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on October 1, 2016
I reviewed both portable units that you immerse in your own tank to units like this all-in one. The portable ones while compact and easy to store have moving parts in the pump. From various reviews the pump can clog or wear out. Plus, the portable units are not necessarily inexpensive. The Sous Vide Supreme Demi unit has no moving parts and is totally quiet. It uses thermal convection to circulate the water. It comes with a removable rack that helps orient vacuum pouches vertically if needed. along with the removable power cord all parts can be stored inside the unit. In my use it maintains the temperature within plus/minus 1 degree Fahrenheit. As for cooking guidelines there is considerable information online including videos. I found that I had to experiment a bit with some of the online recommendations as to time or tempurature. I like the fact that I can prepare and freeze multiple individual servings. I put them in the unit directly from the freezer, although, it may take longer to cook. For example, a frozen hamburger patty takes 90 minutes at 130 F for medium or 40 minutes if not frozen. The patties then only need 45 seconds to sear on each side to complete.
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on January 15, 2018
I purchased this unit as a beginner, with no experience in sous vide cooking. Arrived on time, well packed. I followed the instructions, setting up the unit in just a few minutes after a gentle cleaning. Set the temperature, set the timer. When it arrives at the proper temperature, it beeps and the timer begins to countdown. So far, I have cooked pork and chicken in this unit, following some recipes that I found online. They all came out exactly as predicted. The unit controls the temperature within a degree or so. I place a heavy, folded towel on top of the lid to keep the heat in, which helps both in regulating the temperature and also using less energy. In my experience, the product works very well. I use it with a vacuum bag unit and this is essential. You can use other bags, but in my experience, vacuum sealing works best, keeping the spices and juices well-contained. Remember, you must also sear your portions after they have been in the sous vide unit. I have used the cast iron pan method but will be stepping up to a torch, which is more controllable. All in all, this product works exactly as specified. (Another unit I bought and returned, failed on the first try.)
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on August 6, 2016
I have had my eye on this type of machine for years. When I first started looking at them they were up in the $700+ range. When I finally found this model (after about 10 years of wanting one) I had to have it. I have had a little over a year and let me tell you it changed the way I cook. I have done baby back ribs, chicken, pork loin, pork chops vegetables and all come out perfect. However my absolute favorite thing to make is a flat iron steak. I really have never had a better steak-EVER! I also have put cheese, evaporated and regular milk in a bag and it makes a perfect sauce for mac and cheese.

I have had a Foodsaver for years so I didn't need to purchase a sealer but I did order some zipper bags from the manufacturer. They are a heavier plastic and some thing are recommended to be submerged and then zipper-mainly liquids.

The only problem that I have with the unit is the finish inside. It has little spots on it-maybe bubbling of the finish. I did not take any stars off because we have really hard water and I think that is the problem-plus there have been times that I did not clean out right away. (A few glasses of wine with dinner sometimes does that). I ordered directly from the manufacturer. I did contact them regarding an ETA and they responded right away and were very helpful-so customer service from the company seems really good.

If you are thinking about getting into this method-do not hesitate to purchase this machine. I would gladly purchase again and have even thought about purchasing the bigger one but just do not have a need for it right now.
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VINE VOICEon December 16, 2010
EDIT: Still enjoying this machine after more than 1 year. I tend to use it at least once a week for fish. I also occasionally use it for (not-so-good) steak. Oh, and it excels at leg of lamb. I do want to note that the difference between tenderness and juiciness has never been more apparent to me than when I used this device - there's a reason it's recommended to serve sous vide meat with a sauce or jus. I note that there is a sous vide machine available through Amazon that's about half the size and half the price. I've never used it, but it looks like it might be a way to try this method of cooking without spending a fortune, although I question if the size is large enough for a small family. Finally, there's an excellent comment about cooking meat to two different levels of doneness in the comments section that I encourage you to check out...
This review is for the SousVide Supreme Demi. I've never seen or used the larger Supreme model, which is about 50% more expensive, for a slightly larger capacity. My understanding is that you probably get 1/3rd more space for the money. The only difference appears to be capacity, so this review may still be useful to read. See my warning at the end for what the machine won't do, but to be clear: you'll need to buy or already own a separate device that will allow you to vacuum seal food in plastic bags. This "oven" can't be used without that sealer and it's not included in this package, although certain warehouse stores have been known to sell a bundle that includes a sealer for not too much more money.

I will not claim to be an expert at SousVide cooking, but this seems to do exactly what you'd want. Briefly, what you'd want is a very precisely controlled water bath. The idea is that the food is put into a bag and vacuum-packed using a separate device, and then thrown into this "oven" to be brought to its perfect final eating temperature. Since there's no risk of over-cooking, food can be left in this state for relatively long periods of time: from hours to days. It is a great way of cooking steaks, fish, soft-boiled eggs/custards, and certain vegetables. It is not necessarily a faster way of cooking, nor does it seem optimized for the vast majority of baking applications. Note that you can't cook at two different temperatures without two different ovens, so you're probably either cooking meat/fish OR vegetables. Given the length of time it takes to cook foods, you probably wouldn't be doing both.

So, it's a device for holding water at a constant temperature for an indefinite period of time. Does this model do the trick? In a word, yes.

First, it is completely silent. There's not even a fan whirring gently in the background. There's not even the whine from the small LCD display. It's silent.

Second, it holds the temperature of the water plus or minus a degree or two (fahrenheit). You can set the temperature to display in celsius or fahrenheit. It relies entirely on convection to circulate the water (no blades or pumps to break) but that seems to work pretty well. Every time I reached into the water, it felt evenly hot throughout. Since one tends to cook things for long periods of time in one of these "ovens", I think convection works just fine. There is a timer that counts down time and then turns OFF the oven. Sadly, there is no count down timer to count down time and then turn the oven on.

Third, it comes up to temperature very quickly - from water out of the tap to cooking temperature in less than 15 minutes. Since you're cooking for long periods of time, you can probably ignore the warm-up and just throw your food in after you plug it in. The one cautiion here is that it takes a full three seconds of pressing the button before the power turns on. Three seconds does not sound like a long time, but it will stop the machine from being switched on or off by mistake. It sure feels like a long time when you plug it in for the first time.

Fourth, the capacity seems fine for anything up to a small family/6 people. If you're going to use it for entertaining or more than 6 people, you'll need the bigger model. I could fit six steaks into the oven. If you were really careful, and the pieces were small, you could probably fit 8. In terms of size, you can get the dimensions from the specs above, but it seemed like it would take a couple of small whole fish, or 6 inch-thick salmon steaks. Again, not great for big families.

Fifth, the lid and (optional) heat mat (which looks/feels like a mousepad) do a nice job of conserving heat in the unit. There's no steam and water at 130 degrees F, for medium-rare meat, just isn't that warm. I'm pretty happy reaching in and grabbing things without gloves or tongs. It's definitely warmer than a hot-tub, but no-one's going to get badly scalded. I'm not sure how high it will heat: up to 200 degrees F should be possible. I don't think it will boil water, but I've never tried. Certainly, that's not the point of this device, since the lid does not lock so it will never function as a pressure cooker. And if you wanted to boil food, you could do that in any pot.

Sixth, at the end, it's easy to take off the lid, pull out the tray, and use the two off-set handles to pick the whole thing up and empty out the water. You don't want this water sitting around for repeated runs - things will start to grow in it unless you add some salt or perhaps a copper penny or two. By the way, I'm sure that either of those approaches will invalidate the warranty.

Yes, this is basically a super accurate, very expensive crock-pot that's designed to be used with water and bags of meat instead of stew. Advantages: the meat will retain it's shape and consistency much better when cooked in the bag.

Ok, so what doesn't this product do?
Well, in order to cook food in this gizmo, you really have to buy a SEPARATE vacuum sealer and then a supply of bags. The sealer creates a vacuum inside special food-safe bags and then melts it closed. Note that the bags are not really re-usable and regular zip locks won't really do the trick, so you'll have to buy a supply of bags OR rolls of plastic that you can seal to create bags. The SousVide company makes a sealer (which I bought) that is not cheap, but that's because it has an important extra functionality: Some vacuum sealers will only seal the bag after a vacuum has formed completely. That will suck out any marinade/juices from the food. However, the SousVide sealer (and certain others, eg some FoodSaver models) allow you to seal the bag, independently of applying a vacuum. In this case, that means I can apply a vacuum until I see the marinade beginning to be sucked out, then hit the other button to seal the bag immediately. It works really quite well.

That's it. So why only four stars? Well, it's really expensive for what it is: a very nicely built waterbath. As an ex-scientist, I've used these in a laboratory setting and I couldn't find one cheaper ... but that's not really surprising since scientists get ripped off anyway. Basically, you're paying for being an early adopter. As these become more mainstream, I would expect the price to go down. Until then, c'est la vide (couldn't resist).
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on June 9, 2012
I actually own two of these, the demi and the supreme full size--both bought through Amazon. I should explain that I live in a 3rd world country and select grade of beef is the top grade we get here. We tried crock pots, pressure cookers, nothing would make the meat edible. Out of desperation, we purchased the demi first. We could not believe how tender the steaks came out. After researching, I discovered that many high end $$$ restaurants cook all steaks sous vide before putting them on the grill. Our sous vide is used many days a week. We have owned this appliance for over 6 months and we love it. We cook all of our meats sous vide, from chicken, to pork, to beef, even eggs.

However, a couple of months ago we discovered a whole new use for it. Again, living in a 3rd world country, yogurt is scarce, so we bought a yogurt maker--loved it, but it just couldn't keep up with the amount we use. We make yogurt dressings, yocheese, etc. Just as an experiment, we put 5 quarts of yogurt in the demi sous vide at 117 degrees and 5 hours later we had wonderful creamy Greek yogurt.

The meats all come out perfectly cooked and are so tender you can throw away your steak knives. We have cooked the tough cuts and still, fork tender. What a great way to save money, buy cheaper cuts and cook them in your sous vide. So why do we own two? We recently purchased the larger one for our new home when we retire in December. I cannot say enough about these two products. There are many good books on sous vide and the internet is a wealth of information.
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on April 23, 2016
Sous Vide cooking makes for perfect meat every time once you learn the temperature you need for the way you like your meat, and in that regard, this is a pretty good device. It's not "precision" in my opinion, since I do see temps vary +/- 1 to 2 degrees from selected temp, where other units are +/- 0.1 to 0.2 degrees.

Size is a mixed bag. This is the smaller of this brand's units, and while not huge, it takes a lot of counter space in my moderate sized home kitchen and just looks big (because it's so tall). The interior is adequate, and I've cooked 3-4 pounds of steaks or roasts (pork or beef) without issue.

My issue is durability:
1) Just at a year old, and out of warranty, mine has developed serious hard-water scale deposits. I've tried many methods (vinegar, citric acid) to clean it out, but without too much success at completely removing it.
2) LEAKS. The unit just started leaking water, and a fair amount of it. The bath dropped more than 1/8th inch in a 45 minute session, so I'm now afraid to use the unit unattended for a long session like tougher cuts of meat would take. The leak wasn't evaporation, there was water all over the counter coming from under the unit. Inspection of the unit doesn't reveal any obvious holes, but I can only assume that one of the many scale deposits in the thing has caused a leak.

I'm going to switch to one of the stick immersion type devices for my next one, when not in use, much easier to store, I suspect.
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VINE VOICEon February 18, 2012
I've had this for 2 months now, so I feel ready to give it a review. I started with a primitive crock-pot hack, and quickly decided I wanted the real deal. If you have the counter space, this looks a lot nicer than a crock-pot with a bunch of wires everywhere. As an appliance that I use about twice a week, it merits a prominent spot in my kitchen.
I've done pork chops, pork and beef tenderloin, short ribs, Delmonico, whole chicken, chicken breasts. All of these early experiments have ranged from decent first attempts, to amazing.
Chicken (145 with fresh Rosemary)is the tenderest ever - white meat that explodes with juices when you poke it. I'm looking forward to trying some free range birds, hoping for some real intrinsic flavor.
Pork loin (134) has been especially good. I get local meat that isn't pumped with liquids. Prepared simply and cooked all day. Ready to sear when I get home from work.
I've also used it to keep liquids at 105 for a yeast based batter.
I haven't mentioned seafood - I will try it, but feel that broiling or grilling will still be my preference for that. The utility of this is clearly geared to meats. Some people use it to achieve the perfect egg, something else that isn't my thing.
My latest adventure was a local grass-fed sirloin tip. Seasoned with old bay and pepper, it cooked for 48 hours at 131. Sliced thin and served cold, it was quite a treat for a weekday meal.
The design is perfectly utilitarian. It's a simple concept, and they didn't over-complicate it. The appliance looks fine enough to leave out, and is light enough (without water!) to pull in and out of a cabinet. The handle placement is perfect for pouring out the water.
It's not a panacea. You still need good ingredients and a sense of proportion in use of spices. Generally, less spice is better. If you use something permeating like Cumin seed, better to count the seeds (like 5).
Regarding the Ziploc/Foodsaver debate, I don't see much difference. Ziplocs do leak some of the aroma, but that's not a bad thing, is it? I use vacpacs for smaller items, especially because I have a lot of them. A 3 lb chicken fit nicely in a 2 gallon Ziploc. I do recommend keeping the zipper draped over the side just in case you didn't zip it perfectly.
There's lots of info on the web, if you're looking for some guidance on a particular cut. At least you can see what other people have tried. Google 'Dave Arnold' for some Culinary fun.
Some people balk at the price. I don't agree, considering there is no competition at the consumer level. I'm not saying it's a bargain, but either is a Kitchenaid mixer. What does a Kitchenaid do? It saves you time and gives you consistent results. That's the way I look at this Low Temp Cooker. The ability to do Sous Vide in my own kitchen has changed the way I think about cooking and meal planning. It allows me to focus on the other dishes and not worry about timing the meat. It allows me to serve meals on a weeknight that would otherwise not be possible. Assuming it lasts a long time, it will be money well spent.
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on October 16, 2013
My husband had ordered the Sous Vide as a surprise. I had no idea what it was or what to do with it as I am a normal easy going cook (nothing too fancy here). He cooked two steaks and we quickly learned that I am the better cook and I learned quickly how to make the Sous Vide shine in all its glory. I learned that the Sous Vide cooks the entire steak, fish, chicken etc because it uses the perfect temperature to cook the entire meat so that it is completely balanced every time! I have never tasted such amazing juicy steak and so perfectly cooked as from the Sous Vide! There are no burnt areas or undercooked sections it literally is perfect all over. My husband likes the Grilled taste so we either toss them in the frying pan after or onto the grill for that finishing touch. I personally love it straight out of the Sous Vide. I marinate the steaks before packaging. We started out using freezer bags before purchasing a food saver and going all out. Both work great, but obviously the food saver is a better option. You can overcook the steaks if they are left in to long (hence the above statement) My husband wanted to ensure the steaks were cooked well done but they start to have a weird consistency when left in too long so be sure to read the cooking instructions. It does not take long to perfect. Also cooks veggies, fish and anything you can imagine! Good luck to all those purchasing you will be very happy!
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on October 22, 2012
I love this Sous Vide oven! I've had the demi for about a year or so, and use it at least once a week. It enables me to prepare the most delicious, tender meats I've ever been able to serve.
I have cooked all different types and cuts of poultry, beef, lamb, pork (including wild boar), venison, etc. It always turns out perfectly.
There is a learning curve to this appliance, and it will take a while to master it. But once you have figured out both your particular oven and your own tastes, you'll find it invaluable.
I have a couple of books about sous vide cooking, but I think it's easier to just look online, where you can get several versions of recipes, then combine to make your own (at least that's how I cook!).
I have an older FoodSaver that I use to prepare the food, sealing in whatever herbs or spices I want. If you need a little extra fat (like with a turkey breast, etc.), just add in a tablespoon or so of butter or duck fat. Occasionally I season and seal up the raw food items, then freeze them. After thawing in the fridge, they can be put right into the sous vide oven the next day.
The demi size works great for the two of us, but you might want to size up if you have a larger family. I keep mine right out on the counter near the sink, so I don't have to haul it too far to fill. I like to fill it to the minimum level, then top it off, using a pitcher, once I have the food inside.
Some of the best things I've made in this oven include steaks (perfect medium rare ribeyes, prime or wagyu--be sure to pat dry & sear afterwards), bone-in turkey breast (seasoned with dry rub), lamb loin chops (again--perfect medium rare, after an overnight marinade), bone-in pork loin (brined & seasoned), duck confit, the list goes on!
Everything will need to be either seared, broiled briefly, or torched for your Maillard reaction, but that just takes a minute or so. Don't throw out the liquids left in the bag, as they give you a perfect base for a sauce you can make while the meat rests.
The only things I haven't been completely happy with are beef short ribs (weird texture), bison sirloin (just not juicy), & steaks less than prime (that is probably just us--we love some tender beef).
I do recommend that you also purchase the rack that fits inside the oven--that's really necessary to help arrange food so the water can be all around it as it cooks. I didn't know and ended up ordering one from the Sous Vide Supreme website.
I love to cook, and I love the results I can get with this appliance. And it's so easy you could train a monkey to use it. Just don't tell your dinner guests! Everyone ohhs and ahhs when they are served "Sous Vide".
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on April 21, 2017
I use this multiple times a week and can't believe I waited so long to get one. Cooks perfectly, every time.
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