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Sous Vide Supreme First Thoughts

I've been very curious to check out the new Sous Vide supreme cooker but couldn't justify spending more money on sous vide equipment. Luckily, through my contact at Sur La Table I managed to borrow a unit from them that I can play around with for a few weeks. I'll post a little more about the Sous Vide Supreme as I use it over the next few weeks but I wanted to share some of my initial thoughts.

In my opinion one of the biggest things the Sous Vide Supreme has going for it is how nice it looks. Compared to immersion circulators and PID controllers the Sous Vide Supreme looks like a nice , normal piece of kitchen equipment instead of a piece of lab equipment. It's very large and bulky but has a nice stainless steel exterior and looks very sharp. It'll take up a large section of counter space but you can always put it in the closet when not in use.

I had a few initial frustrations when I started to use the Sous Vide Supreme. I didn't realize that to turn the unit on you have to hold down the power button for 3-4 seconds, it's never good when you have to read the directions to figure out how to turn on an appliance. It is also a little hard to plug in the Sous Vide Supreme because the plug is in the back and the unit is pretty heavy when filled with water. Things turned around once I got it plugged in and turned on though.

It only took 20 minutes for the temperature to heat up and stabilize at 146F. That's a pretty short amount of time compared with other home sous vide products. It's also nice that the Sous Vide Supreme beeps when it's come up to temperature so you don't have to keep checking it. Once it had heated up I put in 1.5 pounds of cold beef which only dropped the temp a couple degrees and it was back up to temperature and stabilized in about 5 minutes. This should be sufficient for most low-time sous vide preparations.

The Sous Vide Supreme has a few nice features. I really like the ability to change between centigrade and fahrenheit, it is nice that it removes the step of having to convert the temperature when you have a recipe done in fahrenheit. It also comes with several racks to hold the pouches and keep them separated while they cook. I'm not sure if this actually makes a difference but it at least makes the inside look less messy than when I use my crock pot. The Sous Vide Supreme also game with several seasoning pouches which might be nice for some people.

The Sous Vide Supreme also seems to have a few downsides. It is only accurate within a .5C / 1F temperature margin which is good enough for most foods but not as accurate as some other sous vide cookers. While the side of the unit stays relatively cool, the top can get really hot, even with the pad they have on top. Because the water bath is completely enclosed you are also limited by the size of what you can cook. I think in general the Sous Vide Supreme can handle enough food for most families but you do miss out on the ability you get with immersion circulators and PID controllers to use larger water baths.

The biggest problem I've had so far is that it seems to be slowly leaking onto my counter. It's not a ton of water but enough to get everything wet. I'm going to have to read through the directions again and see if I missed anything that is supposed to seal it better.

All in all the Sous Vide Supreme seems to be working rather well and the quick heat up time is definitely a bonus. I'll post again when I've had a chance to use it more.

More Sous Vide Supreme Links

Buy from Sur La Table
Michael Ruhlman, co-author of Under Pressure: The Sous Vide Supreme
The Main Sous Vide Supreme Site