Crock Pot vs Sous Vide Slow Cooker – Which is Better?

As soon as you learn a bit about sous vide, you come to find out that the tool is a slow cooker. When we think of this kind of set-it-and-forget-it cooking, most people's minds go to the tried-and-true crock pot for slow cooking at home.

While it is true that both sous vide and crock pot use the power of time (specifically a large amount of time) to make delicious food, they each have their own sweet spots that make them useful in our homes.

In this one, we wanted to share some of the strengths and weaknesses of each as, if you're anything like us, you may find yourself wanting both! So let's jump into it with a crock pot vs sous vide breakdown!

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Sous Vide Roasts are a Game Changer for a Tough Cut of Meat

For years, whenever we bought partial pigs and cows from local farms and butchers, we always dreaded cooking the roasts. Perhaps it was bad childhood memories of overcooked roasts (a staple growing up, really), or perhaps that I'm simply partial to other cuts of meat. Either way, when I started stocking my own kitchen these were never a priority item I sought out to cook.

That is, until we got our sous vide.

Gone are the days of dried-out roasts that were burnt in the oven and now we can prep a roast the way we love it every single time. But to make these you're going to have to plan for a bit of time, as our roasts can take from 36-48 hours to cook to a perfect medium rare!

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The Best Coffee Equipment Found in Our Home Bar

As with everything on Hipster Homesteaders, we tailor our articles around our personal experiences in home roasting, brewing, and more. As such, the equipment we use could have a direct correlation to how some of our tests and brews turn out. In some cases, this may be minimal (the brand of electric kettle you use, for … Read more

Our Working Theories on the Best Coffee Brewing Practices

Our coffee goal at Hipster Homesteaders is to use science and engineering to brew the best cups of coffee at home. As part of this quest, we are optimizing our coffee brewing recipes to reflect what we learn through research and at-home testing. In this guide, we wanted to share our overall coffee brewing practices, … Read more

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee – Immersion vs. Flash Iced

As much as I love sitting down to a big mug of hot coffee, when the summer heat is oppressive I find myself gravitating toward cold coffee drinks instead. There are several different techniques for making cold brew coffee, but most all can be classified as either immersion techniques using room temperature water, or regular brewing techniques using hot water that is subsequently flash cooled over ice (which is not inherently cold brew, but is often discussed in the same breath).

We've always wondered if there was any difference in the resulting flavors from these different types of cold brew techniques, so we decided to put them to the test. We tried several different cold brew techniques and found a clear winner; in this post we'll share our recipes and results from each test along with a little theory behind cold brew.

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Which Espresso Cup is Right for You? A Test of Four Unique Cups

Shopping for coffee-related gear can be overwhelming with the huge number of options out there, and the variety of espresso cups available is no exception. When it comes down to it, though, the main things we consider when buying espresso cups are material/performance, aesthetics, and cost.

We recently purchased four different types of espresso cups and evaluated them on the above criteria for their pros and cons. For performance tests, we measured espresso temperature as a function of time in each cup. In this post we share our impressions and the results of our tests so that you can pick the best type of cup for you.

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Inverted Aeropress Brewing vs Upright – Which is Better?

When it comes to brewing a cup of coffee with an Aeropress, the process seems simple enough.  Wet your filter paper, screw it onto the base of the unit, add coffee grounds, bloom, add water, steep, and plunge (check out our full Aeropress recipe for specifics).

Apart from tweaking your grind, temperature, and brewing time for any given roast, there is little technique involved in this full-contact brewing process.

While you could simply follow this rough set of steps and end up with a good brew, many baristas utilize an inverted Aeropress brewing method that switches things up ever-so-slightly. In this process instead of brewing with the base of the unit at the bottom, the plunger is first added onto the top of the unit, the entire thing is flipped, and then grounds and water are added to steep. When the brewing is finished, the filter paper section is screwed on last before the unit is inverted and plunged.

There are a number of reasons we've seen given as to why this is better, but we were curious if this made much of a difference in the final cup- so we devised a test to compare the two and see what happens.

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How to Make the Best Aeropress Coffee at Home

Aeropress is a popular brewing method for a number of reasons. First and foremost, its small size makes it portable, ensuring you can have specialty coffee even in the most unlikely places (no more crappy hotel coffee!). The second is that for a relatively simple brewing method you can actually make some pretty delicious coffee with it!

In this one, I wanted to share my favorite Aeropress recipe with you so that you can make Aeropress anywhere life takes you.

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How to Make the Best French Press at Home

If there is any coffee brewing method that is almost a set-it-and-forget-it approach, it would most certainly be the French Press. On the surface, this one is an easy process as you add water, coffee grounds, and wait for a sufficient period of time before pushing the plunger down and pouring out a cup.

But with everything, minor changes here with your grind settings and brewing temperature can go a long way to a flavorful cup.

In this guide, I wanted to share my process for making the best French Press coffee at home, including what you'll need to make one and subtle brewing details that are often overlooked.

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How to Make the Best Espresso at Home

Espresso is one of the most fundamental and versatile types of coffee. Espresso shots can be enjoyed on their own, diluted with water to make Americanos, topped with steamed milk to make drinks ranging from macchiatos to lattes, and so much more. But espresso is also one of the most difficult coffee brewing techniques to perfect, as the equipment used to make it is more complex and the shot quality is more sensitive to brewing parameters than other types of brewing techniques.

In this guide, I wanted to share my process for making the best espresso at home, including what you'll need to pull delicious shots in no time and subtle brewing details that are often overlooked.

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