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Just got a Sansaire (sous vide machine)! What should I cook?

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My fabulous husband ordered me a Sansaire as a Christmas present and it just arrived in the mail yesterday. YAY! I can't wait to try it out and I would love some suggestions from those experienced in the art of sous vide cooking as to what your favorite sous vide dishes are.

We generally eat low carb so meat suggestions are especially welcome. I have a flank steak in the freezer that I was considering for my first experiment, but I hear chuck roast also turns out fabulously. Bring on the ideas, hounds!

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  1. My son, who is an engineer built me a sous vide machine and I bet I use it three or four times a week. We are also low carb. Just get into the habit of freezing leftovers or freshly prepared food into snap-lock containers and then transfer into Food Saver bags. That's the key; your food needs to be in water proof, sealed bags. I would recommend Jason Logsdon's "Beginning Sous Vide" as a book to reference times and temps.
    I now cook all my steaks, fish sous vide and I like to cook all day on my days off and then freeze the results and then I always have dinner ready when I get home.
    Enjoy, it's now my favorite way to cook.

    1. Start by looking on the web about sous vide eggs and then experiment with them. Amazing what kind of results, you can get and the difference even a degree or two makes.

      1. Thank you both! I have found quite a lot of useful information online, and I will definitely check out Jason Logsdon's book. Right now I have a flank steak and a couple of slices of beef shin cooking at 135, so we'll see how my first experiments go soon!

        As for eggs, I fear that may be a feature of the sous vide that is lost on me - I HATE runny egg yolks of any kind (and runny whites are even worse). DH loves them, though, so we'll see if he wants to be my guinea pig.

        1. I found an app from Amazon for my Kindle. We've just been on the go too much to use it again. I understand it takes carrots to a new dimension :)

          1. I've been SV cooking BSCB for sandwiches that my son has been eating regularly.

            I do two trimmed BSCB. Into a vac bag with some chicken base like Better than Boullion for a little flavor. Seal and SV @ 146-149 for 2-3 hrs. I ice them down and when well chilled slice for sandwiches

            Other short cooking has been salmon mi cuit and salmon cooked more done.

            Boneless short ribs, steaks, chuck roast....

            I recently did chicken confit

             
             
             
            6 Replies
            1. re: scubadoo97

              Looks great! We ate my first experiment last night - flank steak. It was tasty but the texture was a little odd - very tender, but also a little dry. There was a TON of liquid left in the cooking bag, which kind of surprised me. I cooked it at 135 for about 20 hours, but the Sansaire doesn't hold temperature quite as well as I was hoping - I noticed it going up to 137-138 at times.

              Also, when I first started cooking I left the bags floating freely in the water, and I think one of them blocked a temperature sensor or the circulator or something, because the temp shot up to 155 in the blink of an eye. I removed the pouches and added some cold water to cool the bath down quickly, but when I returned the pouches I duct taped them to the side of the pan opposite the Sansaire, so that they wouldn't interfere with operation again.

              The beef shin slices are going to hang out in there until tomorrow, and I'll cook a couple of pork chops for dinner tomorrow as well. Experimenting is fun!

              1. re: biondanonima

                I would think shoot for 125 cooking temp, then sear or hit it with a blowtorch for a crust (which would also take final temp into the medium rare range).

                1. re: sbp

                  Yes, 135 was tasty enough but it was definitely closer to medium than medium rare, given the upward drift from the machine. I'll try 125 next time for steak and see how that works - DH especially loves RARE meat so I think that will be perfect for him.

                2. re: biondanonima

                  Tender meat like steak, even flank steak I would do for only a couple hours to bring the core up to temp.

                  Tough cuts like brisket need the longer time to tenderize

                  1. re: scubadoo97

                    We ate the shin cuts today - delicious. Very tender but still toothsome after almost 3 days in the bath. We did have some issues with the temp of the bath spiking, though - it went up to 155 at one point, and who knows what happened while we were sleeping. I contacted Sansaire and they asked me to take a pic of the setup, so they could see if there was a potential problem, but they said this was definitely abnormal and that they'll send me a new one if they can't figure out the problem. So far, great customer service!

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      +1 on that.

                      There are recipes for 72 hr. short ribs kicking around the internet. Find them and use them, though my preference is 48 hours; I prefer tender rather than fork-tender. Magnificent to taste a rare hunk of cow that melts in your mouth.

                3. I have never done this but i understand that Soas vide salmon is hard to beat.
                  http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe...

                  1. I have found it works incredibly well for lean meats like venison. elk, bison etc. You can use the sous vide process and then just briefly finish off the meat in a grill pan inside or on an outdoor grill.

                    1. I just got mine too. Did a steak and finished with blowtorch. Amazing. A tip I got was to cover the unit. It keeps the temps really stable. I used a 8qt. thick DO which helped as well. We also bought a bigger rectangular cambro with a top. DH is planning to cut the top (which is sold separately) to just fit the Sansaire. Also make sure your food is truly sealed. I am curious from where the liquid from your flank came? I have 2 in the freezer now. I always marinate them first in rosemary, onion, sweet soy and wine. Thinking of putting it in marinade and all. I would do about an hour at 126° since they are about 1" or less.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: Cubangirl1

                        Interesting. I had a couple of major temperature spikes (20 degrees or more over target) so they asked me to send the unit back and are sending me a replacement. What did you use to cover the unit? I could see how covering the pot would help with temp stability - maybe I'll try using foil next time.

                        With my flank steak, the liquid was just the juice from the meat itself - I didn't add any liquid to the bag and there were no leaks. I will definitely do just a short cook on flank steak next time - I don't think the overnight cook did it any favors. Your idea of putting it in with the marinade sounds excellent!

                        I made pork chops tonight - about an hour at 137, then a brief sear in butter on the stovetop. They came out really tender, although the eye was still a bit dry (typical of lean supermarket pork). They were from the shoulder end, though, so at least that darker meat around the eye was really tasty. I also did some fennel at 185 for about 45 minutes (then finished in the oven for 20 mins for color). It was good, but could have gone a little longer in the water bath, I think, as some of the thicker pieces were still a bit crunchy. There is definitely a learning curve!

                        1. re: biondanonima

                          I have done fennel a couple of times. Added a little sambuca and butter before sealing I go 185f/60min. Carrots are my favorite veg to SV so far. Same time and temp

                        2. re: Cubangirl1

                          I did a flank steak in marinade tonight - it turned out GREAT, despite some major temperature control issues. My unit is clearly defective (the new one is on its way!), but by watching it carefully I was able to keep the bath in the 125-130 range for about 45 minutes, which was plenty. Seared for a couple of minutes on a hot grill and we were in cow heaven. I like the quick bath MUCH better than the long soak for flank steak, I think, and cooking it in the marinade works really well.

                          1. re: biondanonima

                            Thanks I was debating whether to use both flanks for Ropa Vieja, but now will go back to original plan and Sous Vide one and pressure cook the one for the Ropa Vieja.

                          2. re: Cubangirl1

                            Not sure where to post this. I used my Sansaire to sous vide carrots and pears. Both were past their prime and would have probably been discard on garbage day. Instead I put the 3 divided the 3 pairs into 3 bags, added butter, sugar and spices. The baby carrots I peeled (because they were old) and put them with butter, spices and sprig of tarragon). I put them both in the same bath for the same amount of time. Both came out great. We are doing more carrots tomorrow as well as French green beans. We'll do them first since they cook at 185F, then when done add ice cubes to quickly bring the temp down, (leaving the veggies in the bath) and put the sirloin steaks in at 136F and cook them for 45 minutes. Shock and save those not being used for dinner that night and finish those that are.

                            1. re: Cubangirl1

                              Carrots are fabulous done SV. Very intense carrot flavor.

                              I've not had as much success with green veg. String beans lost some color where as the carrots seemed to intensify in color

                              1. re: scubadoo97

                                I am thinking of blanch and shocking as I usually do for greens. Then put it in the bath. I have a cut orange in the fridge. If it is still good, I am going to add red or yellow bell pepper and do orange with Parisien Bonnes Herbes, fresh tarragon and olive oil. Maybe sprinkle some toasted pistachios before serving. I figure even if they are not pretty they should taste great.

                                1. re: Cubangirl1

                                  Good thinking on the greens and the dish sounds good

                          3. A few years ago Rick Bayless did a carnitas episode on his "Mexico: One Plate at a Time" show where he demoed the technique for the carnitas dish he serves at Topolobampo. I haven't located an official recipe online but you can see the segment of the show here...

                            http://livewellnetwork.com/Mexico-One...

                            It starts at the 2:15 mark with the actual demo at around 3:00. I've made this a few times at home (adding different spices and skipping the compressing part) and its always turned out great!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Coogles

                              Did he say 50 hours? Thanks

                              1. re: Cubangirl1

                                Yep, 50 hours cook time @143F.

                              2. re: Coogles

                                I do my carnitas for 22 hours at 155 and get really nice results. Maybe not as good as Rick Bayless's, but for half the electricity expenditure, I'll take it.

                              3. I was going to order one of these for my husband, but didn't get around to it. I put my name on their email list, so hopefully they'll get a new shipment in soon with our anniversary in May. He would adore it.

                                17 Replies
                                1. re: roxlet

                                  What about the Anova? There's another thread kicking about where a couple of folks don't like the Sansaire so much.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    I got into SV a while ago. To be honest I ended up sort of losing interest. I like the more 'hands-on' approach to cooking and I did find some of the textures of different meat/poultry/fish sort of weird.
                                    I did a reasonable job of making a DIY SV setup so it didn't cost me any $.

                                    1. re: Puffin3

                                      As much as I love the hands on approach to cooking there is a positive to having something cooking that requires nearly zero attention allowing me to do other things, culinary or otherwise. If my wife is running late and dinner is in the SV bath there is a lot of room for re-timing dinner without loss something being over done.

                                    2. re: c oliver

                                      I hadn't heard of the Anova when I asked for the Sansaire - it looks like it's very similar. The Sansaire is much sleeker-looking, IMO, if that sort of thing matters to you. It looks like the Anova used to be a bit more expensive and then they dropped their price to $200 - I would guess to compete with the Sansaire.

                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                        I have the Anova but have been too damn busy to use it more than once :(

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          Ugh, no fun! I actually think that sous vide can be a big time saver, but it definitely requires some advance planning, especially for tough cuts that need a couple of days of cooking.

                                          1. re: biondanonima

                                            Well, actually LOTS of fun :) Traveling!

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              Oh, well then I don't feel so bad for you! :)

                                        2. re: biondanonima

                                          I don't know about the Anova being priced higher than the Sansaire orginally, but Anova does have prior experience in making lab circulators, so I would trust a company that at least has that background going for them. I love my Anova and glad I waited for it to come out before paying for a Nomiku circulator.

                                          1. re: spinn1

                                            The Sansaire is now available for $199.00 with free shipping at SurLaTable. The guy that created it is one of the original Modernist Cuisine guys.

                                            1. re: Cubangirl1

                                              Actually Scott Heimendinger is not one of the "original Modernist Cuisine guys" but joined their team more recently once Modernist Cuisine was already published

                                        3. re: c oliver

                                          I have an Anova and love it. Just cant use it on shallow pots like the Sansaire but it has a smaller foot print in the vessel and a wider range of water levels. I

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            I have the Anova and love it!

                                            1. re: alexk1

                                              I love my Anova, as well. FYI- There is about a one week waiting list. I hope it doesn't corrode over time from all the time spent in hot, steamy chlorinated water. My wife let me buy one, but if it eventually fails, I'll have a hard time getting buy-in to drop another $200.

                                            2. re: c oliver

                                              This article is why I got the Anova.
                                              http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/12/so...

                                              1. re: alexk1

                                                And why I did also!

                                            3. re: roxlet

                                              Roxlet, our local Sur la Table has them in stock. If you have SLT close to home maybe check with them so you can get one in time for your anniversary.

                                            4. Sous Vide is particularly perfect for any protein you want to keep rare or med-rare through and through.
                                              and that SHOULD be just about any protein.

                                              So that certainly means any cut of beef can be perfect med-rare edge to edge... tougher cuts benefit from longer cook times because the 'tenderising' effects of the time, but even 'nicer' cuts come out the kind of perfect pink that is difficult to impossible to achieve other ways.

                                              And for those same reasons, pork or chicken come out beautifully.
                                              You can stop worrying about getting them to "safe" temps and instead cook them to juicy perfection while knowing that time in the bath allows them to be safe to eat.
                                              I'll never make chicken any other way again.

                                              Same thing for perfectly pink lamb and duck.

                                              The one thing I don't PERSONALLY like doing sous vide is fish.
                                              I find that being in the sealed bag seems to bring out the 'fishy' quality that just is not appealing, and in any case, fish cooks so quickly in a hot pan or on a grill that I don't find it necessary.
                                              By the time you have seared a crust on the outside, the inside is done.

                                              The exceptions are things like butter poaching lobster or shrimp.

                                              1. Anyone try the Nomiku circulator? It seems to be another affordable SV alternative. I have the SV Supreme and love it but my cousin wants to experiment and isn't willing to spend as much.

                                                http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G...

                                                16 Replies
                                                1. re: trillen

                                                  Haven't used it but Serious Eats tested the 3 new contenders. The Anova, Sansaire and the Nomiku. The Nomiku came out on the bottom. The Anova and Sansaire were pretty close in function with the Anova taking the slight lead.

                                                  The Nomiku's controller is not built into the unit. It's attached to the power cord. More chances for water to damage the electronics IMO. This is how the SideKIC was designed and it was an issue. as well as being a poorly made IC.

                                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                                    Great, thanks for the info. I might pick up an Anova for him as a birthday gift then.

                                                    He had also mentioned he was looking at this other wierd brand called Dorkfoods (see link below). It's not an actual stand alone unit but a temp controller you can use to transform a crock pot and maybe a rice cooker (?) into a SV machine. It's only around a hundred bucks, but I was a little leery to purchase a no-known brand (although I guess I've never really heard of these other brands either). Has anyone had any experience using this one?

                                                    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008...

                                                    1. re: trillen

                                                      I don't own a Dorkfood sous-vide (DSV) temperature controller myself, but I have used one and it is on my long term purchase list. I borrowed it from a coworker who uses it almost on a daily basis in the office for his lunch. As you might be able to guess from the brandname- and the Amazon reviews- there are lots of tech folks that enjoy using their DSV.

                                                      When I used it at home, I paired it with an an old crockpot, and the DSV worked really well. You won't get the advantages of water circulation, but for straight up sous-vide cooking, it did the job well.

                                                      1. re: trillen

                                                        I have a DSV. Originally I used it with my crockpot, then bought a bucket heater to cook larger amounts of food.
                                                        When I switched to the larger setup, I had to add an aquarium bubbler to keep the water circulating because with the bucket heater there can be several degrees of temperature variation in the pot depending on where the temperature sensor is placed.
                                                        We've moved to NY where I have no kitchen counters and I've thought about buying the Anova just to have a smaller setup, but hearing about the temperature fluctuations makes me appreciate the DSV which has no temperature variation (as long as you circulate the water).
                                                        Dorkfoods claims to have a lifetime warranty (in email with the company) but I haven't tested this yet. It does feel like it's built to last a lifetime.

                                                        1. re: jill20

                                                          Haven't had any fluctuation issues with my Anova.

                                                          1. re: alexk1

                                                            I have had fluctuation issues with the Sansaire, to the point where they sent me a replacement unit. Both of them seem to have trouble stabilizing at temps less than 130, though. Above 130 they seem to be fine. The company has been great about responding to my emails regarding the issues and have offered to send me yet another unit if I keep having problems.

                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                              What are you trying to cook at under 130F? We've been using our Sansaire a lot and have had no problems. However, all has been above 130F. We bought a large Cambro at Cash and Carry and a lid for it. My husband cut the lid so the Sansaire fits in the hole (he left the flap on). I use 2 cans of 28 oz. tomatoes to keep it completely closed. It really reduces heat loss. I am trying to find an elegant solution for the tomato cans, but so far nothing. We are going to foodsaver some decorative marbles to use as weights when needed. So far, not needed. BTW, we use the Cambro container to store together the Sansaire, the smoking gun and the torch when not using them.

                                                              1. re: Cubangirl1

                                                                Steaks, mostly. My DH especially likes his meat RARE, so sous vide-ing it at 120 or 125 is perfect for him. 130 means I either have to watch it a bit so that it doesn't have a chance to get all the way up to 130, or deal with steak that is a little more done than he likes it (once it's seared, etc).

                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                  Does it make any difference what kind of container you use? We like the Cambro because it gives us room to put several things in, but if you are not doing 5 or 6 things, maybe a smaller clad DO might work better. I found that when we put it on the counter near our glass door to the back, the temp did not hold as well. We generally move out one of the bays on our JennAir and put the cambro there. So you might check drafts as well.
                                                                  We are doing 4 more sirloins for our anniversary tomorrow. Starting high for carrots and haricots vert, then lowering it for the steaks. Finishing half the veggies and half the steaks and saving the others.

                                                                  1. re: Cubangirl1

                                                                    I have been using stock pots of different sizes - the larger one seems to hold the temp somewhat better, but not perfectly below 130.

                                                                    1. re: Cubangirl1

                                                                      just remember that those Cambro food containers can only be heated to a certain temp (~160F), depending on the material. If you plan to keep the temp low, then they're fine. Otherwise, you can use a stock pot as well.

                                                                      1. re: spinn1

                                                                        The polycarbonate can go to 210f

                                                                        I have some Cambo polypropylene containers that i do heat up higher than recommended temp but my food is not in contact with the water so I really don't think it makes a difference

                                                                        1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                          The one I have does fine at 185F which is the highest I've done so far. We get minimal fluctuations using it with the cover on (with the cutout for the Sansaire).

                                                      2. re: trillen

                                                        I've had my Nomiku for a while now and have been very happy with it. The detached box (not sure if it includes the controller or is just a power supply) hasn't really bothered me, according to one of the founders that decision was made so they could seal the circulator body to be water and steam resistant. At the time they claimed to be the only immersion circulator on the market to be certified water resistant (IPX4). Hopefully that will turn out to be a useful feature. The controls are pretty intuitive, you can change the bath set temp on the fly and if the power goes out it will remember the set point, resume once power is restored and display an icon on the screen to let you know there was an interruption.

                                                        I haven't played with the Anova or Sansaire but have heard good things about them. I'm sure your cousin would be happy with any of the three!

                                                        1. re: Coogles

                                                          The Anova is updating its software to restart and remember the settings if there is a power interruption. Currently it will remember the time and temp but does not restart. There has been some questions about safety from a unit that restarts after a power failure. The problem being how long was it off before restarting. I have been using an UPC to plug my unit into. This should keep it going for about 4 hrs should we lose power.

                                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                                            I like the idea of using an uninterruptible power supply with a circulator, not only will it keep everything running for some time in the event of a power failure but it will also condition the power and protect the circulator from spikes and surges. Unfortunately if I bring home any new gadgets for the kitchen anytime soon I'll be spending my nights on the couch so I'll have to pass for now. There is a food safety concern with having a circulator resume after a power outage, but if the outage doesn't last long enough for the bath temp to fall in to the danger zone and the circulator doesn't resume when power is restored you'll end up throwing out food that would have otherwise been perfectly safe. What I would really like to see in a circulator is one that resumes after a power failure, but instead of just displaying an icon to let me know that the power went out would also display what the bath temperature was when the unit resumed. That way I could make an informed decision about the safety of the food. My guess is that this could be implemented in the firmware and not require any hardware changes. (Any manufacturers who want to use that idea just send me a circulator and we'll call it even!) Until that happens I'll probably be using a high/low digital thermometer with a remote probe like this one..

                                                            http://www.amazon.com/General-Tools-D...

                                                            just so I can know how low the bath temp goes if the power does go out while no one is home.

                                                      3. A little late to the party but a chuck steak is a really good thing to start with.

                                                        1. I have a Sous Vide Supreme.

                                                          A good thing to start with is Flank steaks - I made around 1.5 kg of flank, and once you cook them, they keep in the fridge around a week in their bags.

                                                          Cook flank steak for 24 hours and it is truly sublime, very very good.

                                                          I made a Asian beef salad one night with them, and another day i had a steak sandwich with horseradish.

                                                          Some tips.
                                                          1. Remember quickly cool anything you aren't going to eat straight away. This means you put the bags in an ice bath and it cools them down quickly so the bacteria don't grow as quickly
                                                          http://www.sousvidesupreme.com/en-uk/...

                                                          2. For meat you will need to sear it afterwards, so get a BBQ or Skillet and brown the outsides.

                                                          10 Replies
                                                          1. re: Chalima

                                                            I saw on http://www.sousvidesupreme.com/en-us/...? a mention of cooking several things/a large batch at once. Has anybody cooked multiple things at once? E.g. meat and eggs?

                                                            1. re: aqn

                                                              I have done a big batch of shortribs, and some chicken sausages too. Worked great.

                                                              1. re: aqn

                                                                I've cooked carrots and pear at the same time. I also left the carrots in after I lowered the temp for the steaks until we were ready to take them out. You start with the hotest, then bring the temp down for the next and so forth. Food can stay in as long as it is a lower temp. than was needed to cook it. We are looking for wire type vertical file that has wide slots but is not tall to put in it for multiple bags.

                                                                1. re: Cubangirl1

                                                                  Depending on the size of your bath container something like a Weber rib rack might be close to what you're looking for.

                                                                  http://www.amazon.com/Weber-6605-Orig...

                                                                  1. re: Coogles

                                                                    That's a good possibility, but its dimension is listed as "1 x 1 x 1 inches". :)

                                                                    1. re: aqn

                                                                      Hmmmm, maybe that one is for a Barbie Dream House grill. The real life ones are about a foot in length, not sure of the other dimensions but I have one somewhere at home. I'll try to find it after work and get the actual dimensions.

                                                                      1. re: Coogles

                                                                        The dimensions are 13.25" x 8" x 3.5" high.

                                                                    2. re: Coogles

                                                                      Thanks, I'll have to measure to see if the length fits.

                                                                    3. re: Cubangirl1

                                                                      I recently purchased a rack from Sous Vide Supreme to use in my cambros

                                                                      http://www.sousvidesupreme.com/Shop_O...&&

                                                                      It might be what your looking for

                                                                      1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                        Thanks, those looks nice as well.

                                                                2. My Sansaire arrived last week. I purchased a couple of eye round steaks (less costly than filets just in case I screwed it up) about 1.5 inches thick. I put them in Ziploc bags, pressed all the air out, and added salt, pepper, chopped garlic and a little olive oil and into a tall Calphalon pot. about 90 minutes at 55*C. after removing from the bag I seared them off for about 2 minutes per side. they came out perfect.

                                                                   
                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Nursemegg

                                                                    My husband did a London Broil tonight. It was good, a tad rarer than I like (he likes it medium rare). Finished them using a blowtorch.
                                                                    Here's a picture of our setup. We got the container and top at Cash & Carry and placed in one of the bays for our JennAir.

                                                                    Sorry about the sideways picture, I can't edit it.

                                                                     
                                                                    1. re: Cubangirl1

                                                                      is the container a necessity? I see so many people using cambros and I honestly don't have room for one in my apartment. I've used a large pot that I already own and have had no issues....

                                                                      1. re: Nursemegg

                                                                        A large pot is fine as long as the device is stable and the water level is in check. It may lose more heat than a plastic container but you could wrap it to insulate it and also cover the top as best you can to decrease evaporation.

                                                                        1. re: Nursemegg

                                                                          I use a big canning pot. If it is tall enough for the immersion circulator it will be fine. I also just put a cookie sheet over as much as I can if food is in there overnight. I think I lose less than an inch of water overnight...but make sure it is near the maximum fill line before you hit the hay! :)

                                                                          1. re: alexk1

                                                                            I also use a tall stockpot. I just put a piece of foil over the top, fitted around the Anova unit. I find there's very little water loss.

                                                                      2. re: Nursemegg

                                                                        Looks great

                                                                      3. I have been wanting to purchase one of these now that they are not so big, bulky and expensive. Do I really need to get a vacuum pack also? Does it work to just make sure the plastic bag is well sealed with most of the excess air removed?

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: kqig

                                                                          You can use zip bags and the displacement method to seal

                                                                          1. re: kqig

                                                                            You don't absolutely need it. However, if you are going to cook ahead, i.e., sous vide meat and then freeze it for later use, I highly recommend a FoodSaver. It will save you money in the long run. Costco has one on sale now. We use ours not only for the sous vide bags, but to reseal chips and freeze nuts, flour, large packages of meats, etc.
                                                                            The FoodSaver ziplock fridge bags, will keep cheese fresh and mold-free for a long, long time.

                                                                            1. re: kqig

                                                                              For cooking times of a few hours or less, freezer bags work fine. For longer cooking times (like 72 hours) using a Foodsaver is recommended. But even before I had my Anova, my foodsaver still got used extensively. I highly recommend purchasing one.

                                                                            2. Well, so much for buying my dh one of these for our anniversary. He already ordered one, which showed up last Friday though he was out of town. Since he has everything he needs, including meat glue, I expect lots of experiments coming up shortly.

                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                              1. re: roxlet

                                                                                What, pray tell, is meat glue?!?!? :)

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  Meat glue is transglutaminase....scary...yet kinda interesting.

                                                                                  https://www.google.com/search?q=meat+...

                                                                                  1. re: alexk1

                                                                                    I'm no germophobe but that sounds icky.

                                                                                    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gregg-m...

                                                                                2. re: roxlet

                                                                                  Arrrgh...that is so frustrating when one tries to think of the perfect gift for their loved one, have it all planned out and the loved one ends up purchasing it on their own before you have a chance to give them that gift.

                                                                                  Not that it is much consolation, but at least you two will have one now and I look forward to hearing about the experiments.

                                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                                    If he got the circulator, how about a smoking gun? It is great for infusing smoke to sous vide ribs, steaks, etc. Or my personal favorite, an iSi Gourmet whip (does both hot and cold espumas, infusions, etc.). It would be great if he likes to play with modernist ingredients.

                                                                                    1. re: Cubangirl1

                                                                                      those are great suggestions.
                                                                                      and the two together are about the price of an Annova

                                                                                      1. re: Cubangirl1

                                                                                        I don't think he'd go for the smoking gun. We have a huge BBQ in our backyard, and I know he's a purist about those things. He always scoffs at smoking guns when he sees them on TV shows. We have the iSi. I'm thinking some sort of adjunct to the gas grill (we have a charcoal grill, a wood-fired BBQ AND a gas grill in our backyard) that you can approximate a pizza oven. Don't want to go for the whole deal...

                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                          Like this thing? http://www.mightypizzaoven.com/

                                                                                    2. I used the Sansaire to make ricotta cheese today, which worked wonderfully - and no messy pot with milk cement stuck to it afterwards. I just dumped half a gallon of milk and 1/4 c. of vinegar into each of two gallon-sized baggies, plopped them in the water, set it to 184 and waited. I got a clean break when the water hit about 183. Dumped them into my colander and tossed the baggies with all the mess left inside! I think this would be a great way to heat milk for making yogurt as well.

                                                                                      12 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                        cool! nothing more than that? Salt? Was the milk "special"? I recall having trouble making mozzarella with the milk from the grocery store--

                                                                                        1. re: DGresh

                                                                                          Make sure that the milk is not ultra-pasteurized otherwise you will have little success with making mozzarella (or any other cheese)

                                                                                          1. re: DGresh

                                                                                            You can make ricotta with ultra-pasteurized milk (I think), but other cheeses can be very problematic. Anyway, I make my ricotta with just regular milk and vinegar. After the curds are drained, I add salt and cream until it's the consistency I desire. I find that adding salt to the milk toughens the curd, and adding cream to the milk gives the curd a pasty mouthfeel.

                                                                                          2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                            Wow! That's something. Did you think the quality was as high as what you've done before?

                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                              Yes, it tastes exactly the same as ricotta made on the stovetop, but it was easier since I didn't have to keep stirring to keep the bottom from scorching, or watch the thermometer. Major win!

                                                                                            2. re: biondanonima

                                                                                              I know of a lot of people making yogurt in theirs, I have a few Anovas but haven't tried it yet. I love ricotta and am also curious about the quality. Is it way better than what I can buy at a high quality grocery store?

                                                                                              While we're on the sous vide subject, try making hollandaise. EPIC in every way.

                                                                                              1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                I'm curious why you "have a few Anovas."

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                  Sometimes it's nice to be able to cook 2 things at a time at different temperatures, or just reheat to different temps. I guess I technically only have "a couple," Anovas since I only have 2, with a third coming in October, or whenever the kickstarter units ship. I mostly bought the third one to use as a gift, or sell to make a few bucks on, though I could easily see myself keeping it just to have a backup in case one goes down.

                                                                                                2. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                                                                  Well, the ricotta I make at home is a little different than true ricotta, which is made from the leftover whey from parmesan-making. What I make is probably more accurately called farmer's cheese, but the way it's handled after draining gives it a texture and flavor that's close to ricotta, so it's just easier to call it that.

                                                                                                  Anyway, I think the texture is FAR superior to any ricotta I've ever bought in a store - no graininess whatsoever. The flavor is also superb, particularly if you use a high-quality cream for finishing the cheese (I drain the curds until they're fairly dry/crumbly, then add cream until I get the consistency I desire). You have the option of making it dryer or wetter, as you prefer, and using whatever percentage of milkfat you like. Well worth the small amount of effort involved.

                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                    I gotta try this soon, same with yogurt.

                                                                                                3. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                  It's also nice to make ice cream base

                                                                                                  http://blog.sousvidesupreme.com/2013/...

                                                                                                  1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                    I heard from home cheese makers that an IC works well for making cheese because you can increase the temp incrementally and accurately.

                                                                                                  2. Did my first sous vide burgers tonight - excellent! The meat wasn't home-ground, so the texture wasn't optimal, but the evenness of cooking made up for it. Next time I'll grind myself.

                                                                                                    I also sous vided cheesecake filling this weekend, with excellent results - 176 degrees for 2 hours. I'd go a little higher temp next time for a firmer set when cool, but overall it was excellent.

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                      Looks great. I cooked a few extra when I last made them. Chilled down and trashed in the fridge. Made my son a burger today by just warming one up in SV bath set at the original cooking temp. Didn't take long and didn't need my attention.