on June 28, 2011
I purchased this product on a lark actually... I was familiar with the concept of sous vide cooking and was intrigued by the idea, plus I thought it would be and interesting product to experiment with for one who loves to cook. After preparing my first meal I fell in love with the whole package! The SousVide Supreme is a relatively simple device: generally speaking it's just an insulated water bath with a very precise temperature control. The Supreme version is stainless steel but has a shiny, polished lid and looks great sitting in an out-of-the way area on my counter. I'm not nuts about the separate insulating pad that you place on top of the unit while it's in use, but it doesn't look that bad and it works. Like another reviewer, I'd much rather see an insulated lid and make the pad go away. It's placed in an out-of-the-way location because it's used often and for extended periods... this is not for speedy preparations, so placing it in the middle of the counter makes it a bit in the way.
I purchased the Promo kit, so I also received the SousVide Supreme Sealer, an assortment of bags and seasoning sheets, plus an excellent starter recipe book. The sealer may not be the most heavy duty unit nor the fanciest, but it doesn't look bad and it does work fairly well. I'm sure I'll replace it at some point in time if/when it breaks, but for now I'm quite happy with it. It does work well with the bags provided, and I've purchased a number of additional bags already in preparation for future cooking. I really like the rolls of bag material you can use to create your own right-sized bags rather than the more expensive, pre-sized bags. It adds another step to the sealing process, but saves lots of money and is much more convenient when things (like roasts) don't fit in the normal-size bags.
For my first meal I prepared Cornish Game Hens. I split the 2-24 oz. hens, sprinkled them with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, inserted them into the bag with a pat of butter, and sealed them without any problem. I placed the 4 bags into the SousVide Supreme at 160 degrees for six (6) hours. I then removed the hens, placed them in the broiler for a few moments to brown them, and then served. These were some of the tenderest, juciest game hens I've ever tasted... the flavor extended through the meat, and the meat fell off of the bone. Everything was cooked through and through with no overcooked or dry bits. My guests were amazed with the results and instantly became very interested in the cooking method and device.
My second meal was the typical "test meal." I took two pounds of inexpensive flank steak and divided it into 4 - 8 oz portions. I mixed salt, pepper, garlic and a touch of liquid smoke into a paste and then froze these sachets in an ice cube tray. To each I added a teaspoon of butter... the frozen spice mixture squares and the butter went into the bag, was sealed and went into the water bath for 24 hours at 140 degrees. (Why did I freeze the paste? In the instructions you find that the sealer will pull the liquids out of the bags during the sealing process, so any liquid inclusions need to be frozen first in order to create a successful seal.) The next night I removed the steaks and gave them a quick sear for color in a skillet hot butter. The result was amazing... flank steak is usually like shoe leather at best to me, but this was fork-tender, thoroughly seasoned and made for an incredible steak dinner! The meat was consistently medium throughout (which is a bit done for me but makes my family happier.)
I've since tried several other preparations, including a cheap 3 pound roast that I steeped for 36 hours into a perfectly sublime result and several fresh salmon steaks that were ready in 40 minutes, and every attempt has turned out perfectly.
I'm very happy with this product, both the purchase and the concept, and I can say the my friends, family and neighbors are too. I highly recommend the product!
on May 2, 2012
I have a culinary degree, and I really enjoy some of the more scientific experimentation side of cooking, often called molecular gastronomy. Sous vide cooking is something I've been interested for quite some time, and I've done a fair bit of research into finding an economical way to try it myself. I considered everything from the sous vide controllers that plug into a rice cooker, to building my own immersion circulator, to trying to find a cheap used immersion circulator. I kept coming back to the SousVide Supreme. It is a little more expensive than other options, but it had received great reviews, and had everything I wanted in a fairly space efficient, attractive unit. And it came bundled with a decent vacuum sealer and bags. At not much larger than a bread machine, it isn't that difficult to store out of the way when not in use. The included rack for the bags is great for keeping bags separated to allow proper water flow between them.
I haven't personally seen the slightly smaller Demi model, but I think that the Supreme is a much better choice. It's not too large or difficult to move around, and the more room you have, the more stable the temperature will stay.
And it does stay fairly stable. When you first add food, it will drop several degrees, but that's to be expected without a high end immersion circulator. Once the temperature comes back up, it remains stable to about +/- 1 degree F. Not accurate enough for some very specific preparations I've seen using sous vide, but most of those also require a chamber vacuum sealer as well.
I have both "Under Pressure" and "Modernist Cuisine," which both have a lot of sous vide preparations. There are definitely quite a few that this setup can't fully handle, but more than enough to make it worth it for the home cook interested in the technique. Steaks cooked sous vide, then quickly seared with a torch are just amazing. Short ribs cooked for 72 hours are almost transcendental. Pulled pork comes out nearly perfect, lacking only the smokey flavor that could easily be remedied by a bit of cold smoking. Perfect medium-boiled eggs are simple, and being able to pasteurize raw eggs is a big plus.
If I had the money for it, I'd rather go for an immersion circulator and chamber vac sealer. But for about a third of the price, I absolutely love the SousVide Supreme.
on September 22, 2011
it definetly is a good product, before i bougth it i was a little worried about the energy consumption but after i got my energy bill i realized that is not a problem, even when i used it for many days in a row...
it is very easy to use and when you buy the whole package is just great.
the only cons that i found about this product, tiny cons, are:
1-aparently the vacuum sealer only works with bags of the same brand, i tried to use it with other kind of vacuum bags and did't work.
2-you have to be very careful about the exterior of the sous vide machine, i got the silver one, and after a few uses i noticed that the exterior was rusting a little bit, so try to have a cloth at han every time you use it and keep it dry at all times.
it is a good product and you would be amazed by the quality of the food you cook there...
on January 13, 2012
My husband is a foodie and jumped onto the sous vide bandwagon early. Before we bought this, we'd do our own sous vide with a stock pot, candy thermometer and a little cold water to balance exact temperatures. He had his eye on this product for a long time, and I finally broke down and bought it as a surprise. We now use it about once a week and are trying to use it more, but it takes planning, and there is a learning curve with recipes at first. Don't let that discourage you, because what we HAVE made has been delicious.
We cooked our thanksgiving dinner using it a lot, including the turkey. The dark meat was cooked separately from the light meat which meant the dark meat didn't have to roast for hours too long. The white meat, for once, was enjoyable. Actually juicy and tender, not dry and flavorless. And every dish was ready days before. I don't think we'll ever go back to roasting whole turkeys, it just doesn't yield good results.
So right now, I *like* it, but I don't love it, purely out of our own fault for not planning to use it more often.
on November 13, 2012
5 Stars for the oven, and 1 star (if that, for the vacuum sealer. I got this promo package and I have been very pleased with the water oven portion of it. The vacuum sealer is VERY cheaply manufactured, and within a few uses (less than 10) the right button and locking mechanism broke. These are extremely cheap, brittle plastic parts. Having read several reviews of other, less expensive vacuum sealers, my advice to any prospective purchaser is to just get the water oven portion, and buy another vacuum sealer.
The SousVide device is a water bath which maintains the water at a precise temperature for cooking. The unit consists of the tub, a perforated platform within the well (so that food doesn't sit on the floor of the tub), and a rack that allows you to place several bags within the tub simultaneously without the bags touching one another. As you know, to cook food using this method requires that you first air-seal the food within a plastic bag. I found the unit to work perfectly. The only time I needed to refer closely to the instructions was to turn the device on, which requires that you hold the power button down for a few seconds. We tested the device with a 1.2 pound pork tenderloin. I seasoned the pork with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and added some fresh rosemary and a pat of butter. I placed the assembly into a plastic bag, then sealed it with the included vacuum sealer. That took just a moment. I tossed the bag back in the refrigerator and waited a little while for the water bath to come up to 140°F. At about 2 hours, I opened the unit and turned the bag over.
If you're not careful opening the unit by removing the top lid, condensation which has collected on the lid will spill all over. I've since moved the unit close to the sink. This also makes for easy filling/emptying. At about 3 hours, I started cooking some potatoes and broccoli on the stovetop and when both were ready, I removed the pork from the SousVide tub. This is easy, since at 140°, you won't burn yourself if you touch the water briefly. The tenderloin, about 2" thick in the middle but considerably thinner at both ends, was an absolute perfect medium cook, with a solid color throughout. It was juicy, tender, and as perfect a tenderloin as I've ever seen. After slicing it in half to confirm that it was done, I took half the tenderloin and seared it in a pan using grapeseed oil. Both the unseared pork and the seared pork were delicious.
Meal #2: I simmered the fresh rosemary I had left from meal #1 in butter, then coated several seasoned chicken breasts with the rosemary butter. I placed the chicken into the refrigerator to harden the butter, then vacuum sealed all three breasts in a single gallon bag. I placed this into the SousVide unit for 4 hours at 146°F, making a simple white sauce on the stovetop to top the chicken rather than searing it after cooking. There was nothing special about the chicken - these were your standard skinless boneless grocery store cuts. I didn't pound them, trim them, or, frankly, do anything to them whatsoever other than season them. Nevertheless, they ended up as the most succulent chicken breasts we have ever cooked, with a luxurious velvety feeling against the palate. We had some left over, which we microwaved for a minute the next day. Usually, that results in dry or worse, rubbery, chicken, but not this time. Even after a day in the refrigerator and a microwave reheat, this chicken was still delicious.
Meal #3: Two duck breasts seasoned with salt and pepper. Set the system for 135°F and place the duck, vacuum sealed, in for 3 hours. At the end, place the duck (skin side down) on a frying pan over moderate heat to render the fat and to make the skin crispy. This took about 10 minutes. Finally, flip the duck on the pan for about 30 seconds. The result was a wonderfully tender and juicy duck with perfect skin, and a small tub of duck fat which I can later use to roast fingerling potatoes. We're three for three so far without a single cooking failure.
The provided AC cord for the SousVide is quite short, so the availability of outlets will guide your positioning the unit, which takes substantial counter space and will likely be stored elsewhere. Don't forget to remove the AC cord before emptying the tub, since otherwise you may find yourself about to pour out the water, get pulled up short by the cord, and end up dumping water everywhere. I've wanted one of these for several years, and finally took advantage of the package deal with the vacuum sealer. Am definitely impressed and am looking forward to the next meal I prepare this way!
on February 13, 2015
This cooker is surely a unique method of cooking. the results are usually really great. However there are some drawbacks, such as the fact that it can only be used for items up to about 2 inches thick and around 10 inches in length (which means steaks in most cases) .Also. its shear size means that storage in the average sized home kitchen uses lots of shelf space, and moving it around and filling and emptying it are burdensome.
on January 22, 2013
If you've ever roasted pork and had a dried mess as a result, rejoice because this is one of the best items for cooking pork, chicken, and awesome prime rib. It takes time to cook, but if you've ever used a crock pot, not much difference in time intervals. You do have to brown the outside of beef and sear the pork and chicken (cosmetics mostly), but as taste, it is unmatched.
on May 3, 2014
I own two of these devices, and I use them regularly. I haven't tried the two new devices on the market (sansaire and anova) that are cheaper (but don't come with a tub or vacuum sealer), so I can't compare to those. They weren't on the market yet when I purchased the SVS or I would probably be evaluating them as they come in at a cheaper price point. Again, on the Sansaire and Anova, as of writing this review, they are priced around $199 each, but you will still need to buy a vacuum sealer + pot or tub + food grade bags. You get more flexibility with these types of devices because you can use tubs of varying sizes to cook more stuff. That's one of the downsides to the SVS as well.
I think the SVS is a great device that is compact. It does have its downsides in such that it doesn't circulate the water like the professional Polyscience devices or even maybe the newer circulators. But I've cooked my best meals in it so I can't complain. I would recommend the SVS but would like for them to come out with a version that has built in circulation and/or a version that is similar to Sansaire/Anova. The size and all-in-one compact application is the reason to get the SVS.
on March 19, 2013
This is the most incredible piece of gear in my kitchen. It is absolutely unbelieveable what you can do to a piece of meat with this oven; I cannot say enough good things about it. Who would ever believe you could do an egg scramble in a water oven, and then have it be so good that it left you mumbling to yourself.