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Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:59 PM

Having a go at sous vide.

Purchased an Aqua Chef ( http://www.aquachef.com/index.php ). Had to add an aquarium pump for circulation to stabilize the temp a bit, cycled 10 f at first but got it down to +/- 1.5. I also added insulation in the form of corrugated cardboard on 5 sides of the water bath; can't do much with the lid. Not the most precise but given that most ovens cycle at 15 f or more it should be close enough for deciding if it's worth the trouble.

First attempt was skinless chicken thighs at 144 (142 -145 cycle) for two hours. It was done but the bone still showed red blood and the texture was unpleasantly mushy. Trying again @ 147 (145-149) for 4 hours. I'll let ya' know.

If you want to try this thing I suggest Amazon. It's $160 from them but the factory site is terrible; no invoice preview, no packing list, no electronic confirmation and they charged $54 S&H! I made very unhappy noises to customer service and got a $20 credit but it's still too much for shipping UPS ground.

Anyway, all the sous vide websites mention texture as well as flavor. If the ultra moist almost mushy texture I got with the first attempt is any indication of "normal" sous vide I'm sending this thing back.

Any experience here? Any recipes I should try before I pack it up? I've got about two weeks left on the "free trial".



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Reply Having a go at sous vide. (Original post)
flamin lib Nov 2012 OP
Major Nikon Nov 2012 #1
Major Nikon Nov 2012 #2
flying rabbit Nov 2012 #3

Response to flamin lib (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 01:02 PM

1. I've been doing sous vide for a while now

I have the Sousvidemagic controller. I'm using an 18 quart roaster for my water bath. I'm very happy with this setup.

I'm not really big on recipe books, but Doug Baldwin's Sous Vide for the Home Cook is a book I recommend highly. There's a lot of great reference material in the book. I use the recipes as more of a jumping off point.

As far as pointers go, you have to get used to the sous vide process. Much more important than time is temperature. As you found out, even though your first attempt was edible, it wasn't at the right temperature. The concept of cooking chicken to different doneness levels is foreign to most, so you're just going to have to experiment a bit to see what you like. Steak is generally easier to start out with than chicken because people are generally know how they like their steak. Buy the cheapest steak you can find, season it, cook it at the internal temperature you like (rare, medium, or whatever), then sear it on the grill or skillet. I try to keep a few of these in the freezer, ready to go. I'll put them in the water bath (still frozen) before I leave for work and they are ready to go when I get home. It's very difficult to overcook something (time wise at least) with sous vide. For a steak, it would take days.

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Response to flamin lib (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 04:33 PM

2. Oh yeah, if you like soft boiled eggs...

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Response to flamin lib (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 06:20 PM

3. Haven't tried it yet

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