Showing posts from August, 2010

Sous Vide Historical Note: Count Rumford

If you read the Sous Vide article at wikipedia, you will notice an uncited reference to Count Rumford discovering sous vide. Now, there are two banes to my existence, wikipedia and uncited references. Since wikipedia content is religiously stolen, aggregated and republished, Google becomes useless when trying to hunt down the minutia that keeps me going. Fortunately, I managed to hunt down the essay written by Count Rumford. I should I say eſſay. Or ſhould I ſay eſſay? Because, apparently, as late as 1802 we were still using the long s . Which makes reading Count Rumford's ſeminal eſſay, "Of the imperfections of the Kitchen Fire-places now in common uſe" a real delight. You people owe me. This essay, which could be found in 1802's timeless classic Essays, political, economical, and philosophical, Volume 3 not only gives us valuable insight into the culinary happenings of the 1800's, but also gives us one of the earliest documented efforts of low temp

KitchenAid's Chef Touch: Whirlpool's Foray Into Sous Vide Appliances

Jean-François, over at,  posted about KitchenAid's first foray into a sous vide solution: Chef's Touch .  As a casual observer of the consumer sous vide market, I am excited to see the one of the largest home appliance manufacturers dip a toe into the space.  So excited, that I scoured their website trying to absorb as much as possible. QUICK RUNDOWN OF THE  KITCHENAID CHEF TOUCH Image of the KitchenAid Chef Touch Their website indicates that the Chef's Touch Solution is comprised of three parts:

DIY PolyScience Form-Factor Smoke Guns Part II

In Part I of my guide to replicating the PolyScience Smoking Gun, we discussed the basics of the gun as well as previous DIY attempts.  In this segment, I will walk you through my process for making your own smoke gun with some very simple parts. Even though this guide will produce a working smoke gun, in the end, you will not have a PolyScience Smoking Gun.  You will have something that looks similar to one, but most likely will not be as durable.  Even with some of the improvements I plan to make in the future, it is unlikely that this is as good as a PSG. PolyScience specifically mentions details that makes me believe this device is different under the hood.  I am willing to bet that theirs will survive longer and get better results.  For example, they  mention  a "Heavy-duty metal blower fan".  Cursory examination did not reveal anything resembling sturdy construction.  That being said, you can't beat the price, and if you find yourself burning out the DIY ones,

DIY PolyScience Form-Factor Smoke Guns Part I

Smoke guns are culinary gadgets used to apply smoke to food.  Under the hood, these devices are basically handheld electric vacuums with a pipe attached to the input nozzle.  You turn on the vacuum, apply fire to the pipe, the vacuum pulls the fire into the pipe, setting the woodchips or herbs in the pipe on fire.  The smoke travels through the vacuum and out through the exhaust, and onto your dish.  They are far less cumbersome than stovetop smokers and are great if you just want to give smokiness to any dish.  While  PolyScience sells one of these units for approximately $80, a lot of people made their own version.  Oh lookie, here comes one now: Chadzilla's MINI-VAC Smoker.  Cite: These DIY  models  were based on the  Mini-Vac  vacuum, which you can buy off of  Amazon  for about $17.   This approach is pretty functional, and all said and done probably costs $25-30 to construct, not including your labor. Alternatively, you can buy one of these pre-constru