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View Full Version : Share your hackjobs or tips for DIY sous vide cooker.



ayeung74
06-07-2012, 07:01 PM
I was curious to know if anyone has tried (with or without succeess) to make a homemade sous vide cooker. Please share your past or present attempts because I'm curious about attempting to make one (just for fun).

Crothcipt
06-07-2012, 07:24 PM
I know there has been a couple, I just can't remember what thread it was in.

NO ChoP!
06-07-2012, 07:29 PM
Dude, I ziploc marinated meat, put it in a stock pot, and trickle hot water. The hot tap comes out at 125 to 130 degrees. Works like a charm. I've also used steam tables, hot wells, etc...

Deckhand
06-07-2012, 07:42 PM
This is probably what you were looking for homemade PID controller $75
http://seattlefoodgeek.com/2010/02/diy-sous-vide-heating-immersion-circulator-for-about-75/
Sous vide magic is about $150 then you don't have to build it yourself.
There is also the ice chest thermometer option. Just search Beer cooler sous vide.
Sous vide Demi is nice a lot of people like them $300
Polyscience professional sous vide $800
Anyway there is a range for you here
Hope this helps.

SpikeC
06-07-2012, 08:26 PM
Costco has a Sous Vide Supreme kit for 379.99 delivered that has a vac sealer, sous vide oven, cookbook and bags right now.

ayeung74
06-08-2012, 01:37 AM
Thanks for those recommendations. yeah, I have an old rice cooker that I thought about hacking to do the job, but I've seen some other methods out there as well. Just wondering if people have had successes with other methods and techniques. I know there are products out there to buy, but part of the fun is in making your own. I guess it's the Texas 'redneck' in me even though I'm Asian :)



This is probably what you were looking for homemade PID controller $75
http://seattlefoodgeek.com/2010/02/diy-sous-vide-heating-immersion-circulator-for-about-75/
Sous vide magic is about $150 then you don't have to build it yourself.
There is also the ice chest thermometer option. Just search Beer cooler sous vide.
Sous vide Demi is nice a lot of people like them $300
Polyscience professional sous vide $800
Anyway there is a range for you here
Hope this helps.

ayeung74
06-08-2012, 01:42 AM
By the way, I forgot to mention that I think the DIY link is awesome!!! I might try it!


This is probably what you were looking for homemade PID controller $75
http://seattlefoodgeek.com/2010/02/diy-sous-vide-heating-immersion-circulator-for-about-75/
Sous vide magic is about $150 then you don't have to build it yourself.
There is also the ice chest thermometer option. Just search Beer cooler sous vide.
Sous vide Demi is nice a lot of people like them $300
Polyscience professional sous vide $800
Anyway there is a range for you here
Hope this helps.

Deckhand
06-08-2012, 04:12 AM
By the way, I forgot to mention that I think the DIY link is awesome!!! I might try it!
Glad you caught that.
Best of luck with your sous vide. Ruhlman and Alton are clowns for being so dismissive of Modernist Cuisine the most significant book since Harold McGee who likes the book. Ruhlman started out pretending to be a student at the CIA to write a book followed by stealing the Ratios book idea from an instructor Uwe Hestnar. He really did Nathan Myrvold a diservice and insult with his NY times review.I think Alton just feels threatened as the science guy on food network.Sous vide is becoming much more of a household word already from it. It's like trickle down technology we use that started at NASA. I am glad the book got some recognition from the James Beard award.

apicius9
06-08-2012, 04:18 AM
Interesting. I have an unused slowcooker that I could probably use for that. But I wouldn't do the DIY thing, I'd just electrocute myself somehow... :) I think that's the Christmas present for myself - either the sous vide demi setup or the large oval dutch oven. Time to start putting my pennies into the piggie bank...

Stefan

sw2geeks
06-08-2012, 10:15 AM
I bought a old circa 1960 immersion circulatory for $30 on ebay.
It looks more like an Evenrude, but the motor and heating element still worked.

Hooked it up to a PID controller that I also picked up on ebay. It was made to control a smoker with 8 temp cycles, overkill for controlling a water bath, but works.

Whole thing ran me around $110.

Works great, plus it could double as a trolling motor if needed.

77087709771077117712

Deckhand
06-08-2012, 11:45 AM
That is really cool.

Eamon Burke
06-08-2012, 01:20 PM
Why aren't fish tank tools used for this again? An oversized heating element, and some saltwater fans...I've seen some pretty turbulent saltwater tanks, and I've heard tell of smaller tanks getting scalding hot with an oversized heating element.

ayeung74
06-08-2012, 02:28 PM
Very cool...I love the re-purposing of things like that. That old machine has a very nice vintage charm--it would be even better if it had giant toggle switches too. thanks for the pics...


I bought a old circa 1960 immersion circulatory for $30 on ebay.
It looks more like an Evenrude, but the motor and heating element still worked.

Hooked it up to a PID controller that I also picked up on ebay. It was made to control a smoker with 8 temp cycles, overkill for controlling a water bath, but works.

Whole thing ran me around $110.

Works great, plus it could double as a trolling motor if needed.

77087709771077117712

SameGuy
06-08-2012, 02:32 PM
Does a normal consumer FoodSaver evacuate quickly enough to not leak and thoroughly enough to do proper infusion?

ayeung74
06-08-2012, 03:27 PM
I've read reveiws where people have used Foodsavers, but I've also read where certain models don't do such a good job if there is alot of liquid in the bag. The problem that I've read seems to come from juices messing up the machines and not so much the bags themselves.



Does a normal consumer FoodSaver evacuate quickly enough to not leak and thoroughly enough to do proper infusion?

sw2geeks
06-08-2012, 03:48 PM
Does a normal consumer FoodSaver evacuate quickly enough to not leak and thoroughly enough to do proper infusion?

I have a newer unit that works pretty good. Dry stuff like the steaks in the picture was pretty dry with some thyme and butter, which worked great. Wet stuff tends to mess up the seal, but I always double seal anything that I put in the water bath.

Deckhand
06-08-2012, 05:34 PM
Does a normal consumer FoodSaver evacuate quickly enough to not leak and thoroughly enough to do proper infusion?
Some people freeze liquids into ice cubes to add marinade and seal. I am sure many people do home sous vide with foodsavers. Sure it depends on model. Vacmaster 112 is cheapest good chamber sealer.
Infusion is a completely different animal, like quick pickling,etc. You need to pull a good vacuum for that vacmaster 112 has some success, vacmaster 215 or minipack 31 would be better.

ayeung74
06-08-2012, 06:45 PM
I always try to factor in the cost of the bags when it comes to vacuum sealers, because those bags can get expensive. Does Vacmaster allow the use of other bags? I'll do some research on those models--thanks for the recommendation.

I do freeze leftover stock into ice cubes to use in home cooking and I figure that could be used to add flavor, but freezing a marinade is a good idea too--just a PITA though.



Some people freeze liquids into ice cubes to add marinade and seal. I am sure many people do home sous vide with foodsavers. Sure it depends on model. Vacmaster 112 is cheapest good chamber sealer.
Infusion is a completely different animal, like quick pickling,etc. You need to pull a good vacuum for that vacmaster 112 has some success, vacmaster 215 or minipack 31 would be better.

Deckhand
06-08-2012, 10:59 PM
Vacmaster 500 count box $50.00 is .10 cents a bag. From what I understand that is considerably cheaper.

foreleft
06-18-2012, 12:34 AM
Ziploc + Cooler is the cheapest way if you just want to do steaks and other quick cooking stuff.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/cook-your-meat-in-a-beer-cooler-the-worlds-best-sous-vide-hack.html

I have an auber instruments pid controller and a commercial food warmer with an aquarium bubbler. If you already have something like a rice cooker, roaster, or slow cooker the $150 controller is all you'll need.

http://www.auberins.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=13

SameGuy
06-21-2012, 10:30 AM
New Kickstarter for an immersion circulator that uses your existing cookware or Cambros, $299:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nomiku/nomiku-bring-sous-vide-into-your-kitchen?ref=live

Deckhand
06-21-2012, 01:28 PM
New Kickstarter for an immersion circulator that uses your existing cookware or Cambros, $299:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nomiku/nomiku-bring-sous-vide-into-your-kitchen?ref=live

Looks interesting. Accuracy isn't bad. Tough competition at same price point as sous vide supreme demi, and twice the price of a premade PID controller like a sous vide magic. It was hard to tell if they have it in production or looking for start up money. It will take time with users to see how long it is reliable before breaking. Still love seeing this happen. The more mainstream sous vide becomes the more accessible it will be financially for people. I am still waiting/saving for a polyscience professional, but I am very perfectionistic on my purchases. I wish them well.

sw2geeks
06-21-2012, 01:36 PM
New Kickstarter for an immersion circulator that uses your existing cookware or Cambros, $299:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nomiku/nomiku-bring-sous-vide-into-your-kitchen?ref=live

The wattage sounds a little low, but I guess if it is designed to sit on a pot that will be less water to heat.