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Thread: Pseudo Sous Vide Rib Eye

  1. #1
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    Pseudo Sous Vide Rib Eye

    So, in another post, I made a reference to sous vide. Long story short, it means cooking something, vacuum wrapped, in a water bath. Or at least that's my inderstanding.

    Take a RibEye steak for example. 135 degrees is considered medium rare. Well, the high side of medium rare. If you were able to take a rib eye, and put it in a water bath and keep it at a temperature of 135 degrees for a few hours, you would end up with a rib eye steak that was exactly medium rare, all over, from side to side. It doesn't matter how long you hold it at that temp, it will always be medium rare, if the temperature does not rise!

    So what happens while you are cooking it (slow and low) at 135, is that the steak becomes very tender. Enzymes that tenderize the meat activate. It's not a tough cut, so there's not a lot of collagen to begin with, but whats there becomes softer, the fat starts to melt, and the whole thing just becomes, well, good.

    The only problem is that when you take it out it's not really all that appealing. It's kind of funny looking, and it's not well seasoned. So, to fix that, season it on both sides with some salt and pepper, slap it on a very,very hot grill, or cast iron skillet for about a minute per side and sear it up.

    This is what you end up with.

    I just use a regular cooler. I use this cooler all the time for things like brining turkeys, psuedo sous vide, etc. At this point the rib eye had been in there for about 3 hours. I started it at 136 degrees, and the steak was still not quite fully thawed. I can handle a 5 degree drop in temp.
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    Looks like it floated to one side. No big worry, the whole thing maintains a very even temp.
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    It was vacuum packed to start with out of the freezer, so I just left it that way. You can see, that even though it's fully cooked here, it's not all that appetizing right now.
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    So, let's season it up and slap it on a rocket hot cast iron griddle for a minute per side and cut it open. Whaddya know, it's seared and beautiful, and evenly cooked from side to side.
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    Oh, might as well serve it up with a side of au gratin potatoes, some green beans, and a glass of cold home brewed pale ale.
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    Now, time for a movie, and quite probably a nap.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  2. #2
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    I am gonna move into your backyard permanently, if you keep this up, Brent! LOL! I can only wonder how I'd earn my keep! Dang, you make me hungry, and its bedtime!
    ++++++

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    I'm drooling on my keyboard
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  4. #4
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    This may be a stupid question but hey if i dont ask will never understand.

    So how do you maintain the temp of 135 degrees F in the cooler? and for how long? This kind of reminds me of boiled meat like when it goes under the griller in an oven and comes out looking all grey and stinking. So i was pleased to hear about the hot grill part.

    Sharon you are spoilt having a chef cook for you. Brent you do a great job in the kitchen and your pics are excellent in the presentation. YOu could work on your own e cook book.

    Going to be trying out the new smoker today. Tried to sell Linda on your rub but she wanted to try out her own.
    I get to take the risks of cooking it. Time will tell.
    cheers

  5. #5
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    Interesting! May have to try that one day.
    I have unintentionally done something similar with fresh caught fish, Sushi warmed up to the 'ripe' state is beyond description, DAMHIKT
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    So how do you maintain the temp of 135 degrees F in the cooler? and for how long? This kind of reminds me of boiled meat like when it goes under the griller in an oven and comes out looking all grey and stinking. So i was pleased to hear about the hot grill part.
    Pretty simple, I just clean and fill the cooler with hot water from the tap. That gets me to about 120 degrees. I let that sit in the cooler and stabilize for 5-10 minutes while I bring a kettle of water on to boil. Then it's just a matter of adding some boiling water, stirring, waiting a minute, checking the temp, and repeat till I get it where I want it.

    As opposed to boiling, the meat will never go grey. It will get done to a perfect medium rare and stay there. You could leave it in there 8 hours and all that would happen is that the meat would get more and more tender. It's not going dry out, because you don't bring the meat to the temp where that happens.

    The cooler does a great job of maintaining the temp without having to add any heat over an hour or 2. They have fancy machines that use a PID to control the temp that will maintain the temp very accurately. I was actually going to build my own, when I swiped my pid to use on the smoker.

    Good luck on your smoker exploit!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post

    Oh, might as well serve it up with a side of au gratin potatoes, some green beans, and a glass of cold home brewed pale ale.
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    Believe me, it's fantastic, even with wine

    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Reed View Post
    I am gonna move into your backyard permanently, if you keep this up, Brent! LOL! I can only wonder how I'd earn my keep! Dang, you make me hungry, and its bedtime!
    Well, we'll make him cook when we come visit in Sep

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Sharon you are spoilt having a chef cook for you.
    So is the bathroom scale...I think it's about to break

  8. #8
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    A buddy of mine made one based off of this: http://makezine.com/projects/make-25...ersion-cooker/
    but he moved the controls/electronics into a marine junction box and changed the wiring slightly and moved the heaters to the top so easier to build, hist build album is here: http://imgur.com/a/7PxhJ

    One word of caution here, you are potentially putting food in the "danger zone" for longer than is perfectly kosher unless you really really keep good control over your temperatures Primarily the concern at this temperature range is botulism which is a no fooling unfun time. A few things can dramatically decrease the risk:
    • Use only fresh whole pieces of whatever. Cooking store hamburger this way for instance would be about the worst idea possible. I prefer to cut most of my own meats from primal cuts anyway but even if you don't use fresh and clean.
    • Acid is the enemy of the badies. A light dip in a dilute vinegar solution stops most activity.
    • Control your temperature very carefully. Get a good thermometer before you even consider doing this.


    Some good guidelines to temperatures and techniques is available at one of my favorite extra nerdy cooking blogs here: http://www.cookingissues.com/primers...es-the-charts/ (note there are three pages with links at the top and its been a while so I wouldn't hold my breath for the other sections getting written real soon).

    He also did an insanely awesome looking variation on the technique where he deboned a turkey and cooked it by recirculating a temperature controlled duck fat and butter mixture through it - the four part write up is linked from here: http://www.cookingissues.com/2010/11...n-your-family/

  9. #9
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    Good call on the botulism danger. You do need to make sure you keep the temps up high enough to prevent that from happening. Clostridium botulinum dies around 126 degress F. So you need to make sure you keep the food out of the danger zone.

    I would not go with trying to do a rare steak with this method, hence the medium rare, which is around 132-135. Still, that's close enough to make sure you keep your temperatures up.

    Thanks Ryan!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  10. #10
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    I really like that rig your buddy put together. Might have to be stealing some of those ideas.
    Heck, I've already go all the parts...
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


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