Sous vide units- what's good and what's not

Discussion in 'Sous Vide' started by Nemo, Dec 18, 2018.

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  1. Feb 10, 2020 #31

    Michi

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    I use Sous Vide mostly for steaks and chicken breast. It works well for that because I can avoid overcooking the meat, and I have a lot more flexibility in terms of coordinating the timing of the meat with the remainder of the meal. If I'm a little behind on side dishes, no harm done.

    Occasionally I use Sous Vide to slow-cook one-pot dishes, such as pork belly adobo (although that really works just as well in a pot). One thing it's great for are egg bites or making paté: just dump the mason jars in there and that's that. It really works well.

    It's also useful for other things where precise control at low temperature is important, such as yoghurt or cheese making.
     
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  2. Feb 10, 2020 #32

    MowgFace

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    I also mainly use Sous vide for Steaks/Roasts. I do really like doing carrots/parsnips at 170 for about an hour or so. The starches convert to sugars, but still retain a nice "bite" even though they have softened. Just a quick brown in a pan to look visually appealing.

    Mowgs
     
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  3. Feb 11, 2020 #33

    Dendrobatez

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    Anova was good for the price (on sale at target for $100) got a couple thousand hours out of it, long term holding seems to kill it - 8 day pastrami beef heart was too much for it to handle.
     
  4. Feb 11, 2020 #34
    I've run the Anova BT models almost continuously. 10 days, couple weeks, kept bath at 142F (ALS facility) and rotated product in and out. Would try and remember to change out units every 10 days or so. Had one of three fail eventually, it was a "kickstarter" unit from forever ago.
     
  5. Feb 11, 2020 #35

    M1k3

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    We've had good luck with Joule's at work. 12+ hour 168° F hold, no problem.
     
  6. Feb 11, 2020 #36

    Michi

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    From the opinions I've seen, the Joule seems to be more reliable than the Anova.

    But it has its downside, too. There is no way to control it manually. That means that if the company ever closes down, or decides it no longer wants to continue to spend money on devices it sold years ago, that's the end of it. Without continually being updated, the app will stop working eventually, and I can no longer cook my food.

    With the Anova, I can at least use it by pressing buttons on the device. No need for wifi or an app.

    In fact, the whole IoT thing is a really, really bad idea. Besides people getting their computers hacked by their light bulbs (as was the case with both Philips and Nest, among many other IoT devices), there are other issues.

    To name one, when was the last time I felt the need to control my dishwasher while I was in the office? Never even once in the past 30 years, of course. Yet, dishwashers now come with wifi and an app. (I know, I bought a dishwasher last week. But not one with wifi.) These apps for appliances are solutions in search of a problem. And the only thing they achieve is needlessly making our lives more complicated.

    Just listen to the hours of frustration of Anova users trying to get it to connect to their network. Do you have a space or other unusual character in your wifi password? Too bad: you'll have to change the wifi password. Are you running 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks with the same SSID? Too bad: you'll have to rename one of them, or turn one of them off. Otherwise the Anova won't work.

    Another serious problem are long-lived devices, such as refrigerators, ovens, cook tops, washing machines, and so on. They often last for 20 years or more. There is a really serious economic problem here: the manufacturer gets money when they sell me a device, but doesn't get money for keeping it up to date. In other words, there is zero incentive for the manufacturer to do the right thing by the customer. In fact, there is an incentive to do the wrong thing by the customer: by no longer updating an older device, they coerce people into buying a newer one.

    If you are one of the people who bought a refrigerator with a built-in screen and internet browser back in the heyday of the web madness, have you tried browsing the web with it recently? It will not work. At all.

    There are also hardware standards to consider. We have had several major wifi standards, with more coming every few years. What are my chances that, fifteen years from now, my then-new wifi router will still be able to speak the language that is expected by my IoT devices? A language that is 15 years out of date? Or that it even even has a radio that supports a by-then long obsolete frequency? Or that it still supports the authentication protocol that the device wants to use, even though we don't use that protocol anymore because we found it to be insecure?

    Do you have enough technical knowledge to know how to set up virtual private networks that prevent devices from talking to each other, so you can isolate each IoT device in its own network and not have it attack your phone or PC? Do you know how to be sure that a device doesn't change radio frequencies behind your back, or puts the interface into promiscuous mode and listens to every packet that flies past?

    Do any of these words even make sense to you? If they don't, be ready to get hacked.

    Companies such as Miele are really good at making dishwashers and washing machines. It's their business, and they've been at it for a long time. Conversely, it is pretty much certain that they are really bad at writing secure networking software. Because that has never been their business. So the code gets outsourced to the lowest bidder, and the people writing the code can't even program their way out of a brown paper bag. (I'm not making this up. Serious security breaches caused by that kind of incompetence number in the many thousands.)

    As far as I am concerned, no device that cannot be operated without a wifi connection will ever enter my home, period. And no device that does not allow me to disable its wifi interface (mechanically, if need be) will ever enter my home either.

    I work as a networking expert for a major security company, which is why I will not have any IoT anything.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  7. Feb 11, 2020 #37

    WildBoar

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    Hmmm, your hands-on experience with networking is closing off your mind To me, there is nothing more satisfying than having the slow cooker talk to the fridge and tell it to message me at the grocery store that the meal currently cooking will result in me needing to buy more rolls of toilet paper, or possibly a roll of Tums.
     
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  8. Feb 11, 2020 #38

    Paraffin

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    I'm not a fan of widespread IoT where it doesn't make sense and it's just a marketing feature. I do like the way it works with the Joule circulator though. I can start it heating and leave the kitchen, do something else until it beeps my phone and tells me it's ready for me to add the food. On a long 24-hour cook for something like pork shoulder, I can check my phone late at night in bed, to make sure it's working without having to go downstairs and check. Just a convenience that saves a few steps. I could live without that remote feature, but I've gotten used to it.
     
  9. Feb 11, 2020 #39

    Keith Sinclair

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    Great thread Michi.

    Computers have changed the world. Can you imagine business & Hospitals without. To go digital for simple tasks not always a advantage. Unless you are disabled.

    Even some sniper rifles have digital readouts for wind, B pressure and other variables that help hit a Target at great distance.

    I like a manual stick in a car, old style round tack & speedo. Motorcycles and cars that are engaged fun to drive. Manuals in the USA are going into extinction. Self driving cars get to point A to B without doing anything no thanks:(
     
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  10. Feb 11, 2020 #40

    WildBoar

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    And don't forget about e-throttle, e-brake and e-steering! No thanks!!! My wife's car can have that crap, but no way do I want that stuff in my own. When my current car dies (it's 16 years old now) it will be a challenge to find a car without that stuff. More incentive to keep my current one alive as long as possible.
     
  11. Feb 11, 2020 #41

    Michi

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    My intent wasn't to trash computing in general. Clearly, it has changed the world in a big way. Just think of Google search and Wikipedia. Those two things would have to rank among the most profound and empowering inventions in human history. My complaint is about computing that doesn't improve functionality, provides no tangible benefit, and just makes people's lives more complicated.

    Computing has become so cheap that it is used to do lots of things because we can, not because we need or want them. A washing machine with wifi connectivity exists only because some marketing people realised that they could do this, so they did. "If our washing machine has an app, that's better than a washing machine without an app, right?"

    Wrong. Because no-one wants it, and no-one needs it. And it's yet one more thing that needs software updates, hogs space on my phone, poses a security risk, and makes me feel compelled to look after it, even though I never needed it or wanted it in the first place.

    Solutions in search of a problem are a real problem.
     
  12. Feb 11, 2020 #42

    Keith Sinclair

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    Don't get me started on washing machines. :D Designed to fail made out of the cheapest materials they can get away with. Usually one of first fixes is that computer board 400.00 repair sometimes only after a couple years.
     
  13. Feb 12, 2020 #43

    Michi

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    I suspect that there is a correlation between price and quality. My experience with reputable brands (such as Bosch and Miele) has been that if a part fails outside the warranty period, they will do the repair free of charge if I can reasonably expect that part to last that long.

    On the downside, I pay for that level of service up-front: the machine costs more because the company cares about its customers, and because the company uses higher-quality parts (that are less likely to fail) than the cheaper competitors. That service and quality cost extra (real) money.

    That's a complicated way of saying "you get what you pay for."

    PS: In Australia, consumer protection laws are, fortunately, quite strong. It doesn't matter if a manufacturer says "one year warranty". Consumer law states that I am entitled to a repair under warranty while I can reasonably expect the item to work. In other words, if a new TV packs it in after 18 months, the manufacturer is required by law to fix it, no matter whether they say "six months warranty" or "twelve months warranty". It's the same for long-lived appliances such as washing machines or refrigerators. If those die with three or four years of the purchase date, the manufacturer is still legally obliged to repair them for free, no matter what is printed on the warranty card.
     
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  14. Feb 12, 2020 #44

    Paraffin

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    Price correlates to quality as long as you aren't comparing a cheaply made appliance with a price that's bloated with unnecessary features. If you can afford to buy commercial-grade appliances that's a pretty good indicator of quality. So far, it doesn't look like the IoT madness has infiltrated most commercial/restaurant/hotel-grade appliances. They're still pretty basic.

    Our house was operating as a Bed & Breakfast when we bought it and converted it back to a private residence. The house had a commercial-grade washer and dryer to handle the volume, and a commercial Hobart dishwasher to meet the local health regs (this was a standard licensed B&B, not the "Air B&B" type). When it came time to replace the dishwasher and the washer and dryer -- because nothing lasts forever and these had been hard-used for years -- we bought another Hobart dishwasher and a commercial brand washer and dryer (can't remember the name offhand).

    The only problem we've had is that Hobart doesn't like to service residential locations, so the couple of times we've needed service, we fib and tell them it's still a working B&B.
     
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  15. Feb 13, 2020 #45

    Noodle

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    I am in total agreement with most of this, though we’ve probably veered way too far off topic at this point (is there a sub-forum for old farts sitting around kvetching?). I had never even thought of it, when a repairman—remember when it was reasonable to repair appliances?—brought to my attention that the electronics in my range was a weak area, a point of failure. That was years ago, but cheap and practical guy that I am, I’ve always taken it into consideration when purchasing things since.

    The problem is that it is very difficult and limiting to find almost anything mechanical that is not stuffed with add-ons and “convenience” features. I’m no Luddite, but I appreciate choice, and it’s tough to find a fridge that doesn’t have a water dispenser or ice maker, though most of my friend’s dispensers and ice makers don’t work at this point. Almost every range comes with electronic controls at the very least, with the exception of some pro models, though you actually pay more for that, ironically. Which makes it hard for a person of average means, for whom money may be tight, to not get sucked into this cycle of breakdown/repair/replacement.

    The IoT has not been a boon for me. Michi breaks it down thoroughly above.

    Personally, I’ll never be the kind of guy who needs to control the lighting in my house via my phone, but even in the areas where I could see it’s use, such as in an entry camera, we come to discover the devices are used as much for data scraping & selling (see the Ring Doorbell story) as for security. It makes one feel distrustful of tech in general, and for at least a certain segment of consumers, is driving us away from it.

    I guess it’s no surprise, you hear this on a forum devoted to such basic tools and, so far anyway (though I’m guessing it’s been tried), the tech lords haven’t managed to meddle with our knives.
     
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  16. Feb 13, 2020 #46

    WildBoar

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    ???? You don't have any connected knives yet? For shame...

    Mine sends an alert to my phone whenever the dice becomes inconsistent. I also receive alerts when my wife leaves a carbon knife laying on the cutting board wet/ dirty.

    (I wish...)
     
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  17. Feb 14, 2020 #47

    Noodle

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    Gotta get one of those... Oops, I mean If only I could get my credit card info back from the guys in Russia who’ve had it since my last data breach.
     
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  18. Mar 2, 2020 #48

    davidg

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    I also use a joule. I have never had anything else, so I cannot give any comparisons, but I do think it works great and have zero complaints. Other than the price going up when Breville bought them out, ha, as I'd like a second unit.
     
  19. Mar 2, 2020 #49

    CoteRotie

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