The Oliso Smart Hub is different from the other sous vide machines in our comparison as it has two primary parts. On the bottom is an induction heater that is basically an electric stove. The top part is a specially designed water container that maintains precise temperatures needed for sous vide cooking. This container can be removed, allowing the bottom to be used on its own with another pot or pan. Since this is a smart device, the base can recognize when the container is placed on top, which helps the two parts work together during the cooking process. This is a good pick for anyone who doesn't have a stove top, but the high price point makes it an overly expensive choice for other consumers.
While cooking, the accompanying lid helped us to prevent excessive water evaporation. Our taste testers told us that the chicken turned out really well while the steak we cooked was simply ok and somewhat rubbery. When we were done using the sous vide section, we were able to remove the container and sear our meat in a pan directly on the induction cook top. This makes it a good choice for anyone who doesn't have a stovetop or plans to travel with it. Just keep in mind that this device is bulky and weighs 9.5 pounds, so it won't be the easiest thing to store or travel with.
Although the Smart Hub is versatile, it does have a few limits with cooking sous vide. The first limitation is its water bath capacity. At 2.5 gallons, this unit has half the capacity of most sous vide machines. Rather cooking eight or more chicken breasts like average-sized models, this unit can only cook up to six at a single time.
The second limitation is its size. With dimensions of 18 inches tall, 14 inches wide, and 17 inches long, this machine is much larger than immersion circulators. It will take as much room on your countertop as a slow cooker. However, considering its versatility, this unit is compact compared to having three separate appliances.
The third and last limitation is its high cost. This unit is at least twice the cost of many sous vide machines. This is due in part to its functionality that other machines don't have. Nevertheless, the cost is a major disadvantage if you won’t frequently use the extra features. A cheaper sous vide machine, like the ChefSteps Joule can provide a smaller and more powerful option for sous vide.
In addition to those three limitations, the Smart Hub also does not have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. This increasingly popular feature would allow the machine to be controlled remotely with an app and provide access to a collection of sous vide recipes. This missing feature does make the machine slightly less convenient to use. However, it is only minor disadvantage if the machine will be used primary at home in the kitchen. The interface allows you to manually program timed cooks and easily find recipes online.
The Oliso Smart Hub is a versatile option, since it works as a sous vide machine, stove and slow cooker. The multi-functionality allows you to cook a wide array of dishes with a single appliance, which is especially helpful in a small apartment with no stovetop. It would have scored higher in our comparison if it had a lower price point and could handle a larger amount of water at once.