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 (www.bcuplastics.com) 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?

–David

 

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March 16, 2006. Technique.

21 Comments

  1. melvin replied:

    Just a quick note to say that we manufacture a range of baths for sous vide applications and low temperature cooking which some people may find of use.
    Can look at discounted prices for the home chef. Also have a range of accessories which may prove useful.

  2. sousvide replied:

    Melvin–Good to hear from you. From looking at your site, [for our other readers Melvin is with Clifton Food range: Clifton Foodrange] it looks like you have some excellent and applicable products.
    Obviously you’re in the UK, but are your products available in the US or elsewhere outside the EU also?

    In terms of accessories I know that for me the foam seals would be helpful, as my improvised attempts with weatherstripping haven’t been entirely successful.

    Thanks!–David

  3. Max replied:

    You can also find scientific water baths for good prices at used and refurbished lab equipment sites.

  4. sousvide replied:

    For sure. I currently use a $99 refurb I purchased on eBay. Only caveat is to make sure they are cleaned really well and don’t have any hygiene issues. Mine only has a basic “dial” temp control with a scale, not temps., so I keep a “cheat sheet” with my thermometer.

    –David

  5. verizon speed test replied:

    verizon speed test

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  6. Michael Coyle replied:

    We are selling brand new sous vide circualtors for 750.00
    with a three year warranty.

  7. salsa replied:

    I’ve had good results using a PID temperature controller with a thermocouple and a relay switching a cheap electric burner. Cost ~$50 for parts, and it can control different systems at different temperatures. email me for more info if you’re handy– it’s a snap, really.

  8. Michael replied:

    David, can you do a short post about sous-vide and botulism? It is really difficult to find a website that has concise information and bulletpoints on what you should definitely not do, and why most people have nothing to worry about.

    From everything I read so far, home users would more likely prepare a sealed bag to sous-vide right before cooking. And if this is done, botulism isn’t going to be a problem.

    The perfect enviorement for botulism you would be is when one has improperly handled the food and then was vacuum sealed for then stored for an extended period of time (a month+), stored above 37 degrees, and then prepared very very slowly (days??), even for sous-vide standards. That’s all I’ve gathered so far. Not sure if its 100% correct or not, so I’m hoping you can provide some information.

  9. Irena replied:

    Hi David
    I have been using a Tiger rice cooker as a thermal bath with its temperature controlled by Sousvidemagic. The results are very good, most of all it is a very inexpensive way to cook sous-vide.
    Just to let you know.
    I really enjoy your site for SV info. Thanks

  10. gary replied:

    I see the same polyscience units for almost $900. $650 where?

  11. Jeff Patrick replied:

    Hey guys – I’m very interested in two things:
    1) when buying lab equipment off of ebay exactly what should I look for?
    2) How do I get the Clifton units in the U.S. distributor.

    I’ve got some of this stuff documented on our site dedicated to sous vide cooking:

    http://www.SousVideSimple.com

    -Jeff

  12. Hugh replied:

    Yeah, a PID controller and some kind of heater works really well. I’ve been using a home-built controller box with a crockpot, and the results are pretty impressive.

    Just recently I bought one of the Clifton Food Range double baths, though, so I’ll be writing up the results of that soon.

  13. sousvidesimple replied:

    At http://www.sousvidesimple.com, we are a community of at-home and professional chefs who share a passion for cooking sous vide. Check us out – you’ll find instruction, educational videos, discussions and much more information about sous vide cooking.

    We have an excellent review of thermal immersion circulators as well.

    http://www.sousvidesimple.com

  14. Sous Vide Solutions replied:

    I am writing to inform you of a new consultancy service “Sous Vide Solutions” to accommodate the growing use of this cooking technique.
    
I have been using this method of cookery for many years professionally in fine-dining restaurants, and contribute regularly at demonstrations and trade-shows.
    
I have been working with the leading UK waterbath manufacturers [Clifton] and alongside Mulivac vacuum packers.

    During the past 12 months I have seen much growth through the industry and a definite trend of larger-scale properties (often without highly skilled chefs) changing their cooking styles towards the sous vide method. That said the need for proper training and safe system set-up is vitally needed.

    Sous Vide Solutions provide expert, practical set-up advice and the implementation within your premises for a tailored service – including the seamless inclusion of systems, processes and technology. Full support of HACCP is all part of a safe and efficient service that Sous Vide Solutions offer.

    Olly Rouse
Principle Consultant

  15. garygaughansmith replied:

    My one Big Question for all you sous viders is:
    Once you have cooked your food the first time in the bag, can you re-heat it several times? For example. If I cooked 10 chicken brests in advance. Rapid Chilled and then a few days later bought them back up to temperature ready for serving, and then I don’t sell them all, is it safe to re-chill and use them again? My instincts say it is but I need some confirmation just in case. Thanks.

    • sousvide replied:

      Gary–Sous-vide was invented especially for large commercial kitchens / delayed food serving. Hyatt, United, etc. use large central kitchens & sous-vide to provide banquet quantities of food. That said, the safety issues are different. Keller discusses some in Under Pressure, and Baldwins paper discusses some others. So it can be done, but the commercial hygiene issues of having the food go through the ‘danger zone’ of 40-140 several times are important. The NYT had an article on how the health inspectors in NYC weren’t quite sure how to evaluate/permit sous-vide techniques for awhile.

  16. Sous Vide Solutions replied:

    garygaughansmith….

    Absolutely and most definitely no it is not OK to “cook-chill-regen-chill-regen”
    I can only see a handful of operations where this would be an advantage anyway.
    There are easy and more to the point, SAFE ways to serve very well cooked sous vide products in a fast service environment.

    Please check out my site, from which you can contact me.

    Olly Rouse
    
Principle Consultant
    Sous Vide Solutions

  17. Vacuum replied:

    more and more private consumers are using already the sous-vide cooking technique. professional vacuum packers for sous vide are available on http://www.lava-vacuum-packing.com – high quality machines and easy to use.

  18. Jean-François replied:

    I confirm the German La-va company manufactures excellent vacuum machines.

    Jena-François

  19. Andrew replied:

    DIY is the way to go unless: a) you need huge capacity or b) your time is worth more than $400 per hour. Over on cooking for geeks, there is a write up on how to do up a slow cooker rig. I put mine together for just under $100 including buying the slow cooker, which wasn’t modified in any way. I’ll have a write-up with pictures and diagrams in a day or two.

  20. Ronni - SousVide.dk replied:

    SousVide Supreme is also a good alternative.
    Can be bought at SousVideSupreme.com

    Or for Danes at http://www.SousVide.com

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