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View Full Version : FEEDBACK ON NEW CIRCULATORS FOR SOUS VIDE



marc4pt0
12-12-2013, 11:59 AM
There has been a lot of questions and discussion on the topic of sous vide, so I'm not really trying to start another here. Mainly, I'm looking for feedback on 2 new Thermal Circulators out there. I saw from a couple threads that some members here have tried, purchased and/or worked with the following:

Anova and Sansaire

It looks like both are going for $199 each which is significantly less expensive than Poly Science's overly priced and short life spanned products. I'm trying to propose a start up pricing sheet for a another place and am curious how these hold up.

Also, I'd love some comments and or suggestions on chamber vacs. I'm currently using a Berkel and despite an $800 new button board replacement, it's been outstanding for the past 5 and a half years.

Thanks for your help in advance!
Cheers

Mucho Bocho
12-12-2013, 12:11 PM
Marc, I've got the Poly science pro and VacMaster VP112. I'm only a home cook but use the chamber vac about 50X more than the SV unit. I''ve SV hundreds of different products and SV is most useful for long cook times, 24hrs or more. Thus I use the PID (Dork Foods) to operate a crock pot. Water doesn't circulate but it doesn't have to when cooking for long periods. Water circulators do get up to temp faster, but then again, thats not that useful as you'll be SV proteins between 129 and 140, 90% of the time.

The Chamber should be your first consideration, its a very useful kitchen tool if in a handy place.

Crothcipt
12-12-2013, 12:19 PM
The Sansaire has been put off until Jan. for delivery, so no one has used it yet. Not sure about the Anova.

marc4pt0
12-12-2013, 12:27 PM
Dang it!

420layersofdank
12-12-2013, 01:02 PM
Water doesn't circulate but it doesn't have to when cooking for long periods.


Im pretty sure that the water needs to circulate ESPECIALLY if your doing overnight cooking so that the temperature does not fluctuate, thus cooking at the same temperature at a constant rate.
Hahaha :(

WildBoar
12-12-2013, 01:20 PM
Marc, while it may not help the exercise you are working on right now, I'm on the list for a Sansaire and you are more than welcome to borrow it when (if) it arrives sometime next month.

Mucho Bocho
12-12-2013, 03:03 PM
42, Non-propelled water ovens do circulate the water, just through passive convection. The crock pot method works on the same principal as the SV Supreme set-up.

Guess you should tell all the throusands of people that have purchased the SV supreme that they're all doing it wrong.

Thought I'd steal this review from Amazon. What are you thoughts now Mr 42?

For several years I've been hankering for an immersion circulator to try sous vide cooking at home. I didn't have the $2000 plus for a complete PolyScience unit, or even the $900 or so for a pro quality circulator head. So without expecting too much, I bought the oddly, sweetly named DorkFod DSV Temperature Controller and teamed it up with a 7 quart manual crock pot I found on sale at a local discount store for $19.

Much to my surprise, the combination totally rocks. The DorkFood unit is solidly built, easy to use, and holds the temperature I set within about 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The natural bottom to top convection of the crock pot, even without an additional circulator, has provided even heat for my sous vide creations. If you've never had leg of lamb cooked under vacuum for 36 hours you don't know what you're missing: a mild, non-gamy flavor with the buttery texture of filet mignon. Lobster tails cooked with garlic butter - unbelievably tender and sweet. Restaurant quality duck confit becomes child's play! Cure duck legs (with thigh) overnight with salt, thyme and crushed juniper berries - rinse and pat dry the next day - seal under vacuum with 1 tablespoon of rendered duck fat per leg and cook at 167 degrees for 30 hours or more for the most succulent duck you've ever tasted. After cooking I cut off the skin and fry it under a cast iron weight (affectionately known as a "pig") and top the duck leg with a crispy duck bacon "cracker."

marc4pt0
12-13-2013, 11:06 AM
Thanks David!

Bill13
12-14-2013, 03:45 PM
Here is a good review of the Anova: http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/09/equipment-we-test-the-199-sous-vide-circulato.html

It's on my Christmas list:)

Mrmnms
12-14-2013, 04:28 PM
Im pretty sure that the water needs to circulate ESPECIALLY if your doing overnight cooking so that the temperature does not fluctuate, thus cooking at the same temperature at a constant rate.
Hahaha :(
Mucho's set up, logic and suggestions are spot on for me. The water does circulate through temperature convection. Everything he's mentioned to try have come out really well.

JBroida
12-14-2013, 04:54 PM
just ordered the anova last week... will be here tuesday... i'll let you know what i think

JohnnyChance
12-14-2013, 06:27 PM
42, Non-propelled water ovens do circulate the water, just through passive convection. The crock pot method works on the same principal as the SV Supreme set-up.

Guess you should tell all the throusands of people that have purchased the SV supreme that they're all doing it wrong.

Thought I'd steal this review from Amazon. What are you thoughts now Mr 42?

For several years I've been hankering for an immersion circulator to try sous vide cooking at home. I didn't have the $2000 plus for a complete PolyScience unit, or even the $900 or so for a pro quality circulator head. So without expecting too much, I bought the oddly, sweetly named DorkFod DSV Temperature Controller and teamed it up with a 7 quart manual crock pot I found on sale at a local discount store for $19.

Much to my surprise, the combination totally rocks. The DorkFood unit is solidly built, easy to use, and holds the temperature I set within about 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit. The natural bottom to top convection of the crock pot, even without an additional circulator, has provided even heat for my sous vide creations. If you've never had leg of lamb cooked under vacuum for 36 hours you don't know what you're missing: a mild, non-gamy flavor with the buttery texture of filet mignon. Lobster tails cooked with garlic butter - unbelievably tender and sweet. Restaurant quality duck confit becomes child's play! Cure duck legs (with thigh) overnight with salt, thyme and crushed juniper berries - rinse and pat dry the next day - seal under vacuum with 1 tablespoon of rendered duck fat per leg and cook at 167 degrees for 30 hours or more for the most succulent duck you've ever tasted. After cooking I cut off the skin and fry it under a cast iron weight (affectionately known as a "pig") and top the duck leg with a crispy duck bacon "cracker."

I don't see how cherry picking one review from Amazon proves anything. Did they do temperature differential tests on both models over a variety of cooking times and temps with a variety of products? No. They just said it worked for them in their home.

Does passive circulation work? Yes. Does heat as evenly and as accurately as a forced circulation unit? No. Polyscience units may not be the most durable products ever, but in a pro kitchen they usually get run for extended periods of time for the majority of their existence. I do not expect these cheaper ones to be as durable and certainly not more so than the PS models. And I certainly don't expect a DIY crock pot unit to last either. They also don't have the capacity or flexibility of a PS type circulator.

And I'm pretty sure there isn't a health inspector out there that will be cool with a controller bought from some guy on eBay rigged to a steam table or crockpot.

Dardeau
12-14-2013, 08:34 PM
The last place I worked had a polyscience (the non cheffy more aquarium equipment version) that worked the whole time I was there. That was four and a half years. I walked over a few days ago to get some gumbo... Still going strong. Granted, they only use it to cook things, not to hold at temp for service. The sleeker black plastic ones seem to be less durable. the butcher shop next door burned through a few of them in that time. The only thing I miss it for is making sour cream in mason jars.

Crothcipt
12-14-2013, 08:42 PM
Funny the reason for the sonsaire being held back is because how low the durability is. Supposedly it will be more durable, we'll see.

brainsausage
12-14-2013, 08:49 PM
I've had two poly sci pro's in a restaurant environment, that were used daily, for anywhere from 10-48hrs for close to three years. Had one break down after a year and a half of abuse, and poly sci repaired it free of charge with a very fast turnaround. Convection is great, but without constant regulation of temp through circulation you can get hot and cold spots. Which is fine if you're not trying to attain a consistent, quality product day in and day out.

JBroida
12-19-2013, 12:43 AM
finally got to use it tonight for a steak (skirt steak... new mexico style)... really happy with speed of heating up, temp consistency, and flow direction control... i set the timer, and i expected it to beep or something, but nothing like that happened... i wonder what that is all about... it just kept going, but the timer stopped. Anyways, steak came out perfectly... temp was spot on. So far, so good.

marc4pt0
12-19-2013, 10:06 AM
Nice. I'm actually leaning more towards the Anova, but I'm definitely going to give the Sansaire a try also.

Bill13
12-19-2013, 10:04 PM
If I don't get the Anova for Christmas, I'm going to buy one with my year end bonus.

JBroida
12-20-2013, 12:24 AM
tonight i made asparagus with black pepper, thyme, and smoked sea salt, glazed carrots with chinese five spice and brown sugar, and applewood smoked potatoes with the anova (they are for tomorrow)... all while cooking okonomiyaki for the family... i'll let you know how everything turned out tomorrow. One thing to note... my stock pot is not big enough... large cambro in my near future ;)

wenus2
12-20-2013, 05:00 AM
Lol @ picturing you moving stones into the stockpot so you can sous vide in the sharpening cambro. :D

gic
12-20-2013, 07:00 AM
I got a low end poly from WIlliams and Sonoma and returned it within a month as the clip broke. I thought it very poorly designed,. The plastic housing for the clip is positioned so that when removing it, you actually apply pressure to a weak point and then it snaps making the clip from that point on unusable. Been waiting for a Sansaire

marc4pt0
12-20-2013, 07:49 AM
I'm curious how the asparagus turns out, Jon. Other then leeks I usually don't cook green veggies sous vide.

JCHine
12-22-2013, 06:10 AM
Asparagus is great SV. Fennel is even better in chicken stock then finished on the stove until it syrupy…

Investing in a lid and then cutting a hole is handy for longer cook times at higher temps.

JBroida
12-22-2013, 02:09 PM
asparagus turned out great... i just need to get a smoking gun now, as i was not happy with the amount of smoke flavor i was able to impart. Potatoes were by far the best... lots of butter ;)

Zwiefel
12-22-2013, 02:38 PM
Hmmmm...tell me more about these potatoes, please :)

brainsausage
12-22-2013, 05:29 PM
Smoking your own butter, and sous vide go pretty effing well together...

marc4pt0
12-22-2013, 05:53 PM
I'll just put it out there- smoking just about anything and sous vide go well together.

Does the asparagus bright and pretty green after cooking? I admit that I'm still a bit old school when it comes to my green veggies

JBroida
12-22-2013, 06:50 PM
bright green indeed

Flawless Victory
12-22-2013, 07:45 PM
I was looking at the Anova but the touch screen turned me off a little . Does the screen seem to be well built and able to handle any nasty spills and want not that could occur in the kitchen?

JBroida
12-22-2013, 08:34 PM
so far so good... the unit seems very well built to me, but i wouldnt go and pour some liquid over the screen... that being said, i dont think its more prone to spills than, say, a polyscience

JBroida
12-23-2013, 01:14 AM
tonight i put in pork tenderloin with thyme, rosmary, confit garlic, and confit sweet onion... cooking until dinner tomorrow night ;)

marc4pt0
12-23-2013, 07:06 AM
Man! You're going to town! Very nice!

JCHine
12-24-2013, 03:22 PM
Overnight is probably a bit long for pork tenderloin and you risk getting some textural issues. Despite what many folks believe it is possible to overcook sous vide and break the proteins down. The meat becomes dry but also wet at the same time and eventually breaks down so you can smear it across a plate with you thumb.

This type of breakdown is really noticeable with game meats that also turn liverish.

From memory try a 5 minute brine and cooking for about 45 for sandwich tenderloin to 100 minutes for the larger cut at 60c.

JBroida
12-24-2013, 03:53 PM
ended up taking it out after 3 hours... came out perfect (they were large tenderloins)

marc4pt0
12-24-2013, 04:25 PM
We do pork tenderloin any where from 59° to 64° and for 1 hour to 2 hours, after an over night brine. Always comes out killer.

Talim
12-24-2013, 04:36 PM
I broke down and bought an Anova too. Can't wait to try it out.

And, :needpics

JBroida
12-24-2013, 04:55 PM
we did 58 degrees for 3 hours... no brine... in there with grapeseed oil that was used to confit garlic and shallots, said confit garlic and shallots, thyme, and rosemary, plus salt and pepper. Hard sear in grapeseed oil for the finish.

Also, confit cherry heirloom tomatoes in spanish oilve oil with garlic and thyme, made curry cauliflower, sansho and sweet shoyu bok choy, and some broccolini with chiles (but couldnt find my fish sauce in time to throw it in there too).

Sorry for the lack of pics... trying to do all of this after work or late night without waking anyone here.

menzaremba
12-24-2013, 07:58 PM
I have a nomiku, which is replacing a poly science unit. Love it.

menzaremba
12-24-2013, 10:25 PM
Repeat post, apologies.

JBroida
12-25-2013, 01:18 AM
i know that i keep taking this kind of off track, but tonight i finally got a large enough cambro to do the things i like to do... tonight i'm putting in some granny smith apples with vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, a tiny bit of salt, some lemon zest, and, of course, butter ;)

Heating to 170 degrees is taking a lot longer in this larger container... its pretty slow to be honest, but its also almost 6 gallons of water, so its near the max of the units abilities.

marc4pt0
12-25-2013, 07:22 AM
In these scenarios, even with my polys, I bring the water to temp via pot on stove top. No point in "over working" the equipment.

And I wouldn't say that your taking the thread off track at all! This is exactly what this thread needs.

Yamabushi
12-25-2013, 09:05 AM
I wouldn't say that your taking the thread off track at all! This is exactly what this thread needs.
100% agree! Enjoying the posts Jon!!

Dardeau
12-25-2013, 09:48 AM
In these scenarios, even with my polys, I bring the water to temp via pot on stove top. No point in "over working" the equipment.

And I wouldn't say that your taking the thread off track at all! This is exactly what this thread needs.

Clip on thermometer and three quarters of the water, then use tap water to finish it off. You can hit a temperature pretty closely. Now that I think of it this may be a key to longevity for these machines.

JBroida
12-25-2013, 02:12 PM
i brought it up to about 160, but it took a while to hit 170 from there

marc4pt0
12-25-2013, 02:15 PM
The polys are the same in this way. Just another reason to stove top it first

Mrmnms
12-25-2013, 02:42 PM
i know that i keep taking this kind of off track, but tonight i finally got a large enough cambro to do the things i like to do... tonight i'm putting in some granny smith apples with vanilla, brown sugar, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, a tiny bit of salt, some lemon zest, and, of course, butter ;)

Heating to 170 degrees is taking a lot longer in this larger container... its pretty slow to be honest, but its also almost 6 gallons of water, so its near the max of the units abilities.

Just want to confirm your switching from C to F temps .

JBroida
12-25-2013, 03:03 PM
this is an F temp

JBroida
12-26-2013, 01:35 AM
FYI, it does a hell of a lot better getting to 135f quickly, but past 165, it takes some time. I was just trying to see how well it would work to be honest. It was OK, but not great in the heating up regard. It holds it really well though, and everything turned out just fine. Also, made this earlier today...

Fried rice with pecan wood smoked bacon, crispy duck, and 63c egg

http://distilleryimage9.ak.instagram.com/a805353e6da011e3b30c0a74897ab205_8.jpg

Zwiefel
12-26-2013, 12:07 PM
Awesome looking egg, Jon...that's on my list of things to try with my SV.


FYI, it does a hell of a lot better getting to 135f quickly, but past 165, it takes some time. I was just trying to see how well it would work to be honest. It was OK, but not great in the heating up regard. It holds it really well though, and everything turned out just fine. Also, made this earlier today...

Fried rice with pecan wood smoked bacon, crispy duck, and 63c egg

http://distilleryimage9.ak.instagram.com/a805353e6da011e3b30c0a74897ab205_8.jpg

brainsausage
12-26-2013, 07:05 PM
Depending on the volume of water- the poly sci takes a good long time to get up to those temps as well. Holds it no problem, but it's definitely beneficial to heat up some water first. You can pretty easily help the circulator by adding cold water/ice if it's above your target temp. I've done the two circulators in a giant bath before and it didn't work out so great.

Bill13
12-27-2013, 02:03 PM
Open some more presents this morning (Mom's been in the hospital so things have been a bit wacky) and got an Anova!! My 100 dollar vac sealer is crapola, so I will try my luck with some Zip lock bags. Chamb vac is next on the list but not until my birthday rolls around in June.

This thing is a beast!

marc4pt0
12-28-2013, 09:13 AM
God I love SV eggs