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Dessicator....


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As they use a Dessicator in "The Fat Duck" to create their crispy-double crunchy French fries, I was wondering if anybody else is using it and what else is possible besides the french fries...?!

Any ideas?

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There's no light for it. There is a vacuum pump and, in my lab, something like calcium carbonate to help dry the air left in the desiccator.

We store things in it... but we are not allowed to cook in the lab.

Damned OSHA.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Regulations, regulations everywhere. I represented a pharmacy that almost lost its license because an inspector found an unopened can of Coke that a non-pharmacist employee had stashed in the insulin fridge.

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Regulations, regulations everywhere.  I represented a pharmacy that almost lost its license because an inspector found an unopened can of Coke that a non-pharmacist employee had stashed in the insulin fridge.

They're probably more strict on medical facilities than on academic research. We use the same microwave both for heating up various solutions and lunch (but not at the same time :wink: ).

Can you explain how those fries work? At what stage is the dessication done?

I would guess that you could use a dessicator pretty much anywhere you would use a dehydrator. I think the dessicator would give you "cleaner" flavors though, since there is no heat involved.

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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Can you explain how those fries work? At what stage is the dessication done?

Cut Potatoes into your favourite "French Fries" cut and boil in salted Water. Cook until tender and then while hot put in the dessicator to suck out all excess moisture/steam. Blanch in a fryer...first at 130 C for a couple of minutes and then finally at 185 C until golden crisp.....

Right now i can´t remember if we put the fries back into the dessicator after the first blanching in oil........

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  • 2 weeks later...

What you show there is a vacuum dessicator. It is available from scientific supply houses such as Fisher, Cole Palmer etc. The one shown is plastic, which I recommend. There also come in glass, but those are much more expensive.

Basically it is a vacuum chamber. The lower the atmospheric pressure, the faster water evaporates.

Dehydrators work by gently blowing hot air. A vacuum desicator does not need the heat so it is great for drying things that you want to do qucikly, or you don't want to heat.

In the case of the french fry example fromt the Fat Duck , the fries are already hot, but a vacuum will cause them to lose water even faster then they would at normal atmostpheric pressure.

You need a vacuum pump also - the one in the photo is a very fancy Buchi vacuum pump. A cheaper approach is a water aspirator, or an aspirator style vacuum pump. You need a vacuum pump that will tolerate water vapor.

Nathan

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What you show there is a vacuum dessicator.  It is available from scientific supply houses such as Fisher, Cole Palmer etc.  The one shown is plastic, which I recommend.  There also come in glass, but those are much more expensive.

Basically it is a vacuum chamber.  The lower the atmospheric pressure, the faster water evaporates. 

Dehydrators work by gently blowing hot air.  A vacuum desicator does not need the heat so it is great for drying things that you want to do qucikly, or you don't want to heat.

In the case of the french fry example fromt the Fat Duck , the fries are already hot, but a vacuum will cause them to lose water even faster then they would at normal atmostpheric pressure.

You need a vacuum pump also - the one in the photo is a very fancy Buchi vacuum pump.    A cheaper approach is a water aspirator, or an aspirator style vacuum pump.  You need a vacuum pump that will tolerate water vapor.

BRAINSTORM!!! I've used venturi pumps for many years to empty my waterbeds. I don't know how much vacuum it will pull but it will suck the meat from your hand with enough force to be easily felt and seen. They're inexpensive and may be worth a try. You'd have to have a "container" for your product that has a female hose connection to attach the hose. Also, I don't know how well the venturi pump would work if the hose isn't primed. Just a thought.

--------------

Bob Bowen

aka Huevos del Toro

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venturi pumps for many years to empty my waterbeds. I don't know how much vacuum it will pull but it will suck the meat from your hand with enough force to be easily felt and seen. They're inexpensive and may be worth a try. You'd have to have a "container" for your product that has a female hose connection to attach the hose. Also, I don't know how well the venturi pump would work if the hose isn't primed. Just a thought.

A quality laboratory venturi pump will cost > $100 new and can prodcue pressures as low as 12 mbar (!), provided enough water pressure and flow. However, when destilling/reducing liquids, pumping capacity might be not enough to maintain low pressure against the vaporising liquidities.

Besides drying/desiccating of solids, one could use a vaccum pump for destilling and reducing at room temperature (to retain a "raw" aromatic profile) and for filtering with micropore filters to obtain crisp clear juices.

Make it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

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