Monday, September 1, 2014

Smoker controller + crock pot = sous vide?

So, for the last year or 2, I've been hearing a lot about "sous vide", which is essentially the process of vacuum sealing raw food, then immersing it in a temperature-controlled water bath at the desired final temperature of the food, for long periods of time (from 20 minutes to 3+ days).  The idea is that you get the meat to the temperature you want for the reactions you desire to take place, and you just leave it there.  It's a bit of an overly french thing, but it always sounded interesting, and shares some DNA with smoking (low quality cuts of meat, cooked low and slow, etc).

anyway, I kind of figured that my smoker controller could totally make a crock pot into a sous vide system.  So I thought I'd give it a try:

I have an aquarium air pump ($13 or so) to help circulate the water and avoid hot and cold spots. 

My first attempt, unseasoned beef shortribs, was delicious!  Tender without being mushy at all, I though the texture was somewhat akin to a good prime rib, pink, flavorful, and generally really good.  It was good enough that I forgot to take pictures...

I've got some beef shanks in there now with some salt and cracked pepper, and I have a bunch of beef chuck with various herbs ready to go in next.  Also, I am excited to try making gravy out of the meat juices left in the bags.

Anyway, I'll update when I have some results pictures, but for something tossed together from parts I more or less already had lying around, I'm really happy with the ease of use and results.

Edit:  here's a nice blurry pic of my delicious beef shanks:

For a cut of meat that's often nearly inedibly tough, this was delicious.  The gravy made from the captured meat juice was great too.  The marrow was the icing on the cake. Very happy with this setup, from both a tastyness-of-results perspective, as well as a ease-of-setup one.

No comments:

Post a Comment