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Do it Yourself Sous Vide

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    Do it Yourself Sous Vide

    I am building a $20 Sous Vide tonight with a $15 temp controller from Amazon, an old computer power supply box and wiring, a household outlet, and my Crock Pot. Here is the controller:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ilpage_o01_s00


    Where do we talk about this stuff?




    #2
    Maybe accessories.....not sure. This looks good for now.

    What are you using for circulation?

    Comment


    • David Parrish
      David Parrish commented
      Editing a comment
      Jerod I agree accessories is the right location.

    • jayn
      jayn commented
      Editing a comment
      Jerod, is natural convection enough? We shall see.

      Just hoping that I can get a little experience with Sous Vide. If I love it I will spring for a dedicated unit.

    • mgaretz
      mgaretz commented
      Editing a comment
      Natural convection will likely be good enough for your tests, but be sure to keep the bag off the bottom of the pot.

    #3
    Would love to see pics of your build. I'd like to use a similar set up with a hot plate in and old fridge being converted to a smoker.

    Comment


    • jayn
      jayn commented
      Editing a comment
      ARG! Amazon Prime let me down for the first time ever! I was hoping to have some hunks of Beef round bathing right now... but instead I have no pictures and no supper!

      This is where I got the idea:

      http://www.instructables.com/id/Sous...-less-than-40/

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhedRvUvsBY


      I think this would do just fine for that application. If you look through the Amazon reviews you will see home brewers controlling fermentation, People controlling their fish tank heaters, people running heaters on their pump houses...It is pretty verstile.

    #4
    I would definitely be interested in a cheap setup. I also find myself asking a lot of questions about it, like how do you keep your food submerged. Corn can be hard to keep down. Might just need a dedicated sous vide section....

    Comment


    • Dr ROK
      Dr ROK commented
      Editing a comment
      There are various ways to keep food submerged. One method I've used is to put some silverware in with the food.

    • snowandsmoke
      snowandsmoke commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, I was thinking about trying to find some stainless balls or something. I like to prep some things, and freeze them. Mamma would freak out if she was missing 15 spoons.

    • Dewesq55
      Dewesq55 commented
      Editing a comment
      I have used those decorative flattened marbles that are used sometimes in centerpieces or such. I stick a few in the bag with the food.

    #5
    So that controller is not your typical sous vide controller. The one you are looking at is referred to as a bang-bang controller. It goes on when the temp is below the set point and off when it's above (like your home thermostat). A typical sous vide controller is a PID (proportional integral derivative) controller and in English that means it anticipates what it needs to do based on history of the temps. In other words it learns to shut off and turn on early to take under and over shoot into account. Bottom line is that the PID controller will keep the temp much closer to the set point than the one you're looking at, so you're likely to see wide swings in the temp of the water, not what you want for most sous vide applications.

    Comment


    • jayn
      jayn commented
      Editing a comment
      I know it is not perfect... but it should keep the temp close enough for me to figure out if I really like the cooking method. If I do, I will get an Anova or similar. Some of the stuff I have read online says that this setup stays within 1 degree. I certainly wont be starting with Ahi Tuna Steaks!

    • mgaretz
      mgaretz commented
      Editing a comment
      You are probably right, but you can also do it on the stove top manually, especially for something short like a steak. That's what I did before buying equipment. If you have a good thermometer, and since you're here we'll assume you do, then all you need is a pot.

      You can always get real sous vide equipment from a store/site like Amazon that has good return policies, so you can try it for real and see if you like it, return it if you don't. If you love meats, and again, you're here, so I assume you do, you're going to like sous vide.

    • mgaretz
      mgaretz commented
      Editing a comment
      One other thing. Be sure your crock pot is an old school, simple thermostat pot, not anything digital or electronic. This controller is going to cycle the power to pot and unless it's a simple one, this approach won't work.

    #6
    Also found this on amazon for 35.00 - http://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-~240VA...EA556S2CJ0983X

    Comment


    • jayn
      jayn commented
      Editing a comment
      I saw that too. But as I get old I like to build stuff...

    • Rfuilrez
      Rfuilrez commented
      Editing a comment
      jayn If you like to build stuff you can make a Heatermeter. They can be used as temp controller for your Smoker and also run a Solidstate Relay to control a Sous Vide setup. I love mine.

      http://tvwbb.com/forumdisplay.php?85...BBQ-Controller

      https://github.com/CapnBry/HeaterMeter/wiki

      It's a PID controller, so you get some super precise control once you get it dialed in. And being that it's backed by a RaspberryPi, it's got lots of potential.

      (Sorry I didn't notice this thread was so old)
      Last edited by Rfuilrez; October 18, 2015, 06:58 AM.

    #7
    I don't find keeping food submerged to really be an issue. Definitely not when I use the Foodsaver to suction out all the air, but also not really when I use a standard Glad bag. I use tongs to submerge the bag all the way except for a small corner left open to allow the air to escape. Sure, sometimes a little water gets in, but its never been an issue.

    Comment


      #8
      Im not really bothered to much by the controller you picked. it should work. but what are you using for the heating element?

      Comment


      • jayn
        jayn commented
        Editing a comment
        My Crock Pot!

      #9
      I got it built and tested last night. IT WORKS! Held 1 degree variance from my thermometer to the display. Sorry I didn't take any "during" photos, it is wired like the diagram below, but for heating not cooling.

      Action shots this weekend.

      Parts List:
      Old computer power supply and cord
      8" extension cord with the male end cut off.
      Inkbird ITC Controller
      Cheap Crock Pot











      Again this is just an experiment. Please save the burning the house down comments, I wont run it unattended.
      Last edited by jayn; August 18, 2015, 09:19 AM.

      Comment


        #10
        Good luck! Sous vide cooking is fun...i bought a Sansaire and I love it. Use it for those (few) times when I dont actually want a smoke ring on my food. Corn fed steaks are a snap in it, but grass fed will take some practice. GREAT for boneless skinless chicken breasts.... 2 hrs at 145 then a quick sear on the grill, FABULOUS. better than you've ever had. Let us know how you get on! Serious Eats website has some good tips from Kenji

        Comment


          #11
          So it worked great... But I did not like the product. Needs some fine tuning on technique and seasoning.

          I did a pork loin roast, it was about 3 pounds. Marinaded it in BBQ Pit Boys Pirate Marinade. (Orange juice, Garlic, Brown Sugar, Pepper, soy sauce, and Captain Morgan Rum)

          Per the Chefsteps Guidelines, I went 3 hours at 140 degrees, shooting for rare/med rare. Then seared on the gasser until it had a good brown to the outside.

          Meat was tender, but not Juicy. Did not have much flavor. I did the other half of the loin roast on a Traeger, and it was no home run either.

          Sorry, no after pictures. The natives were restless after being on the boat all day.

          The set up. Generic Crock Pot with Broken nob, (and a little cheese dip on the outside), and my temp controller contraption.



          In the bath:
          This is not where the temp sensor was located while cooking. I made sure it was away from the sides and the meat. This is one of the things I need to improve... Locating the temp sensor.



          My hacked together Temp controller. Showing actual temp when I started the cook. It went up to my set temp of 140 and stayed there plus or minus 1 degree.



          When I cook something else... Chicken I think... I will update!
          Last edited by jayn; August 18, 2015, 09:21 AM.

          Comment


          • Dr ROK
            Dr ROK commented
            Editing a comment
            That's awesome that this is working so well for you. Had I not bought an Anova when Prime had it's big sale a few weeks back I'd be all over this. In the past I've done steak on the stove with a maverick thermometer and pot of water and even that turned out great, so I'm sure your set up is a great step up from my poor man rig.

          #12
          thanks for the update. love it. look forward to seeing more. cook a steak already.

          Comment


          • jayn
            jayn commented
            Editing a comment
            OK. Steak Tonight.

          #13
          jayn, try this recipe. It's very simple and you won't be sorry. I used sirloin and a cheap box cabernet wine & it was still great!

          http://www.chefsteps.com/activities/...red-wine-sauce

          Comment


            #14
            Moved to the new Sous Vide channel!

            Comment


            • jayn
              jayn commented
              Editing a comment
              Can you re-title it DIY Sous Vide?

            • David Parrish
              David Parrish commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes. Good idea!

            • David Parrish
              David Parrish commented
              Editing a comment
              Even gave the topic a thumbs up to match your avatar

            #15
            Did another cook. Chicken.

            149 Degrees, 1 hour. Shot on the Grill Grates. I am going to really like the chicken, but my seasonings need work. Specifically there was not enough salt.

            Beef is coming next.

            Did some MODS! Put a steamer basket in the bottom of the crock pot to minimize direct heat from the walls of the crock pot to the meat. Ditched the lid, used clips to hold the bags that the food is in, as well as position the thermal sensor. Covered with plastic wrap. Worked well.



            Just out of the bath:



            Searing: (Didnt have time for the hunk of beef, so I reverse seared that.)





            On Da Plate:



            Comment


            • jrobertson50
              jrobertson50 commented
              Editing a comment
              how did it taste? any issues using the zip lock bag?

            • jayn
              jayn commented
              Editing a comment
              it tasted GREAT. Ziplock was not an issue at all!

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