Cheap Sous Vide Immersion Circulator

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by molove, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. molove

    molove Smoke Blower

    I know this is slightly off topic, I came across an immersion circulator for sous vide for £99 + vat including next day delivery. Which struck me as a very good deal.

    If you are interested here's the link:

    I couldn't resist so ordered one yesterday and it arrived today.

    I picked up a rolled brisket from Makro and have seasoned it and vacpacked it with a couple of tablespoons of smoked beef dripping (from Saturday's smoked beef short ribs). It has just gone into the water bath at 55ºC (131ºF) and will be there for 72 hours, this should take it to medium rare. When it comes out on Saturday I shall sear it at very high temps on the kamado like I would a steak.

    This is my first time cooking brisket sous vide so I'm looking forward to Saturday.

    Here's some photos

    I'll report back on Saturday

    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  2. Looks good! I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out.
  3. osprey2

    osprey2 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Keep us informed
  4. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Never seen brisket sous vide.  Very cool.  It can turn stringly (like pulled pork) if you leave it too long.  Need pics after the final sear!
  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sounds interesting. Will be interested to see how it turns out texture wise at the lower finishing temp.
  6. molove

    molove Smoke Blower

    The theory is it won't overcook because the internal temperature will never go above 55ºC (131ºF), the collogen will breakdown though at this temperature over a long period of time, hence the long cook. AFAIK the result should be medium rare that's really tender with all the taste of brisket.

    I have heard that meat that's been cooked too long sous vide can go a bit mushy but it is generally tender cuts that do that.

    I came across this on YouTube

    Roll on Saturday!
  7. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That looks like a bargain!

    When we do large catering jobs, I use Sous Vide method.

    I have done Brisket and Pork Shoulder for Pulled Pork. Season meats then add about 2 Tbs of liquid smoke. You will find not to over season/flavour food, because as the name Sous Vide means Under Pressure, the flavours become intense. Garlic is a very strong flavour.

    My experience, meats like chicken etc go mushy, as the texture to start with is more delicate than Brisket etc.

    I cooked all our Christmas meats Sous Vide style this year, so easy, Turkey Crown into vac bag, smeared with butter, S&P and Orange Zest, over night in the Sous Vide @ 67'C, then a piece of uncooked Ham, left in the store wrapper, same temperature for about 6-7 hours.

    Also when doing events, sausages etc, all lined ups in vac bags, Sous Vide, then into a cooler box covered with a towel. Then when on site and ready to serve, cut bag straight onto BBQ for colouring only as they are cooked. Best moist sausage and burgers you can get. Top class Restaurants do this every service, so why not use this method on the road.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2016
  8. molove

    molove Smoke Blower

    What temperature do you set the water bath for these, and how long do you cook them for?
    How did you finish the turkey breast, did you do something to crisp up the skin?
  9. smokin monkey

    smokin monkey Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I cook Brisket @ 56.6'C, 134F for 48 Hours
    Pulled Pork @ 65'C, 149F for 36 Hours.

    Just removed the skin, because it's like low and slow its rubbery, you can brown in large pan or with a blow torch.

    Never had a problem with tough skins, so it could be the skins.
  10. molove

    molove Smoke Blower

    Pulled one of the brisket pieces out of the water bath on Saturday evening after 72 hours.

    Took it out of vacpac and dried it off, and seared it on the kamado at about 450ºC for a couple of minutes.

    Unfortunately for me it was a bit tough and chewy, the collogen still hadn't broken down enough. (The missus thought it was lovely though)

    I left the other piece in the water bath for another 24 hours (96 total) and  seared it tonight.

    This was much better, the collogen had broken down and the meat was very tender.

    I was very surprised that it took so long to tenderise. I think the next one I will cook in a higher temperature water bath.
  11. I can't remember what it is, but when hot smoking there a temperature called the Plateau, when it's cooking it seems to stall at this temp, but this is the point in the cook where the proteins and collagen's are denaturing and changing to yumminess. It might be you need a slightly higher temp or as you say, give it a bit more time.

    Ironically, the Sous Vide method seems to be dropping off rapidly in the restaurant trade, they have moved on to the next trendy fad, I have my beady eye on a small unloved sous vide bath. I'll keep an eye open to see how you get on and whether or not you rate this method for cooking joints like Brisket this way.
  12. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    How was the texture?
  13. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    BTW - I've got my eye on this baby.  The way it's designed, I'll be able to throw it in my cooler and seal the lid.  Like that idea:
  14. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It looks like a nice piece of kit at the right price. I will give one a go I think. Thanks for sharing [​IMG]
  15. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    I'll probably wait for the price to drop and see the reviews.  There may be bugs in v1 but if not, I'm going to get one.
  16. molove

    molove Smoke Blower

    Once I'd let it have the extra 24 hours he texture was fine, like roast beef. It was a completely different beast from smoked brisket. I wasn't a very good piece of meat tbh, just a cheap rolled brisket joint made almost entirely from the flat, that I unrolled. There was almost no fat at all on it so was never going to be as succulent as a decent piece of meat.
    I'm really pleased with it. I had been using a temperature controlled slow cooker previously, this is much better, it maintains the temperature to within a couple of tenths of a degree C. And I can use it with different sized containers depending on what I'm cooking.

    I just need to find some good recipes to play with but there are plenty resources online for me to look at. I do like the ChefSteps site, they have quite a few sous vide videos. And has a large repository of recipes - I'm particularly fond of the confit duck leg recipe.

    Do make sure the water level doesn't drop below minimum due to evaporation else the unit will display an error and turn itself off.
    I'd be surprised if the price did come down tbh. The cheap models that are available in the states are about $200 and up. This model is re-branded in the States as the VacMaster SV1and sells for £280 on Amazon.

    It seems that quite a few people who bought the VacMaster version didn't read instructions and complained about it constantly beeping. Actually afaik the beep is to tell you that the water is up to temperature and it's time to add the food and press the "Play" button to start the timer, it only bleeps again when time is up. I certainly had no issues with any beeping.
  17. molove

    molove Smoke Blower

    Doh! I only just realised you are in the States. I was waxing lyrical because this is incredibly cheap for the UK, where most items are a lot more expensive than the US.

    You should check out the Anova, the Sansaire and the Nomiku immersion circulators which aren't readily available in the UK, they are all about $200. I don't think I'd spend the extra on the VacMaster unless you needed to cook large amounts.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  18. molove

    molove Smoke Blower

    The ChefSeps Smokerless Smoked Brisket recipe looks interesting

    but to be honest when I eventually manage to get hold of a packer brisket, it's going straight in the smoker!
  19. mummel

    mummel Master of the Pit

    Im with you.  No store sells them in my area.  I've emailed Costco customer service twice.
  20. smokin phil

    smokin phil Smoking Fanatic

    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016

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