Tag: Fresh Meal Solutions
Three months ago I tried a soft boiled egg at 63°C during 1 hour. I have admitted that it was not the perfect egg for me and promissed to make another try. This time I cooked an egg 50 minutes at a constant 64.5°C temparature.
And here is the result!
(Soft boiled egg cooked at 64.5°C during 50 minutes)
The egg at 64.5°C has nothing to do compared to the 63°C one (see the last picture down this post). The appearance of the 64.5°C is better, the white egg is more compact and doesn’t fall down like the 63°C one.
(Soft boiled egg cooked at 64.5°C during 50 minutes)
The yolk is also very different compared to the 63°C one.
(Soft boiled egg cooked at 64.5°C during 50 minutes)
See bellow the picture I made 3 months ago of the 63°C soft boiled egg with the Sousvidemagic and above the 64.5°C egg with the swid of Addélice. This is crazy to see how a difference of only 1.5°C can change so much the texture of an egg.
As I told it before I didn’t really like the 63°C egg but the 64.5°C was fantastic!! Absolutly incredible…I strongly recommend anybody trying it!
I read on internet that such egg was impossible to do without the precision and stability of an immersion circulator. I know understand why. If the temperature variation is equal or higher to 1°C then this can change the final texture of the white egg and yolk. The cool thing is also to be sure to reproduce the same result each time you set your immersion circulator at 64.5°C! I am definitely getting found of this cooking equipment.
(63°C soft boiled egg cooked during 60 minutes)
Yesterday I bought in supermarket pork ribs and found interesting 24 hours pork ribs cooking recipes on internet. As soon as my girl friend came back home I share with her my excitment doing a 24 hours cooking experiment! Unfortunately I was brought down to earth since my girl friend said she was scarred the SousVideMagic could burn during our sleep! I tried to explain that thousands of people experimented 24 hours sous vide cooking recipes and that Fresh Meal Solution appliance was reliable…but she didn’t see reason.
On the other hand she is a bit right. The risk of fire is expressly underlined in Fresh Meal Solutions’ manual when the thermometer probe is taken off the rice cooker or is out of work. This point is a major drawback of SousVideMagic equipment, no float switch (in case all water evaporated) or excess temperature protection is available. These kinds of protections are usually provided in thermal or immersion circulators.
Hooo come on….I want to try anyway! Do i have to do sous vide cooking on the sly? Will this blog lead me to a divorce ?
Cooking Salmon and asparagus sous vide (Viktor Stampfer recipe + SousVideMagic 1500B of Fresh Meal Solutions)
I tried a recipe of Victor Stampfer (and also simplified it ) called “Sockey salmon with asparagus salad and black morels”.
I didn’t have morels therefore I just cooked salmon and asparagus.
Viktor’s Stampfer’s book indicates:
- for the salmon: 54°C core temperature (129.2°F) for 10 minutes with a water bath at 56°C (138.2F). I don’t have a digital internal probe to take the core temperature of the salmon. Therefore I raised the global cooking time at 14 minutes.
- for asparagus: 82°C (179.6F) for 45 minutes.
I cooked sous vide these 2 ingredients with my new equipment: the SousVideMagic 1500B of Fresh Meal Solution. So far I am very happy with this equipment which works very very well.
The salmon was fantastic! It was looking a bit raw but in fact it was cooked. The salmon kept all its juicy texture. I loved it. I only regret that I didn’t take the time to put the salmon 2 minutes in the oven so that the appearance would not look white on the outside of the salmon (see the picture below).
I had more problem with the asparagus that I didn’t succeed to cook sous vide at the temperatures recommended by Viktor Stampfer.
45 minutes was not enough to cook the asparagus. I had to wait approx 1:20 to get them cooked at 82°C (179.6F). I really don’t know what happened. Could anybody give me a hint? Anyway, after 1:20 the asparagus was good but I can’t say that I ate something unusual.
I received yesterday my temperature PID controller so called SousVideMagic 1500B from Fresh Meal Solutions. I experimented some hours later cooking sous vide with a 400 gr beef fillet at 58°C (136.4°F) for 1:45 hours.
SousVideMagic 1500B is definitely not an aesthetic cooking equipment but the finishings are ok and everybody who buys such machine knows that your kitchen will look a bit messy with all these cables…
My first problem was to read the 25 pages manual (available on Fresh Meal Solutions’ internet site)! If your are not comfortable with English and usually not enjoying reading manual then…back luck for you! Sousvidemagic’s manual is only available in English and gives you headache since you start looking at PID tuning!
It took me some minutes to understand how to shift the SousVideMagic from °F to °C. Trust me this was not a ”push one button” function key.
The major issues I had to face with were contained in the Fresh Meals Solutions’ manual warnings:
- “Use listed cookers with heaters rated accurately for their power wattage and with their own thermal cut off protection (thermostatic or thermal fuse) in case of any SVM failures. Do not use it with electric cook tops or hot plates. SVM is designed to control the cookers recommended by Fresh Meals Solutions only. Using it to control cookers not on the recommended list can be dangerous and cause fire hazards. Fresh Meals Solutions is not liable for damages caused by misuses of SVM”.
- “Always place the SVM sensor in the cooker’s water bath before turning it on. Leaving the SVM temperature sensor outside of the water bath while cooking will form an open loop operation. This way the sensor is measuring ambient temperature and not the actual bath temperature, as a result SVM will allow the cooker to heat at full power indefinitely. It will not only overheat the controller, but also damage your cooker, and may even cause a fire”.
After reading the manual it was not clear for me if my rice cooker was “listed” by Fresh Meal Solutions as a recommended cooker. Nevertheless I went further and wired the one I purchased in China Town for EUR 45.
The second warning (“don’t take the temperature probe off the rice cooker”) is easy to manage nevertheless I consider this to be a major failure in terms of excess temperature protection. No excess temperature protection switch is provided in this case. This machine will burn, that’s all! In otherwords no kids should go around the SousVideMagic pulling on wires and no scatterbrained people dealing with this machine.
Fresh Meal Solutions also recommend using hot water to fill cooker’s water bath or pre-heat the water close to set temperature first, before hooking Sousvidemagic to the cooker.
I took for you some nice pictures to show the rear view of the SousVideMagic 1500B (I like taking pictures). As you’ll see this is a very simple appliance. You’ll also see the kind of socket adaptor you’ll need to purchase for European users.
I also verified if Fresh Meal Solutions’ temperature probe was as precise as mentioned on their site. I took a glass of water and immersed the SousVideMagic probe and the Mastrad one together. I made the test in °F and the result was excellent: 1°F of difference! The response time of the 2 probes is also very good.
Now lets talk about my first experiment cooking sous vide with SousVideMagic: a beef fillet at 59°C for almost 2 hours.
I verified during the 2 hours cooking period if the temperature mentioned by the SousVideMagic 1500B was actual (you’ll see on the picture that I switched to °C). In fact I think I would have never trust the SousVideMagic would be so steady and accurate if I would not have made this test. I confirm this sous vide cooking equipment is precise and steady!
Here the result: a fantastic colour for that beef fillet, very tender and juicy. I loved it!
For food safety please visit this link.
I am now very happy and relieved to jump to the next step of my experimentation consisting in trying all kind of sous vide cookers and accessories. Cooking sous vide with a gas stove, a halogen stove or a basic water bath (bain-marie) was such a pain in the neck! The main advantage of this was the cost of the equipments, close to zero (except for the vacuum machine) but it was really hell to maintain a constant temperature.
Let’s try a PID controller!
But first what is a PID (Proportion, Intregral, Derivative) temperature controller?
The PID temperature controller is the most sophisticated controller available providing exceptional performance at a surprisingly low price. But what is it, really?
Here are 4 articles that should help you understand it!
The first link is the most accessible information I could find about a PID controller. Let’s call it “PID controller explained for dummies”. This fantastic video was made by robot geeks and explains speed PID controller. You just have to replace into your mind speed by temperature! This video is a bit long to download but if you would have to watch one piece of information about the PID controller in your life time I would strongly suggest you to watch this video!
This second link is giving a little more information about temperature PID controller (still understandable for an average intelligent brain).
Here are 2 links that I would recommend for people who are really interested in tuning PID controllers. In other words, don’t even dare clicking on these links if your are not a scientist!
A rice cooker or other heating appliance will cycle on and off, causing fairly wide temperature fluctuations. To avoid this some people pair a rice cooker with a PID controller. The PID controller has a thermo-sensor that is inserted into the rice cooker water. You set the PID device to a certain temperature, and the PID will control the amount of electricity that activates the heater, thus keeping the water temperature at a constant.
Although other heating appliances can also work, the simple rice cooker seems best suited to work with the PID device for sous vide applications. You must buy a rice cooker that has a basic mechanical on and off switch. Don’t purchase an expensive sophisticated rice cooker, it will probably not work with the temperature PID controller.
What are the temperature PID controllers available on the market for sous vide cooking purposes?
Traceable Temperature Controller
SousVideMagic 1500B form Fresh Meal Solutions
I purchased the SousVideMagic 1500B as it seems to be the most popular one. Feedback of people who purchased it is excellent. The cost for this temperature PID controller is USD 169 plus approx. USD 25 shipping costs to Europe (USD 99 if you don’t have the patience to wait, therefore you’ll get it within 3 days with Fedex).
For non North American users an input power cord and an adaptor to the socket of local standard will have to be purchased separately.
To sum up, the global cost for my SousVideMagic temperature PID controller is:
- SousVideMagic 1500B: USD 169 + USD 25 = USD 194 incl. sending
- Custom duties: EUR 35
- Basic rice cooker: EUR 45
- Input power cord and socket adaptor: approx EUR 16.
Grant total (1 EUR = 1.4 USD): approx. EUR 234 (USD 327)
I sould receive my SousVideMagic tomorrow. I’ll give you my first comments as soon as possible!