The Bottom Line
- Easy to clean
- Control panel is simple and easy to use and understand
- User's guide is detailed and has a good recipe selection
- Cleverly designed rack to accommodate pouches of may different sizes
- Temperature button can be set for Celsius or Fahrenheit readings
- Bulky (The size of a large bread machine)
- No obvious consumer help hotline or Web site
- Requires additional equipment (vacuum sealer system) to use)
- Lid gets very hot
- Appliance measures 11.5 inches wide, 14.2 inches deep and 11.4 inches high and weighs 13 pounds
- Machine has a brushed stainless steel outer housing
- Universal rack can hold 5 average sized pouches or 3 large pouches
- Water bath holds about 11.5 liters of food and water
- Lid has an insulated layer and converts to a drip tray to drain and transport food pouches
- Comes with seasoning packets and Flavor-wrap samples
- Comes with a detailed instruction and recipe book
Guide Review - SousVide Supreme Home Sous Vide Machine
Anyone who's watched Top Chef is likely familiar with the concept of sous vide cooking, in which food is encased in a vacuum-sealed plastic pack and cooked for long periods of time at a precisely controlled, very low temperature. The idea is to achieve food that is tender and retains its flavor and moistness.
If you wanted to channel your inner Thomas Keller or Richard Blais, you were out of luck: sous vide machines were only available commercially, too expensive for a home cook. That is, until now. Husband-and-wife physicians Dr. Michael and Dr. Mary Dan Eades have created a consumer sous vide cooker.
The SousVide Supreme countertop sous vide machine is a no-brainer to use. Its construction is simple – it is basically a large, square water bath, with a rack that holds pouches of food, and a simple control panel to program temperature and, if desired, a timer. You fill the bath with water, program the temperature, enclose food in a vacuum-sealed pouch (for this you will need your own food-sealer equipment), and put the food pouches in the water for the desired amount of time. The sous vide machine cooks food to the optimal uniform temperature and will hold it at that temperature for hours without adversely affecting the flavor. Because the temperature of the water is the same as the finished temperature of the food, it will never overcook.
I used the SousVide Supreme to make flank steaks seasoned with herbed sea salt. They cooked for about 8 hours at 134˚F, and as suggested in the instruction manual, I seared them briefly on the stove, to get a flavorful crust on the exterior. Flank steak can be a tough cut of meat, but these steaks came out quite tender and perfectly medium-rare.
I'd heard that sous vide cooking is an ideal way to make hard- or soft-cooked eggs, so I decided to also try cooking eggs in the cooker. I used the suggested temperature (160˚F) and cooking time (45 minutes) from the SousVide Supreme instruction manual, but the eggs came out with the whites not quite firm enough – perhaps a longer cooking time or a higher temperature would do the trick.
All in all, the SousVide Supreme was simple to use; the temperature is easily set on the touchpad, and a countdown timer can track how long your food has been in the cooker. Best of all, since food is cooked in a plastic pouch, the cooker is easy to clean – just let the water cool, empty it out and dry the interior. The only downsides I could find with the SousVide Supreme are that it's a relatively bulky piece of equipment – as big as a large bread machine – and in order to use it, you'll also need a vacuum-seal system. Then there's the price. While the SousVide Supreme is considerably less expensive than its commercial counterparts, it is still around $450 – a hefty investment for a piece of equipment that you might not use that frequently. But, if you have the money to spare, you're likely to find cooking with the SousVide Supreme a rewarding and satisfying experience.