January 2012 - July 2012
- Project Skills
- Arduino Programming
- Knowledge of Circuits
Sous vide is a cooking process that involves vacuum sealing food and submerging it in heated water for a prolonged period of time. The water bath, maintained at a precise temperature, ensures consistent cooking throughout.
One benefit of sous vide cooking is that the internal and external temperatures will be equal. When cooking food like meat or poultry, for example, the outside is often exposed to a higher temperature than necessary to ensure that the internal temperature is high enough to kill bacteria. However, sous vide uses a longer cooking time to achieve the same effect, and thus the cooking temperature can be decreased as a result. The lower cooking temperature helps keeps juices inside, making the food more flavorful.
More About Sous Vide:
 Hesser, Amanda (2005-08-14). "Under Pressure." The New York Times.
After learning about sous vide cooking and the high price of even consumer options, I decided to build a cheaper DIY version using an old rice cooker.
Simple rice cookers operate by heating water to its boiling point. Similarly, sous vide cookers also heat the water, but the temperature is arbitrarily set by the user and is below boiling. However, because of the comparable functionality, the rice cooker provided many components needed for sous vide cooking. It had a pot for the water bath and a conduction plate used for heat transfer. However, since it did not allow for arbitrary temperatures to be set and maintained, an external control needed to be added.
In April 2012, the initial prototype was completed. It is currently an ongoing project.
- Completed Tasks
- Wired a thermistor to measure and monitor water temperature
- Connected a mechanical relay to control power to the heating plate
- Programmed Arduino to switch power off and on based on water temperature
- Programmed Arduino to display elapsed time and current temperature on an LCD screen
- Soldered a simple PCB
- Future Work
Create a PCB to house the circuit.Completed
- Code initial prompt for temperature and wire corresponding button input
- Add LCD screen to display temperatureCompleted
- Estimate error in thermistor curve fit
- Timer (low priority) Status - Only measures time elapsed
Project tutorial on Thingiverse |link|