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147 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much better than I anticipated
For several years I've been hankering for an immersion circulator to try sous vide cooking at home. I didn't have the $2000 plus for a complete PolyScience unit, or even the $900 or so for a pro quality circulator head. So without expecting too much, I bought the oddly, sweetly named DorkFod DSV Temperature Controller and teamed it up with a 7 quart manual crock pot I...
Published on December 12, 2012 by Amazon Customer

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41 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Loud mechanical relay
First, the good things about this:
- It functions as expected, overshooting the desired temperature slightly as it learns about the heating/ cooling curves for the device you are using it on.
- It is very steady with regards to maintaining the temperature once it knows the characteristics of your water bath.

The cons:
- This has got to be one...
Published on July 27, 2012 by Rudy B


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147 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much better than I anticipated, December 12, 2012
By 
Amazon Customer (Portland, Oregon USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dorkfood Sous-Vide Temperature Controller (DSV)
For several years I've been hankering for an immersion circulator to try sous vide cooking at home. I didn't have the $2000 plus for a complete PolyScience unit, or even the $900 or so for a pro quality circulator head. So without expecting too much, I bought the oddly, sweetly named DorkFod DSV Temperature Controller and teamed it up with a 7 quart manual crock pot I found on sale at a local discount store for $19.

Much to my surprise, the combination totally rocks. The DorkFood unit is solidly built, easy to use, and holds the temperature I set within about 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The natural bottom to top convection of the crock pot, even without an additional circulator, has provided even heat for my sous vide creations. If you've never had leg of lamb cooked under vacuum for 36 hours you don't know what you're missing: a mild, non-gamy flavor with the buttery texture of filet mignon. Lobster tails cooked with garlic butter - unbelievably tender and sweet. Restaurant quality duck confit becomes child's play! Cure duck legs (with thigh) overnight with salt, thyme and crushed juniper berries - rinse and pat dry the next day - seal under vacuum with 1 tablespoon of rendered duck fat per leg and cook at 167 degrees for 30 hours or more for the most succulent duck you've ever tasted. After cooking I cut off the skin and fry it under a cast iron weight (affectionately known as a "pig") and top the duck leg with a crispy duck bacon "cracker."

There are so many free resources on-line and great books at Amazon for sous vide coooking - it's easy to get started. And for a total of $118 - including the crock pot - DorkFood exceeded my expectations. Although I have a good vacuum sealer (VacMaster VP112) many sous vide dishes can be prepared using carefully sealed freezer quality ZipLoc bags. This product really lowers the bar for getting into the wonderful world of sous vide. Nature may abhor a vacuum, but adventurous chefs love it!
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dorkfood DSV - great purchase, July 16, 2012
By 
Brian Dann (Rowlett, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dorkfood Sous-Vide Temperature Controller (DSV)
The DSV is a fantastic way to get into sous-vide cooking without spending a ton of money. I looked at several DIY options, but I don't think they are very cost effective, nor safe unless you really know what you're doing (and I don't).

I have tried this with a 4QT slow cooker/crock pot and with a Oster 14 cup rice cooker. Either works fine.

It takes a long time to "settle" on your selected temprature, even if you pre-heat the water. For example, if I set the temp to 140F, often it will hold at about 145F after about 30 min and takes quite a while to come back down. The temprature on the unit and the temp as read on a separate thermometer are exactly same, generally about 5 degrees too high. Odd, but after a couple of hours it will generally "settle" at the selected temp. I can work around this by either intentionally setting the temp lower than desired or just wait however long it takes for it to settle at the selected temp.

They claim the device can maintain the temp at +/- .25F once the unit settles on the selected temp. I have found that to be spot on, once settled it never deviates.

Overall, I am very happy with this purchase. I hope it lasts a long time!
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65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dorkfood DSV + old crock pot = High-end Sous Vide, November 24, 2012
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This review is from: Dorkfood Sous-Vide Temperature Controller (DSV)
I am so happy that there is finally an affordable solution out there for the rest of us. We frequently have dinner parties and sous vide is a super easy way to cook an amazing meal for many people. I use it a lot to cook fish and steak, but we have also used it for chicken, lamb, and even veggies. There are a lot of good cookbooks out there too, but I think experimenting with your own recipes is part of the fun.

Small hint: Whole Foods and some other stores will vacuum seal your meats if you ask nicely with a smile :)

The device may look a little intimidating at first, but its actually very simple to use. It also comes with a small handout that has instructions and pictures for setting it up. The unit is a little industrial looking so I'm happy that its small enough to put away out of sight after I'm done cooking. I hope the company makes a "prettier" version of the device soon.

But my absolute FAVORITE part about the DSV is that it allows you to transform your existing kitchen devices... those that have been sitting unused in the kitchen cabinets gathering a thick layer of dust... into a fancy state-of-the-art sous vide machine that is just as good as the $500+ models.

I would highly recommend this product to any of my friends and I'm getting my parents one for Christmas this year. It would also make a very unique wedding present or a cool gift for the aspiring chef in the family.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Simple Product, August 10, 2012
By 
John G (NY, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dorkfood Sous-Vide Temperature Controller (DSV)
Very simple tool to cook via the Sous Vide method. Did four filets with butter and salt in the bag. 135 degrees for 2 hours, a very quick sear at the end. Amazing results, may be the one of the best steaks I've ever had.

The unit is very easy to setup, make sure your Crock Pot has a mechanical temperature switch, not electronic. Kept the water at the perfect temperature for the entire cooking time. Preheated the water for 1 hour before to let the unit calibrate. Would highly recommend.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The right tool for amateurs or Professionals, August 19, 2012
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This review is from: Dorkfood Sous-Vide Temperature Controller (DSV)
As a food lover and trained professional chef, I am always looking for the right tools to experiment with new cooking techniques and flavors. I fell in love with Sous-vide cooking while I worked in several restaurants in Western Europe and I always wondered if I could reproduce some of the dishes back in my own home kitchen. Well, thanks to this wonderfully crafted, easy to use, and accurate tool I have been able to cook juicy legs of lamb, perfectly poached fruits, and soft boiled eggs that are a true pleasure of the Gods :)

I looked at professional and semi-professional equipment to cook Sous-vide and it was all ridiculously expensive. I thought of building my own DSV temperature controller but I am a Chef not an electrician, not to mention that the price of this wonderful gadget is so reasonable is not worth the time to try to make one yourself.

So, in other words, I am very impressed by the quality and the performance of this DSV. One more thing, the design of this DSV is particularly suited for small kitchens because it is easy to store, yet the thermostat probe is so long that you will have no problem in hanging this unit relatively far away from the slow cooker you want to turn into a "sous-vide oven".

One last thing: These guys will really make sure that you are happy; their support and customer service makes you feel like you are at a Cadillac dealership or at the Ritz-Carlton. I buy lots of things online and no one ever showed so much concern about my satisfaction with the product/service.

Summary: Buy, buy, buy this item. It truly delivers performance and you won't be gambling with less reputable vendors.

Enjoy your cooking/
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Product, January 2, 2013
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This review is from: Dorkfood Sous-Vide Temperature Controller (DSV)
I ordered this unit after reading reviews of others before me who had purchased this product. First off the quality of construction is excellent. This is an industrial built unit. Simple to program with clear directions.

Yes it does make a faint clicking sound as it cycles, about the same as a crock pot. Live with it.

First time out was 16 beef short ribs in a 18 qt Hamilton Beach roaster oven at 134 F for 78 hours. I did not experience the hunting or over shooting temp issues others have wrote about. I preheated the water to just under 134 F The unit went to 135 F and settled in to a steady 134 F within 20 min and stayed a perfect 134 F for the next 78 hours.

The Hamilton beach roaster has two holes in the lid - one on each side of the handle. I used a 1/4 drill to enlarge the holes to enable the temp probe to be inserted, I then covered the lid with two bathroom hand towels to reduce heat loss from the top. Simple !

This is one of the best products I have purchased. Quality was beyond what I expected and it works perfect.

BTW: You do not need a vacuum sealer, simple zip lock bag work just fine. Just make sure to get the air out of the bag to the point it sinks underwater. Yes, I do have a vacuum sealer but many times I find a zip lock bag is faster to use - and works just as well.

Have fun !
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy with this product (Update - careful with high vege temps!), January 24, 2013
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This review is from: Dorkfood Sous-Vide Temperature Controller (DSV)
Not much to say that hasn't already been said. This controller learns the heat curves of whatever heating element you're using very quickly, and establishes an absolutely perfect temperature that it maintains with little fluctuation. My own tests with an outside thermometer indicate it fluctuates in temps less than 1/3 of 1 degree.

Its operation is very simple. The electrical plug on this unit has a female connection on it opposite of the male connection. So, you plug in this unit into the outlet, and then plug in your heating appliance into this unit's female end of the plug. You then stick the attached thermometer in the water, select your temp, hit set, and it will begin cycling power on/off until the temp is reached and maintained.

It works flawlessly. Some people complain about the relay switching on/off. It doesn't bother me, it's not 'loud'. My only concern is wondering how long a mechanical relay will actually last? It seems quite solid, so I'm not expecting it to break on me anytime in the near future.

Dorkfood, if you're reading this, I will agree with other reviewers - you could stand to make this unit look a little nicer. It's very industrial looking and looks out of place in a kitchen. But, if that's my only complaint, I'm very satisfied with this product.

**** I just wanted to add - You need a mechanical crock pot / rice cooker / heating element for this to work. If you have a digital one, it will never turn back on to the temp heating mode once it cycles off/on. It has to be a crock pot or what be it that has a physical knob pointing to the temperature settings, not a digital face.

Update: 7/11/2013

I've had this unit for about 7 months. I recently used it to cook vegetables at a high temp (85* C) for about an hour. The probe on this unit is plastic, and when I removed it from the water and started wrapping it around the unit to store it, I wound up bending/breaking the temp probe due to it becoming a bit soft under the high temps. I wrote to Dorkfood and they told me they were working on a fix for this, and offered to send me a replacement promptly. Awesome CS, will be a customer for life at this point.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a believer now, though I'm a beginner!, September 22, 2013
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This review is from: Dorkfood Sous-Vide Temperature Controller (DSV)
Received my Dork a few days ago and used it last night as a trial with two large center-cut pork chops, a vacuum sealer, and a manual slow cooker. The setup is very simple. I started with hot sink water, then added microwaved cups of water to bring the water temp. to 131 (the target temp.) to start. Put a silicone hotpad on the bottom, added the pouch, and set a kitchen timer for at least 45 minutes. Checking the water bath temp. from time to time with an accurate digital thermometer showed the controller holding at 131. Since the temp. probe kept the slow cooker lid from closing all the way, I had a small slit to slide the digital thermometer in to the bath water. Held excellently. Didn't take the chops out at 45 minutes but more like 1 hr 30 minutes. Dried the chops with paper towels, then quickly hot-pan seared them.

Even my husband agreed these were the best pork chops we've ever had! Moist, flavorful, the best. And I just did it simply with salt, pepper, and a bit of leaf sage on the chops. This is a "beginner's setup" to learn how to do sous vide. There are also a couple of good beginner sous vide cookbooks available on Amazon. Get one: you need the time and temperature settings for whatever you are cooking. This is not intuitive! The Dork and a simple slow cooker or rice cooker is a very good beginning -- $99 instead of many hundreds -- to learn the basics. I'm glad I finally jumped in with sous vide. It's not the only way you'll cook, but a different way which gives wonderfully tasty results. Sort of a "set it and forget it" system. I'm a better than average cook who likes to try various different ethnic recipes as well as good old comfy food. I recommend you try this controller and a slow cooker or rice cooker. You will be amazed!
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36 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I wanted, January 6, 2013
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This review is from: Dorkfood Sous-Vide Temperature Controller (DSV)
Thank you, Dorks. This is the small scale, clutter free, set-and-forget appliance I was waiting for.

I snare spiny lobster and spear a lot of fish, and have been wanting sous vide capability for a long time. But my tiny kitchen will not fit any more gadgets; not one more pot. I didn't want a barn rigged mess of DIY components. I can't cope with longer cords or circulators or racks or vacuum sealers or any more stuff. Now with my $15 crockpot and the DSV, I'm good to go.

First try out of the box, I made the best pork tenderloin of my life. Seafood is like something from a very moist alien world. I will NEVER cook my lobsters any other way. I use regular zip bags or roll softer proteins into cling wrap cylinders. As I learn better techniques, I may just wrap. It's faster and cheaper and there is no movement to disturb it. Worries about uniform food thickness are unfounded for home cooking. That's for chefs who must produce many meals in a limited time. No part of the food can ever be overheated. Texture differences in thin areas from a few more minutes at target temperature are imperceptible. Flavors are intensified. Use less spice and seasoning.

Despite a few overwrought reviews, my Dork works perfectly. Unless you sleep in the kitchen, concerns about the clicking are ridiculous. Put on some music in the living room and it's unnoticeable. It holds 1º over the displayed temperature according to a reliable stick probe. I normally preheat the water in a fast electric kettle. Then the Dork powers the crock heater for a few seconds 3 or 4 times/minute. It doesn't heat up the kitchen and that's a big deal in Florida. Like running a 20 watt bulb, the power costs a penny for 3 hours of cooking.

The only valid issue with this approach to sous vide is the use of low-power heaters. The cooking water should be up to target temperature before introducing the food, which will cool it. This can be a long wait with a 100 - 200 watt crockpot like mine. So preheat the water quickly in a pot or kettle, much hotter than cooking temperature. The crock has to be heated too. Then adjust with a little tap water to the target temperature and off you go. With a few tries, you will hit target temperature in 5 minutes with very little fuss. The Dork helps by constantly displaying the actual water temperature.

The general problem with sous vide is long cooking times. With a nice controller like the Dork, it doesn't have to be your time. Go outside for some sun, fresh air, and exercise. Dinner will be perfect whenever you get back.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gotta get one!!! (Well maybe not) (Actually, Really got to get one), October 16, 2012
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This review is from: Dorkfood Sous-Vide Temperature Controller (DSV)
I don't normally do reviews but in this case I needed to. This product is awesome! Is it better than the other similar products available on line? No. Is it just as good for a much cheaper price? Absolutely!!!

If you want to get into Sous Vide Cooking, the Dorkfood, DSV is the way to go! It is super simple to use and is incredibly accurate. I have become a huge proponent of Sous vide cooking. The wife loves it too! Just set the temp wait a bit and drop in the food, it will be ready when you are and will be better than anything you have ever made at home.

I hope these guys do more marketing because at this price point it should be an industry leader!

Good work!!!

Want to update the review above. My dorkfood has now stopped working. Well not technically, it still works as long as I want to cook food at 133. Otherwise that is all I got. I sent an email to the company explaining the situation and their response to me was Nada, zilch, nothing. That is right no response. This despite several good reviews on various web sites which has led to additional sales.

My review stands when the product is working, but given my experience I would tell people to STAY AWAY IF YOU WANT ANY FOLLOW UP SERVICE!!!!

I attempted to post a correction earlier but it di not go through. As soon as DF realized I was not happy they immediately contacted me from a personal email (there was some spam filter issue on one of our ends) they apologized and offered a full refund or a new unit with return postage paid. Of course I chose the new unit because when the DF DSV is working it is the best deal on the market!!!!!

Two days later I had a new one on my doorstep (just before going out of town, the reason for my delayed posting.)They went from the worst customer service to the best in no time.

As for why my machine stopped working, I have no idea but it seems to be a tank and I probably just got a dud. It worked for a while, long enough for some companies to say forget it, not DorkFood!!!

I will continue to tell people about the product and recommend the company to any interested. If you are venturing into Sous Vide this is the way to go. Be warned SV will, at first seem to be the miracle method and your family will grow tired of experiments (tonight's dinner, sous vide Meatloaf) but once the novelty wears off, it will remain a powerful tool in your cooking arsenal and DF makes it happen with a great product at a great price!!!!!

Thanks

Jason
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Dorkfood Sous-Vide Temperature Controller (DSV)
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