7

votes

Out of the frying pan!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 09, 2011 at 4:53 PM

I'm 64 with a lot of health issues (past and present diverticulitis/osis) I'm on day 82 of paleo - never felt better - discarded my RA meds and arthritis meds - I'm pan frying everything! In olive oil or coconut oil, on occasion I'll broil! While I'm down to a good weight, I still have "fear of frying" - I like to have meals in 20 mins. from fridge to mouth! - I sort of want to get more confirmation that I'm not over-doing the iron skillet! In addition to the fried "chop", I'll have a "stir fry" of a mound of veggies cooked in more oil and meat juices - throw in some bone broth to get additional nutrients - Typical meal (this a.m.'s) Lamb chop; stir fry - 2 parsnips, cup of spinach, 2 carrots, 1/4 onion, 1/3 cup bone-broth (done in the juices of the lamb chop)

With a variety of different meats, and veggies, this is my typical fare - comments? thanks!

776bb678d88f7194b0fa0e5146df14f0

(1069)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:55 PM

You can also experiment with lower / higher temperatures for steak, and you don't have to fry it at the end if you don't want the sear. The biggest difference between this and the immersion circulators is that this works for a couple hours max - so you can't sous vide beef tongue very easily, and you can't leave things overnight. Unless you have a vacuum sealer you also don't want to leave meat sous vided this way in the bag in the fridge like you can with traditional sous vide. The other big no no is not to put oils in the bag along with seasonings - the flavor of the meat goes into the oil.

776bb678d88f7194b0fa0e5146df14f0

(1069)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:52 PM

Dip the bag slowly into the hot water with the top open, to get as much air out as possible, then when the top of the bag is almost level with the water, zip it shut. I close the lid of the beer cooler and let it sit for 30-45 min. Remove the meat, test with a meat thermometer to see that the center is around 120-130 F. Then I heat up some ghee in a very hot cast iron pan and sear the steak for about 30 seconds a side. Steaks come out perfect every time and cheap cuts become luscious and tender - you can experiment with seasonings as well. I've also done this with salmon at lower temps (120 F)

776bb678d88f7194b0fa0e5146df14f0

(1069)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:50 PM

I use the beer cooler method (http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/cook-your-meat-in-a-beer-cooler-the-worlds-best-sous-vide-hack.html) For example, last night I cooked about a pound of grassfed hanger steak that I bought for cheap because it's a tough cut. I boiled about 0.5 Liter of water, and filled my small beer cooler with the boiling water, plus another 0.5 Liter of hot water from the sink. The temperature usually works out to about 150-130 degrees F. I put salt, pepper and garlic powder on the steak, then put it in a quart size freezer ziploc bag. (continued)

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 10, 2011
at 07:44 AM

Yes but the heat is very low, like 55C for meat and less than 45-50C for fish (ie. salmon) Best and thickest Pro grade vacuum bags are rated for 120C.

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 09, 2011
at 11:52 PM

That's interesting, but still somewhat of a mixed bag! I suppose I wouldn't mind it now and then as a treat - still I think I'd get nitrate-free - it's hard to teach old dogs!

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 09, 2011
at 07:34 PM

mmm - that lifehacker link isn't the actual article. Here's the real one: http://www.savvyhousekeeping.com/poor-man%E2%80%99s-sous-vide/

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 09, 2011
at 07:19 PM

Kim - I remembered and (amazingly) just found this article: http://lifehacker.com/5475550/make-perfectly-cooked-sous-vide-steaks-on-the-cheap. I've been thinking of trying this myself - I'm just not crazy about using plastic for cooking (this technique seems to require it).

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 09, 2011
at 06:35 PM

depends, if its a sort of braise, then i would brown the meat before, but for steaks, afterwards, to get the juicy crust! Very uneven pieces of meat are kind of hard to brown, like oxtail. smooth steaks work well on the pan, a grill would be best! I have two laboratory immersion circulators that i once bought for developing film. Now they found some new use. I dont like the taste of coconut oil, i have hard time sometimes using homemade tallow or duck fat, cause they cant take so much heat, and i am paranoid little bit that they are burning. I use duck fat when i brown my good meats and offal

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on May 09, 2011
at 06:24 PM

http://paleohacks.com/questions/700/bacon-nitrates#axzz1Lq0HIe6X No fear !

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 09, 2011
at 06:02 PM

Lard and Tallow can be cheaper and better to fry with than olive oil. Some places throw the fat away - talk to a butcher - you might get some free.

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on May 09, 2011
at 05:49 PM

Jan... sorry one more sous vide question. Do you do the 'browning' with a torch at the end or just not worry about that part? Or do you do a quick browning in a saute pan? If you use the 2nd method does that cook the meat too much?

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on May 09, 2011
at 05:46 PM

I love the idea of sous vide cooking, just not the price tag of the cooker. Do you have a homemade sous vide or commercial?

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on May 09, 2011
at 05:45 PM

Wilderness family naturals brand is also very good, check out Azure Standard which is a natural grocery that has pick up points in many cities. You can get bulk coconut oil that way much cheaper than a natural grocery store.

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on May 09, 2011
at 05:34 PM

That's true in small quantities...I've been buying it by the gallon from Tropical Traditions when it's on sale. Then it's not very expensive. There is also some non-virgin stuff for sale on Amazon for 38$ a gallon.

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 09, 2011
at 05:26 PM

hey Unc! We went to the same cooking school!!! Though I've shied away from bacon and bacon fat - 'spose w/o nitrates it'd be ok - but probably prohibitively expensive! Otherwise - if you're close to NYC and hungry - c'mon over - have a "cook-off"! :)

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 09, 2011
at 05:21 PM

dang! Love coconut oil! But 3x's the price of Olive - however - my gut tells me you've "gut" a point! :)

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 09, 2011
at 05:19 PM

thanks! Never heard of it! Health store or trader joes?

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on May 09, 2011
at 04:58 PM

I'm gonna give you +1 just for letting us know about your experience, being 64 and all :)

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3 Answers

2
Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on May 09, 2011
at 04:59 PM

Frying in coconut oil - great! I wouldn't fry in olive oil, as the phenols are damaged by heat.

Your fear is just based on decades and decades of government-funded anti-fat propaganda, and I don't blame you. But your food sounds great to me!

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 09, 2011
at 05:21 PM

dang! Love coconut oil! But 3x's the price of Olive - however - my gut tells me you've "gut" a point! :)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on May 09, 2011
at 06:02 PM

Lard and Tallow can be cheaper and better to fry with than olive oil. Some places throw the fat away - talk to a butcher - you might get some free.

Eeb593d6b6d7a939fdd5469b69347d5f

(1037)

on May 09, 2011
at 05:34 PM

That's true in small quantities...I've been buying it by the gallon from Tropical Traditions when it's on sale. Then it's not very expensive. There is also some non-virgin stuff for sale on Amazon for 38$ a gallon.

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on May 09, 2011
at 05:45 PM

Wilderness family naturals brand is also very good, check out Azure Standard which is a natural grocery that has pick up points in many cities. You can get bulk coconut oil that way much cheaper than a natural grocery store.

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on May 09, 2011
at 05:16 PM

One of my "go to" meals when time is tight is to fry whatever meat I have on hand, when it is done, take it out of the pan and set it aside, then throw in whatever vegetables I have on hand (on top of the oil and/or fat left in the pan), sautee for a few minutes, and call it a meal.

This might be a pork chop followed by cabbage and apples, or sausage followed by mushrooms and zucchini, etc. Most fruits and vegetables can be consumed raw anyway, so you don't have to worry about how "done" they are, it's basically a warm salad. If you are using something that needs some cooking time (i.e. chopped cabbage), after sauteeing it for a few minutes, put some liquid in the pan (water, broth, wine), and put a lid on it for a few minutes.

If the vegetables come out a little dry, I will then add oil or fat (i.e. olive oil or rendered bacon fat) for a dressing. That plus salt, pepper, maybe a squeeze of lemon will get you through a quick meal.

I personally don't worry about using olive oil with frying. The heat will damage some of the beneficial aspects of the oil, but even heated olive oil is better than a vast majority of other oils, and you have to use something.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on May 09, 2011
at 06:24 PM

http://paleohacks.com/questions/700/bacon-nitrates#axzz1Lq0HIe6X No fear !

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 09, 2011
at 05:26 PM

hey Unc! We went to the same cooking school!!! Though I've shied away from bacon and bacon fat - 'spose w/o nitrates it'd be ok - but probably prohibitively expensive! Otherwise - if you're close to NYC and hungry - c'mon over - have a "cook-off"! :)

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 09, 2011
at 11:52 PM

That's interesting, but still somewhat of a mixed bag! I suppose I wouldn't mind it now and then as a treat - still I think I'd get nitrate-free - it's hard to teach old dogs!

1
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 09, 2011
at 05:04 PM

Try sous vide. Its amazing for long and slow cooking. And less damage to the meat flavors and nutrition due to the optimal cooking temperatures. And perhaps less oxidation of fats.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 09, 2011
at 06:35 PM

depends, if its a sort of braise, then i would brown the meat before, but for steaks, afterwards, to get the juicy crust! Very uneven pieces of meat are kind of hard to brown, like oxtail. smooth steaks work well on the pan, a grill would be best! I have two laboratory immersion circulators that i once bought for developing film. Now they found some new use. I dont like the taste of coconut oil, i have hard time sometimes using homemade tallow or duck fat, cause they cant take so much heat, and i am paranoid little bit that they are burning. I use duck fat when i brown my good meats and offal

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 09, 2011
at 05:19 PM

thanks! Never heard of it! Health store or trader joes?

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on May 10, 2011
at 07:44 AM

Yes but the heat is very low, like 55C for meat and less than 45-50C for fish (ie. salmon) Best and thickest Pro grade vacuum bags are rated for 120C.

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 09, 2011
at 07:19 PM

Kim - I remembered and (amazingly) just found this article: http://lifehacker.com/5475550/make-perfectly-cooked-sous-vide-steaks-on-the-cheap. I've been thinking of trying this myself - I'm just not crazy about using plastic for cooking (this technique seems to require it).

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on May 09, 2011
at 05:46 PM

I love the idea of sous vide cooking, just not the price tag of the cooker. Do you have a homemade sous vide or commercial?

776bb678d88f7194b0fa0e5146df14f0

(1069)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:50 PM

I use the beer cooler method (http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/cook-your-meat-in-a-beer-cooler-the-worlds-best-sous-vide-hack.html) For example, last night I cooked about a pound of grassfed hanger steak that I bought for cheap because it's a tough cut. I boiled about 0.5 Liter of water, and filled my small beer cooler with the boiling water, plus another 0.5 Liter of hot water from the sink. The temperature usually works out to about 150-130 degrees F. I put salt, pepper and garlic powder on the steak, then put it in a quart size freezer ziploc bag. (continued)

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on May 09, 2011
at 05:49 PM

Jan... sorry one more sous vide question. Do you do the 'browning' with a torch at the end or just not worry about that part? Or do you do a quick browning in a saute pan? If you use the 2nd method does that cook the meat too much?

Fe29f6658ce67c1ecc4a22e960be7498

(2997)

on May 09, 2011
at 07:34 PM

mmm - that lifehacker link isn't the actual article. Here's the real one: http://www.savvyhousekeeping.com/poor-man%E2%80%99s-sous-vide/

776bb678d88f7194b0fa0e5146df14f0

(1069)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:55 PM

You can also experiment with lower / higher temperatures for steak, and you don't have to fry it at the end if you don't want the sear. The biggest difference between this and the immersion circulators is that this works for a couple hours max - so you can't sous vide beef tongue very easily, and you can't leave things overnight. Unless you have a vacuum sealer you also don't want to leave meat sous vided this way in the bag in the fridge like you can with traditional sous vide. The other big no no is not to put oils in the bag along with seasonings - the flavor of the meat goes into the oil.

776bb678d88f7194b0fa0e5146df14f0

(1069)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:52 PM

Dip the bag slowly into the hot water with the top open, to get as much air out as possible, then when the top of the bag is almost level with the water, zip it shut. I close the lid of the beer cooler and let it sit for 30-45 min. Remove the meat, test with a meat thermometer to see that the center is around 120-130 F. Then I heat up some ghee in a very hot cast iron pan and sear the steak for about 30 seconds a side. Steaks come out perfect every time and cheap cuts become luscious and tender - you can experiment with seasonings as well. I've also done this with salmon at lower temps (120 F)

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