Sous vide cooking has taken the world by storm, enabling even amateur cooks to produce mouth watering perfectly cooked foods. Unit like these used to be very expensive and were limited to restaurant chefs and the like, but now they are becoming widely available to the general public at affordable prices. This review is on a very popular unit by Dorkfood. Stay tuned to see what I think about it.
This review is on the Dorkfood Sous Vide Temperature Controller. This sous vide unit is very simple to use and is very well built. The controller box consists of an LCD screen, and up, down, and set buttons. At the rear of the unit protrudes a waterproof thermometer, and at the front protrudes the power cable. The power cable was ingeniously designed with a built in plug socket, so using the unit with a crock pot or similar will only use up one plug socket. On the bottom of the case are mounting holes, which enables me to mount the unit to the wall, keeping it away from the water.
Cooking with sous vide is really pretty simple, and in some ways even easier than traditional cooking methods. All that is really needed to get started is the sous vide unit, a method to heat up water ( I use a slow cooker), some meat/fish/chicken/veggies/etc. and a plastic bag. Generally, it is recommended to use vacuum packed food bags, but I use Ziploc bags. One thing to note when cooking in bags, make sure to purchase bags that are meant for heat and that are BPA free, as they can be toxic otherwise. Some safe bag materials to use are polyethylene and nylon.
Here is a quick and easy recipe I pulled together using the sous vide:
– 2 LBS Chuck Roast
– Kosher Salt
– Freshly Ground Black Pepper
– Freshly Ground Coriander
– Fresh Crushed Garlic
– Onion Powder
– Fresh Rosemary
– Fresh Thyme
All I did was season the meat liberally with these spices, give it a little rub, and then pack it into a Ziploc bag. Getting an air tight seal with the Ziploc bag is pretty simple, even without vacuum sealers. All that’s needed to be done is to place the food into the bag, and place the bag into the water until the water level is above the food. You will notice that the water pressure pushes the air out of the bag. Then I just zipped the bag shut and placed it in the water. I placed a little waterproof wire rack under the bag in the pot, in order for the water to be able to circulate evenly.
I plugged the unit into the wall, and then plugged the slow cooker into it’s plug socket. Setting the temperature on the device is pretty simple. Just hold the Set button for five seconds until the display blinks, and then select the desired temperature using the arrow buttons. Pressing the Set button once more saves the temperature. I cooked the meat at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 hours (for medium doneness), and I noticed that the thermostat maintained my desired temperature throughout. A little tip is to pour preheated water from an urn or pot into the slow cooker, this way you don’t have to wait for the slow cooker to heat up all the water.
Ten hours later I pulled out the bag, and opened it a crack to pour the juices into a bowl to use for a reduction sauce. I placed the perfectly cooked meat on to my cutting board and patted it dry with paper towels. although the meat is fully cooked at this stage and technically ready to eat, we need to make it visually appealing, by searing it. Drying the meat is an important step as it allow you to sear the meat properly, getting a nice dark crust, as opposed to steaming it. I smeared olive oil on the meat, heated up a skillet on high heat, and sear the meat. It took under a minute to get the color I wanted, searing all sides of the meat.
Traditionally cooked meats need resting time before being eaten, in order for the juices to spread throughout the fibers of the meat, but since sous vide meat is slow cooked, it doesn’t need to rest. I picked up my chefs knife and started to cut into the juicy meat. What was revealed was a perfectly cooked piece of beef, cooked medium throughout to my liking, with a nice charred crust on the outer edge. The meat was so soft and melted in my mouth as if it were a more expensive cut. The spice rub created an all encompassing flavor which was tasted in every bit.
Although I made a roast using the unit, fish, chicken and pretty much anything can be made to perfection using this thing. Even a simple soft boiled egg is a world of a difference with the precision this machine provides. Overall, I am extremely impressed with the unit, and would suggest it to people who want more from their food
I received this product at a discounted rate in exchange for my review, and these are my unbiased thoughts on the product.
This product can be found over here on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2b9LW2p
More info can be found on the Dorkfood Website.