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View Full Version : Reheating vacuum packed meats? Which ones handle sous vide well?


Czarbecue
12-09-2017, 10:33 AM
A couple of months ago I was planning on dragging one of my cookers to Atlanta metro on a 12 hour trip, with a detour to Tuscaloosa to pick up some grates and fondle a Shirley or two. Well, only the fondling is going to happen since neither of my cookers are road ready. So I will be smoking it here and packaging them up a week or so in advance before we head out on the 21st.

I figure if the Salt Lick can do it, no reason why I can't! But the cousin-in-law doesn't have a grill or smoker. Is sous vide the way to go to reheat the meats? I have a giant bus boy tub that I can dump the packages in and sous vide them to 150F but I have no experience in this method of reheating.

Or should I bring the turkey roaster for the brisket and a rack or two?

IamMadMan
12-09-2017, 11:12 AM
Gently reheating works best for me, it doesn't cook the meat any further than it already is.

sudsandswine
12-09-2017, 11:56 AM
Right after I cook the meat that I plan to vacuum seal, I put it in the fridge to coagulate the meat juices and fat, then vacuum seal once it's cold. This keeps the vacuum suction from pulling juice out of the meat.

Then, when I'm ready to serve, I set my Anova to 140* for an hour or so and it's nearly as good as eating it fresh.

I plan to cook all the meat for my brothers wedding (200 people) well in advance and just sous vide it in a couple large coolers the day of.

airedale
12-09-2017, 12:12 PM
Sounds like unnecessary time and work to me. I either use my microwave's "thaw" cycle with some resting in between zaps or I just put the bags in a sink filled with hot tap water. Once the bags are thawed, I microwave to warm the food as necessary.

Sous vide is great, but for thawing IMO it's like using a micrometer to measure the diameter of a cookie. It will work, but it's not the easiest method.

Beentown
12-09-2017, 12:18 PM
I'm with Sudsandswine.

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BillN
12-09-2017, 01:31 PM
Yes works great, my guess is by the time you get to your destination the que will have mostly defrosted and be ready for the Sous Vide Bath.

smoke ninja
12-09-2017, 01:39 PM
Sounds like unnecessary time and work to me. I either use my microwave's "thaw" cycle with some resting in between zaps or I just put the bags in a sink filled with hot tap water. Once the bags are thawed, I microwave to warm the food as necessary.

Sous vide is great, but for thawing IMO it's like using a micrometer to measure the diameter of a cookie. It will work, but it's not the easiest method.


No microwave.

The hot water gently heats back up without additional cooking.

Nothing hard about sous vide. Set the temp and come back when you are ready.

And no microwave:tsk:

jasonjax
12-09-2017, 01:49 PM
I have a sous vide setup, but honestly if it is pulled pork or brisket in a vacuum pack I just reheat in the bag in gently boiling water. No one, including myself (and I'm a bit picky about my que) has ever complained about the consistency etc. when I reheat this way.

Beentown
12-09-2017, 01:56 PM
Boiling water works just fine for me too unless I am doing larger portions. Then the sous vide really shines as your not limited to pot size.

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Czarbecue
12-09-2017, 01:58 PM
So what would be the consistency of brisket once it is sous vide? I only ever warmed it up again on a grill/smoker or in an oven. It's not my house so I am unsure of what I would have at my disposal.

sudsandswine
12-09-2017, 02:37 PM
The consistency should be whatever it was like when you first cooked the meat. It's only in there long enough to warm it up, at a low enough temp where it doesn't further cook it.

Dweverett
12-09-2017, 02:44 PM
So what would be the consistency of brisket once it is sous vide? I only ever warmed it up again on a grill/smoker or in an oven. It's not my house so I am unsure of what I would have at my disposal.

Have only done it with a pot of simmering water vs true sous vide but it's actually my favorite way to reheat brisket. Comes out just like it did when originally cooked.

Think I remember reading something from Meathead where he made the same comment

Beentown
12-09-2017, 04:06 PM
I'm not meathead but I concur. Closest to freshly smoked than anything.

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Bbq_lover
12-09-2017, 09:34 PM
I used to use the microwave before I got my Sous Vide. It's so much better and easier to do in the Sous Vide. Like the guy in the info-Mercial said, 'set it and forget it!'

One Drop
12-10-2017, 05:23 AM
I've had far better results in simmering water or sous vide than microwave (worst results) or reheating in an oven or warmer.

Pulled pork, pork and beef cheeks in sauce (I also chill slightly before vacuum packing so I can do it sauced), brisket, and even racks of ribs rewarmed beautifully, which was a surprise.

I'm completely sold and it has changed the way I barbecue, now I always fill up my WSM or kettle and then have a fridge full to eat, gift, barter, or freeze.

Cook
12-10-2017, 06:33 AM
Hot water is hot water...sous vide or pot on the stovetop. If you have a quantity of items to heat, and are limited to small pots at home or away, then a sous vide circulator in a cooler might serve you well.

Whatever method used to reheat, I would suggest letting the product fully thaw and sit out for a little while. There's no need in overworking your available BTUs trying to thaw the bags before actually heating them to temp.

I won't lecture anyone on commercial regulations since you're mostly eating at home...but the guy who is reheating for 200, even if you're doing it for free, should check the regulations for proper reheating temperatures. At home if something goes wrong, you only make a few people sick. Having 100+ go to the hospital is another thing entirely. Just be sure of the amount of time allowed for the reheating, target temp, and allowed holding time. I only mention this because none of the numbers thrown out above would be legal in either state I live in...but remember...you can do anything in your own home that you wish.

Cook
12-10-2017, 06:38 AM
I'm in no way suggesting that anyone reheat in a microwave...(this deviates away from the OP...but is in response to a couple of posts above)

...

But if that method yields bad, or in some instances admittedly your worst result, then you have no idea how to use a microwave (or you think hitting one button should fix all your problems). Common sense goes a long way.

A microwave can perfectly heat up barbecue. I do it all the time.

Can it mess it up beyond what I would eat? Yes it can. Having the aforementioned common sense goes a long dam way to not letting it get to that point.

Heat, stir/rotate...heat, stir/rotate...heat, stir/rotate.

I freeze food (barbecue) with four things in mind. Ease of freezing, storage, speedy thawing, and if needed, microwaving. One thing aids in achieving all of these things...freezing flat & as thin as possible. Plastic bags are needed in order to realize these goals. Place the food in the bag so it's not sitting in a blob in the bottom...spread it out, utilize the entire bag (or at least a portion of it that allows you to get a flat profile). Once flat it will 1) freeze quickly so that you can move it to storage, 2) store easily because it is flat & hopefully somewhat thin, 3) thaw quickly, again, because it is thin, 4) thaw in the microwave easily from a frozen state.

I do NOT fully reheat in the plastic bag via the microwave. Once thawed I remove from the bag for further heating. I do NOT microwave for extended periods. On single portions I typically reheat for 15-20 seconds, stir/turn, 15-20 seconds, stir/turn...

Microwaves reheat beautifully, if you choose to use it properly.

jasonjax
12-10-2017, 07:54 AM
Hot water is hot water...sous vide or pot on the stovetop. If you have a quantity of items to heat, and are limited to small pots at home or away, then a sous vide circulator in a cooler might serve you well.

Whatever method used to reheat, I would suggest letting the product fully thaw and sit out for a little while. There's no need in overworking your available BTUs trying to thaw the bags before actually heating them to temp.

I won't lecture anyone on commercial regulations since you're mostly eating at home...but the guy who is reheating for 200, even if you're doing it for free, should check the regulations for proper reheating temperatures. At home if something goes wrong, you only make a few people sick. Having 100+ go to the hospital is another thing entirely. Just be sure of the amount of time allowed for the reheating, target temp, and allowed holding time. I only mention this because none of the numbers thrown out above would be legal in either state I live in...but remember...you can do anything in your own home that you wish.

I think it's *165 in the state of Florida, which would work great IMO in terms of quality of the meat if it is BBQ. (PP, brisket, etc)

sudsandswine
12-10-2017, 08:09 AM
I'm completely sold and it has changed the way I barbecue, now I always fill up my WSM or kettle and then have a fridge full to eat, gift, barter, or freeze.

Yep, once I got a stick burner I couldn't always match my "start time" with what I needed to eat at...with charcoal smokers I just put on the temp controller and fired it off for an unattended overnight cook.

Now I just cook extra, or do the cook in advance, if the time we need to eat would result in me pulling an all nighter to feed logs. I'll get up at 4 or 5 am if I have to, but no all nighter.

Vacuum sealing with the method I mentioned above and then reheating with sous vide allows me to pre make certain things with virtually no degradation over fresh.

There are some thing I feel don't reheat as well, particularly meat that was sauced during or after the cook like ribs, but I don't use sauce very often either.

Czarbecue
12-10-2017, 08:38 AM
Just ordered a sous vide unit. Thanks for all the input everyone. I assume if the que is great off the cooker I donít need a test run in the reheating process.

sudsandswine
12-10-2017, 08:51 AM
SNIP

Microwaves reheat beautifully, if you choose to use it properly.

Yeah that sounds like way too much work and there's still room for error

smoke ninja
12-10-2017, 08:55 AM
I'm in no way suggesting that anyone reheat in a microwave...(this deviates away from the OP...but is in response to a couple of posts above)

...

But if that method yields bad, or in some instances admittedly your worst result, then you have no idea how to use a microwave (or you think hitting one button should fix all your problems). Common sense goes a long way.

A microwave can perfectly heat up barbecue. I do it all the time.

Can it mess it up beyond what I would eat? Yes it can. Having the aforementioned common sense goes a long dam way to not letting it get to that point.

Heat, stir/rotate...heat, stir/rotate...heat, stir/rotate.

I freeze food (barbecue) with four things in mind. Ease of freezing, storage, speedy thawing, and if needed, microwaving. One thing aids in achieving all of these things...freezing flat & as thin as possible. Plastic bags are needed in order to realize these goals. Place the food in the bag so it's not sitting in a blob in the bottom...spread it out, utilize the entire bag (or at least a portion of it that allows you to get a flat profile). Once flat it will 1) freeze quickly so that you can move it to storage, 2) store easily because it is flat & hopefully somewhat thin, 3) thaw quickly, again, because it is thin, 4) thaw in the microwave easily from a frozen state.

I do NOT fully reheat in the plastic bag via the microwave. Once thawed I remove from the bag for further heating. I do NOT microwave for extended periods. On single portions I typically reheat for 15-20 seconds, stir/turn, 15-20 seconds, stir/turn...

Microwaves reheat beautifully, if you choose to use it properly.

Yes this deviates greatly from the question asked. Can a microwave do the job sure. I can open a can with a knife....not the best tool tho. Have i ever used the microwave, yes. One or 2 slices of brisket, enough pulled pork for a sammich. Sometimes convenience trumps quality.

If we are actually considering the original post then microwaving a whole brisket and a couple of racks of ribs isnt practical to say the least.

Ill make no claims of time and temp I'm a home cook and think fda guidelines range from archaic to overly simple to downright wrong at times.

One Drop
12-10-2017, 10:44 AM
Yes this deviates greatly from the question asked. Can a microwave do the job sure. I can open a can with a knife....not the best tool tho. Have i ever used the microwave, yes. One or 2 slices of brisket, enough pulled pork for a sammich. Sometimes convenience trumps quality.

If we are actually considering the original post then microwaving a whole brisket and a couple of racks of ribs isnt practical to say the least.

Ill make no claims of time and temp I'm a home cook and think fda guidelines range from archaic to overly simple to downright wrong at times.

I have worked with professional microwaves in commercial kitchens, I know how to use them, too.

As you say, it can be done, but it is time consuming, fiddly, and easy to change the texture of the product if not done on very low settings, and by then the time needed will be similar to rewarming in a water bath if the quantities are for more than a very few people.

I actually prefer warming in a low over, covered in foil, to microwaving for most BBQed meats.

I would never rule it out, I just do not recommend it if there is a ziplock bag and a pot handy, or a circulator.

smoke ninja
12-10-2017, 01:27 PM
I have worked with professional microwaves in commercial kitchens, I know how to use them, too.

As you say, it can be done, but it is time consuming, fiddly, and easy to change the texture of the product if not done on very low settings, and by then the time needed will be similar to rewarming in a water bath if the quantities are for more than a very few people.

I actually prefer warming in a low over, covered in foil, to microwaving for most BBQed meats.

I would never rule it out, I just do not recommend it if there is a ziplock bag and a pot handy, or a circulator.

The oven is a viable option especially with whole cuts or large pieces. On low wrapped.... maybe a broil at the end to reset the bark. Ive reheated half racks on the oven at 275 unwrapped with reasonable success.

The salt lick style mentioned earlier has the meat par smoked then finished later on the big pit with a mop.

Then again of what ive heard of salt lick im not sure they are who id emulate