I got a sous vide wand for Christmas. It's pretty much as cool as
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
mashed potatoes, etc., (anything that doesn't have to
be crispy when served) at a safe temperature for a couple of
It doesn't scorch or over cook, and I can accommodate everybody's
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
in the water. The problem with this is that if the container is not
over the level of the water, it will displace enough water to float
You can tie them down with kitchen string, but this also has a
pain in the ass factor.
I need containers that are heavier than the water that they
displace. So, four ideas:
1. Stainless steel containers with very heavy bottoms, designed
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
the inner container in position. The outer container having a bulge
for the sous vide wand. The outer container could be any shape
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
meal at a time. It would not make melting chocolate super easy,
and you could hold things like cheese sauce and beschemel
having to worry about them separating.