The Sansaire, not just a clever name!

Following our Unboxing of the Sansaire Sous Vide Machine, we are pleased to bring you our review of the Sansaire!

To see a video of our review of the Sansaire, you can check out our video on YouTube here:

 

For more details and pictures from our review, read on!

Kudos to Scott Heimendinger on the genius in coming up with the name of the device! While Sansaire may look like a word that means something, it actually isn’t a word you can find in the dictionary. Rather the name comes from a slight twist something that’s actually very obvious. Sous vide means under vacuum in french, and the phrase refers to the vacuum sealed pouches that are placed in the water bath to be cooked. And so, being vacuum sealed means the bags have no air in them, or sans air. Get it? Brilliant!

Launched on Kickstarter with great success, the Sansaire is brought to you by physics PhD student, Lukas Svec from the University of Washington and Scott Heimendinger. Lukas played a big part in the R&D of the Sansaire and many of the most important features of the Sansaire’s construction can be attributed to him.

Scott, with his background working at IBM and Microsoft, certainly has all right the credentials to be called a geek! But it is really through his love and obsession for ‘modernist’ styles of cooking that makes Scott a food geek. Other than being the co-founder of the Sansaire, Scott is also the Director of Applied Research at Modernist Cuisine, and their research and dedication is in our view, probably one of the most superlative bodies of work in the area of modernist cooking.

With all these in mind, we were very excited to test the Sansaire out. Bear in mind that at the time of this review, the Sansaire has already been out in the market for more than a year. Since then, new models have sprung up and the arena of the sub-$200 sous vide device is fast getting crowded. Consumers now have more choices and the devices now have more features. The Sansaire has fewer features no doubt but it is also one of the cheapest. So how well does it function as a sous vide device?

We discuss and evaluate the Sansaire based on the following criteria:

  • Packaging & Build Quality
  • Design & Features
  • Clip Design
  • Cleaning
  • Water Level Difference
  • Noise
  • Temperature Accuracy
  • Heating Speed

Packaging & Build Quality 

The Sansaire comes in a stylish white box that’s made of sturdy cardboard and overall, it gives a nice feel. outside-box all-contents

 

The external body is largely made of plastic and while we like that it looks smooth and sleek we would have liked for it to have more of a ‘premium’ feel. Looks-wise it is nice, but it does have a slightly ‘plasticky’ feel. device

 

At the bottom of the device is the removable grill. In terms of build quality for the Sansaire, this is probably the Achilles heel of the device. It would have been nicer if the grill could look a little more premium. Grill

 

Design & Features

While there’s no timer or Bluetooth pairing with your phone, the strength of the Sansaire is really in its clean and simple device interface. Not overly complicated, intuitive and easy to use. Looking at the top, other than the logo, it has 3 buttons; Power on/off, Target and °C/°F toggle. The Target button is helpful in that it allows you to check what temperature you had set when you programmed the device. Interface

 

The Sansaire has a good safety feature in that it is designed to turn off and go into reset mode when the water level drops off too much. This prevents the device from overheating. To restore the device from reset mode, you just need to press on the small reset button at the back of the device to get the Sansaire to start working again. Reset Button

 

We like that the water circulation outlet is thoughtfully designed to shoot the water stream to the side instead of straight out in the middle. This works well in that if you have delicate items like eggs in the water bath, they are less likely to be smashed against the back of the water bath while cooking. Circulation Hole

 

Clip Design

The stainless steel clamp that secures the device to the water bath looks like a giant hair-clip. Build-quality looks pretty solid and we found that it was able to do its job well. We also like that the removable latch on the clamp was thoughtfully designed to have two settings. One for thicker pots and one for thinner pots. Nice. clamp

 

Cleaning

The Sansaire is easy to clean and decalcify. Towards the bottom, you’ll find a latch that allows the bottom grill to be removed. This allows for easy access if your unit needs decalcifying or if you want to clean your heating elements. However, the latch can be tricky to put back. We took a few minutes to get it to sit back nicely again. Back Panel

 

Water Level Difference

EVALUATION CRITERIA: Having a wide range between the minimum and maximum water levels is a good feature. If you are cooking something like ribs over 48 hours, there will be water loss from evaporation. So having a wider range in the water levels means you don’t need to monitor the device as closely.

On the Sansaire, the instructions say that the minimum water level is 3 inches and the maximum is 6.5 inches.That gives the Sansaire a healthy range of 3.5 inches and that’s good!

Min Max Lines

 

Noise 

EVALUATION CRITERIA: Having a device that’s quiet is a important feature if you live in a small apartment. If you have to leave the unit running overnight, you certainly do not want a sous vide device that rumbles all night in the kitchen. We test noise levels through our Decibel Meter iOS app with the water level at midpoint between the max and minimum levels. And the test is conducted with the phone just in front of the water bath, on the opposite side of the device.

In our test, the Sansaire returned a average reading of around 74 decibels.

Temperature Accuracy

EVALUATION CRITERIA: Having a device that’s accurate is super important in sous vide cooking. A difference of just a couple of degrees can take your steak from medium to well done. It is also important that the device can hold the temperature evenly and consistently. You don’t want a device that has huge drop offs and that spikes after that. We test temperature accuracy at 3 points; At the start, during the climb, and finally at a holding temperature of 140°F / 60°C. We conduct our tests using our Cooper-Atkins, Guaranteed Accurate for Life, digital thermometer. Whilst it is branded as being accurate for life, there is a stated margin of accuracy of ±2°F so this should be taken into consideration when evaluating our test results.

At the start, the Sansaire showed a reading of 82.4°F while the thermometer showed 83.3°F. During the climb, the discrepancy between the Sansaire and our thermometer remained at roughly 1°F throughout. And finally, at the holding temperature of 140°F, the discrepancy was the same. The Sansaire was consistently 1°F lower than our thermometer.

Heating Speed

EVALUATION CRITERIA: Having a device that gets to your set temperature fast is ideal. For our test, we time the device to see how long it takes to heat up from 90°F to 140°F (32°C to 60°C).

In our test, the Sansaire took 14 mins and 24 secs to achieve that.

Summary

We feel that the Sansaire looks nice and it has a few well thought out features that we like. No doubt, it is let down in some areas but overall, we feel that build-quality is adequate and matches up to its price tag. In short, the Sansaire does its job well, gives good value and is certainly offers more than just a clever name.

PS: If you are keen to purchase the Sansaire Sous Vide Machine, we will greatly appreciate it if you make your purchase by clicking on our Amazon affiliate link below. It will take you to the Amazon webstore where you can purchase the item. The affiliate link means that if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. You will not be paying any additional charges when you do this and this small commission helps us to defray our costs and allows us to continue giving you useful and valuable content on our site. If you are interested to buy the items advertised on our site, we would greatly appreciate your valuable support in making your purchases through our affiliate links. Thank you!

We believe in being open and direct with our community and so we wish to also let you know that the sample product was provided by Sansaire. We believe in giving you frank and honest opinions and we will never compromise on that.

 

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