sousvide chef arrived

In the Sous Vide Equipment Forum
Dear all,

after my first first experience with an immersion circulator bought on ebay

http://www.cookingsousvide.com/sous-vide-forums/Sous-Vide-Equipment-Forum/topics/got-scammed-purchasing-an-immersion-circulator-on-ebay-a-lfp-sv1000-immersion-circulator

i was in the quest of buying a new one.
When googling i found this one.

http://csc.vac-star.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=83&Itemid=100&lang=en

since this looks like a respectable company i decided to order one.
Ordering and communication was ok.

Yesterday it arrived, well packed and i am now trying it out.

From the first impression it looks well build.
Large display. And setting temparature is ok, although it jumps quite fast to a diffent degree (so you have to rouch only very gentle)

It is very quiet, at least in comperason with the "hongarian quality product..".

I have vacuumed a few eggs and chicken leggs, for it's maiden trip.
will let you know how it goes, and write a review when i have tested it a bit more.

I really hopes this device works, because the pricelevel could match the Ricecooker setup with external pid., However easier to store and more flexability. It certainly looks cool


22 Replies So Far

Definitely keep us updated! I've tried reaching out to them for information in the past but didn't hear back so I'm curious to know how their machines work.

Thanks and good luck!
ok, first update:

I have tried all kind of things, which require relatively short cooking times.

The perfect egg came out perfect..
The steak... exactly how i wanted it to be

Stable in a large pan with -0.2 celcius, up to + 0.3 celcius.
I a large container (20 liter) -0.1 up to +0.1 celcius.

so it's safe to say, accurate

During the weekend i will try porkbelly (so a longer run)
I had the luck, i had early bird discount (5% i believe) however with 320 Euro incl VAT (420 USD) and 15 euro freightcost i think it's a good investement. However i will let you know how the longruns went..

the guy that i emailed is Christian Hössle (hoessle@vac-star.com)
one comment, i would order also the "floating balls".
i forgot to order them, and purchasing them locally is almost impossible. you have to buy them per 1000 or so (they are used to isolate pools.
Pretty interesting to see what will be the outcome. It sure looks like a copy of my Sous Vide Professional from PolyScience.
found this blogpost in german, but more or less self-explanatory:
http://sousvideblog.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/8/
We're using sous vide for commercial purposes and have several Polyscience 7302's but we need more. The price for this product intrigues me since it's 1/3 the price of the 7302 and around half that of the Polyscience sous vide pro. It's 1300 watt heater seems more powerful than the 110v versions of the Polyscience machines, but there's no pump capacity specifications. We normally use large cambro tubs when we cook in bulk.

By the way, why did you pay German vat? If you're based in the US, the sale was essentially for export and should be free from VAT. The sous vide chef is listed at only €270.37 plus vat. We have bought equipment from Germany before and we made sure to let them know that the product will be exported to Asia and they sold it to us vat free.
Hi Rickmor,

i am living in the Netherlands, and i had to pay tax.
I am also a private person (not a company).

i tried to a 50 liter tank, for my pork belly at 65 Celcius, and it was stable... Although i am not sure if at higher temperatures it would be powerfull enough.

Regarding pump capacity, i really don't know how much capacity it is.
All in all, till this date, i am very happy with it, although i don't know how it would do in comparrison with the Polyscience stuff and in an commercial kitchen.

Cheers
Thanks for the clarification. The fact that it can hold 65C on a 50 liter tank just sold me on the product. We normally just pour hot water in the cooking tank so the circulator won't have to work so hard. Will get one in January and put it to work. If it's reliable, then we plan to get more. Thanks for the info and have a happy new year!
u2 a happy new year!
When you have ordered it, i would be very intereseted in a side by side comparison with the Polyscience 7302.

if you can share that, would be helpfull for more people.
thanx
I agree about the side to side comparison. If you are interested in writing one once you've had a chance to use both of them I would add it directly to our equipment section.
Thanks!
Jason
Will do on the side by side once I get the new machine. We got out first 7302 in 2007 and it's been quite the workhorse, never had a problem with it despite being used in 65 liter tanks, cooking a lot of pork and beef bellies. I hope to get the similar results with the new machine which costs 1/3 the price.
Hi,

I just received this machine yesterday and I tested it in an 18L tank, that is 32cm deep.
Firstly I tested it.
I ran it for 2 hours at 63 degrees centigrade. I then tested the water temperature and it ranged from
39 degrees C at the bottom of the container to 62 degrees C at the top of the water. Nowhere could I find
63 degrees C. Meanwhile the device was registering overshoot temperatures of 70 degrees C that settled
back to 63 degrees and the heater started again.

I then set the device to 80 degrees C and it let it run for 2 hours. Again the water temperatures measured ranged from 41 degrees C at the bottom of the container, to 71 degrees C at the top of the water.
Nowhere was close to 80 degrees C.

I was using a thermoworks thermometer with a precision needle probe that has been recently calibrated.

I emailed Vac-Star with these results, and they replied saying that they recommend tanks no taller than 20cm.
However, I am confused by that comment, as the distance from the clamp to the bottom of the device is 19.5cm, and the documentation states that there must be clearance on the bottom, thus the *only* tank size
that would work is 20cm deep. And that seems ridiculous.

Could anyone else that has this device please let me know if their results are consistent with mine?
I suspect that I have a defective unit -- perhaps there is something wrong with the pump.

Thanks
Craig
Hi Craig,

i will check for you next week.
I have lend the machine out to a friend who wants to test it too before buying one.

However is the tank on a very cold surface?

I have now two tanks, one fit in the other with isolation between it, also to isolate the bottom of the thank.

however your situation doesn't match my findings till this date, and doesn't sound ok.
Sounds like, unless te surface underneath the tank is icecold, that your machine is defective.

Good luck

Thuiskoker
I was informed that the Vac-Star circulator's pump ran at 2 liters per minute. The Polyscience 7306 runs at 12 lpm while the Julabo Pearl runs at 15 lpm. The weak pump prevented me from purchasing this machine since I need to run larger capacity tanks, but for home applications this should be ok. Craig, maybe you should start with stove warmed water then see if the circulator can maintain the temperature.
Hi, i just called them to find out how much liters the pump does, since i couldn't find those details anywhere.

It should run at least 5 liters a minute.
They tested it by transferring it through a narrow tube, so actually it should be a little bit more.

i told him also about Craigs issue, and he told me that his pump was defective and already send or will be sending him a new machine..

I just wanted to check also myself, since a few friends of mine, also want to order one.

Hope craig's issue will be solved soon too

cheers Thuiskoker
I emailed the address above belonging to Mr. Hoessle and he was the one who informed me of the 2 liters per minute capacity. I thought it may have been a mistake so I emailed him again just to confirm if it was correct, and he did reiterate that it was 2 lpm. I do hope that they come out with a stronger pump in succeeding models.
Hi,

I just checked my email and indeed, Vac-Star is sending a replacement. I will send an update to this forum when I get the new unit.

I am confused that two different people contacting the same company on the same day can get two different answers on the pump strength. I must admit (deductively), a 2L per minute pump seems very underpowered, given the polyscience SousVide Professional is 12L/min and the Addelice SWID is 6L/min. However, a 5L/min pump should perform adequately.

I am also confused at the "new" specification that the Vac-Star product will only work in containers exactly 20cm high. Can anyone with a working unit confirm that it doesn't work properly in tanks greater than 20cm in height?

Thanks,
Craig
Hi,

i believe they checked after we contacted them.
(probably they are not making the devices themselves)

But when i have the device back i will try and check to find out how big the pump capacity is.

@craig: the 20 cm specification is bogus, i had a far deeper and larger container and it worked perfect ( i tried it at 65c). also i measured with a digital probe (although not the fanciest one) and it was exactly 65c. Overshoots were within +0.2 -0.2

so i hope when you received the replacement you will be satisified too.

Cheers Thuiskoker
Hi Guys,

I'm another one of Lajos Horvaths victims. Sent my faulty LP-SV1000 (insulation failure) back only to get all further communication ignored and as a result shafted like many others. Before I sent it back I did have it checked by an electrical engineer and in his opinion given the nature of the insulation failure it was probably better that we didn't get them back, they are potentially deadly with inherent faults. Still my family can't afford the loss of money like that and we only got 2 months use out of it. I just hope some Karmic justice comes to pass further down the line.

Similarly to Thuiskoker I came across this unit while looking for a replacement for the sousvide.eu junk. I'm not going to buy on trust again and am consequently am only going to buy what others have tried and tested. This looks like a well made solid unit, but I am concerned by the above comments about the pump, particularly if it was run in a bath that was well filled with bags such as preparing for a barbie, or bulk cooking chicken. I have looked at the sous vide magic, but having three things plugged in just to run a water bath isn't going to work n my kitchen. Cost is an issue for me, otherwise I would just be buying the tried and tested market leading products. I would use this unit in 9l and 24l insulated coolers, as well as large saucepans. Would those of you that have this unit recommend it for this type of use?? I can't afford another mistake and would be interested if those that have bought the unit would still buy it having used it.


Hi all,

I received a new unit from Vac-Star, and indeed the pump on the first unit was defective. The new unit works perfectly, in both the recomended 20cm deep container and my original 35cm container. I tested it at both 63 degrees C and 80 degrees C and the temperature was within .1 degree at all points in both tanks.

I am quite happy with it.

Regards
Craig
Hi all,

I just bought one of these from Vac-Star and I am pretty impressed thus far. Admittedly I've just pulled it out of the box, attached it to the side of a large boiler pot and had it maintain the temperature of some hot tap water I'd put in. I also had a cooking thermometer attached to the side of the pot and it confirmed the temperature was kept as the device stated. One problem was that I then read that you need to make sure that the device isn't sitting on the bottom of the pot (and mine was close) and that there is space behind it. The strange thing is that I don't know how that part is supposed to work. The device is top and front heavy and the bolt that holds it in place is a single pivot point. Therefore it naturally wants to 'lean' into the container and therefore the foot (without a spacer of some sort) is going to potentially touch the side of the pot.... anyway since my pot isn't deep enough I am looking around for something more suitable and will probably also look at getting some of those floating balls too.

Enjoy,
JW
Well I have now successfully used the Sousvide Chef. I bought a 20L stainless pot from a local commercial kitchen supply store. I made sure that it was more than 23cm deep. I filled it with hot water from the tap to get it started and then put in 2 chuck steaks vacuum sealed (end to end) together by my butcher in a 'boilable' bag. I cooked it for a little under 24 hours at 55 degrees Celsius. During the process there was two things that I struggled with.

1. Finding something to keep the meat upright but not obstruct the flow of water but also able to be in hot water for 24 hours and

2. preventing evaporation.

For the first problem I initially had 2 chrome BBQ cutlery stands tied around it, but they rusted. Whilst at the shop I found a roasting rack and so I swapped for that and it rusted in 8 hours. I also bought 2 toast racks, but I suspect they might even be worse in the rusting department and may not be tall enough to provide the support for the meat.

Other than putting hot tap water in the container a couple of times this wasn't a huge issue. However I was determined to 'do it like a pro'. On the Poly Science web site they talk about a 'blanket' of hollow Polypropylene 20mm balls to float on the surface (for $99). I started thinking of where to get these from but at a reduced cost. In the end whilst walking through the store I happened upon the sporting goods aisle and what should I see but a bulk (60) container of table tennis balls. However I've just done some research and I'm not entirely convinced that this was a great idea as they may have been made of a thermoplastic call celluloid which could create Nitric acid with heat and water.. :( Guess I'll have to go back to the drawing board on that one.


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