Andrew James 8.5 Litre Professional Sous Vide Water Bath Cooker

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Andrew James 8.5 Litre Professional Sous Vide Water Bath Cooker

I've been using my Homemade sous-vide slow cooker conversion kit for more than one year now and have been astounded with the results. So when I cracked the crockpot while washing it, I thought it was time to invest in a dedicated sous vide bath.

My adapted slow cooker had no stirring device yet all of the many sous vide recipes that I have cooked worked perfectly well. At the risk of upsetting the .5 degree purists, I 've not found that a few degrees of temperature makes a great deal of difference to the outcome either. The best results have always resulted from very long cooking at relatively low temperatures.

So my replacement was not to be the 'exotic' SousVide Supreme, but the much cheaper Andrew James 8.5 Litre Professional Sous Vide Water Bath Cooker (£64.99 - Feb 2016)

The unit comes with a rack to hold the vacuum pouches away from the surfaces of the cooker whilst they are cooking and a set of tongs. As the unit has a preheater it gets to temperature very quickly and beeps to let you know it has reached your selected temperature. It can be adjusted from 45˚C to 90˚C in 1 degree increments and has a timer that can be adjusted from 30 minutes to 72 hours.

Setting of the temperature and timer seemed a little fiddly to me, but does not really need to be used. You can ignore the timer and just set your desired temperature and wait for the beep telling you to start cooking. The unit seems to stay on, heating and controlling the water temperature all the time it is powered.

The 'bowl' in this model is an integral part of the cooker and not independently removable like some slow cookers.

Modifying the rack for cooking large items

Separated into two pieces, the rack can be used to support large items and asa intended.

I found the removable rack pretty useless for holding large items so I separated the rack into two pieces with an angle grinder. This way the rack can be used as originally intended, and also for supporting large items to ensure good heat circulation.

Be careful to finish properly with a file as stainless steel can be razor sharp.

Using the Andrew James Sous Vide cooker as a Slow Cooker

Using a sous vide cooker as a very accurate temperature controlled slow cooker

At a push, you can also use the Andrew James Sous Vide cooker as a slow cooker by setting it to about [ 75˚C ], sitting a glass or ceramic casserole dish inside the cooker and filling the sous vide cooker with water. It works as a very accurate temperature controlled slow cooker and saves on kitchen space. Check the water levels if cooking for long periods.

UK suppliers

See also