Newbie Help with Duck Confit

I am new to Sous Vide and My first attempt at Duck Leg Confit Sous Vide turned out way too dry. After dry brining x 12 hours, I cooked the duck at 167 F /75 C for 12 hours. Most of the recipes I saw on the web called for Higher temperatures and same time. I am inclined to reduce cooking temp to 164 for 9-10 hours, but am perplexed on my result. My 2nd attempt will be this weekend for a dinner party! Help

Woody

@Woody444 Personally I would not try an untested recipe for a dinner party, but the good news is that with Sous Vide if you can get one right you can get lots right, so you have time to practice. The other good thing is that because Sous Vide is hands-off cooking, you can try 5 or 6 different time/temperature combinations until you find one you like without slaving away in the kitchen for hours. I’ve not tried a Duck leg confit yet so sadly I can’t offer any insight or shortcut, but give Stefan’s a go, I’ve been folowing him for a while and he’s on the ball. Please give it a go and maybe even post your results back here?

EDIT Please note Stafan cures instead of brining, something Kenji from Food Lab agrees with (can’t find link, sorry). Personally, I only ever brine these days when traditionally roasting poultry and never for red meat. Perhaps that’s the problem?

@Woody444 Hmm, yes, our blogger recipe for duck confit is at 170F for 12 hours which is what you’ve already done…how are you sealing the bag? If you try out the recipe @Fudspong sent over, please do share the results with us!

BTW @Fudspong - either of these the links you were referring to re: Kenji? All I could dig up below: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/09/sous-vide-101-duck-breast-recipe.html
http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/01/ask-the-food-lab-what-the-heck-is-confit.html

My big question is: How confident are you about your Anova’s temperature calibration? Have you used it for lots of other things that came out as you expected?

When I first got mine, it was way off – steaks were coming out raw, eggs would never set, etc. Turns out my Anova’s calibration was of by 5.5 degrees (F). After I fixed that, every recipe I’ve tried has turned out perfectly. I broke down and bought a Thermapen to calibrate, but the egg calibration method got me in the right ballpark.

@MOB, that’s another possibility - @Woody444, if you find this to be the case, let me know and we’ll get you a replacement unit ASAP!

My Precision Cooker has been spot on agreeing with an instant read thermometer over the entire cooking time. My 2nd attempt yesterday was 167 F x 10h was much better. With my first attempt I also may have made a mistake in not resting the legs long enough before opening and separating the juices from the legs.

Today was attempt #3 with 82C/180F for 8 hours. Unfortunately after 2 hours(25 hours total use) of cooking time the circulation became totally erratic resulting in huge temp swings.

Not to give up. Today I received 2 more Precisions that I was giving as gifts. I’ll give another one a try.

Thanks for all the help,
Woody

@Woody444 Email our support team at support@anovaculinary.com if your device is having issues and we’ll be happy to issue you a replacement unit!