Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Robert Kristof Brand: Domestic Ghetto Sous Vide Cookery

I know it has been a while...again, but I made a promise to myself when I started this. I would not force it, oh look I found pink sea salt wow that is the neatest thing ever and I want to tell the world to use it. That sort of crap. This wonderful contraption makes baby food OH MY GOD...wait so does a brick, some soft food, and a microwave, and then a larger brick. This episode is about something neat...MEEEEEE! LOVE MEEEEE! This is my domestic sous vide cookery, this is my setup:
This looks like a pot, a range, a fish bubbler, a thermometer, a microwave, and some surfaces in need of scrubbing....DING DING DING You WIN!
Allow me to explain sous vide for some of you, culinary friends go surf the Facebook or search for the next "I'm on a boat" while I enlighten others who didn't pay $40,000 to learn about this. Sous vide means "under vacuum" which means it is in a air deprived environment, in this case a plastic bag. The traditional way of cooking it is submerged in water that is set to the precise temperature that you want the food cooked to, you want a medium steak set it 140F and drop your bag in. Now after a while you will pull it out and there a steak that never got about the temperature that makes beef medium, slight difference from cooking at 500F the outsides cook faster than the insides. Now chefs have been using industrial vacuum sealers and lab equipment water circulators. Total cost: more than my car is worth (about $62.50) and my yearly rent ($7200) combined. I did it for less than $200.
Vacuum Sealer, about $150 bucks, they make better ones, but I cannot resist the shiny blue light, and I had a Target Card
Seal the food, I did bone in pork chops:
You can sear them before or after if you desire color, since these are being par cooked and saved I did it before, because I will not be there for the final preparation
Place it in the water and let it ride. Now what of the fish bubbler, about $12, that is in the pot because the water is heated from the bottom. In order to make the temperature completely even I added the bubbler and place it at the bottom, now it it pushes the hotter water all around the pot and the temperature stays even. That is what the thermometer is for, thanks for asking, I would love to explain it. I keep it towards the top, just on top of the item being cooked, it is the coolest at that point. Set it and forget it, we miss you Billy Mayes, thanks for leaving us with Slap Chop Guy. Get yourself a good calibratable (is that a word?) thermometer, a quiet fish bubbler, deep pot, water (this is key, you need water), vacuum sealer, and a steady stove (induction or electric work best), and lots of patience (which I have none, hence my car being worth $61.00 (it depreciated since I last mentioned it)).
Chefs love to use this technique for fancy stuff, foie gras, compressed watermelon, baby seals, live owls, that sort of thing. I use it as a catering tool, I can cook 203035 steaks (slowly, I only have one stove) to rare with some seasoning, butter, rosemary, garlic, wine, etc, chill it and store. Then when the time comes I start opening bags, grill or sear, and they will all be medium rare, I do not care if you want it medium well, that cow died for you do not kill it again. It was a hypothetical so back off. 
So...LOVE MEEEEEE!!!! I just need to tag this with some sweet graffiti, spinners, and a boom box. Then call Pimp My Sous Vide then it will have an HD tv installed. Thank you Xhibit! and Billy Mayes!


  1. Awesome Rob... I really enjoyed it and I want a shiny blue light machine too!

  2. I'm using a Nesco VS-02 Food vacuum Sealer for sous vide. that really good. I didn't believe that a product at the low price can help me a lot when keep food fresh, but I got a mistake. Now I totally trust the quality of this machine.