Sous vide equipment (and a first steak)

In the course of another investigation, I had the opportunity to evaluate this hotplate I scored at a thrift store (woot! $6).  It's a real lab hotplate like one I'd have used in grad school.  My days as a chemist gone, I saw this and couldn't resist.  So, I plunked in about 20 pounds of water (ca 10 qts) and played with some settings until I found the medium rare setting for beef.

It's kind of a sluggish heater, not exactly the recirculating fluid chiller used for a jacketed 2,000 L reactor, but after a couple gallons of water is equilibrated (and it's stable for days with little energy expended) I'm ready to toss in a couple steaks with no risk of falling outside a good cooking range.  

Click on lower image for a larger view, data collected using this datalogger.
Next, we have to decide on the cut, I think we're going to try a NY strip.

Below, find some action shots.  I did a steak and believe it or not, I can't remember the cut!  Anyway, drink it in folks, this slab of beef was scrumptious.  I believe we will be cooking like this again (pulled pork).

 Here's the refrigerated beef vacuum sealed after tossing some salt and pepper on the surface.  I tossed it in to the 135°F bath and off to work....

 ... ten hours later...here it is, it's warm, fleshy and disgusting.

I then tossed it on direct flames (the Weber) for about a fiery minute each side.  Look at it!  It's pink no matter where you look!  I'm enamored at this.  I think it was about 1.2 pounds, we split it 3 ways, even Frankie liked it quite a bit.


Mike said...

Your science side never ceases to amaze me...love it!

Jon In Albany said...

That set up looks like it would be perfect for eggs. Get something in there to keep them off the bottom of the pot and  I bet they would come out perfectly.  I think the temp for those is 142 F. 

seligmansdog said...

I know it's popular for eggs, but how does one vacuum pack the egg without sucking up all the liquid in the vac bagger?  I'll have to ask friends.  

Jon In Albany said...

No need to vacuum pack the egg. Keep it in the shell and bring the egg up to temperature. If the temperature is steady, you can't overcook it. At 142 F or so, the white sets and the yolk is still runny. When you gently crack the shell open, you have a perfectly poached egg.

seligmansdog said...

ahhh, I feel dumb now, that is supreme, thanks!