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Nov 17, 2011 02:37 PM

Is a complete sous vide setup worth $140?

Just saw a TV ad for AquaChef "Professional Water Oven". Anyone have it/know anything about it?

Just Wondering,


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  1. If you never use it, no.

    On the other hand, if it's effective and performs as promised then it's half the cost of the next cheapest option.

    1. That's very inexpensive.

      My own set up is an Auber Instruments controller with a Winco commercial rice cooker, which was a total of about $300. But the Auber controller also works with my chest freezer for lagering and cheese making. And I also use it with my crockpot (slow cooker) to avoid getting over 185 degF.

      1. I love our sous vide set ups. We have two - one temp controller and one immersion irculator. I don't recall how much we spent but I think it was over that. We bough used lab equipment before these consumer models came out. If you buy it - just learnhow to use it. It makes fantastic meats, especially cuts that dry out or need low and slow. It does perfectly smooth creme brulee or budino. And splendid slow cooked eggs. We even travel with our temp controller when we drive to our vacation condo.

        1. That is really inexpensive. I also have an Auber controller rigged with a commercial crock pot essentially.

          Is the aquachef a circulator? If so that is cheap and if it works, yes worth it. I love my sous vide but honestly only do it once a month maybe. Have done eggs, meats, shrimp (awesome), and confit.

          3 Replies
          1. re: thimes

            Thanks to all. My belief is that, If I have the time (It does take longer times, doesnt it?), steaks would come out nice (Does one include marinade?). The shrimp sounds interesting (Marinated in the bag?). Would it work for the wonderful slices of fresh tuna we can get (Like salmon?)? What about vegetables?

            1. re: Joebob

              Vegetables are great, with the exception of things like green beans and peas etc that you normally just blanch, those things still cook better when blanched.

              Tender steaks suck as filets ribeyes and strips take less than an hour to cook sous vide since you only want to bring them up to temperature in the center, you dont really want to go for super long cooking times on those cuts. The long cooking times come in for less premium cuts. Things like 72 hour shortribs etc will absolutely blow your mind.

              1. re: Joebob

                Yes it does take longer but not everything takes 72 hours (like the short ribs mentioned). There are lots of sites that will give you the basics of sous vide and some guides for times and temperatures. They will also discuss marinating, when to salt, and on and on and on. It is a very exploratory cooking method with lots of people doing and trying different things.

                The shrimp I love just with salt and butter. It comes out so "shrimpy" and the texture of the shrimp I love. I've done scallops as well but didn't like the texture so much and prefer them pan seared.

                Not everyone thinks it is worth it and I'd agree not everything is worth sous vide given the cost of the equipment. So hard to say if you'll love it or not. But it is fun to play around with and see.

                For me the cost of the equipment was justified by doing confit. I LOVE confit and the cost of all the duck fat needed (and the difficulty for me to get it honestly) justifies the sous vide for me. You can do a duck leg with maybe 1-2 TBS of duck fat in the bag instead of the cups required to cover in the oven.

            2. forget the $140 price tag. you can get it risk free for 30 days for only $19.95