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Deckhand
05-21-2012, 07:00 PM
Clueless about sous vide but wanting to try it.

Any opinions on an enclosed sous vide like this

http://www.amazon.com/SousVide-Supreme-Sous-Vide-Water/dp/B003AYZIB4

vs a circulator like this

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/polyscience-professional-sous-vide-thermal-circulator/

Also any opinions on vacuum sealer that can seal liquids without turning them into ice cubes first or are some of you just making the ice cubes.

JohnnyChance
05-21-2012, 07:06 PM
You will need a chamber vacuum sealer to be able to seal liquids and other neat things. This model (http://www.cabelas.com/vacuum-sealers-ary-vacmaster-vp210-vacuum-sealer.shtml) is basically where they start and you can go all the way up to $5k easy if you want.

If you have to take up counter space with the chamber sealer, then save some space by getting the circulator, which you can put away and store easily. Not to mention that they actually circulate the water, unlike the water oven which is basically a steam table with more precise thermostat.

Deckhand
05-21-2012, 07:16 PM
You will need a chamber vacuum sealer to be able to seal liquids and other neat things. This model (http://www.cabelas.com/vacuum-sealers-ary-vacmaster-vp210-vacuum-sealer.shtml) is basically where they start and you can go all the way up to $5k easy if you want.

If you have to take up counter space with the chamber sealer, then save some space by getting the circulator, which you can put away and store easily. Not to mention that they actually circulate the water, unlike the water oven which is basically a steam table with more precise thermostat.

Thanks for the link looks good. Found this one on amazon but don't know how good it is, but a little cheaper.

http://www.amazon.com/VacMaster-Portable-Chamber-Vacuum-Sealer/product-reviews/B003YE8FG0/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

The circulator that you can put away when you aren't using makes sense and from your statement seems to be a better quality way to sous vide. I appreciate your comments. This is uncharted territory for me and definitely something I want to do.

Crothcipt
05-21-2012, 07:16 PM
Ok clueless here too. So I can't just get a walmart vac. sealer and go from there? (I am very cheap.) Or does the chamber needed to do a more though job sealing/pressurizing the food?

Deckhand
05-21-2012, 07:21 PM
Ok clueless here too. So I can't just get a walmart vac. sealer and go from there? (I am very cheap.) Or does the chamber needed to do a more though job sealing/pressurizing the food?

With my very limited research it appears cheaper sealers you need to make marinades etc into ice cubes to put in the bag for sealing. The better vacuum sealers will seal with liquids. Brought the topic up hear because there is a vast resource of knowledge here on something I really want to start doing.

Crothcipt
05-21-2012, 07:25 PM
Last time I was at wally world they had quite a few out. I just thought about it then. I also saw a site that was talking about using a crock pot for the cooking. But I don't think it will be very accurate.

Deckhand
05-21-2012, 07:29 PM
Last time I was at wally world they had quite a few out. I just thought about it then. I also saw a site that was talking about using a crock pot for the cooking. But I don't think it will be very accurate.

Yep read about people doing it that way. I don't want to go too low tech. I want something nice, but not sky is the limit nice:biggrin:

JohnnyChance
05-21-2012, 07:38 PM
There are plenty of budget ways to go about it and you can get similar results. A pump sealer is way cheaper and also doesn't take up a ton of counter space, but you are limited in some of the things you can seal. You can also get thermostat controllers that you can use on crock pots, slow cookers or steam tables.

Deckhand
05-21-2012, 08:11 PM
There are plenty of budget ways to go about it and you can get similar results. A pump sealer is way cheaper and also doesn't take up a ton of counter space, but you are limited in some of the things you can seal. You can also get thermostat controllers that you can use on crock pots, slow cookers or steam tables.

The sealer you linked to looks good guess I will debate between that an the amazon one and I can get a circulator like the one I linked to. I don't mind spending somewhere under $2000, obviously a little cheaper is even better,between sealer and sous vide I just don't want to buy something that turns out to be junk. I am sure there are a lot of home cooks doing sous vide on the forum. Just wondering what they are happy with. I hate being a guinea pig when I can learn from the collective wisdom.

rahimlee54
05-21-2012, 08:33 PM
Michael Ruhlman said on his blog a little while back his bag of choice is a ziploc.

This (http://www.ziploc.com/Products/Pages/VacuumFreezerSystem.aspx)

Deckhand
05-21-2012, 08:51 PM
Michael Ruhlman said on his blog a little while back his bag of choice is a ziploc.

This (http://www.ziploc.com/Products/Pages/VacuumFreezerSystem.aspx)

I have actually seen that mentioned on a few forums/blogs. Guess I don't have to bite the bullet all at once. I will focus on the two sous vides previously mentioned. Still unsure but the polyscience circulator seems better. Hopefully others will chime in.

ajhuff
05-21-2012, 09:29 PM
Dave Arnold at FCI has had good luck with ziplocks.

Let me find the link.

-AJ

ajhuff
05-21-2012, 09:33 PM
Sous Vide primer here, Part I. There is a second part too. HTH.

http://www.cookingissues.com/primers/sous-vide/part-i-introduction-to-low-temperature-cooking-and-sous-vide/

-AJ

Namaxy
05-21-2012, 09:40 PM
I'm a home amateur - but I use sous vide fairly often - here are some observations which I hope answer your questions.

I have the Polyscience Pro Chef - same as you linked from WS. I find it accurate and reliable. I use the large open poly carbonate tub from Poly Sci instead of that big stockpot from WS. It's easier to work with but one caution: The pro chef model has a hard time keeping up to temp with a large/full water bath at the higher temp ranges..eg 85C or so typically used for fruit and veg. I fixed this by making a cover - since I bought mine Polyscience now makes a cover for the plastic tub. With a cover it has no problem maintaining even higher temps.

I experiemented with all sorts of foods in the beginning, but over time I found my favorite use of sous vide is parcooking proteins at a perfect temp for finishing later, and for eggs (you cold do a whole thread on the many different ways to do sous vide eggs!). The reason I bring this up is that, although I bought an expensive chamber sealer, I don't use that many marinades any more. I primarily seal meats with aromatics, and use whatever might have been the marinade in the final cook. Great examples are scallops or beef/veal tenderloin. Take beef...I vac seal just with salt/pepper thyme and sous vide at 59/60. It's evenly cooked throughout - then when you serve you can sear briefly on high heat with butter, thyme, shallots, garlic etc, and create a crust with the flavors in the pan. Long story short - I wouldn't make the ability to handle wet marinades the key factor in your vac sealer decision.

On the other hand - I do prefer a sealer with a stong vacuum, coupled with a thicker plastic bag - as compared to the Ruhlman technique. The reason is I want soft foods to hold their shape. Although it may seem counter-intuiitive a weak vacuum seems to 'suck' suck on the bag forever, and eventually deform your food. Think scallops - you want a nice round scallop, not one squeezed out of shape. The stronger sealer I have seems to draw the air out of the bag very quickly, and maintain the shape of the food despite a very stong vacuum. Just my two cents on the subject :rofl2:

Deckhand
05-21-2012, 09:48 PM
Sous Vide primer here, Part I. There is a second part too. HTH.

http://www.cookingissues.com/primers/sous-vide/part-i-introduction-to-low-temperature-cooking-and-sous-vide/

-AJ

Thanks for the link. Did a cursory scan. I will go back and read it in depth. Looks good.

Deckhand
05-21-2012, 09:51 PM
I'm a home amateur - but I use sous vide fairly often - here are some observations which I hope answer your questions.

I have the Polyscience Pro Chef - same as you linked from WS. I find it accurate and reliable. I use the large open poly carbonate tub from Poly Sci instead of that big stockpot from WS. It's easier to work with but one caution: The pro chef model has a hard time keeping up to temp with a large/full water bath at the higher temp ranges..eg 85C or so typically used for fruit and veg. I fixed this by making a cover - since I bought mine Polyscience now makes a cover for the plastic tub. With a cover it has no problem maintaining even higher temps.

I experiemented with all sorts of foods in the beginning, but over time I found my favorite use of sous vide is parcooking proteins at a perfect temp for finishing later, and for eggs (you cold do a whole thread on the many different ways to do sous vide eggs!). The reason I bring this up is that, although I bought an expensive chamber sealer, I don't use that many marinades any more. I primarily seal meats with aromatics, and use whatever might have been the marinade in the final cook. Great examples are scallops or beef/veal tenderloin. Take beef...I vac seal just with salt/pepper thyme and sous vide at 59/60. It's evenly cooked throughout - then when you serve you can sear briefly on high heat with butter, thyme, shallots, garlic etc, and create a crust with the flavors in the pan. Long story short - I wouldn't make the ability to handle wet marinades the key factor in your vac sealer decision.

On the other hand - I do prefer a sealer with a stong vacuum, coupled with a thicker plastic bag - as compared to the Ruhlman technique. The reason is I want soft foods to hold their shape. Although it may seem counter-intuiitive a weak vacuum seems to 'suck' suck on the bag forever, and eventually deform your food. Think scallops - you want a nice round scallop, not one squeezed out of shape. The stronger sealer I have seems to draw the air out of the bag very quickly, and maintain the shape of the food despite a very stong vacuum. Just my two cents on the subject :rofl2:

Thanks for your input. Guess that's the one to try then. What sealer are you using and are you happy with it or wish you had a different one?

Mucho Bocho
05-21-2012, 10:18 PM
Namaxy, I have the same gear and have followed the same food experimentation path and could not agree with you more. One thing that is never talked about is that you can sous vide slow or fast. Fast is shorter cooking times, slow is longer. I also have a jury-rigged crock-pot PID set-up that I use for all the sous vide cooking I do for longer periods (which is about 80% of my SV cooking). As much as I love to see the poly sci in action, its kinda annoying to have the pump circulating water for 50 hours. See my 50hr Chick steak

http://i1051.photobucket.com/albums/s426/dennismpintoii/chuck.jpg

I use the Vac Master VP--112 and love it. I'm a big fan of over kill end even could be challenged justifying the next level of chamber vac. You can do infused fruit, how much more pressure do you want than that? Most of the time you run these machines between 40 and 60% of their capability.



I'm a home amateur - but I use sous vide fairly often - here are some observations which I hope answer your questions.

I have the Polyscience Pro Chef - same as you linked from WS. I find it accurate and reliable. I use the large open poly carbonate tub from Poly Sci instead of that big stockpot from WS. It's easier to work with but one caution: The pro chef model has a hard time keeping up to temp with a large/full water bath at the higher temp ranges..eg 85C or so typically used for fruit and veg. I fixed this by making a cover - since I bought mine Polyscience now makes a cover for the plastic tub. With a cover it has no problem maintaining even higher temps.

I experiemented with all sorts of foods in the beginning, but over time I found my favorite use of sous vide is parcooking proteins at a perfect temp for finishing later, and for eggs (you cold do a whole thread on the many different ways to do sous vide eggs!). The reason I bring this up is that, although I bought an expensive chamber sealer, I don't use that many marinades any more. I primarily seal meats with aromatics, and use whatever might have been the marinade in the final cook. Great examples are scallops or beef/veal tenderloin. Take beef...I vac seal just with salt/pepper thyme and sous vide at 59/60. It's evenly cooked throughout - then when you serve you can sear briefly on high heat with butter, thyme, shallots, garlic etc, and create a crust with the flavors in the pan. Long story short - I wouldn't make the ability to handle wet marinades the key factor in your vac sealer decision.

On the other hand - I do prefer a sealer with a stong vacuum, coupled with a thicker plastic bag - as compared to the Ruhlman technique. The reason is I want soft foods to hold their shape. Although it may seem counter-intuiitive a weak vacuum seems to 'suck' suck on the bag forever, and eventually deform your food. Think scallops - you want a nice round scallop, not one squeezed out of shape. The stronger sealer I have seems to draw the air out of the bag very quickly, and maintain the shape of the food despite a very stong vacuum. Just my two cents on the subject :rofl2:

Namaxy
05-21-2012, 11:25 PM
Thanks for your input. Guess that's the one to try then. What sealer are you using and are you happy with it or wish you had a different one?

I use the Vacmaster 210. Very pleased with it, although my only prior experience (ownership wise) was a cheap ish Casco sealer. When i owned the Casco, I had the chance to try high end vacmasters playing around in a local restaurant, and easily saw the quality difference.

Deckhand
05-21-2012, 11:34 PM
Thanks for everyone's input it really helps. I feel a lot better purchasing in the near future after hearing these opinions.

JMac
05-22-2012, 02:26 AM
I aswell have the poly science unit. Find it great for sous at home. Yeah u will have to cover the plastic lexan if you want to get it to max temp.
I just use a stock pot, find it more efficient.

As far as vacuum sealer vs chamber vac. Question is how serious are you about this cooking method. Do you want to invest a lot of money in one?
Yeah theres pro's and con's to both. i use a vacuum sealer at home. I can't sous liquids or compress fruit. But I'm ok with that.

At the restaurant i have a Chamber Vac that can do everything you want. Its nice but it was 3800$ . Yeah theres cheaper ones that are good for home.

I would say just try a vacuum sealer for 100-200$, try it. See how it works, practice your technique. Then if it works well your good. Or sell it and for the chamber Vac.

Deckhand
05-22-2012, 12:31 PM
I aswell have the poly science unit. Find it great for sous at home. Yeah u will have to cover the plastic lexan if you want to get it to max temp.
I just use a stock pot, find it more efficient.

As far as vacuum sealer vs chamber vac. Question is how serious are you about this cooking method. Do you want to invest a lot of money in one?
Yeah theres pro's and con's to both. i use a vacuum sealer at home. I can't sous liquids or compress fruit. But I'm ok with that.

At the restaurant i have a Chamber Vac that can do everything you want. Its nice but it was 3800$ . Yeah theres cheaper ones that are good for home.

I would say just try a vacuum sealer for 100-200$, try it. See how it works, practice your technique. Then if it works well your good. Or sell it and for the chamber Vac.

Thanks for your input. Poly science it will be. Guess I will mull over vacuum sealer suggestions and appreciate all of them. I don't want to get carried away more than necessary, but certainly want to get the job done for the least for the highest quality. I take the sous vide technique and cooking in general very seriously. I greatly enjoy my cooking and so do others. If it means investing more within reason to get better quality it is worth it to me. I will mainly be focused on proteins and collagen breakdown, but I am sure as I use it I will want to try more and more techniques. An earlier suggestion mentioned higher quality vacuum sealers have less deformation of scallops, etc. which matters to me.

Line cooked
05-22-2012, 01:39 PM
Polyscience has also launched an IPAD app to take the guess work out of cooking sous vide....it is a thermal conductivity application thatt allows you to
put in several parameters lik kind of protein, thickness of the protein, desired temp, etc and gives you a very accurete guidline for cooking proteins. I believe it was $4.99 and worth it if you cook sous vide often.

Deckhand
05-22-2012, 01:51 PM
Polyscience has also launched an IPAD app to take the guess work out of cooking sous vide....it is a thermal conductivity application thatt allows you to
put in several parameters lik kind of protein, thickness of the protein, desired temp, etc and gives you a very accurete guidline for cooking proteins. I believe it was $4.99 and worth it if you cook sous vide often.

Wow, that's cool I will get that thanks for the tip.!

Mucho Bocho
05-22-2012, 04:43 PM
Deckhand, I would definitely go with the Vac chamber before the poly-sci. Using a crock-pot PID will cost $200 as opposed to $800 for the poly-sci. The chamber is more critical than the water bath.

Deckhand
05-22-2012, 05:07 PM
Deckhand, I would definitely go with the Vac chamber before the poly-sci. Using a crock-pot PID will cost $200 as opposed to $800 for the poly-sci. The chamber is more critical than the water bath.

Seems like the vac master has good ratings combined with a poly-sci circulator seems like a good combination from my limited knowledge. Poly sci vs Sous vide supreme seem like only reasonable choices for the sous vide aspect.The vac master you recommended looks good for the vacuum sealer aspect.

bcrano
05-22-2012, 07:10 PM
I have the vacmaster and the sous vide supreme and love both. They work always and get great results. Couldn't recommend more.

Deckhand
05-22-2012, 07:33 PM
I have the vacmaster and the sous vide supreme and love both. They work always and get great results. Couldn't recommend more.
Thanks for your comments. I feel a lot more secure in purchases with this thread. It has been very helpful.

Deckhand
05-23-2012, 03:52 AM
Sous Vide primer here, Part I. There is a second part too. HTH.

http://www.cookingissues.com/primers/sous-vide/part-i-introduction-to-low-temperature-cooking-and-sous-vide/

-AJ

Very interesting that sous vide is actually under vacuum as opposed to low temperature cooking as the term is often used.

Deckhand
05-25-2012, 02:28 PM
Decided on vacmaster vp215, and sous vide professional. Anyone use the cambro cut out lid?

Mucho Bocho
05-25-2012, 02:39 PM
I have the Cambro lid. Slick as all get out. Good about vac master but not sure why you would choose the 215 over the VP112? You must have a very large kitchen? Remember that you will be less likely to use something that isn't convenient. That is a serious machine though. I went back and fourth on them but decided on the 112 and couldn't be happier. Also remember that you will rarely use max pressure. Most of the time is 60 to 80 % of the maximum available pressure.

Mucho Bocho
05-25-2012, 02:45 PM
If you really get into SV cooking like me, you be looking for a PID/Crock pot set up in no time. Today i'm going to go home and remove a brisket (deckle) after 50 hours of cooking.Running the Polysci that long is annoying but in a crock-pot its quiet and efficient. The polysci is great for fussy foods (fish, eggs) and great for reheating meats cause it heats up faster than the crock pot. Good tip, use the hottest water from the tap to fill your cambro and it will heat up much faster.

Deckhand
05-25-2012, 03:37 PM
I like the overkill of the 215. I think it will out last me. I will make room:biggrin: think its about 90lbs. I may get a metal cart or table for it. Still working on what size Cambro to get factoring in water displacement. Looks like max is 30 liters to keep stable temp. Thanks for the comments on the cut out lid will definitely be getting one. Originally wondered about the water ovens vs circulators due to noise. Do you wish you bought a water oven like a sous vide supreme instead or do you prefer your circulator and stock pot combo. Don't want to irritate my wife. Thought the circulator would sound like an aquarium pump. Do you find it annoying on long cooks? Thanks for your opinions.

JohnnyChance
05-26-2012, 03:08 AM
The sous vide supreme is quiet but small. Like Mucho Bocho said, a better way to go for long cooks is a crock pot or steam table and a PID controller.

Deckhand
05-26-2012, 03:34 AM
The sous vide supreme is quiet but small. Like Mucho Bocho said, a better way to go for long cooks is a crock pot or steam table and a PID controller.

Seen some videos, blogs,etc. on the crockpot/rice cooker with PID controller. Are they all home made PID controllers or can you purchase one. What benefit is there over just using polyscience professional circulator for long cooks as well as short cooks. I am open to what you guys are saying. New to all of this but definitely will be doing it and excited about the possibilities.

Tristan
05-28-2012, 05:36 AM
I'm tapping in on every question that Deckhand has - so props for asking the questions, and I'm also awaiting the replies.

Not sure that I would need more room than is available in a sous vide supreme - simply due to constraints of living in a small apartment.

Deckhand
05-28-2012, 01:07 PM
Tristan thanks for your comments. After days of research I feel I could almost write a dissertation, but I know I have much to learn. Much of the information is put out by the companies of the products. Kind of like Mark Twain saying if you don't read the news you are uninformed if you read the news you are misinformed. I have been enjoying my research nonetheless. Don't know if any of this helps but here is a snipet of my reading.

Mucho Bucho recommended the VP112. I can see why he likes it. It's much lighter and you can vacuum seal containers with a hose that comes off it as a bonus. The other vacmasters don't have that. It gets good ratings. It really just depends on personal preference. The vacmaster 210 seems a little more industrial. The 215 has a stronger pump than the 210. Sous vide magic PID is a PID controller that is already made if you didn't want to make your own. The sous vide supreme water oven seems like people are very happy and is quiet. I am sure better quality versions will be made soon if not from them a competing company. It seems like a good budget option as it controls water temp and already has the container and rack. The polyscience sous vide professional seems like my most likely option but will have a certain amount of ambient noise from the pump. I will see how my budget goes In the next few weeks I am getting a Big Green Egg xl, a vacmaster 215, and then whatever remains will determine sous vide supreme vs polyscience professional vs polyscience professional modernist cuisine kit. That being said if I get a sous vide supreme to start I think it would work out just fine. I can always get the polyscience professional later. Either way I will be having a great time cooking.

Deckhand
05-31-2012, 01:50 PM
For the benefit of others reading this thread later vacmasters and many other chamber vacuum sealers run on a timer with a mechanical pressure gauge. Other makers make ones that seal at a particular vacuum percentage like the minipack mvs31x. You need to actually go to the next model up from this one in order to get a Bosch pump, the model below it is a timer sealer not vacuum percentage. Many say the Bosch pump is superior and can be rebuilt. In all likelihood I will buy the VP112 mentioned earlier in the post as many people on many forums are very happy with the weight and cost. As I delve more into modernist cuisine and sous vide techniques, infusions,etc. I may at a later point buy one that seals at a set vacuum percentage. If money is no object I would get this type. If anyone has a chamber sealer that vacuums on a percentage like the minipack I would welcome their input. I have read a post about texture variance in food by various percentages
http://www.cookingissues.com/2009/06/17/boring-but-useful-technical-post-vacuum-machines-affect-the-texture-of-your-meat/
Also, heard under pressure cooking sous vide by Ruhlman has vacuum percentages, and assuming in the Modernist Cuisine.
One last thought some people enjoy the benefit of retort pouches and retort capable is of interest in their purchase.