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nathanm

Water Baths and Immersion Circulators

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I've got the Polyscience Sous Vide Pro Chef, and use it about 4 times a week, on average. At work, we've got the Julabo Pro's, and honestly I can't tell a difference at all in their efficiencies. Both of them are great machines, and I think you'd be equally happy with either.

These machines really don't boil water efficiently though. Over about 90C, they just stay cranked up, and you end up with fairly close to, but not quite boiling.

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The Julabo Pearl and Diamond aren't really "consumer" level devices like the plastic Polyscience SVP's. They are designed for commercial kitchens, very heavy duty, all steel construction. If you get one, I recommend springing for the integrated insulated water bath, which saves a tremendous amount of energy and eliminates evaporation during long cooks. Get the retention grids which hold floating bags under water very nicely. The EH doesn't go low enough in temperature for Sous Vide.

I've had Polyscience SVP Chef and now the Julabo Diamond, and there is no comparison in terms of build quality. The Julabo's feel like they'd literally last a lifetime.The Julabo pumps also seem to move much more water than the Polyscience, despite only about a 20% difference in the specifications.

The extra $389 for the Pearl vs the SVP Chef is well worth it, IMO, since it's construcuted just like the Diamond. The Diamond is nice if you want to develop new recipes since it supports an external food temperature probe, as well as software monitoring and control.

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Thanks for the tips. Do the insulated baths actually make that much of a difference? Is it really worth paying $1,000 more? Would wrapping it in a blanket and using ping pong balls be sufficient?

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I came across this site http://www.undergroundcirculators.com/Circulator.html that offers a pretty stout looking sous vide immersion circulator for less than $500. It looks a lot like the high-end polyscience version that is around $1300. I have only been able to find some reviews by looking over their ebay sales and reading what people say about it on there. I was hoping someone could give me their thoughts on it if they have purchased one of these. Thanks a lot!

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Looks interesting. $500 isn't cheap, but it is cheaper than similar stuff. I don't see why it couldn't cost less, actually. The components can't be that expensive. The six month guarantee seems short given the price and the lack of a track record for the product or the company.

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Yes I agree. Compared to the similar model by PolyScience, it seems like a good deal but it is still expensive. On the site he talks about how he got started by refurbishing used sous vide machines. Are there issues across the board with the machines not lasting long?

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The PolyScience Creative Series circulator lists for $499, I've seen it as low as $435. The only knock I've read on it is a hard-to-see display.

http://store.chefste...sion-circulator

Anova is coming out with a $299 circulator. No idea what their new schedule is; they were taking pre-orders but no reviews on the web to indicate any shipped:

http://www.waterbaths.com/products/sousvide_products.html

If these tidy, contained units actually work, then the open construction of the Underground looks too mad scientist for me. I've gone the PID controller, hot plate route and I want to get away from that look...


Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"

Ripose il cane: "Ho fame e non ho nulla da mangiare."

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The PolyScience Creative Series circulator lists for $499, I've seen it as low as $435. The only knock I've read on it is a hard-to-see display.

...and that it's intended for only home/casual use, which they define to be "used no more than 2/3 days per week"

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The PolyScience Creative Series circulator...

it's intended for only home/casual use, which they define to be "used no more than 2/3 days per week"

Huh, I missed that. I read "home/casual" as not capable of restaurant-sized bath volumes. They'd certainly want to scare restaurants out of buying it (like Wang not wanting to cannibalize their word processor sales by introducing a personal computer, see where that got those fools). So is there anything about the actual specs that would indicate it would be unreliable with frequent home use?


Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"

Ripose il cane: "Ho fame e non ho nulla da mangiare."

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like Wang not wanting to cannibalize their word processor sales by introducing a personal computer

Is anyone else as baffled as I am that the $60 slow cooker market hasn't expanded to higher profit margin $100 units with "to the degree" PID controllers? Forty years ago you could notice something traveling in Japan, and introduce a novel product in the United States, but now information travels faster. Did slow cooker management all thaw out of a glacier?


Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"

Ripose il cane: "Ho fame e non ho nulla da mangiare."

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Rice cookers are more sophisticated than sv units. You d think Zojirushi would come out with a sv product easily.

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You d think Zojirushi would come out with a sv product easily.

Funny you should say that, I was gearing up to reverse engineer my Zojirushi, to try to figure out what each preset really does. I don't need a rice cooker cookbook, I need a table defining to an engineer what each mode actually does. Their strategy has to be to hit a target temp depending on the preset, then switch to warming mode when it senses the "water is gone"? It must track the current required to maintain temperature.

The original "signature" configuration for the SousVideMagic was to control a dumb rice cooker, so yes, it's baffling that Zojirushi doesn't just build this in.

I find various uses for higher temps using my PID, principally for beans. Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo is my bean God, selling flavorful heirloom beans good enough for Thomas Keller. Steve (he used to come regularly to the SF Ferry Building farmers market) feels that pressure cooked beans taste like canned, don't develop the same pot liquor. So I'm baffled by the school that advocates pressure-cooking beans. Are they expecting little flavor, so they're optimizing some textural quality? I've had the best results at 185 F to 195 F. There must be an appropriate Zojirushi setting, with the timer function and the automatic cutoff as bonuses.


Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"

Ripose il cane: "Ho fame e non ho nulla da mangiare."

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I had one of the underground units when it went by its previous name "Sous Vide Systems" they were under legal pressure from Polyscience to take Sous Vide out of their name and became Underground. What I am going to say is based on that older unit and though they look identical they may have improved on the design and operation.

Out of the box I found that there was a 2 degree C variation between the unit and my calibrated thermometer. The unit only used degrees Centigrade. After a few weeks of use the housing began corroding. The circulator is simply a propeller that agitates the water. I sent my unit back and was issued a refund. I bought the Sous Vide Professional and have been very happy.

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Great example of legal bullying. Polyscience knows damn well they can't trademark sous vide. They also know the little company cannot afford to fight them.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

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I had one of the underground units when it went by its previous name "Sous Vide Systems" they were under legal pressure from Polyscience to take Sous Vide out of their name and became Underground. What I am going to say is based on that older unit and though they look identical they may have improved on the design and operation.

Out of the box I found that there was a 2 degree C variation between the unit and my calibrated thermometer. The unit only used degrees Centigrade. After a few weeks of use the housing began corroding. The circulator is simply a propeller that agitates the water. I sent my unit back and was issued a refund. I bought the Sous Vide Professional and have been very happy.

Thank you so much for your reply. This is what I was looking for; someone that has used one by this company. I'll probably end up going with the Polyscience Creative Series. I just had a few hesitations about the Underground since their website didn't show a lot of detailed information and there were no videos to really display their product. Thanks again.

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@gfweb, I agree completely. That was a case of a really big company shutting down a much smaller one that simply couldn't afford to fight. I had more than a little guilt buying a product from the company that did such a thing but in my experience it was a better machine.

@Dexterity15, no problem. Have you looked at the nomiku? I have no experience with it but it looks great.

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We use the Underground circulator at work. It crapped out on us about 1.5 months in but was fixed quickly under warranty. It's worked great since (maybe 6 months or a bit more). It's a little quirky in that there's no choice to read F or C, just C. But it does the job. We use a really large volume of water, much more than you could heat with the Polyscience, and it holds the temps very well.

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Have you looked at the nomiku? I have no experience with it but it looks great.

That's not yet avalible, it's a KS project that's late:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nomiku/nomiku-bring-sous-vide-into-your-kitchen?ref=live

From the updates: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nomiku/nomiku-bring-sous-vide-into-your-kitchen/posts

First, the bad news: because of issues that have lined up and the 3-week Chinese New Year holiday, it’s likely that we won’t have the Nomiku on your doorstep until March.

I think I'm going to go with the creative series and pick one up tonight at William Sonoma, It seems this industry for the home use is just getting under way and I feel more confortable buying from a large company with a histroy of these units in the science community.

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I just ordered a Anova Sous Vide, and I'm wondering what kind of container would be ideal for it. Things to consider:

1. Ability to cook for 1 to 10 people.

2. Has a lid that you can custom cut a hole in.

3. Won't melt, burn, or degrade from the Anova.

4. Price

5. Durability

6. Not sure how possible, but it would be nice if it doesn't get too hot on the outside.

7. Can double as a place to brine.

I will probably start by using the Anova with one of my pots, but I'd like a dedicated container. What have you guys used and what are their limitations, if any?


Edited by ejomby (log)

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Anova is too big for all but a stock pot, which works nicely for many uses. I cover it with aluminum foil. For big volumes I have a big plastic tub which is I guess 5 gallons. I cover that with foil too. You could go all insulated and energy efficient, I suppose, but I didn't feel like buying a new container when I had workable stuff around. Anova is up to the heat loss from my set up...temp is rock steady.

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I recently purchased both an 8L and 18L polycarbonate Cambro container.

The lids are easy to cut and cheap so you can have an uncut lid if using the container for short storage

See pics in the Anova thread

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You'll want containers that are min. 8" deep, and polycarbonate (good up to 210ºF), or maybe restaurant supply s.s. food pans.

I ended up with this 12 qt. Cambro for smaller loads, as well as this full size pan for max. capacity (I waited for a WS free shipping day).

I tried (and liked) this 12"x18" box, but the design of the rim would have required surgery that I was not happy with.

I've tried beer coolers in the past, but was not comfortable with the plastic particles released into the water - the result of not being suitable with high temps that SV requires.


Monterey Bay area

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I've been considering the Rubbermaid Professional units that are the same size as the Cambros at half the price.

Incidentally, though, the Anova just fits my wheeled cooler that I bought for my home-brewed sous vide setup. Haven't tried it yet, though.

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Im a big fan of colman coolers. but I have not used one with the Anova (yet)

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I use my pressure cooker without the lid when cooking for up to four.

For larger groups or longer cooks I use a 20 litre polycarbonate container with a lid that I got some professional plastics people cut a hole in (polycarbonate has a habit of splitting if you don't use the right equipment and technique).

post-59778-0-21934200-1368078093.jpg

It works very well and has minimal evaporation over long cooks.


Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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