Sous vide machines are becoming enormously popular, and it is harder and harder to distinguish the heroes from the zeroes. Typically what sets one apart from the other are its features, as each one has different types of foods (or drinks) that they focus on. Add-ons like WiFi incorporation and recipe apps vary between brands. The Souvia Professional Sous Vide Precision Cooker is one choice in this space, but is it worthwhile for your needs?
The futuristic looking Souvia is a long, black rectangular piece that is placed directly in the container of water. The sleek polycarbonate body is sturdy and has a finish made of plastic. With 1100W of power, 150 F can be reached in about 10 minutes. The immersion circulator guarantees that your contents are cooking throughout as evenly as possible. A digital timer is found on the LCD touch screen, among other simple to follow prompts. A 2 hour default cooking time is ideal for beginners looking to get their feet wet with this type of food preparation, and the default temp is 55C. Its 14.2 inch length and 3.8 inch width make it comparable to other devices in this space. A one year warranty rounds out this complete, and ready to use machine.
An advantage of the Souvia Professional is that it completely eliminates the need for additional equipment. Often vacuum sealers are a necessity for the food items placed in a bag, but with this particular sous vide machine, the water displacement method uses the liquid in the container to rid it of air. This can cut up to $60 off your ‘cooking’ budget, as the devices to do this normally have a high price tag attached to them.
Veggies, meats, burgers and even eggs are all made with confidence and precision. Even desserts are concocted perfectly. With the capability to heat the water fast, the actual ‘cook’ can begin within minutes. The more spices and ingredients you add to your dishes, the more the Souvia will work to your desires. This is because the machine is very adept at exponentially increasing the flavor profile of foods that are seasoned. The long cooks preserve the ingredients in the juices, allowing them to marinate evenly.
A clever addition to the Souvia is how it uses a light system to let the chef know where they are in the cooking process. Using 3 different colors, an indicator at the top of the unit displays when it is preheating, when it is cooking, and when it is ready to serve. This is particularly helpful if you are new to using it and need a road map.
The precision cooker is adaptable to any pot or container, and in almost every case has the ability to be ‘free-standing,’ meaning you will usually not have to use the clip on the back (though you can easily). The grip is ergonomic and adjustable to any dish.
The Souvia utilized in accordance with a water bath more than anything promotes a level of consistency in your cook, which is hugely important to maintaining juices. Steaks and poultry can lose almost 40% of its volume from drying out, however with this unit this is no longer a problem. Meats are full and fleshed out with flavor. Perhaps of larger importance is that once you find a recipe that tastes delicious, you can easily replicate it several times over because the temperature gauge is so accurate. The ability to make the same dish repeatedly and have its taste never waiver is hugely rewarding and otherwise difficult to pull off in the kitchen.
Obviously a bit of monitoring is required, but overall once the temperature is set, the machine works on its own. The reason why this is advantageous is because you are undoubtedly cooking multiple items at once, and this makes it easier to multi-task and put your efforts elsewhere.
The device itself is big enough to generate a lot of power, but tiny enough to be stored in a drawer or cabinet without taking up real estate. Moreover, this unit is one of the quietest designed sous vide cookers to date, with barely a murmur during preparation. In 4 liters of water, roughly 18dB of sound is created, whereas most competing units are up to 45dB. That is over half the amount of noise muffled.
The drawbacks to the Souvia are few and far between, but still exist, however minor. Probably the biggest complaint is that it can take a bit to set up the WiFi if your internet is spotty, but this is obviously not a pitfall most will come across. You will, of course, need a phone for the app, but that is a no-brainer.
Of note, sous vide machines are not for preparing different types of foods at the same time, unless the temperature to heat them is the same. For example, throwing veggies in a bag along with a slab of meat will not deliver the jaw-dropping taste you are looking for. Sous vide machines focus on cooking one thing at a time, so much so that the heat from the inside out is perfect down to the degree. This is why they are able to make food that is restaurant quality.
The best sous vide machines are those that have influential word of mouth from the chefs themselves, and this includes the Souvia. The most often mentioned aspect beyond its cooking prowess is how strong and accurate it is. Users also rave about how fast the water bath is heated.
For those eager to get started, the Souvia Professional Sous Vide Precision Cooker is an ‘out of the box ready’ device that can get going as soon as you get the app. If you are not Bobby Flay or Anne Burrell this model might be worth looking into if you are seeking to create gourmet quality dishes for family and friends. It is not difficult to learn and can ease you in if necessary with a default cooking time and temperature.Amazon