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SideKIC: Cheap sous vide circulator.


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I just bought a Rubbermaid 10 qt. cooler, which, if filled to overflowing would hold 9 quarts. When used w/ the SideKIC, the usable volume is barely 8 quarts.

Monterey Bay area

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've yet to purchase one, but really like the fact that I emailed a question to them and they didn't send a canned reply, it was a real person and they actually answered my questions.

At this point I'm waiting on them to get back in stock at Amazon next week and I'll be placing my order.

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Im hoping this system does very very well. i have the Magic. I did make a 2 and 3 'immersion cup' heater system of my own for smaller coolers ( reheat and eggs ) and found that over time the $15 immersion heaters can fail.

i hope the heating element here is 'better' and im very tempted to get this for the smaller coolers.

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I've yet to purchase one, but really like the fact that I emailed a question to them and they didn't send a canned reply, it was a real person and they actually answered my questions.

I've found their customer service to be second to none. I'd buy the SideKIC on that basis alone.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I've yet to purchase one, but really like the fact that I emailed a question to them and they didn't send a canned reply, it was a real person and they actually answered my questions.

I've found their customer service to be second to none. I'd buy the SideKIC on that basis alone.

I completely agree Chris, though reading user reviews here and seeing how fast they have responded to customer wishes pushes them right into my basket at Amazon once they are back in stock. I just hope they come back next week as I'm holding off on purchasing MC until then as well and I can't wait to get that into my hands.

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I've got a new setup for my SideKIC that has basically eliminated all evaporation problems for me: I just completed a 72h 144°F cook (short rib pastrami from Modernist Cuisine) and did not have to add any additional water during the cook. This works because the SideKIC is basically a rectangular cross-section: I simply took a regular Cambro lid (I used one that fits my 6 and 7.5 liter tubs) and cut a relatively tight-fitting hole in it for the SideKIC to poke through. When the lid is snapped tight a) you can fill the container higher than normal because there is no risk of overtopping it and b) there is only a little bit of gap around the unit, so very little evaporation occurs. It works like a charm.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've got a new setup for my SideKIC that has basically eliminated all evaporation problems for me: I just completed a 72h 144°F cook (short rib pastrami from Modernist Cuisine) and did not have to add any additional water during the cook. This works because the SideKIC is basically a rectangular cross-section: I simply took a regular Cambro lid (I used one that fits my 6 and 7.5 liter tubs) and cut a relatively tight-fitting hole in it for the SideKIC to poke through. When the lid is snapped tight a) you can fill the container higher than normal because there is no risk of overtopping it and b) there is only a little bit of gap around the unit, so very little evaporation occurs. It works like a charm.

Could you take a picture of this setup? I'm having a hard time visuallizing the lid/SideKIC arrangement.

Edited by Junkbot (log)
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Chris is right. Keep checking on Amazon. I saw the "Currently unavailable...We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock," one evening about 2 weeks ago. The next morning, they showed one in stock so I ordered and received it in a couple days. Later that afternoon, Amazon showed 10 in stock.

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  • 3 weeks later...

oh this is great, the evaporation has been one of my only minor quibbles with this device, and has prevented me from doing really long unsupervised cooking... might have to try this out with the pig head i picked up over the weekend!

i've had mine since may and have been using it at least once a week for all kinds of things.

Sure:

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Thought I would chime in here. Bought one of these a month or so ago after happening across this thread. Was originally on the fence between an SVS and that Poly Science thing they sell at Williams Sonoma. SVS was cheaper, but took up a lot of counter space while the PS was easy to store but expensive and probably overkill for my needs (I usually cook for 2-4 people - maybe 8 once in a blue moon). First two cooks were in a cheap 10qt stockpot with saran wrap covering it. Did lamp loin chops at 134 then scrambled eggs at 168 (I think). Both were excellent, however it took 30 min to heat up the water for the lamb and a little over an hour to get the water for the eggs up to temp and yes I know they recommend less water than I used. The temp seemed to be pretty constant in both cases but I wasn't standing over the control unit continually.

On a whim this evening I picked up a hanger steak and a 7-11 22qt styrofoam cooler. I had to cut the cooler down in size because it wasn't water tight where the handles attached to the cooler. This still resulted in a much more usable space than in a stock pot - just seemed less crammed. Cut a hole out in the lid for the SideKic. Filled it with hot tap water and had 134 in about 14 minutes. Cooked the hanger steak for an hour then finished in a cast-iron skillet. Very happy with the results. I'm not sure what the final capacity of my modified cooler was, but I'm guessing at least 10 qts.

Long story short, I think cooking in some type of cooler with a lid is the way to go (and I'm sure that's been mentioned here). Very happy with the SideKic so far especially considering the price and size of the unit.

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I'd wanted to give it a try since this discussion started but I've had no luck finding a way to get it in Canada. The .ca version of Amazon doesn't have it and the .com version won't ship it here.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I have an update on the longevity of the SideKIC. I have been using the SideKIC (the second revision, I believe) for about 4 months or so with pretty good success, however this was almost exclusively with shorter cook times. Last night I put in some short ribs at 132 F to go for 72 hours at about 8 P.M. I use a set-up identical to what Chris Hennes uses above (the exact plastic tub with the top cut out to reduce evaporation). This morning at 9 A.M. I awoke to find that the SideKIC had broken. The heating element seems to be working, but the pump has ceased to pump water.

A pretty big disappointment as the water level never went below the recommended line. I have no idea what would cause the pump to malfunction. Anyone have any ideas or is this thing just dead in the water (pun intended)?

Regardless, I would be very wary of using the SideKIC for longer or overnight cooks.

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This is precisely what I was seeking!

While I have everything for a SV setup it is a little concerning to me that my digital Ranco controller might be prematurely worn out by cycling a 1500w element even if it is infrequent. I may contact the builders of the Ranco to see if this is the case.

The price and form factor suits me as I'm not planning on doing any large-scale SV which my current equipment will certainly allow and may be over-kill. If one comes available maybe I can snag it before someone else does... :rolleyes:

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This is precisely what I was seeking!

While I have everything for a SV setup it is a little concerning to me that my digital Ranco controller might be prematurely worn out by cycling a 1500w element even if it is infrequent. I may contact the builders of the Ranco to see if this is the case.

The price and form factor suits me as I'm not planning on doing any large-scale SV which my current equipment will certainly allow and may be over-kill. If one comes available maybe I can snag it before someone else does... :rolleyes:

Simple solutions:

1. Use a solid state relay.

2. Or connect in series with a diode to cut current in half.

dcarch

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Here's an update from Alex Edwards at ICA Kitchen, who responded to my query:

Thanks for your interest, sorry that they're unavailable. We stopped

production temporarily to make a couple of design changes; this is

mostly internal stuff that won't be visible, it has to do with changes

from our suppliers and some new parts we're using.

We're back in production as of this week, and they should start

appearing on Amazon either at the end of this week or early next

week (the holiday makes things a little hard to predict).

Fingers crossed...

PastaMeshugana

"The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd."

"What's hunger got to do with anything?" - My Father

My eG Food Blog (2011)

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