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Mr. T's Multi Use - Sous Vide Cooker

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

 

Materials: Slow cooker liner, small rack, PID controller, aquarium pump, and a hot plate, all of which have multiple uses.

 

 

Interior: Showing circulation pump and rack.

 

 

Ready for use.

This setup works very well for smaller cooks. When more ingredients are desired, a turkey roaster is used.

Water temperature can be held within 1°.

 

Tom


Edited by Mr T 59874 - 2/15/17 at 4:44pm
post #2 of 11

Looks like a good project!

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtsailor2003 View Post
 

Looks like a good project!

It has been. As you can see everything can be used as intended. Cooked a dry aged steak in it last night, it was wonderful. You have to give a nice steak a shot in yours, then invent a way for a quick sear. I think you will smile.

 

T

post #4 of 11

Ya'll I give steak a try one of these days.

post #5 of 11
Nice ingenuity
post #6 of 11

Tom,

 

That's a pretty simple and sharp set up. Made up with a few items,most of which, you probably had around the house already.

 

Nice job.

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you guy’s. dls1, you are correct the slow cooker and hot plate we already had along with the rack. I did purchase the PID controller, which can be used for fans, heaters, coolers, and smokers, $30. The aquarium pump of course, can be used in one of the aquariums, $10.

 

Bath towels are occasionally used on top for insulation.

 

post #8 of 11

That is a great assembly of simple parts to replace an expensive piece of equipment. Who is the manufacturer and model of the PID controller you used? Would you recommend it?

post #9 of 11

I did the same thing, although I built my own analog controller because I had some parts lying around from the 1980s (I'm an EE). However, if my home-brew gadget ever fails, the controller you are using is the exact same one I would buy.

 

I have found other uses for this setup.

 

  • It makes a wonderful yogurt maker. I've been making yogurt, every week, since 1974. I used to make it in a Salton yogurt maker that had five dinky little cups. I now make half a gallon at a time, and use leftover peanut butter jars (15 oz.). The quality of the yogurt improved dramatically by having really precise control over the temperature (ideal = 110F). The Salton, in order to not ruin yogurt, incubated at way too low a temperature.
  • You can get much better results from your crock pot when used as a standard slow cooker. Most slow cookers have no thermostat control and, to be safe, have too much power, so as not to leave the food too long in the temperature "danger zone." Unfortunately, this means that the food is always going to be boiled. If you read books on slow cooking, you will get much better results if you limit the upper temperature to somewhere between 195 and 200 degrees.
  • Reheating. I actually prefer my induction cooktop (which has a crude temperature control), but the sous vide works as well. This is especially important when reheating meat that was cooked to a pink state. Almost all other reheating methods will give you a product which is overdone.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundown Farms View Post
 

That is a great assembly of simple parts to replace an expensive piece of equipment. Who is the manufacturer and model of the PID controller you used? Would you recommend it?

Thank you, it is a Willhi - WH1436A Digital Temperature Controller. Yes I would recommend it.

 

T

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr T 59874 View Post
 

Thank you, it is a Willhi - WH1436A Digital Temperature Controller. Yes I would recommend it.

 

T


Yes, that's the exact model that I have in my Amazon "Wish List," just in case I need to order it in a hurry. Even with my home-brew controller, I'm still tempted to get it because it has much more precise and easy-to-set controls than my simple analog control.

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