"Sous Vide" Discussion

Discussion in 'Sous Vide Cooking' started by sqwib, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Here's what I used, its extremely heavy duty and easy to cut out with a rotary tool.

    Carlon Marine Conduit Box E987N 4 X 4 X 4 (50 CU. IN.) PVC


    These are awesome replacements for wire nuts.


    LOL, I want a little heavy on the wire, most is 12-2
  2. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm working on a  Polyscience Sous Vide Professional Immersion Circulator clone, hopefully it will perform well.

    I see what your saying about the circulator being strong, I tested this in a bucket and it was really whipping that water around.

  3. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    The controller shown, I think is just an electronic thermostat. It does not have "PID" features. Using that with a slow cooker, especially without a circulator, you can be having wide temperature swings.
  4. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I believe you are correct.

    I was getting a 3°C (5.4°F) swing on my build and I had a circulator, I just swapped out the controller for a Farenheit controller hopefully the swing will be less (hoping on 3°F at the most) It's fine for what I am cooking now, but as posted before I have another build in the works.

    This is the swing I get on a roaster, I have read Rice Cookers are better, followed by Crock Pots and Roasters are on the bottom of the list, some folks have had success with Coffee Urns as well.

    There is a bit of carry over heat from the Roaster once it shuts off, and with these controllers, there's no way to compensate, these controllers may work better with instant on and off devices like an immersion heater, not sure but it makes sense.

    The swing never goes below the Low Limit preset, only above, so that's at least a good thing.

    A "P.I D." has a pretty cool feature, Auto-Tuning
    By simply press a single button the built-in artificial intelligent is activated to automatically calculate and set parameters that fit the condition to be controlled.

    Is it worth an extra $15-$20? I think so but I'll let you know for sure in a few weeks.

    If all goes well this one will be used for holding foods at parties and events.

  5. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    Using that aquarium temperature controller, an immersion heater, a circulator and a plastic tub, you can get fairly good temperature accuracy. The lower the thermal mass, the better.

    I would definitely go with a PID controller with SSR output. The relay contact in the aquarium controller is not very high ampage. It gets worn out after a while. If that happens when you are cooking a $100 prime rib, What are you saving?

  6. Non-digitally controlled rice cookers and coffee urns are the best because they heat from the bottom, the others don't, most heat from the side.

    I sure think so....but, IMHO, not just any PID.....there are a lot of commonly available PIDs that aren't reliably accurate.
    For the most part sous vide is precise temperature control, when cooking at lower sous vide temperatures where safety is even more of an issue than normal or cooking things that are very temperature sensitive (such as eggs or fish) it's especially important to have the best control, accuracy and precision...one degree can make a difference.
    Personally, I wouldn't use a standard temperature controller or a cheap PID for anything other than veggies, where accuracy and precision are not as important.

  7. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    A tip for those of you using a digital aquarium temperature controller:

    Get a spare sensor. The sensor can sometimes malfunction.

    If you buy a replacement sensor, it can cost you $5.00 to $8.00.

    However, if you buy an aquarium LCD thermometer, all you need to do is cut the sensor and use that. It is the same sensor. The LCD thermometer is less than $3.00.

  8. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What do you guys think about the JDL612 PID with a PT100 probe?
    It's an RTD type probe
    Expecting delivery this week
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
  9. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Absolutely. I ordered a couple and used a speaker terminal for easy probe replacement.
  10. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Surely the accuracy of the controller would be the same regardless of the units the temperature is displayed in. If they use similar sensors (which most do) it just uses a different conversion factor for turning the same sensor reading into a numeric display.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  11. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The accuracy of the controller will give you a tighter margin in F as opposed to C because the cycling time is shorter. I may be wrong but this is my reasoning,

    The controller works in increments of "1" regardless of °C or °F,  so I can set it 1° below my desired temp.

    For Celsius, if the unit is set for low limit of 56°C (132.8°F) and desired temperature is 57°C (134.6°F) the unit will turn on at 55.9° (132.62°F) and kick off at 57°C (134.6°F) This is 1.98°F difference or 1.1°C difference.

    Now if I do the same setting at farenheit, the low limit is closer to the desired set temperature as farenheit has smaller increments

    For example,

    If the unit is set for low limit of 132°F (55.5556°C) and desired temperature is 133°F (56.1111°C) the unit will turn on at 131.9°F (55.5° ) and kick off at 133°F (56.1111°C) This is 1.1°F difference or 0.611°C difference.

    The controller will cycle closer to the desired temperature because farenheit uses smaller increments. Plus since I'm using a roaster... since the cycle is shorter, there may be a reduction in carry over heat from the appliance as the heating cycle will be shorter.

    Anyhow I'm hoping this is correct, I will find out this week... please check my math, Math wasn't my best subject!
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014

  12. This is exactly why controllers such as the Sous Vide Magic or circulators such as the Anova are preferred by many.
    They have MUCH better precision, accuracy and stability than many common controllers.
    Both have .01 °C resolution and .01 °C accuracy.
    So, as an example, there are 1000 possible set points between 0°C and 100°C, whereas controllers with a resolution of 1 degree only have 100 possible set points in the case of °C and 212 possible set points in the case of °F over the same range.

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  13. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    "----This is exactly why controllers such as the Sous Vide Magic  or circulators such as the Anova  are preferred by many.----"

    Not only that, the cooking environment can change during cooking.

    The water level due to evaporation.

    Room temperature.

    Relative humidity of the room (which affects evaporative cooling)

    Some cities in the summer can have electric "brown outs" supplying you with lower voltage.

    A PID controller can deal with all these changes and make corrective/predictive adjustments.

    If you are handy, you can configure your sous vide PID controller to also operate your hot electric smoker. Instead of a water pump, hook it up with a fan to go in the smoker.

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
  14. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mine is a PID controller so maybe that is masking any difference between C and F temperature control. They are so inexpensive that it just seemed the obvious thing to go for.
  15. brandon91

    brandon91 Meat Mopper

    Chefsteps on youtube does some great things with sousvide. 


    Can you imagine!? I need to get me one of those Wall O Fires.
  16. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Serious Cooking - It looks like a giant sized Doner Kebab - LOL. That wall of fire was certainly producing a LOT of heat. I think our local Fire Brigade would have something to say if I lit one of those in my back yard...
  17. As I chose to go with a sous vide magic (pre the availibty of circulatory such as $199 Avona or Sansaire) I have found a big difference in temperature variance (up to one degre celcius)depending on the cooking vessel being used , and this is with a controller built to a very strict tolerance of .1C of vairence. Using a controller that has a 1.1 celcius degree vairence will give you a cooking temp up to roughly 3 degrees off. Is this good enough? Does 3 degrees really matter? Is it worth the $100+ dollars more? Bear with me but IMHO this situation is similar to the "if your not using a chamber vac it isn't really Sous Vide cooking argument."

    Fact is a $1000 chamber vac machine will give you a better finished product than a $40 food saver. However it's not enough of a difference for anyone that thinks many hundred dollars is worth a small increase in quality.

    The reverse of this is, is it worth the $100 dollars you save to DIY a less accurate and reliable Sous Vide set up? With the cost of a serious quality imersion circulatory having dropped to less than $200 IMHO for the small diffence is cost vs. the large difference in quality just isn't woth it to not spend the money. Accurate temp comtrol is rhe backbone to SV cooking. It's the same reason I would shell out the $450 for a Sous Vide Magic machine that at that price still isn't accurate to the recommended .1 celcius. To clarify I'm not saying you can't make great food with any above mentioned set up. I am saying as some one who early adopted on this newer cooking equipment I would not want anyone to walk the same path I did when there are multiple better, safer, more accurate options out there. Please understand I am not trying troll the DIYers on this thread, just trying to save some people a few dollars and a lot of research. If your already looking at or around $100 plus many hours of time for a less effective cooker why buy it?
  18. Exactly!

    I haven't had a problem maintaining temperatures with the Sous Vide Magic.....that's confirmed with a pretty good reference thermometer.
    I'm very happy with both it and the Anova.

  19. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    So who sells food-safe garbage bags that can also take 162F temperature for hours?

    Very dramatic setup, but with  that setup, 95% of the heat (fire wood) is wasted. 

    I am not sure if you get any smoke flavor on the meat either.

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
  20. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I love doing the DIY projects for just about anything. However with something like this for home I think I would go the Anova path. For the price diffrence of making one verse buying the Anova immersion circulator. You have a compact, accurate and tested design that works for up to 5 gallons of water at a fairly decent price.

    With that said I would suggest using a container that is insulated to help with better temp accuracy. We have seen some temp issue like mentioned earlier depending on the different containers used.

    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.....

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