@baqui63 My brother and I were just talking about this the other day, and I told him it probably wouldn’t work well with the immersion-type one that I got here a few months back. But this one seems like it would be great for specialty grains, or a small partial mash.
Edit: Unless it sucks at holding temperature, of course, like somebody says further down.
@baqui63 I think you could easily use an immersion type heater if you simply devise a “bladder” or “container within a container” set-up. You could put a 20 quart storage container inside a larger cooler and you’d be all set. More volume in the water portion would mean more stable temps once you reach “equilibrium” - but this should not be hard at all if you select the vessels appropriately.
@baqui63@Dweezle The problem isn’t the mashing, it’s the sparging—no drain outlet. We made a mash tun out of a 54qt rectangular cooler, pulled the drain and replaced it with a faucet valve connected to a SS mesh tube (the exterior sheath of an old “burst-proof” washer hose). We’ve got $60 in the thing, it holds temp within 1F for an hr, size adequate for 11G of 10% ABV beer (~30lbs grain) and has been perfect for the last 5 yrs.
If you went with a 10G round Igloo type cooler, you could drop in a commercial false bottom for sparging—less work, but you’d be limited to 5G batches.
@bruhaha I agree with all that. A circulator is definitely better.
There are severalcirculatorsavailable around this price point, as well (arranged by price, the middle one has a coupon attached and the last one much cheaper, but limited in supply).
6 quarts is fine for a slow cooker but can be a little on the small side for sous vide, depending on what you want to cook. You can now get some immersion circulators for around this price and have a circulating water bath which should afford better consistency and control over your water temperature.
@DavidChurchRN so I’m wondering what sides would be served with that- fava beans are for liver, but I’m thinkin’ those should be bbq’d and served with corn on the cob or potato salad- to sous-vide them wouldn’t really bring out the inherent fatty-richness. Maybe baby-arm confit?
This machine is a terrible way to cook sous vide. Buy one with a circulator that clamps on to the side of a pot or other container. I bought a Strata brand unit at Monoprice for $50. Anova is a good brand also, similar design. 72 hours for sous vide cooking?!? I make spectacularly good salmon in 30 minutes (120°F). Google “sous vide cooking” and read a few articles & recipes before investing. ~$50 is a good price point, but the Hamilton Beach is not what you want.
@MrNews I own an Anova, and bought the Strata at $50. I still use my Anova the most but the Strata is identical in function and form save the bluetooth/wifi.
I love sous vide cooking, and wanted to do an entire slabs of ribs in a cooler and figured an extra would be helpful. Or those times when you have fish at 120 and need veggies at 180+.
I have never done 72 hours, but I have done a few 48 hour cooks just to see the possibilities. I haven’t been won over by any of those long cooks, but they are fun. You have to realize that 72 hours would be used on a very collagen/connective tissue heavy roast or large hunk of meat. You want all that to be broken down and rendered, but not to change the meat from a steak like consistency to a shreddable braised consistency.
TL;DR Get a circulator, not this. And 72 hours is not something many will need, but it does have some utility if you want to explore the bounds of what this method of cooking can do.
Am I the only one here with a aversion to eating food that has been cooked inside a PLASTIC bag?
I assume everything is certified BPA free and safe (according to today’s guidelines). I just don’t want to find out in 10 years that a medical study finds high concentrations of microscopic plastics in the bodies of people that ate meals cooked in this way.
@Brasssong Everything I’ve read says to either use Freezer-grade zip-closure bags, or Vacuum Sealer bag; the material is thicker and the construction is better than ordinary plastic bags, so no leaks and totally food-safe.
@Brasssong most plastic bags “leach” a bit- but typically at temperatures far higher than a sous-vide will provide (somewhere in the mid 180’s for the cheap stuff, 230+ for better ones). I’ve been using a wide variety of bags- including generic “food bags” with a twist-tie closure that run $3 for a box of 75 without noticeable issues for years. A secret I learned many decades ago: We’re going to die, no matter how hard we try not to- enjoy the ride and don’t fret the small stuff. This is small stuff.
@sdundas66 I have been told one could use Ball Mason or some other type of water tight oven proof glass jars or containers instead of plastics. I would do it that way, but then again, that would create a lot of extra clean-up of dishes and increase the prep time
@Brasssong@sdundas66 kinda defeats the method- sous-vide uses contact heat transference to cook, applying even and consistent temperature though the walls of the bag. If you really want to be proactive, use an oven-safe turkey bag or similar. To use a jar just ups the potential bacterial pathogen thingy as the thickness & air in the jar takes a great deal longer to heat up and transfer the energy. Food poisoning is a lousy diet strategy.
“Do chemicals migrate from the plastic during SV cooking? This answer to this question is unable to be confirmed due to lack of data and studies on migration of chemicals from plastics in simulated SV cooking conditions (e.g., 120 to 180 dF for an hour or more).”
Not for this product as others have said this one does not circulate the water, but I have been told one could use Ball Mason or some other type of water tight oven proof glass jars (like pyrex)or containers instead of plastics. I would do it that way, but then again, that would create a lot of extra clean-up of dishes and increase the prep time. That would be a trade off but might be worth it.
@Brasssong An evacuated plastic bag clings to the food, allowing excellent heat transfer. A mason jar would have to be solid packed, and even then, the time it takes for the food to head would be higher than it would be for a plastic bag.
And how would you pack a steak - one of the SV classics - into a jar?
[BTW, Pyrex wouldn’t be needed - an ordinary mayo jar would do fine. Remember, we’re dealing with temperatures well below boiling.]