New Sous Vide Equipment Resource

One problem for “do it yourself” sous-vide has been the high cost of a thermal bath. We’ve written before about the approach of getting a refurb unit from an eBay seller, but of course we’d all like to get a nice, new digital unit.

Finally those are starting to be available for a discounted price. BCU Plastics ( is offering new units for as low as $650 for a 5 Liter unit, and $800 for the more versatile 10 Liter unit. They also offer an alternative to the FoodSaver product line and other sous-vide equipment.

The thermal bath units look similar to the Cuisine Technologies units, but discounted?



March 16, 2006. Technique. 21 comments.

Sous-vide Pork Shoulder Reprise

I made another pork shoulder roast sous-vide tonight. I started by using a rub of Bone Sucking Sauce Rib Rub and some garlic oil then vacuum sealing the pieces of the roast overnight. Then this morning I put them in the bath at about 160F for about 9 hours. I was a little nervous when they came out as the very ends of the smaller pieces were somewhat dry.

The good news is that most of the pork was very succulent and tasted excellent. So overall it was a big success and the meat was quite popular. Once again I regreted not having a commercial vacuum sealer though, as with the FoodSaver level of vacuum the juice seeps back out of the meat and extends the bag pouch. From all I have read if you have a serious commercial unit the vacuum is strong enough that the juices tend to stay in the meat more.

I did learn one important lesson on the way. My test for how much water I needed and how important a cover was was at 165F. At that temperature there wasn’t much evaporation. But I decided to make pulled pork from some of the pork and cranked my thermal bath up to 200F. At that temp (much like we all learned in high school about partial pressures!) the water evaporates much faster and my bath almost went dry. Lesson learned, hopefully.–David


March 13, 2006. Recipes, Technique. 7 comments.

Sous-vide ala Thomas Keller & The French Laundry

We were fortunate enough to have been invited to lunch at The French Laundry yesterday, Thomas Keller’s California property and the West Coast mecca of gourmet sous-vide.

The two dishes which the menu advertised as using sous-vide were a Maine lobster tail and one with sunchokes sous-vide.

In both cases it was clear that Keller has a lot nicer cry-o-vac unit than my FoodSaver:-) The lobster tail piece in particular had a great shape which appeared to have been the same shape in which it was cooked (and not that it had been cut afterwards).

Both dishes, like all 40 or 50 we ate (okay, maybe 9 plus a special cake for the occassion) were insanely good. Interestingly the wait staff never used the term sous-vide and instead described the lobster as poached.



March 13, 2006. Technique. 11 comments.