Sous Vide Cooking

Tag: Sous vide equipment

Are Douglas Baldwin Sous Vide Cooking Tables Correct? Review of Baldwin’s table with a 30 mm Salmon Mi-Cuit

by on Mar.15, 2010, under Books, Equipments & Accessories, Time and Accurate Temperature

As you may already know Douglas Baldwin “Practical Guide to sous Vide Cooking” is to date probably one of the only serious source of information about sous vide that you can download for free on internet (English, Portuguese/Brazil, French and German). The revolution of this document is to allow home cooks cooking sous vide with tables. No need of an external probe to be inserted in the pouch in order to get the internal temperature of the food. Before using Baldwin tables I purchased most of the books available but none of them were mentioning the thickness of food as a key information in order to cook sous vide. Therefore, in my opinion, all these books can be considered as art books but not cooking books where recipes can be reproduced.

I have experimented Baldwin tables for a while now and I have to admit that I have never been sick or disappointed by the degree of doneness according to the temperatures given.

Nevertheless I realized that nobody on the net ever discussed if Baldwin tables are correct or not. Do I have to accept the fact that everybody is assuming these tables are accurate?

This the reason why I decided to purchase an external penetration probe and verify by myself. For those who would like to purchase such equipment I want to say that I made a mistake in my previous post when buying the needle probe from Thermoworks. The one that should be used for sous vide (water proof) is THS-113-181 only (see on the right of the picture). The needle is very thin (1 mm) and long enough to get inside a 7 cm thick beef fillet (incl. the turbigomme foam).

For my first test of Baldwin table I took a cut of salmon, 30 mm thick that I wanted to cook “mi-cuit” at 47°C. Douglas Baldwin table indicates 1 hour and 2 minutes cooking time. As mentioned in Baldwin document I raised the temperature of my immersion circulator of 0.5°C (47.5°C) in order to be sure to reach the target temperature of 47°C.

In order to comply totally with Baldwin table I took care the core temperature of the salmon was 5°C. This step made me realizing that my fridge is definitely not cold enough as the core temperature of my salmon was 10°C before chilling it! As illustrated on the picture I immersed the pouch in iced water for some minutes.

As mentioned above I set my immersion circulator at 47.5°C for 1:02 and noted frequently the data in order to make a graph out it.

And the result is EXCELLENT!

I was very surprised to see how fast the temperature was raising during the first minutes. I was also having some doubts when the countdown of my sous vide equipment was indicating 22 minutes left while the core temperature of the salmon was 36.6°C. The last tenth of degrees take really long to be reached and I now understand why you should set your sous vide appliance 0.5°C above the target temperature…if you don’t it will take ages before you really reach the target temperature.

Jean-François

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Polyscience compaires an immersion circulator and a non stired water bath

by on Jan.23, 2010, under Equipments & Accessories, Time and Accurate Temperature

Today Polyscience made the demonstration that a non stired water bath cannot be as efficient as an immersion circulator. It is funny to see that Polyscience directly mentions Sousvidesupreme in the TAG of the article.

Polyscience video indicates clearely that a non stired water bath has a longer response time to reach the desired core temperature. Therefore, it is obvious that Douglas Baldwin cooking tables sould be used with care. Douglas Baldwin indicates in the Pratical Guide to Sous Vide “With all these digital controllers, I highly recommend setting the temperature offset (measured near the temperature at which you wish to cook) using a high quality digital thermometer. Indeed, at the default settings the thermistors used in the above controllers can easily be off 2–4°F (1–2°C)”.

Freshmealsolutions mentions clearely in the user manual of the SousVideMagic : “If you don’t have a proper food core temperature sensor probe, always cook at desired core temperature settings for the duration as specified by reliable recipes with an additional safety factor of at least 25% longer…”
In addition the manual indicates “The default settings are designed to overshoot 1 or 2 degree higher for safety reasons. You can reduce the overshoot by making your own PID adjustments. See the document “PID Tuning”.”

YouTube Preview Image

Jean-François

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Sous Vide & Electricity consumption – Astonishing!

by on Jan.17, 2010, under Equipments & Accessories


There is now some weeks I wanted to verify by myself if a sous vide equipment is more energy efficient than a “traditional” convection oven. Cooking sous vide some kind of meats can take even several days (for example 72 hours pork ribbs at 57°C). What are the electricity costs?

How to proceed to illustrate this point?
My first thought was to compare the quantity of energy used by a convection oven and an immersion circulator (or a PID controller) in order to obtain the same doneness (rosé) on a 1 Kg beef filet.
Therefore I purchased in a do it yourself shop a very cheap appliance (EUR 11) to calculate the quantity of energy used by an electrical appliance (“consomètre” – refer to the picture on the left).
Unfortunately this “consomètre” cannot be plugged to my convection oven (the electrical cables of the oven are directly connected in the wall.  In other word I have no mains where to plug this “consomètre”.

Thus I have decided to restrict my test to the assessment of the amount of energy used during a cooking process of at least 8 hours at 60°C. The final goal is to determine the cost of such cooking process.

I will not spend any time on the scientific explanation between Power and Energy since the purpose of this blog is only cooking. Nevertheless, for those who want to refresh their mind about physics basics I recommend reading this small article.

In order to determine the price of the energy consumption of an immersion circulator during 8 hours at 60°C I took a round pot of 15 liters and filled it with 28°C tap water.

It took 22 minutes for the swid to reach the target temperature of 60°C at full power (2,170 W).

Then the swid was stable very fast (some secondes only). At this stage the total energy consumption was 0.74 KWh which represents 8 cents (in France, 1 KWh = 0.11 €).

During the next 8 minutes the swid was struggling with power variation in the range from 50W to 600W. I would say the average could be in the area of 300W.
After 1 hour (excl. pre heating) the power variation was in the range from 14W to 200 W. At this stage (1:20 hours incl pre heating) the total energy consumption was 1.06 KWh.

Then I covered the tank with a plastic wrap in order to avoid water evaporation and let the swid run for additional 7:25 hours. When I came back in the morning the result was amazing. Power variation was in the range from 11 to 25 W. Total energy consumption was 2.05KWh (8:45 hours incl pre heating).

For France this represents a cost of approx. € 0.22 (0.33$ with currency rate of 1€ = 1.5 $). Astonishing isn’t it?

Jean-François

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The SWID – First images and impressions of Addélice Immersion Circulator dedicated to Sous Vide Cooking

by on Oct.21, 2009, under Equipments & Accessories

swid-addelice-thermal-immersion-circulator-cooker-equipment-appliance-sous-vide-4Two weeks ago, I have been contacted by Addélice who has proposed me to test their new immersion circulator dedicated to sous vide cookery.
I was honored by their proposal and, as you can imagine, I have accepted!

I received the Swid this morning and had only time to take some pictures before leaving. I am very excited to share my first impressions about this sous vide appliance!

I was very surprised by the size and the weight of the Swid. I had to give back the Julabo EC that was borrowed to me during summer holidays and therefore I can’t show you pictures to compare the 2 appliances. Nevertheless I took some pics to compare the Swid with the SousVideMagic.

The Swid is compact and can be stored easily in one of your kitchen draws. This is an excellent point.
The casing is amazing, very soft and sensual to the touch. The protection grid is part of the whole metal structure of the Swid. For the record a metal grid is always coming as an option with the other immersion circulator such as Polyscience and Julabo…The Swid grid as a funny design with holes like bubbles carved in the metal.

I didn’t have time to try it so far but my first feeling about the swid is excellent. I’ll come back to you as soon as I have a little bit more time.

Jean-François

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FreshMealsMagic – Next Pid Controller (incl. bubbler) by Fresh Meals Solutions

by on Aug.28, 2009, under Equipments & Accessories

sous-vide-at-home-equipment-pid-controller-freshmealsmagic-freshmealsolutions-news-bubbler-coker

Sousvidecooking.com mentioned some weeks ago fresh news about next Fresh Meal Solutions’ PID controller called Freshmealsmagic!
Fresh Meals Solutions is well known for providing the most price competitive PID controller dedicated to sous vide at home. I purchased and tested Sousvidemagic 1500B. I have to admit I was very satisfied about it.

For your information the global cost for my SousVideMagic 1500B was:

  • SousVideMagic 1500B: USD 169 + USD 25 = USD 194 incl. sending to Europe
  • 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)

This article indicates next Fresh Meals Solutions’ equipment will keep the original appliance (the PID Controller) but add a new device: an immersible bubbler.

Fresh Meals Solutions replaces the rice cooker by the built-in immersible bubbler which has 2 functions: heating the water of any kind of container and stirring water so that the heat is spread evenly in the pot.

I personally think this is a great evolution of Fresh Meals Solutions products and expect this product being sold below 200 USD. The release of this new sous vide equipment has not been disclosed to date.

Jean-François

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