Sous vide bags inflating

In the Modernist Techniques Forum
I know it has been posted before, but I'm still not having any luck...

ANY time I try a long sous vide cook (more than a day or so) I end up with at least 1 hyper-inflated foul smelling bag (usually more than 1).

Some details... I'm using a sous vide supreme. I cook at 140-145 and have verified this temperature with several thermometers. Food (oxtail or short ribs) is sealed in "seal a meal" bags (the seals always hold, thankfully...), I have tried searing first, boiling after sealing, freezing(then thawing in the refrigerator...), additives to the bag (wine, broth, herbs, etc) or just the meat alone (sealed in a chamber sealer if liquids are used). I have compared "large batch" (3-4 bags) and single bags (1 layer of meat, pieces touching but not overlapping). Sometimes the bags are set flat in the chamber, sometimes I use the rack. The bags are always completely submerged. But the results are always the same -- in a multiple bag batch I am lucky if 1/4 DONT inflate. My recent trial of 1 bag (oxtail at 145) has inflated this AM (60 hours into cooking, although I could see some gas forming last night...).
I would usually throw in the towel with this kind of success rate - but the bags that DO work are just too amazing to give up on. Nonetheless, I am getting tired of throwing away money like this. What am I missing??


1 Reply So Far

I would try to dip the food into boiling water before sealing it in the bag, this should kill any bacteria on it. Sometimes gas will develop anyway but it shouldn't be the foul-smelling kind at that point.


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