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Other than Brewing => All Things Food => Topic started by: blair.streit on April 28, 2016, 07:48:42 PM

Title: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: blair.streit on April 28, 2016, 07:48:42 PM
I've become interested in sous-vide and have played around with doing it "mash style" on my stovetop. I'd like to simplify/automate a bit and am curious if anyone has come across good info about buying a circulator or other equipment for this?

I know Drew talks about doing this quite a bit, but unless my search skills stink, I couldn't find any recent conversations related to using them for cooking (rather than mashing). Yes, I know -- asking for non-beer info on the brewing forum. Hey, at least I posted in the right category :)
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: dbeechum on April 28, 2016, 08:04:24 PM
I got an anova circulator last year when they were doing their great sell off of the previous model and I love the damn thing. It's much better and more reliable than anything I could cobble together on my own.

What in particular are you looking for? I can say right now - get one and grab both the chef steps and anova apps for the phones because they give you a ton of guidance.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: kramerog on April 28, 2016, 08:20:16 PM
I like cooking pork loin sous vide since I like it pink.  I get a pork loin cut it into "chops" and add spices.  I then seal 3-4 pork chops in a vacuum bag - you got one of these for your hops don't you - and freeze.  I cook sous vide on an a hot plate controlled by a fermentation controller - you got one of these too?  I may or may not finish the "chop" on a hot skillet.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: blair.streit on April 28, 2016, 09:18:48 PM
I got an anova circulator last year when they were doing their great sell off of the previous model and I love the damn thing. It's much better and more reliable than anything I could cobble together on my own.

What in particular are you looking for? I can say right now - get one and grab both the chef steps and anova apps for the phones because they give you a ton of guidance.
I'm too ignorant to even know what I want yet. I just know I don't want to try and do it by controlling a flame periodically over the course of an hour :)

I was already looking at the Anova based on reading The Food Lab and other articles by Kenji Lopez-Alt. What you've said makes me convinced that it will probably help me execute more easily and learn a lot more, which is exactly what I'm looking for.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: blair.streit on April 28, 2016, 09:26:11 PM
I like cooking pork loin sous vide since I like it pink.  I get a pork loin cut it into "chops" and add spices.  I then seal 3-4 pork chops in a vacuum bag - you got one of these for your hops don't you - and freeze.  I cook sous vide on an a hot plate controlled by a fermentation controller - you got one of these too?  I may or may not finish the "chop" on a hot skillet.
That's awesome! I don't happen to have a vacuum sealer, but I know a lot of folks do that for hops. I picked up a few of those food safe silicon bags on Amazon so I could reuse them.

Fortunately both of my temp controllers are hard at work currently, but that sounds like a good option for folks who could spare one for an hour or two and then put it back. I'm at the point where I have separate "beer things" and "kitchen things" because otherwise my kids or my wife will misplace one of my "beer things" after using it in the kitchen and my brew day takes a bad turn  ;)

Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: blair.streit on April 29, 2016, 01:20:54 AM
I like cooking pork loin sous vide since I like it pink.  I get a pork loin cut it into "chops" and add spices.  I then seal 3-4 pork chops in a vacuum bag - you got one of these for your hops don't you - and freeze.  I cook sous vide on an a hot plate controlled by a fermentation controller - you got one of these too?  I may or may not finish the "chop" on a hot skillet.
Re-reading this and thinking about the recipe though, I think you just gave me the idea for the next thing I'm going to cook. Pork done to the right temperature is fantastic!
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: euge on May 22, 2016, 01:34:22 AM
For someone just dipping their toes in a decent unit should cost you less than $200. Entry level.

Boneless chuck ribs done pastrami-style for 48 hours at 138F- Amazing.

A vac-sealed steak done at 132F for six hours is as fresh six weeks later in the fridge as it was when bought. Simply sear on both sides for 30-60 seconds.

Easy to write the date, description and exact process on the bag too so you know what you did.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: BrewBama on May 22, 2016, 01:01:57 PM
I got an anova circulator last year when they were doing their great sell off of the previous model and I love the damn thing. It's much better and more reliable than anything I could cobble together on my own.

What in particular are you looking for? I can say right now - get one and grab both the chef steps and anova apps for the phones because they give you a ton of guidance.

Late to the party here. ^^ +1 ^^   I also bought an Anova.  Great product.  I also use Chef Steps and their app for ideas and guidance.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on July 15, 2016, 08:56:01 PM
I got an anova circulator last year when they were doing their great sell off of the previous model and I love the damn thing. It's much better and more reliable than anything I could cobble together on my own.

What in particular are you looking for? I can say right now - get one and grab both the chef steps and anova apps for the phones because they give you a ton of guidance.

I was trying to snag one of these on Amazon Prime day they had the bluetooth model marked to $143 and I had a (nonworking) code to save $30. After that fiasco Amazon credited my account $30, but of course the Anova is back up to $180. I guess I'll just watch it and if it drops again snag it.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: Stevie on July 15, 2016, 09:01:53 PM
I use camelcamelcamel to track stuff on Amazon. No account setup needed and it emails you when an item hits your target price.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on July 15, 2016, 10:22:26 PM
Tracking it, thanks for that!!!
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on August 12, 2016, 12:48:55 AM
The Anova Culinary WIFI Precision Cooker (B01761T6V4) is currently $149 at Amazon.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on August 13, 2016, 04:10:40 PM
Moving up, now $175.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: BrewBama on August 13, 2016, 08:53:17 PM
I got an anova circulator last year when they were doing their great sell off of the previous model and I love the damn thing. It's much better and more reliable than anything I could cobble together on my own.

What in particular are you looking for? I can say right now - get one and grab both the chef steps and anova apps for the phones because they give you a ton of guidance.

I also have an Anova and love it!


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Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on August 16, 2016, 11:36:19 AM
Dropped again to $149. Here is the CCC watch if anyone is interested, just enter your email and desired alert pricing. AFAIK it has never been lower than this. Mine should be arriving soon.
http://camelcamelcamel.com/Anova-Culinary-WIFI-Precision-Cooker/product/B01761T6V4
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: blair.streit on August 16, 2016, 12:28:59 PM
The Anova Culinary WIFI Precision Cooker (B01761T6V4) is currently $149 at Amazon.
Thanks for the heads-up on this. I ordered when I saw your post last week and mine will be arriving tomorrow :)
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on February 25, 2017, 10:06:03 PM
Finally pulled mine out today in anticipation of a pork tenderloin tomorrow. We decided to cook some poached style eggs which were a cinch. 173F for 13 min with a fridge temp egg. Came out perfect, but took some effort to open the shells. Tenderloin is tomorrow, shooting for 140F for at least 2 hours and then sear.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on February 27, 2017, 01:10:25 AM
Ran a seasoned pork tenderloin with chopped garlic in it today at 140F for 2.5 hours. Then quickly seared in the pan as fast and hot as possible. Came out fantastic.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on March 12, 2017, 10:55:51 PM
Ran some soft boiled eggs this morning, 173F for 18 minutes and they came out perfect. Then ran a pork loin at 143F for 3 hours. After searing it also came out perfect.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: blair.streit on March 16, 2017, 02:19:40 PM
I'm admittedly a Kenji fanboy, but if you've always been underwhelmed by chicken read this:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/07/the-food-lab-complete-guide-to-sous-vide-chicken-breast.html

I cooked mine to 140 and then pan seared as hot and fast as possible in some ghee. It changes my entire opinion of chicken.


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Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: dbeechum on March 17, 2017, 03:54:07 PM
As part of my "attempt to keep my weight down" efforts, I sous vide boneless skinless chicken breasts every week. I actually do two batches - one with cheap frozen chicken and no spices/salt/nada for the dogs, the other with good quality fresh chicken for me. That bag gets salt, pepper, smoked paprika, poultry seasoning. The dog batch gets cook to 153F for 80 minutes and is used for their breakfast. The batch for me gets cooked at 151 for 60 minutes. Both get flash cooled in an ice bath and sliced and re-bagged for storage in the fridge and use doing the week. It's instant sandwich meat, fodder for salads or just about anything else.

The texture on it is amazing and there are times when I just snack on chicken slices.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: stpug on March 17, 2017, 06:10:05 PM
As part of my "attempt to keep my weight down" efforts, I sous vide boneless skinless chicken breasts every week. I actually do two batches - one with cheap frozen chicken and no spices/salt/nada for the dogs, the other with good quality fresh chicken for me. That bag gets salt, pepper, smoked paprika, poultry seasoning. The dog batch gets cook to 153F for 80 minutes and is used for their breakfast. The batch for me gets cooked at 151 for 60 minutes. Both get flash cooled in an ice bath and sliced and re-bagged for storage in the fridge and use doing the week. It's instant sandwich meat, fodder for salads or just about anything else.

The texture on it is amazing and there are times when I just snack on chicken slices.

Do you using a simple sous vide gadget that goes on the side of a pot, or some kind of recirculating homebrewing system (rims, herms, etc)?  I'm curious how well those sous vide pot gadgets work.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: dbeechum on March 17, 2017, 06:16:27 PM
I have two circulators (I'm a nerd, shocker) - One older Anova Model (this is the newer oner one (http://amzn.to/2ni2C05)) and a Joule from ChefSteps (newer, more expensive, but kinda badass - it's chugging away on my corned beef right now)

I really like mine. They just work.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: stpug on March 17, 2017, 06:42:12 PM
I have two circulators (I'm a nerd, shocker) - One older Anova Model (this is the newer oner one (http://amzn.to/2ni2C05)) and a Joule from ChefSteps (newer, more expensive, but kinda badass - it's chugging away on my corned beef right now)

I really like mine. They just work.

That's actually pretty reasonable for the Joule.  I've been wanting to pull the trigger on one of these for a couple years and just haven't... yet.  Thanks for pointing out the ones you've tried.  I also like the idea of having quality lean meat chunks for snacking on.  I make my own jerky in my smoker but with it comes the flavorful red meat and delicious carcinogens - my body could use a switch-up :D
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: dbeechum on March 17, 2017, 07:00:23 PM
Hey, no problem - I think the best part about the sous vide chicken is just how perfectly tender it is - much better than when I would poach or bake chicken breasts for use later.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on March 19, 2017, 11:15:22 PM
Ran some sirloin steaks seasoned with salt, garlic powder, and a local spice company product for 2 1/2 hours at 128F and then quickly seared in a scalding hot pan for about a minute on each side in a smidge of bacon grease. Served on top of quinoa and it was devine. Cut the steaks into slices and then we were able to cut the slices with a fork. Might run the next ones a half hour longer to see if they become even easier to cut with the fork.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: blair.streit on March 25, 2017, 02:42:31 PM
Yeah I think portioning out perfectly pre-cooked food is one of the biggest upsides of sous vide.

I love a good steak, but with my meat thermometer and a fair amount of flipping I feel I can achieve a better "eat now" steak on the grill with less mess/time.

However, I love using the technique you guys described to cook chicken or steak towards the rarer side of the safe zone and then store it in the fridge. Then I can be lazy and heat the last little bit in the microwave without overcooking. It makes putting chicken or steak into a salad something I can achieve in under 5 minutes.

On the beef side, one place where I think sous vide can do something unique is with cheaper/tougher cuts like flank. With a little time in the bath those things soften right up and then have tons of flavor. It's just hard to extract any other way because most cooking methods won't allow you to simultaneously cook them evenly and also loosen up some of those tough bits.


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Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: santoch on June 01, 2017, 03:56:03 AM
Guys-
Be really careful about time and temp when doing sous vide.
Just like we avoid the 140F down to 70F range because it lets the bugs grow, bringing meat UP through the 40F-140F zone requires speed as well.

This goes for sous vide, barbecue, stuffed turkey, anything where you are bringing the meat up to temp slowly.  You can build up an inordinate amount of bacteria, and even if they eventually die due to higher temps, they can and do emit toxins that build up over time and remain after they are dead.

One of the BBQ forums I frequent has a rule that says "40-140 in 4". It is an interpretation of the USDA guidelines that is reasonable and gives a bit of margin for error.  Different factors, such as puncturing the meat and putting high-bacteria sources such as onions and garlic in the punctures, as well as a whole host of other factors, LOWERS that time.

The bottom line here is BE CAREFUL and learn everything you can before you blindly try out a technique that may have hidden dangers when it pertains to food safety.

HTH-
Steve
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: Phil_M on June 01, 2017, 10:39:45 AM
I thought the idea with sous-vide was that you can hold the meat at temp to kill the bugs that take hold at that temp range using the time at temperature as opposed to max temp.

That being said, I do not sous-vide, nor do I plan on it. I redneck sous-vide: on the grill in indirect heat, 225-230ish till ~10o from done. Then sear the crap out of it on direct heat/in a cast iron skillet/etc.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on June 01, 2017, 01:48:36 PM
There are no worries about time to reach temp IMO. Of course you don't want to take all day or anything, but putting a frozen piece of meat in the water and allowing the Sous Vide to bring it up to temp is no issue.

Keep in mind the guidelines should be temp and TIME, but they only list temp so it is really the catch all temp where safety is assured.

Look particularly at the section on Sous Vide:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-goldwyn/usda-pork-beef-temperature_b_867143.html

A Scientific Paper
https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/9ab2e062-7ac8-49b7-aea1-f070048a113a/RTE_Poultry_Tables.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

And something more approachable
http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/07/the-food-lab-complete-guide-to-sous-vide-chicken-breast.html
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on June 20, 2017, 12:14:36 PM
Trying out pulled pork in the Sous Vide and will finish in the oven. Put it in yesterday afternoon and will take it out, dry, reseason, and bake for serving tonight. Thus far the most difficult part was finding the right size pot for the pork. Using my 5 gallon pot I started extract brewing with.

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2016/07/sous-vide-barbecue-pulled-pork-shoulder-recipe.html


PS: I noticed over the weekend the older model Anova was running $110 almost everywhere. It must have been a sale as now it appears to be $150.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on June 21, 2017, 12:42:26 AM
FWIW - the recipe is a little salty. I think if we make it again I will cut it by at least half.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on July 02, 2017, 02:43:55 PM
Ran Drew's chicken at 151F for an hour for four boneless skinless breasts in two packages. We'll see how the results are once my wife takes one to work tomorrow.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on July 03, 2017, 02:05:46 PM
Chicken is spot on!
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: dbeechum on July 03, 2017, 04:36:09 PM
Ain't it?
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on July 04, 2017, 12:48:38 PM
The Anova Nano keeps popping into my feed. Might have to pick one up after release when it goes on sale for veggies or small meals.
https://anovaculinary.com/nano/
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on July 31, 2017, 02:15:15 PM
Pulled two steaks directly from the freezer and seasoned. Ran them at 125F for almost 4 hours and then seared for about a minute per side. They were perfect.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on October 03, 2017, 12:40:02 PM
Ran the pork loin again at 140F. Did not have time to thaw it properly so I seasoned it thoroughly and let it run an extra half hour. It went at least 2 hours at temp and was fantastic after I seared it for a few minutes.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on November 21, 2017, 01:09:03 AM
Anova on sale TODAY!!! $95 and $111

https://www.amazon.com/Anova-Culinary-Precision-Bluetooth-Circulator/dp/B00UKPBXM4
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: reverseapachemaster on November 21, 2017, 02:40:59 PM
Over the weekend I wanted to try rigging a sous vide system to see if it was something I might want to buy with a bunch of deals coming out this week. I hooked up my wife's analog slow cooker to the digital johnson controller for my fermentation fridge. I tried it out on some cheap fish and it worked so I tried it on some sirloin steaks for dinner. I was so impressed by the results I don't even feel like I need to buy a sous vide circulator. Obviously I can only cook small amounts since the slow cooker is not large but it's big enough that I could cook three full size steaks and probably could have fit a fourth.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on November 21, 2017, 11:16:55 PM
While I like the idea of making something work, it is sure easy to pull out the Inova and to let it do all the work. It has both a heating element and a circulator to keep the water moving and a steady temp. I use mine about once per week.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: BrewBama on November 22, 2017, 12:16:24 AM
One of the guys at work is doing his turkey sous vide. I rarely use mine but need to think about using it more.


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Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: pete b on November 22, 2017, 01:57:04 AM
One of the guys at work is doing his turkey sous vide. I rarely use mine but need to think about using it more.


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Is he separating the dark meat and white meat? The whole objective when cooking a bird is getting the different parts to different temps. Cooking a whole bird sous vide doesn't seem optimal. I can see doing it for a breast or a drumstick separately though.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: BrewBama on November 22, 2017, 10:29:14 PM
Yes. He broke it into two white and two dark packages


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Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: pete b on November 23, 2017, 02:20:01 AM
Yes. He broke it into two white and two dark packages


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That sounds good. Ido you know how he is crisping the skin?
I am about to pull the trigger on a sous vide circulator, I'm just waiting to see if it goes on sale Friday. I am purposely getting one that is not appropriate based.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on November 26, 2017, 08:18:16 PM
This one is on sale for the next hour at $50. I might check into it as a backup or for a second temp.
https://www.amazon.com/Avalon-Bay-Precision-Circulator-SVS-100/dp/B071WTQLMR
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: pete b on December 01, 2017, 03:14:07 AM
My first sous vide effort, duck breast, medium rare.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171201/077158385d1733c3c0e257574a87d21b.jpg)

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Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: macbrews on May 16, 2018, 07:45:39 PM
I found another use for my sous vide circulator:

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180516/39b2fdec5ebc05b716c844acc3f00656.jpg)

Dissolve honey crystals. 


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Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on May 16, 2018, 09:10:02 PM
I keep thinking it could be used to keep a mash at temp or perhaps a warm temp for something brewing.
Title: Re: Sous-Vide Circulator Recommendations
Post by: MDixon on July 17, 2018, 01:45:15 AM
The 900W Anova is $70 with Amazon Prime during Prime Days. I could not resist and purchased a second one. I was holding out for a Nano, but it is $100 currently.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HHWSV1S