan is almost as good, but you have to rub it in oil or it will stick like mad.
I would be good with 126 but the GF likes her stuff done more say 145ish she doesn't mind a bit of pink anymore nut no red. Could one just cook her's for an extra minute or two to get the higher temp and doneness?
You could blind fold her and do a taste test.... A "BLIND" taste test.... :biggrin:
She has come a long way, her dad cooks everything until it is black, hard, and dry. She now tells me she likes how when I cook the meat it is always tender. She has come to see that it doesn't need to look like a piece of charcoal to be good.
Would not work on my wife, its a texture thing with her, believe me I tried.
Has anyone done an A vs B test on flame finishing Sous Vide steak with propane vs butane?
I am reading that propane tantes the taste but I use Propane as my main BTU source in the smoker and it tastes perfect after hours of propane generated BTUs.
No objectionable propane taste if the flame is adjusted correctly.
Quoting Chris Young, one of the authors of Modernist Cuisine......
"When people claim that certain fuels should be avoided, it's usually because they've had the experience of the food tasting like fuel. The problem is not the fuel, however, it's how the blowtorch is used. Never point the end of a blowtorch at the food before the flame is lit and burning blue—something referred to as an oxidizing flame. Unburned fuel squirts from the tip when the torch is first lit; a yellow flame is a telltale sign that the fuel is not being completely combusted. Good torches can always be adjusted to control how much fuel is being mixed with air to ensure complete combustion. Always adjust the flame before bringing the flame to the food."
Though I would mention that when blowtorching your meat, it's not so much that the torch needs to be hot, rather it needs to be burning with an oxidizing flame. This means that the ratio of air to fuel is balanced such that complete combustion occurs and the only by-products are water (steam), carbon dioxide, and a whole lot of heat energy.
You can judge this by the fact that the flame is a tight, blue pencil-tip flame with absolutely no yellow in the flame.
I'm patiently waiting for a Searzall to, hopefully, take torching to the next level....
I have been off and on looking for the Searzall, have not found one.
I have used both butane and propane torches for searing/quick cooking. I would agree with the above statement about the flame and the picking up of fuel taste. But you will still get the taste of fuel with both. That is why the Searzall looks to be a good thing. It is basically a portable salamander.