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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't post much, but this is too good not to share. One of my friends forwarded me this article several months ago.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/cook ... -hack.html

I was a bit skeptical, but tried it, and was blown away by the results. Started with some NY Strips, and they were the most tender, flavorful steaks I've prepared in my life. Definitely a new use of a cooler for me, and we were doing this so often (2-3 times a week), I got rid of the cooler, and found an inexpensive alternative to the pricey sous vide machines. Beef, pork, chicken, fish...they all have benefited from this method of preparation, though there's definitely a 'sweet spot' for time and temperature for each kind of meat. Added bonus, you can do a long soak on some cheaper cuts of beef, and the texture/flavor is a dead ringer for a good filet.

I did have to 'recalibrate' my beef preferences; I order my steaks medium rare when I dine out, but after doing this, I found that I'm happier with it closer to medium, when prepared sous vide. I guess in order to get the middle to a medium rare using conventional cooking methods, you end up with the outside of the steak closer to medium, something you don't get with this method, since the meat is cooked uniformly all the way through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Foodsavers work great, but the crock pot, it's tough to get them to the temperature you want. I tried messing with mine, leaving the cover off, cracked open, etc. Not only was the temperature off, but it seemed to have a lot more variance within the pot. I ended up buying a Presto cooker/steamer/fryer at Wal-Mart, <$25, and while the lowest setting on the dial is 200F, you can turn it lower than that, and it will hold that temperature within +/- 1F. It also seems to heat the water more evenly, I haven't had to resort to any of the bubblers/circulators to keep the water moving around. I've done as many as 4 NY strips in it, with very even results in all 4.
 

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Something similar to this was very common on another form, the eggheadforum. We would call it "hot tub style" Go ahead and get your meet dang near up to temp, probably around 105, which can be done marinated in a sealed, or vacuum sealed bag, then throw them on a searing hot 700+ degree grill for about 30 seconds a side and you have a delicious tender cut of meat. I pull a steak off the grill around 118 and they are perfect for my taste.
 

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Im a total noob (by choice) to the intricate technicalities of cooking so.....

How does this method of cooking kill bacteria like E Coli and salmonella with cooking temps so low?

I always thought 150 F or something like that was how hot you needed to get to kill off these bacteriums.
 

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I won't feed my dog meat that is between 40-140 degrees. Anything in that range is just asking to get your stomach pumped.

Real men cook over wood :righton: You don't cook steak in a bathtub :screwy:
 

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earlthegoat2 said:
Im a total noob (by choice) to the intricate technicalities of cooking so.....

How does this method of cooking kill bacteria like E Coli and salmonella with cooking temps so low?

I always thought 150 F or something like that was how hot you needed to get to kill off these bacteriums.
You rolls the dice and takes your chances :lol:

I take my steaks out of the frig (where they marinate overnight)
toss on a very hot grill, count to 30, flip, count to 30, serve.

Been doing it for many decades and never had a problem yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I started thinking the same as you, that it can't possibly be safe. But a little research, and you find that while you do need to cook to higher temperatures to kill bacteria *instantly*, you can accomplish the same thing at lower temperatures, as long as they are maintained for a certain length of time. Not guesswork or some hack coming up with their own theories, but the US Department of Agriculture.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/fr/95033F-a.htm
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FSI ... Tables.pdf

More info and a really decent chart for temps here:
http://www.cookingissues.com/uploads/Lo ... Charts.pdf

I've been grilling for 20+ years, and have been told that I grilled a good steak. This is better, by orders of magnitude.
 
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