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In our reviews of multi-cookers, our focus will be on how well they operate as a sous vide machine. By its very nature, the design of a multi-cooker requires numerous trade-offs. It's difficult for each function in a multi-cooker to compete with a device that has been designed specifically for that function. So, it is not surprising that the performance of a multi-cooker as a sous vide machine is going to be less than sous vide only implementations. In our reviews we will highlight both the strengths and weaknesses of the multi-cooker in performing the sous vide function.
Fissler is one of the early manufacturers to add the sous vide capability to their multi-cooker. In addition to the sous vide capability the Souspreme Multi Pot has 18 one-touch cooking programs, including steaming, pressure cooking, sauteing, slow cooking, fermenting and many more.
It's a multi-cooker! This provides two important advantages, cost and space. If you were to purchase individual equipment for all of the functions provided by the Souspreme Multi Pot, the cost would be significantly more than the $100 cost of this unit. Moreover, all that equipment would take up much more valuable countertop and cabinet space. So, if these two considerations are high on your list of priorities, and you want a unit that does a reasonable job of sous vide, then the Fissler Multi Pot could be just the ticket for you.
The Souspreme Multi Pot delivers the superior quality you expect from the Fissler brand. Fissler is a 5th generation family-owned housewares company founded in 1845, known throughout the world for its distinctive premium cookware and pressure cookers. The Souspreme was developed in Germany and is manufactured in China.
The interior pot of the unit uses 18/8 stainless steel, known for its high level of corrosion resistance. The base is composed of three layers, with an aluminum interior layer covered with stainless steel above and below, for faster and more even heating.
As mentioned above, with multi-cookers there are bound to be trade-offs, and the Fissler Souspreme has a number of them. Perhaps the most critical of these is its ability to achieve and maintain a stable temperature during the cook. When we ran the benchmark on the Souspreme the low temperature, which is set at 140°F, averaged 146.5°F in the water bath. We have tested many different sous vide machines of various types and the difference from the target temperature is typically less than 1°F, so this was the largest difference we've seen. Fortunately, you can partially correct for this by taking measurements with an accurate thermometer and then adjust the target temperature appropriately. Since it is a safety issue, be particularly vigilant to monitor the water bath when cooking at temperatures near the top of the "Danger Zone" (127°F to 130°F).
The temperature stability of the Fissler Souspreme Multi Pot was not as good as dedicated sous vide machines. It had a temperature variation of 0.9°F at the low temperature in the benchmark and a variation of 1.8°F at the high temperature. Keep in mind, however, that this level of stability is adequate for the majority of sous vide cooking.
The Souspreme has a interior pot with a diameter of 9" (23cm), which holds approximately 5 L of water in sous vide mode. This modest size is about half of what most sous vide water bath containers hold. It is adequate for cooking items such as chicken breasts, pork chops, and steaks for a family of four. But it's not suitable for large items such as racks of ribs, a pork shoulder, a large roast or prime rib. And obviously, this water bath is not expandable, like a sous vide circulator that can be moved to a larger container.
Although not a huge issue, most sous viders will be annoyed by the way the Fissler handles sous vide temperatures. The Souspreme has a large LED display, but it is not used to display the temperature of the water bath! If you press the "Sous Vide" button, the target temperature will be displayed, but there is no way to display the actual temperature of the bath. If you get a warm fuzzy feeling when you view the temperature of your sous vide bath during a cook, you will certainly miss that.
Setting the target temperature is also somewhat convoluted. You first press the "Sous Vide" button, and the display will show 122°F, which is the default starting temperature. If you press the button again within three seconds, the temperature will increment by 1°C for each press. It is interesting that the target temperature can only be displayed in degrees Fahrenheit, but that the increments are in degrees Celsius. Because of this you cannot set the target temperature to all Fahrenheit values. For example, you cannot set it for 130°F, 132°F, 141°F, etc.
One final issue with the handling of sous vide temperatures. If when you are setting the target temperature you increment past the value you wanted, you cannot decrement the temperature. There are two remedies to this dilemma. One is to continue to increment through the full cycle of temperatures until you approach your target temperature again. The second, which is typically the fastest, is to press the "Keep Warm/Cancel" button, which will allow you to start again at the default temperature of 122°F.
It is great that multi-cookers are starting to include sous vide functionality in them. However, in the case of the Fissler Souspreme Multi Pot the combination of the temperature being wrong, not being able to set specific temperatures, and the awkward temperature setting interface, make it difficult to recommend this machine from a sous vide perspective.
If you already own the Fissler, or buy it for the other cooking methods, then you can definitely get benefits from the sous vide functionality as well, (just make sure to double check that the temperature is correct before you use it) but if you are buying new, there are other options that provide sous vide functionality much more effectively.
If it sounds right for you, buy one today!
Have you used the Fissler Souspreme Multi Pot? Let us know what you thought of it!