Jump to content

Rob Babcock

participating member
  • Content count

    58
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://

Profile Information

  • Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
  1. Rob Babcock

    Water Baths and Immersion Circulators

    We use the Underground circulator at work. It crapped out on us about 1.5 months in but was fixed quickly under warranty. It's worked great since (maybe 6 months or a bit more). It's a little quirky in that there's no choice to read F or C, just C. But it does the job. We use a really large volume of water, much more than you could heat with the Polyscience, and it holds the temps very well.
  2. Rob Babcock

    Burger helper

    Wow, great to hear! I too have been on a bit of hiatus from EG due to school and life stuff. But I'm glad to see you're still chasing the perfect burger!
  3. I have the same machine. I too don't know what problem you're having. When I first bought it I sealed several bags of water to just try it! Okay, one potential issue: water-based liquids will boil readily in a vacuum. This can cause the bag to expand quite a bit and sometimes be pushed away from the seal bar. As has been mentioned, I just watch for boiling and as soon as the bag looks like it's beginning to "inflate" I seal it. With all the plates in I generally start with 30 sec vacuum, 2.0 sec seal, 1.5 cool @ LOW heat. This is for 3 mil bags, but works pretty well with any non-metalized bags in my (still limited) experience. And to Rob1234- this machine is really terrific! My boss actually bought one for the restaurant where I work. It's quite, fast and easy to use while still allowing a lot of flexibility. For instance, I've been sealing mylar bags and retort pouches, and the ability to control all parameters of the seal is great. Likewise, the ability to control the vacuum is nice for stuff that can be easily crushed as well as things that are very reactive (eg. chemical fire lighters like WetFire or Weber cubes used for camping and outdoor cooking). It's awesome for going compressions. My first attempt at watermelon was very nice. I'll admit that it's so much more powerful than my old Foodsaver-style machine that I inadvertently did an onion compression! I didn't expect that much vacuum. This machine is also nice for flash pickling. You can use bags of course but it works with Ball jars, too. Be advised that the wide mouth 1 pint clears very easily. The standard 1 pint will clear the lid at the very back of the chamber, but only with standard lids/rings. The plastic lid with the reusable gasket is a smidgen too tall for any portion of the chamber. Be warned, it can be addictive! I did my first batch of balsamic/mirin asperagus and put it in the fridge to chill- when I opened it the next day I ate almost the whole pint with the fridge door still wide open! I've only owned it a short time but so far it's a great machine. The chamber isn't huge but the price goes up pretty quickly as you get a bigger chamber. It's big enough to do anything I need but another 1/2" of vertical clearance would be nice for accommodating various canning jars. BTW, to the OP- the chamber already slants backwards. Just take all the plates out so the seal bar is higher relative to the bag. It may not be recommended, but you can also shim the front of the machine a little if need be.
  4. Rob Babcock

    Aqua Chef Water Oven

    BTW, there's another new player on the market called the Stealth from undergroundcirculators.com. The restaurant where I work got one recently and it's a pretty solid, no-frills unit. It has an impeller to circulate water and seems to heat 20 gallons without trouble. It has no features at all- you can't even switch the display from C to F. But for $500 it's a solid machine.
  5. Rob Babcock

    Aqua Chef Water Oven

    I just saw this product and naturally hot-footed it over here to see if anyone's used it. I've already got two Sous Vide Supremes but if this maintains good temp control it would be a great item to recommend for those wanting to get into sous vide on the cheap. Def looks like a repurposed fryer, just wonder how tight the temps will run.
  6. Rob Babcock

    Sous vide cheesecake?

    Nice! I've been thinking that cheesecake & sous vide should be a match made in heaven, just needed a starting point. Thanks!
  7. Rob Babcock

    "Heston Blumenthal at Home"

    I'm normally a F guy but my Sous Vide Supreme & SV Demi can both be set to C, as can my Thermapens- so I'm good!
  8. Rob Babcock

    "Heston Blumenthal at Home"

    If the US and UK versions are the same I think I'll have to pick this one up! I hate to get myself a gift this close to Xmas, though!
  9. I'm occasionally guilty of this. Now mind you there aren't any dull knives in my house, but I have a small block of pretty cheap knives that I keep on my kitchen counter top and often I use them even though I have thousands of bucks worth of Japanese knives 20 feet away in the other room. Mostly it's laziness. About 2/3 of my good blades are in the case I take to work, and I usually don't feel like breaking out the case to cut up a chicken. The other 1/3 is backups and pieces I have plans for and they're stored in their boxes- way too much work. One last reason is that my kitchen at home is pretty cramped and I don't have a decent cutting board. I don't want to subject my Ichimonjis, Kagayakis or Hattoris to my cheap plastic board. That said if I'm doing some elaborate prep I'll dig out my good stuff. And I have thousands of dollars wrapped up in natural and synthetic Japanese waterstones as well as powered sharpening gear so most of my beaters are sharper than the best knives my coworkers use (except of course for the few days after I sharpen for them...).
  10. Rob Babcock

    The Flavor Bible

    I realize this is an old thread, just wanted to mention that while I'm a big fan of the book, I'd really love a Droid app or computer program that presented a searcheable version of the book. As it goes the layout is kind of frustrating to me. It would be great to be able to type your ingredient into a window and get all the matches.
  11. Sorry, Chris- I sort of lost track of this thread! I like to start with a sirloin around 2" thick. The temp is usually 130-131 for around 3 hours. It depends on the thickness; my procedure so far has been to use Doug Baldwin's pasteurization charts. After SV'ing I either finish with my Iwatani or two screaming hot pans, panini-style. The latter only takes about 45 seconds but can generate copious amounted of smoke & mess. Luckily summer is just around the corner, then I can do it outdoors.
  12. Rob Babcock

    Water Baths and Immersion Circulators

    I've been loving my Sous Vide Supreme. It's very stable temp wise and the thermostat is extremely accurate. It's fairly large I guess but I have a spot where I leave it set up permanently, and it gets used at least five days per week. The capacity is around 10 liters or so, or 2 Imperial Gallons. The only shortcoming I've found in the time I've owned it is that occasionally it would be nice if it were even larger. I can get a whole pork loin in it with room to spare, though, and a bulk package of chicken breasts (maybe 10 lbs) fits just fine. Probably couldn't do a whole turkey though. You would have to contact the company to see what shipping would be- it's free within the US. Amazon in Europe might also be a good option.
  13. Rob Babcock

    Restaurant dreams

    Years ago I dreamed that I'd showed up for the evening shift at 2:00 p.m. to find that the breakfast cook hadn't showed up...but the FOH saved all the tickets, like eight hours worth! And in my dream I had this whole stack of breakfast tickets to cook. More recently I had a dream that I showed up for evening service to find that the entire menu had changed, and not only was I to learn & execute it on the fly, I would be the only one cooking. In the dream the entire staff merely stood at the end of the line and watched me work. The last really bizarre restaurant dream I had was very unsettling- I was working in a place that was sort of a synthesis of three or four different restaurants where I've worked in the past. It seems the owner demanded that the Chef incorporate a dog recipe on the menu. To make matters worse, the Chef was required to use his own dog- while it was still alive! In my dream the poor guy had to break his dogs legs to fit it in the pan as the thing howled at him... I think I've been in this biz too long!
  14. I've gotten uniformly superb results with sirloin in my SVS, but I start with very good beef.
  15. Since the Michelin Guide is partisan and political and far from transparent as to just how the stars are awarded, I'd say it's an absurd way to determine who's a "real" chef. While I have great respect for the chefs of most of the Michelin starred restaurants, the whole thing is a beauty contest IMOHO.
×