Sous Vide Supreme Mini Me - do I want one
I'm getting slightly obsessed with the idea of getting a mini sous vide supreme - the recipes all sound great and I'm convinced that I will be using this every day.... however, I've thought that before and it's ended up in my cupboard gathering dust until I decide it no longer even deserves the under counter space....
Any thoughts or experiences?
Interesting question. I didn't realize they had come out with the smaller version. Adorable.
How do you usually cook your proteins? -- are you a griller/braiser/etc.? Do you think you REALLY would use this frequently? Can you plan a proposed menu for two-four weeks that would incorporate its use?
I'd personally love to have one to play with, but for me it would likely be only maybe once a week or once every two weeks. Not enough to justify the expense and storage space.
(The devil in me says I should just tell you Go! GO! BUY IT NOW! so that I can vicariously live through your purchase. ;)
I don't own a Sous Vide Supreme but my understanding is that it's a static, not circulating, water bath. If that's correct, you could get the same results by hooking up a temperature controller with a thermocouple to a slow cooker for a lot less money. You can find plans and schematics online to do this. The preferred way to cook sous vide is in a circulating water bath. The equipment is usually expensive, but if you lurk on Ebay and keep an eye on any surplus equipment auctions at your local university you may be able to pick one up on the cheap. I was able to pick up an old immersion circulator on Ebay for $130 which I use with a plastic cooler (~$20) with excellent results. You can also find plans on building your own DIY immersion circulator online by doing a web search, Seattlefoodgeek.com has one that looks interesting but complicated.
This is correct - the sous vide supreme is basically a PID integrated into a slow cooker (or perhaps more of a rice cooker, if it heats from the bottom). You can buy a PID with a slow cooker for much less than the sous vide supreme, even the mini version. However, you may have to do some tuning, and the sous vide supreme doesn't have as much set up involved.
Here is a thread where I and others discussed a PID made for sous vide cooking in detail.
That is what I use, and aside from the set up, it should (and does AFAIK) work every bit as well as a sous vide supreme.
To my knowledge, at this point you would have to be quite lucky to find an affordable immersion circulator on ebay - the demand is too high, and people have realized that they can charge more for one. You might luck out though, so there's no harm in trying.
For the DIYer, here is also a link to wiring your own temp controller for even less money.
Or for anyone who is super hard core DIY, you can make your own immersion circulator:
(though he claims to have problems with burning out his heating elements).
I've had the regular sous vide supreme for about 2 months and have used it quite a lot. I really like it but I'd be worried about the small size of the demi. I've filled my regular sized one full a few times and I'm only cooking for two people.
I think it depends on your use and volume requirements. This was discussed elsewhere (someone setting up his Xmas list) and I thought the standard size was the way to go.
I lean towards a real circulated with jacketed water bath but we're talking about something that's 3-8x more expensive.
I use my Sous Vide rig 1-3x per week, depending on what I'm cooking. Usually gets more heavy use over the weekend, prepping meals for the week ahead. But certainly a lot of fun and reinvigorated my love of cooking!
I'd be a little concerned about the size as well -- look at one in person and think about what you want to cook.