Recent Modernist Blog Posts Page 2

Welcome to the Amazing Food Made Easy blog! This is a place I can share information and updates that don't fit into a specific area on the rest of the site. I focus mainly on sous vide and modernist cooking but if it's an interesting cooking method or fun cooking news I'll cover it as well.

In addition to cooking and sous vide news, how to guides and other articles, there's a lot of different types of information here including:

If you are looking for recipes you can view them on my pages for latest recipes, whipping siphon recipes or sous vide recipes.

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Thanks, enjoy the blog and happy cooking!

Chatwin Crucial Knife Set Review

Chatwin knife 3 out

We were given a full Chatwin Crucial Knife Set to use and test out. I used the various knives for most of my cooking for about a month.

The short answer is that The Chatwin Crucial Knife Set is a uniquely designed, very cool looking set of knives. The knives are on the lighter side, comfortable to use, cut very easily, and seem to hold their edges. There were a few minor issues I had, so with the higher price it kept them from being a "Top Pick" but they are definitely a "Recommended" knife of ours.

Below are my detailed thoughts on them.

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Do You Need to Use an Ice Bath After Sous Vide?

One of the more confusing aspects of sous vide is whether or not to use an ice bath. There are times that using one is very important, times that it can be useful for flavor development, and times it isn't needed at all.

Because of this, people can take ice bath usage out of context and use it when they don't need to. Here is a detailed look at when you should use an ice bath, and when it doesn't matter.

When You Need a Post-Sous Vide Ice Bath

The only time you really need to use an ice bath is when you are going to store food for later and it has come right out of the sous vide machine. For example, you cook 5 bags of chicken breasts, eat one for dinner and put the others into your freezer, in the sous vide bags, to eat later.

Sous vide turkey thigh bath squareish
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Should You Put Butter in the Sous Vide Bag?

Sous vide pork chop tajine bagged2

There is a lot of discussion about whether or not you should add butter, oil, or other fats to your sous vide bag. Here's a look at some of the issues so you'll know how to maximize your flavor. The butter argument depends on what type of protein you are cooking, so I'll address meat and fish separately.

Should You Add Butter to Sous Vide Beef or Chicken?

When it comes to simple but flavorful food nothing beats a perfectly cooked steak with melted butter on it. Because of this, many people put butter into their sous vide bags to "flavor" the meat. However, there are a few things at play here, especially for red meat like beef or lamb, but also to a lesser extent chicken and pork.

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Is It Safe to Use Raw Garlic in Sous Vide?

There has been a lot of talk lately about whether or not it is safe to use raw garlic in sous vide. I figured I would address the concerns and go into a little more detail about the issue.

There are two key points when using raw garlic: flavor and safety.

Sous vide garlic

Does Raw Garlic in Sous Vide Taste Good?

The first discussion point with using raw garlic, and the quickest one to discuss, is whether or not raw garlic in sous vide actually tastes good. Most of us are used to adding raw garlic when we cook meat so it is a natural transition to start including it with sous vide.

However, there is a major difference between cooking meat sous vide and roasting or pan frying it, and that is the low temperatures used in sous vide. Because sous vide meat is cooked using low heat, any garlic in the bag won't actually "cook" during the sous vide process. This obviously affects the final dish because raw and cooked garlic have very different flavors. This is also true of any aromatics like onions, shallots, or carrots.

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How to Sous Vide Grains like Farro, Bulgur and Quinoa

For a long time I never bothered to cook grains using sous vide, they were just so easy to make on the stove...or so I thought!

A year or two ago I began eating oatmeal for breakfast most mornings, and the cleanup of the pot started to become a hassle. I finally turned to sous vide to try and solve it and I loved the results. Not only was there no clean up, I also didn't have to watch a pot to make sure it didn't boil over or dry out. And I could definitely use that help when I'm sleepy in the mornings and not thinking straight!

Sous vide oatmeal close raisin

From oatmeal, I branched out into other grains and now I cook the majority of them using sous vide. I just love the convenience and not having to worry about whether the pot is boiling, or too dry or any other factors.

It is also simple to mix and match grains in one container, as long as they cook for the same amount of time. This makes it easy to add some variety to my meals without much extra effort.

If you are interested in learning more about how to sous vide grains, then you can read more about it!

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Why is the Sous Vide Pulled Pork Temperature Different Than Smoking?

I'm new to sous vide and a little confused. I have smoked a ton of boston butts over the last 15 years and and my magic number is 203 for internal temp usually running 250-275 for 8 to 10 hours (no crutch). I used to cook lower and slower but the above mentioned seems to give me the best results on my smoker (nice bark, tender and juicy).

Back to sous vide. My question is why shouldn't I set my sous vide machine to 203 and run the same number of hours? Everything I have read including the article above has much lower temps. This doesn't make any sense to me since it seems you would still want to get to the same internal temp to get similar results.

If a shoulder is normally supposed to be cooked to an internal temp between 190-205 (see any meat chart) why would that be any different when cooking sous vide?

- Mick

Sous vide pulled pork cut

Thanks for the great question Mick! There's a lot that goes into this and I'll try to clear it up below. Most of it comes down to what you are trying to accomplish texture-wise.

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SO-VIDA Sleeve Heating and Power Consumption Test

Lid cozie close   dsc 1121

We recently were given a SO-VIDA Sous Vide Container Sleeve to test out and review. As an engineer, I tend to first look at new products from an objective viewpoint. Therefore, I thought it would be worth running some sort of a benchmark to determine the effectiveness of the Sleeve from an insulation perspective.

This article examines the tests I ran, as well as the results we obtained.

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SO-VIDA Sous Vide Container Sleeve Review

So vide sleeve corner close

We do our best to keep our readers informed about new modernist cooking-related products. This often includes equipment such as sous vide machines and containers. In this review we are looking at a type of sous vide accessory we haven't seen before, an insulated sleeve for your water bath. It is the, "Sous Vide Container Sleeve" by SO-VIDA and the company provided us with the product so we could do some testing and a review.

The SO-VIDA Container Sleeve (Sleeve) is designed specifically to be used with the Rubbermaid 12-Quart container. The Sleeve covers all faces of the container except for the top and is constructed from 5mm neoprene (wetsuit material). This provides two primary functions: the first is to help keep the heat of the water in the container and thus reduce the amount of energy required during the sous vide cook. The second is to protect the work surface your sous vide container is sitting on, due to the prolonged heat transmitted from the base of the container.

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Got a Sous Vide Machine! Now What?

Sous vide searing steak front

Getting your sous vide circulator is just the beginning! You still need to learn how to use it, pick out some favorite recipes to try, and browse all the cool accessories you can add on to it!

Sous vide is a wonderful method of cooking that makes it easy to turn out delicious, amazing food that will impress your friends and family. However, there are some basics you should understand before you get started, as well as some more advanced techniques to maximize your sous vide experience.

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Best Sous Vide Water Bath Container Systems

Buying a sous vide circulator is the first step in the sous vide process. You can use your circulator in any pot, and if you are just getting started it's a great way to go, but for maximum sous vide efficiency you may want to turn to a dedicated sous vide water bath. There are several ones that we recommend, and each one has its own lids, racks, and insulators that can make it even better.

Here are my top three picks for sous vide water bath systems. Two of them are 12 quart systems that work great for small to medium sized families, and one is a 26 Quart system that is best for large families or cooking for parties.

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Which Sous Vide Machine Should I Buy - Ask Jason

Sous vide turkey breast circulator tall

I'm constantly getting asked what type of sous vide circulator someone should buy. This used to be an easy question to answer because there were only one or two reliable machines but now there are several options, all of which are generally comparable and can get the job done.

I decided to put together this article to help people quickly get an overview of the top circulators. I've focused on the major deciding factors I think are important such as heating power, how loud it is, and the price.

To help with this, I reference a few of our sous vide benchmark tests such as Heating Power (how fast the circulator can heat the water), Sound Level (how much noise does the machine make), and Power Consumption (how much power does the machine use).

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Chef Steps Joule Hands On Review

Sous vide fennel vinegar 5 joule

We have been recommending the ChefSteps Joule circulator as a Top Pick of ours since it came out. That was based on the specs, its performance in the benchmark tests, and Gary's hands on use of it (as shared in his initial Joule review).

Once the testing and initial reviews were done it went into my stack of circulators so I could also get some detailed hands-on testing with. It took me awhile to get to it since I was in the middle of recipe testing, but once I did, it's been my go-to circulator. Here's some of my thoughts on it.

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Oliso PRO Smart Sealer Review

Oliso vacuum sealer lamb 2

I was recently given a free Oliso PRO Smart Sealer to test out and review. I've been using it for several months now and here's some of my thoughts on it.

What the Oliso Sealer Is

The Oliso is basically a small "edge vacuum sealer", similar to a FoodSaver sealer. It works by putting your food in a pouch, closing it, and sliding it into the side of the Oliso sealer. The sealer sucks out the air and seals the bag, leaving you with a bag ready for sous vide or stoarge. It lists for $199 but it usually available on Amazon for around $150.

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Anova Announces the Anova Nano Sous Vide Circulator

Anova recently announced the launch of their newest sous vide circulator, the Anova Nano. It is slated to be sold for under $100 and weighs only 1.4 pounds. It will have a 700 watt heater, and heat less water, but it should be good for small familes or people just getting into sous vide.

We will provide more updates as the unit becomes available and we can do some hands-on testing with it.

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How Does the Kitchen Gizmo Compare to Other Sous Vide Machines?

Kitchen gizmo box book

We recently put the Kitchen Gizmo through our sous vide benchmarks.

The first test shows how long it takes the circulator to heat the water. It went from room temperature to 140°F (60°C) in 31 minutes and from hot tap water to 140°F (60°C) in 8.5 minutes.

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