What's your impression of sous vide?

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While this has nothing to do with sous vide.....

Vancouver has no shortage of Sushi places, and it is common (as well as endorsed by the health dept) to freeze fish if it is to be conumed raw. This is done specifically to kill any parasites. Once the sushi is on the plate, the "chain of refrigeration" is terminated, just as grilling the fish would be the termination of the chain--the item is intended to be consumed right away.
 
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-------  Vancouver has no shortage of Sushi places, -------
Oh yeah! I just came back from Vancouver. Went to a few. The one that was very good and reasonable was Nanaimo. I was there several times. Very busy place.

dcarch
 
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As I appreciate food so much all i care about is the flavor of the food the taste and somewhat the quality. Sousvide can give some very precise cooking I can only respect that.
 
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Sorry if it's a silly question for most of you but can someone explain to me how a la carte restaurants uses sous vide, cause everywhere i'm reading they say minimum 1 hour or 2 for a steak... How is that possible that a guest should wait 1 hour and if the answer is they cook it sous vide before time then how can they serve it after searing it and give it a balanced heat inside???
 
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I'm a pastry guy but I think they sous vide and hold the product. Then flash it. That's what I do at home.
 
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Thx panini but how can you control the heat inside the piece of steak or fish or whatever you're cooking? After flashing it like you said which means ieither pan frie to give it color or grill it...
 
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Lodger,

Not sure what what you mean by control the heat inside.  You would finish your protein hot and fast, like a black and blue steak.  If the inside of the piece of food is being seriously effected, you've done it wrong.  

Unless you are trying something like low temping steaks to mid rare and bringing them up to the customer's preference, I suppose.  

That said, from my experience, SV is not ideal for a la carte service, at least across the board.  If you are in a turn and burn situation I don't think it would be of a ton of value.  As I mentioned above, it can be a life saver for running function menus concurantly with your regular menu.  
 
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Lodger,

Not sure what what you mean by control the heat inside.  You would finish your protein hot and fast, like a black and blue steak.  If the inside of the piece of food is being seriously effected, you've done it wrong.  

Unless you are trying something like low temping steaks to mid rare and bringing them up to the customer's preference, I suppose.  

That said, from my experience, SV is not ideal for a la carte service, at least across the board.  If you are in a turn and burn situation I don't think it would be of a ton of value.  As I mentioned above, it can be a life saver for running function menus concurantly with your regular menu.  
Usually steaks and other meats (and veggies too) are pre-cooked and then chilled in an ice bath. For service the protein is placed in a water bath (lower than the cook temp, so say like 120-130F) to re-heat. This is usually done when the customer orders it. Usually on the fire a finishing technique is used (searing, grilling, etc) to complete it. 

Fish, at least in my experience, is done a la minute sous vide, since the temp is lower and the time is much less. 

I think sous vide is beneficial is most a la carte services. I've employed it quite effectively many times, and currently do as well. I suppose in a extremely high volume situation it might no be tenable, but in a fine dining atmosphere I find it actually HELPS service from both a timing and consistency standpoint. 
 
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I think cook/chill on a steak is a big waste of time.  You're not saving any time at all since you still have to bring the meat up to temp. The exception would be something like flank or skirt where you can give it maybe 10 hours @ 130 [sup]o[/sup] F to really tenderize it, then retherm it- that works extremely well.  I've used it for steaks to save time for special situations. For example once for Mother's Day we did strips, batching them in the circulator about a dozen at a time. This basically shifted the work from the line to prep and allowed us to do the predictable wave of MW steaks in just a few minutes.  The really nice thing is that most proteins that are "done" in 1/2/3 hours can be held in the bath for at least six or eight hours will little or no loss of quality (depending on the temp and what you're cooking, natch).

It really does help the timing, at Someday points out.  You can do a Chateaubriand to MR and keep it at just that temp until you're ready, then finish it very quickly for example.
 
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Well, it's not simply either/or.  There are lots of way to use sous vide but those are the ways that fit the most situations for me.
 
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     I have finally gotten around to using my immersion circulator.  So far, I do like this thing!  It's turning out some really nice, flavorful and delicious food.  It can be a little strange for me at times to eat meat that is cooked med rare, yet tender as can be...with the fat and connective tissue broken down as well.  

   One of the latest that i cooked was a chuck roast cooked to 131f (30hours).  It had the texture of a slow roasted prime rib, perhaps a little better even, and great beef flavor...it was really quite good!  But I kept thinking...this isn't what chuck roast is like...it just isn't.


 
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Gonefishin- 

 "One of the latest that i cooked was a chuck roast cooked to 131f.  It had the texture of a slow roasted prime rib, perhaps a little better even, and great beef flavor...it was really quite good!  But I kept thinking...this isn't what chuck roast is like...it just isn't."

     To me that is a strong argument for using sous vide: to accomplish the challenge of overcoming preconceived ideas of what certain foods have to be. Chuck roast is not like that because the standard cooking methods don't produce that end result. But you can with sous vide.

     So from your picture you ended up making a chuck roast into a tender, medium rare steak with great texture and flavor. Congratulations. If I was using sous vide in a restaurant, your reaction is exactly what I would be looking for. 
 
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@gonefishin  - how long did you cook that?  It looks delicious  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/thumb.gif
  Hi Mike, 

  I thought I included the time with the temp...I went ahead and added it to the original post.  The 131f cook was for 30hours.

  Thanks,

   Dan
 
Gonefishin- 

 "One of the latest that i cooked was a chuck roast cooked to 131f.  It had the texture of a slow roasted prime rib, perhaps a little better even, and great beef flavor...it was really quite good!  But I kept thinking...this isn't what chuck roast is like...it just isn't."

     To me that is a strong argument for using sous vide: to accomplish the challenge of overcoming preconceived ideas of what certain foods have to be. Chuck roast is not like that because the standard cooking methods don't produce that end result. But you can with sous vide.

     So from your picture you ended up making a chuck roast into a tender, medium rare steak with great texture and flavor. Congratulations. If I was using sous vide in a restaurant, your reaction is exactly what I would be looking for. 
   Hi chefwriter,

I agree with everything you had said.  I can certainly appreciate the benefits that sous vide is giving me...and I believe this is a very strong argument for the use of sous vide in some of my cooking.  But when I'm eating medium rare spare ribs that are tender and delicious...it's a little strange too.  Maybe not like eating some of the foods at Alinea or L2O...but still a change in thinking just the same.

   My reaction was actually exactly what I was looking for as well...I'm just not sure I expected it to taste so good/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif
 
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Sous vide can really transform tougher but flavorful cuts of meat.  The only caveat is that somethings -such as the connective tissue in beef short ribs- will not break down even with 72+ hours of low temps.  You really need higher heat for those.  But chuck is sublime.
 
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    I've been cooking a lot using my immersion circulator.  All of the food is turning out really good.  Below I'll post a picture of a sous vide turkey breast. 

   I removed the two breasts, seasoned, rolled and tied.  I sous vide at 145f for 2 1/2 hours.  Stuffing was made with leg quarters roasting on top.  Skin was seasoned and roasted in oven at 400f, sandwiched between two layers of parchment and sandwiched between two cookie sheets. 

   Taste and texture was outstanding.  Again, what a treat it is, to have this tool in my home.

  
 
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SV is great for certain things, not so great for others.

Some times it gives you a great financial bonus, others not.

One example of cost minimising is low temp fry, fat poach, confit or whatever you want to call it. Im gonna go with confit.

These are fictional numbers used used to explain a point.

If you want to confit 2kg of duck leg, you will need duck fat. By using SV its enough if you use 50g of fat, because the bag will ensure the fats contact with the leg at all time. Without the bag you will need 750g. !Fictional numbers! As an addition to spending less fat, it will also be safe, but most important (to me), a whole lot cleaner. Just take the bag out of the warm water, throw it into ice water to cool it down quicker and ensure hygiene (food safety and less waste), and pat it dry with a towel and have it ready to store in your fridge taking up the minimum amount of space possible. Yes, I know bags and additional work costs money.

If you choose to SV carrots to make staff food for three persons, its less wise.

Sous Vide is a tool just like any other tool in your kitchen. Equipment, technique or whatever. Whether or not you succeed depends on your skill, just as your success using a frying pan depends on your skill. Its an enormous asset in certain kitchens, and less in others where it simply wouldn't be profitable applying it. Be smart enough to learn something new, and good enough to find out whether or not you will profit from it, because that is what it is all about in the end. Profit.
 
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    I've been cooking a lot using my immersion circulator.  All of the food is turning out really good.  Below I'll post a picture of a sous vide turkey breast. 

   I removed the two breasts, seasoned, rolled and tied.  I sous vide at 145f for 2 1/2 hours.  Stuffing was made with leg quarters roasting on top.  Skin was seasoned and roasted in oven at 400f, sandwiched between two layers of parchment and sandwiched between two cookie sheets. 

   Taste and texture was outstanding.  Again, what a treat it is, to have this tool in my home.

  
I've had some magnificent sous vide turkey breast.  It's a wonderful creation ljokjel.  I'm guessing that is your stuffing on the right that looks like loaded mash potatoes.  What is in it?

Rick
 
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