Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sous-Vide Salt & Sirloin Roast Experiment

Albeit another experiment? I dare say why? This is; at least to me a lot of fun. This experiment serves two purposes. The experiment will contrast a Dry-Brine Sous-Vide Roast with a Naked Sous-Vide Roast. Naked meaning the roast goes in the bag with no salt or seasoning. The Dry-Brine version will be Dry-Brine on a rack with air circulating around the roast for 5 days (refrigerated of course) which gives the salt ample time to reach the center. The second purpose is contrast a roast and a steak when it comes to Sous-Vide and Dry-Brining. 

My first experiment involved Sous-Vide VS Reverse Sear and my second experiment was all about Steak and what role did Salt played in the cooking process... seen here Sous-Vide Steak and Salt Experiment. You must be wondering why I would do another experiment with salt and Sous-Vide when I just did one with steak? This one is different because I am using large pieces of meat and the cooking process is longer. And I was curious of course.  Both Sirloins will be Sous-Vide at 131 degrees for 9 hours and Ice-Shocked. 


"Salt penetrates, so the amount we apply depends on the weight of the meat, All the rest are huge molecules that rarely go beyond 1/8" deep. Spices and herbs are a surface treatment just like sauces so the amount apply depends on the per square inches of surface."

"You can add the salt at the same time as the spices. No harm, no foul. It will still penetrate, maybe not as deep, but will travel when it gets wet and warm. But if you can get it on in advance, you give it a head start." 

"Skip the plastic wrap"
After salting, the best arrangement is on a wire rack over a pan, no wrap. There is nothing about plastic wrap that forces salt or rub molecules into the meat. It is not some sort of vacuum or pressure system. Plastic wrap just gets stuck to the rub and pulls it off when we remove the plastic. Liquid also accumulates in the plastic and washes away some of the spices." 

Both Sirloins will be Sous-Vide at 131 degrees for 9 hours and Ice-Shocked. 


First-  Meat coated with 1% (based on weight of meat) of salt and allowed to Dry-Brine for 5 days. I plan on seasoning the meat after the Sous-Vide process and searing as usual. 
After the thermal bath the roast will be Ice-Shocked. Of course I will record all the weights. Note- Each sirloin will be coated with 80 grams of rub (no salt) which mostly burns off or drops off.)

Weight Before Trim - 3819 g

Weight After Trim - 3389 g
Weight With Salt (1%) - 3423 g
Weight After 5 days - 3194 g (- 6.7%)
Weight After SV - 3112 g (- 2.56%) 
Weight After Sear - 3028 g (-2.69%)
Total Moisture Loss -10.65%

Review- Outstanding. Perfect amount of Salt (1%) which penetrated all the way to the center. The meat was tender and did not exhibit any texture consistent with cured meats. 

Second- This sirloin roast is going to be naked meaning it's going in the bag with no salt or seasoning. I will replicate the cooking process listed above. After the thermal bath the roast will be Ice-Shocked. Before the sear the roast will receive 1% salt coating and a 80 grams rub.  

Weight Before Trim - 3960 g

Weight After Trim - 3529 g 
Weight After SV -  3167 g (-10.26%)
Weight After Sear - 3059 g  (-3.4%)
Total Moisture Loss -13.32%

Review- With a 2.67 % difference in moisture loss there was not much of  a difference that I could discern. Still amazingly good. I am a fan of the dry brine technique more specifically for the taste than I am for the retention of moisture.