A sous-vide immersion cooker is a tool used, generally in high end restaurants, to cook food immersed in water. I didn’t know what this technique was, but based on the pictures of the finished steak in Matthew Arbesfeld’s project write-up, I’m now a huge fan.
One reason why these cookers are not generally found in home kitchens is that they are priced, on average at around $2000, with low-end units coming in at roughly $300. Another reason why your mom or dad didn’t cook your daily fillet mignon using one of these, is that they take a long time to work. The boneless ribeye seen below was cooked at 56 degrees Celsius (133 degrees Fahrenheit) for 90 minutes.
Matthew’s cooker is quite simple in design, using a temperature sensor and a solid state relay to allow a microcontroller to regulate the water temperature. Code for it can be found here. As the project deals with 120 volt AC current, and functions around water, a case was an absolute necessity. The design, made using Solidworks, can be found here, and it was 3-D printed. Alternatively you could always buy a NEMA-rated enclosure if you’re planning on not being extremely careful with it.
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This project, besides instilling a desire for steak, makes me wonder if a Crock-Pot or other slow cooker could be modified to do something similar. For that matter, if you were going to build one yourself, possibly an industrial PID controller could do the same thing.