So one day, I see a sale on a food vacuum sealer and I purchase it. The next day, my friend mentions sous vide and voila! It’s not long before we each have our own “do it yourself” setup.
Disclaimer: Build at your own risk
Sous-vide (French word meaning under vacuum) is a method of cooking where you seal food in air tight plastic bags and cook them submerged under water at their optimal temperature. This way you r food will never be overcooked since it will never go above a set temperature. You will also maintain all the flavors and nutrition.
All prices shown for eBay items are what I paid for them, shipped. Prices for items purchased from other places do not include tax and/or shipping. For your own setup, prices will vary based on ebay fluctuations, parts already owned, taxes, etc. Also keep in mind that most of the “cheap” ebay parts are shipped from China and can take up to 1 month for delivery.
|JLD612 PID Temperature control device||LightObject.com||$33.50|
|AC Inlet with Fuse Socket Power||ebay.com||$1.99|
|PT100 Temperature sensor||ebay.com||$3.56|
|Solid State Relay 40A SSR||ebay.com||$8.98|
|6.3A 250V Fuse (used 1 of 4 pack)||RadioShack||$2.99|
|1/8″ Stereo Phone Jack||RadioShack||$2.49|
|1/8″ Stereo Plug Gold-Plated Connector||RadioShack||$3.99|
|Insulated Spade Tongue Terminals (22-18 gauge)||RadioShack||$1.99|
|SPST illuminated Rocket Switch||RadioShack||$3.99|
|6 Terminal Barrier Strip||RadioShack||$2.39|
|Project Enclosure Box (7x5x3)||RadioShack||$5.99|
|Basics Acrylic 5×7 Photo Frame Box for clear top||Michaels||$1.19|
|Round Head slotted screws and nuts||Home Depot||$0.98|
|Power cord||My House||Free|
|18 gauge red and black wires||Friend||Free|
Pictures of all the parts:
Dremel – To cut the project enclosure and acrylic box top
Soldering Iron/Solder – To solder wires to Switch, AC inlet, Stereo Phone Jack, and temperature probe
Luckily, all my friends are ner….. engineers. So I was able to borrow all the tools needed
Picture WIRING DIAGRAM
If my instructions have helped you, let me know!
STEP 1: Cutting the Box
The most annoying part of the project is gathering all the required parts and cutting the box. Initially, I assumed I could just cut the RadioShack plastic enclosure with determination and a box cutter. After a few frustrated hours, I borrowed a dremel. Take time to think about the layout of the box. I wanted the PID and switch holes to be in the front. In the back I have the AC inlet, temperature probe, and GFIC outlet holes.
I used a pencil to first trace all the holes that needed to be cut.
I made sure that the PID and the GFIC outlet were across from each other since those are bulky items and take up a lot of space. This leaves a nice open space on the other side of the box for the SSR and terminal strip to sit.
Take your time when you dremel. It’s better to err on the smaller side than to accidentally create a hole too large to mount the items.
STEP 2: Connect 7 wires to the PID
We used red and black wires to help keep organized and identify ground. All wires will have Spade Tongues connected to them except for the wires coming from 8, 9, & 10 labeled thermocouple (those will be soldered onto the audio jack). The bottom two wires 1&2 from the PID will be for power and connect to the terminal strip.
Place the fuse in the fuse holder of the AC inlet, and solder on the wires. Mount the AC inlet and rocket switch, then solder them together.
STEP 4: Finish the wiring to everything except the thermocouple. See the wiring diagram for help.
Plug in the power cord and verify that the PID and switch powers on. Note: The display should show EEEE when there’s no thermocouple attached.
STEP 5: Add the temperature probe
Solder the leads of the temperature probe onto the Stereo Plug connecter. (Note: You could solder the temperature probe leads directly onto the PID if you don’t want the temperature probe to be removable)
Solder the PID wires from slots 8, 9, & 10 to the audio jack. Plug in your stereo plug and power on the unit to make sure you get a temperature reading now. Success! I see 23.4° C as a PV (present value) on the PID display.
STEP 6: Dremel the acrylic top to fit on top. Also use the screws and nuts to secure the Outlet and Inlet in place.
You don’t actually have to buy an acrylic top. The project box comes with a black lid. However, it’s just so much more awesome to be able to see inside the box. Visitors will be in awe of your sous vide creation. Plus, you can keep a watchful eye over your precious components inside. I used a dremel to create space for the PID, switch and temperature probe so that the lid can sit firmly over the box. I will either just use tape to secure the lid more or use a drill and screw down the lid.
I had to break out the dremel again, to help get the screws through the project box to secure the outlets.
Here’s the finished product!
STEP 7: Program and Autotune PID
Programming the JLD612 PID for the first time:
1. Press SET and then enter code 0089 using the arrow keys. Press SET again.
2. Set the value of Inty (In red on top) to P10.0 (In green on bottom) to get the temperature to display with one decimal place.
3. Use the arrow keys to select END in red letters on top to exit the programming menu.
Next, I auto-tuned the device. Auto-tuning time varies, but I recommend allotting at least 1 hour. Auto-tuning should be performed whenever the type of heating device changes.
1. Setup your sous vide environment with the heating device you will typically use. I attached my rice cooker (filled with water) to the sous vide controller and placed the temperature probe inside.
2. The SV (Set Value) defaults to 80° C, which is a little on the hot side. I pressed the down arrow until SV = 60.
3. Activate auto-tuning by pressing and holding (>) until the “AT” indicator light blinks. The “AT” light will continue to blink while the auto-tuning is in progress. Once the “AT” indicator light turns off, it’s done!
Additional notes: The 2 wire PT100 temperature probe I bought is great because it’s waterproof. Although, I found it a tad too short for my liking. It just barely fits over the top of my rice cooker. Make sure you buy one that’s long enough for your usage. Also, I should have mounted my switch slightly lower to avoid having to dremel the acrylic top for it.
I welcome suggestions and comments! Good luck and happy eating!