Whos into Sous Vide Cooking
Posted 28 January 2011 - 11:21 AM
Sous vide is a type of cooking where you cook foor for extended periods of time at relatively low temperatures - typically between 50 and 70 degrees and normally for between 1 and 72! hours.
Basically the process in volves having a temperature controlled water bath in which you place your food which is in a vacuum sealed bag.
The idea is that you can cook foods perfectly through and keep certain proteins in tacks whilst breaking down others.
Heston Blumenthal loves this method of cooking and it is gaining popularity amoungst chefs and home cooks
Both myself and Stone have been doing a bit of experimenting with this type of cooking.
I originally played around with it about 12 months ago but only tried about 3 things before I returned my temp controller to the shed. Then Stone got me back into it showing pictures of some awesome looking steaks.
I use a rice cooker and a STC-1000 temp controller (found on ebay : http://cgi.ebay.com....=item4aa6f6d0cb)
Stone uses a similar setup - rice cooker and a brewing controller.
I use a generic vacuum sealer - again from ebay
Stone uses a sunbeam food saver vacuum sealer
I have seen people use zip lock bags.
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Up and running
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Temp set for sous vide soft boiled / poached eggs
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googies cooking for 1 hour
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Another shot of the controller
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Back shot - I use mine for controlling fermenting temps so mine is setup for a fridge and a heat source.
The temp sensor really should be removable - I'll get onto that one day
Posted 28 January 2011 - 11:36 AM
Posted 28 January 2011 - 11:43 AM
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Fudd was dissapointed that I went to all that effort to cook these eggs yet I didnt make my own bread for the toast or make hash brown etc.
Reality is this took less effort than boiling an egg in the regular manner.
The benefit of sous vide is that you put your food on and forget about it. Provided you cook it for the minimum time there is nothing to worry about. You cant actually over cook things (you probably could but it would be like trying to set fire to water)
I literally woke up on wednesday morning about 9am got up for a pee went to the kitchen wacked the "water bath" on (I filled it with warm water from the tap so I didnt have to wait too long for it to hit the target temp) chucked the eggs in and went back to bed and had a nap.
When I woke up googies were ready to rock and roll all I needed to do was cook some toast which was spread with butter and drizzled in truffle oil (I'll be honest and probably shot for this - Im not a huge fan of truffles or truffle oil - a little goes a very very long way IMO.
Edited by ~Sparkles~, 28 January 2011 - 11:47 AM.
Posted 28 January 2011 - 11:51 AM
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Edited by Stone, 28 January 2011 - 11:54 AM.
Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:01 PM
Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:10 PM
Supposedly mutton is off its head because you can cook it so slowly its not tough like traditionally cooked mutton.
Ive only done the eggs and a bit of steak.
Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:20 PM
The rice cooker, rather than being connected to the mains, is connected instead to the temperature controller? And the sensor is connected to the controller and sits in the water bath that is the rice cooker?
How does the controller work - does it just output varying voltage to the rice cooker in order to maintain a certain temperature? Also, what "setting" do you put the rice cooker on - ON/COOK or STANDBY/WARM?
Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:30 PM
Sparkles... The rack could have done with a bit longer searing at the end but I get worried I'm going to cook it through when searing. It's also an awkward shape to do a quick HOT sear.
With the lamb I stabbed it and put the garlic and stuff inside it rather than on the surface like my steaks. It made a massive difference, the meat absorbed all the flavours, whereas with the steaks only the point where the herbs were touching have become flavoured by it.
Edited by Stone, 28 January 2011 - 12:32 PM.
Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:45 PM
Rice cooker plugs into the temp controller. Temp controller plugs into the way. Temp probe from temp controller is placed in the water bath - if you can try to keep it off the bottom so you dont get false readings.
temp controllers are "on off" devices. Mine I can set the temp defferental I have it set to 0.5degree so its got a 1 degree swing (its actually a bit over 1 degree swing but its neither here nor there)
You can do it with a PID more acurately which will turn your heating basin on and off multiple of times a second to maintain a temperature. If going to that extent though you really need to look at circulating the water to prevent thermal layering etc.
I am looking at such a setup but in all honest KISS to start with. I've used PID controllers and temp controllers a lot in brewing - but believe me PID controllers can be a headache. On off temp controllers are much simpler.
If using a rice cooker you want it set to cook not warm.
They have to be a mechanical type too - the electronic ones dont respond well to being turned on and off a lot.
Supposedly a rice cooker is better at keeping an even temp than a slow cooker - but i think your clutching at straws really.
Adam - if you interested and you have a rice cooker and you'll be at the next social I'll lend you one of my temp controllers (I've got 6)
Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:48 PM
As I already had a slow cooker and vacuum sealer in the house, I only had to buy the thermostat thing which was $56 posted, then a jiffy box to put it in and an extension lead to cut in half to attach to the thermostat. I plan on trying the ziplock bag method soon to see if it works just as well.
Edited by Stone, 28 January 2011 - 12:51 PM.
Posted 28 January 2011 - 12:54 PM
Got a link to the pump you bought?
I tried the aquarium air pump through a stainless steel carbonating stone but it felt it made too much noise and lost a lot of temp.
Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:02 PM
It's just a crappy little pump to save me getting up and stirring it now and then
 I actually don't think it's an underwater pump now! All the other ones I looked at that were underwater pumps were 240v and I don't want to put a cheap 240v Chinese pump underwater that I will touch!
Edited by Stone, 28 January 2011 - 01:04 PM.
Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:05 PM
You should be able to set up for about $60 easily (provided the zip lock bag method works)
Temp controller on ebay ~$25 - $30
Jiffy box from DSE/Jaycar $15
cable glands $5 for two from jaycar
cheap extension lead $5
About an hour or so to put it together + things like cable ties and heat shrink you probably have
Stones temp controller is more expencive but easier to wire.
Mine is cheaper - but slightly harder to put together. I can send you a wiring diagram if need be
Stone is that pump submergable?
Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:41 PM
Posted 29 January 2011 - 11:20 AM
so slow cooker with a heavy ceramic base is the go??
might grab a controller off you kirkles and give this a try
Posted 29 January 2011 - 01:01 PM
With my slow cooker on high and thermostat set to 55C (56C cutoff), it would still make it to 57C. When the slow cooker is on low it only makes it to 56C but can sit in 54C for quite a while once the heating turns back on. Being cooler for a short period of time is better than being hotter as you can't uncook something
Here's a few more pics from just now. I cooked 4 eggs but ate 3 before thinking of taking photos. All 4 were in slow cooker at 65C (so 64-66 variation) for 60 mins. Then 2 were removed and put into boiling water for 30 seconds.
The 2 that were boiled for 30 seconds had formed a 2-3mm thick solid white lining the shell which was stuck hard. The yolk and the white coating it "plopped" out.
The other 2 had soft white all the way through and poured out of the shell fine. The yolks in both lots were the same consistency, like thick creamy custard. I only got a photo of one of these.
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Posted 29 January 2011 - 09:21 PM
Looks good stone. I still think discarding the white and deep frying the yokes is the way to go. Im not a fan of the white.
Doing rack of lamb tomorrow night. What temp did you use for your lamb?
Posted 30 January 2011 - 12:05 AM
Posted 30 January 2011 - 02:01 PM
I want to see if the additional time makes a difference.
I also checked the calibration of my temp controller against my brewing thermometer. It seems to reads about 0.3-0.4 degrees higher than my brewing thermometer which doing the crude boiling water and ice water test is bang on at 0 and 100 degrees. (that said I dont know how acurate it is over the scale but the fact both read so close makes me reasonably confident that we are hitting very close to target temps)
Posted 30 January 2011 - 03:36 PM
5-63 degreesC is considered to be the danger zone for food
Posted 30 January 2011 - 04:26 PM
Poultry is done hotter.
Restaurants and airlines wouldnt do it if the risks were high.
Botulism is a mild concern but thats part of the reason its cooked for so long.
I also "no chill" my wort when making beer which is regarded as a big "no no" pretty much everywhere except australia due to the assumed risks of botulism but I'm not dead yet
Just about to knock out a steamed pudding golden syrup pudding for desert.
Posted 30 January 2011 - 07:19 PM
Posted 31 January 2011 - 09:20 AM
I would have rather cut them into cutlets and BBQ'd them.
I dont think the lower temp sous vide allows all the fat to break down enough. It had plenty of flavour from the seasoning and good texture but it lacked that "lamb" flavour. Might have been the lamb itself but I'm gunna suggest its more the cooking temp. I wouldnt mind giving it a go with backstrap or similar but I think a slightly higher temp might be the way to go also.
Steamed golden syrup pudding was fricken awesome though!
Edited by ~Sparkles~, 31 January 2011 - 09:23 AM.
Posted 31 January 2011 - 11:35 AM
Posted 31 January 2011 - 12:07 PM
Posted 31 January 2011 - 12:24 PM
Yeah, I kind of agree with the lamb... It was beautifully cooked but I like my lamb to have a hard crust with soft meat. It's just too hard to do as a rack via this method.
People have been doing the same thing but not temperature controlled with an esky and a thermometer for ages. Fill an esky with hot water, get to desire temp by mixing hot and cold water. Seal up fish, meat, etc and dump it in for an hour with the lid closed.
Edited by Stone, 31 January 2011 - 12:27 PM.
Posted 31 January 2011 - 01:38 PM
A lot of guys use them for mash brewing and can hold target temps +/-1 degree for an hour easily.
I would assume with sous vide it would be slightly harder because you dont have the grains helping hold temp but I would imagine it would be close.
Stone I'm gunna give it (lamb) a go at something over 60 degrees. Gunna do some more reading on temps but I've read one article about 63degrees. I found that the lamb felt a little undercooked. It was a perfect colour for beef but a little too pink for lamb IMO. I do like the way that the meat is a uniformed colour the whole way through though, but that can also cause issues in the fact that because the bone doesnt get hotter the meat doesnt pull away from the bone as easily - first time I've cooked meat with a bone in this method though so bit more trial and error to go.
The other thing is that I cooked my lamb on a griddle plate as opposed to a BBQ and the griddle plate doesnt get as hot as the BBQ. (My BBQ is in the shed ATM because the back yard is being "landscaped") Probably should have put the griddle on the italian spiral burner LOL It was out last night too cause we made about 20x 1L bottles of tomato sauce and I used the brew kettle to for canning. Hmmm italian spiral burner with a med pressure reg sure would have made that bad boy hotter...
I need a new stick blender though - we killed the little hand me down one we had - so now I'm after a big arse badboy 350watt Bamix or a commercial stick blender (although I dont think the fun buster is as keen on the commercial one as I am)
And now pics for you all to drool over...
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Steamed golden syrup pudding. Mmmm tasty.
We ate half of this last night. Cooked in a medium sized pudding steamer for about 1.5 hours (recipe says 1 hour but it took longer) in a pot of simmering water on the stove top.
I LOVE steamed pudding. Its just a bit of faffing around to cook it. Not the best recipe but definately one of the simplest and still pretty damn good. 7.5-8/10 for a steamed pudding!