Make a cheap sous vide cooker with Arduino and a rice cooker

Megan Treacy (@mtreacy)
Technology / Gadgets
February 25, 2014

Intro

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sous vide cooked meal

credit: Etienne Giust

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Sous-vide cooking is a way of cooking food where precise temperatures are used to cook the food for long periods of time. The method is supposed to ensure that the outside and inside of vegetables, meats, fish and eggs reach the same level of "doneness" at the same time and to retain juiciness and flavor. The food is placed in airtight food-safe bags and placed in a water bath that is kept at a specific temperature for the duration of the cooking time. Sous vide cookers have come on the market that regulate all of that for you, but at a pretty penny. Many machines cost $500 to $1000.

Instructables user Etienne Giust has allowed us to share his project for making a DIY sous vide cooker using a rice cooker and Arduino with all materials costing only $40.

Features :
Works out of the box : no need for tweaking or tuning, the software adapts itself to the characteristics of your cooker : whether it is big, small, full of water, half-full, whether room temperature is low or high, it works.
Efficient regulation in the range of 0.5°C
Sound alarm warns when target temperature is reached
Automatic detection of lid opening and closing : regulation does not get mad when temperature probe is taken out of the water (which is a thing you need to do if you want to actually put food in your cooker)

Safety features :
Automatic cut-off after 5 minutes of continuous heating providing no change in temperature
Automatic cut-off after 24 hours of operation
Automatic cut-off when temperature reaches 95 °C
Allows target temperature only in the safe 50°c to 90°C range
Dead cheap and simple : no expensive LCD or Solid State Relay

If you're a foodie that likes to try new cooking methods and also make fun DIY gadgets, keep clicking to see how to make this project.

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