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Meat the Chefs: PayScale 30 Hour Sous Vide


What happens when you give food nerds a little money and free range to cook for 100 people? We decided to cook 34lbs of vacuum-sealed eye of round for 30 hours in a 131oF water bath. The ~100 people in the office ate 30 pounds of beef, 30 pounds of potato salad, but only three pounds of salad. My kind of people.

A couple of weeks ago, Barnaby approached me about Operation Chimichurri, in which we would make lunch for the whole company. We had both dabbled in sous-vide cooking and thought we could pull it off for the whole company. After a little research and recon, we  crafted our menu:

34lbs, eye of round cut beef

-12lbs, spring salad mix

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-40lbs, potato salad with dill and smoked paprika

-1 gallon chimichurri

With the menu set, we had to figure out how we could sous-vide 34 pounds of beef. We ended up with a setup like this:

120QT Cooler (with wheels)

1000 Watt Bucket heater

Dork Food Sous-vide Controller

-A few bricks

A wire rack

An aquarium circulator

With the bricks, we created a little alcove that would be protect the cooler and meat from direct contact with the heating element of the bucket heater. Then, we filled the cooler with hot tap water (~120oF) and suctioned the aquarium pump to the inside cooler wall. We put a layer of 3 roasts on the bottom of the cooler, put a wire rack down that gave ~2 inches of space above those roasts, and then added a second layer of 3 roasts down on top of the rack (with about 2 inches of space below the water line). We hooked up the temperature controller, covered the cooler with blankets, and let it cook for the next 28 hours.

The reviews were definitely positive, and I think we’ve turned a good chunk of the PayScale team onto cooking with coolers.

During prep, serving and clean up, we had a camera set up in the corner taking pictures every second. When I downloaded the pics, we had collected 14GB of pics. So, we present this video, heavily edited to include the best parts. 

Adam Phillabaum
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