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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 03-14-2011, 01:24 AM   #1
AndyDuncan
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Default J. Kenji Lopez-Alt throws some science at corned beef

Not technically BBQ in the article, but seems relevant to our interests:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/03/h...-food-lab.html

Mr. Lopez ran some experiments on corned brisket and sous-vide cooking, in particular the time vs. temperature graphs and results should be a good start to some hot & fast vs low and slow flame warring :-) (note of course that his temps are for sous-vide, so they're quite a bit lower than smoking temps)
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Unread 03-14-2011, 02:13 AM   #2
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Thanks for the article. Can sleep Good reading!
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Unread 03-14-2011, 12:56 PM   #3
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That guy has too many names. And his conclusion is that unless you have a really expensive sous vide rig, the best way to cook a corned beef is a slow cooker. Sorry, no argument there in terms of hot-n-fast versus low-n-slow. Unless you cook your meat in a water bath in your smoker.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 05:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
That guy has too many names. And his conclusion is that unless you have a really expensive sous vide rig, the best way to cook a corned beef is a slow cooker. Sorry, no argument there in terms of hot-n-fast versus low-n-slow. Unless you cook your meat in a water bath in your smoker.
I think the temperatures are a bit misleading, the sous-vide method gets a lot more energy into the meat at lower temperatures (water having a much higher specific heat than air), and therefore cooking "hot and fast" in the sous-vide means turning it up to about 205 and getting a brisket done in 3 hours.

While I don't have any exact conversions between sous-vide temps and BBQ temps, I don't think it's outrageous to draw some loose conclusions from the graph that relate to low & slow vs hot as fast BBQ brisket.

For instance, if your brisket method takes the same amount of time as his "slow" brisket versus if your brisket method takes the same amount of time as his "not so slow" brisket (I think we can all agree that nobody around here is trying to get briskets done in 3 hours, so his "fast" is much faster than our "fast").

That's why i think these two graphs and the accompanying photo are completely relevant to our interests, even if we're all skirting the left side of the graph with regards to time anyway:





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Unread 03-14-2011, 05:16 PM   #5
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Perhaps I did not phrase my comment correctly, I do not dispute his findings, in fact, my experience with sous vide is limited, although I understand the science and technique. But, the cooking environment is significantly different, which I think you and I would agree on. In terms of the difference between what we, as BBQ folks often call hot-n-fast and low-n-slow in terms of the heat applied is not as great a range, even though the temperature seems to be in the same range. Essentially, 45 degrees in sous vide is a greater variation in temperature applied than the difference of the same temperature range, say 250F versus 295F in the dry air environment of a smoker.

Now, I am a strong believer in the effects of moisture in the cooking chamber of a smoker or bbq, in terms of the superior product you can achieve with a higher moisture in the cooking air. Still, it is no where near the thermal density of the sous vide environment (although we could talk about foiling ribs here, and the relative effect of a moist, sealed environment for cooking ribs).

I just think there are significant differences that make direct comparisons difficult. I still think you can do just fine with two names. maybe three if you are from the South.
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Unread 03-14-2011, 05:21 PM   #6
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All that reading made my head hurt!!!!
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Unread 03-14-2011, 08:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by landarc View Post
Perhaps I did not phrase my comment correctly, I do not dispute his findings, in fact, my experience with sous vide is limited, although I understand the science and technique. But, the cooking environment is significantly different, which I think you and I would agree on. In terms of the difference between what we, as BBQ folks often call hot-n-fast and low-n-slow in terms of the heat applied is not as great a range, even though the temperature seems to be in the same range. Essentially, 45 degrees in sous vide is a greater variation in temperature applied than the difference of the same temperature range, say 250F versus 295F in the dry air environment of a smoker.

Now, I am a strong believer in the effects of moisture in the cooking chamber of a smoker or bbq, in terms of the superior product you can achieve with a higher moisture in the cooking air. Still, it is no where near the thermal density of the sous vide environment (although we could talk about foiling ribs here, and the relative effect of a moist, sealed environment for cooking ribs).

I just think there are significant differences that make direct comparisons difficult. I still think you can do just fine with two names. maybe three if you are from the South.
I agree with all of that, actually.

What I'm saying is that if you look at the time differences between, say 160 and 175 degrees, you're pretty close to the difference (time wise) between what we would call "low and slow" and what we would call "hot and fast" (in relative BBQ terms).

I don't think anyone would be surprised, necessarily, that the lower, slower meat looks different than the hotter, faster meat, I just think it's interesting that we have a picture detailing the difference with something more informative than whether or not it was "probe tender".
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Unread 03-14-2011, 09:00 PM   #8
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Ah, I would agree that there are differences, not that I would bet I can pick them out in a dozen briskets though. I think technique always makes a difference in end product.
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Unread 03-15-2011, 04:38 PM   #9
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He has some other really good articles in his food lab section.
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