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Old 06-28-2017, 07:59 PM   #1
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Sous Vide in the AS

I didn't see a thread on this so I thought I'd start one up. I'm a long time Sous Vide fan. For those not in the know - sous vide cooking is done using food sealed in a bag, immersed in water, and the water is heated to the desired temperature for a set amount of time. The result is extremely moist, flavorful foods. Items typically grilled or smoked can be quick-seared on a grill to finish.

The beauty of SV is you can't over cook food; and you can also pre-cook lot's of food and heat-up is simple. Imagine moist, fall apart boston butt or brisket everytime - no need to baby a smoker for 16 hrs. Lamb chops to die for, perfect med-rare with a nice crisp...

I think SV is a great match for the AS lifestyle in 2 ways:
#1 - you can pre-cook several meals and throw the sealed bags in the fridge for a weekend trip. Finish on the grill or in a cast iron skillet.
#2 - the SV cooker is very compact and portable, so full timers can accomplish much more than a crockpot; with a smaller device. You do need something to hold the water; but a multi-purpose bin works great.

I use an Anova brand cooker.

Going into this weekend I'll have 2 large pork shoulders I precooked at 145F for 36 hours. Just before eating I'll throw them on the grill at 400F for 5 min each side to heat up and get the burnt tips and crust.
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:02 PM   #2
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Did not know it had a fancy name. Been doing this for years. Old Boy Scout cooking method. I call it boiling or cooking in a bag. Vacuum seal a meal bags work great.
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:09 PM   #3
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Hi

I'm also a big Sous Vide fan. It's a great way to split up "family pack" sized on sale meat into more useful meal sized portions. The gear involved is relatively compact, so not a big issue to bring it along that way.

The gotcha I see is the power the heater pulls off of 110V. It will be fine if you are hooked up to shore line. I don't think I would want to hook one up to my inverter on a regular basis. It's a 800W device when full on. You will flatten a 200 AH lead acid stack (100AH usable) in about 2 to 3 hours.

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Old 06-28-2017, 08:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
Did not know it had a fancy name. Been doing this for years. Old Boy Scout cooking method. I call it boiling or cooking in a bag. Vacuum seal a meal bags work great.


Similar but precise temperate control is critical. 130 for lamb, 135 for beef, 145-165 for poor depending on texture, etc
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:00 PM   #5
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I sous vide. Dumps off a lot of humidity which is a problem in the trailer. Instead I sous vide a bunch a stuff at home and then just rewarm as I travel. Works great since everything in the bag is pasteurized so it keeps a while.

Ribs done sous vide are outstanding with minimal fuss.
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thiel View Post
I sous vide. Dumps off a lot of humidity which is a problem in the trailer. Instead I sous vide a bunch a stuff at home and then just rewarm as I travel. Works great since everything in the bag is pasteurized so it keeps a while.

Ribs done sous vide are outstanding with minimal fuss.
Good point about humidity. I've been known to move kitchen equipment outside the trailer for this and related reasons (mess, mainly).
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Old 06-29-2017, 03:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thiel View Post
I sous vide. Dumps off a lot of humidity which is a problem in the trailer. Instead I sous vide a bunch a stuff at home and then just rewarm as I travel. Works great since everything in the bag is pasteurized so it keeps a while.

Ribs done sous vide are outstanding with minimal fuss.


You can greatly reduce the humidity with a good lid, using ping pong balls, or the DIY cooler trick.
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Old 06-29-2017, 05:08 AM   #8
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I do food like this using a vacuum sealer....works great to reheat however you like.

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Old 06-29-2017, 05:23 AM   #9
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Sam loves Sous Vide at home and she will bring the gizmo on our next trip.
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:04 AM   #10
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You can greatly reduce the humidity with a good lid, using ping pong balls, or the DIY cooler trick.


True but then I gotta carry all that stuff. :-)

Could do it outside too I suppose!
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:41 AM   #11
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I do this. Boil stuff in bags at least. Also another thing I do to heat up leftovers is I put the food in an oven safe Pyrex bowl and put that powl on a little steel rack in my stainless steel pot and put a few inches of water in there and cover it and steam it on the stove top for 10 or 15 minutes. Not as fast as a microwave, but I ain't got a microwave! Doesn't use power or much propane.

I wanna get a thermal cooker but they're pricey.
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:50 AM   #12
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We got into SV just a few months back (also use an Anova). We haven't taken it on our RV trips yet but certainly plan to do so when we head south next winter!

Great for making Creme Brulee as well!

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Old 06-29-2017, 10:06 AM   #13
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Hi

You can also 3D print a cover/ lid for the "cooking tank" to reduce both the humidity and the power usage.

The biggest part of the "gear load" is whatever you use to hold the water in. I've settled on square plastic containers as best for what I do. They make a great place to stuff various food items while in transit. Some even come with snap on lids to keep the bugs out.

Bob
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:22 AM   #14
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True but then I gotta carry all that stuff. :-)

Could do it outside too I suppose!


Yes, but if you go the lid route then you've got a nice storage container for the SV unit and other cooking supplies that will fit under a couch/seat/sink, etc. Ping Pong balls probably not gonna be the best for that.

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Old 06-29-2017, 12:00 PM   #15
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Hi

Another thing that will drop the energy load: Run it on top of a folded towel. Wrapping the tank in a towel will also help but I've never gone that far.

Bob
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:02 PM   #16
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Big time sous-vide fan here! SV lets you buy cheap cuts of meat, and turn them into tender deliciousness. This isn't boil-in-a-bag- it's keeping food at a target temperature for a long period of time without immersing it directly in water. I break up meats into portions, season them, and heat seal them in a bag. Ribs go for 24 hours at 150 degrees. Flat iron steaks are 3 hours at 135 degrees. Chicken breasts are 2 hours at 150 degrees. Once they've cooked, they can be refrigerated for up to a week. Bring 'em out and sear for a few minutes over a hot BBQ or in a cast-iron skillet. Did some pork chops last night, best I ever had!

I'm using a $35 Inkbird temperature controller for a Presto Options multi-cooker pot that I already had. I tried it with an old crock pot, but that heats up too slow. Prices are dropping for the immersion wand-type SV cookers, so that's probably the best if you're just now gearing up. Some folks use zip-lock bags, but those aren't too good at higher temps.
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:09 PM   #17
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Hi

I rarely find much of anything I really want to do over about 150F. A lot of the time I find that cooking in the 120 to 130 range is the right point for me.

One very important note - if you are just getting into SV, spend some time studying up on food safety. Cute statements like the one I just made above (which is true) may not tell quite the whole story. Normal food safety practices recommend bringing various cuts of meat above certain temperatures for a specific length of time. A rare hamburger didn't hit those temperatures .... neither did some of what I cook with SV. Read up and make an informed decision.

Bob
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:21 PM   #18
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I've been looking at the Anova on Amazon

Following this string, been thinking about purchasing for a while now. This might push me over the edge and perhaps Prime Day will have one 7/11.
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:37 PM   #19
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SV fan!

I've had my SV for about 18 months and LOVE it. I did take it camping for one trip, but probably won't do that again. It, plus the cooking pot, took up too much space for our small trailer. Plus, it adds a lot of humidity and heat in the trailer, as has been mentioned. That might be OK in the winter, but not in the summer.

So cooking ahead of time is definitely the way to go!

My favorite thing is soft boiled eggs - 140 degrees over night. In the AM, boil some water and put them in the boiling water for about a minute +/-. (Yolks cook at a lower temp than whites.) The yolks will be like soft fudge!

BTW, you can pasteurize raw eggs with the SV, for safe eggnog.

Ribs are the BEST!
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Old 06-29-2017, 02:40 PM   #20
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Following this string, been thinking about purchasing for a while now. This might push me over the edge and perhaps Prime Day will have one 7/11.
Hi

If you don't already use cammelcammelcammel.com for monitoring stuff on Amazon, start doing so. The various SV cooking "heads" wobble around in price quite a bit. They seem to do so at random times in addition to the expected "Black Friday" sort of times.

To do the whole process you will need a SV cooker head and a vacuum sealer. Like everything else, price changes all over the place. You *can* use regular zip lock bags and weights. I find that to be a pain. The vacuum bags are also a much better way to freeze stuff for storage.

Bob
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