Sous Vide Cooking

Tag: immersion circulator

Unboxing of the Swid Premium Immersion Circulator

by on Apr.09, 2017, under Equipments & Accessories

I could not resist buying it!
In 2009 I was one of the first to buy the Swid and to test it. Since then, this marvel of technology has been chalenged by equipment like Sous Vide Supreme, Nomiku, Sansaire and other Anova. These equipments have the advantage of being much smaller, having Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection and being much cheaper than the Swid. On the other hand:

- they are not professional equipment,
- they have low power capacity (but sufficient for most home use applications),
- price is attractive but, in return, do not expect a reactive after sale service, especially if you are located outside USA. No one repairs a machine at 150 €. Moreover, the warranty of these devices is often 1 year only… do not even consider returning these immersion circulator to the US with all the customs and tax problems that this implies …

I am particularly skeptical regarding Bluetooth or Wifi connections for sous vide devices. What is it (really) the use of being able to switch on your immersion circulator remotely from your work or to change the temperature from your phone when your are just close to the device? IMO this is pure gadget that causes more worry than anything else. Bluetooth is definitely more stable and reliable than Wifi that requires a connection on your router. Just surf a little on the internet to see how many people are complaining that they can not connect their phone to their immersion heater. This is even more problematic when your immersion circulator can not be operate independently, without connection to your phone or tablet such as the JOULE immersion circulator, for example … Also, when you know how unhygienic is a display of a phone, it is understandable that this can be an obstacle to use such functionality, especially for professionals, while hygiene is at the center of the sous vide technic.

What am I looking for in a immersion circulator?

- power: I do not want to wait tens of minutes that my water-bath reaches the target temperature. Obviously putting hot water directly in the container saves a certain time…anyway it is all question of confort!
- precision and stability: this is the basis of sous vide cooking,
- ease of use,
- reliability and service,
- the price.

The purpose of this article is to make a quick comparison between my Swid 1st generation which is now almost 7 years old and the new Swid Premium that was put on the market late 2016!

Already in 2010 I had made a presentation of the Swid and a global comparison with the other immersion heaters existing at the time. Since then, other tests seem to have confirmed that the Swid was an exceptional professional device: see Food Service Equipment.

Where to buy the Swid Premium?

Addelice does not sell directly the Swid Premium on their online shop. You will need to go through a dealer which official list is here. They are not many resellers at the moment and I bought mine on the site www.sousvideconsulting.com. This site is clearly professionals oriented.

How much does the Swid Premium cost?

The Swid is at 475 € incl. VAT while the Swid Premium is at 750 € incl. VAT. Addelice indicates that the difference in price is justified by the fact that the Swid Premium is an ultra-robust “war machine”, with oversized components for “virile” use and particularly suitable for caterers who need power. Indeed, the Swid Premium is the first and currently only immersion circulator in the world with a heating power of 2,400W.

Duration of the guarantee?

This has always been the strong point of Addelice which offers, since its beginnings, a global guarantee of 2 years. Since 2016 Addélice offers a 2-years warranty extension on the Swid, giving a total of 4 years warranty! I found no other manufacturer of immersion circulator to suggest this. Unfortunately this extension does not seem to be available on the Swid Premium. Here is a point of improvement for the Swid Premium ;-)

Visible differences between the Swid and the Swid Premium

What the 2 models have in common:

- The Swid and Swid Premium are looking very similar and have a similar weight and size.
- The functions and control panels are very close. If you are a regular with the Swid then your grip of the Swid Premium will be immediate.

Apart from that there are a lot of new features compared to my old model:

- Since 2015 Addelice has integrated a Pt100 temperature probe into all its models. I admit that I did not know the difference between Pt100 probe and thermocouples before reading this article … the advantages in terms of accuracy and reliability seem to be very important! Strangely, the other immersion circulator’s manufacturers do not indicate anything concerning the technical specifications of their temperature probes…
- The design of the heater has changed. It is now helical while it was rather flat on my old model. Addelice indicates that this is justified by the search for power (2,400W). This new design will probably make it a bit more difficult to clean the heater which was particularly easy on the old model. Nevertheless, the cleaning will remain globally an easier operation compared to models like Vac-Star or Julabo Fusion Chef which are a nightmare according to the echoes I have had.
- The pump system to mix water is a great novelty! On my old model the pump was in a black tube that could cause some issue when a peel or a piece of plastic accidentally fell into water vacuumed in the inlet of the pump. This happened to me and I had to replace the pump. This operation It has been made quickly and kindly by Addelice. It should also be said that I had never cleaned the pump at that time … As I said the system to mix water is now radically different: the motor is located in the plastic casing, and only the shaft and the propeller are Immersed in water. What ultimately makes the Swid much easier to clean! The water stream is now done vertically (from top to bottom) instead of horizontally (as with the old model). I tried it in a 20 liters tank and the result seemed to be totally satisfactory. Addelice recommends, for large volumes (58 liters), when the water bath is heavily loaded with sous vide pouches thus limiting the circulation of water, to use a pastry grid to be placed at the bottom of the container. According to Addelice it is therefore impossible to have a “cold point” with this technique …
- Heating power: in 2009 my Swid was limited up to 1,800 W. The Swid Premium now benefits from 2.400W! hich makes it the most powerful immersion heater in the world. Obviously, It will not make a big difference for a cooking amateur like me. Nevertheless I imagine the comfort of use this can represent for a professional. It is also reassuring to know that this “Bad Boy », if needed, has plenty of power under the hood…

- The power cable is attached directly to the back of the Swid Premium. It is no longer removable with a plug, as on my old model. Addelice says this is necessary because of the high power of the device. In order to avoid any bad contact and overheating of the cable this component has been particularly reinforced.
- A large waterproof power switch has been added to the Swid Premium.
- An ultra powerful ventilation system has been added compared to my old model. The fan stirs a lot of air but is nonetheless very quiet.

My first feelings about the Swid Premium

Admittedly the price of the Swid Premium is higher than that of the Swid. But you can feel that the Swid Premium is a top range immersion circulator compared to my 7 years old Swid. Clearly the Swid Premium is a professional equipment, without concession, technically sophisticated and high performance.
And now enough spoken of the material, in kitchen !!!

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Sous Vide Equipments – The Ultimate Review (coming soon)!

by on Sep.22, 2010, under Equipments & Accessories

Coming soon a review of the most representative sous vide equipment of the market (from the left to the right) on this page :

- SousVide Professional of Polyscience (Immersion Circulator)
- Sous Vide Chef of Vac-Star (Immersion Cirdulator) Swid by Addélice (Immersion Circulator)
- Pearl by Julabo (Immersion Circulator)
- SousVideMagic by FreshMealsSolutions + Bubbler (PID Controler SVM-FMM1500D)
- SousVide Supreme (Unstired PID controlled water bath)
- Sous Vide Chef of Vac-Star (Immersion Circulator)

JF

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Julabo New Fusion Chef Immersion Circulator for Sous Vide (Part 1 – The Pearl)

by on Sep.12, 2010, under Equipments & Accessories

Julabo is known as the European leader in manufacturing Constant Temperature Circulators used for research, science and industry with a reputation since 1967. Some weeks ago Julabo launched the Fusion Chef Immersion Circulator series devoted to sous vide.

I received some days ago the Pearl an Diamond immersion circulators and could not stand giving you my first impressions of these fabulous pieces of sous vide equipement. Today I’ll show you the Pearl and will post tomorrow about the Diamond. I’ll make a full review of these equipements during the next days and will share my conclusions with you.

The Pearl is a very simple and nice finish immersion circulator. The front display is composed of one screen and 4 buttons


Julabo’s immersion circulator is totally composed of stainless steal (casing and protection cage) which gives an excellent “feeling” about the machine.

The Pearl is sold with a protection grid which is a good point as protection grids are usually sold separatly at EUR 100 . The protection cage is fixed with 4 screws on the down part of the casing which is, in my opinion, not really practical if you want to proceed to a fast cleaning of the immersion circulator after each use.

Pearl’s price list is EUR 899 (excl. VAT?).

Main specifications :

  • Temp. range: 20°C to 95°C
  • Temp. stability: ± 0,03°C
  • Power: 2,000W
  • Circulation pump: 14 l/min
  • Low-level water alarm
  • Safety protection grid

JF


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Chef Touch System – The all in one sous vide cooking at home solution from KitchenAid

by on Aug.16, 2010, under Equipments & Accessories

Today I saw an interesting piece of sous vide cooking equipment called Chef Touch System from KitchenAid. This concept gather a vacuum chamber sealer (a must in terms of vacuum that gives you the possibility to add liquids such as oil or a marinade in you pouch without destroying the machine) a shock freezer (very usefull and safe device if you want to keep meats in the freezer after you cooked it at low temperature) and a steam oven.

The concept of this all in one sous vide equipment gives an idea of what could look our kitchen in a close futur. The only weak point of this beautiful item is the steam oven. Why not replacing it with a PID controlled steared water bath?

Any idea of the price of the Chef Touch System and availability?

Information added October 23rd :

Thanks to N.Lavirotte, we now know the ChefTouch System is available since September in Europe. Official retail price are as follow :

-Vacuum chamber : 2,950 € incl. VAT
- Shock Freezer : 5,000 € incl. VAT
- Oven : steam ( 1,550 €) combi (1,850 € ) incl. VAT
- Kitchen high cabinet : 2,700 € incl. VAT

Total = 12,500 € (combi oven) incl. VAT (approx. 17,500 USD)

JF

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FreshMealsMagic (Sous Vide Bubbler + SousVideMagic 1500D) Review

by on Jul.04, 2010, under Equipments & Accessories

In June 2009 I purchased the SousVideMagic 1500B and my review was globally very positive.
In August 2009 FreshMealsSolutions spread the information about a new product, a “Bubbler” called FreshMealsMagic (FMM). Prior to the launch of the FMM, this new device has been commented in this post.
I also have to admit that I was doubting on the capability of the FMM to stabilize in an accurate way a waterbath.

The core product of FreshMealsSolutions is the SousVideMagic PID controller (now the 1500D version). In my opinion, the main improvement of this PID controller version is the 2nd digital screen (green screen on the above picture). Setting the temperature and the cooking time becomes easier and “readable”.  A second screen indicating the cooking time is a function that is strangely not implemented on most Immersion Circulators.

The bubbler (FMM) can be summarized as a heater element together with a probe and a hose expulsing air. The FMM replaces the usual ricecooker plugged to the SousVideMagic. Therefore the FMM offers the possibility to use pots of any size. Potentially the FMM and the SVM become highly versatile.

The Bubbler solution (contrary to immersion circulators that are using a circulation pump) needs a new device to pulse the air: a small air pump (see on the 2 above pictures). For non American users, the input power cord and an adaptor for the pump should be purchased in you own country (approx. EUR 20 alltogether).

Bubbles generated by the pump create a significant movement in the polycarbonate container provided with the FMM kit.

I tested the temperature accuracy of the FFM together with the SousVideMagic controller. As from now I made a technical test without cooking food stuff. For that purpose I used my Thermoworks K type thermometer. The test was conclusive. I tried to find cold spots (once again this test was done without any plastic pouches) and globally the temperature was almost the same everywhere.

Regarding temperature stability: I filled the container with 12 liters of water at 35°C (starting temperature). I set the PID controller to 56°C. The SVM 1500D is 2,000 W and therefore reached the target temperature quickly. I haven’t tuned the SVM and the stability of the temperature was nevertheless very good (in the range from (55.9°C to 56.3°C).

Storing the SVM sous vide kit can be done easily in the polycabonate container provided in the kit.

To sum up:

  • This new sous vide kit makes FreshMealsSolutions entering in the world of the versatile sous vide equipments.
  • Temperature accuracy is very good (I have not especially insulated the container at the occasion of this review).
  • Temperature stability seems good but I should do futher tests cooking some food.
  • I like the possibility to check the temperature and the cooking time at the same time!
  • Main drawback: this sous vide piece of  equipemnt is composed of 3 devices and 7 cables…what a mess!

Cost of the SousVideMagic 1500D (PID Controller) + FreshMealsMagic (Bubbler):

  • SousVideMagic 1500D: USD 160
  • FreashMealsMagic: USD 140
  • Sending costs to Europe: USD 110
  • Custom duties (Europe): EUR 50
  • Input power cord and socket adaptor: approx EUR 20.

Grant total (1 EUR = 1.25 USD): approx. EUR 372 (USD 446).

JF

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