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View Full Version : A potential sous-vide candidate?



Eamon Burke
08-15-2011, 10:06 PM
Gordon Ramsay came to me in a dream.

Totally serious. I don't know if it was the Fish and Chips with peas and a beer I had for dinner, or because I watched Masterchef, but he fed me a dish that had PERFECT beans in it.

They were soaked, and then cooked in an immersion circulator to keep them from being agitated, and they were perfect.

Ok back to the real world. Is this really possible? I can't figure out why it wouldn't produce the most perfect beans ever time after time, yet I've never heard of sous-vide beans.

JohnnyChance
08-16-2011, 12:27 AM
Haha, I don't see why not. Plus you can put some good stuff in the bag with them so they absorb those flavors more intensely than other methods. They still like to take on moisture during cooking, even after soaking, so you would need to get the right amount of water in each bag so they can hydrate. Unless you are saying dont bag them, just put them in water with the circulator, which could probably also work. But then chefwatson would have a major problem with it because the beans wouldnt be in a vacuum.

I googled it and found some results. Got a circulator? Give it a shot!

chefwatson
08-16-2011, 12:51 AM
Look... all I was saying is, sous vide is NOT a cooking technique. That is all! Sous vide is mearly the task of vacuum sealing something. Cooking with an immersion circulator is simply the act of poaching. Yes the circulator allows for a more controlled poach but, it is poaching nonetheless. You are still poaching something that is sealed in the bag... that just happens to be sous vide. The only time you are sous vide-ing something is when you are vacuum sealing it, not when you are cooking it.

JohnnyChance
08-16-2011, 01:20 AM
And all I was saying is that the entire process has now (technically correct or not) become known as sous vide. I know it is french for under pressure, but to me and most everyone else I have talked to, the most important part of the definition and the thing that separates its from every other cooking method, is the long, slow, controlled cook at a much lower than normal temperature.

I am sorry for being argumentative and I can understand how you prefer the technical definition, but I am just going by what my colleagues and coworkers prefer, and what my customers identify with.

chefwatson
08-16-2011, 01:30 AM
"the most important part of the definition and the thing that separates its from every other cooking method, is the long, slow, controlled cook at a much lower than normal temperature."

Which in a liquid other that fat... is poaching. It is as simple as that and calling it anything else is misleading and incorrect.

If you put meat in a court-bullion is that poaching or sous vide? whether you drop an egg in the shell or crack it open and put it in the liquid... it is still poaching. You and your coworkers are misinformed and your customers with your definition wouldn't know the difference.

The thing that sets it apart from other forms of cooking is sealing it in the bag under vacuum.

JohnnyChance
08-16-2011, 01:59 AM
Oh well. Agree to disagree then.


Sorry for the hijack Eamon.

Andrew H
08-16-2011, 02:48 AM
"the most important part of the definition and the thing that separates its from every other cooking method, is the long, slow, controlled cook at a much lower than normal temperature."

Which in a liquid other that fat... is poaching. It is as simple as that and calling it anything else is misleading and incorrect.

If you put meat in a court-bullion is that poaching or sous vide? whether you drop an egg in the shell or crack it open and put it in the liquid... it is still poaching. You and your coworkers are misinformed and your customers with your definition wouldn't know the difference.

The thing that sets it apart from other forms of cooking is sealing it in the bag under vacuum.

Calm down buddy, the common association of sous vide is the process of sealing something and poaching it in an immersion circulator. While you might be right about the technical definition, there's no need to get snooty about it.

Also if you know how to cook an egg to 145 degrees exactly without using an immersion circulator, let me know.

ThEoRy
08-16-2011, 03:16 AM
Look... all I was saying is, sous vide is NOT a cooking technique. That is all! Sous vide is mearly the task of vacuum sealing something. Cooking with an immersion circulator is simply the act of poaching. Yes the circulator allows for a more controlled poach but, it is poaching nonetheless. You are still poaching something that is sealed in the bag... that just happens to be sous vide. The only time you are sous vide-ing something is when you are vacuum sealing it, not when you are cooking it.


Ohhh I'm sorry that's incorrect. Sous-vide is a cooking technique just as roasting, braising, sauteing, frying etc are.

If you are poaching something in a vacuumed bag it is cooking sous vide. There is still a vacuum or absence of air in the bag so it is still under vacuum and is being cooked under vacuum the whole time hence being cooked sous vide.

We do have some lovely parting gifts though, Bob tell him what he's won...



On topic though yes, you can cook beans sous-vide.

ecchef
08-16-2011, 03:54 AM
What about those those frozen "boil in the bag" veggies from years ago that were all about convenience. Those things were a long ways away from poached. Sous Vide or not? :scratchhead:

Anyway...It is a little strange that this technique as applied to beans hasn't surfaced before. Seems like it should work really well. Who's gonna be the first?
Not me...don't have the equipment :(


Hmmm....found this.... http://www.aquick.org/blog/2010/07/28/sous-vide-black-beans/

jmforge
08-16-2011, 04:00 AM
Okay, more technicalities. If you actually had the food under a vacuum, it would "cook" itself, just like a beaker of water boils at room temperature when you evacuate a certain amount of air out of a bell jar. Of course, it wouldn't actually cook, because it would still be at ambient temp. All of the water would boil out of the food. When you bag the food, you are merely sucking out the excess air contained in the bag and maybe a bit in the food and sealing the food up. I would suspect that the pressure in the bag is not significantly lower than ambient pressure. Actually, there is a way to cook an egg at exactly 145 degrees without an immersion circulator. Just get to an altitude where water boils at 145 degrees and let her rip. Of course, you would probably pass out from hypoxia before you had a chance to eat your egg. Nah!!!!:razz::biggrin: Now what were you guys saying about actually using the technique for cooking regardless of the terminology?
P.S. As you can't compress water, I don't know how much good trying to evacuate a bag full beans and the cooking liquid would do you. Plus at some point once the air was gone, you would be evacuating your cooking liquid. This sounds more akin to cooking a Stouffers frozen entree low and slow.

JohnnyChance
08-16-2011, 04:05 AM
When you use a chamber vacuum sealer, you can seal liquids in the bag. They don't get sucked out.

And when you seal items, you can see moisture boiling off as the vacuum increases.

jmforge
08-16-2011, 04:20 AM
If you see "boiling" then you are pressing the moisture out by squashing the food as opposed to boiling. To actually get water to boil at room temp (80F) you would need to have ambient pressure of .5 PSI. Considering that it only takes overpresure of around 2 PSI to blow out all of the windows in your house, I doubt that even a commericial grade pump could do that. You are evacuated as much of the "free" oxygen as you can, but as I understand it, foods that need to be refrigerated still need to be kept that way even in a bag.
When you use a chamber vacuum sealer, you can seal liquids in the bag. They don't get sucked out.

And when you seal items, you can see moisture boiling off as the vacuum increases.

JohnnyChance
08-16-2011, 04:22 AM
The food doesn't squash. I have vac'd plenty of very delicate fish and it holds it shape just fine.

jmforge
08-16-2011, 04:25 AM
The food doesn't squash. I have vac'd plenty of very delicate fish and it holds it shape just fine.
From what I am reading, there is a technique called "instant pickling" where you take sliced fruits and veggies and intentionally "crush" the water out of the spaces and then repressurize by injecting your picling solution into the bag so that the "curshed" fruits of veggies soak it up like a sponge.

JohnnyChance
08-16-2011, 04:31 AM
Just because that is what you are reading, doesn't mean that is what we are talking about.

jmforge
08-16-2011, 04:45 AM
Just because that is what you are reading, doesn't mean that is what we are talking about. What you are talking about is sealing up food so that you can cook it for a LONG time a low temps and not have all of the internal moisture get cooked out, right? :biggrin:

JohnnyChance
08-16-2011, 04:55 AM
Basically. What does that have to do with crushing the water out and injecting a pickling solution?

goodchef1
08-16-2011, 10:12 AM
I thought we were talking about Eamon's beans? Regardless, sous-vide will eventually become mainstream, like the microwave, cd's, and plasma tv's. Might as well get in on the ground floor, while it's very expensive.

If you look in the supermarket, more and more foods are starting to be sealed that way, and most canning will soon be a thing of the past. And with these new space aged packaging materials, microwaving will not be ideal, and cooking at specific times/temperatures in liquid will create best results.

BertMor
08-16-2011, 03:15 PM
Look... all I was saying is, sous vide is NOT a cooking technique. That is all! Sous vide is mearly the task of vacuum sealing something. Cooking with an immersion circulator is simply the act of poaching. Yes the circulator allows for a more controlled poach but, it is poaching nonetheless. You are still poaching something that is sealed in the bag... that just happens to be sous vide. The only time you are sous vide-ing something is when you are vacuum sealing it, not when you are cooking it.

Actually, I think you might like to know that sous vide IS a cooking technique that goes back to the 1950's, in France. They were trying to shelf-stabilize food for the commercial world. The act of vacuum sealing does not make it sous-vide. you still need to cook it. and multiple methods can be utilized. I think because its so varied it constitutes its own cooking method.

Of course YMMV just one cooks opinion

jmforge
08-16-2011, 05:41 PM
What kind of proteins do you guys tend to prepare using this technique? How do they look when they come out of the bag and what do you do with them after they are cooked?

Andrew H
08-17-2011, 02:31 AM
What kind of proteins do you guys tend to prepare using this technique? How do they look when they come out of the bag and what do you do with them after they are cooked?

Eggs, beef, pork, fish, chicken, any protein works. For most proteins you bag them up, sous vide them and then sear them after you take them out.
As far as the pickling question goes I thought the idea was that the liquid gets pushed into your product? Not really sure about this.

jmforge
08-17-2011, 02:52 AM
The impression I got was that the the liquids are squeezed out of the food and when you "repressurize" the pickling liquid moves in to fill in the space. I'm not sure, but that sounds a little like the vacuum bagging process that Matt Diskin is using for his G10 products. You pull air out of one end of the bag and the resin is introduced at the other end. A little bit different than normal vacuum bagging that improves the wetting process. Thanks for the answer. I was wondering if you could sear meat and at what stage in the process you did it.
Eggs, beef, pork, fish, chicken, any protein works. For most proteins you bag them up, sous vide them and then sear them after you take them out.
As far as the pickling question goes I thought the idea was that the liquid gets pushed into your product? Not really sure about this.

ThEoRy
08-17-2011, 03:49 AM
Things I have sous-vide:

Beef, chicken, lamb, fish, pork, rabbit, eggs, octopus, beets, turnips, sunchokes, parsnips, sweet potatoes, artichokes, baby carrots, fennel, mushrooms, potatoes, cabbage,well, just about every vegetable except green ones, fruits and ice cream.

If I think of any more I'll add them later.

wenus2
08-17-2011, 05:36 AM
Ice cream works great, btw. the custard is nice, and no whisking!:cookingdinner:

Anybody do beans yet?

I am going to Napa and SF for the next 5 days to drink wine and ogle the works of Picasso, but I will be happy to try it after I get home. No chamber vac here (yet) but I'm sure I can sort things out well enough.

Eamon Burke
08-17-2011, 02:24 PM
Wow! My kid's cutting a molar, and i missed out on a whole thread I started!

Yeah, I was talking about sous-vide because the real problem with beans is that you need water and heat to cook them properly, and you want it to go as slowly as possible, so it creates and even-textured bean. But the problem with water is that it moves around at the temps required for cooking beans, so vacuum sealing it and cooking it at a very low temp in a bath sounded like a brilliant idea.

I don't have a circulator, I was hoping to live vicariously through someone else.

Miles
08-17-2011, 04:13 PM
I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't work, but I'm sure some experimentation would be in order to find the optimal time and temp. At very low temp, it would take a VERY long time. My inclination would be to start at a high temp and work backwards, lowering temp and extending time with each batch, taking notes along the way.

JohnnyChance
08-17-2011, 07:28 PM
Yeah, once recipe I saw said up to 48 hours. It would also be nice to use a concentrated flavored liquid (stock, tomato juice, etc, and some fat probably wouldnt hurt either, haha) in the bag so the beans soak that up.

Salty dog
08-17-2011, 11:28 PM
So do you guys have HACCP plans? And do you need variances?

Eamon Burke
08-18-2011, 01:46 AM
So do you guys have HACCP plans? And do you need variances?

I don't...cause nobody's done if before me and they don't pay me near enough to do that kind of work, only to have my uppers screw it up and change everything next month. Why?

Salty dog
08-18-2011, 02:06 AM
because when the health dept came to do their annual inspection they freaked out when they saw "sous vide" on the menu.

Avishar
08-18-2011, 02:15 AM
I wrote a HACCP for our 48 hour short rib (turns out servsafe was good for something after all), however I am in Ohio and our health inspector loves us and was happy to work with us. I don't know what the regulations are for you over there, but I will be more than happy to send it to you if you want, just PM me your email!

Eamon Burke
08-18-2011, 02:18 AM
because when the health dept came to do their annual inspection they freaked out when they saw "sous vide" on the menu.

Well, that's absurd. Health inspections are a good idea gone horribly wrong.

I am pretty happy though, we got zero demerits on our last one. Not bad for a catering/cafeteria kitchen.

Salty dog
08-18-2011, 08:12 AM
I wrote a HACCP for our 48 hour short rib (turns out servsafe was good for something after all), however I am in Ohio and our health inspector loves us and was happy to work with us. I don't know what the regulations are for you over there, but I will be more than happy to send it to you if you want, just PM me your email!

Thanks but the County HD wrote one for us. It's been interesting. Oh, and BTW, according to my HD the FDA has not approved sous vide fish. You have to get a variance.

Avishar
08-19-2011, 01:38 PM
Interesting, ours says something about having to either discard products after 48 hours of cooking or freeze them indefinitely, haven't run into any problems with fish yet! Do you hot hold the food in your water bath for extended periods of time, or drop to reheat on order?

Jag
08-29-2011, 02:02 PM
I do this at work. Trimmed green beans in bag with olive oil salt and pepper, 4 minutes @ 85 degrees celcius then shocked in ice bath or served immediately

edit: i see you meant beans of the legume variety