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I have a sous-vide supreme water oven. I was wondering if I could use it to slow cook large amounts of soup or to make beef stock by slow cooking. The idea is to have the soup or stock directly into it and no bags. As it is easy to clean and is perfectly sealed, I do not foresee any problems but I am having cold feet. Could somehow I manage to ruin my oven? What is the worst case scenario here? Any ideas?

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Could you elaborate as to WHY you would want to do it this way? A large stock pot can't hold much less than your unit and temperature control isn't a necessity when making stock or most soups for that matter. –  Brendan Feb 3 '13 at 18:50
    
Thanks to all the answers below. Temperature control is an issue when you want to add vegetables. If you place carrots in a crockpot for a long time, they acquire somehow a burnt/caramelized flavor. I want to be able to hold the stock for for a long time so the duck or chicken carcass almost completely disintegrates but at the same time I want to do it in a gentle low temperature (64/65 C.) so vegetables do not acquire that sweet/burnt flavor. I finally tried it and no major accidents. –  Sergio Parreiras Mar 26 '13 at 15:40
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So if it's the carrots your most concerned about why not bag them and cook everything else in the machine without a bag? The maillard reaction, responsible for browning and those deeper rich flavors, is going to occur over time regardless of whether your temp is 64 or 84, it will just take longer at lower temps. –  Brendan Mar 27 '13 at 15:45

3 Answers 3

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The Sous Vide machine is wonderful for making stock. I have made both chicken stock and beef stock in it and it performed great. It was a benefit to have it in another part of the kitchen and not taking up space on the cooktop (I keep it on the counter next to the sink). Cleanup is quite easy; i place a towel on the counter next to the sink and put the SousVide machine on its side partially hanging over the edge. I use my water hose to run water in, scrub it as I would any pot (it's stainless steel, after all) and rinse it out. It's meant to hold water and I've had several overflows during my experimentation with it and there has never been any problem.

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You certainly could.

I read the PDF manual online at the manufacturer's website, and it appears that this particular machine has no internal circulation device like a water jet or impeller (somehow, fan doesn't seem like the right word under water). It relies entirely on thermal convection to circulate the water bath. In fact, it seems to have no moving parts whosoever. So there is no seal in the bath containment through which ingredients would leak out into any machinery, lowering lifespan.

According to the manual, the bath container is not removable, and the entire device should not be put under water. This means that cleaning it out effectively is not actually that convenient, at least to my mind. Mild soap is permitted, and the bath is made of stainless steel so it could probably stand up to much harsher treatments--the manufacturer just doesn't expect you to need them.

Worst case, you have to spend time carefully cleaning the bath, then tediously transferring water in and out to rinse it. I cannot see any way you would harm the device itself.


Still...

For the applications you have named, you don't need the precision temperature control this device provides. You could do them just as easily in a traditional slow cooker (whose crock should be fully removable for cleaning), or in a normal stock pot on the cook top.

And they would be much easier to clean. And you could brown the stock ingredients directly in a pot with the second method.

So just because you could do it, doesn't mean it is the best method available to you in my opinion.

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Its called a pump! And yes, the sous-vide supreme does not have any. –  Stefan Feb 3 '13 at 12:48

Don't take the risk. You probably could use this for making stock, however what if some part of your stock burns on it? It's an awfully expensive piece of equipment to risk, when you could pick up a used crock pot for peanuts. Plus, it's going to be a pain to clean out, and it will need a load of cleaning after you make stock in it.

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One thing I love about the sous vide supreme it is the easiest equipment in my kitchen to clean but thanks for your answer. –  Sergio Parreiras Mar 26 '13 at 15:42

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