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Looking for advice on Sous Vide equipment

jimreed777jimreed777 Posts: 267
edited August 2012 in EggHead Forum
What direction have you guys gone and are you happy with your setups?

I have found: 
several DIY setups for $75 to $100
A device that will cycle my crock pot off and on to maintain a set temp for about $185
A couple more professional options for $329 for a small one and $429 for a bit bigger one
A whole crap load of more expensive options.

What to do, what to do....

Please chime in with your experience.

Comments

  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 682
    I use a polyscience sous vide professional immersion circulator; I guess it falls under your "crap load of more expensive options" category. This unit can cost as much as an egg! (But I got a crazy deal) You can control temperatures to within 0.1 degree, it heats extremely quickly. You can hook it up to different size/shape container (a stock pot or a polycarbonate container). Because it circulates the water, it reduces chances of having a cold spot between items in the bath. I also like that i can store it away in a kitchen drawer.

    Polyscience recently came up with a new unit (creative series) that cost about half the price and the only difference seems to be the shape and speed of the pump. It may be a better option than the sous vide supreme at a similar price point but from what i read on the forum, everyone seems to be happy with the sous vide supreme.


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    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • jimreed777jimreed777 Posts: 267
    Pagman...

    do you have a warranty or a local dealer that supports your PS SV?
    other than circulation, was there another reason you chose that one over the cheaper ones?
    do you have a special container setup that you use with it?

    Thanks for your help.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,171
    I bought a whole bunch of equipment before Christmas last year. I decided that sous vide systems would start dropping in price by the time I was ready for another batch of gadgets. So, in the interim, I just got a $139 controller for my slow cooker.

    For the price, the results are great. But, there's no circulation, other than manual, and it is only accurate to 1C. As a result, many recipes take longer than what would happen w. circulation, and fine tuning how things like eggs are cooked is not possible.

    Nevertheless, I'm sold on the method as a whole.
  • jimreed777jimreed777 Posts: 267
    For those that have the Sous Vide Supreme or Demi...
    do you think adding this guy to the water bath would make it a better device:
  • You might try a small aquarium pump for circulation. They cost ~$10.
  • jimreed777jimreed777 Posts: 267
    Anyone use Fresh Meals Solutions?

    There combo is about $310 and has a controller and circulator / heater that makes any size pot a sous vide.

    I am thinking about going that route...but I have not heard anything about the company and that makes me a little nervous.

    anyone have their stuff and have feedback?
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 682

    Pagman...


    do you have a warranty or a local dealer that supports your PS SV?
    other than circulation, was there another reason you chose that one over the cheaper ones?
    do you have a special container setup that you use with it?

    Thanks for your help.
    Fully warranty and yes I have a local dealer.

    I have been using a big stock pot but I purchased a polycarbonate thank last weekend. Both are working well. I'll try posting a picture when I get home tonight.

    The circulation was the main reason I went with the polyscience but the fact that I can store the device in a drawer is also a benefit for me as my kitchen is quite small.

    The precise temperature control is an advantage if you plan on cooking other things than meat (ex custard / ice cream base) - anything that includes eggs.

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • jimreed777jimreed777 Posts: 267
    I dunno paqman - $499 for the cheaper version of what you have...while I sure it is a very precise and polished device, whoa. :)

    I like the idea of using the sink for larger things. I am leaning toward the fresh meals setup for $310.

    I am also very much a research then buy quality kind of shopper. So I am TORN.

    Can you use yours with your kitchen sink?
  • jimreed777jimreed777 Posts: 267
    anyone else have any opinions?

  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 682

    I dunno paqman - $499 for the cheaper version of what you have...while I sure it is a very precise and polished device, whoa. :)


    I like the idea of using the sink for larger things. I am leaning toward the fresh meals setup for $310.

    I am also very much a research then buy quality kind of shopper. So I am TORN.

    Can you use yours with your kitchen sink?
    Hmmm... Did not even think of using it in the kitchen sink but that is really smart. It would require some kind of adapter for the clamp but it would work for sure.

    Same here about researching before making a purchase... Too often I end up going for the most expensive option.



    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 682
    Here's a picture with a stockpot.  I'll post a picture tomorrow on the polycarbonate thank to give you an idea of the size.image
    IMG_20120715_161058.jpg
    2592 x 1944 - 1013K

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • jimreed777jimreed777 Posts: 267
    thanks so much for all your feedback...I was very close to dropping the $500 on the PS SV machine (the cheaper one). Ultimately, I went with a $319 option. It was either spend $500 on just the SV machine or spend almost $500 but get a SV and get a partyQ for the egg. :)

    I will be able to sous vide a 20lb turkey...and then finish it in the egg!!

    Can't wait for thanksgiving. 
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,197
    You folks just ruined my life. Thanks guys. 

    I've never checked out William-Sanoma's website until I googled that Polyscience unit. 

    What a wonderland of goodies. 
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • DeckhandDeckhand Posts: 318
    I do "Stove Top Sous Vide"  with an 8 qt. pot on the warming burner of our smooth top range.
    Turned to "Hi" the warming burner will keep the pot at 125° but it takes a couple of hours to reach that temp. so I start it on a regular burner or fill it with hot water from the tap (130°) The water temp. will drop as the food absorbs heat, then goes back up.  Putting a lid on the pot allows temps up to 165°  Temperature can be fine tuned by means of skewers or chopsticks between the pot and the lid.  Simple but effective.  Will try to attach a photo of the pot "set" for 140°  I was about to order a SVS when I was told that the coffee brewing equipment already occupied my allowed counter to space.  
    IMG_0262a Stove Top Sous Vide.jpg
    1920 x 1440 - 264K
  • jimreed777jimreed777 Posts: 267
    You folks just ruined my life. Thanks guys. 

    I've never checked out William-Sanoma's website until I googled that Polyscience unit. 

    What a wonderland of goodies. 
    yeah - my BGE needs to get a job...
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 682
    edited August 2012
    You folks just ruined my life. Thanks guys. 

    I've never checked out William-Sanoma's website until I googled that Polyscience unit. 

    What a wonderland of goodies. 
    @travisstrick LOL always a pleasure!

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 682

    Deckhand said:
    I do "Stove Top Sous Vide"  with an 8 qt. pot on the warming burner of our smooth top range.
    Turned to "Hi" the warming burner will keep the pot at 125° but it takes a couple of hours to reach that temp. so I start it on a regular burner or fill it with hot water from the tap (130°) The water temp. will drop as the food absorbs heat, then goes back up.  Putting a lid on the pot allows temps up to 165°  Temperature can be fine tuned by means of skewers or chopsticks between the pot and the lid.  Simple but effective.  Will try to attach a photo of the pot "set" for 140°  I was about to order a SVS when I was told that the coffee brewing equipment already occupied my allowed counter to space.  

    @Deckhand Nice setup!  Are you cooking anything else than beef that way?

    Counter space real estate is part ofthe top reasons why I choose the polyscience over the sous vide supreme.  When not in use I can simply store in a drawer.

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 682
    thanks so much for all your feedback...I was very close to dropping the $500 on the PS SV machine (the cheaper one). Ultimately, I went with a $319 option. It was either spend $500 on just the SV machine or spend almost $500 but get a SV and get a partyQ for the egg. :)

    I will be able to sous vide a 20lb turkey...and then finish it in the egg!!

    Can't wait for thanksgiving. 
    Good thinking!  I am sure you will enjoy both.  Give us some news when you start using it.


    Video of a turkey being cooked sous vide:  


    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
  • paqmanpaqman Posts: 682
    As promised, pictures with the polycarbonate thank.


    IMG_20120831_185419.jpg
    2592 x 1944 - 1M
    IMG_20120831_185518.jpg
    2592 x 1944 - 969K

    ____________________
    Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. •Niccolo Machiavelli
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