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Sous Vide Supreme and other home options: 2009-10

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#31 weinoo

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 02:49 PM

Some of these later comments have me very excited about getting this unit. But I'm bummed that I still haven't heard back from them about specs - another email is in order, I guess.
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#32 weinoo

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 02:59 PM

I can understand a bit of scientific curiosity about the sous vide method of cooking - but frankly, I have enough trouble trying to cook delicious meals with the standard ol' stove and pots.

Wonder if Alton Brown will venture into this?

Let's hope not.

And it looks like while they didn't answer my email directly, the website now has a few more detailed specs up. For instance:

Temperature:

* Display: Digital LED / 1°F (0.5°C)
* Range Ambient: 41°–203° F (5°–95° C)
* Sensitivity: 1°F (0.5°C)
* Over temperature alarm: +5°F (+4°C)

Timer:

* Display: 1 minute resolution
* Settings: Variable 0—99hr:59mins
* Cycle End: Audible buzz & ‘end’ message

Click here for web site.
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#33 MaxH

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 03:09 PM

Note how well the ideas discussed theoretically here two years ago (in the main sous-vide thread) panned out. First, rather than use expensive laboratory water baths, add available PID temperature controllers to cheap heating appliances.

Summary: Take an existing, inexpensive heater unit with the right range and a different original purpose, and instead of relying on its own cheap thermostatic control, supplement it with an outboard, accurate high-tech one -- the combination potentially being far cheaper than any kind of lab water bath, all things being equal. (2007: LINK)


Soon these controllers were being marketed specifically for sous-vide users. Then, integrate the components to a complete product priced for home use.

... an east-Asian rice cooker and a kettle-type corn popper, both pots with heating elements below. All these simple appliances sell for circa $20. The accurate lab temperature-regulating power-control module I was shown was around $90 (including an accurate sensor on a cord, and a presumably microcontroller-driven servo control algorithm). By my arithmetic this makes $110 retail. Presumably one of these firms could integrate the components. (2007: LINK)


Now this thread. By the way, non-circulating precision water bath heaters marketed for lab use were already available in 2007 for $350 (cited in link in first quote above}. The bare-bones, $100 - $150 home SV unit that I proposed then might be impractical, because I assumed a consumer willing to dicker with servo controllers (like folks here). Whereas a mainstream consumer product needs more engineering for simplicity and safety, and maybe a cost component for insurance.

(Info on most related equipment is in the original sous-vide thread, long tho it be, that my links here point to.)

#34 jk1002

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 04:33 PM

"The early parts of the demo were hosted by the creators of the machine, Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades and gave me uncomfortable flashbacks of late-night Ronco infomercials."

snatched from serious eats. That is a bit how I feel about it too. On the other hand I am sort of happy that somebody takes the lead on this, besides the fresh meal solution.

I did some more research, Addelice does not have a release date for the US even though they plan to do it at some point. I read in a few places that the supreme is creating sort of a current by switching on differnet heat elements distributed around the bath and that the wholes in the platter underneath the rack facilitate the current as well.

Not sure if that works well enough, I do know that when I do it on my induction cooktop I have horizontal cold spots at higher temperatures so the need for circulation is there.

The egg demo is impressive I admit.

#35 docsconz

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 06:21 PM

This looks very interesting and I would say that it is about time that appliances like this are coming to the home market. To me, though, the really interesting aspect of sous vide cookery comes from the vacuum sealing. To do those things really requires a better vacuum sealer than those typically marketed to the home consumer. Nevertheless, this does present a great opportunity. As for Heston, I wonder if he is financially connected to this in some way? Either way, his endorsement would seem to be worth something.
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#36 tomdarch

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 10:45 PM

...
Wonder if Alton Brown will venture into this?

My guess is that he's well aware of sous vide, but that he won't really address it on his show. Anyone who's seen a few Good Eats will know exactly why: lawyers!

I'll be interested to see how the Sous Vide Supreme folks explain to end users how to not give themselves gastrointestinal botox "treatments". The obvious way is to recommend higher temperatures for longer times.

#37 Sousvidecooking.org

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 11:04 PM

Hi,

I made a post on my blog about the Sousvide Supreme and readers made some interesting comments about it.
To sum up, the first reactions was to says the Supreme is technically not better than a Sousvidemagic appliance (Fresh Meals Solutions) but just looking better and twice its price. Some people also mentioned the capacity of 8-10 liters of the pot excludes professional use but this is ok as the target of this machine is home cooks. The last comments relate to the precision of the Supreme and most of the people consider a PID controlled water bath cannot be as good as an immersion circulator.

In my opinion the Supreme might be a very good product but as the Sousvide Magic takes a lot of place in a kitchen.

I tried some month ago an immersion circulator from JULABO (the ED one) and found out such machine was outstanding. I am now testing a new immersion circulator from a company called Addélice which is also working extremely well. This thermal circulator is sold at € 449 including everything. In my opinion, if you have a little bit more money to spend, just buy an immersion circulator.

Jean-François
http://www.Sousvidecooking.org a blog about cooking sous vide with low and constant temperature.

#38 jk1002

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 11:14 PM

> The obvious way is to recommend higher temperatures for longer times. <

In the scrambled egg recipe on their blog they are using 75 celsius / 167f so your probably right.

I understand the risk is not that high as long as you do not use a professional vacuum machine, what bugs me with them is that they sort of nodded of in some blog comments the notion to throw in professional packaged steaks from the super market.

#39 paulraphael

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Posted 07 November 2009 - 10:33 AM

So, those of you with sous vide cookers in this price range ... what are you using for a vacuum sealer?
Has anyone come out with one at the right price / performance point?
Betty Crocker E-Z Suck Cryovac?

#40 sygyzy

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 12:41 AM

> The obvious way is to recommend higher temperatures for longer times. <

In the scrambled egg recipe on their blog they are using 75 celsius / 167f so your probably right.

I understand the risk is not that high as long as you do not use a professional vacuum machine, what bugs me with them is that they sort of nodded of in some blog comments the notion to throw in professional packaged steaks from the super market.


Which blog are you referring to? I have never heard anyone make scrambled eggs using SV. I have always done the 62 degree egg in shell. I am intrigued. I wonder of Heston just scrambled an egg into a plastic pouch, sealed it and sous vide'd it?

#41 jk1002

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Posted 13 November 2009 - 10:04 AM

http://www.sousvides....com/community/

Its here ..... scroll down a tiny bit ... Not sure what the obsession with creamy scrambled egg is, I like mine firm.

#42 sygyzy

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 06:26 PM

http://www.sousvidesupreme.com/community/

Its here ..... scroll down a tiny bit ... Not sure what the obsession with creamy scrambled egg is, I like mine firm.


Thanks for the link. The obsession with creamy scrambled eggs is by definition that's how they should. When they are dry, they are not quite "proper."




#43 jk1002

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 11:23 PM

I know about the Ramsay eggs. I know also about the armada of minions cleaning his stainless pan's .....

I am somewhat attracted to the perfect cooked bolded egg. In my head i settled on a polyscience and started saving for that. Unless the supreme gets killer reviews, the fresh meal product shows up or addelice is relased for the US (no date) I am not deviating and stick to my induction method to the paint i have a spare grand for the polyscience.

#44 Dave Weinstein

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 03:58 PM

Mine has shipped. I should have it on Wednesday, although I don't know how much time I'll have to play with it due to the Holiday cooking.

#45 weinoo

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 05:00 AM

Mine too...might even have it tomorrow.
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#46 halwyman

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 05:40 PM

Mine just arrived!

#47 nickrey

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 03:01 PM

Well, don't keep us in suspense! What is it like?

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#48 Dave Weinstein

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 04:51 PM

So, for the first test run:

I broke down a fresh free range Duck, and boned out the hindquarters. The breasts were sealed with orange oil and turbinado sugar, and the boneless hindquarters with truffle salt. The skin was left on

Four packages were placed in the bath (having brought it to 63c), and cooked for just over three hours.

I crisped the skins with a kitchen torch, and served the breasts on rice with a simple orange reduction, and the hindquarters on greens with a bit of balsamic vinegar.

The meat was an even pale pink all the way through. The only problems I had were that I don't think I was quite agressive enough on the sugar with the breasts (Orange oil is bitter), and I could have been more creative with the hindquarters.

Tonight, I'll be putting in four grass fed two inch short-ribs, each with fresh thyme and some home churned butter. I figure they'll be ready for dinner on Wednesday, but I haven't double-checked any charts.

The machine works well, is easy to clean up after, and stores nicely. So far, no complaints. I did end up putting everything in the bath before turning the heat on, to make sure I had the right amount of water. I then removed the packages, dried them, and put them in the refridgerator while it came up to heat. I suspect this will be less necessary as I get used to it.

And thanks to the Barnes & Noble "please, 25% off coupon on any one item in addition to the members price, just please buy something" email, my copy of "Under Pressure" should arrive sometime this week.

Edited by Dave Weinstein, 30 November 2009 - 04:55 PM.


#49 nickrey

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 02:08 AM

Thanks for the feedback, looking forward to more.

With my rice cooker set up, I always run my mixer tap with a thermometer under it until it reaches the correct temperature (or actually a few degrees higher to counter the drop that occurs when I add the cooler meat). You can then add your meat to the cooker and fill it up to the correct level with the already appropriately heated water. Saves a lot of time. :smile:

Edited by nickrey, 01 December 2009 - 02:09 AM.

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Unless there are three other people." Orson Welles
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#50 weinoo

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 04:42 AM

Mine arrived as well, but haven't had a ton of time to play with it yet. My first attempts were chicken breasts, which were perfectly cooked, and hard-boiled eggs. The eggs I didn't like as much - the texture of the whites at 160 F for 1 hour was a little wobbly for me - the yolks were perfect, however.
Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
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#51 Dave Weinstein

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 08:39 AM

One thing I noted last night is that there is one spot where the plastic bottom (for want of a better description) extends out past the stainless steel side. Inspecting it, it appears to be a solid piece of plastic that just extends a little too far. I have sent an email to customer support to make sure that it won't present a problem.

#52 eternal

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 10:00 AM

I'm on the fence with this machine so please, keep the reviews coming :) Good luck

#53 IndyRob

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 04:40 PM

For the past couple of years I've been using what I consider to be the ultimate in skinflint sous-videry - a Presto Kitchen Kettle. It only costs about $40 and is a multi-tasker. It can slow cook and deep fry (up to 400F). But unlike most crock pots, the temperature control goes way below 160F. I think I've only gone as low as 130, but there's plenty of adjustment available below that. The temperature markings only go down to 200, so I used a Sharpie to mark the dial around my usual temps. But I use a Thermapen to validate the bath temperature. It takes some fiddling until the temperature stabilizes, but after that, I'm impressed with its ability to maintain the temperature at plus or minus 1 degree F. The only problem I've had is that I'm getting stubborn mineral deposits building up on the non-stick surface.

My wife bought me a FoodSaver as a Christmas present and I've been pretty happy with that. Well, except for the cost of the bags. But the SealAMeal folks have made their bags compatible with the FoodSaver so I can buy those at half the price.

But meanwhile the zip lock bag manufacturers have come out with cheap vacuum devices meant to be used with special zip lock bags. One is battery powered, and one is like a miniature bicycle pump and it's only around $3. Since I have the FoodSaver, I haven't tried them, but I love the idea of being able to try sous vide for an investment of under $50.

#54 LoftyNotions

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 05:36 PM

I’ve had my Sous Vide Supreme for about a week now. So far I really like it compared to the external controller with Crock Pot or Roaster setup I was using.

The useable internal dimensions are 5 ½ inches high by 9 7/8 inches wide by 12 ½ inches deep. (14 X 20 X 31.75 cm). I measured the height from the false bottom to the max fill line.

The low temperature set point on my unit is 86 F. (30 C.) I didn’t check the high set point, but I know it goes up at least to 185 F. (85 C.)

The SVS website says the useable capacity is 10 liters to the max fill line, but mine measured 12 liters to max fill. That leaves approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) to the top edge of the unit.

There is no forced circulation in this machine, but from what I’ve seen so far, between the bottom heater and the perforated false bottom plate, natural convection does a good job of minimizing temperature variation. Temperature accuracy is well within 1 degree F. measured with a thermometer checked against boiling, freezing and 100 degree points. My observation has been that it holds temperatures to within about ½ degree F. Recovery to proper temperature is fast after putting your food in.

In the other sous vide thread, someone mentioned that this device isn’t very well insulated. To me, comparing it to my crock pot and roaster, this is much better insulated. It gets warm to the touch, but not hot. Both my roaster and crock pot get unbearably hot at times. I don’t have a commercial rice cooker to compare insulation to, but I suppose they could be better insulated.

I do have 2 small nits to pick with the Sous Vide Supreme. First, the display always starts in centigrade. Not a big deal, but it’s an extra step to change it every time I turn it on, since I’m a backward American. The display itself, when viewed from my normal standing position shows current temperature in lit segments. Unfortunately, you can easily see all the unlit segments as very dark bars. It’s easy enough to see what is actually displayed, but this is a minor annoyance.

Over all, I like this unit very much. It’s much more convenient than getting out my roaster, controller and circulation pump setup I was using before. Also, there is no need for PID calibration. I’ll still use my roaster for very large items, but this will be used on a continual basis.

I bought mine at the pre-order price of $399. I felt that was a fair premium to pay over purchasing a controller/rice cooker for the convenience and ease of use this machine provides.
Larry Lofthouse

#55 smashz

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 07:14 PM

At his recent talk at Google, someone asked Alton about SV. He is, of course, very familiar with it. But he said that he won't get into it on his show because it is not mainstream enough, and there are too many food safety issues at the low end, which is where it has the most interesting results.

#56 LoftyNotions

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 11:02 AM

http://www.sousvidesupreme.com/community/

Its here ..... scroll down a tiny bit ... Not sure what the obsession with creamy scrambled egg is, I like mine firm.



I need to preface this response by admitting that I’ve never been anywhere that scrambled eggs in the French manner.

I have tried the recipe on the Sous Vide Supreme website several times now, with mixed results. I think that at a cooking temperature of 167F (75C) cooking time is critical for the proper result. There are a lot of other variables that aren’t being taken in to consideration in the recipe, such as bag size (which correlates with the how wide the egg mixture is inside the bag) and starting temperature of the egg mixture.

I suspect that in order to get eggs even slightly cooked in 15 minutes, they must have used a larger bag than I did. I used 1 qt. double seal ziplock bags for all my trials, and cooked anywhere from the recommended 15 minutes up to 35 minutes. At 15 minutes, I had what I would classify as warm egg soup. There was absolutely no curd formation, and my impression was that the eggs had thickened very little, if any. At 20 minutes the eggs were slightly thicker, but there was very little curd formation. At 25 minutes, I got something that looked similar to the picture posted with the recipe. Sort of a slightly thickened soup with some curd formation. At 30 minutes the eggs had what I would consider to be a custard texture. At 35 minutes, the eggs are pretty well set and probably slightly over-done for this style (A guess on my part).

Since one of the great things about most sous vide cooking is a wide tolerance of cooking times I did some experiments at a couple other temperatures. I started at 148F (64C) and found that even after an hour, nothing had changed. Douglas Baldwin suggested that in order to coagulate 2 of the proteins in the egg white a temperature of 158F (70C) would probably work. At that temperature, I got a very nice custard texture at 1:15, and a custard that would hold some form at 1:30. I guess you can’t really call them scrambled eggs, since there is no curd formation, but I really enjoy the egg dish produced this way.
Larry Lofthouse

#57 weinoo

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 04:12 PM

In yesterday NY Times, Julia Moskin wrote a piece about this very machine. As a matter of fact, she had called and interviewed me a week or so ago (since I started this topic) and even though I haven't had much of a chance to play with SVS, there's a little quote in the article from the interview.

Click here to read, and then here for my blog post about the interview as well.
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#58 Jolly

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 06:57 PM

I'm loving my Sous Vide Supreme unit - and it's been in constant use since I received my unit. It's my first experience with Sous Vide cooking, and I'm already tempted to buy another one - or maybe a Sous Vide Magic instead.
I'd be happy to answer any questions about the unit if anyone has any.

-Jolly

#59 Dave Weinstein

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 12:02 PM

So, I did discuss the matter with Sous Vide Supreme customer service.

Our conversation went something like this...

Me: So I'm not sure if this is serious...

Them: We don't consider the plastic extending out beyond that acceptable.

Me: (Blink)

Them: We've shipped you a replacement unit. When it arrives, put the old unit in the box, attach the return shipping label, and call UPS to come pick it up.

Me: (Blink)

Them: And here is my personal phone number should you have any problems.

Me: (Blink) (Blink)

I love the machine -- it's been great fun to work with. And their customer service is deeply committed to making sure that you don't have any bad experiences.

If you're on the fence, and you have the cash, I'd say go for it.

#60 MSRadell

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 08:45 AM

I came across this device while on the Sur la Table website:
SousVide water oven
Looks like manufacturers are finally recognizing people want to use this technique at home without having to spend a fortune or make their own devices.

Edited by MSRadell, 19 December 2009 - 09:00 AM.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.





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