Is it OK to keep food in the container with the cooker set down to a lower temperature until it’s ready to serve? Some of the recipes I’ve seen call for cooking times of say, 15 hours or so. If I start cooking at midnight 15 hours makes it done at 3 PM, two or three hours before I’d want to serve. Can I crank the temperature down to say, 100 or 110 for that long to keep it warm, then finish it?
I would say in your scenario it would be much better to keep it at the cooking temperature, than in so called “danger zone”. Any recipe which calls for 15 hours cooking won’t degrade significantly (and, most likely, won’t change at all) with cooking extra three hours.
Sous Vide cooking in general is greatly tolerant to the time. It’s not true for the short cooking times, so there is difference between 45 minutes and one hour; but where it says 3 hours it can as well be 4, and when it says 15 hours - it can be 20 hours. On the other hand, the temperature between 40 and 140 is considered to be in Danger Zone (at least by American FDA), and according to the FDA rules anything kept in 90-140 range more than 1 hour should be discarded. I, personally, suspect that this rule shouldn’t be so hard in case of the food which was just fully pasteurized by Sous Vide, but this is a rule.
So standard recommendation: if you don’t serve immediately - cool it in ice water, refrigerate, and reheat, otherwise keep it at cooking temperature as long as needed.
@Bonzo_Biffarelli No, unfortunately not.