Kitchen Gadgetry


I agree with the pressure cooker part of that article, but not the oven. I do -not- like to leave my house with the oven on. It’s a personal trust issue. I have no idea why I would trust a slow cooker over an oven, but for one, a slow cooker doesn’t approach burning temps, and is usually insulated with a pretty hefty stoneware insert. Also, though it’s 2019, my oven lacks even the basics of easier programming that does things like, high for 2 hours, low for 4 hours, warm after that (which, btw, mimics my work hours perfectly.) To add to that, my slow cooker was less than $50 bucks. Why would that be an either/or option. It’s a, “also have,” option.

It doesn’t have to be a slow cooker though. Instant Pot is so ideal because it’s programmable, but so much faster than slow cooking.


The programmability is the clear advantage of a slow cooker over any oven I’ve ever used. It’ll do its thing and then hold at a warming temp. You still don’t want to leave it at that too long, but surely better that than an oven that’s just set to one temperature for however long you’re away.


I had a pressure cooker before, but the Instant Pot is significantly easier to use and program. Our previous pressure cooker (a Cuisinart) didn’t pressure-up very quickly and the seal wouldn’t be seated properly a good 50% of the time. It pretty much just sat on a shelf.

Both my wife and I have been using the Instant Pot two or three times each week. It’s just wonderful.


I don’t use my instapot, I prefer the Fagor model I have on a gas range. It heats up faster and sears better. I guess the instapot is programmable but that’s just not something I care about, especially with how fast pressure cookers are.

Really like the one pot method of cooking.


I could easily see preferring a plain pressure-cooker on our gas range - but we were solidly in the “we had no idea how great this is until someone gave us an Instant Pot” group, so not going to replace it just yet.


I would check what plastic that is to see if it’s food safe. Supposedly if you’ve got a baking store near you you may snag some of their used buckets. They aren’t transparent, but probably safer. That’s what I used for beer.


It would just need to be temp safe. Anything going in there would be bagged, right? I picked up one of these on Amazon for larger cooks (pork shoulder/brisket.) I really only got it because it came pre-cut for the Anova, but it was also high-temp rated.

Like you I have some brew buckets, and to be honest I never even thought to use them.


Ohhh! You use bags, okay!


Yeah they don’t recommend anything but water as the liquid for recirculating sous vide sticks. I’ve had some close calls with bags that drifted a bit too close though and were somewhat attached to the recirculator. I’m sure I can’t be the only one.


I had a similar experience, and started clipping the bags to the side for that reason.


If you sous vide with any sort of regularity, I recommend at least a cheap vacuum sealer. I got one off of amazon a couple years back for like $25 with another $10 of bags. It really cuts down on the floating and other issues that you get with ziplock bags, even if you’re good at getting most of all the air out.


I own a couple of vacuum sealers, but I’m not super happy with them. This one fails to suck all the air out of the bag and often fails to seal it:

But I think that’s just a weird a quirk that can be overcome with trial and error. I suspect it’s due to an overly-cautious safety feature.

This one works a little more reliably, but doesn’t have a good battery:


Actual vacuum sealers always seem like they end up being more trouble than they’re worth for sous vide, with a higher failure rate than just using a bag and a binder clip.


I don’t think I’ve ever had one fail on me. The sealer itself can be a bit finicky in terms of how you place the lip of the bag to get the seal in the first place, but once it “takes” it’s never been an issue. Unlike ziplocs, which I’ve had fail one way or another a couple of times. And which are much more of a pain to keep under water. Vacuum bags are great for freezing too. It does take a lot of space, though.If I weren’t using it as much as I do, at least twice a week and sometimes every day, I probably wouldn’t bother.


Yeah, I’ve never had an issue with mine. Lately I’m vacuum sealing more than I’m using the Anova.


I’ve had the seal fail while under water, kind of fucking everything up.

While the bag just clipped onto the side of the pot can’t really have anything go wrong.


You’d think so, and yet I have. What sealer do you use?

Mine is one of these:


I’m a bag clipper as well. I have a vacuum sealer but that’s like … minutes of extra work.

Ziploc all the way, baby.


I’ve never had a fail during cooking and I’m at least 50+ sessions in. I do double seal both ends and I don’t cheap out on bag length to minimize bag material used.


Agreed that it isn’t prone to catastrophic failure, but the bag clipped to the side definitely doesn’t get the same even exposure as a vacuum sealed bag. At least the top of the food, for example, gets less exposure to the heated water, even if you ignore the inevitable air bubble.