Sous-vide Cooking turns SCADA Engineer into Gourmet Chef

After suggesting a sous-vide oven as a gift idea for control engineers, I was looking forward to designing my own homemade system from PLC parts over the holidays.  However, my project never got off the ground as my wife Joann gave me the real thing.  (Perhaps she couldn’t stand the thought of having my home-built electronics in the kitchen…)

Thus, rather than building, I have been cooking and eating à la sous-vide.  A fair trade, I’d say.

The good news is that sous-vide cooking is a lot easier than I thought it would be.

You just have to vacuum pack the food, using the included vacuum sealer, then look up the appropriate time and temperature on the iPhone app (a life saver for new chefs), and drop it into the water bath (the food, not the iPhone).




When the cooking is done, you simply take out the food, grill it for 2 minutes, and you’re done.

My first three efforts, carrots, chuck roast and scrambled eggs, exceeded all expectations.


I turned an $8 roast into something that tasted every bit as good as a $50 prime rib!

The only marginal attempt has been soft boiled eggs in the shell. They tasted great but the whites were a bit runny for my liking.

The best thing about sous-vide cooking is that it is almost impossible to make a mistake.



Late for dinner?  No problem – an extra hour in the water bath won’t hurt your food.

You want the steak exactly medium rare?  No problem – set the temperature to 131 degrees and forget it.

Don’t feel like making dinner?  Take out the food in its bag, put it in the refrigerator, save it for tomorrow, and order pizza.

This is fun!  Suddenly I can cook like I was trained at Le Cordon Bleu. Maybe I will quit this job and open a gourmet restaurant, specializing in cheap steak at expensive prices....

If you want to impress someone with great food with little risk of your meal going wrong, or if you just want to enjoy superb flavour and a melt in your mouth gourmet meal after a long day of battling SCADA security problems, give sous-vide a try.

Next week this blog will be getting back to the serious work of helping you secure your SCADA and ICS systems from cyber attack.  The holidays are, unfortunately, over.

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Author Eric Byres



That was a great gift -- but the price and the counter space requirements look beyond my means.

The counter space requirement isn't too bad - no worse that a crock pot. In fact, you can use a crock pot with a home built loop controller as I mention the December blog - that solves both the cost and space issue.

Trouble was, I don't think Joann liked the idea of used industrial PLC parts in the kitchen, so she took things into her own hands. Thus the commercial unit. And my guess is that these units will drop to the price range of a good quality crock pot in a few years.

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