Codlo uses its temperature sensor to measure and track the temperature of the water in your cooker, which forms your sous-vide waterbath. By controlling the power to the cooker by switching it on and off as needed, Codlo will ensure your cooker maintains a precise temperature needed for sous-vide cooking.
To use Codlo for sous-vide cooking, you need to have a suitable waterbath. Luckily, there are many existing household appliances that can double as a waterbath - such as slow cookers, rice cookers, food warmers, tabletop roasters or even a coffee urn!
Codlo works with any analogue appliance that has a manual (mechanical) switch with a maximum wattage of 1kW. To check if your appliance works with Codlo:
- Connect your appliance to an electrical outlet, turn it on to start heating.
- Disconnect your appliance from the outlet without turning the appliance off.
- Re-connect your appliance to the outlet.
- If your appliance continues to heat after step 3, it will work with Codlo. If it requires pushing of a button to start heating, it's not compatible.
- 2.4" tri-colour wide-angled LCD display
- Enhanced temperature stability with the adaptive algorithm
- Traffic light progress bar indicator
- Compatible with manual/analogue switch cookers up to 1kW for all regions
- Available in 110V-120V and 220V-240V versions for UK, European, Australian, New Zealand and US-style plugs
- Temperature resolution: 0.1°C / 0.1°F
- Temperature setting range: 20°C-90°C / 68°F-194°F
- Temperature stability (once settled): ±0.2°C / ±0.4°F
- Timer setting range: 1 min to 99 hours
- Timer resolution: 1 min
If you cook sous-vide for immediate serving (cook-serve), a vacuum sealer is not needed. Using good quality resealable freezer bags with the water displacement method works well for sous-vide cooking temperatures. Most users tend to use this method for home use.
A vacuum sealer is recommended if you tend to store food cooked sous-vide for consumption at a later date (cook-chill), require compression of certain food or use other techniques such as flash-pickling. We recommend exploring cook-chill at a later stage once you become more familiar with the cook-serve method.
The main purpose of the vacuum (or just an airtight bag) is to ensure an efficient heat distribution from the waterbath to food for even cooking, because air is a poor conductor of heat. This is also the reason why you can survive in a sauna at 70°C / 158°F yet scald your fingers if they are dipped in a waterbath for a few seconds at the same temperature.
From our experience, we found clamp-style vacuum sealers unnecessary as it has the additional downside of not being able to seal pouches containing liquids, such as marinades.
Any food-grade sealable bag will work - we find ordinary freezer bags from good grocery stores to work best for home cooking.
Yes - food-grade bags are safe for sous-vide cooking.
The main concern about cooking in plastic bags involve leaching of potentially harmful chemicals, such as BPA (bisphenol-A) and phthalates from the bag into the food. Food grade plastic bags, certified as suitable for cooking by their manufacturer, are safe to use.
Harold McGee, author and prominent food science expert commented in an article in New York Times (11 August 2008):
“Heavy-duty Ziploc bags are made from polyethylene (PE) and are approved for contact with hot foods. True sous-vide cooking involves vacuum-packing the food, which zipping a bag won’t do for you. But you can certainly use the bag to immerse food in a water bath whose temperature you control carefully. It can be hard to squeeze out all the air, so the bags tend to float and heat unevenly unless you weigh them down. Sous-vide cooking generally involves water temperatures between 120°F-180°F (49°C-82°C), which the heavy-duty bags can take.”
Nathan Myhrvold, author of Modernist Cuisine also advised users to:
"Avoid bags containing polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Ziploc bags for home cooks are a safe alternative because they are made from polyethylene (PE), which does not break down at the low temperatures of sous-vide cooking and are BPA-free."
Absolutely. A common misconception about low temperature cooking is that it is unsafe as it involves cooking in lower temperatures that are in the bacterial "dangerzone" of 10°C-55°C (50°F-131°F).
In fact, food safety is a function of both time and temperature; a low cooking temperature would be perfectly safe if maintained for long enough to achieve pasteurization.
Generally, food that is heated and served within 4 hours is considered safe (including unpasteurized food), but meat that is cooked for longer to tenderize must reach a temperature of at least 55°C (131°F) within 4 hours and then be kept there, in order to pasteurize the meat.
Unpasteurized food is not dangerous if fresh, high quality ingredients are used with proper hygienic practice. Or else we wouldn't have sushi, rare steak or carpaccio. However, it’s advisable to not serve unpasteurized food to highly susceptible, pregnant or immuno-compromised people.
Sous-vide cooking is safe with good food hygiene practices, purchase of fresh food and adherence to the time-temperature guidelines. Sous-vide cooking is not more dangerous, as these precautions apply to other conventional cooking methods too!
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