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Sunday, March 21, 2010

SousVide Supreme Review

posted by snekse
SousVide Supreme
If you read our thoughts about Sous Vide for the Home Cook, you'll know that I've been wanting an immersion circulator for my home for a very long time now. You'll also know that I've recently come to the conclusion that cooking in a water bath isn't going to be practical for every home cook. If, however, you feel that sous vide fits your needs, then you currently have very few options. Because of that, when I first heard about the SousVide Supreme, a home appliance meant to bring sous vide cooking into the home, I immediately contacted the company and asked for a chance to play with a review unit. A few weeks later were are cooking our first 65 degree egg.

I'll cut to the chase. The SousVide Supreme does exactly what it says it's going to do. It brings water up the the precise temperature you set it for and it will hold the water at that temperature for a very long time, with very little fluctuation. What more do you really want a "water oven" to do?

SousVide Supreme
The controls are easy to use and fairly intuitive. The unit is attractive looking, so I wouldn't mind it sitting on my counter all the time. The construction seems pretty solid, and the thermal wrap keeps the water warm for hours after it's unplugged which makes me believe it's probably pretty energy efficient. Some small design features like the offset handles to facilitate pouring the water out are a nice touch. It's easy to switch between a Fahrenheit and Celsius display which comes in handy if you're following instructions and you don't want to do the conversion. These are all just little things that add to the total package, but it's really about the fact that it does it's main job well.

Two advantages that the SousVide Supreme has over traditional immersion circulators is it's lid and the mechanics, or lack of. The lid just helps with heat retention and water evaporation. Probably not a huge deal, but still nice. The real cool trick is that it uses the currents within the water to keep the temperature stable instead of using a pump to move the water around. This results in a completely silent operation.

The biggest drawback to this unit has to be the price. Just like microwave ovens when they were first introduced, this unit is going to be cost prohibitive for many. Some may find it costly, but will find it's usage justifies the price. Others will not. That's why I recommend first determining if sous vide is right for your needs and if a dedicated water oven is the best solution.

Inside of SousVide Supreme
Other minor gripes are little more than nit-picking. It's stainless steel might add to the attractiveness, but it collects finger prints like all stainless steel appliances. The wire rack meant to separate the pouches just doesn't seem designed correctly and was starting to rust on one of the welds. And though I can't imagine it being much smaller, it does have a fairly large footprint on the counter.

The other thing I see people mention in reviews is more of a bit of a poke at the name. For all the marketing that I'm sure when into this, the one thing the SousVide Supreme doesn't do is...sous vide. I've been told that the company hopes to have a vacuum sealer in the near future to resolve that.

Rating: 89+
I would give this an extra point for every $50 in price that this drops from the original $450 that it initially sold for.

***UPDATE***
Sur La Table no longer has an exclusive distribution agreement for the SVS. You can now also find the SousVide Supreme on Amazon.

RELATED LINKS:
Official SousVide Supreme Site
Order the SousVide Supreme
Sous Vide Moves From Avant-Garde to the Countertop
The Tenderest Meats, From the Science Lab To Your Home Kitchen
The $449 SousVide Supreme: Worth It?
Sous Vide Supreme Countertop Immersion Circulator
Sous Vide Supreme - Revolution For the Home Cook?
DIY Sous Vide Heating Immersion Circulator For About $75

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