I'm gonna get an immersion circulator and cryovac machine in 2009. I really am. However, for right now, let's consider what I did this weekend.
I had the opportunity to cater a Holiday open house this past sunday and one of the requested items was a whole roasted suckling pig. So, I called up my friend Doug Hillyard and asked to borrow his pig cooker. He said yes and nicely dropped the beast off at the site. I started the fire around 6:15am and by 6:45 I had our 40 pound pig in the cooker and smoking away.(The open house started at 4pm) Why am I telling you all of this and spending an entire blog post on it?
Here's the thing. I've been doing a lot of research about the advantages of sous vide and compression through cryovac. One thing that impresses me the most is the precision with which you can cook food. I think I'm a little spoiled. When we turn on the gas, it's there. The ovens are calibrated. The copper cookware provides consistent results every time. And with the addition of sous vide, we'll be able to really get specific. That's cool. However, when I threw the pig on the smoker, I had a minute to think over how cool this idea of how little control there was in the cooking process I was engaged in. It was basically, pig and fire....no immersion circulator cooking to tenths of a degree C. Of course, there were variables. It was windy as hell for one. WWWWIIIIIIINNNNNNDDDDYYYYY. Anyhow, it was a beautiful thing for me. Self-proclaimed control freak. Cooking over a wood fire with not much control. It was amazing. Oh yeah, it turned out to be the hit of the party.
FYI, the pig isn't on the cooker. I kept some wood going into the night because I really enjoyed standing outside, watching Dan smoke cigarettes and just really enjoy the evening.