Sous Vide, the adventure begins

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That was the stove an a hot fryiing pan with a MAPP torch to supplement the sear. The fan was working but I still am glad I disconnected the kitchen smoke detector. I had complaints as the rosemary went up in flames.

Blind Squirrel, nice link. Watched the whole thing and I agree with their conclusion that the charcoal chimney hack has produced the best results for me so far as well.

Bounce...damn! A Pico Brew. Food and beer is a combination that works for me. What is the beer batch size?

link assist for the Youtube above:

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Cooked a Porterhouse (T-bone) sous vide at 129 degrees for 1.5 hours and finished on the chimney hack. Served with mushrooms and sides it was perfect. I like the repeatable results.

[moved to Home Brewing thread as requested]

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Sunday dinner has started. I dropped in some turkey legs, thighs and the wings neck and other gravy makings tonight to make the ChefSteps / Meatheads recipe in post #1 of this thread. We ate Thanksgiving with family at their house, so we didn't get our fill of the good stuff. Tomorrow, I'll add the breasts at 130 degrees and finish on the Grillgrates. This starts at 150 degrees for 12 hours and the breast cooks at 130 starting tomorrow morning. I used salt, pepper and thyme, rather than the sugar. Using a cooler for this cook for more room and better thermal efficiency.


I have some jumbo zip lock bags. I might get a vacuum sealer one of these days, but the zip-lock has worked well so far, especially freezer bags. I used to have a vacuum sealer, but it was such a nuisance it was retired and lost.

I'm using a couple layers of packaging bubble wrap on the surface of the water. I figure if it works for the swimming pool to hold heat and prevent evaporation, it should work pretty good here.

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Hey Tom - not long after I started, I bought a cheap cooler from WalMart and cut the lid to be a snug fit around my Anova. I also glued some material from a windshield sun visor to the bottom of the lid for additional insulation. It's held up well and allows for LONG cooks (48hrs) without any noticeable water loss.

I just realized - I cut a rectangular corner off for the circulator - it's also a tight fit to the rest of the lid, but that can be removed without disturbing the circulator.

If you don't mind the cost of the zip-locks, there's nothing wrong with them. In fact, you don't need a zip-lock bag - any bag will do as long as there's water surrounding the food, and (obviously) enough bag to prevent water from getting in.

I've pondered stealing a roll of veggie bags from the grocery store.. or the longer bags they have for meat and such.. :)

The cooler with the bubble wrap floating on top is working great. Very little heat loss and no evaporation at all. Using an IR thermometer, I get readings of 100-111 on the surface, and the water bath under the cover is 130 degrees....the same setting as the Anova. This old cooler used to be my water samples container from when I used to do storm water compliance work. It came from the lab, so free to me. Maybe I will cut it up, but the bubble wrap is working great.

Bounce, I appreciate the indulgence of the forum for this off-topic stuff. It's snowing here today and not much riding to talk about for me. So drinking some homebrew, cooking sous vide and grilling on the GrillGrates will have to suffice. JSNS.

Steelers ahead now...It's a good day not to ride

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Great results, although the dark meat bag leaked inward and was full of broth and water. After drying on paper towels the turkey hit the GrillGrates at 570 degrees F. About 10-15 minutes later brought it in and served. The white meat was the most tender and moist I've ever had. Slight pink color in the breasts got comments of concern from the wife, and a discussion of pasteurization ensued. Fortunately, nothing bled, and it was agreed to be some of the best ever.



Before browning, not too impressive.


Here's my Igloo-based cooker - I only use it for long cooks where evaporation would be a problem. Of course, the insulation helps as well.

I have to prepare pork for a party on Friday, and wondered... sure enough - Sous Vide produces a very nice result. It will be finished on the kamado, to get the smoke and bark. Now it's hands-off for 24hrs at 165, and an easy finish before the party..


Question: How do you ensure the circulator maintains uniform temperature all around the cooler?

I'm considering using my mashing equipment for sous vide, and was going to use the slotted copper manifold underneath the food bags to try and get uniform circulation and temperature. I'd also deliver the heated water via an H shaped manifold on top. These were all parts of the recirculating infusing mash system (RIMS) which did maintain pretty uniform mash temps (within a degree F) throughout the large cooler similar to yours.

I can see the water circulating throughout the cooler, and have used a fast IR thermometer to check temperatures at different locations. I have not found any cold spots. I suppose you could get a container too large for the circulation to reach the far end. I don't think you need to resort to McGyvering the heat distribution system in most cases unless you let the bags block the flow.

That's the point of it being an immersion circulator. There's a constant flow, and you can rotate the "outlet" to accommodate different shaped vessels. I'm sure if you throw a 40F pork butt into 165F bath, it will be cooler in places because that much thermal mass sucks heat out of the water, but it doesn't take long to get back to the target temp.

You made me curious, so I just went poking around my slab-o-pork with one of my Maverick thermapens (reputed to be very accurate) and no matter where I probed, even in a corner where circulation seems poor (due to the size of the meat), it was 165.4F. Not even 1/10th degree difference..

Ready for the smoker..

I pulled it after about 20hrs at 165F, and chilled it in cold, running water for about 10min before putting in the fridge overnight. Pulled it back out about 4hrs ago, and let it sit (still in the bag) for a couple of hours before prepping it for the smoker. Saved the liquid that had rendered out - that's on the stove reducing now.

Once I had the kamado headed towards the right temp., I washed the meat (in cold water), then dried, and put it on the grill. Keeping temps in the 280-300F range, hope to get a nice bark in an hour or so. The meat was VERY tender, you could feel it falling apart under its own weight (the small pieces you see fell off from handling.) The interior is a gorgeous color, can't wait to pull the finished product and start shredding!

The dogs just about peed themselves trying to get to the bits that were left on the prep platter I used to carry the meat out!

I'll continue over in the smoker thread!