Your Steaks Sleep With The Fishes In This Giant Sous Vide Aquarium

A small engineering company in Germany called [Nerdindustries] decided to throw a party, and in doing so, wanted to squash some rumors that nerds only eat pizza and take out. We’d say they successfully one-uped their friends while proving they too can make gourmet food. The gathering included a massive sous vide cooker out of an old 240L aquarium. Be warned, their website presentation is rather annoying but worth it.

sousvide aquarium thumbnailThey got the aquarium off eBay for $40, and started the project by resealing the aquarium with some silicone. Water adding some aluminium extrusion they mounted six immersion heaters. Three to heat it to temperature, and another three running off a PID control loop with waterproof temperature sensors to maintain it within a degree or so. Of course that wouldn’t get you very far unless you completed the build by filling the aquarium with water.
To make it a bit fancier for the party, they also threw a projector above it to display some simple visuals in the water. For their big night, they cooked steaks at 60C for about an hour and a half, and then finished in a pan to sear before serving — they were a hit. There’s a video on the site, but we can’t embed it here, so you’ll have to go check it out!

Is Sous Vide still a hot topic with hackers? There was a flurry of activity a few years back (Sous Vadar obviously one of our favorites) but we haven’t seen nearly as many projects lately. Actually we recently saw a Sous Vide repurposed for brewing instead of cooking.

21 thoughts on “Your Steaks Sleep With The Fishes In This Giant Sous Vide Aquarium

  1. “Is Sous Vide still a hot topic with hackers?”

    I cooked sous vide a LOT when I first discovered it. Now, only rarely.

    From it, I learned about cooking low-and-slow. Using good thermometers rather than guesswork. How heat and flavors transfer through meat. Knowledge that when applied to other cooking techniques, in most cases produces better results than sous vide. For example, I can smoke two briskets identically to 150°F. Then Texas Crutch one to 195°F, and sous vide the other at 150°F for two days. The sous vide version will be more tender and lose less liquid. But the Crutched version will still be “don’t need teeth to eat it” tender anyway. Plus more fat renders out, and it has a more intense meat flavor, both of which I value over the needless improved tenderness of the sous vide version. There are still a few special cases where sous vide is definitely the way to go, but I’m finding them to be a shrinking exception, not the rule.

    I don’t know about others, but I’m guessing at least some have progressed similarly.

  2. “Somewhat annoying” doesn’t really begin to describe it. Autoplaying music with no UI to disable it is a fad that should have died in the ’90s along with rotating animated GIFs. It’s not hard to turn off with developer tools, but if I have to use dev tools to fix your shitty website, you’re doing it wrong.

  3. Currently got a little Sous Vide system planned using a WiFi controlled socket, a rice cooker and hopefully a ESP8266. Already logged data on the heating and cooling characteristics using a maple based SD-card logger and a waterproof 1-wire sensor.

  4. “…maintain it within a degree or so…”

    What kind of degree HaD? You really need 1/10th degree C or better control & stability to do the likes of Souse-Vide eggs properly. But a degree or so would probably be OK for Souse-Vide Human (yum).

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