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The VacMaster SV5 is a mid-priced sous vide circulator, designed for either professional kitchens or larger amounts of home use. After running one through our benchmark tests and hands-on testing, here are our thoughts.
The 1300 watt heater leads to decent startup times, at 21 minutes, slower than the VacMaster SV10 but comparable to the Anova Pro. The second temperature jump was also accomplished pretty quickly, which is very helpful if you need to cook at various temperatures, or recover the temperature after adding larger amounts of food. It can also handle up to 5 gallons of water.
The interface was easy to use and set up, though it does default to an automatic timer you have to remember to turn off every time you use it, as I was reminded of by my wife when she got home from work to a loudly beeping machine in the house.
The biggest downside to the VacMaster SV10 and VacMaster SV5 is that their temperature stability is much poorer than most other circulators, especially ones at this price. The SV5 varies by 0.9°F, from 140.2°F to 141.1°F in our tests. That compares to Vesta Units at 0.2°F and PolyScience at 0.1°F.
This temperature variation is most likely due to the way the heater works in the VacMaster machines, it's very much an "all or nothing" heater that lets the temperature drop slightly before kicking on full blast. Many other machines run the heater more often, at a lower temperature, and don't let the temperature drop as far. The overall power consumption was inline with other circulators, coming in between the PolyScience and Vesta machines.
The Vacmaster SV5 is a relatively powerful machine with a strong heater. However, the temperature stability is not as precise as in other machines, which may affect the quality depending on the foods you are cooking. It is also on the louder side, though the interface is easy to use.
If it sounds right for you, buy one today!
Have you used the VacMaster SV5? Let us know what you thought of it!