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Showing 1-10 of 20 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
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 August 13, 2013
I didn't buy this through Amazon as I luckily found it in a shop here in the Middle East. I had been looking at the different SV machines and I think there is pluses and minuses to all of them.

First I would like to address some of the complaints about this machine.

- Price: yes it is expensive. Unfortunately the technology is not super common so the prices demanded will be a premium. Is it worth it overall? Hard to say with only 2 weeks of use. But if it is durable a last 5 years then absolutely.

- Overpriced "crockpot": Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a precise temperature controlled environment which is essential from somethings (yogurt making, pasteurization) and a very-nice-to-have for other things (cooking eggs, meat). The idea that it does anything like a crockpot is ludicrous.

- Poor quality build: I agree the quality isn't up to what some appliances are but without knowing what the cost is to build a low number of units its hard to say how much it should costs vs quality. As far as the basic build I see very few issues with it. I personally don't see many problem occurring because of the build issue.

- No circulation: Doesn't seem to be much of an issue but if it is, an idea that came to me is using an aquarium bubbler for circulation.

- Lid is cheap and lightweight: I thought about this complaint. What I realized is Id rather have a cheap lightweight lid that I can modify if needed and replace for $20. As above if I decide to use an aquarium bubbler I can easily cut a small notch in the lid for the bubbler hose. If I need to replace the lid then its cheap a light for shipping.

- Size: one of the downsides is the inability to use in larger dimensions. Not a big deal for the most part if you are cooking for say 4 people. But if you want to cook larger portions it will be constraining. Downside of the circulators is that you have to make sure you have a big enough pot etc to use the circulator in. No biggie but its not a simple as having a the cirulator and just popping it into any old pot.

All in all I think this a a good product. The sous vide option for cooking is very beneficial to any serious chef. For example I made some vietnamese spring rolls which are served cold. I cooked the pork and prawns in sous vide and they were super tender, cooked to a safe temperature and time, and most importantly weren't overcooked all with the minimum of effort.

The best part is the effort saving. Yes you have to cook for longer periods of time but the fact that its really hard to impossible to overcook means with a little preparation (marinating, vacuum sealing) you can live the rest of your life while it cooks. For example I can through in some food and go to work. When I get back I can spend the 5 minutes it takes to induction heat a pan and sear the meat and its done. I don't have to sit over a stove or BBQ for 30 minutes to an hour. The prep maybe takes 5 minutes so all up I spent 10 minutes of work.

Thats without getting into the already well discussed quality of cooking, the evenness of the doneness etc.
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on June 16, 2012
I've read about the cooking procedure sometime ago in a magazine. Wanted to try it, but it was either buying a commercial version or building it myself. Nether method would have been inexpensive. When I received the email from Costco, I was intrigued again. I finally ordered and received yesterday. I'm cooking my first meal right now and expect taste wise, it will be delicious. Now for a negative. I did read some criticisms about the rack that comes with the Demi model, it's close to worthless, causing a balancing act to keep the food separated and vertical. I find it hard to understand, that I should have to buy the other rack from the manufacture for $13.00 plus handling. There can't be more than a few cents difference in manufacturing costs between the better rack and the one that comes with it. I highly recommend the manufacture gets rid of the rack that comes with the Demi and replace it with the extra cost option. And if that isn't possible, Costco should make arrangements with SousVide to add the better rack and maybe increase price by a few dollars for Costco customers.

If the other rack had been included, I would give this 5 stars.
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on December 31, 2011
We had previously borrowed a stainless SousVide Supreme and thought that the smaller size of this would be easier to manage - a full SVS weighs 35 lbs and can be hard to fill and empty - the Demi is 20-25% lighter.

Both do what they are supposed to, but if you are going to spend your money on this, think about getting stainless for $100 more. After only 4 uses, the aluminum rack in the Demi is pitting, and I won't be surprised when the required bottom plate scratches the non-stick coating and causes the interior to corrode as well.
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on February 3, 2013
I purchased this unit and had problems with it holding the temperature. Large fluctuations, which with sous vide cooking is really bad. I emailed the factory and they immediately sent me a new one and paid shipping on both the new one and the return of the old one. Plus they upgraded me.

If you haven't cooked sous vide before (I hadn't), expect a large learning curve. It is not as easy as they show in all the videos. Not everything is good sous vide. Maybe it is personal preferences, but it is hard to beat traditional cooking. What I like the best is window from being done and when you must remove whatever you are cooking. Timing is not crucial, which is nice when you are entertaining, not so much when you are cooking for yourself and your family. I am undecided if I would order again.
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on February 1, 2014
We previously owned a different type of Sous Vide device, but after replacing that device twice, we decided to bite the bullet and pay the extra price for the Sous Vide Supreme. I would have given this five stars, but this device is too expensive for what you get. However, all devices in this category are too expensive, so. . . Essentially this is an non-circulating hot water bath. It does a great job of rapidly raising water temperature. I haven't timed it, but I estimate it raises water temp at 3-4 degrees per minute, then holds it within 1-2 degrees once the system is stabilized (food placed in and temp re-raised).

Food cooked in the bath comes out as advertised, and I strongly recommend following the cookbook recommendations carefully until you develop your own recipes. Baby Back Ribs came out perfectly cooked in 8 hours, requiring a 7 minute/side sear in a 500 degree oven grill. The meat did not fall off the bone, so next time I'll cook them for 12 hours to get that effect.

Foods that you just want to pre-cook and hold (fish for example) comes out perfectly. Salmon is the species we cook the most, and cooking it for 2 hours at 147 degrees, then searing it on the stovetop for a few minutes comes out just right.

We did eggs this weekend using the sous vide, and you can tailor the temperature so the eggs are perfectly soft-boiled with no effort.

Strongly recommended.
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on April 4, 2014
Water oven works as advertised. I may one day upgrade to an immersion/circulating style sous vide device, but till then this unit works nicely. Offset handles are a nice touch for pouring it out and it attains and holds temperature to a variance of less than 1 deg. If there was any complaint it would be the cover is a bit thin and light and I wish it was a bit meatier and insulate better. I also find these and all sous vide devices a bit pricey for what they do.
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on February 22, 2014
My wife and I are very into home cooking but we also work really long hours and don't have much time during the week for cooking. Enter the Sous Vide Supreme. This helps us eat healthy, well cooked food relatively easily. The one knock on it is the temperature gauge seems to bounce around a little bit. This is meant to be extremely precise so the temperature movement is a bit of a concern. That said, we researched thoroughly and this is the best bang for the buck. We didn't want to spend several thousand dollars on a professional grade sous vide machine. I will say that the food comes out great. We especially like cooking fish in the sous vide- it comes out cooked about as well as we could do otherwise.
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on December 25, 2014
The product is fine and does the job well. I don't like the entire panel which is the number one interface with the user. It could have been done with a better sturdy material/touchscreen panel. For the rest maintaining the temperature and the overall sous vide experience is excellent. Change the panel and you will have a superior product with five stars
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on July 29, 2015
First I want to say that this is a COMPLETELY different way off cooking than you've ever done before! Do a LOT of research online before you even use this product - unless you've used it before. I was happy when I saw the two booklets and large format listing of cooking temperatures and times that came with it. But, the booklets are in several languages, so the useful part of it in English is only a few pages. My first two efforts with this were failures. The first was completely undercooked because the listing of cooking temperatures and times was only for RARE. FYI - look at the small terribly formatted area at the top for any other choices. I am now going to do hours of research on the internet to find out how to use this product effectively. I suppose I'm dating myself when I say that I expect that when you buy a product - especially for almost $300 - I expect good instructions. Silly me, they expect us to look on their website or other blogs and sources! Also, the dimensions of the actual cooking area inside this are 8 1/2 x 11". If you want to cook anything wider than that, I would suggest the larger size. The cooking temperature seems to stay within a half a degree the entire time it cooks, so that's great! I think once I spend more time, I'll have more success..... Good luck to you!
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