polypropylene balls

In the General Sous Vide Questions Forum
I was reading baout ploy hollow balls to float on the surface of the bath in order to minimise evaporation in long duration cooking.

anyone doing that?
any recommendations as to when or if it's advisable?

Those of you who HAVE done an 8 hr plus cooking time, have you had significant water loss that required topping up to keep the bags form breaking the surface?

4 Replies So Far

In my setup I usually cover my tank with saran wrap, very little water evaporates, even on long meals and hotter temps, though I do make sure to top it off every once in a while.
I just got lids for my setup, before that it was open. It lost one or two inches or so of water a day when cooking at 131F so I just tried to refill it before I went to bed at night. More was lost at higher temps.

I agree that Saran wrap should work real well and I've also heard of people using ping-pong balls. I guess the assumption is that the cover doesn't have to be food grade since the food is "protected" in plastic. As I always say about the plastic issue, I'm not an expert in plastic so make your own decisions if it's safe :-)
I have been using a Presto deep fryer, it was shallow, lots of evaporation, lid would not fit down well over the temp probe wire, etc. Before Christmas Amazon had a Butterball Turkey deep fryer for $65 with free shipping just as I received a royalty check for $43.
It's now about 30 hours into a corned beef brisket. The evaporation has been much less with the full cover, when I open it to check the condensate runs off into little pockets in the corners. I'll get an ear syringe to clear those out tomorrow. Over all I really like this over the Presto, the water is deeper allowing larger pieces and it has a drain valve to make it easier to empty and clean.
I plan to do a few more experiments, take some pictures and do a crude review of the set up.

I use a slab of polystyrene that I cut to fit my water bath. It floats on the water and helps keep things submerged as well as acting as an insulator.

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