So… Sous vide?

Yes, we got a new toy for Christmas. Yes, there was a great deal of excitement surrounding it. No, you haven’t heard a peep about it since.

The biggest thrill — short of sinking your teeth into a perfectly cooked steak — is learning new things in the kitchen. We already had fun with variations on eggs, but when it was time to move on, we started to learn some unexpected lessons.

Well, they really shouldn’t have been unexpected. It all makes perfect sense. It’s just that things we have gotten used to and don’t think much about are negatively affecting our immersion circulator.

The biggest thing is just how cold it is in our half-remodeled, uninsulated kitchen. It’s so cold in our kitchen… (How cold is it!? (Man, I still miss Johnny Carson.)) It’s so cold in our kitchen that our peanut oil has solidified. It’s so cold it takes longer to cook anything on the stove top. It’s so cold that the cat’s don’t even spend much time in there. And…it’s so cold that our immersion circulator is currently fighting a losing battle to reach temperatures high enough to cook our turnips and carrots. Much of the heat that is generated can be seen escaping into the air as vapor.

Some of the heat loss is unseen. That is, we see the culprit, just not the heat. Our lovely granite counter is to blame. It is a massive heat sink. While it’s perfect for rolling out cold pie dough, it is terrible for sous vide. We found an easy solution, however; we put a towel under the water bath, and soon the temperature rose 4C.

Fortunately, we have a solution for the bigger problem too. If the weather allows, an electrician will be out this week to wire the kitchen. Not long after that, a plumber will run a water line for a pot filler. Then my father-in-law will put up insulation (Now, please now!) and sheet rock. From there it’s on to the tile floor, which Angela assures me we can do ourselves. And there is the brick wall we want behind the stove. Angela assures me that that too is entirely possible with help from her experienced brick-laying dad.

If all goes well, soon you will see pictures of a new kitchen that will allow us to entertain friends. If not, stop by anyway. I may be bricked in somewhere.

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