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ghetto sous vide

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Cooking at low temperature in a water bath under a vacuum produces delicious results. A vacuum packer can be had for around 30 quids, but thermostatically controlled water baths are extremely expensive.

This is a £25-from-sainsburys deep fat fryer, filled with water and turned right down. It holds temperature to three or four degrees either side of the desired temp, which isn't much less accurate than a £300+ sous vide machine. A certain amount of setting/adjusting/setting/adjusting is needed as the thermostat scale stops at 150C, hence thermometer.

In there right now is some pork belly. In eight hours time that's going to be delicious.
28th Apr 2011, 09:26   | tags:,

Viv says:

what's the difference between that and a slow cooker?

28th Apr 2011, 11:18

mat says:

Slow cookers are, as far as I know, hotter. 100-130C in a slow cooker, sous vide is usually 50-80C. The run I'm doing in this photo is hot (85C when this was taken, but averaging closer to 80C) because it's pork belly and I want the fat to render - if I were cooking lean beef the temperature would be right down around 56C.

Also, in sous vide you pack the food in a plastic vacuum bag and cook it in the warm water. In a slow cooker you generally just put the food in the pot.

28th Apr 2011, 11:28

Viv says:

One step further then

cooking in a vacuum bag in a slow cooker sounds like a thought

reckon I could get a pan to tick over pretty low on my ceramic top

interesting thought cooking in a vacuum bag at low heat should preserve all the goodness enzymes etc in veg

28th Apr 2011, 11:40

mat says:

Preserving goodness* is one of the main plus points of sous vide. Before I hacked the deep fryer, I found that a big pan of water in the oven on it's lowest setting worked quite well. A good thermometer is very helpful.

If you don't have a vacuum packer (mine came from Lakeland), a ziplock bag with all - OK, most - of the air squeezed/sucked out works well too.


* vitamins, flavour, texture, colour, etc.

28th Apr 2011, 11:47

Viv says:

definitely food for thought :)

28th Apr 2011, 12:03

Anonymous says:

Viv - most enzymes will be destroyed at those temps

28th Apr 2011, 14:31

Viv says:

got to go raw to be really healthy then..

30th Apr 2011, 01:39