Sous Vide: Week One

April 17th, 2011

So, to start with I want to quickly go over my Sous Vide setup.

Sous vide setup

The bits I’ve bought are a Maxkon Vacuum Sealer. It’s a no-name brand, but it works well and the bags to use with it are reasonably cheap.

Vacuum sealer

The main special part is the temperature controller. This bit turns the rice cooker on and off according to the temperature in the water bath.

Temperature controller

And finally, the rice cooker. This one was from Big-W for $40, and had a few useful accessories like racks/et. I’d really like a bigger one, but haven’t found one yet.

Rice Cooker

Using it is very simple. You plug the rice cooker into the back of the temperature controller, and put the temperature sensor into the water bath.

Temperature sensor

Then you just have to set the temperature, and the little box does the rest of the work.

Turning temperature control on

So now, onto the cooking reports. This week I’ve tried:

  • Sous Vide Brownies – a bit of a failure, but I think because I didn’t cream the butter properly.

  • Sous Vide Steak – very nice, but I took too long browning it and it was a little cold by the time it hit the plate (this seems to be a bit of a structural problem to me: by only cooking to the exactly right temperature, the meat will hold the heat for less time).

  • Sous Vide Pork Fillet – this worked much better, and produced one of the nicest pieces of pork I’ve had in a while. It could’ve done with a little seasoning before being vacuum sealed, I think, but it worked pretty well.

  • Sous Vide Kebabs. This was the most experimental I’ve been. I just took some of the kebabs we normally buy from the Griffith Butcher, and cut the pointy end off the kebab, sealed it, and cooked for two hours at 60 degrees, followed by a very quick run on a very hot skillet. Definitely juicier and more tender than usual, but probably needed a bit more browning.

Next up is a Sous Vide Eye Fillet. Yum!