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Water Baths and Immersion Circulators


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Anyone heard of this quite interesting device: Mellow

Its a strictly home sous vide device ( not very now and exciting ) that adds some nice features like cooling and wlan connectivity to it!

Only thing i am quite concerned with it that during the heating process the food is still sitting in the once cold water which does not sound to safe to me...

http://youtu.be/AiNmTI51GPw

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Anyone heard of this quite interesting device: Mellow

Its a strictly home sous vide device ( not very now and exciting ) that adds some nice features like cooling and wlan connectivity to it!

Only thing i am quite concerned with it that during the heating process the food is still sitting in the once cold water which does not sound to safe to me..

.......................

Interesting, expensive and, as you point out, questionable from a food safety point of view.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Food safety issues and a large footprint. Not good. Now if my Anova had wifi connectivity? I see this as a future feature of home SV devices. I would love to be able to monitor or adjust my time/temp while away

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Interesting, expensive and, as you point out, questionable from a food safety point of view.

 

A 1000W heater can bring a 4.5L water bath from room temp to 85C in 21 minutes. Heat loss is apparently on the order of 35 - 50W so even taking that into account, you're still well within the margin of safety.

PS: I am a guy.

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Hello.

 

I am new here. I just bought the Anova sous vide and I have not used it yet. I do not have a container.

 

I see that a lot of people are using a polycarbonate container but, polycarbonate contains BPA and I am not sure that BPA will not pass through the plastic bags.

 

So, is there another option I can use? Or is it completely safe to use it because BPA molecules are larger than water and therefore they cannot penetrate the plastic bags?

 

 

Another question I am having is that I am afraid to place my Anova into a pot because the pot is not tall enough and the Anova will have to touch the bottom of the pot. Since the pot is steel, I am afraid that the bottom of the Anova might get scratched or anything like that.

 

Did you have any problems like that?

 

Thanks!

Bill.

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Did you have any problems like that

I'm pretty anal about this stuff, but, ummm, no.

Honestly, if you're worried about BPAs leaching through plastic bags, you probably shouldn't be cooking in plastic bags.

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I think you are right.

 

Basically, I don't know what to believe. Studies are everywhere but they say different things.

"It might increase cancer risk". "It might not increase cancer risk".

 

I mean.....

 

What about the stainless steel getting scratched from the pot?

 

Thanks!

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There's no problem with that. The Anova's 'propellor' is safely tucked away inside the bottom of the steel tube, so it's not going anywhere. And the stainless steel of your pot isn't going to scratch the stainless steel of the Anova, or vice versa, just as there's no problem using a metal spoon in a metal pot.

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

eGullet Ethics Code signatory

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I've been considering the Rubbermaid Professional units that are the same size as the Cambros at half the price.

Incidentally, though, the Anova just fits my wheeled cooler that I bought for my home-brewed sous vide setup. Haven't tried it yet, though.

The Rubbermaid are cheaper but also more brittle and I managed to crack mine immediately with just a slight overtightening of the Anova clamp.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I like a 12qt poycarbonate container for shorter cooking times, and a big coleman cooler for longer ones. The cooler is also good for more room. Mine is about 30 quarts, but with an insulated container there's no practical upper limit. Just fill with warm water so it doesn't take forever to get going.

 

This is a really good smaller poly container. It's a bit less tapered than the similar Cambro so the circulator fits completely upright. There's just enough room inside for the Sous Vide Supreme rack with the Anova.

 

The Carlisle container is big enough for a few steaks and fits easily in my not so big sink for filling. I've cut reflectix sheet to fit each container for some insulation and to reduce evaporative cooling. A loop of cord tied through one side of the reflectix makes it easy to grab and pull out of the way when the water's hot.

Notes from the underbelly

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I guess I'm still not sure what you're concerned about with the stainless scratching - health or aesthetics? I don't know of any issue with the former, and scratching the bottom of the device wouldn't concern me aesthetically.

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I think you are right.

 

Basically, I don't know what to believe. Studies are everywhere but they say different things.

"It might increase cancer risk". "It might not increase cancer risk".

 

 

Lots of things increase cancer risk. Smoked food and anything charred on a grill increase cancer risk. Going outside in the daytime. Breathing anywhere near traffic. The question is how big is the actual risk? With BPA it's very hard to know what the risks are, because all the controlled studies have been done on mice and rats, and have been done with  outrageously high concentrations of BPA. There are a bunch of human epidemiological studies, with results all over the place ... the science behind this kind of study is much weaker (very difficult to establish causation) and no one has areed on apropriate methodology.

 

We know that BPA is an endocrine disruptor and possible toxin to the liver. We know that fetuses and small children are much more at risk from exposure than adults. What we don't know is the level of the risk, or the level of exposure that produces a serious risk. We don't even know all the factors that determine the level of BPA in food or in the environment. 

 

A few other tidbits that we know:

-BPA levels in canned food (especially acidic canned food) is insanely higher than in foods stored in polycarbonate. If you're afraid of a polycarbonate water bottle, you should never eat food out of a can again. Unless you're sure the company has replaced epoxy can linings with polyester or something else, which some companies are doing.

-BPA is not going to migrate through polyethylene sous vide bags. If we were talking about something as deadly as plutonium, maybe that kind of fear would be worth further exploration. But we're not.

 

And something to consider: it's tempting to avoid plastics on general principle, based on dangers we haven't discovered yet. But it's stupid to do so if you're not going to apply the same level of scrutiny to other materials. We believe polypropylene and and polyethylene are safe for the same reasons we believe the various stainless steels, borosilicate glasses, and ceramics glazes are safe: we have strong, but incomplete, evidence. 

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Notes from the underbelly

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A bit cowboy, but I use the cheap large Rubbermaid bins from WalMart, they're not "rigid" but rigid enough. And the food is in bags, so I don't worry about the plastic. Soft plastics are less of a BPA risk anyway.

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Paulraphael talked about food in sous vide being sealed in polyethylene bags. I know that very small molecule such as the flavonoids in cloves go through the plastic but would suggest that the likelihood of BPA in polycarbonate leaching through these bags into the food is very unlikely. I'm definitely open to discussion on this from organic chemists who may think otherwise but, at this stage, I'd suggest that it is drawing a long bow to say that polycarbonate containers are risky, particularly given the paucity of replicated evidence to support an assertion that it really is harmful.

 

gfweb, please don't forget dihydrogen monoxide, which when imbibed in large quantities can kill you.

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I don't want to be dismissive of all chemical dangers, like some industry shill. It's possible we'll discover that BPA is even worst than we knew. But considering that it's been leaching into all of our canned foods for the last half century, it's probably not quite the hideous specter blogosphere would have us think. I still use my lexan water bottle when climbing, because it's unbreakable, and that kind of exposure seems harmless. If I had a kid, I would not use a lexan baby bottle. This is just based on available knowledge right now.

 

I don't see any risks at all with lexan containers for immersion circulation ... when used in the standard way. I've seen people circulate oil directly, and poach whole turkeys and roasts. This practice raises some questions.

 

Polyethylene is used in chemistry and biology labs and is generally considered innert and food safe. We don't know for sure about plasticizers or other additives. I think the people who make food saver and chamber vacuum bags say they don't use anything. The ziplock people don't comment, but people who know about plastics and have investigated the bags seem to think they're safe. 

 

We may learn otherwise, but I still bet I'm going to die of something else.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

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  • 9 months later...

Hi,I wanted to ask you guys advice an which, in your opinion will be the best circulator for my needs,I will be cooking, most of the time small meals,no more than 10 liters of water needed,but on occasions, could be 30-40 liters,I'm tossing between Nomiku,Polyscience discover, (this is the yellow one) and Vacmaster,which have only one model.now they are all in this same price range,and I also know that by company specs,they recommend water volume is 22 liters,but I thing if I will fill the container with hot water and covered it, 40 l shouldn't be a problem.anyone has experience with that? Thanks for your input.

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The amount of water it can hold at temp is based on the insulative properties of the container, not the power of the circulator. You could theoretically keep a hot tub heated with just a single stick (although it would take days to get up to temp). If you're cooking in a cooler or other well insulated container, 40L shouldn't be a problem. If you're using a cambro or a pot, wrap it in an insulated blanket or just put two circulators in there.

The Anova Pro looks to be the best combo of features/price/noise at the moment. I'd go with that if you have the option.

PS: I am a guy.

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I've seen the other two models go on promotion once in a while, but not the Pro model.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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