Top positive review
55 people found this helpful
Basic, easy and reliable!
on February 10, 2018
After carefully reading about the leading sous vide cookers, I decided on this one for two main reasons.
First, many of the most popular sous vide cookers require a connection to the internet and use of a phone app to operate. One reviewer of the popular cooker questioned the utility of this, stating that he would never use a phone app for his blender. I thought about that and then read many of the unsatisfied customer reviews of the more popular devices. Most of the complaints had to do with getting a stable internet connection and Bluetooth connection to the phone. From my perspective, I didn't want to be bothered with that. I use this sous vide as a kitchen appliance while I'm actually in the kitchen, and the idea that I would need to set its temperature and timer and any other settings with my iPhone sounded like a major hassle to me. I also saw no need to remotely check on the temperature of the water from my phone, or to remotely turn on the device from my phone. I've tested the temperature accuracy of this unit with a cooking thermometer and it keeps my water at a constant and very accurate temperature, so I now have confidence in it and feel no need to check the temp very now and then from a remote location. This Chefman device is easy to use, easy to program without any need for internet or iPhones, and simple to operate. It has just a few basic functions, so from my perspective fewer problems to be confronted with. The programmable part of the unit comes on when you plug it in (it doesn't heat up or circulate until you turn it on with the electronic start button). You easily and manually turn a wheel to set the temp. You press and hold the start button if you want to use the wheel to set the timer. That's it. You then press the start button again to start the operation (it will begin to heat and circulate the water). If you like, you can skip the timer function and just start the operation by pressing the start button once without holding it in for a few seconds. If you do use the timer function, I like the fact that the timer doesn't begin to count down until the water reaches the temp you set it for. Then the device shuts off when the set cook time has been reached.
The second reason I bought it was for the price. At under $90, it was just right; half the price of the most popular brand, but not as cheap as the off-name brands that got very few high ratings. Because of the lack of fancy functions such as internet and Bluetooth connections, it actually is a pricey unit relatively speaking, which actually gave me confidence about its quality and which I found to be a positive factor.
The biggest drawback from my perspective? The unit will beep when it starts, reaches temperature, and when the cooking is complete, but the volume level of the beep is so low, it could never be heard from another room, and just barely heard in the same room. It can be a little annoying. But it isn't much of a bother to me because I know how long I've programmed it to run, and because of the way sous vide cooking works, it really doesn't matter if you leave the food sitting in the water afterword for longer than the recipe calls for--you can't burn anything. However, because of the low volume of the beeper, I'm giving it four stars. If it didn't have this problem I'd rate it at five.
Again, you'll only be happy with it if you want to set it and forget it, and not turn it on remotely or double-check the temp from another room or some other remote location. It's a simple, basic device that works exactly as intended, with nothing newfangled that can go wrong-- which is exactly why I like it.