I’ve recently been fascinated by the idea of sous vide cooking – a method of slowly cooking vacu-sealed foods in a precisely controlled water bath to achieve the optimal doneness. Last year, Sur La Table started carrying the world’s first “home” sous vide cooker, the SousVide Supreme. This was fantastic, since commercial sous vide cooking machines cost north of $2000. However, the home model (priced at $450) is still a steep investment for something that essentially just keeps water warm. I was determined that I could build a better device on-the-cheap.
Behold, the $75 DIY sous vide heating immersion circulator! By scrapping together parts that are readily available on eBay and Amazon, I was able to build a self-contained device that heats and circulates water while maintaining a temperature accurate to .1 degree Celsius (yes, point one degrees!). And unlike the SousVide Supreme, my device can be mounted onto any container (up to a reasonable size, perhaps 15 gallons) allowing you more room to cook, if needed.
To build your own device, you’ll need some basic soldering skills, the list of stuff below, about 6 hours of free time (plus time for glue to dry) and the can-do attitude of a geek who doesn’t want to pay $450 for a water heater. Click the “more” link for complete step-by-step instructions.
If these instructions have helped you build you own machine, I hope you’ll consider donating. My goal is to mass-produce the world’s first sous vide heating immersion circulator for under $100, and every donation helps!