Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Definitely Not BBQ

Do I really need another hobby? Do I need another way to cook something? If I want a nice piece of fish do I have to break out this contraption, put it out on the counter, and plug it in? Is that cooking? Yes...yes to all.

I have been reading about sous-vide cooking for a while now. I never thought I would get around to doing it because an immersion circulator can cost around $1000. I don't mind spending a wasteful amount of money on something that I would use; but I can't see myself doing that much sous-vide cooking to warrant such a purchase. But still...I wanted one. Usually, when I get something in my head, the want turns to need, the need turns to obsession, and the obsession turns into reality. And the reality of it all is that I could build one. So, that's what I did. I built this from parts that I already had, and a few that I 'borrowed'. The bottom part of the unit is a commercial food warmer. The top is an overhead stirrer, that I found years ago (because you never know when you'll need an overhead stirrer). The paddle came from an old dairy tank that I salvaged from a junk yard back in my brewing days. I put it all together with some stainless steel angle and threaded rod, and now I have an immersion circulator.

I took it out for a test run yesterday. I was able to hold temps from 120 to 200 degrees for as long as I wanted; the temp fluctuations were within 1-3 degrees. Next time I'll actually put some food in it...does anyone know how long it takes to sous-vide a turkey?


I QUE said...

That is awesome Mike.

Now you just need to get it on a network so you can get real time temp updates texted to your iPhone.

That should be a fun toy for the winter.

Hugh Hancock said...

Sous-vide for a turkey - bloody ages. Plus, I don't envy you vacuum-packing the darn thing.

You could cook a leg at 65 for about 4 hours, though, and it'd probably be lovely.

(Arrived at your blog via a Google Alert - interesting stuff. You might be interested in the Sous-Vide episode of a show I produce - http://www.kamikazecookery.com/films/2 )

Lakeside Smoker said...

Thanks for stopping by Hugh.
I checked our your site http://www.kamikazecookery.com/ Great stuff...and, you guys are a little insane. We like that!


Jenna said...

The concept of Sous-vide is fantastic. I just can't help but shake the feeling that heating up food in plastic for that long, and at a temperature that high, may impart some of the chemicals from the plastic into the food. Are my fears baseless? Does anyone else feel the same way?

Bravo on your machine!