When it comes to choosing a sous vide water oven, it’s a bit difficult. You see the cheaper ovens, but are those really going to be worth the money in the long haul? On the other hand, you don’t want to spend too much on something that you’ve never used before. Especially if you could potentially end up storing it deep in a cabinet to be all, but forgotten. It’s also crucial to know is what in the world could make these ovens cost so much more than one another; only to provide the same function. In this review, we’re going to take a look at the Gourmia GSV 550 vs the Sous Vide Supreme Demi. The Demi costs significantly more than the Gourmia, so you have to wonder what makes it so much better.
Temperature Control & Heating to Temp
Sous vide cooking is all about precision temperature control. With that said, if you’re going to be spending the money on a water oven, it needs to do its job very well: heat the water to a certain temp and maintain it.
Both sous vide ovens are able to heat the water to temperature quickly. The Sous Vide Supreme is just a few minutes quicker than the Gourmia even though the Demi is bigger. How fast water will heat up doesn’t matter much if there difference is only a few minutes. While it’s nice to save a few minutes, I don’t think it matters much.
What really matters is how well a sous vide water oven can maintain the water temperature. The Sous Vide Supreme Demi does a better job of maintaining the water temperature. The temperature usually remains within one degree of the set temp. The Gourmia, on the other hand, can vary up to a few degrees, up or down from your set temperature. A few users have also reported a variance of up to five degrees up/down. I haven’t seen this problem myself, but it’s something to keep in mind of and to be on the lookout for if you buy a Gourmia. One degree doesn’t make much of a difference, but in sous vide cooking, five degrees could mean the difference in perfectly cooked carrots versus a bag of mush.
No one likes to clean up, so if something is particularly difficult to clean, it’s going to be too much of a hassle. That’s why it’s important to see how easy, or how difficult it would be to clean something before you buy it.
The interface panel on the Gourmia is not sealed, so you have to be careful when you’re cleaning it. Your only real option is to gently wipe it clean with a moist cloth. As for the Sous Vide Supreme Demi, it looks and feels like it was made with quality in mind, but you can’t submerge, or wash the Demi in running water either. In fact, despite the fact that all these water ovens are made to hold water on the inside, the outside isn’t sealed, so you can’t submerge any of them in water.
Fortunately, the inside is a lot easier to deal with. Should anything spill inside of the water oven, the non-stick coatings of both ovens makes it easy to clean. That shouldn’t happen too often though because everything is contained in bags when cooking with sous vide.
While you can’t submerge the unit to wash it clean with soap and water, clean up should be a breeze with both of these sous vide ovens. You should never have to do anything more than some minor wiping for the outside. As for the inside, you usually shouldn’t have to do anything more than just dump out the water, and wipe it dry with some paper towels. If you seal your bags properly, there shouldn’t be any spills at all. In the rare cases where something does spill, a simple rinse and dry should be all that is needed. Should you feel the need to sanitize the inside, all you would have to do is fill it with water and turn up the temp for an hour or two. There’s really no need to wash things down with detergent and that’s a great thing.
Both sous vide water ovens have a convenient rack for holding your food in place. A rack is a rack and one isn’t better than the other. The rack is a standard feature and all you need to know about them is they are pretty necessary to have during cooking. The rack ensures your food stays secured to one place and doesn’t bob around; or worse, stick to the bottom and overcook. Water ovens have a heating element on the bottom of the water oven–crock pot style. This makes the bottom warmer, so your food can get overcooked if it sticks to the bottom. Just use the racks and you shouldn’t run into this problem.
I’m not too big a fan of non-stick coatings because sometimes they can flake off really easily. Of course, this isn’t a problem that usually happens quickly; it takes time, use, and abuse. Even still, non-stick just isn’t as durable as I would like it to be.
The Gourmia GSV 550 has been reported to have problems with the teflon flaking off and the exposed metal looking tarnished after continued use. It starts off as small spots, but then gradually become larger parts of the container due to use. The cause was from using the rack in the sous vide oven. If you’re not careful, you can scratch the non-stick coating with the rack. I couldn’t find any report of this problem occurring with the Demi. For the price of the Demi, the non-stick coating is a little tougher. But you should be careful and avoid testing just how much tougher it is.
Ease of Use
It’s not very hard to use these water ovens. You simply turn them on, and set the temp and the time and you’re set to go. However, the buttons on the interfaces could be a little easier to push. The Demi especially need a firmer push. You have to pay attention and make sure when you’re pushing the buttons, it’s actually doing something. Assuming you didn’t get a lemon, you should get used to this in no time and it will no longer be a hassle.
Buy Which One?
All in all, the Gourmia and the Sous Vide Supreme are both great sous vide water ovens. With these water ovens, you don’t have to worry about finding a container to cook in; everything is all in one handy device. I really like the simplicity and convenience of a water oven. I personally would have to go with the higher quality oven. I would choose the Sous Vide Supreme Demi over the Gourmia GSV 550 every single time for its size, power, durability and quality. It’s an all-around a great product and the pros greatly outnumber the cons. However, despite this review, in the end it really does depend on your budget. If you just don’t have the budget for the Demi, or you just can’t justify paying its asking price then the Gourmia is still a fine choice for starters. It just won’t be as great as the Demi, but it will do for a while until you are ready to upgrade to something better.