I just recently bought a poly probath for $329. It's about as affordable as a new waterbath can get, and I think it's great so far. Think of it as buying 1.5 Le Cruset pots. :) I was a bit alarmed at 1st, as it was made out of cheap plastic and relatively light. But the thing words great, and the light weight makes it easier for me to pour out the water. It's very quite, and there's no doubt it was meant to be on for as long as you want it to be on. It's lab equipment after all. And the size is perfect for home use as well, a big plus over the ebay ones that sport huge machines with small volume capacity. There are just so many things you can do with it; I think it's a great investment.
One of the other reasons why I wanted a new one rather than an old ebay one (which would still be great I assume) was that I wanted something I could put food directly in if I wanted to. The technique of pre-cooking potatoes at 70C is really great, and I wanted to be able to just toss the potatoes in the water bath instead of some rusty metal thing.
Also, I've been SVing chicken breast at 160F, but I noticed people doing it as low as 140F on these boards. Is that safe? Ideally, I'd like to go as low as I can of course, but there's a big difference betwee 160F and 140F, and 160-ish is the bacteria threshold... Sorry if this has been talked about before, but this is a damn long post!
Edited by phan1, 11 January 2008 - 10:51 PM.