The Sous Vide Cheeseburger Project

July 5, 2013

So, as many of you know, I was the co-Founder of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters.

In the last 10 years, the phenomenon of Sous Vide, or thermostatically controlled water bath cooking, has caught on like wildfire, much of it due to the popularity of a massive set of discussions on eGullet about it.

Despite this massive amount of discussion about Sous Vide, I had no interest in the subject for the longest time.

In fact, I felt it was so geeky and so elitist and pretentious that the only way I was really interested in enjoying food cooked using this method was in fine restaurants, which could afford the expensive thermostatically controlled water circulators ($1000+) and had the need to utilize it for large-scale cooking efforts, for which the technique and the technology was originally designed.

But as with any technology, price does come down. And in the 10 years since the original eGullet threads started, microprocessor-controlled Sous Vide cooking systems have dropped down in price dramatically.

How cheap? How about $99 for the Dorkfood Sous Vide controller now sold on Amazon, combined with a cheap hot plate/cheap rice cooker or an electric crockpot and a package of Zip-Lok bags?

I was sent the Dorkfood controller to review by the manufacturer — I’ll have a more technical write up on ZDNet about it shortly.

But let’s get to the meat of the matter: Anyone with the willingness to do so can now cook Sous Vide, with minimal skill, budget and debugging required.

First of all, why would you want to Sous Vide anything? Well, the advantage is that you can cook a vegetable or a protein to its finished cooking temperature. Once it reaches that temperature, it is perfectly cooked. Because you are cooking it in a sealed bag in a water bath controlled by a computer, you have no loss of juices and the meat does not dry out.

The flavors using this process are absolutely intensified because you are cooking the meat in its own juices.

While Sous Vide is often used for extremely expensive cuts of beef, fish, seafood and poultry to cook right “on point” like the guys on Top Chef do, you can also use it to make the juiciest rare cheeseburger known to man.

And if that isn’t worth forgiving me for using a fancy French technique on the 4th of July to cook an All-American Cheeseburger, I don’t know what is.

You want to make one of these? Follow my lead, young Sous Vide padawans. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

Read the rest of this entry »


You too can use the preferred OS of the maxi-zoom-dweebie

October 14, 2009

desktop-linux-candidate

There are certainly ideal groups of people who are capable of moving towards a 100 percent Open Source or Linux environment in both their professional and personal lives. I’m not really interested in discussing the political and ideological aspects or why someone would want to make that choice.

The greater and more important question is, who CAN switch to Linux?

Click to read the rest of this article at ZDNet Tech Broiler.


In Honor of the Deceased, We’ll be Serving Bagels and Rugelach

July 14, 2009

zd-sittingshivalaptop by you.

My laptop’s screen died during 4th of July weekend. I sent it back to HP for warranty repair, but then they wanted either $89.00 to send it back without repair, or $440.00 to replace a $99.00 OEM part due to “Accidental Damage”.

I love the 4th of July. Hot dogs, fireworks, and destroyed LCD screens.

So I’m out food shopping on the 4th of July, when my cell phone rings. It’s my wife.

“Jason…. don’t kill me.”

“What did you do now?”

“I think I killed the laptop”

“What do you mean you killed the laptop?”

“I was using it in the bedroom on my laptop desk, I moved it, and now the screen is all messed up.”

Suffice to say that the stream of obscenities that left my mouth in the middle of the condiment and sauces aisle at King Fung Asian Supermarket made even the most salty of Chinese stock keepers blush. I was royally pissed, and my shopping experience trying to determine which unreadable brand of Taiwanese chili black bean sauce was the best for my purposes was now completely disrupted.

Click to read the rest of this article at ZDNet Tech Broiler

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Summer Doldrums? Listen to the Frugal Tech Show!

June 23, 2009

frugaltech by you.

While Off The Broiler is primarily focused on food, as many of you know, I also write technology articles for ZDNet, CBS’s technology news site. Over the last few months I have been teaming up with Linux Magazine and DaniWeb columnist Ken Hess, where we broadcast live on BlogTalkRadio every Friday at 6:30PM EST on leveraging technology to save you and your business money. The format of the show is news and commentary for the first half hour, with the second reserved for special guests from the technology industry. This summer we are going to be featuring a lot of Linux and Open Source guests, so be sure to tune in.

The replays of all the shows are available at www.frugaltechshow.com, just in case you miss them.


The Open Source Reptile Hunter

April 21, 2009

constrictus by you.

The Open Source Community’s strength has always been in its numbers and the will of developers contributing to projects to drive project initiatives in the direction they desire simply by voting with their time and willingness to contribute. If a project no longer meets their requirements, be it from a licensing or political perspective, they simply cease working on it and go onto other things that interest them instead.

That is the beauty of of Open Source, in that it is pure Social Darwinism and Software Phylogenetics at work. Even if you have a bunch of large natural predators, such as Constrictus Siliconvallis, it’s not possible for them to swallow entire communities, even if they buy the companies that run the projects themselves. And like evolutionary trees, if projects are to be compared to Phyla, they do indeed branch off.

Click to read the rest of this article on ZDNet Tech Broiler.

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Silicon Valley Spiral Cut

December 3, 2008

sun-fd by you.

Right now, Sun has a market capitalization of approximately $2.44 billion. Given fluctuations in the market, and if we have a few more bad weeks and Sun has a lousy Q1 for ‘09, that could easily drive it down to under $2B, as its been fluctuating between $2.2B and $2.4B for weeks.

There are a number of companies that could afford to buy Sun entirely for $2B. I’m not going to speculate on who might have that much cash, but it’s a pretty small list. However, it’s unlikely that Sun would be purchased outright as a single entity  — several of its product lines directly overlap with that of its major competitors, so it is probably reasonable to assume that Sun is likely to be sold off in pieces, by lines of business (see 33MB PDF). My CNET News Colleague Dawn Kawamoto tends to agree with me on this thought process.

Read the article on ZDNet Tech Broiler.


Goodbye Between the Lines, Hello Tech Broiler

June 27, 2008

Well, its been a nice, fulfilling but short run on Between the Lines. On Monday morning, I pack up my stuff and move to Tech Broiler. As you can see, it’s starting to look a little bit like Mount Rushmore in terms of editorial faces on ZDNet’s premier blog, and I need to move into my own digs to make room for the new talent.

I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to blog about when Larry Dignan asked me to join the motley crew at ZDNet.  I have been all over the map in terms of topics, and quite frankly, I think I like it that way.

Click here to read the rest of the story on ZDNet Between the Lines.


AOL Hell

May 14, 2008

Continue to ZDNet Between The Lines to read the rest of this article.


You Woke Up This Morning, Got Yourself A Gun…

May 12, 2008

Read the rest of the story on ZDNet Between the Lines.


Can’t We All Just Get Along?

May 8, 2008

Read the rest of the story on ZDNet (click)


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