Sous-vide cooker v1.0

On 11-05-2014, in Molecular Gastronomy, Projects, by erwin

The code for the sous-vide cooker has reached version 1.0 and can be found on

  • The left-right arrow keys move the cursor.
  • The up-down arrow keys increase/decrease the value under the cursor.
  • The top-right button starts/stops the timer.
  • The middle-right button resets the time to 00:00:00 if the timer is stopped.
  • The bottom-right button is a panic button that starts/stops the pump, heater and timer. Values can still be changed using the arrow keys.

The prototype PCB had a minor defect (connecting an LCD with 4 data pins requires the upper 4 data lines, not the lower 4 lines). It required some extra soldering on the proto board and is fixed in the 1.0 version of the design.



On 28-11-2013, in Uncategorized, by erwin

The Juice Media makes some awesome stuff with their Rap News productions!
In “RN 5 Rap News vs News World Order” they have this nifty little commercial for Soma.
I extracted it (with their blessing using the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 AU) copyright) and post it here.



Sous-vide cooker

On 14-08-2013, in Molecular Gastronomy, Projects, by erwin

IMG_0937Since hearing Jeff Potter giving a talk on The Next Hope, I want to cook sous-vide.
With sous-vide (French: Under vacuum) cooking, you seal the food in a bag and place it in a waterbath with a tightly controlled (+/- 0.5 C) temperature for a long (> 2 hours) period of time. This allows you to control which processes occur in the food and which do not.
I did it during OHM2013 in preparation of a workshop by standing next to the pot and watching the temperature like a hawk. 61 C? turn on the heater and stir. 63? turn off the heater and wait.
This should and can be automated!
The requirements my cooker should have:

  • must heat 3 liter waterbath with 0.5 C accuracy between 40 and 80 degrees
  • must have water circulation to prevent heat gradient in the waterbath
  • must be affordable ( < 100 EUR)
  • must be easily hackable

There are great sous-vide cookers for sale, but they are prohibitly expensive, lack some of my requirements (eg. water circulation) or both, so let’s build one myself!

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At OHM2013 I gave an introduction talk on molecular cooking.ohm2013-rect-520px

From the program:
A lecture and workshop on the fine details of cooking, processes that cook our food, how to optimise them and how to use technology to exploit them.

In this lecture we will show the physical and chemical processes that occur when cooking food. (We will also explain why your mom was wrong in a lot of cases.) This will help us to optimise the cooking process and the experiencing of the food.

In the workshop, building on this knowledge and using modern technology, we can then create completely new dishes with textures and tastes you have never experienced before. We will use a variety of readily available kitchen and lab equipment to show/smell/taste/feel/hear how to make perfect/weird/funny/mind-boggling recepies and how to extend on them in your own kitchen.

Vacuum? Of course.
High pressure? Sure.
Tightly controlled temperature? Can’t live without it.
Chemicals? When required.
Alcohol? Yep.
Edible weirdness? Hell yeah!

The slides can be found here.


My third article on using pfSense as a secure Internet gateway for my family and playing with IPsec VPN for remote management. Published in the October 2012 issue of BSD Magazine.

What you will learn

  • pfBlocker
  • IPsec connections in pfSense

What you should know

  • Basic networking
  • How to install pfSense
  • Your way around its GUI (See BSD Magazine 2011/02)

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