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Inexpensive Sous Vide machines
Old 08-03-2017, 01:33 PM   #1
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Inexpensive Sous Vide machines

I have been thinking about Sous Vide for a while. I have been looking at the immersion units that you stick in a pot you own. It seems the descent ones are at least $100 and some of the highly recommended ones are $200

Recently, a friend told me that we can now get complete Sous Vide machines for under $70 at Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...O736F4KX&psc=1

Does anybody have any experience with these very inexpensive Sous Vide machines?
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Old 08-03-2017, 01:59 PM   #2
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The one you linked to has a pretty small capacity compared to any others I've seen. One reviewer pointed out the max water depth is only 4 inches, which would not be deep enough for most cooks I do. Probably OK if you're only cooking for one person though, and the price is certainly good.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:22 PM   #3
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We didn't want to tie up that much space. We use an Anova in our Instant Pot, so the counter space does double duty. It's basically a precision-controlled immersion heater. I believe that Instant Pot has also introduced their own model.

With the immersion heater style, your capacity is nearly unlimited. I have seen many cases where someone has simply cut a hole in the top of a cooler and stuck the heater through it. Then you could easily do a full packer brisket or a big prime rib.

"Never buy junk tools." has always been a rule that I try to follow, too. $70 may be too cheap.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldShooter View Post
With the immersion heater style, your capacity is nearly unlimited. I have seen many cases where someone has simply cut a hole in the top of a cooler and stuck the heater through it. Then you could easily do a full packer brisket or a big prime rib.
This is clearly the best answer. Either a Joule or an Anova would be the top choices. When my old SousVide Supreme eventually dies, that's what I'll replace it with.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:45 PM   #5
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One of my future projects is to try Sous Vide style cooking in a thermal cooker.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:51 PM   #6
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There are a few ways to do it. I have used the Anova Culinary Bluetooth Sous Vide Precision Cooker, 800 Watts, Black. It seems to work great. $99.

Prior to that, I tried the Inkbird Itc-308 Digital Temperature Controller Outlet Thermostat, 2-stage, 1100w, w/ Sensor and a crock pot. $35.


Both seemed to work, although the food is a bit bland even with searing/marinating. I bought a camp Chef Woodwind pellet stove which works great on some of the same items, and gives a great flavor.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:59 PM   #7
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I've only had experience with the more expensive Anova 900 watt immersion stick, and I am a total fan of the whole sous vide cooking experience. The 800 watt Anova is less expensive, and now they advertise a $89 model 700 watt that will be available this fall. I pre-ordered it at a discount for $69. I found that the higher watt version will heat up your water bath faster and can handle a larger water volume, but all consume very little energy maintaining the temperature. They all have impellers to circulate the water bath to maintain consistent temperature throughout.

When I looked up your link, I was impressed that the entire Sous Vide unit could be had for only $70. One potential drawback: one reviewer states there is no water circulator. The accuracy of the water temperature and potential for hot and cool spots might be an issue. I don't own this, so I don't really know. The shape of the water bath is said by another reviewer to be only 4 inches deep. How much food can be completely immersed in only 4 inches of water?
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:00 PM   #8
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I've done Sous Vide with only a cooler and a thermometer. Best to have a thermometer that can be submerged in the water and read w/o opening the cooler.

Just pre-heat with some hotter water to bring the cooler walls up to temp, add water to get to the temperature you want, mixing tap and boiling as you go. A large cooler will hold temps well. Throw some blankets over it. You might have to top off with a cup or two of boiling water every half hour or so, maybe more at first if you added a lot of food.

Or for smaller things, get one of these, and plug in an old-style, manual switch type slow-cooker:

https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Itc-3...7NJX35EQR95KWA



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Old 08-04-2017, 08:58 AM   #9
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This is something I've been curious about for a while, but haven't done anything yet. I did bookmark a The Sweet Home article from a couple of months ago. Their detailed analysis and methodology is here: The Best Sous Vide Machine and Gear | The Sweethome

To summarize the results:
best budget pick - Kitchen Gizmo $100 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3TKFDK
best overall - Anova $199 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HHWSV1S
runner-up - Chef Steps $180 - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0727R431B
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Old 08-04-2017, 09:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldShooter View Post
We didn't want to tie up that much space. We use an Anova in our Instant Pot, so the counter space does double duty. It's basically a precision-controlled immersion heater. I believe that Instant Pot has also introduced their own model.

With the immersion heater style, your capacity is nearly unlimited. I have seen many cases where someone has simply cut a hole in the top of a cooler and stuck the heater through it. Then you could easily do a full packer brisket or a big prime rib.

"Never buy junk tools." has always been a rule that I try to follow, too. $70 may be too cheap.
+1 on the Anova. Immersion gives you large and small capacity choices, and doesn't take up counter space when not being used. I also decided to splurge on a rack, and a plastic box with a lid with a cutout for my Anova. I easily use it 2-3x per week.

I tried the method of adding hot water and keeping an eye on the temperature--waaay too much work.

The smaller Anova was on sale on Amazon Prime Day for $99. I bought the regular one last year for $179.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:03 PM   #11
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I purchased a Chef Steps Joule recently and have been enjoying the BEST poached eggs and salmon that I've ever been able to prepare. Chicken thighs were good, but not exceptional. I've yet to try dishes that require a long (8hr+) times in the water, but will be doing that soon.

Love it!
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