PedroG's post #17 in the following thread shows what kind of difference an insulated cover can make in terms energy consumption...
I have read on a few websites (general chit chat) no science, that it may be unsafe at higher temps and you know everything on the web is true, the internet don't lie.
I'm not worried about it and personally think it's fine as well, hell I think I ingested more harmful stuff working on my new sous vide machine, Paint, Tolulene, Grinding and cutting plastic etc...
"---Just a crazy tip....... Don't plug into a switched outlet. It might get turned off and cause you to loose the cook batch......really makes the day suck to start off......I lost 5# of beef short ribs to just that....."
Good tip. However, you should plug into a GFP outlet anyway, which is generally not switched.
"---With that said I would suggest using a container that is insulated to help with better temp accuracy.----"
It is a very good idea to have good insulation for the container. I may be wrong, but I don't think that has anything to do with temperature accuracy, which is supposedly controlled by the PID electronic logic. That is one of the reasons why you need a PID controller. Good insulation will allow faster water temperature rise, and will save you energy cost.
First, great thread, guys - great idea to start it. In the interests of full disclosure, I'm a sous vide convert and I own a Sansaire immersion circulator, and am a Kickstarter backer for both the Searzall (torch attachment) and the Anova 2 (end generation Anova immersion circulator). I am not an employee of nor do I have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned in this thread.
The food safety issue is a valid one, but as long as you follow guidelines, the food is just as safe (in many cases, safer) than food prepared by another method.
The fear with Sous Vide cooking is the meat staying in the "danger zone" - between 40 and 140 degrees - too long and will allow the bacteria to multiply to unsafe levels. For simplicity, let's talk chicken...chicken is unsafe to eat unless it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees, right? Yes...for traditional methods. The problem is with grilling chicken, you cook it until it's done and then take it off - you can't maintain a set temperature for the meat because the heat source is always going to be a higher temperature than the food. Knowing this, we are all taught to cook chicken to at least 165 degrees to kill the salmonella - and at 165 degrees and beyond, salmonella is instantly killed. However, you can cook chicken at 130 degrees and as long as it is held at 130 degrees for 112 minutes or more, you have the EXACT same sterilization of the food as at 165 degrees. Take a look at this chart - it's published by the FDA, and it shows just how dramatically the hold time reduces with temperature:
If you've never tasted chicken that's been cooked at 140 degrees, you're missing out (130 is too moist for me...can't describe it, but it just kinda weirded me out).
In a perfect world, a temp probe in the food would be great - it's just not practical. You have to seal the food from the water, and I don't know anyone (yet - I'm probably passing on yet another million dollar idea here) who makes a wireless probe that could be completely enclosed in the bag...though you could make it small and rechargeable and have it transmit the temp via blue tooth...Hmmm....kickstarter project, anyone? If you pay attention to the timing, you really don't need the probe - if you can maintain the water at a 140 degree temperature, anything you insert into it is going to reach that temperature or the temperature in the bath will reduce - don't rush it and make sure you give it enough time to get to proper temp and then hold the temp and it's perfectly safe.
That being said, sous vide cooking isn't for everybody, and if someone does something they shouldn't, the food could be dangerous. It remains important to observe proper food handling guidelines. Done correctly, sous vide increases food safety and is 100% replicable because you're eliminating so many of the variables.
I am not sure why you need to measure IT of food in a sous vide cooker.
Food in a bag inside a circulating hot water container that is controlled by a PID controller, it is impossible for it not to reach and maintain exact (+- 1 degree F/C) temperature. That is one of the beauties of cooking sous vide. No more poking probing around.
I have the Sous Vide Supreme. I bought it a few years ago. I have certainly enjoyed it, but I have outgrown it. I am going to purchase the Anova Precision Cooker soon. I also just purchased this chamber vacuum and absolutely love it. The bags are so much cheaper, plus you can vacuum liquids.
I love cooking sous vide then finishing with a sear on the grill. Tri tip is my favorite. I'm glad to see so many folks on board with this. I recently received as a gift Thomas Keller's Under Pressure and it is a great book. There's so many online resources now, which is very nice.
All this stuff looks great, I bought one of the Sous Vide Supremes during their open box sale, I have not used it yet just got it.
I would like to see more about those wings SQWIB.
I need to take time and make a spot for it on the counter.