Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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sous double not boiler

Use sous vide as warmer.
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I got a sous vide wand for Christmas. It's pretty much as cool as they say. Making perfect steaks is easy, and the constant temperature makes holding foods for service really, really easy. The latter is really the most use that I've gotten out of this thing. I can heat and keep soup, mashed potatoes, etc., (anything that doesn't have to be be crispy when served) at a safe temperature for a couple of hours. It doesn't scorch or over cook, and I can accommodate everybody's schedule.

The problem is that for the food to stay immersed in the water, all of the air has to be sucked out of the bag, and this leads to various levels of pain in the assness: getting things to submerge properly, fishing hot bags out and getting them cut open without spewing hot soup all over myself, getting the stuff into the bags in the first place and getting them sealed, all that.

What I would like to do is keep food warm in a container immersed in the water. The problem with this is that if the container is not full over the level of the water, it will displace enough water to float and tip over.

You can tie them down with kitchen string, but this also has a large pain in the ass factor.

I need containers that are heavier than the water that they would displace. So, four ideas:

1. Stainless steel containers with very heavy bottoms, designed to fit into standard steam table pans or large cambros.

2. Containers with lugs underneath that attach to corresponding receivers in the bottom of a larger container. The larger container would have space for the sous vide wand and room for a sufficient amount of water. Or, the same system using magnets.

3. Heavy disk magnets with release mechanisms that can be attached to standard stainless steel pots.

4. Standard double boiler arrangement with buckle clamps that hold the inner container in position. The outer container having a bulge for the sous vide wand. The outer container could be any shape and could contain any number of inner containers, kind of like a little steam table that can be controlled very closely.

Using a sous vide in this manner would allow you to use just about any container as a crockpot; you could cook more than one crockpot meal at a time. It would not make melting chocolate super easy, and you could hold things like cheese sauce and beschemel without having to worry about them separating.

nomocrow, Feb 02 2017

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       The magnets idea is problematic --heated temperatures can degrade permanent magnets.
Vernon, Feb 02 2017
  
      
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