Sous Vide?

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Barefootgirl
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Sous Vide?

Post by Barefootgirl » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:09 pm

My mom would like a sous vide device to try her hand with different recipe experiments in the coming year.

Any recommendations for specific brands/types? any tips in general?

Thank you.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:18 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:My mom would like a sous vide device to try her hand with different recipe experiments in the coming year.

Any recommendations for specific brands/types? any tips in general?

Thank you.


I'd love to know if retail devices (for "civilians" :wink: ) actually can work as well as professional equipment, which is probably quite expensive.

Anyone know about differences between the two general categories?

Thanks.

RM
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BTDT
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by BTDT » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:19 pm

We have an Anova that has worked well for us. If you like your food grilled to perfection it's pretty hard to beat the Sous Vide method. It also works well with cheaper cuts of meats, thus saving money in true Boglehead fashion, :beer
Last edited by BTDT on Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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SeekingFI
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by SeekingFI » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:24 pm

Anova Culinary makes a quality unit for the home cook. I have the original version and it works great!

https://anovaculinary.com/

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BTDT
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by BTDT » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:25 pm

ResearchMed wrote:I'd love to know if retail devices (for "civilians" :wink: ) actually can work as well as professional equipment, which is probably quite expensive.

Anyone know about differences between the two general categories?

Thanks.

RM


Our ANOVA keeps the water temp within one tenth of a degree so I suspect very little deviation of 'civilian' versus 'pro' quality except perhaps for 'quantity'.
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Millennial
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Millennial » Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:19 pm

I have a first gen Anova (square top, 2nd gen is round top). I use it a lot for cooking, and for some things outside of the recommended uses. It has always performed really well, and I've been very happy with the food I've been able to produce, both in quality and ease.

I don't think there's a ton of difference between the immersion circulator options - Anova, Sansaire, Nomiku are the original three civilian options, and from what I know they're all pretty similar. There are some more expensive ones (like Polyscience), but my Anova has never let me down so I am not sure what gain you'd get for 2-4x the price.

I would NOT get a self-contained unit, like the Sous Vide Supreme, under any circumstances. They are significantly more expensive, and worse in every way IMO. You are severely limited in capacity, since you can only use the tub they have built in. The self-contained units also rely on the natural movement of water to keep the heat even, and this doesn't work that well (especially if you pack them really full). The immersion units have pumps that make sure the water is moving around vigorously.

With my Anova, I've had it in containers as large as 25 gallons and it performed like a champ. For normal usage, I have a $20 Cambro plastic food service tank that works great. A cover is important at higher temps - at 120-125F (beef) you don't lose much water, but if you cook something hot (veggies, 183F) or something long-term (pulled pork, 24hr at 155F) you'll run it dry. You can buy a regular cover for $10 or less and just cut it to fit the circulator.

If I were you, I'd pick any immersion circulator, get a square acrylic tub to use with it (with a cover!), and some sort of stainless steel rack for the interior (I have a Lipavi). You should be in the $200-250 range, and you'll have a high performance, flexible kit that will last a long time.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:23 pm

NYT discusses the pros and cons of two popular new devices. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/techn ... .html?_r=0

Sous Vide seems to be all over the news lately. I have an older device (SousVide Supreme), which worked fine, but I have not used it for some time. I was thinking of bringing it back into the rotation.

I will say that, when you bother with it, the results are awesome.

ETA: I agree with Millennial. I would not buy the SousVide Supreme today, but in 2010, who knew?

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Millennial » Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:54 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:ETA: I agree with Millennial. I would not buy the SousVide Supreme today, but in 2010, who knew?


In 2010, it was the only sub-$1000 game in town. Definitely the best option at the time.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:08 pm

Millennial wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:ETA: I agree with Millennial. I would not buy the SousVide Supreme today, but in 2010, who knew?


In 2010, it was the only sub-$1000 game in town. Definitely the best option at the time.


I don't want to hijack the thread, but in your opinion, are the newer ones sufficiently less of a pita that I'd use them more often? My SousVide Supreme sits in a pantry, very seldom used.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Barefootgirl » Sun Dec 04, 2016 4:45 pm

Also, I am curious as to whether the quality difference between cooking with vs. without the sous vide method at home, is such that you now incorporate it into your cooking method without any additional hassle considerations?
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Teague » Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:04 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:Any recommendations for specific brands/types? any tips in general?


You probably have a device already. An insulated ice chest/cooler filled with hot water is a perfectly reasonable and very economical option. The usual food safety/temperature rules apply of course. The larger the container, the more water, and more stable the temperature.
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by mrc » Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:14 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:Also, I am curious as to whether the quality difference between cooking with vs. without the sous vide method at home, is such that you now incorporate it into your cooking method without any additional hassle considerations?


We do. I like beef rare. The first time I ever got it right at home was with SV. I also like SV because you can't overcook beef, pork, chicken, or even scallops. I drop scallops seals with seasoning and butter in straight from the freezer. The need sufficient time to thaw (not very long) and get to the final temp. A delay just isn't a problem. It's nice to prepare and table all the other items for a dinner and then sear the SV item last second and when I'm ready.

If you forget to put a brisket in Thursday morning for the weekend, um, that won't work well. Low and slow takes time. I have a Sous Vide Supreme, and like others I would get a good immersion system at this point. Although with just the two of us most of the time, it's got plenty of room. Even with the circulation issues, if you leave it run long enough, everything reaches and holds at the proper temp.
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Millennial » Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:44 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:I don't want to hijack the thread, but in your opinion, are the newer ones sufficiently less of a pita that I'd use them more often? My SousVide Supreme sits in a pantry, very seldom used.


Maybe - they're definitely less of a PITA, but still not the easiest cooking method. Empty, mine weights <10 lbs. It's also easy to drain and clean, I can just pull the circulator off then easily dump the water into the sink. They store smaller, too - all the parts sit inside my 1x1 acrylic container when not in use. It's about as easy to setup/use/clean as my food processor, as a point of reference.

Barefootgirl wrote:Also, I am curious as to whether the quality difference between cooking with vs. without the sous vide method at home, is such that you now incorporate it into your cooking method without any additional hassle considerations?


For me, the answer is definitely yes. First off, some things are easier to make in the sous vide machine - so for those it's an easy choice without even the quality argument. Examples are glazed carrots, cooked beets, poached eggs, pulled pork. Sometimes, I use it because it lets me stagger work better, too - if I do the side sous vide, for instance, I can do that first then concentrate on the entree while the side requires no input until it's time to plate it. For some items, the quality difference is big: steak is outstanding. For some vegetables, especially carrots and beets, the quality from SV is better than anything I've had prepared in other ways.

Teague wrote:You probably have a device already. An insulated ice chest/cooler filled with hot water is a perfectly reasonable and very economical option. The usual food safety/temperature rules apply of course. The larger the container, the more water, and more stable the temperature.


While this is technically true, IMO it's not worth the hassle. Maybe once if you want to try it. But these things are all <$200 now. And for some foods, the exact temperature really does matter and getting things just right, to the degree, is tough with this method.
Last edited by Millennial on Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Millennial » Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:44 pm

double post
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by blueblock » Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:29 pm

We use the Anova 2nd gen and love it, plus I can add that their service is great. Our first unit went glitchy after a few months, and Anova replaced it with a new one, no questions asked.

Sous vide is great generally, but far and away my favorite use is with duck leg quarters. I shred the meat into bite-sized chunks, taking care to remove any skin to make cracklings (350 degree oven for 15 minutes), then add these to a lightly vinaigrette-dressed salad, along with chopped walnuts and fresh raspberries.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Ketawa » Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:14 pm

I just bought the new Anova Wi-Fi model on sale for $127 and used it to cook a 2" thick pork chop last night. Perfect from edge to edge, best pork chop I've ever had. The sous vide cooker is very convenient to use and I'd argue requires less attention than traditional cooking methods with better results.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Keim » Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:46 pm

Does she have a crock pot? She could make it into a sous vide machine by getting a sensor/regulator for about $30 from Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Itc-308- ... s=dorkfood

I made one that works very well.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Utahdogowner » Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:28 pm

Keim wrote:Does she have a crock pot? She could make it into a sous vide machine by getting a sensor/regulator for about $30 from Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Itc-308- ... s=dorkfood

I made one that works very well.

That was my plan, but my parents got me the sous vide supreme for christmas a few years ago. I've found it adequate. As with others above, we don't use it tons, but I certainly have fun when we do use it.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by 1995Roadmaster » Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:47 pm

I have a temp controller Auber Instruments that I use wth a Crock Pot. It has to be an old fashioned model, off, low, high settings not an electronic switch type. It works great.
I have a couple of other products from this company, good quality.

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Economic PID Controller for Sous Vide, Cooling
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just frank
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by just frank » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:40 am

Get her a cookbook.

Also...$$ vacuum sealer is NOT needed, just regular gallon size zip lock freezer bags from the grocery store. Use water displacement to remove as much air as possible.

For long cooks, I bought a cheap 4 qt double wall Stainless ice bucket to use with my pod....tall and reasonably insulated.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by b42 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:12 am

I have a $150 Anova, one of the older models. I use simple double lock plastic bags, and the combination works very well. The Sous Vide cooker works best with steaks. I feel much more comfortable eating steaks medium-rare since I know exactly what the temperature is and how long the food stays there while cooking.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by jf89 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 8:42 am

Can't remember what brand my friend has, but it's the kind that is inserted into a pot. Two tips he learned in playing with it (that he shared):

Your meat comes out of the sous vide perfectly cooked in an academic sense but often requires a quick sear on the grill, in a pan, or in the broiler.

Your seasoning is not washed or burnt off like in other forms of cooking, so be careful in how much you use... especially for a rub that you'd normally throw on liberally. Also you don't need as much salt and sugar in seasonings (as these are just as often used more to retain moisture rather than for flavor).
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by smackboy1 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:02 am

I have 2 Anovas: the Anova One (1st gen) and the Precision w/ Bluetooth (2nd gen). I like them both and would recommend them. The Sansaire also looks promising although I've never used it before. Personally I don't use any of the "smart" BT or wi-fi features or the app. I just set it and forget it.

Here are some sous vide tips for the novice:

- Douglas Baldwin has done all the hard work as far as the science and cook times and temperature. The presentation is a bit dry and technical, but it's a great resource. There is also a ton of other tips and recipes online.

http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html

http://www.seriouseats.com/sous_vide_101

- A great beginner sous vide cookbook is the Codlo Sous Vide Guide. It's got photos and a small number of recipes and makes a great gift.

https://www.amazon.com/Codlo-Sous-Vide- ... +sous+vide

- In the beginning use 1 gallon and 2 gallon Ziplock freezer bags. Get the ones with very secure locking. A leak can ruin the meal. Don't bother with vacuum bags or sealers in the beginning. Water displacement works fine.

- Use a clear plastic food storage tub; 2 gallons or 3 gallons. For cooks over 24 hours or larger amounts of meat I use a 18qt and 33 qt Coleman insulated cooler.

- For searing meat get an Iwatani butane blowtorch. Wear safety goggles.

https://www.amazon.com/Iwatani-Cooking- ... M9EQGNCLQA
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by MI_bogle » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:22 am

Teague wrote:
Barefootgirl wrote:Any recommendations for specific brands/types? any tips in general?


You probably have a device already. An insulated ice chest/cooler filled with hot water is a perfectly reasonable and very economical option. The usual food safety/temperature rules apply of course. The larger the container, the more water, and more stable the temperature.


+1

If you are a newbie to sous vide and not sure how often you will use it, a cooler is a good way to start. Why pay hundreds for a machine that you will only occasionally use? Obviously if you are going to cook like that all the time, the machine might make sense

I use a small cooler (like 14x14 inches) and put it inside another slightly bigger cooler. Holds temps very steady - not as good as a machine, but "good enough"

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Afty » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:26 pm

+1 on the Anova, Cambro, and zip-lock bag recommendations. I have that setup and use it once or twice a week. I use a cast iron skillet for searing. Cooked a pork loin last night, and it came out incredibly tender. Also did a turkey breast for Thanksgiving, and it was almost too tender -- next time I would try 5 degrees hotter.

I like Kenji's sous vide recipes on Serious Eats: http://www.seriouseats.com/tags/sous%20vide

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by bhsince87 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:35 pm

I've got a Sous Vide Supreme and an Anova. And before that, I rigged up my own system. I've been doing this a long time....

We use the Sous vide Supreme a couple times a week. I like the size and convenience factor. When cooking for 2-4 people, it works well. Ours sits on the floor under a table while cooking and storing.

I got the Anova for cooking larger batches and to allow me to do two different temps at once . In other words, cook one item in the Sous Vide Supreme and another with the Anova.

I use the Anova in a 44 Quart cooler. I made a top for it out of styrofoam. I can cook 3 nice size pork shoulders at once in it.

I do almost all my barbequing Sous Vide now. Cook the meats until they're done/soft, then smoke for an hour or so.
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by rbaldini » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:46 pm

smackboy1 wrote:Douglas Baldwin has done all the hard work as far as the science and cook times and temperature. The presentation is a bit dry and technical, but it's a great resource. There is also a ton of other tips and recipes online.

http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html

http://www.seriouseats.com/sous_vide_101

Douglas (who is something of a genius) works for Chef Steps. They sell this "smart" sous vide product: https://www.chefsteps.com/joule

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by batpot » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:39 pm

Keim wrote:Does she have a crock pot? She could make it into a sous vide machine by getting a sensor/regulator for about $30 from Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Itc-308- ... s=dorkfood

I made one that works very well.


"dorkfood"? :confused :o

bhsince87 wrote:Cook the meats until they're done/soft, then smoke for an hour or so.

but the burnt ends are the best part!

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Keim » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:00 pm

batpot wrote:"dorkfood"? :confused :o


It's a brand and a description! https://www.dorkfood.com/

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by bhsince87 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:21 pm

batpot wrote:
bhsince87 wrote:Cook the meats until they're done/soft, then smoke for an hour or so.

but the burnt ends are the best part!


Broilers and torches!

OK, I'll admit that only comes close to replicating the "real thing". But IMO, it's close enough that the other advantages off set the slight difference. Super moist, succulent meat 100% of the time is a game changer for me!
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by DSInvestor » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:53 pm

Ketawa wrote:I just bought the new Anova Wi-Fi model on sale for $127 and used it to cook a 2" thick pork chop last night. Perfect from edge to edge, best pork chop I've ever had. The sous vide cooker is very convenient to use and I'd argue requires less attention than traditional cooking methods with better results.


After reading this thread and Ketawa's post about the best pork chop he ever had, I had to get one. I bought an Anova WiFi for $149 (missed the Cyber Monday deal) and have cooked steaks, pork chops and carrots with it. My wife was skeptical at first but she loved the steaks and pork chops cooked this way and finished on a cast iron pan.

I saw a video where Adam Savage (Mythbusters) did a video on the best way to sear a steak (outdoors). I may have to try that charcoal chimney method it warms up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB1x0O-bhrw

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by JoinToday » Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:09 am

DSInvestor wrote:
Ketawa wrote:..... My wife was skeptical at first but she loved the steaks and pork chops cooked this way and finished on a cast iron pan.

I saw a video where Adam Savage (Mythbusters) did a video on the best way to sear a steak (outdoors). I may have to try that charcoal chimney method it warms up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB1x0O-bhrw


I tried the charcoal chimney a couple times. Grill gets really hot... really really hot, burned the steak, detracted from the flavor. I wasn't 100% satisfied with the results.

I have also tried a gas BBQ and cast iron pan. BBQ was the worst. By the time the outside was finished, inside was overcooked :( -- which isn't surprising since the meat started out essentially cooked to begin with.

I think the cast iron pan came out the best. Steaks look absolutely beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes, I got emotional. :wink: How did you finish in the cast iron pan? any butter, oil, or just a dry pan?

I am not quite there with the finishing.
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Nearing_Destination » Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:18 am

I was wondering what the P value of the ANOVA test was?

(Oh, sorry...I thought it was a statistical discussion)

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by DSInvestor » Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:50 am

JoinToday wrote:
DSInvestor wrote:
Ketawa wrote:..... My wife was skeptical at first but she loved the steaks and pork chops cooked this way and finished on a cast iron pan.

I saw a video where Adam Savage (Mythbusters) did a video on the best way to sear a steak (outdoors). I may have to try that charcoal chimney method it warms up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB1x0O-bhrw


I tried the charcoal chimney a couple times. Grill gets really hot... really really hot, burned the steak, detracted from the flavor. I wasn't 100% satisfied with the results.

I have also tried a gas BBQ and cast iron pan. BBQ was the worst. By the time the outside was finished, inside was overcooked :( -- which isn't surprising since the meat started out essentially cooked to begin with.

I think the cast iron pan came out the best. Steaks look absolutely beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes, I got emotional. :wink: How did you finish in the cast iron pan? any butter, oil, or just a dry pan?

I am not quite there with the finishing.


Thanks for the heads up on the chimney results. On my first attempt at sous vide, I also overcooked my steak when trying to sear in the BBQ. I had cooked it to 124F but I made two mistakes - 1 probably not drying it enough before searing 2- BBQ not quite hot enough. Second and third attempts were finished in very hot cast iron skillet with a little canola oil and butter. I need more practice to get the finishing technique down. It sure is fun to be able to prepare a steak/pork chop that looks and tastes so good.
Last edited by DSInvestor on Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by MI_bogle » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:09 am

JoinToday wrote:
DSInvestor wrote:
Ketawa wrote:..... My wife was skeptical at first but she loved the steaks and pork chops cooked this way and finished on a cast iron pan.

I saw a video where Adam Savage (Mythbusters) did a video on the best way to sear a steak (outdoors). I may have to try that charcoal chimney method it warms up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB1x0O-bhrw


I tried the charcoal chimney a couple times. Grill gets really hot... really really hot, burned the steak, detracted from the flavor. I wasn't 100% satisfied with the results.

I have also tried a gas BBQ and cast iron pan. BBQ was the worst. By the time the outside was finished, inside was overcooked :( -- which isn't surprising since the meat started out essentially cooked to begin with.

I think the cast iron pan came out the best. Steaks look absolutely beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes, I got emotional. :wink: How did you finish in the cast iron pan? any butter, oil, or just a dry pan?

I am not quite there with the finishing.


I hope you don't find this offensive, but it's the operator, not the equipment. It sounds like you took the interior of the meat too high before searing it on the outside using your gas grill. You'll need to shoot for a lower temp (like 110 to 115 maybe) before searing on your gas grill. The single best piece of equipment (and info) you need to successfully and consistently cook meat is an accurate dual-probe thermometer.

All 3 of the methods you listed above work superbly as long as they are properly employed


http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_techniq ... _sear.html

You can use charcoal grills just fine to do reverse sear as long as you utilize 2-zone cooking

http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_techniq ... oking.html

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by meowcat » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:57 am

MI_bogle wrote:
JoinToday wrote:
DSInvestor wrote:
Ketawa wrote:..... My wife was skeptical at first but she loved the steaks and pork chops cooked this way and finished on a cast iron pan.

I saw a video where Adam Savage (Mythbusters) did a video on the best way to sear a steak (outdoors). I may have to try that charcoal chimney method it warms up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB1x0O-bhrw


I tried the charcoal chimney a couple times. Grill gets really hot... really really hot, burned the steak, detracted from the flavor. I wasn't 100% satisfied with the results.

I have also tried a gas BBQ and cast iron pan. BBQ was the worst. By the time the outside was finished, inside was overcooked :( -- which isn't surprising since the meat started out essentially cooked to begin with.

I think the cast iron pan came out the best. Steaks look absolutely beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes, I got emotional. :wink: How did you finish in the cast iron pan? any butter, oil, or just a dry pan?

I am not quite there with the finishing.


I hope you don't find this offensive, but it's the operator, not the equipment. It sounds like you took the interior of the meat too high before searing it on the outside using your gas grill. You'll need to shoot for a lower temp (like 110 to 115 maybe) before searing on your gas grill. The single best piece of equipment (and info) you need to successfully and consistently cook meat is an accurate dual-probe thermometer.

All 3 of the methods you listed above work superbly as long as they are properly employed


http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_techniq ... _sear.html

You can use charcoal grills just fine to do reverse sear as long as you utilize 2-zone cooking

http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_techniq ... oking.html

Agreed. Also, it's incredibly important that the sear take only a very short period of time. If you've got your steaks on the grill for anything longer that 90 seconds, your grill isn't hot enough and you will continue to cook (not sear) your steaks. Your grill/pan must be absolutely scorching hot. So hot, as a matter of fact, that regular cooking oil would burst into flames. Unfortunately, an iron pan on an electric stove or a consumer grade gas grill will never hit these temps. (500-600 degrees) Best to use gas stove, cast iron on induction or charcoal.
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mrc
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by mrc » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:05 am

meowcat wrote:Agreed. Also, it's incredibly important that the sear take only a very short period of time. If you've got your steaks on the grill for anything longer that 90 seconds, your grill isn't hot enough and you will continue to cook (not sear) your steaks. Your grill/pan must be absolutely scorching hot. So hot, as a matter of fact, that regular cooking oil would burst into flames. Unfortunately, an iron pan on an electric stove or a consumer grade gas grill will never hit these temps. (500-600 degrees) Best to use gas stove, cast iron on induction or charcoal.


The steak must be bone dry to sear nicely as well. Coming out of the sous vide bag, they are generally floating in (tasteful sauce) liquid. I have on occasion used sous vide to cook rare, then placed the steak on a rack in the fridge overnight. It doesn't look like much. It drys out and gets cold. I set the steak on the counter to come to room temp for about an hour, then sear on a very hot cast iron pan. Works well. Especially for company. I also tried a torch but didn't like the results.
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by flossy21 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:25 am

I'm an Anova user as well. I like Sous Vide cooking because I don't have to monitor it while it is cooking which frees me up to do other things and then eat whenever I want to. The food can even be frozen when you put it in the cooker. You can buy fresh chicken breast for instance, put it in a freezer bag with marinade or seasoning and freeze it. When you want to cook it pull it out of the freezer and put bag in pot with sous vide machine. The hot water bath will thaw and then cook the meat. You just need a longer cook time if it is frozen to get the food up to temp.

Basically come home from work, put bagged food in pot with sous vide machine, set temp and forget about it for a couple of hours. No need to tend to it or watch it because you literally cannot overcook. When it is time to eat, pull the food out of the bag, sear it using whatever method is appropriate and then eat.

Here's another option for searing --

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhwMYcGEHvg

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by user5027 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:01 pm

Had to google Sous Vide and had a 1960's flashback to mom "cooking" dinner (Banquet brand bag in a pot of boiling water, served over a slice of bread). I never knew we lived so fancy.

It's a good day, just got the $246 RMD from Mom's Roth. A couple fancy dinners out for us in the near future. Thanks Mom!! :sharebeer

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by JoinToday » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:09 am

MI_bogle wrote:
JoinToday wrote:
DSInvestor wrote:
Ketawa wrote:..... My wife was skeptical at first but she loved the steaks and pork chops cooked this way and finished on a cast iron pan.

I saw a video where Adam Savage (Mythbusters) did a video on the best way to sear a steak (outdoors). I may have to try that charcoal chimney method it warms up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB1x0O-bhrw


I tried the charcoal chimney a couple times. Grill gets really hot... really really hot, burned the steak, detracted from the flavor. I wasn't 100% satisfied with the results.

I have also tried a gas BBQ and cast iron pan. BBQ was the worst. By the time the outside was finished, inside was overcooked :( -- which isn't surprising since the meat started out essentially cooked to begin with.

I think the cast iron pan came out the best. Steaks look absolutely beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes, I got emotional. :wink: How did you finish in the cast iron pan? any butter, oil, or just a dry pan?

I am not quite there with the finishing.


I agree on the thermometer. I have a Thermapen instant thermometer. Probably the single best thing I have for consistent fish, chicken, steak, and roasts when BBQing. If that one broke, I would buy another one (but probably a cheaper version)

I hope you don't find this offensive, but it's the operator, not the equipment. It sounds like you took the interior of the meat too high before searing it on the outside using your gas grill. You'll need to shoot for a lower temp (like 110 to 115 maybe) before searing on your gas grill. The single best piece of equipment (and info) you need to successfully and consistently cook meat is an accurate dual-probe thermometer.

All 3 of the methods you listed above work superbly as long as they are properly employed


http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_techniq ... _sear.html

You can use charcoal grills just fine to do reverse sear as long as you utilize 2-zone cooking

http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_techniq ... oking.html


No offense taken, I agree it is operator error. Problem is I don't cook steak often enough to fine tune the process. And I forget what I did the last time by the time I cook steak the next time. :annoyed

The grate on the chimney burns the steak, it is red hot (I use hardwood lump); it literally is glowing red. I need more practice.
Last edited by JoinToday on Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by JoinToday » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:17 am

meowcat wrote:
MI_bogle wrote:
JoinToday wrote:
DSInvestor wrote:
Ketawa wrote:..... My wife was skeptical at first but she loved the steaks and pork chops cooked this way and finished on a cast iron pan.

I saw a video where Adam Savage (Mythbusters) did a video on the best way to sear a steak (outdoors). I may have to try that charcoal chimney method it warms up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB1x0O-bhrw


I tried the charcoal chimney a couple times. Grill gets really hot... really really hot, burned the steak, detracted from the flavor. I wasn't 100% satisfied with the results.

I have also tried a gas BBQ and cast iron pan. BBQ was the worst. By the time the outside was finished, inside was overcooked :( -- which isn't surprising since the meat started out essentially cooked to begin with.

I think the cast iron pan came out the best. Steaks look absolutely beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes, I got emotional. :wink: How did you finish in the cast iron pan? any butter, oil, or just a dry pan?

I am not quite there with the finishing.


I hope you don't find this offensive, but it's the operator, not the equipment. It sounds like you took the interior of the meat too high before searing it on the outside using your gas grill. You'll need to shoot for a lower temp (like 110 to 115 maybe) before searing on your gas grill. The single best piece of equipment (and info) you need to successfully and consistently cook meat is an accurate dual-probe thermometer.

All 3 of the methods you listed above work superbly as long as they are properly employed


http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_techniq ... _sear.html

You can use charcoal grills just fine to do reverse sear as long as you utilize 2-zone cooking

http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_techniq ... oking.html

Agreed. Also, it's incredibly important that the sear take only a very short period of time. If you've got your steaks on the grill for anything longer that 90 seconds, your grill isn't hot enough and you will continue to cook (not sear) your steaks. Your grill/pan must be absolutely scorching hot. So hot, as a matter of fact, that regular cooking oil would burst into flames. Unfortunately, an iron pan on an electric stove or a consumer grade gas grill will never hit these temps. (500-600 degrees) Best to use gas stove, cast iron on induction or charcoal.


We have a decent gas stove, pan temp is around 550 deg F (if the infrared thermometer is believed) after heating the pan when empty for 10 minutes. I am not sure what it is when I flip the steak after the first side cooks. Fire point is 700 deg F for peanut oil (which is what I have used as a coating on the steak when doing the pan finishing (peanut oil on steak, not in pan)
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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Afty » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:53 am

JoinToday wrote:No offense taken, I agree it is operator error. Problem is I don't cook steak often enough to fine tune the process. And I forget what I did the last time by the time I cook steak the next time. :annoyed

I keep a document with notes on how I cook things and how they turned out. Then when I cook something I haven't cooked in a while, I can refer to the document and not make the same mistakes again.

I'm an engineer, if it wasn't already clear. :D

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Alf 101 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:59 am

I'd like to bump this thread, as it's Black Friday again, and I see some deals on immersion circulators. As it happens I have a brother, who is a particularly advanced home cook, who has mentioned in the past this was something of interest.

So could the stars align? Amazon currently has a deal on the Bluetooth-enabled Anova, so this is the particular model of interest. I have a few questions:

1. For those who've owned a sous vide/immersion circulator for number of months or years, what can you say about their durability and prospects for longer term use ? Do they hold up (specifically the Anova), or have performance drop-offs and a short lifespan (e.g., <1 year)? Do you use it fairly often, or has it proven more of a novelty, something else taking up room in your kitchen?

2. What can you say about the power, heating time, and accuracy? The Bluetooth Anova rates in at 800 watts, whereas the Wifi Anova comes in at 900 watts, though is considerably more expensive. My brother will absolutely not use his cell phone when operating it, that's a deal breaker, and rules out the competing model, the Joule. Precision will be a factor though.

Thanks for any light you can shed. I'm curious whether this might be a good gift, or could be a disappointment.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Afty » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:00 pm

Alf 101 wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:59 am
1. For those who've owned a sous vide/immersion circulator for number of months or years, what can you say about their durability and prospects for longer term use ? Do they hold up (specifically the Anova), or have performance drop-offs and a short lifespan (e.g., <1 year)? Do you use it fairly often, or has it proven more of a novelty, something else taking up room in your kitchen?
I have this Anova model: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UE ... UTF8&psc=1
Bought it 2.5 years ago. It's holding up fine, no problems at all.

I use it less often than I used to. Maybe once every 2 months? I find that I prefer steak on the grill, and that chicken breast ends up with an offputting texture when you sous vide it. I do still use it for pork, in particular thick pork chops and tenderloins. I also occasionally use it to make pulled pork (I don't have a smoker).
2. What can you say about the power, heating time, and accuracy? The Bluetooth Anova rates in at 800 watts, whereas the Wifi Anova comes in at 900 watts, though is considerably more expensive. My brother will absolutely not use his cell phone when operating it, that's a deal breaker, and rules out the competing model, the Joule. Precision will be a factor though.
I don't have any feedback on power or heating time, both have been fine IME. My model is 1000 watts though.

Precision: My Anova is extremely accurate. I have a Thermapen, which is a highly accurate thermocouple-based thermometer (also an excellent cooking purchase). The Anova and my Thermapen agree to within a few tenths of a degree.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by curmudgeon » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:25 pm

We got the considerably cheaper Gourmia sous vide immersion device. Temps are quite accurate. There are a couple of non-intuitive steps in setting the controls, which is a bit annoying. Does a great job with thick steaks, though we don't always bother. Made a big difference with pork chops. We didn't think it made much difference in veggies (and we had trouble with it holding the higher temps - replaced under warranty). Starting with hot tap water gets it to working temp quicker, I don't think the wattage difference is all that important. We still use it, but not as much as originally.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by smackboy1 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:10 pm

Alf 101 wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:59 am
1. For those who've owned a sous vide/immersion circulator for number of months or years, what can you say about their durability and prospects for longer term use ? Do they hold up (specifically the Anova), or have performance drop-offs and a short lifespan (e.g., <1 year)? Do you use it fairly often, or has it proven more of a novelty, something else taking up room in your kitchen?

2. What can you say about the power, heating time, and accuracy? The Bluetooth Anova rates in at 800 watts, whereas the Wifi Anova comes in at 900 watts, though is considerably more expensive. My brother will absolutely not use his cell phone when operating it, that's a deal breaker, and rules out the competing model, the Joule. Precision will be a factor though.
I still have two Anovas: the Anova One (1st gen) and the Precision w/ Bluetooth (2nd gen). It's been about 3 years now and neither has had any problems. Performance is unchanged after 3 years. There is a tiny bit of rust on the metal, but it's just cosmetic. The difference between 800 W and 900 W is negligible. I've used both of mine for 48 hour cooks in 33 gallon coolers without problems.

I sous vide maybe 3-6 times a month. I sous vide eggs and meat and fish. I never use BT or the app. I just turn it on and set the temp. I like having 2 because when I cook chicken I can have 2 water baths for dark meat and white meat.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by Millennial » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:53 pm

Alf 101 wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:59 am
1. For those who've owned a sous vide/immersion circulator for number of months or years, what can you say about their durability and prospects for longer term use ? Do they hold up (specifically the Anova), or have performance drop-offs and a short lifespan (e.g., <1 year)? Do you use it fairly often, or has it proven more of a novelty, something else taking up room in your kitchen?
Welp, as an update from my posts last year, my Anova has failed (but keep reading! they're replacing it). I have the Anova One (no wireless connectivity, 1200 watts) and it blew a fuse while making overnight pulled pork last month. Replaced the fuse, and it blew again and this time had evidence of electrical arcing around the fuse. The good news: even though it's almost 4 years old, and not under warranty anymore, they didn't even hesitate to offer a replacement when I sent them the photos.
Alf 101 wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:59 am
2. What can you say about the power, heating time, and accuracy? The Bluetooth Anova rates in at 800 watts, whereas the Wifi Anova comes in at 900 watts, though is considerably more expensive. My brother will absolutely not use his cell phone when operating it, that's a deal breaker, and rules out the competing model, the Joule. Precision will be a factor though.
I think they will all have enough power for most home cooks. The major difference is going to be in initial heat up time anyway - if you can plan ahead, I don't think the wattage will matter.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by bhsince87 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:10 pm

I've cooking sous vide for probably 10+ years. Started with a homemade rig, bought a Sous Vide Supreme when they first came out, and then an Anova Gen 1 a couple years ago when they got cheap with the intro of the newer model.

I usually cook something that way once a week, or more.

The more powerful units can bring the bath up to temp faster, but once it's at temp, there is little difference.

Precision should be fine with any modern unit. I think people fret over that a bit too much.
BH87

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by protagonist » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:14 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:
Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:09 pm
My mom would like a sous vide device to try her hand with different recipe experiments in the coming year.

Any recommendations for specific brands/types? any tips in general?

Thank you.
Barefoot, based on your thread I made an impulse buy of a ChefSteps Joule last night for my sweetie. It's all your fault.

To make matters worse, I was set on the Anova until I read this and decided that heating water twice as fast and reduced size (Sweetie lives in NYC apartment) was worth the extra $20-30 despite the downside of having to operate it from a cellphone app. and the $70 discount on Anova on Amazon. https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-sous-vide-gear/

I knew nothing about Sous Vide cooking before last night, and I have no clue whether Sweetie will love it or throw it in a drawer and avoid it like the plague. What has become of me? If I purchased stock this way I would be broke by now.

Now will I be forced to buy a butane torch I wonder???

I'm looking forward to my first steak though.
Last edited by protagonist on Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Sous Vide?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:14 pm

Great timing, as I just bought an Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Bluetooth, Immersion Circulator, 800 Watts, Black for $99. My friend uses this one and he recommended it. It will be a Christmas present for my husband, who loves to cook.

We're both engineers, so when I asked him to explain the concept, it only took a minute. "Vacuum" is just using water pressure to push the air out of the zip-lock bag. The immersion heater is a water circulation pump to keep the temperature constant. OK, got it.

I wasn't crazy about a bluetooth device to control a simple immersion heater, but it works.

After reading some reviews, there's no way I'm getting the wi-fi model. A google search for "sous vide anova wi-fi security ssid" suggests that security is not a high priority for this company. I suppose this par for the course for an Internet of Things device.
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