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Sunbeam MU4000


ChrisZ
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It looks like Sunbeam (in Australia) have introduced a consumer sous vide machine, which doubles as a slow cooker - the MU4000. Anyone have any experience or feedback?

The manual isn't great but the price is attractive. I'm not sure if they're reacting to Breville re-badging the Sous Vide Supreme, but it's a quarter of the price (Breville is $800 vs Sunbeam $200) and you can also use it as a slow cooker.

It's hard to see how big it is although they say 5.5 litres, and I guess only testing will reveal how accurate the thermostat is. The temperature increments in 1 degrees and the timer only works in 10 minute intervals, but it looks more attractive than a rice cooker rig and is probably aimed at the same market. Including a rack for vacuum pouches is a nice touch.

Could be good as an introduction to sous vide - not sure it's big enough or accurate enough to appeal to more serious cooks, but it's Sunbeam's first effort and hopefully they can improve from here.

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While on a recent vacation I got to use one of these for 3 separate meals. Twice as a slow cooker and once as an actual Sous Vide machine. I can say that upon first impression it worked exactly as advertised. It didn't blow my socks off, but it certainly did the job well. My favorite feature was the fact that you can control the temperature in 1 degree increments.

Since I only touched base with it briefly I don't feel comfortable commenting on the durability of it. At 1/4 the price of an industry standard machine, I can't help but wonder how long this thing would last when put under regular use and stress. I have no complaints about it from using it, and my family and guests certainly had no complaints about the meals it helped me produce.

I believe I my wife may even have a few pictures of the machine in use. She takes A LOT of pictures and was certainly present to document the meals and their preparations. She's asleep now but I'll check with her and see if we can't come update this thread in the morning with some action shots of the machine.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello!

New to these forums, but wanted to add that I just bought this machine over the weekend. Have used it once, but it was a disaster as I failed to read the instruction manual! (you need to press Start once to get the machine heating, and Start again if you want to start the timer...I only pressed it once and a 3 hour cook turned into an 11 hour cook).

From that one use, I found it quite easy to start. I haven't seen a SousVideSupreme in person, but from the pictures it looks like it has a bit of a heavy lid. The Sunbeam lid seems light and flimsy and I worry about heat dissipation as there is no seal.

I left the machine on all day at 56 degrees C, but by the time I got home, the display read 54 degrees

Looking forward to trying it again soon - I have egg-cooking plans on the weekend.

Happy to answer any questions!

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Does anyone know if there are plans to market this in the US or Canada as a 120V/60Hz unit?

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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No pad on the mu4000 :(

I tried cooking eggs over the weekend. Set the temperature for 63 degrees. It's supposed to beep to let you know when the temperature has been reached. Noticed that when I checked the temperature after it beeped, it was at 66 degrees. Checked a few more times during the cooking time and got values varying between 60 degrees and 65 degrees. After jut over an hour, eggs came out more like 64/65 degree. Yolk was a sphere, very creamy but not runny at all.

I think at this point I might have to take it back and wait until they've ironed out the kinks!

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Checked a few more times during the cooking time and got values varying between 60 degrees and 65 degrees.

Thanks for the feedback. My hunch was that it wouldn't be very accurate for the price but I'm disappointed that it appears to be so inaccurate. I didn't expect it would have a PID controller but even a bang-bang thermostat can be much more accurate than that. I'm guessing that the heating component of the unit is an existing slow-cooker and they've just re-packaged it for sous vide, without the accuracy that we associate with the technique.

It would be nice to think you have a defective unit and that they're normally much more accurate, but my bets are that they're all the same.

Would love to hear from more users or customers, especially those with the equipment to measure the long-term accuracy of the unit.

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Checked a few more times during the cooking time and got values varying between 60 degrees and 65 degrees.

Thanks for the feedback. My hunch was that it wouldn't be very accurate for the price but I'm disappointed that it appears to be so inaccurate. I didn't expect it would have a PID controller but even a bang-bang thermostat can be much more accurate than that. I'm guessing that the heating component of the unit is an existing slow-cooker and they've just re-packaged it for sous vide, without the accuracy that we associate with the technique.

It would be nice to think you have a defective unit and that they're normally much more accurate, but my bets are that they're all the same.

Would love to hear from more users or customers, especially those with the equipment to measure the long-term accuracy of the unit.

If it does not have a water circulator, a PID will do it no good.

PID is not that expensive to incorporate, a circulator is difficult to be worked into a slow cooker.

dcarch

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Nope - no circulator. It indeed does seem like a slow cooker that's been jazzed up a little to mimic sous vide.

Just wanted to point out that when I saw the temperatures in my post above being between 60 and 65, that's what displayed on the unit's LCD display. I will give it one more try this weekend and use a thermometer.

Will also give Sunbeam a call to see what they say and report back here!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just an update on this one! I swapped my unit out (and ended up getting it replaced with a bundle that included a vac sealer for about $90 more).

Tried eggs again, but this time elevated them by putting a few ceramic plates in the bottom of the bath.

This time - perfection!

The display on the unit exhibited the same behaviour (i.e temperature according to the display seemed to waver between 66 degrees and 61 degrees), but when I tested with an external thermometer, the unit seemed to keep a steady temperature of 63-64 degrees (I had it set to 63)

Looking forward to trying some meat!

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