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Mixing BBQ smoking w sous vide. Advice sought.

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Mixing BBQ smoking w sous vide. Advice sought.

Postby DanB » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:27 am

So... I just inherited a German barbecue smoker which is to say I have a weird box which is good for curing eels and fish but doesn't really get very hot (c.a. 60C or 140F max). Last week I threw some ribs in there for two hours and then finished them in the oven and frankly, they were pretty darned good. So the thing does impart good smokey flavor. My buddy Stefan who is a hyper-nerd has just built himself a homemade sous vide contraption and has already tested it on steaks, apparently with good results. Over lots of beer, we decided to combine the technologies.

Our idea is to take my Iowa chop recipe (marinaded in apple juice and spices and usually baked) and put it through a 4-step process: 1) Marinade a big center cut overnight. 2) Smoke it at 60C for an hour or so. 3) Hack it into Iowa-sized chops, seal and water bath for x-hours (I'll let the nerd figure that out). 4) Brief pan sear and done.

So... it's a cunning plan, cooked up under the influence. Stefan is one of those extremely smart German engineer types.... but I still thought it might be good to ask if anyone sees any obvious holes in the plan i.e. something in steps 1-4 that might lead to stomach cramps and/or some sort of horrible botulistic death. Anyone ever done similar? Any suggestions?
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Re: Mixing BBQ smoking w sous vide. Advice sought.

Postby Ken B » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:02 am

You should seek the advice of Ryan Rogers here, he has extensive sous vide/low temp slow cooking experience on the pro side (including sous vide + smoking) and knows of the various potential health concerns.

That said, I've fooled around with a rube goldberg sous vide contraption myself, and work at or around those temps, and have not gotten sick. That is purely anectdotal and not scientific of course, so all I can offer is that, in my own experience, I have not sickened or poisoned myself, my family, or my guests, on a half dozen or so occasions. What I have learned is that it is worth consulting and sticking to the time/temp guidelines, rather than winging it, as you may have some substandard results when it comes to texture of the final cooked meat, etc.
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1200 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY
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