Sous Vide Cooking...who does it, what do you cook, how do you do it?

Here’s on for sous vide corned beef pastrami . Soak the corned beef first, sous vide 30 hours, then rub and smoke.

This one is more likely to happen than 30 hours at 145f; It’s 10 hours at 165f.

One more. This one is 48 hours at 145f !

With those times, I start to wonder how much the power would cost. I checked my online power bill today, and my 3.5 hour 325F braise earlier this week raised my gas bill by $2.50 that day, roughly double my usual daily usage here in relatively temperate Berkeley (and oddly, the same as washing and drying one batch of laundry).

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Hopefully all these attractive solar panels are helping out!

The braise was in an electric oven? What time? I’ve seen commercials lately about something like 4-9 PM costing more.

I am at about 20 hrs.

Going for about 34 hours, or whenever I get up tomorrow; whichever comes last.

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If that post is accurate, you’re using about 3-4 kWh for your meat. So, at current PG&E prices, a dollar or two, no big deal. Looks good, and the solar panels probably do help.

My braise was in a gas oven, 325F for 3.5 hours. The gas costs the same at all hours.

Save some $ and get or make an insulated SV container. I converted one medium-small cooler by hole-sawing through the lid, and made a plexi insert for a medium-large one. You hve to mind the Min and Max water levels is all.

Resist the temptation to buy large numbers of pingpong balls…

Save some $ and get or make an insulated SV container

On electricity? How much will I save?

I use one of those plastic cambros, and it has a fitted cover. I haven’t cut the cover to fit yet; as you can see in the picture, I added a bit of plastic wrap. It has an alarm when it gets to min; added water after about 22 hours.

I’m not sure, but it’s pretty obvious that a pot or your Cambro bleeds a lot of heat that would be contained by an insulated vessel. If you try it both ways, you’ll see how more often the circulator powers on.

No sense heating your home with an Anova…

I see; thanks!

I’m sort of chilly, so I don’t think it’s heating the house, but I have reams of this stuff I might be able to use. They are from various fresh and frozen food deliveries

This was interesting;

I don’t do this often enough to want to store a cooler, but I have been wanting to do something with these. Maybe tonight!

A jacket!

Good idea! We keep the house around 70f. The surface of the cambro was registering around 114f before I put the jacket on.

I use it in my garage, with a heat mat, for my pepper plants too.

Here’s a jacket on Amazon.

Next up; lentils!

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I think the author’s methodolovy and calcs are off, but the general points are valid.

If you have surplus bubble wrap, that’s a good use for it. Using it for a cover can be a drippy, leaky mess, tho.

An unstated advantage of going the cooler route is that it shortens the time needed to preheat the bath. And depending on what you’re using for a rack or weights, more surrounding space for better circulation.

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After the bath; its a small piece; labled as “point”.

Not sure this texture will do, but it tastes and chews fine.

Rubbed and ready to smoke.

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Got your uncoated butcher paper and beef tallow ready?

I don’t need no stinking crutch! :blush:

As in “The Texas Crutch”? I’ve read about it, but can’t remember using it. This recipe only calls for one hour of smoke, but I’ll take a look.

Done! Texture, chew is perfect, but I may not soak this brand as long next time. It was only about 5 hours with one water change, but I’d have like more saltiness.

It’s a little bland. :confused: Not that that’s kept me from almost finishing the whole thing solo!

Maybe I’ll sous vide the other piece with the rub, maybe a longer smoke, maybe no parchment ( which I removed for tue last 30 minutes of a 90 minute smoke).


Sous vide pork belly tonight, using this Serious Eats recipe.

I found several good, simple recipes with traditional techniques that I look forward to trying, but I needed a set, forget, and store option tonight.


The sous vide stick comes in handy when I don’t wan’t to heat up the house cooking a roast with the electric oven. It is the weekend when our electrical rates don’t charge the ‘peak demand’ kwh, so that’s when I’ll get my major electrical needs done. Sous vide-ing the chicken boobintons for chicken salad this week or the larger items, run the washer loads (the dryer is gas and we have drying racks inside and a line outside, weather permitting), vacuum the house and run the dishwasher. Every little of conservation bit helps and we try to spread the electrical use during off peak demand times (7-10 am & 5-8pm are peak) and keep the bill down. We are not in the PG&E (“Pacific Graft and Extortion” as our dad would write out on the checks to them) service area, we have a co-op in NW Montana. No natural gas peak demand hours. We have daily watering restrictions prohibiting outdoor watering between 9 am and 5pm. That doesn’t stop the neighbors from their twice-a-week, at home car and truck washing.


OK, related to my OP on slow-extraction chicken stock, it occurs to me that stock could be made this way SV. While very impractical, it might be a viable way to experiment with different constant temperatures.

So far, I lack a chamber vacuum sealer to try it.

Has anyone here tried?

I haven’t, though chicken and katsuo/kombucha broths made with sous vide are high on my list. The way I’ve heard for avoiding a chamber sealer is to add liquid to the bag and freeze it, then seal it with a standard vac once solid. No idea if freezing will impact the quality of the stock – if you’re concerned, you could add ice cubes to the chicken and then seal + prep…

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I can try that, thanks. I haven’t had much luck getting good seals if there’s ANY liquid present when the unit melts the bag to seal. Even when the seal looks good, most bags ultimately leak.

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Have you tried that maneuver where you support the bag as it hangs over the edge of the sealer, taking advantage of gravity against the rise of liquid, and the pulse mechanism until it pulls up a little fluid?

I’m sure someone can explain that better.

It won’t help with melting, nor a bag full of stock, but it helps me when there’s some liquid in a bag of solid. There’s some finesse and clean up involved and it doesn’t always work, but usually,