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Jan 2, 2012 04:04 PM

Sous vide- I know this has been dealt with a good bit

My wife got me a sous vide magic last year for christmas and I haven't used it once. Has anyone actually hooked one up to a crock pot or rice cooker and used it and really liked it?

Are there any specific recipes that you really love using it?

Am pondering selling it on ebay or craigslist, but if anyone wanted one from chowhound...

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  1. "Are there any specific recipes that you really love using it?"

    I use it for almost everyting now, its a superior method of cooking. Every kitchen will have a sous vide setup in the next 10 years, its the new "microwave" in terms of how big its going to get.

    Try this for a pretty good starter recipe that showcases the power of sous vide. Id lower the temp though, I like doing them at 135 as opposed to 140, and also cook them for 72 hours instead of 48.


    6 Replies
    1. re: twyst

      Do you have the sus vide magic?

      What are you using to plug into it- rice cooker or crock pot?

      1. re: jameshig

        I actually have the sous vide magic as part of the fresh meals magic setup (http://freshmealssolutions.com/index....), so my setup is a little more advanced that the rice cooker setup, but I know people who get great results with the rice cooker. I also have a sous vide supreme, but have to say fresh meals magic is the way to go if you are looking for a "bargain" to get started. (hard to call it a bargain at $350 but its a lot less than a real imersion circ which start at $800)

      2. re: twyst

        As I read through this thread I see the OP has given up on sous vide.

        I never started, and I think a lot of sous vide is hocus pocus, similar to molecular cooking.

        The 48 hour sous vide rib recipe is an odd starter. I would be reluctant to try it as I can do excellent short ribs in two hours in a pressure cooker.
        The goal is to get the heat to penetrate the collagen and fat until they break down, without losing moisture in the muscle. Both methods accomplish this, but one is much quicker and easier than the other.
        I can't see waiting 48 hours for short ribs, and if a restaurant does this, they will slow production drastically, and overcharge me for a bill of goods.

        Shrimp may be excellent in sous vide, and not too long a wait, but I would suggest anyone with a pc try pressure cooking a live 1.5 lb lobster for 7 minutes. Easy, quick, and perfectly steamed.

        1. re: jayt90

          "The 48 hour sous vide rib recipe is an odd starter. I would be reluctant to try it as I can do excellent short ribs in two hours in a pressure cooker.
          The goal is to get the heat to penetrate the collagen and fat until they break down, without losing moisture in the muscle. Both methods accomplish this, but one is much quicker and easier than the other."

          They both break down the collagen and elastin, but the end result of these methods is COMPLETELY different. A short rib cooked normally is cooked until its almost falling apart, is cooked well beyond well done, and is delicious.
          A short rib coked sous vide has ta completely different texture and can be served medium rare.

          The results of the two cooking methods are not really even in the same ballpark. They can both be delicious, but its like comparing a pot roast to a strip steak.

          1. re: jayt90

            This is what sliced, sous vide short rib looks like, and its not attainable by traditional cooking methods unless you want tough uncooked meat.

            1. re: twyst

              Thanks for enlightening me. I had forgotten about the raw-appearing sous vide lamb and beef which was cooked but seared afterwards by a friend/enthusiast.
              What is the foam on the snap peas? Is it practical at home?

        2. I have the equivalent to a sous vide magic. I started with it hooked up to a crock pot and now also have an electric roaster that I use when doing it for a large crowd.

          I use it for shrimp all the time (shimp, salt, pepper, butter) - it is awesome and makes the shrimp taste great. An easy and quick thing to try to get you started.

          I have used it for short ribs - they were great but took 48 hours.

          I use it for duck confit now, you can sous vide them with only a few Tbs of duck fat per leg (big cost savings) and they come out great.

          I have used it for scallops - I've decided I don't like scallops sous vide (shrimp yes, scallops, no - I just don't like the texture).

          I have done eggs, cooked in their shells. It took me a few times to get them how I like them but so much easier than poaching for a large breakfast crowd.

          I have done veggies (potatoes, carrots, etc) - they have all been great.

          So I say get it out and play around. I personally would recommend starting with cooking some shrimp as they are fast to cook and awesome! I think it will get you hooked.

          5 Replies
          1. re: thimes

            I still haven't gotten the perfect poached egg. Can you share your recipe. I don't like runny whites. Thank you. Sharon

            1. re: sharhamm

              If you're against softer whites you may never find a temp with sous vide that really works for you. One of the things I've found with sous vide eggs is that with the slow even cooking you can never really simulate that effect of higher heat - which results in the firmer white exterior and runny interior you get with faster cooking times.

              1. re: sharhamm

                The perfect poached egg without runny whites is a pain to do with a circulator. It requires using several different temperatures and different amounts of time in those temperatures. If you are anti runny white, you are better off just doing it the old fashioned way.

                1. re: twyst

                  I like to cook my eggs at 142F for 45 minutes or longer and then toss them into boiling water for 3 minutes to firm up the whites.

                2. re: sharhamm

                  Similar (but reverse order) to sillyeatinggirl below, you might want to try:

                  3 min pre boil straight from fridge eggs to set the whites. - cool in ice bath to protect yolk - 63 degC for 125 minutes to cook yolk.

                  Have yet to try it myself (still on my to do list) but here's a discussion on the subject with photos.

              2. Okay, I've tried 3 or 4 dishes and hate the sous vide magic. If anyone is interested in buying it, please respond and we'll figure out how to get in touch with each other.

                I really tried to like it, but I am too ADD. I did 48 hour short ribs. I did salmon. I even did shrimp like thimes suggested, but it was just not to my liking.

                2 Replies
                1. re: jameshig

                  I'm sorry you didn't like it but I understand, it has its good and bad points. Hope you can sell it.

                  1. re: jameshig

                    I had never heard of the Sous Vide Magic controller before. I have seen instructions to make such a thing, however. Some as simple as this http://www.chow.com/food-news/64330/h... some more complicated with nicer controllers similar to the Magic.

                    Here is a page that shows how to add an immersion heater and an aquarium bubble to make a more "advanced" unit affordably http://blog.medellitin.com/2010/10/tw...

                    Lifehacker.com has some great articles on sous vide cooking, BTW. You might want to try some of them before you sell.

                    1. re: travelerjjm

                      I hadn't seen that very affordable IC unit from your first link, so thanks for posting it. I'll try to come up with some justification for buying it to try it out.

                      I'm not sure what you're referring to in the second link though. It just leads to a list of products.

                      1. re: cowboyardee

                        Oops. Sorry http://www.amazon.com/AquaChef-Profes... It is a sous vide unit that looks remarkably like a small home fryer.