Instructables
So have you heard of sous vide? Well, this Lazy Old Geek (LOG) hasn’t or hadn’t.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sous-vide
It’s French. So it’s kind of like boil-in-a-bag only you don’t boil it.
The equipment can be rather expensive.
http://www.sousvidesupreme.com/Shop_Online/SousVide_Supreme_Demi/Department.aspx?DeptID=3&&AdID=245&gclid=CN7PyM6uw7cCFWNp7AodomkA6g
I thought that was rather expensive for a tender steak, so I decided to make my own.
There are a lot of other Instructables on doing this:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-your-own-programmable-thermostat-with-Arduino/?download=pdf#intro
http://www.instructables.com/id/Sous-Vide-temperature-controller-for-50-100/?ALLSTEPS
http://www.instructables.com/id/Sous-vide-cooker-for-less-than-40/
http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-Sous-Vide-Cooker/
 
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WARNING: Do not attempt to make this project unless you are familiar with working with 120 VAC. There is a shock hazard and fire hazard if you don’t know what you’re doing.
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WARNING: Be ware of pathogens. Sous vide techniques may not take care of pathogens if you don’t follow correct techniques.
Quoting Douglas Baldwin:
“Raw food often has millions of microorganisms on or in it; most of these microorganisms are spoilage or beneficial bacteria and won’t make you sick. But some of these microorganisms are pathogens that can make you sick if you eat too many of them. Most food pathogens are bacteria, but some are viruses, funguses, and parasites. Your yogurt, aged cheese, and cured salami can have hundreds of millions of spoilage or beneficial bacteria in every serving; but they don’t make you sick because spoilage and beneficial bacteria are distinct from pathogens. Since pathogens don’t spoil food, you can’t see, smell, or taste them.”
http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html
 
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By the way, this is a great introduction to sous vide. For sous vide novices, I highly recommend looking at ths:
http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html
There's a lot of technical information that you may want to skim over.


 
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kravinec5 months ago

Hi, when I'm making 12V version, I can't use DS18B20, can I?

msuzuki777 (author)  kravinec5 months ago

I am not quite sure what you mean. The DS18B20 needs 3 to 5Vdc.

When you say a 12V version, I am guessing that you are talking about a regular Arduino Duemilanove or UNO. These boards can be powered by 12V but they all have a 5V output pin. So with these you can still use the DS18B20. Just connect the Vdd pin (and the resistor) to the 5V pin.

LOG

I'm not talking about Arduino, I'm trying to build one out of these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/181350754907?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

msuzuki777 (author)  kravinec5 months ago

That's an interesting little board. It looks like it already comes with a temperature sensor so it does not need a DS18B20. As far as I can tell, you should be able to connect up your crock pot, apply 12V and it should be ready to go. I hope it came with instructions that you can read as it looks like the temperature sensor needs to be calibrated. (By the way, the DS18B20 would not work with this board).

LOG

OK, thanks for reply. But it does not come with a sensor, although it is on pictures.

msuzuki777 (author)  kravinec5 months ago

Well, that's terrible.

The description says you need an NTC 10K 0.5% thermal sensor. You can find this on ebay by searching for "NTC 10K waterproof." Most of them are 1% which is probably okay for a sous vide but I did see 0.5% for a lot more money.

Also in some of the descriptions it says "Stainless steel sheath and waterproof.(do not suggest used in water for a long time)"

I'm not sure what that means.

Some of them come with connectors but I don't have any idea if they're compatible.

LOG

Thanks for the info, I am going to (or already have) get the board + the 1% sensor, just wasn't sure if that would work.

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diomenas1 year ago
There is no temperature differentiation on a Crockpot with Off-LOW-HIGH settings. This is a power control mechanism that reduces the current to alter the speed at which your Crockpot unit reaches its maximum temperature (between 170 ~ 190°F depending on your unit). A Crockpot on LOW setting, will reach it's maximum cooking temperature in about 1 to 2 hours, a Crockpot on HIGH setting will reach it's Maximum cooking temperature in about 30 minutes. Please note that this may vary from unit to unit, so I would suggest just doing some initial readings using the Temperature probe so you know the specifics of your particular unit. My recommendation for your project, is that if you have a High/Low setting, set it to High and leave it there as you will be controlling the power output from the Arduino anyway.

Otherwise, awesome project, I've been thinking about making one of these and this is a very nice idea on how to do it.
msuzuki777 (author)  diomenas1 year ago
Yes, that's why I chose a simple crock pot. The way I use it is to turn on the crock pot with just water on high until it gets up to temperature than stick the food in. That reduces the time the food is sitting at a low temperature. I leave it on high until it gets back up to temperature, then I reduce it to low. I doubt it makes much difference but I don't want it to overshoot my set temperature.

LOG
richi5271 year ago
Most solder isn't food safe since it does contain lead. If you want to reuse the crock pot for anything else or, if the bag opens during cooking, it might be better to buy a stainless steel steaming rack from anywhere-cooking-mart rather than bother with the rick.
msuzuki777 (author)  richi5271 year ago
Good point. I was thinking the vacuum bag would take care of it but like you say, if it leaked?? And the latest medical news is that copper may be bad for you also.

LOG
Dylon1241 year ago
Hi, cool project! I did something very similar to control a room's temperature. I used perfboard for my project and I used a n N-channel MOSFET and a 12v relay to control the a/c. You also should've put a reset button, but I didn't either.
msuzuki777 (author)  Dylon1241 year ago
Thanks,

I usually don't put in reset buttons. This is pretty easy to reset by just unplugging and plugging.

I like your idea of a thermostat.

LOG
dcms41 year ago
You mention that you used an ohm meter to compare the leads on the DS18B20 to determine "Red was 5V, Green was signal and Yellow was ground" can you please expound on how you did this.
msuzuki777 (author)  dcms41 year ago
Yes. Most DMMs have a 'ohm's setting for diodes. Set it to diodes. Using a TO-92 DS18B20, I measured various combinations and directions to get some readings.In my case, I think I put the red lead on Gnd and the black on DQ and got about .613. Then I left the red on Gnd and the black on Vcc and got a reading of about .940. So the waterproof version is electrically just a TO-92 with extra wires, you just measure different combinations until you get the same results. Now your DMM will likely have different reading but there should be one common (Gnd) and one with a lower reading (DQ) and one with a higher reading (Vcc).
Hope this makes sense.

LOG
sundy581 year ago
So how much did your controller cost?
msuzuki777 (author)  sundy581 year ago
I had most of the parts on hand but I would estimate the cost at about $25 excluding the crock pot. Most expensive are the SSR25DA, the LCD1602 and the Atmega328.

LOG
jnelson371 year ago
In the photo of your copper frame, I can't tell - the temp sensor isn't touching the frame, is it?
msuzuki777 (author)  jnelson371 year ago
The metal part of the temperature sensor is touching the copper. Theoretically, the copper could be hotter than the water since it's also touching the bottom of the crock pot but I think the mass of the water will overwhelm the copper. I did measure the water temperature with an IR thermometer and it seemed to match the set temperature. Close enough for me.

LOG