[Sca-cooks] Sous Vide

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Sun May 20 22:47:56 PDT 2012

  Aruvqan said:
<<< On 5/13/2012 2:33 PM, Terry Decker wrote:
> It would seem to me that you could use a crock pot (or for really
> large quantities, a turkey roaster) and a decent digital probe
> thermometer to the same effect.
> Bear
>> There is a make your own sous vide article in one of last years MAKE
>> magazines.
>> I have not yet done it but apparently it works well, you can do large
>> quantities and it cost $70.
>> Eduardo
Actually, crock pots are notorious for *not* holding a constant
temperature. If you want to stay around the kitchen for constant
tweaking, knock yourself out =) Make one with the material list or get a
premade one, trust me =)

The reason that a crock pot is notorious for not holding a constant  
temperature is probably that they are cheap and for their use they  
don't have to maintain a constant temperature. A the temperature they  
do maintain is probably due to the ceramic crock itself.

Digital controllers have come way down in price. I'm eyeing some solid  
state digital temperature controllers available on ebay, a  
thermocouple and a SSR (solid state relay, which allows turning the  
crockpot off and on) to make one of these sous vide machines. The cost  
for those elements is about $30 or so plus a box to put them in.

I think a tighter, more responsive control loop should solve the  
disadvantages seen in the unmodified crockpot. I also don't see that a  
temperature that varies by a couple of degrees would cause problems,  
but I'd welcome any opposing evidence.

And lastly, how is Sous Vide cooking safe? I thought that low  
temperatures for several days was a recipe for food posioning  
problems. I thought the 130 degrees F temperatures I'd been seeing in  
this was the dangerous temperature range. Perhaps the fact that the  
food is sealed in the plastic bags solves this, but I thought that  
would just provide an incubator for any thing which was already in the  


THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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