Posts Tagged ‘Sous Vide’

08th September
2013
written by scott

sansaire $199 sous vide machine

I am beyond thrilled to announce that our Kickstarter campaign for the Sansaire has been successfully funded*, and we’re now open for pre-orders at Sansaire.com!

*OK, “successfully funded” is a bit of an understatement.  We hit our $100,000 funding goal in the first 13 hours, 4 minues of the campaign.  In 30 days, we raised $823,0033 and became the most-funded food project in Kickstarter history. We are absolutely blown away by the level of support and enthusiasm from our 4084 Kickstarter backers, as well as our family and friends who helped spread the word about the project.  Since I like charts and graphs, check out this beauty.  That dotted blue line at the bottom was the funding goal.

dailychart
The night before the Kickstarter campaign, I was a nervous mess. I was only cautiously optimistic that we’d hit our funding goal within 30 days.  When I did the math in my head, we had to sell just over 500 units, or about 17 per day.  That seemed achievable… maybe… as long as we could get the word out, and as long as I could coerce all of my friends to buy one.  But what if everyone hated it? What if we were criticized because there have already been other sous vide projects on Kickstarter? I had that same feeling as where you show up to school in your underwear in a dream.

The campaign launched at 5AM PST. I was up. By the time I checked the Kickstarter page we already had two backers. Phew, I thought – at least it’s not a shutout! I made coffee (the night before a Kickstarter is a long night), took a shower and checked the page again. This time, we had $4,000 in funding.  “Whoa, that’s awesome. But maybe we peaked early, and we’ll run out of interested people soon.”  I got dressed and said goodbye to my wife before heading to work.  “How’s the campaign going?” she asked.  I checked my phone. $11K.  That was pretty much the best morning ever.  I wore a stupid grin all day.

I left the office a little after 5PM to meet Lukas and Widad, the other Sansaire co-founders, at a coffee shop in Seattle. I made it just in time to watch us tick past the $100,000 mark.  It was a surreal moment!  We looked at each other.  “I guess we have to make sous vide machines now!” Nothing could make me happier!

Over the following weeks, we were fortunate to get some really great press.  We owe a tremendous thank you to Kenji at SeriousEats.com for writing an incredible piece that he posted the same morning as our Kickstarter campaign. If you aren’t already a religious reader of SeriousEats.com, you will be soon. Thank you, Kenji, for testing the Sansaire and giving our backers confidence that the machine works! Thank you, as well, to the awesome folks at Mashable, Tested, Cnet and LA Times who gave us some love during the campaign!  Finally, I want to thank all of the readers of this blog who have supported and encouraged the sous vide cooking movement. You guys rock.

Now that the Kickstarter campaign is over, we’re focused on building the Sansaire on schedule and with high-quality. We’re beyond thrilled to bring this project to life, and we can’t wait to deliver the Sansaire to all of our Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers.  Speaking of which…

The Sansaire is available for pre-order right now at Sansaire.com.  It’s still just $199, but act fast – due to the incredible demand, we’re likely to sell out of our first shipment soon.

Sansaire $199 Sous Vide Machine

18th October
2012
written by scott

Just need the basics of sous vide?  This video, the second in the MDRN KTCHN series, breaks down the basics.  My go-to sous vide machine these days is the PolyScience Sous Vide Professional CREATIVE series, but if you’d prefer to save a little money and don’t mind the elbow grease, join the 1,000+ folks who have built their own sous vide machines from my $75 DIY instructions.

26th March
2012
written by scott

shrimp in pea water

If being a student of Modernist Cuisine has taught me anything, it’s that I should strive for purity of flavor.  Achieving this goal is usually an exercise in what to leave out of a dish, not what you put in it, and this recipe is a great example.  Served chilled, the “broth” is made of centrifuged pea water and filtered celery juice.  When blended peas are separated in the centrifuge, most of the starch ends up in the fibrous layer at the bottom.  Since the presence of starch inhibits your ability to perceive sweetness, the starch-free pea water ends up tasting much sweeter than a whole pea.  I didn’t bother to centrifuge the celery juice, but I find that the flavor of celery is so strongly associated with the crunch of the stalks that it creates a fascinating synesthesia to consume it in liquid form.  I made the conscious choice here to leave out pea starch and celery fiber, and the bright flavors of the vegetables shine right through.

I plan on serving this dish for dinner tomorrow, and I may try adding a wasabi ice or a frozen foam to give it another level of texture.

 

INGREDIENT

QTY.

SCALING

PROCEDURE

Frozen peas, thawed

907g

453%

1.       Blend until smooth.

2.       Divide the pea puree among centrifuge bottles and spin at 1500Gs for 2 hours

3.       Decant the pea water through a paper towel or paper filter.  Reserve and chill pea water.

4.       Scrape, reserve, and chill pea butter.

Celery hearts

907g

453%

5.       Juice in a masticating juicer, such as an Omega.  Reserve and chill juice.

Shrimp, prawns, langoustines, lobster tail or other shellfish

200g

100%

6.       Vacuum seal together using weak vacuum pressure.

7.       Cook sous vide to a core temperature of 54C (for shrimp), about 12 minutes.

Duck Fat

30g

15%

Olive Oil

30g

15%

Small Shiitake Mushrooms

20g

10%

8.       Sweat vegetables in butter.

9.       Cut the onions in half and lightly char the cut sides with a blowtorch.

10.   Plate the dish by spooning 15g pea water and 5g celery juice into a shallow bowl.  Place cooked shellfish in the middle.  Garnish with onions, mushrooms and pea butter.

Small Pearl Onions

20g

10%

Butter

10g

5%

Salt

1g

1%

shrimp splash
One of the shrimp got away and tried to return to his natural habitat.

22nd December
2011
written by scott

goose
My favorite part of any bird is the dark meat – besides the skin, dark meat is the only real “flavor country” found in foul.  I’m particularly fond of duck because both the leg and breast meat is darker than you’ll find in a chicken or a turkey.  But ducks are relatively small and, shall we say, flat-chested.  A goose, however, is a much more curvaceous creature and offers quite a lot to love.  Like ducks, geese fly quite a lot.  And just like in any other animal (that I’m aware of), the more a muscle needs to work, the darker its meat will be.  So, geese end up being an animal composed entirely of dark meat!

But, if the idea of roasting a goose gives you anxious visions of forgotten kitchen timers and smoking ovens, let me assure you that there’s a better way.  Just like a turkey or a duck or a chicken, a goose is a great candidate for sous vide cooking.  I started with a whole goose, which I carved into four pieces: two breasts and two legs.  I packed each piece in a vacuum bag with salt, aromatics and fat, then cooked sous vide.  Just before serving, I shallow-fried each of the pieces to brown and crisp the skin.  In reality, I treated the goose just like I was cooking duck confit, sous vide style.  This was phenomenally easy, risk-free and wonderfully delicious.

Many thanks to Whole Foods for providing a complimentary whole goose for the development of this recipe.

Shopping list:

  • 1 whole goose, thawed
  • 40g kosher salt
  • 35g juniper berries
  • 65g light brown sugar
  • 10g fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1g cinnamon stick, microplaned (or ground cinnamon)
  • 150g rendered duck fat
  • Canola oil, for frying
  1. Rinse the goose thoroughly and remove the neck from the interior of the body.  Reserve the neck for another use.
  2. Remove the legs and thighs.  With the goose breast-side-up, grab the end of the drumstick and pull the leg outward from the body of the goose.  Cut through the skin underneath the rib cage as you pull the leg away.  Flip the goose over and fold the leg away from the body until the “hip” joint is visible.  Run your knife through the hip joint to free the leg and thigh.  Trim away excess fat and skin, leaving enough to cover the meat.  Repeat for the other leg.
  3. Remove the breasts by making an incision through the skin of the breastbone.  Allow your knife to follow the contour of the rub cage on one side and peel the breast away as you cut .  Trim away excess fat and skin.  You may save the fat, carcass and wings for another use, such as a pressure-cooked goose stock.
  4. Combine the salt, juniper berries, brown sugar, rosemary and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Mix to combine, gently crushing the aromatics to release their oils.  Toss each goose piece in the salt mixture until well-coated.
  5. Divide the duck fat among four vacuum bags (or two, one for breasts, one for legs).  Place the goose pieces in their respective bags and toss in any juniper berries and rosemary that may have been left behind.  Vacuum seal on high.  Refrigerate overnight.
  6. Preheat a sous vide bath to 62C.  Add the goose legs and cook for 18 hours.  If you’re not serving the goose immediately, remove the bag and chill in an ice bath.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. Preheat a sous vide bath to 54C.  Add the goose breasts and cook for 6 hours.  If you’re not serving the goose immediately, remove the bag and chill in an ice bath. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
    Note: If you have two sous vide baths, you can perform the previous two steps simultaneously. If you only have one sous vide bath and don’t want to wait quite as long, you can turn the temperature down from 62C to 54C after 12 hours and add the breasts to the same bath as the legs. The legs won’t turn out quite as flaky, but they’ll still be delicious.
  8. Heat a large pot of canola oil 1/2” deep to 400F.  Remove the goose from the vacuum bags and wipe off any juniper berries or rosemary that may be clinging to the skin.  The meat will be wet from the duck fat, but that’s OK for frying.
  9. Working one piece at a time, fry the legs skin-side-down for about 1 minute or until golden brown.  Flip and fry for an additional minute skin-side-up.
  10. Fry the breasts, skin-side-down only, for about 1 minute or until the skin is golden brown.
  11. Slice as desired and serve immediately.

As you’ll notice in the picture above, geese have a hefty layer of fat underneath their skin.  This helps them stay buoyant and warm, and I personally enjoy eating the fatty exterior, which is made soft and delectable by the long cooking time.  However, if you want to reduce the fat layer and you have a little extra time on your hands, before step 4, remove the skin from each piece of goose.  Using the back of your knife, scrape the fat away from the underside of the skin.  Dust the skin with Activa RM (transglutaminase; meat glue) and place it back on the meat before vacuum sealing.  It’s a little trick I learned from Modernist Cuisine, which has quite a lot to say about cooking tough and tender meat sous vide.

24th November
2011
written by scott

2011 gift guide

I’ve assembled a list of must-have cooking gear, kitchen toys, and foodie fetishes for 2011.  If you have a food geek in your life and you’re looking for gift inspiration, I’m here to help.  They say “‘tis better to give,” but ‘tis best to give to someone who’ll cook you dinner in return!

 

zoom_variation_Default_view_2_1278x1278[1] Bob Kramer 10" Carbon Steel Chef’s Knife by Zwilling J.A. Henckels®
Say hello to the “it knife” of 2011. Bob Kramer is the only Master Bladesmith in the world who specializes in culinary knifes, and his rare, hand-made blades sell for thousands of dollars.  (see my post on touring Bob Kramer’s workshop.)  Now, he’s produced a line of exceptional quality carbon steel cutlery that conforms to his exacting standards, but is affordable enough for the home chef. 

$349.95 – Sur La Table
$349.95 –
Amazon.com

Original_large_jar_single_sm[1] Skillet Bacon Jam
Seattle residents are already familiar with the spreadable jar of heaven known as “Bacon Jam”.  Produced by the same Skillet group that brought us the Skillet Street Food truck and the Skillet Diner,  the jam is a mixture of rendered bacon and spices that adds a succulent kick to sandwiches, burgers, omelets, Ritz crackers, or any other bacon-submissive food.  Makes a great stocking stuffer – just hope you can fit into your stockings after you’ve plowed through a jar.

$15.95 – Amazon.com

sample-lesson-handling-a-chef-s-knife-l Rouxbe Cooking School
In this day and age, anything that’s worth doing is worth doing online – learning to cook is no exception.  Rouxbe is the world’s leading online cooking school that teaches people of all levels to become better, more confident cooks.  Focused on techniques, not recipes, Rouxbe offers over 1,100 close-up instructional videos that capture the exact same curriculum found in professional cooking schools around the world.

$23.00/month (other packages available) – Rouxbe.com

97P_2[1] SousVide Supreme
Any serious food geek cooks sous vide.  And those who don’t?  Well, they’re waiting for you to buy them a sous vide machine… that is, if you’re not up for building one yourself.  By far, the easiest way to get started with sous vide cooking is the SousVide Supreme line of water ovens.  Their machines are available in multiple sizes and colors and they’re currently running some fantastic deals for the holidays, including a Modernist Cuisine gift set!

$299 and up – SousVideSupreme.com

405P_2[1] VacMaster Chamber Vacuum Sealer
Whether you’re cooking sous vide or tackling a whole slew of other modernist techniques, a vacuum sealer is an absolute necessity.  FoodSaver-style sealers work fine for dry foods, but for wet foods like meat and fish or liquids of any kind, you need a chamber sealer.  Unlike an edge sealer, which sucks all of the air out of the bag from one edge, the VacMaster removes the air from the entire chamber, then seals the bag.  When the vacuum is released, the pressure of the atmosphere compresses the bag against its contents for a fool-proof, air-free seal with no messy liquid sucked from the edge of the bag. 

$799 – SousVideSupreme.com
$824 – Amazon.com

31Jl2MVO1hL._SL500_AA300_[1] Excalibur 3500 Deluxe Series 5 Tray Food Dehydrator
If you thought dehydrators were just for jerky and fruit snacks, you’re missing a whole world of possible applications for dried foods.  For example, why not whip up some Shrimp in Cocktail Leather for your next dinner party?  The Excalibur dehydrator is the brand trusted by chefs everywhere.  The rectangular drying trays provide 8 square feet of drying space, and the 85º – 145ºF thermostat let’s you dehydrate everything from soup to nuts (and yes, jerky too)!

$189.95 – Amazon.com

31kZziKIS L._SS500_[1] Presto 1755 16-Quart Aluminum Pressure Cooker/Canner
For some reason, lots of folks think of pressure cookers as “your grandmother’s kitchen gadget”.  And, while it’s true that grannie may have reached for her pressure cooker as a way to save time in the kitchen, their usefulness extends well beyond expediency.  Pressure cookers are fantastic for extracting flavors, for example, when making stocks and sauces.  When coupled with a little baking soda, they’re also key to making the best vegetable soups I’ve ever tasted.  I’d recommend purchasing a pressure canner rather than just a pressure cooker.  The difference is the inclusion of a pressure gauge which allows you to can many foods that you couldn’t otherwise safely preserve.

$71.99 – Amazon.com

noble2forwebsite_large[1] Noble Tonics: Handcrafted Matured Maple Syrups & Vinegars
This is my new favorite breakfast condiment: Tahitian Vanilla Bean & Egyptian Chomomile Blossom Matured Maple Syrup.  Just speaking its name evokes images of meticulous artisans patiently watching over these syrups as they mature in charred American oak barrels. It is to maple syrup what Château d’Yquem is to wine.  The complete line includes two maple syrups, a sherry bourbon oak vinegar, an heirloom lemon matured white wine vinegar, and XO, a viscous, rich “finishing vinegar”. 

$22.95 – $69.95 – MikuniWildHarvest.com
Disclosure: I received a free sample of Noble Tonic products.

eleven-madison-park-cookbook[1] Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook
Although this cookbook was only released a few weeks ago, it’s already one of the most talked-about cookbooks of the year.  And rightfully so – this book is so much more than a cookbook; it is a window into the soul of Eleven Madison Park.  Featuring breathtaking photography and over 125 sophisticated recipes, this will be one of the [very few] cookbooks I reference on a regular basis, both for inspiration and for technique. 

$31.50 [hardcover] – Amazon.com

51LIb8k9UsL[1] Momofuku Milk Bar
Imagine an incredible collection of desserts that all seem like they were designed by stoners with phenomenal pastry skills.  That would, more or less, be Monofuku Milk Bar.  Written by pastry chef Christina Tosi, the book includes an entire section on cereal milk ice creams.  Other notable dishes include the infamous “crack pie”, “compost cookie”, and “gutter sundae” (directions: Go to the hardware store.  Buy a gutter.  Invite your friends and family over.  Make a gutter sundae to celebrate).  Yet, somehow, the whole thing is irresistible!

$20.18 – Amazon.com

51yZfDAPv5L._SS500_[1] Lucky Peach
This has been a great year for chef David Chang and his ever-expanding influence.  Case in point: Lucky Peach.  In an era when print publishing is dying a very public death, Chang had the chutzpah to start his own food journal.  Issue Two’s theme is "The Sweet Spot," and will feature Rene Redzepi on vintage vegetables, Tajikistani apricots with Adam Gollner, a visit to Callaway Golf and Louisville Slugger, time-sensitive fermentation, banana pie with Momofuku Milk Bar chef Christina Tosi, and much, much more.

$9.50/issue – Amazon.com

9781452102122[1] Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts: Secrets and Recipes for the Home Baker
Top Pot Doughnuts are a treasured part of Seattle’s edible landscape.  Let it be said that no other doughnut pairs as well with a nonfat, fair trade, soy, double, vanilla cappuccino.  Committed bakers, casual home cooks, and sweet-toothed fans will eat up these 50 tried-and-true recipes from classic Old-Fashioneds to the signature Pink Feather Boa and become experts themselves after learning the secrets of doughnut-making tools, terms, and techniques (no, you don t need a deep fryer).

$10.98 – Amazon.com

set_4_hires[1] Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking
If you’re searching for a food geek gift that will make all others pale in comparison, look no further.  For the price of a stand mixer and a handful of tasteful stocking stuffers, you can give the gift that will keep your food geek cooking for a lifetime.  I’ve already written quite a bit about Modernist Cuisine, but for the first time ever, you can wrap it in a bow and put it under the tree.  Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a 40 lb. cookbook!

$450.84 – Amazon.com

215K8IK9AuL._SL500_AA300_[1] iSi Professional Food & Cream Gourmet Whipper
Thanks to Ferran Adria and others, the term “culinary foam” now means more than whipped cream.  If you’re interested in experimenting with foam-at-home, you’ll need to own a whipping siphon.  A now-essential part of both sweet and savory preparations, whipping siphons are also great for quick infusions and making carbonated snacks.  Unlike cheaper siphons, this model is designed to handle more viscous liquids commonly called for in modernist preparations.

$138.99 – Amazon.com
iSi N20 Cream Chargers, 24-Pack: $15.75 – Amazon.com

31FuCZ3ZK5L._SS360_[1] Krups 203 Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder with Stainless-Steel blades
Textural transformations are a hallmark of modernist cooking, and powders play in important role in achieving the correct mouthfeel and presentation of many dishes.  If you’ve ever attempted to turn a solid into a powder using a blender or food processor, you’ll understand why it’s important to have the right tool for the job.  This spice grinder is compact, inexpensive and incredibly efficient at making very fine powders in a matter of seconds.

$19.00 – Amazon.com

81CeBRtBEjS._AA1500_[1] Canon EOS 5D Mark II with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
Modern food-enthusiasts (see how hard I tried not to use the word “foodie”?) never travel without a camera in-hand.  But, approaching your plate of foie gras and truffles with a cell phone camera is as gauche as wearing a sport coat and shorts just to spite the dress code.  If you or the food geek in your life are ready to get serious about food photography, there’s currently no better value than the iconic Canon 5D Mark II.  It shoots 21MP stills and broadcast-quality video, all for less than a bottle of Chateau Margaux. 

$3,019.98 – Amazon.com

81YdqnjI56L._AA1500_[1] Nikon 1 J1 10.1 MP HD Digital Camera System with 10-30mm VR 1 NIKKOR Lens
So, you’ve realized that you want to improve your food photography, but you don’t want to lug a giant (and conspicuous) DSLR to every restaurant you visit.  Nikon’s “1” line is a brand new imaging system that’s designed to be highly portable and highly performant.  Featuring interchangeable lenses, a high-speed sensor for great low-light shooting, and the ability to snap stills while you’re shooting 1080p HD video, this is a great camera for the fooderazzi. 

$599.00 – Amazon.com

Happy Holidays,

Scott

27th October
2011
written by scott

brioche with pea butter and sv egg 690

We had friends over for brunch last weekend, so I pulled out an old standby: brioche with a 64°C egg, maple syrup, pancetta and pea butter.  It’s my version of French toast, you know, because of the toast part.  I’m not trying to sound snooty when I say this is “as simple as can be” because you do need a sous vide machine and a centrifuge to make it.  However, provided you have those tools, the recipe brain-dead easy.  When I was growing up, we used to go for brunch at a diner that made “sweet pea guacamole” served alongside a Tex-Mex omelet.  I loved the notion of having peas with breakfast, and once I discovered centrifuged pea butter, that was even more reason to work it into the dish.  I’m sure there’s a “green eggs and ham” permutation of these ingredients, too; if you find it, please share.

Total kitchen time: 10 minutes + 3 hours centrifuge time + 1 hour sous vide time
Makes: 4 servings

  1. Make pea butter by blending 4lbs of thawed peas until smooth, then centrifuging at 1500 RPMs for 2-3 hours. 
  2. Cook 4 eggs sous vide at 64°C for one hour.
  3. Meanwhile. cut 4 slices of brioche, about 1” thick.  Toast on a flat-top grill with copious amounts of melted butter.
  4. Fry up 8-12 slices of pancetta.  Pro tip: frying pancetta in a waffle cone maker keeps it from curling up.

To assemble, top the toasted brioche with an egg. Pour over pea butter and warmed maple syrup.  Finish with slices of fried pancetta. 

[Thanks to the Estevez family and my wife Rachel for helping me make a mess in the photo above]

07th October
2011
written by scott

nerd nite presentation

Last week, I gave a talk at Seattle’s 0th ever Nerd Nite!  My talk was titled “Food, Science and Electric Bacon” and was a similar history of Modernist cuisine and explanation of geeky food techniques that I presented at the International Food Bloggers Conference in New Orleans a few weeks back. 

I’ll post the video of my “lecture” when it’s available, but in the meantime, give a listen to this Podcast I recorded with he wonderful folks at Nerd Nite.  Unlike the video, this one’s work-safe. 

Listen to Nerd Nite Podcast Listen at NerdNite.com or download the MP3.

16th June
2011
written by scott

ziploc vacuum bags
Even if you managed to find an inexpensive solution for cooking sous vide at home, it used to be the case that you were still on the hook for a vacuum sealer, and the $150 FoodSaver was the de facto appliance for the job.  Sure, for short cooking times, you can immerse a zip-top bag in water and force out most of the air, but that strategy doesn’t let you safely cook-then-chill foods for reheating later.  Furthermore, as the small amount of remaining air expands in non-vacuumed bags, they tend to float to the surface and cook unevenly.  However, Ziploc recently introduced a line of vacuum seal bags that use an inexpensive hand pump and achieve nearly the same results as that pricey FoodSaver.  Read on for my head-to-head test and conclusions…

(more…)

01st April
2011
written by scott

easyvide

As you might know, I’ve been working on sous vide machine designs for a little over a year now.  I’m happy to announce today that I’ve finally got a model ready for sale: the Easy-Vide Sous Vide Water Oven for Kids! 

I discovered that children are currently the biggest untapped market for kitchen technology, and in order to make sous vide cooking pervasive in the future, we need to educate the next generation of chefs and home cooks.  I created the Easy-Vide to be the simplest, easiest and most fun way to teach kids about sous vide.

Features:

  • Screw in the light bulb (included), fill the basin with water, and pug in the power cord. 
  • No pesky temperature settings to remember.  The water bath is heated by the light bulb – it’s that simple!
  • Works for all types of foods including steak, chicken, fish, and even vegetables!
  • Kids will love searing their favorite snacks with the included Mini Blowtorch

I’m still in negotiations with several retailers, so check back soon for pricing and availability.  The Easy-Vide promises to be the must-have toy for the aspiring cook in your family!

14th January
2011
written by scott

make composite

My $75 DIY Sous Vide build make was just published in Volume 25 of Make Magazine, the premier publication for hackers, modders and DIYers and food geeks the world over.  I re-wrote the instructions for the build, adding detailed photos and tips for construction.  The folks at Make did a phenomenal job laying out and illustrating the article!

View a preview of the magazine article online

View the project page on Make

View the original $75 DIY Sous Vide article

Bonus! The nice folks at Boing Boing linked to the project on Make.

22nd December
2010
written by scott

sous vide tempered chocolate
I’m not much of a chocolatier, but I’ve watched my dad temper chocolate and make truffles a dozen times or so.  The transformation that takes place during the tempering process is fascinating, and it only becomes more curious with my first attempt to temper using sous vide.  Notice the pattern of dark, shiny dots and lines?  I didn’t put it there.

(more…)

24th September
2010
written by scott

The nice folks at Polyscience were kind enough to loan me their new SousVide Professional heating immersion circulator. This is the first circulator that they have designed specifically for sous vide cooking, and it performs exquisitely. 

After a few weeks of intense use, I found the temperature accuracy to be precise (eggs are a great test!) and the stability to be very reliable.  The powerful circulating motor is a little noisy, as you can hear in the background of the video above, and I often wished it had a low-speed setting – instead, there is a valve you can adjust to regulate flow. 

The video below displays the results of a heating and temperature stability test I ran.  The machine is heating three gallons of water to 65.5C with no lid on the water bath.  The video is sped up by 20x so you aren’t bored to tears (and because a watched pot never boils becomes delightfully tepid).

 

Polyscience SousVide Professional – $799

15th September
2010
written by scott

DSC_0337
If sous vide eggs had been invented two thousand years ago, there would have been entire books of The Bible dedicated to their praise.  But at the last meeting of the Jet City Gastrophysics, we took a giant leap forward.  You see, the beauty of a sous vide egg lies in it’s exquisite texture.  After about an hour in the water bath, the yolks become buttery with nearly the texture of pudding.  The only way to improve on this amazing transformation is to add a crunchy shell. 

Makes: 6 pieces
Total kitchen time: 90 minutes (30 minutes active time)

Special equipment: sous vide heating immersion circulator

Shopping list:

  • 6 + 1 organic eggs
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • canola oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup fine bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. black truffle salt
  • 1 tbsp. fine lemon zest (optional)
  1. Cook 6 eggs (reserving one) sous vide at 64.5°C for 60 minutes.  Let the eggs cool in a bowl of tepid water for 10 minutes.
  2. Turn on the faucet to very low. Working one by one, carefully crack a cooked egg into your hand, and let the white drip away under the water.  Set the yolks aside.
  3. Heat about 1.5 inches of canola oil in a small saucepan until it reaches 360°F (make sure the temp doesn’t exceed 370°F).
  4. In a small bowl, combine the flower, baking powder and sea salt.  In a second bowl, whisk the remaining (uncooked) egg.  Spread the breadcrumbs on a plate.
  5. Gently roll each yolk in the flour mixture, then dip in the egg wash, then roll in breadcrumbs.
  6. Fry each yolk for about 30 seconds, or until lightly golden brown.  Drain on a paper towel, then sprinkle with black truffle salt and lemon zest.

These fried eggs make excellent tapas, particularly if your guests aren’t expecting what’s inside.  Perhaps in another thousand or two years, we’ll discover something even more delicious.

Prozesskostenhilfe | lån uten sikkerhet | http://www.river-belle-casino-online.com

28th June
2010
written by scott

sous vide flank steak tacos
Sous vide strikes again! This time, we’re exploiting science for perfectly medium-rare, ultra-tender flank steak.  And, since we’re throwing ethnic authenticity to the wind, why be predictable with our condiments?  Salsa and Monterey Jack are out, red onion compote and chèvre (goat’s cheese) are in.  If you’re not a sous vider (yet), you can cook your flank steak however you like: broiled, grilled, smoked, or fried.

Makes: 4 Tacos Scientificos
Total kitchen time: 30 minutes (+12 hours cooking time)
Special equipment: Vacuum sealer, sous vide water oven

Shopping list:

  • 1 lb. flank steak
  • 1 tsp. Mexican seasoning blend
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 four tortillas
  • 1 cup crumbled goat’s cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 bunch cilantro

  1. Pat the steak dry and coat all sides with Mexican seasoning blend and lime juice.  Vacuum seal the steak in a bag large enough that the meat lays flat (but still fits in your water oven).  Cut the meat into two pieces and seal separately, if needed.  (If you’re not cooking your steak sous vide, place it in a zip-top bag or a covered shallow dish and let it marinate overnight). Note: although it might be tempting to add aromatics like garlic to the marinade, don’t! Your kitchen will smell like ass by the time the meat is done.
  2. Set your sous vide water oven to 56°C.  Add the vacuum sealed steak, making sure the meat stays submerged.  Cook for a minimum of 1 hour, up to 48 hours.  The picture above shows the meat after cooking for 12 hours, which was perfectly tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a medium saucepan over moderate heat.  Add the red onion and reduce the heat to low.  Let the onion sweat 5 minutes, until it is slightly translucent, but not browned.  Add the dark brown sugar, sherry vinegar and salt and stir to combine. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, and making sure the mixture doesn’t boil or burn. 
  4. Remove the bag from the water bath and let the meat rest, still in the bag, for 10 minutes before searing.  Remove the meat from the bag and pat dry on all sides.  Sear with a blow torch, under the broiler, or in a smoking-hot pan.
  5. Slice the meat perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers, and on a sharp bias. 
  6. Assemble the tacos: tortilla, sour cream, steak, cheese, onion compote, cilantro.  Enjoy!

Cooking the steak sous vide rather than just grilling it may sound like a pain in the ass since you have to plan 12 hours ahead.  However, the hardest part of cooking flank steak is getting your timing right. Leave it on the grill 1 minute too long and it’s overcooked and tough; take it off too early and it’s raw.  And, if you’re entertaining company, you may be more focused on your margarita than your steak.  Cooking your meat sous vide lets you be laissez-faire with your timing – sometimes I even sear my steak before company arrives and return it to the water bath to keep it warm until we’re ready to eat.

01st June
2010
written by scott

DSC_0071

It’s been a little while since I checked in, but I thought I’d give a quick update.  I’m hard at work getting production versions of my sous vide heating immersion circulators ready for sale.  The picture above is of my current prototype, based largely off of the DIY design I published a few months ago.  As you can see, I’ve got a custom-made heating coil and a slightly prettier enclosure.  The controller I’ve selected is also far more user-friendly, and I’ve upgraded other components after months of intense testing (and a handful of literal meltdowns). 

Anyhow, I’m still working as hard as I can to bring you all a sub-$200 sous vide heating immersion circulator accurate to .1C!  If you’d like to be on the email list when the first units are ready for sale, please leave a comment below.

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