First sous vide try

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First sous vide try

Postby Jim Cassidy » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:13 am

I'm a few hours into my sous vide experiment. I bought this controller http://www.amazon.com/Ranco-ETC111000/d ... co+ETC-111 , and wired it myself with a 14 guage extension cord. I'm using our ancient Hamilton Beach slow cooker, an approximately 7 quart ceramic container with a glass cover, thick walls; hardly ever used because the ceramic is not removable, making the unit hard to clean.

Trying to approximate a dish from a great experience in Paris. Went to a new Mexican food market near home and bought a hunk of pork belly. I cut two single serving pieces off it and rubbed them with a combination of black pepper and finely chopped garlic, chives, rosemary and thyme. Salted very lightly and used the vacuum sealer. Placed in F150 degree bath in the slow cooker. Plan to cook 20-24 hours.

The Ranco controller has a 1 degree differential; I think some systems claim a 0.1 degree differential. Reviews mentioned a problem with overshooting the target temperature. This does not seem to be a problem with this system. I had turned the temperature controller to high to bring the temp back to F 150 after placing the pork belly in, I turned it to low at F148 it went to F151 after turning the heat off at F150. Overshoot did not happen again; temp has alternated between F149 and F150.

I think reports of overshooting may be cause by bad insulation, low water volume, or too high heat settings on whatever people are using to cook. I think the controller will work in most systems if a 1 degree differential works. Not sure if superfine control is ever necessary, but as temp and time suggestions are all over the place for pork belly, I don't think control finer than 1 degree is necessary.

Will report after eating.
Jim Cassidy

Owner, Millcreek Vineyards

(The prettiest vineyard in the Salt Lake Valley)
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Re: First sous vide try

Postby Jenise » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:26 pm

Can't wait to hear more, Jim. I'm aware of the slow cooker revamp method but don't know anyone who's tried it.
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Re: First sous vide try

Postby Jim Cassidy » Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:03 pm

The Paris version of this dish was served over lentils, and was decorated with foamed sauce made from pig fat and cream. We are serving over Italian beans from the garden and a pan sauce from the searing step.
Jim Cassidy

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(The prettiest vineyard in the Salt Lake Valley)
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Re: First sous vide try

Postby Jim Cassidy » Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:40 am

My sous vide pork belly over Italian beans with pan sauce was a major hit with Pam; she thinks it is one of the better things I've ever served. I hope to find a better texture next time, but I do agree that the flavors of the dish, especially the sauce, were very nice..

The beans were cooked with chopped rendered pork belly, shallots, garlic, pepper and salt.

Pork belly cooked 23 hours at F 150; removed from bag, liquid retained liquid. Seasoned and seared in olive oil and butter. Removed when well-browned and placed on cookie sheet in warm oven. Added copped shallots, halved cherry tomatoes, small sprig of chopped rosemary, pepper and salt to the pan fat and cooked for a couple minutes; deglazed with leftover Kiwi SV Blanc from the fridge; added liquid from bag and reduced by about half; finished with a pat of butter. Placed some beans and a little cooking liquid fom the beans in the bottom of a bowl; sliced pork belly and laid on top of beans; poured sauce over top.

Beans were perfectly done, and the sauce flavored the cooking liquid from the beans. I think the lean was a little dry, and the fatty part could have been cooked for less time or lower temp also. Will certainly try again...

Hardware a complete success; If a one degree differential is good enough, this controller works fine. Will probably eventually add this heater/bubbler to cook in larger volumes - http://freshmealssolutions.com/index.ph ... mid=100083 .
Jim Cassidy

Owner, Millcreek Vineyards

(The prettiest vineyard in the Salt Lake Valley)
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Re: First sous vide try

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:20 am

Thanks for the report, Jim. I've been considering doing this for some time now but haven't gotten through the research end of it (there's an epic thread on eGullet that I've gotten partway through, but that's it). Sounds like you're off to a good start with the system you have and it will just be a matter of dialing it in. That's good to hear.

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Re: First sous vide try

Postby Jenise » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:05 pm

Glad it worked so well for you. I really need to start doing some sous vide myself. Interesting forums on that freshmeal site you provided a link to. Did you read the discussion about Foodsaver bags opening during the procedure? Both the heat-sealed and factory seams were busting. Someone else piped up that they'd had the same problem with FS bags, but had only success with the cheaper Seal-a-Meal bags. For any of us Foodsaver owners trying sous vide in the future, it is something to be aware of.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: First sous vide try

Postby Jenise » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:07 pm

Oops, meant to add for Jim: your name came up the other night. Someone who actually has some of your wine in his cellar. He's the immediate past Executive Chef at the Great (or is it Grand) America hotel in SLC. He's here in northwest Washington now, and I had him over for a wine tasting this week.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: First sous vide try

Postby Jim Cassidy » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:13 pm

Jenise said:

Someone who actually has some of your wine in his cellar.


???

Mistaken identity? We have never distributed our wine. We have only given away a handful of bottles to friends, and drank the rest. 8)
Jim Cassidy

Owner, Millcreek Vineyards

(The prettiest vineyard in the Salt Lake Valley)
Jim Cassidy
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Re: First sous vide try

Postby Jim Cassidy » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:19 pm

Jenise said:

Did you read the discussion about Foodsaver bags opening during the procedure? Both the heat-sealed and factory seams were busting.


Foodsaver system did fine, no leakage. I read about problems, but have used the Foodsaver system myself for boil-in-bag meals on river rafting and backcountry camping with no problems. No break or leak here.
Jim Cassidy

Owner, Millcreek Vineyards

(The prettiest vineyard in the Salt Lake Valley)
Jim Cassidy
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1535
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:00 pm
Location: Salt Lake City

Re: First sous vide try

Postby Jim Cassidy » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:29 pm

Jenise said:

I really need to start doing some sous vide myself.


As you read about it, I would be very interested to know what you learn about the temperature differential requirements.
Is a 1.0 degree differential good enough? Other systems claim 0.5, and I think others may even claim 0.1. I'm pretty sure my system stays within 1.0 degree of the set temperature without exceeding it, and I'm curious if a tighter range is ever needed.
Jim Cassidy

Owner, Millcreek Vineyards

(The prettiest vineyard in the Salt Lake Valley)
Jim Cassidy
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1535
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:00 pm
Location: Salt Lake City

Re: First sous vide try

Postby Jenise » Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:24 pm

Jim Cassidy wrote:Mistaken identity? We have never distributed our wine. We have only given away a handful of bottles to friends, and drank the rest. 8)


Must be the case then. I said I knew someone with a winery there, and he said he has wine from every Utah winery and asked which one was yours. I couldn't remember the name 'Millcreek' exactly and offered that it was a name with "mill" in it: mill pond, mill stone, something like that and he said yeah, he was sure he had your wine. That's all I can tell you! Didn't realize (obviously) that you weren't commercial, though.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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