Tag Archives: Sansaire sous vide

BBQ anathema, but it worked!

I’ve been watching an American reality TV show called BBQ Pitmasters, in which teams compete to cook the best and tastiest barbecued meats. We actually went to one of these cook-offs in Dodge City on one of our mid-west motorcycle tours, but at that time we didn’t really appreciate the nuances of competitive BBQ.

Anyway, inspired by the Pitmasters, we decided to do a family BBQ last weekend. We booked a couple of pitches at a campsite in rural Essex. We pitched the caravan on one, and the big frame tent on the other to act as an awning.
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Sansaire sous vide curry

The latest experiment in sous vide cooking was to prepare a simple Indian dish. I chose aubergine and chicken curry, not least because our local Indian grocery shop had some most beautiful aubergines. But also because both the main ingredients have their challenges. It’s quite easy for aubergine to become an unidentifiable slop when it’s cooked in a sauce, and similarly difficult to prevent the chicken drying out.

Did I succeed? Well, yes and no. The aubergine pieces retained their integrity and their taste. The chicken was perfectly cooked. The sauce was fresh and zingy with spices. And the dish looked nice – it wasn’t just a bowl of brown gloop:

Sous vide curry 009a
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Sansaire Silverside

The next experiment with sous vide cooking has been very simple and very successful. Sous vide is claimed to make relatively tough “pot roast” joints tender and delicious.

I bought a piece of silverside, salted it for 18 hours, then vacuum packed it and popped it into a water bath controlled by the Sansaire. That was it – no additions other than the brief brining period. I left the customary piece of basting fat attached to the beef.

Silverside Sansaire 001a
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Sansaire Sous Vide Steak – Est! Est!! Est!!!

We’ve tried eggs and we’ve tried chicken. Both have been successful, both have produced interesting results not readily obtainable by other methods. But neither prompted me to say, “You must buy a sous vide machine, if only for this”.

But sous vide steak is a game-changer. This is why sous vide is so worthwhile:

Sous Vide Steak 005a
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Sansaire Sous Vide Crispy Chicken

For a second try at sous vide cooking, I thought we’d have a go at some chicken thighs. I had to go to an evening meeting, but still wanted a late supper. It was an opportunity to show one of the proclaimed advantages of sous vide cooking, which is to do most of the prep well in advance, so that finishing is just a matter of minutes.

This was much more successful than my first experiment with eggs.

SV ChickThighs 002a
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Sansaire sous vide circulator

It’s been a long time coming, but the Sansaire sous vide circulator, launched last September on Kickstarter has finally shipped.

Unlike self-contained sous vide machines, which are very bulky, the Sansaire simply clips to the side of a large deep pan or plastic container, and keeps the water at a very precise temperature. It’s neat, and quite elegant:

Sansaire 005a
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