Should I buy a SVS

In the Sous Vide Recipes Forum
After spending the last couple of weeks researching sv I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase this wonderful kitchen appliance. I live in England and decided that I would go to the food show in Birmingham at the end of the month as sv are having a promotion there and I hoped I might be able to get a good price as over her am looking at around the £450 mark for sv and sealer combo. I was fortunate to find your wonderful sv forum that I have nearly read every page of and now this is my dilemma.
Before reading your forum I was 90% getting the combo package the 10% was just down to price but after reading the many stories I am now at 70% AGAINST A PURCHASE so many horror stories have really put me off. Bacteria, not cooked, playing with different temp/heat I am so confused and the cost is even more relevant now to my decision. PLEASE HELP ME TO SORT THIS DILEMMA. Help me get my faith back in this product any advice would be much appreciated. Yours hopefully mark from England


9 Replies So Far

Am in the UK too, and got into sous vide a while ago now. The SVS at the time was very expensive, so I got a Sous Vide Magic and a large jam maker. It's served me well and it's a technique I love using for controlled temperature cooking.

In my experience horror stories are almost all easily avoided by a bit of reading up on food safety - I chose Douglas Baldwin's book as he's a Math geek and so am I. One thing it makes you painfully aware of is how much you ignore food safety in a normal cooking process. Once you learn about pasteurisation times, you're pretty much set.

Not sure how you're getting to 450 quid - a full size SVS package including sealer is 393 on their uk website. Personally I didn't like their sealer, so bought a food saver instead. I liked the look of the water bath, but at the time it was more like 500 quid for just that, so I went for a far cheaper solution.

For equipment, new items are emerging, I've actually just purchased (it's yet to arrive) an Anova immersion circulator. It's a consumer version of the water circulators you've no doubt read about being used professionally for sous vide, and comes in (to the UK) at around 270 USD, around 170 quid. Unlike the SVS you need a separate vessel to hold the water, but as it's circulated the temperature is somewhat more consistent. It's also a bit more portable, which is a good selling point for me as my current setup is far from portable. I should point out that there are other consumer circulators coming out around now - if you google Sansaire, Nomiku or Polyscience Discovery you can get further links. Also, other than buying the Anova, I have no affiliation with them or any of the other manufacturers whatsoever.

Lots of options right now, far more than when I was starting out - whether to buy it or not is up to you. The 'playing with temperatures', once you're aware of a 'safe zone', is more about finding what you like. The plus side is consistency and repeatability. The controlled temperature also simplifies a lot of things - I make hollandaise and the custard for creme brulee in the water bath, for instance, which I've only had limited success with in a pan due to (usually) overdoing the temperature and cooking the eggs.

Hope that helps.
Hi lee thanks for info very interesting been reading up on the Anova looks very impressive great reviews great company and great price you say £170 ish do you have contact as I cannot find anywhere that ships a 220v to uk also what type of container is best to use do you have to have a lid many thanks again for restoring my faith and hopefully some money as well cheers mark b
I bought direct - anovaculinary.com, and then select the 220v version.

I'm yet to receive mine but then I do I'll post some notes here and on egullet.

In prep I have bought an 18 litre polycarbonate container and a lid - from experience with the jam maker you have a lot more stable system if you have a lid.
Thanks for info again lee have looked at food savers look really good great reviews not sure which is best one at £89.99 or the one at £159.99 more expensive is pulling my strings at the moment any tips only concern is cost of bags
Agree with everything that Lee says. My only concern with importing is the uncertainty as to whether there will be any import taxes in the UK. From previous experience this seems very hit and miss but you need to budget for the potential for at least 20% VAT on top of the US figures quoted.
I have a water bath ane a circulator and the circulator wins hands down! It is portable, can be used in different vessels and is easy to store. my recommendation is to go with a circulator. A bath is waste of money and space!
I have a water bath ane a circulator and the circulator wins hands down! It is portable, can be used in different vessels and is easy to store. my recommendation is to go with a circulator. A bath is waste of money and space!
I paid twice, a few years ago, for the SVS what I paid for my Anova now.

And since I got the Anova, the SVS sits unused.

I received my Anova in December a nod it's been in regular use with no dissppointment. To the USD cost you need to add VAT (no duty if you are importing only one - it's under the threshold) at 20% for the UKq, and a 'clearance charge' from the courier of around 14 GBP.

Obviously you also need to buy a vessel - a large tall stock pot would do, but I personally went with an 18L polycarbonate container and a lid which I cut to rmakes space for the Anova.. So far the Anova is more stable than my previous jury rigged setup, which didn't have any artificial circulation of the water. There's little difference for long cooks where small variations in temperature would be irrelevant anyway, but small items which require precise control like eggs are more consistent with the new setup.


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