3-day sous-vide short ribs smell yeasty?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by sousvideerryday, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. sousvideerryday

    sousvideerryday

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    I recently got an Anova and this is my first time making short ribs. I'm wondering if I did something wrong and they possibly might not be edible due to weird smell/colour.

    I seasoned them with salt and pepper on one side only and cooked them at 130°F for 3 days, I have no vacuum sealer so I used the water displacement method with Glad freezer bags. When I first put them in as the water bath was coming back up to temp the display on the Anova froze at 126° and I didn't notice till half an hour later, I unplugged it and plugged it back in, the temp had gone up to 156°, yikes! So I removed hot water and added cold water till it was at 130°. The next day I opened a bag and ate a small sliver to see if they were overcooked, it was still pink & tender, so I put it back and left it for 2 more days.

    Today I took out the bag I had opened 2 days ago and seared the ribs, putting the other 2 bags in a bowl of ice water to chill. The first thing I noticed before I seared the ribs was that there was a somewhat odd, slightly yeasty odor when I opened the bag. I figured nbd, they'll be fine after searing. So I sear them and take a bite... weird flavor. Now I've never had plain short ribs seasoned with only salt and pepper as these were so I'm wondering if it's just the flavor of the ribs themselves or some bacteria that may have grown due to air bubbles in the bag or too low temp or improper submersion of the bag despite me checking on them regularly and topping up with hot water.

    I ended up spitting out my first bite out of fear because I've had food poisoning a few times before and don't want to repeat the experience.

    The second thing I noticed is that the juices in some bags were red and some were brown. Why is this? I opened and smelled the other bags after they had been in the chill bath a while and couldn't detect any variation in odor between the red and brown bags, maybe cause they were too cold by then.

    The ribs are all chilled and waiting in the fridge as I'm too scared to eat them. Are they still safe to eat?
     
  2. eastshores

    eastshores

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    I'm thinking you ran into possibly two different issues. First, with a long cook like this, you really want to ensure that the product is in constant contact with the water bath. You also might want to check your temp. Most of the red meats I looked up in Under Pressure start at 140F. Modernist Cuisine also has a short article on doing 72 hour short ribs.. in which they cook at 144F for 2.6lb but also point out..
    Perhaps you had some level of oxidation, or possibly you had areas of meat that never reached proper temp. Personally, I wouldn't eat it given the off smell, but that is because I trust my nose more than anything (except when hunting for mushrooms)
     
  3. sousvideerryday

    sousvideerryday

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    Thanks! When doing a quick google search on temps for sous-vide short ribs I saw one website saying you could go as low as 130 so I figured the lower the better because I like rare meat. I'll know for next time! At this point do you think it's too late to salvage them by cooking them for a while longer at a higher temp? Or is it not even worth it cause they're not properly vacuum sealed and the bacteria won't all get killed? Can I just straight out fry them till medium or even well done in that case so I won't have to throw them out?
     
  4. eastshores

    eastshores

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    I'd advise you to consult online CDC and FDA guidelines for temperatures required to destroy common food borne pathogens. The basic rule is "when in doubt.. throw it out"
     
  5. dcarch

    dcarch

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    Try this the next time.

    A pot of boiling water.

    Pour the boiling water in the bag to sanitize.

    If you use seasonings, steam them first.

    The beef, freeze the surface of the beef, and dip into boiling water for a few seconds, then use clean tools to put the beef into the bag and sous vide. 

    You should be OK. 

    You will get amazing short ribs that cannot be done any other way.

    Beef is regularly consumed raw, It is the exterior which you need to sanitize.

    dcarch
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  6. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    Wow, I don't think you need to hide that website name, that is crappy advice to cook three days under 60c. That is also some wonky temp Flux you got early on, that would have gotten my dubious bells ringing early. The other thing to consider here, in spite of my thinking you should just chalk this up to R @D, salting the beef for a long cook will, give you a quasi corned beef, so it won't come off as "fresh" no matter what.
     
  7. eastshores

    eastshores

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    Seconded.. salt is not applied for seasoning, in almost any sous vide situation but certainly not a 72 hour cook.
     
  8. eastshores

    eastshores

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    Don't be so quick to dismiss this. Maintaining a temp of 140F in a water bath for 72 hours doesn't require that the heating element be on all the time, just as keeping your refrigerator or freezer at temp doesn't require constant power.

    I know it seems strange. Just maybe give it a chance until you've had properly cooked sous vide meat and then make a decision.
     
  9. luc_h

    luc_h

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    I believe that your basic problem was bad sanitation.

    Understand that the lower the temperature the more difficult it is to kill (deactivate) yeast, mold and bacteria. 

    Flash boiling (par-boiling) to sanitize the surface of the meat then using sanitized tools and bag (as already suggested), not your hands, to manipulate the meat would have probably helped.

    The meat should not be punctured (introducing bacteria inside the meat) for this to work as well.

    additional food safety precautions would be to use irradiated or treated spices (most are).

    I am guessing here that the salt prevented some microorganisms from proliferating while encouraging others, similar to what salting does to cheese.  In this case souring bacteria and mold would have grown rather than yeast.

    Luc H.
     
  10. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    You can kill every bacteria both inside and out but it's the toxin spores you need to worry about.
    When in doubt throw it out.

    mimi
     
  11. laurenlulu

    laurenlulu

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    You kept your meat in the danger zone for 3 days, no bueno
     
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  12. alaminute

    alaminute

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    Second this, danger zone is technically 41-138 but it's really just easier to say 40-140. Inside of this range is where bacteria and parasites flourish, nothing should be inside of those parameters for more than seven hours, including cooling times. Sounds like a fermentation project 😜
     
  13. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    This sort of thing was done in the early days but I would amazed to see anybody recommend that low temp that long. Like I say, I would be really curious about who published that recipe. If you don't want to look to it, you might want to shoot that site a note of concern.
     
  14. luc_h

    luc_h

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    allanmcpherson likes this.
  15. chefboyog

    chefboyog

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    41-138
    Where do you get that " technical" number?
    And the 7 hr timeframe can you reference a source for me?
     
  16. maryb

    maryb

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    When in doubt throw it out an doff odors are your first clue something went badly wrong. Toss them before you poison somebody!
     
  17. alaminute

    alaminute

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    So general from usda

    And you totally got me on the numbers135 to 41 from maricopa food handler site. whoops, no Harold McGee but it's somethin
     
  18. alaminute

    alaminute

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    Another oops, also from the maricopa site saying six hours
    Thanks for calling me out OG, now I know better 😉
     
  19. teamfat

    teamfat

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    I've also heard that the 40 - 140 is actually a degree or two off on each end, but it is easy to remember.

    mjb.
     
  20. chefboyog

    chefboyog

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    Thank you @alaminute Not really calling you out but I like more sources for my own needs, thanks muchly I will look into this Maricopa.

    The 6 hour timeframe is very interesting to me, it is the cumulative time that matters though.

    What people need to understand, without getting too technical, is that food needs to be cooled as fast as possible, and heated/ reheated as fast as possible also.

    A couple degrees on either end, meh, even then I would call BS to to the science, unless I can see some studies that are easy that replicate and are peer reviewed.

    I've only ever heard 40-140. Im sure there is more to it than that and different bacteria require different factors.

    I've read some disclaimers on temp outside of the box at Modernist Cuisine dot com, Im sure there are more disclaimers in the print but I don't have a copy and can' t see getting it in the near future. Hard to navigate that site on my phone Id quote it but some other time.

    Learning about food safety is fun times.

    Toxoplasma anyone?

    Even sounds awesome.