I am following the Anova recipe for pulled pork. Have dry brined 24 hrs. Questions are:1) if at 165deg how do I know if it should cook 18 or 24 hours since cannot check while cooking? 2) After initial SV-chill,dry store up to a week, Do I remove from bag right after cooking? Dry while still hot? After drying hot roast , do I put into fridge to chill uncovered? How should I store in fridge? Wait until a internal temp is x degrees? then wrap in saran or a vac sealed bag for several days storage before “finishing steps?” Thanks in advance
Let’s start with step 2) After initial SV-chill, dry store up to a week
I would expect that they are simply telling you to dry the bag. The contents of the bag have been pasteurised by the long slow cooking process. Opening the bag would give micro-organisms in the are the possibility of infecting your beautifully pasteurised product.
So, when you decide that the roast is done to the right texture (we’ll discuss this a bit later) remove it from the cooking bath and shock chill it in an ice bath. The idea here is to start the cooling process rapidly in order to get the meat through the ‘danger zone’ as quickly as possible. When the temperature has dropped, remove the bagged product from the ice bath, dry it and put it in the coldest part of the refrigerator to finish the chilling process.
It’s also a bit about maintaining the safety of your fridge. A large piece of meat takes quite a while to chill down. Putting it straight from the sous vide bath to the refrigerator can increase the temperature inside your fridge which might not be up to the extra workload.
So… If you are planning to store sous vide product for later use, it is always best to:
- Store it in the bag it was cooked in with the seal intact,
- Shock chill it in an ice bath before transferring to the fridge.
Now, to the texture question. Someone may be able to deal with this one better than I, but I would be looking at a simple inspection and pinch test occasionally to check on cooking progress. For pulling you’re wanting the meat to be falling apart when you remove it from the cooking bag. You should be able to see signs of this texture change happening when you inspect the meat in the bag. If cooking on the bone, there will be clear signs of the muscles shrinking and pulling away from the bone. Pinch the meat and it will be soft and squidgy with little or no resistance. You might even notice fibres separating under the pressure of your pinch.
I think it’s likely that you’ll need at least the 24 hours to achieve the desired texture, but so much depends on the meat.
This reply was more than I ever could have hoped for. Thank you so much for your clear and articulate descriptions. It is cooking as I write this and expect this cooking stage will be completed around noon tomorrow. You are obviously a SV expert and I am lucky you share with a rookie like ne. Thanx!
Oh, I’m a long way from being an expert. There are many on this page more experienced than I. There is a lot of good information available out there. SeriousEats and ChefSteps websites are good places to start, particularly if you like to know the why and not just the what.
@Ember you have a ton of cooking knowledge!