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on September 3, 2011
I'm overall very happy with my purchase of the Sous Vide Supreme. It does what it promises -- it silently hits temperatures precisely and holds them there. Other reviewers have already stated the obvious (no vacuum sealer included, etc..) but there are enough niggling problems with the physical design that they're worth calling out for potential buyers to be aware of.

First, the lid design is disappointing. It's a flimsy 1-ply piece of stamped stainless steel. For a tool intended to hold temperatures, it should really be insulated to give the most stable temperature possible while consuming the least energy -- and the SVS folks know this, as they've included an "insulating mat" with the lid. It's essentially a cheap piece of rubber like you'd find in a mousepad from 1995, cut to the shape of the lid. It doesn't sit flat and it looks/feels very cheap for a $400+ appliance.

The lid also is completely flat on the underside. During regular operation, a great deal of condensation collects on the bottom, and there's no place for it to run to. This means when you remove the lid, water splashes all over the place. If the underside of the lid were simply slightly creased to slope towards a point in the middle, all the condensation would collect there, making less mess.

The lid doesn't attach to the base unit in any way. Every time you remove it, you need to carefully try to lift it up with one corner down, pulling it to the center of the basin, to prevent condensation from flying all over, then you need counter space to put it down. Since the top of the lid is unadorned stainless steel, scratches on the top are inevitable.

The basin itself has no means for removing water when you're done cooking. It's fixed into the bottom of the unit, and the only way to get water out is to rig up a siphon of some sort, or to lift the whole thing up and pour (hot) water down the sink. A tank of warm water that sits around for long periods of time and is difficult to empty/clean is a recipe for a very grungy appliance in no time.

The controls on the front are cheap membrane buttons. Think the clicky plastic bubble type buttons on cheap microwaves from the early 90s. It's functional, but it feels very cheap and setting a temperature and timer takes tons of clicks.

The wire racks included for the inside are fairly crooked and wobble on a flat surface. It's not causing me any problems, but it is annoying to get this when you just shelled out $400.

The included power cable is comically short. Fortunately it's a standard AC cable so you can replace it easily.

It sounds like I hate the thing from all of this, but I really do like my SVS a great deal. It performs very, very well. The people behind it just need to increase focus on their industrial design -- if a competitor like Breville swept in with a similar product it would not be hard to outclass the SVS on form factor and look/feel.
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on February 11, 2016
I purchased this unit about 5 years ago directly from the manufacturer, and have been using it regularly ever since. In short, I love it. It's perfect for my needs, and it works exactly as promised. I've had lots of amazing food come out of this device, and I've never experienced any kind of failure to cook to my satisfaction. I do not try to combine several foods into one bag or try to cook foods that require different cooking temperatures, but I have been known to load it up with three days worth of proteins (a slab of ribs, a package of steaks, and a package of fish) and pull the foods when I'm ready to use them. I definitely use a vacuum sealer to prepare each item, a FoodSaver vacuum sealer. When I bought my unit, it came bundled with the SousVide vacuum sealer, but I found it to be cheaply made and did not seal bags properly and have since tossed it. You must not have any air left in the bag when you seal it, otherwise the foods may float, and the unexposed areas may not cook properly. I've had some packages try to float over the years, and in those cases I've used a small serving bowl filled with water to hold the item down to ensure it was properly submerged.

Seasoning foods for cooking is easy... but you must remember that all of the seasoning will be trapped within the bag, so use less than you would for other cooking methods. If you want to include a liquid seasoning, I recommend pulling out and old ice cube tray and freezing "cubes" of liquid seasoning that you can drop into the bag... that way the liquids aren't removed during the sealing process. The liquid will permeate the food during the cooking process.

When I pull something (like a steak) from the bag I always have to "finish" it. In some cases I use a cook's torch to sear it, in others I may do a quick sear in a pan, a few minutes on the grill, or a few minutes in the broiler. While the food is perfectly cooked, most people like some sear to make the food more appealing.

I've read some complaints about the quality of the lid, and the fact that it doesn't contain a built-in drain. While the lid is lightweight, it does not hamper the process of maintaining the proper temperature. I have the "mouse pad" insulating pad some mention, and it simply sits on top of the oven when in use. My lid and pad still look like brand-new... in fact, then entire oven still looks just as it did when I took it out of the package. The lack of a drain isn't a big issue to me... it's very simple to just tip it an drain it into the sink. Since no food comes in contact with the oven, cleaning is as easy as wiping out the oven to ensure it's dry before putting it away.

Many talk about the newer residential-grade circulator-style immersion heaters... I've not tried one yet, but perhaps one would be an effective secondary solution if I was trying to cook multiple items at different temperatures at the same time. I do know that this device is extremely easy to use, easy to set up, and works completely silently. It's also very well insulated, so I can put it anywhere while I'm using it. It does require some space on the counter when in use, but not really that much more that a large cooking pot. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this oven to anyone who is seriously interested in sous-vide cooking. It's by far the safest, easiest and most affordable way to cook proteins that I've found. When you pull out a flank steak that's been cooking for 24 hours and it virtually falls apart with your fork, you'll see what I mean. One time I was tasked by some friends to "fry" some 1 1/2-inch thick pork chops... they were seasoned and spent 24 hours in the sous-vide, then were dipped and quickly pan fried to add a crust, and served: they were judged 'perfection' by my friends... fork tender, perfectly cooked, and juicy through and through.
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on December 22, 2016
I own several sous vide setups. This was the first, and is still the one I use most for a few reasons.

1. It looks nice enough to leave on the counter full-time. Not having to find storage space for it on a daily basis is nice. Can't say that about a stick circulator in a cambro.

2. It's silent. That makes a big difference on long cooks. (Circulation does not, though it helps on short high temp ones like egg poaching.)

3. The rack and grate for it are very nice.

4. The lid is the best part. No goofing around with foil like an idiot every time.

There are a few downsides.

1. I'm pretty sure Stevie Wonder designed the UI. Who decided you have to hold power on for 5 seconds to turn it on or off? That's insane. The goofy way you turn temp up/down also reeks of Chinese OEM design.

2. It's low-powered. Takes a bit to come up to temp. It's insulated by an airgap between the outer wall and the inner pan though, which helps to some extent. but when you put a bunch of cold meat in it, it really sucks wind for a bit catching up. That's a function of the rubber mat heater they use (similar to a crock pot) being expensive at higher watt densities. (Ok, maybe I've worked on designing similar products.)

3. No circulation leads to uneven temperatures in really short cooks. Like I mentioned, a circulating model is a lot better at poaching an egg. I checked with a FLIR, and over longer periods of time convection evens the water out pretty much as well as a circulated model.

4. Their PID algorithm is awful. Top it up with some cold water and it seems to never recover, yo-yoing between 5 or 10 degrees below and above your target temp. You have to power the unit off and back on, and then it's fine. Most stick circulators I've tried handle this better.

5. When full it's heavy and the handles are oddly diagonal rather than centered. It can be a bit of a pain to empty/clean.

6. It costs about 4 times as much as a decent stick circulator.

All of the cons are minor but the pros aren't. Not having to deal with foiling the top, the quietness, and the ability to leave it on the counter far outweigh the minor annoyances.
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on June 15, 2014
Cooked two meals thus far but I have to share the fact that I'm very impressed. Slicing the edge from a 2 inch filet very pricey mail order tenderloin filet was a perfect medium rare. Normally that would portend a cold raw center. Nope. Perfect medium rare all the way through. Chicken can be cooked safely yet not dried out and stringy. It's going to take a bit longer to wrap my head around the fact that edges and centers are cooked to the same level of doneness. It's also a relief to know that it's virtually impossible to screw something up without actually trying to do so.

Read the manual and get a good sous vide cookbook. "Under Pressure" is a beautiful book, but "sous vide for the home cook" by Doug Baldwin is more practical for my level of cooking. Nothing to worry about, but be sure you understand the food safety issues. Enjoy!!
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on June 30, 2015
This water oven is great. I've used it 3-4 times in the week I've had it already and everything from pork chops, pork tenderloin, chicken breasts, and cod has come out great. There is some fiddling I will need to do with the temp and times that I cook my food in this water bath, but that's because of personal preference, not the machine. Once I figured out that cooking cod at 132F for 30 minutes (as one internet recipe suggested) turned the fish too rubbery for my tastes, I now cook it at 129 for 15 minutes for tender, juicy cod that is not rubbery at all.

The same applies for everything else. I despise dry chicken breast so much that I NEVER order chicken breast in a restaurant for fear of that dry, choking texture that is so typical of commercially prepared chicken breast meat. With this water oven, I've determined that 145F boneless, skinless chicken breasts is nearly perfect, especially with a 1 minute sear on each side afterward. Every time, they come out juicy and easy to eat.

The interface was extremely easy to use and I'd made my first meal before I ever read the instruction manual. It really is as easy as pressing the Set Temp button, toggling the up or down buttons to move to your desired temp, then pressing the Start button. The timer works independently of the water oven. By that, I mean that it doesn't control when the oven turns on or off; it is just a convenient way of timing your cooking.

This was one of the most expensive appliances I've ever bought and I consider it more useful than my oven. I anticipate using it a lot and will certainly get my money's worth. We actually prefer to dine in with something sous vide rather than go out to eat...how many kitchen appliances can honestly say that?
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on May 18, 2017
Of all the choices out there, and after watching Sous Vide's video: "How To Buy" it was clear that this was the best one to purchase.
So far we've made chicken breasts, filet mignon and rib eye steaks. Unbelievable, the chicken was like butter and the steaks were perfect medium rare!
Pros: No moving parts, quiet, stainless steel interior, large capacity, heats rapidly, easy to use interface, all self contained (no separate parts to clean).
Cons: Large footprint, heavy when filled makes it a little difficult to lift and drain. (I can work with that)
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on April 20, 2016
The most important reason why I picked Sous Vide Supreme Water Oven over all other options that are on the market right now, is that there is no much to clean once you are done cooking.
No moving parts.
No maintenance.
No re-calibration.
No steam.
It is silent.
Energy efficient,
Lack of exposed moving parts eliminates the risk of mineral deposits building up from water and causing malfunction.There is no mechanical circulation of the water... inside it looks like any other oven. Outside is very well insulated.
This helped... (...)
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on November 28, 2013
This is fantastic. It was worth all the money after I cooked the first ribeye! I'm extremely fussy with my steak and basically never eat it out as its never perfect. Every time I have used this the steak is PERFECT! I even got it better than I expected! Instead of 133 degrees for Medium-Rare, or 129 degrees for Rare I use 131 degrees and the results are wonderful. I sear it with a blow torch I got from Home Depot! So far have enjoyed .. about a dozen ribeye steaks, 3 NY strips, short ribs, pork ribs and chicken. Best appliance I have!
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on June 7, 2012
Pros:
Easy to use - while most practitioners of sous vide are likely obsessed with cooking, I can easily give a temperature to my wife (who is disinterested in cooking) and she can produce great results. I use 140 F for chicken, 133 F for beef, and 146 F for eggs (1 hour on the eggs).

Easy to clean - just pour out the water. I hit it up with Windex occasionally as well. Obviously, do not immerse the appliance.

Accurate - according to my thermapen, this thing is within a degree of what I've set it to when it's up and running. The display on the front shows the small variations in temperature occurring.

Reasonable size - Yeah, it's kinda big, but, I use it more than my oven, which is much bigger.

Notes on all of the above: you can do sous vide without this water oven, probably even do it better with immersion circulators, can do it cheaper using a cooler, or a PID controller - however, this is easier to use and easier to clean than those options, it's also has a great internal/external size ratio. It doesn't look out of place on a countertop, which is where I store mine, whereas a beer cooler, rice-cooker/PID controller or immersion circulator likely would.

Has overtemp protection. I feared I had killed it one time when I powered it on when it was empty. There was a burning electronic smell through my kitchen. However, an hour later when I dared to try to turn it on again, it worked just fine. Has continued to work fine for the 9 months that followed.

Spectacular service - you get an English speaking person if you call on the phone, you get same-day responses via email (same hour on Sunday for me). I haven't had better luck with any other company contacting their tech support.

Cons:
It takes a long time for the power button to engage.

Flat foods (I pre-cook taco meat, vacuum seal it, flatten and freeze, and reheat in water oven - it's great for that kind of thing) and very large items can cause the oven to "cycle" - to cause it to think that it has gone so far away from the proper temperature that it needs to approach that temperature from scratch. I normally wouldn't care about this, the temp isn't actually varying all that much, but, when it happens all-night-long, and beeps every time it comes out of the warm-up phase, it becomes annoying.

The silicone seal between the water bowl and the chassis is both ugly and poorly made. My unit was "leaking", just as some other people had mentioned, but, it seemed clear to me that this seal was the problem - it only leaked when it was hot, which, is to say, when there was condensate at the lid level. This condensate accumulates at the edges of the bowl and, if not gasketed correctly, leaks out. Easy solution: reseal the unit. Purchased non-toxic silicone sealer, and was able to easily reseal this seam. Used this stuff: Dap 00688 Household Waterproof Adhesive Sealant, 100% Silicone, 2.8-Ounce Tube

Overall:
I don't know of a better solution at this time. It does an incredible job on meats, and has minor foibles. I've been able to cook an entire turkey breast in it (the challenge was with sealing it, not fitting it in the machine), which was adored by everyone at a pre-thanksgiving gathering, and have had some of the best steaks of my life from it. Eggs are transformed into a spreadable gel, exceptional over buttered toast. It has great utility in reheating foods as well, bringing them up to a temperature to kill pathogens, without over-heating them.

This being said, while pressing the button and letting it go is easy, the devil is in the details (which are the responsibility of the cook). I heavily lean on Douglas Baldwin's pasteurization tables for poultry - to fail to do so is to ask for food-borne illness. Most recipes require deconstruction to utilize sous vide in a meaningful way. Vegetables and meat do not cook at the same temperatures, so, that really complicates things.

I would definitely purchase this item again. I'd probably pay more for a unit that had the issues listed above fixed, but, there's no competition in this market apparently, and, what _is_ being offered isn't bad.
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on February 18, 2015
I've had one of these for three years and I've enjoyed a lot of good food cooked in it. Another reviewer has commented on the poor design of the lid and how it broadcasts a lot of condensation when the lid is removed from the cooking vessel. The supplied "insulation" is a joke.

But lately my unit has started to leak during the cooking. I think that water is condensing on the lid and rolling onto the top of the vessel. For some reason the top perimeter of the lid is sloped toward the outside, rather than inside so the condensation could flow back to the water bath. So the condensate collects against the stainless bowl and the plastic jacket. Whatever seal there once was is now deteriorated to the point of letting water into the interior of the unit so it leaks out the bottom. Probably not a good thing. In a two hour cooking session I have a puddle the size of a quarter, before you remove the top which results in multiple quarter sized puddles. In twelve hour session you have a puddle the size of two dinner plates. I've moved my Sous Vide Supreme to the garage which can tolerate the water better.
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