You don’t have to buy a professional sous vide apparatus setting you back 500-1000 dollars to create your perfect sous vide setup at home. I bought a dirt-cheap rice cooker from my local web store, and the SousVideMagic from a Us web site. I live abroad (Norway), and luckily they offered international shipping. While cheaper than a professional apparatus or an immersion heater, it still put me back 150 dollars, but I reckoned it was worth it (In retrospect, it was definitely worth it). If you’re a technical tinkerer, you would instead want to buy a PID controller and a solid state relay off of ebay or something for even a lot less money. The key to sous vide cooking is to maintain a precice temperature throughout the cooking, so some sort of PID temperature controller is needed. The nice thing about the sous vide magic is that it lets me plug my rice cooker directly to it, with no need to solder or hack anything. The rice cooker is basically “always on” throughout cooking, but the sous vide magic switches the current on and off, so that the water is heatet just enough. A wire extends from the sous vide magic to my rice cooker, measuring the water temperature at all times.
For vacuuming, I went with the cheap choice, and simply suck out the air from the bags with my mouth. It’s not very high tech, and it probably doesn’t produce the best vacuum, but it does the job. The reason you want a vacuum in the first place is because you want the plastic bag to cling to the
meat, for maximum transfer of heat. If you have large air pockets, it will insulate the meat, and transfer the heat poorly. I go with ordinary small household plastic bags used for deepfreezing food. As you can see from the picture, the plastic bag is hugging the meat pretty nicely. So, we’re all ready to start cooking, stay tuned for the next post!