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on 4 January 2014
I bought this for Christmas having spent a lot of time reading about sous vide cooking and I was eager to try it but didn't want to splash out too much; this machine seemed to represent good value in a small package. There were no reviews of this actual model and no information on the Andrew James website (I emailed them for more details but got no reply so that was a bit shabby), however it is looks identical to the Giles and Posner machine re-badged and was selling at a bargain price so I decided to have a go.

Delivery was very speedy and the machine came well packaged. It is easy to set up and the control panel is reasonably obvious although as a reviewer of the G&P machine pointed out there is no option for timing beyond 24h which is irritating. It can be got around though, just don't press the start button once you've got the bath to temperature and the timer won't count down although you do have to put up with a flashing red light for the duration.

Bath capacity is good enough for a family meal, it's an attractively finished machine and the footprint is small enough for my kitchen counter so as a practical addition to the armoury I'm very happy with it. The slow cooker function is a good option to have although it's a bit larger than most so I probably won't use it for that very often. Would be good for a hearty winter casserole though.

Like the G&P machine, temperature control is in 1 degree increments. I don't see that as a problem; maintaining water bath temperature with greater precision than this is not really feasible at this price point and largely unnecessary. Temperature holding is very good with little movement, however my bath is between 1.5 and 2 degrees hotter than set as measured with a lab grade thermocouple so I'd advise anyone buying this to invest in a temperature probe and compensate accordingly. I haven't tested accuracy across a range yet so I don't know if the calibration error is consistent. Anyway as long as you measure the temperature independently the results are excellent; so far I've tried belly pork and salmon and both were outstanding.

In summary I'd recommend this as an entry level machine, it's good value as long as you are not bothered by the minor niggles.
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on 28 April 2014
I had always wanted to experiment with sous vide, but the machines were always to expensive. When this model was introduced and priced nearer the £100 mark, I jumped at the opportunity. I have discovered that this is a great way to cook and much that you cook retains its flavors and succulence with minimal hassle. The AJ sous vide absolutely does the job. The machine allows you to set temperature and time, and beeps when the temperature is reached, prompting you to put your bags in. This may sound quite intuitive, but another comparable product, the Steba, does not do this.

I've been extremely happy with this product but for a couple of minor niggles:
- it does not come with a vertical rack (the Steba does)
- the timer is only good for 24 hours, so you will have re-set the machine again the following day if you are cooking something for longer.
- With all the cooking I'm doing these days, I wished it was a bit bigger.
- Unlike some of the more professional products, the water is not circulated, But then it's not that big, so this is not as much an issue.

Nevertheless, I could not recommend this product highly enough. Take the plunge and start sous vide-ing! After a sous vide soft boiled egg, you will never poach again.
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on 1 October 2014
The Andrew James sous vide certainly does with a good degree of efficiency the job of water bath cooking. I am impressed that the temperature is stable and within 1 degree of the temperature shown on the display. The breast of chicken curry I cooked tonight (recipe taken from Sous Vide - the Art of Precision Cooking) was superb. The chicken was moist the texture was tender and smooth and the flavour great. I feel sure that I will cook many more tender and tasty meals using this device.
The materials used in the construction of the machine are quite basic and not of the quality of others I have viewed in the likes of Lakeland but this machine is less than half the price so I suppose I should not be surprised that compromises have had to be made on quality. That said this machine does a great job and as an entry level Sous Vide I cannot recommend it enough. If you want to, excuse the pun, dip your toe into the art of water bath cooking then give this machine a go.
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on 12 April 2014
I tend to buy a whole side of strip-loin steak and leave it in the fridge for as long as possible before breaking the seal on the vacuum pack and repacking it in separate steaks for freezing. Since quality varies and I like a medium rare steak, the finished product has rarely been consistent....until now. I received the Sous Vide two weeks ago and have tried strip loin, chuck, rib and round steak and a chunk of shin beef. Cooking times and temperatures used varied with the different cuts, but everything was succulent and only needed a quick browning on an iron skillet. The shin beef was cooked at the higher temperature of 82 deg C for 8 hours but came out like a good tender Sunday roast! You can cook a batch at one go and since they are sealed you can transfer some to the fridge and some to the freezer after a quick pre-chill. I checked the temperature with three electronic thermometers and none gave exactly the same reading, but the waterbath temperature was within the average range, so I'm happy with it.
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on 16 May 2014
I spent a long time deciding whether to buy this item or a more expensive model. So far I have been delighted with this, and feel it is ideal for someone trying sous vide for the first time.
Some of the other reviews have been concerned about poor temperature control, but mine is always accurate.
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on 29 March 2014
Keeps a constant temperature for sous vide (vacuum bags/sealing required & sold separately); I use an external thermometer and have confirmed this.
Price-wise good entry point for sous vide experimentations.
It also raises the temp for a few degrees so as to compensate when entering the vacuum.
Very slow in reaching temperature for Soud Vide; I use a boiler so as to speed the process (along with my thermometer).
It works if you have the theory right (know your temps, time, incredients, etc)

PS: I have not used the slow cooking option to comment on.
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on 22 January 2014
Like Steve Sheardown, I have found the temp control to be a bit off but possible to work around. Mine seems to first overshoot the set temperature by 3-5C, BUT this may not be a problem as at this point you then drop in your steaks, or whatever, which are at room temp or lower and the bath then brings back the whole lot to the set temp.

Once back to equilibrium I find, using a digital thermometer, that the temp of the bath is then CONSISTENTLY 2 Deg OVER the (first set) temp. The weird thing is that when pressing the Temp button the unit displays a temp that you assume to be the CURRENT temp but is actually (consistently!) 2-3 degC LOWER than the actual temp of the the bath. That is to say if you set for 60 it will actually run at 62 (after the initial overshoot to 64-65) BUT it will show 58 on the display.

Once it is running though the whole thing stays very constant.

If you can get your head round this (yours may be different offset of course) the bath (seems) very well made for the money and looks very stylish.
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on 22 March 2014
I think the first reviewer says all that needs to be said, I bought mine on the strength of his review. Mine also runs about 2 degrees hotter than the set temperature, so I set it 2 degrees cooler. Temperature stability is fine.

I'm really impressed with this method of cooking. It is so easy to do and seems impossible to overcook the food. For example leaving steaks in for an extra hour when delayed did not detract from the flavour or consistency at all. We've had the most tender and fully flavoured meat that I've ever had.

This seems to be the cheapest water cooker about and does the job perfectly.
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on 13 February 2014
What a great cooker. Recycled the old slow cooker and replaced it with this one and got the bonus of a Sous Vide cooker into the bargain. Very straightforward to use with clear controls that click properly. It's easy to clean and looks good, which is an unusual combination these days. Compared to other units on the market this cooker represents tremendous value and does the job. The instruction manual is well written and easy to follow, with good cooking tips and some useful recipes.
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on 4 October 2015
Very good for simple sous vide cooking. You'll probably need two machines to get serious cooking as the water tank is not very big. Also if you wish to cook different items at different temperatures then again you'll need a separate machine. To be honest I will probably purchase a second unit when I find space in my kitchen. Use this machine for meat and a decent steamer for vegetables and cooking becomes very easy.
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