The blog of 'The Arduino Guy' aka Mike McRoberts, author of Beginning Arduino.

03 November 2013

Vacuum sealer for my sous vide cooker

If you have read my previous post you will know that I recently made a digital temperature controller to turn a cheap crock pot into a sous vide cooker. Well, I got myself a cheap vacuum sealer from eBay for use with the sous vide cooker recently. It arrived
The same model vacuum sealer I bought.
the other day and it works very well. It works by sucking the air out of the bag and then a heated wire seals and cuts the bag leaving you with the food sealed inside.

The reason I purchased it was when I first tried the sous vide cooker it was obvious that having the food in  a vacuum sealed bag would make life much easier. The first time I used the cooker I put the steaks into a normal gripseal bag, tried to suck out as much air as possible and then put it in the cooker. Not ideal, but the best I could do whilst lacking a vacuum sealer. As I knew the seal wasn't perfect I left the steaks in for two hours instead of one to make sure they were cooked through, They were cooked perfectly and tasted amazing, but the outside had dark and pink patches prior to frying. Also, the bag filled up with air again and the bags eventually floated.
Vacuum sealed steaks ready to go in the sous vide cooker.

For correct sous vide cooking the food should be vacuum sealed so that the water bath is able to get its heat to every part of the meat.

The picture on the right shows two steaks that I did today in the vacuum sealer. They will be cooked in the sous vide cooker later today for dinner so I will be able to compare how these cook compared to the first time. I will also try cooking them for a shorter time period this time around as they are vacuum sealed and so the heat will transfer to the meat more efficiently. I have also bought a cheap steak this time, the cheapest one I could find in the thickness I wanted. On the first steak I cooked even the parts that are usually chewy were soft and tender so i'm convinced that steaks done the sous vide way will always be soft and tender even if the original steak was on the tough side. I will let you know what they taste like later today once they are inside my belly.




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