sous vide instructions and recipes

YES! It’s true!  The mad genius at Polyscience, Philip Preston—creator of the anti-griddle, the smoke gun (looks like paraphernalia I used to oogle at High Times on Coventry in the 70s), and other magico creations to make cooking more fun—has sent me the latest version of the Polyscience professional immersion circulator for sous vide cooking to play with, something I am eagerly doing.  But as I already have one, there is nothing for me to do but give this sleek machine away to one lucky reader!

First, the circulator: the original now seems like a little Datsun compared to this sleek Beemer. Its design has been honed, its size has been tightened, its power enhanced. This baby operates great.

Leave a comment on how you want to use the circulator along with a working email (not to be published) and your name is in the hat. Special consideration may be given to innovative suggestions on how to use this wonderful contraption.  I haven’t decided.  Only one comment per person; anyone caught leaving multiple submissions will be forever banished.

For those who are unclear about what this thing is or does: An immersion circulator is a high tech piece of equipment that heats water to exact temperatures and circulates it so that the temperature surrounding the vacuum sealed food is constant (sous vide = vacuum sealed). This allows you to cook meat to say, exactly 132 degrees F., and keep it there till you need it. It allows you to cook short ribs for three days at 137 degrees F./58 degrees C., long enough to melt the tough connective tissue and make them tender, but at a temperature that keeps them medium rare.

It’s an amazing machine and it’s quickly working its way from the professional kitchen to the home kitchen.  If there were any doubt that sous vide cooking has gone mainstream, my local Williams Sonoma at La Place in Beachwood, Ohio, said they had four available when I called them up.  Yes, Williams Sonoma carries the immersion circulator.

I first began studying sous vide cooking while writing the book Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide, with chefs Thomas Keller, Jonathan Benno and Corey Lee.  Much of this material, the basics of sous vide cooking along with home cook friendly recipes and a thorough discussion of safety issues, has been published in a stylish spiral bound book (cover above), that comes with the machine, along with a DVD, temperature chart and instruction manual.  (Full disclosure: because I wrote the material sous vide manual, I receive some royalties for it; it is only available with the machine, alas.)

There are other machines out there that do similar tasks. The Sous Vide Supreme, a countertop appliance, was built with the home cook in mind.  Plus side: It works as advertised and it’s considerably less expensive; on the negative side, you’re limited by the 9 x 12 x 7-inch box, and it takes up substantial counterspace.  I know some people have figured out how to jury-rig a rice cooker to cook sous vide (recommended for tinkering geeks, but not for most cooks).

The Polyscience Immersion Circulator is a serious professional machine, portable and powerful.  I’ve just been using a stock pot, but this will keep a big Lexan tub of water exaclty heated. I highly recommend it for restaurant kitchens. If you are a committed home cook and have the scratch ($799) and want to make sous vide a part of your routine, then I recommend it as well. It’s a great machine. (More company pix on flickr.)

And the one I’m using (above, photo by Donna, cooking last night’s London Broil cut) could be yours! Leave a comment and you’re in the running.  I’ll announce the winner on Tuesday at noon, Eastern time.

“Small Print”: Please only one entry per person, we’ll be checking, and yes, you can game the system but you probably won’t win and you’ll risk bad karma for years to come. I will cover shipping in the US, but a shipping and handling fee will be required for shipping to Canada.  I cannot ship to other countries (it’s too much of a headache, sorry). And last, personal friends and family are not eligible.

As always, happy cooking!

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1,675 Wonderful responses to “GIVEAWAY! Sous Vide Immersion Circulator”

  • Tim M.

    In the spirit of the season, I would give this “Beamer” to my friend, who has made some phenomenal meals with his “Datsun” IC. I’ll give him props too for publicly defending sous vide when a young, misguided, rookie restaurant critic published a review in which she disparaged the technique. His rebuttal was published by the paper’s editors the next week.

    Continuing the car analogy, I’d ask for the Datsun in return, so I can learn to drive. I am really challenged in cooking fish. It is practically a crime what I have done to some beautiful cuts of salmon and tuna. I’m hoping the IC will save me from overcooking another piece of fish.

  • Diana

    I’d see if I could possibly make Sous Vide jam, jelly or marmalades using fruit off the trees in my yard. And if they gelled, if they were any good.

  • Elmer

    Call me a barbarian, but I want to use it to make the perfectly braised beer brat. I think this could make for a very interesting backyard barbecue season. But that’s just me….

  • Tommy

    Pork belly and steak to start, but the possibilities are endless. Would be great to get home from soccer practices in the evening and have good food waiting – and not in paper bags from the drive-thru!

  • julieako

    I would give it to my brother, who loves to cook and try new things. I am sure he can come up with awesome uses for it.

  • Ryan Santos

    I’d use it to make my grandmother, who’s never gotten to taste my cooking, her favorite dish which she hasn’t had in years, beef tongue. and to teach her at 85 and an avid cook, the concept of sous vide.

  • gretchen M.

    My 15 was drooling over these machines when we were in NYC last weekend….this was after me drooling over it online for the past 4 years.
    He told me he gladly be a more attentive son and cooking student if I ever bought one….bless the words from babes…lol

  • Will Smith

    I would use the sous vide cooker to teach people how easy it is to prepare meat using the sous vide technique. We do a fair number of cooking videos at Tested, and I get a lot of questions about this, but I can’t really justify the cost to buy one for the amount of content I could use it for.

    I’d also try some crazy experiments with temperature controlled cooking–preparing everything from eggs to sauces in vacuum-sealed bags.

    Finally, I’d compare the commercial sous vide cooker to more homegrown attempts, such as the DIY project described in the O’Reilly Cooking for Geeks book.

  • Eric Leath

    Love the blog. Recent Culinary Graduate; would love to cook my way through Keller’s book while I apply for jobs and start my career.

  • Nic C

    I would use the circulator to cook marinaded meats in cryo sealed bags, and experiment with making sauces

  • Roby

    I would like to use the sous vide contraption for cooking meats. My dream is to one day open up a gastropub/burger bar type joint. I’ve read about cooking burgers sous vide, but I’ve never taken the time because, face it, the cooler method seems like a small pain in the ass. (Guess I’ll have to try it out if you don’t pick me). Anyways, I’d like to play around with the machine to see if you can cook burgers sous vide since there is nothing better than a perfectly medium rare burger…and no matter how experienced you are it’s pretty hard to attain that perfection every single time.
    Plus, the sous vide machine would go really well with the smoker I hope I can pick myself up for the holidays.

  • Arlene

    I want that. It’s the high tech slow cooker! Put it in the night before and when I get home I sear it and dinner is ready. Perfect for people who “don’t have time to cook.”

  • Kim Foster

    I totally want in. Have been dying to sous vide something.

    Sometimes, it takes something like this to take a cook to the next level, inspire them to do more. Love that. I hope that happens for whoever wins. Thanks for this.

    Kim

  • Diana Hsieh

    I have (and LOVE) a Sous Vide Supreme already, so this would be overkill for me, undoubtedly. Nonetheless, I often think that I’d love a second sous vide device in order to cook a different meat at a different temperature or to cook veggies for the side of my sous vide meat. I tend not to do long-term sous vide projects, because I simply must have my sous vide eggs (whether scrambled or in-shell) every morning. But I really want to try pork ribs sous vide, something that I’ve not ever seen discussed. And I’d like to do more roasts and the like sous vide.

  • John

    I’ve been curious about sous vide cooking for quite sometime and think it might be time to get it a whirl, so to speak.

  • Tristan Willey

    What a beautiful machine! So many things to experiment on from sauces to fish to meats. What wouldn’t you use it for!? How cool it is to see just how many different foods you could throw in it. What would I do with it? Have a blast in the kitchen!

  • Dan Padilla

    I would slow cook eggs to sit atop slow cooked pork belly which would be sitting atop a nice piece of toasted home made brioche. I would do this at least once a week. Maybe not the most innovative, but hey, I’m being honest. Hope that’s enough. Happy Holiday to you Ruhlman.

  • Daniel Klein

    …. let me count the ways.

    I currently have some venison road kill in my fridge, longing to be cooked with the help of polyscience. Would it be the first roadkill sous-vide?

    I host dinners at farms and in my home, showcasing the latest harvest — a circulator would elevate and simplify that whole process.

    I have backyard chickens and would I ever love to cook one of my eggs at 62.5 for an hour.

    I can’t afford to buy one!

  • jyee

    I need a new IC because… have you seen the nasty looks people give you when you tell them you’ve cooked their dinner with old lab equipment you bought off ebay?

  • Steve @hokieguy1996

    would use it on short ribs and pork belly. Then off to more experimental type things to feed my wife and daughter. I really want it so that I can shut my mother-in-law up. She thinks that the only food that can be ready after work is something out of a can or fast-food bag.

  • Melissa Hamm

    I would love to try some custard recipes or a brisket in a sous vide. This would be a fun addition to the kitchen and just one more reason to have guests over for meals!

  • Barry Grossman

    I would use it to simplify and expand my food universe. Similarly to my slow cooker, I can set it up and let it go. Delicious proteins finished over an open flame. It’s making my mouth water just thinking about it.

  • Tim Allman

    Looks like a great device for cooking sous-vide. I would give this to one of my sons. He got me interested in sous-vide cooking with a homemade ‘rube goldberg’ setup. He would appreciate the device and put it to good use.

  • Ryan

    Having read all the amazing things here and elsewhere that have been made, I’m hoping to try your short rib pastrami recipe with one of these! Beyond that, the possibilities involving infusing alcohol would be fun to try, along with the “regular” tasty things that can be made. Visions of butter poached lobster tails and superbly cooked rib-eye dance in my head….

  • Chase

    I’d like to see the look on Chef’s face when I brought this in to the kitchen I think more than I’d enjoy actually winning it.. Ok, maybe not.

  • Kelly

    I would have Chef Michael Foster give me some serious lessons and then I would sous vide the wild duck and goose my boyfriend keeps bringing home. Love it, but the wild ones have no fat to play with so it is dangerous protein!

  • Sean

    Well eggs, obviously. But really I’m most interested in playing with seafood. My husband doesn’t care for it much, but I suspect a little sous vide action will bring him around.

  • Dave Weinstein

    Like Diana above, I bought a Sous Vide Supreme when they first came out last year.

    I’ve primarily used the machine to work with proteins that are either very prone to overcooking, or are in need of a longer cooking time to render them tender (particularly some very active free-range chickens).

    I’m hard pressed to argue why I should deserve an immersion circulator when I already have an effective Sous Vide setup. The only case I can make is for the ability to work with larger volumes of food when cooking for friends, or to do multiple different-temperature Sous Vide dishes simultaneously. Or, I suppose, to compare the two.

  • Cleveland Joe

    This cooking method looks REALLY interesting! My MIL gives us a nice cut of beef a few times every year so that we can enjoy a date night in, and I know that cooking it in this would make it unbelievably flavorful.

  • Eric Alderton

    I just began Sous Vide cooking, I built my own setup you can see it at http://www.cheferic.net It does o.k. but being a proffesional Chef I’m always trying to improve my technique. With this I would feel comfortable in using it in a proffesional work enviroment. I would really love one of these.

  • Drew Brown

    I don’t have a vacuum sealer, so I would try circulating beer instead of water around sausages or lard around pork belly or duck fat around duck legs.

  • mrfreddy

    wow, I’d be making breakfast, lunch, and dinner with that thing seven days a week!

    I would use that thing for all sorts of stuff, mainly anything I can’t do in my sous vide supreme, like:
    cook very large chunks of meat (big roasts,etc.)
    cook foods like grass fed cuts or short ribs that require a day or two or more, while using the SVS for shorter term jobs, like tonight’s steak or pork chops, or vegetables to go along with whatever I am grilling…

  • mrfreddy

    wow, I’d be making breakfast, lunch, and dinner with that thing seven days a week!

    I would use it for all sorts of stuff, mainly anything I can’t do in my sous vide supreme, like:
    cook very large chunks of meat (big roasts,etc.)
    cook foods like grass fed cuts or short ribs that require a day or two or more, while using the SVS for shorter term jobs, like tonight’s steak or pork chops, or vegetables to go along with whatever I am grilling…

  • Alyssa

    Every time we go into Williams and Sonoma, my boyfriend ogles this fine piece of equipment. But since I am paid in warm fuzzies (thank you, non-profit work) and he cooks on the line, the price tag on this baby is about the same as one of our paychecks making it ever so very much beyond our teensy-weensy budget. I could very easily bring my boyfriend to tears if he opened this surprise on Christmas morning. That’s hard to do and an admirable undertaking, I think.

  • Seattlejo

    I would try making Turkey in it, after seeing a fabulous video showing it done

  • Tom

    I would use this badd mamajama to experiment with offal cooked to tender perfection. Imagine a deconstructed haggis without cringing or nose holding, or gizzard “stew” on buttered pasta, or fork tender menudo for the morning after. Boggles the mind.

  • Christopher

    Perfect timing as I’m starting up my charcuterie shop in a month and was shuddering at the prospect of cooking off pates in the oven and poaching sausages while constantly fiddling with the burner heat.

  • Tracy

    As a brand new mom, I’d love one for how much less continually attentive I’d need to be to cook such a wide variety of delicious foods and have them be tasty. I want to experiment with what I can do with the half hog and quarter beef I plan to get after Christmas. And a turkey for the holidays!

  • Kary S

    My Baltimore chef friend has been gloating for months over his new sous vide and I’d love to show him up. Thus proving once and for all that Cleveland has been and will always be better than Baltimore. :)

  • Beth Kirby

    I would use it so that I never, ever attempt to “sous vide” a ribeye in a ziplock bag whilst fussing with a pot of water with a thermometer in it again! I’ve fantasized for years about experimenting with some of my favorite chef’s sous vide recipes (Keller, Achatz, Dufresne.. etc), and would love to work with everything from short ribs to eggs to butter poached lobster and everything in between. A sultry, custardy sous vide egg is probably my number one fantasy though.

  • Bob

    This looks like fun, have been imagining what I would do with a sous vide cooker for a couple of years now…

  • Jean Dough

    I’d invite cooks & food enthusiasts from all over to experience this awesome gadget that allows food to cook in its essence. People would teach what they know so others could learn. All over drinks and food made with it. If I don’t win, I hope whoever does will invite me over to check it out.

  • GregK

    To be honest, I’ve really been wondering how to combine charcuterie with sous vide. I’m thinking really tender pastrami, or super juicy brats….

  • Mike

    I would use it for so many things. Cooking after a long night on the line, for the holidays, to make eggs so I can have David Chang style ramen. So many things I could do with this.

  • Sean

    My sister and I (non-chefs but cooking fiends with day jobs) are shortly beginning a blog, cooking our way through The Professional Chef. With Keller’s “Under Pressure”, Iron Chef, etc, sous vide has become a critical culinary technique. I think it would be amazing to include sous vide as we go through the CIA curriculum (I know, a very basic edition) since the entire idea is to explore techniques. However, I shudder at the thought of trying to replicate this with a pot on the stove. I have a hard enough time keeping stocks at the right temp.

  • Ken

    Would be able to exapnd out of my home made contraputation that I am using as a teaching tool for low income students. Using the homemade tank we made the Voltaggio turkey featured in the Dec William Sonoma catalog. Great fun and a learning expereince for them, and me

  • SteveQ

    I would get to play with Tranglutaminase and this tool for one thing. Have been toying, but would really like to push it to the next level. But for me I guess the main joy of having a circulator would be the expansion of my skills as well as to expose all my family and friends to the neat world of Souse Vide!

  • Christian Irabien

    This sounds amazing. I would apply the circulator to different types of Mexican dishes I prepare. sous vide duck in mole negro comes to mind. not to mention perfectly acquiring textures on chiles and salsa components for variations in colors, textures, and perhaps even flavors.

  • Patti Guerra

    I would donate it to my alma mater, Walla Walla Community College, for their ACF accredited Culinary program. We would have loved to play with such an awesome tool. Chef Jay and Chef Robert have always tried to introduce new and exciting techniques to us but due to the constraints of state budgets, they werent always able to provide the depth of experience that they wanted to. I would love to put that thing on their desk and watch them pass out…”hey Chef, look what Michael Ruhlman gave me….” They work so hard with limited resources and I love those guys so much, I would love to be a blessing to them, thanks for considering my entry :)

  • Janis Tester

    I would use it to try and sous vide stuff like marshmallows. I would also like to use my hand held smoker and smoke something and sous vide it at the same time. I would also like to see what happens to a marachino cherry when you sous vide it and then put it into a Manhattan. No, I am not joking.

  • Josh Nanberg

    I’ve been dying to try sous vide cooking for a while. David Chang’s “white trash sous vide” in the Momofuku cookbook is intriguing, but still seems to leave a lot of room for a dangerous error!

    I think I’d rather have the real deal!

  • Doug

    I’m working my way through the Momofuku cook book. While his suggestion for sous vide in the sink sounds interesting, I would much rather have a Polyscience.

  • eyehrtfood

    If I won this I would move to the vaunted “Columbus” from fading Cleveland because they have such a superior food scene and pretty much everything else down there, says Ruhlman, that staying in lowly Cleveland couldn’t possibly provide me with the quality ingredients and cutting-edge environment necessary to do this device justice…

  • Richard Chepeus

    There is so much potential for the application of this cooking technique not sure where to begin. Initially to use for various proteins, as I listen to Dave Arnold’s Cooking Issues podcast, the more I think that the potential uses are endless limited only by ones imgination.

  • Richard Chepeus

    There is so much potential for the application of this cooking technique not sure where to begin. Initially to use for various proteins, as I listen to Dave Arnold’s Cooking Issues podcast, the more I think that the potential uses are endless limited only by ones imagination.

  • Glen

    Oh how I have been waiting one of these forever. I cannot wait to make short rib tacos sous vide the short ribs for 48 hours. Really, really, really would love one of these but can’t see myself being able to fork over the $700-800 to get one at my local Williams Sonoma.

  • Glen

    Oh how I have been waiting one of these forever. I cannot wait to make short rib tacos sous vide the short ribs for 48 hours. Really, really, really would love one of these but can’t see myself being able to fork over the $700-800 to get one at my local Williams Sonoma. Yes I am also following Ruhlman and Polyscience on Twitter (kiss ass, kiss ass).

  • Rich

    I want to use it for any protein I can think of, most vegetables, some desserts, and a foot bath that doesn’t cool down (kidding about the foot bath part)

  • Greg

    Mmmmm. I would use it to make the PERFECT steak, and French-style scrambled eggs…

  • Corbin

    I would use it to create amazingly flavorful food with the focus on healthy, local ingredients and with less stress for the chef/cook. I can imagine utilizing the machine for a variety of proteins and vegetables/fruits. This will be the “simmer in a sack” compared to my Mom’s “boil in a bag”!

  • Bonnie

    The sous vide machine will be in my RV slow cooking my escargot and beef rib cap. The meat will be seared on a pan in my RV’s front yard. Checkerboard, candles and wine in a box to serve the meal. Who said mobile parks didn’t have class?

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