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Chris Birkett

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    Waterloo, ON Canada
  1. The stainless rack is my favourite thing about the SVS. It's pretty cleverly designed to sit in several different orientations with various bag arrangements. I almost always use my IC for sous vide now, but I still use the SVS rack with it, and I'd love to get another one. It makes a lot more sense to have a bag sitting on a fixed rack with lots of clearance than flapping around randomly on the bottom of a big bath.
  2. I know this is an old thread brought back from the dead, but I just noticed it and should add some comments about Sumeet. I've tried to buy one of those Asia Kitchen Machines at least three times in the past 5-6 years. It has never been in stock, and the customer service from the Canadian (North American) importer has been atrocious. The first time I actually ordered it online. After a couple weeks I called and was told it was out of stock, but they would be receiving a new shipment soon. I was strung along for at least a couple months by promises of machines arriving any day now. By the end they weren't even answering their phone, and their voice mail was full (of complaints, no doubt). I gave them the benefit of the doubt again a couple years later because I really wanted to try their product, but again it was out of stock and I started getting a similar runaround. And so on... I'm not sure how they stay in business if they don't have a product to sell. I've seen them for sale online at stores in the States, so I guess they must be shipping them down there? After my experience with their customer service I have serious misgivings about what would happen if anything went wrong with the machine. I eventually ended up ordering a similar machine from another Indian importer in Mississauga. They shipped it out right away, and their customer service has been impeccable. I actually had a small out-of-warranty problem with it a few months ago, and they replied to me within hours on a Sunday evening to say they would ship out a replacement part on the Monday for a small charge, and walk me through installation over the phone.
  3. I am not the type of person who expects every ingredient in a recipe to be detailed down to gram weights and such. However, some recipe books take vague measurements a bit far. When the majority of the ingredients are given in imprecise and subjective amounts, the result for the first-time cook can be very far from what the author intended. One cookbook that is particularly bad for this is David Thompson's Thai Food. When I cook his recipes for the first time, I often find myself searching around on the internet for similar recipes to get an idea of what sort of ratio everything should be in. Why can't you just say a recipe is for 4oz of noodles, rather than "a good handful"? My interpretation of some of his ingredient descriptions has resulted in a sub-par product more than once.
  4. One of the cost-saving measures for the Demi is replacing the stainless tank and bottom grill of the regular Sous Vide Supreme with anodized aluminum. However, the crappy food rack they supply with it, as well as the optional "universal" rack are both stainless steel, and sit directly on the aluminum grill. If this is causing galvanic corrosion in regular tap water then it is a pretty major design flaw, IMO. I don't store water in my Demi, so this has happened with only four months of regular use. It extends below the grill to the bottom surface of the tank itself, and I assume it will continue to get worse if I don't make some DIY modifications.
  5. I don't generally store water in the tank when it's not in use, so changing the water wouldn't help. The tap water here is very hard (25 gpg or ~430 ppm), but softened with an ion exchange unit. If this is galvanic corrosion then wouldn't the stainless food rack be involved? It's been my impression that the worst spots on the grill are from where it is in contact with the rack, but it could be my imagination.
  6. I already confirmed that the marks are corrosion rather than mineral deposits, as did the other owner I mentioned. If you examine it closely it is obvious the surface is corroded and there is material missing. In some parts on the bottom it's very easy to spot because the edge of the metal is thinned.
  7. I know I could sand it down and re-seal it, but the grill is covered in corrosion spots, so I'd basically have to re-finish the entire thing. Also, the bottom of the water chamber itself is starting to show spots, and I certainly don't want to sand that down too. I suspected it might be a galvanic issue, but wouldn't that mean the stainless rack is causing it?
  8. Has anyone else had corrosion issues with their Sous Vide Supreme Demi? I got mine about four months ago when it was on sale for $199, and the aluminum "grill" that sits on the bottom of the water chamber has been picking up more and more corrosion spots. I recently noticed a spot on the floor of the actual chamber itself. Another user on a different forum I post on had the same problem. They were sent a replacement grill, then an entire replacement Demi, but it re-occurred in the same time frame.
  9. Pulsing the heating element on and off is exactly how a PID controller works. It's similar to a regular thermostat controller except the dead band (min/max temperature) is much smaller because of the finer control, and the control method is a lot more intelligent to (hopefully) eliminate swings and overshoots.
  10. Is there anything that is a particularly strong suit of one vs. the other? I guess I am wondering why one might spend the extra money on the Professional when the Supreme is half the cost and doesn't look out of place in a home kitchen. There is the obvious cooking volume difference, though I get the impression a lot of home chefs don't tend to sous vide items that exceed the capacity of the Supreme. Have you cooked anything that wouldn't fit in the Supreme? I also a couple of some reviews have mentioned the Supreme's larger temperature variance, and PolyScience claims it overshoots when warming after large items are added and cool the bath. I do get the impression this is less of an issue than some make it out to be, though. It would certainly be nice to have multiple sous vide baths at home
  11. Could you please give me some thoughts on how they compare in use, and why you might want to spend the extra money on the Professional?
  12. What kind of internal rack does the Demi come with? The manual shows a tiny little grill thing that looks completely useless, but mentions an "optional" universal pouch rack and handle. The product photos show handles protruding from the top that seem a lot more substantial, like that one in the regular Supreme.
  13. I'm wondering more specifically whether the SVS vac sealer is so basic that it's not worth considering, even cheaply, instead of a basic Foodsaver unit that's more expensive. I will definitely be trying out the Ziploc bag technique, but I don't want to pay extra for a vac sealer that's a waste of money, and I have to decide up front since I live in Canada (shipping is $80 per order). It seems like a lot of people use the pulse feature on their Foodsavers, which the SVS model doesn't have. I am happy to spend a bit extra on a Foodsaver if it's more useful for sous vide.
  14. I'm planning to order one of the SousVide Supreme units in the next couple days. They have a special right now where you get their vacuum sealer with the SVS for only $20 extra. I'm kind of concerned about how basic this model is, missing features like pulsed vacuuming or multiple speeds. I recall reading earlier in the thread that you really want a fully-featured sealer for sous vide. Should I even be considering the vac sealer they carry, cheap or not? The alternative would probably be something like the Foodsaver V2490, which is also fairly cheap but more fully-featured.
  15. Now that I'm a posting member, I wanted to add to the recommendationss for Perola's. I was looking for Mexican ingredients in K-W as well as Toronto rather unsucessefully in the summer last year, and I came across this thread and the mention of Perola's. I'd actually gone to a different "Mexican" store just a couple blocks over at one point and been very disappointed by the poor selection, but completely managed to miss this area of Kensington. There are a few Latin ingredient places around here, and they had everything I could possibly want for Mexican cooking.
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