With 1500 watts and an 8-gallon capacity, the VacMaster SV1 is a high-power sous vide machine. While not nearly as expensive as professional models, its work capacity is comparable to the top-end models. Still, for anyone wanting an economical option, this unit probably isn't a good fit.
In our testing, the VacMaster SV1 provided average results that would satisfy most eaters, but the chicken and steak weren’t nearly as flavorful or tender as our top-ranking products. Though it’s comparatively large and bulky, the VacMaster SV1 is all about power. While most machines have a wattage of 1100, this one boasts 1500 watts. This high wattage is useful for heating a large amount of water. A lower wattage unit may take twice as long to bring water to cooking temperatures.
This power is especially beneficial with the SV1's large heating capacity. At 8 gallons, this unit's capacity is much higher than the average 5-gallon capability of most circulators. The high-powered heating element and huge water capacity makes this unit great for cooking large quantities of food at once.
If you consider power alone, the SV1 is more affordable than high end machines. However, the manufacturer sells this device for over $300, which might make it too expensive for most buyers. If you'd prefer a more economical option with better results, you might be interested in Anova.
Most of the contemporary sous vide machines are sleek and elegant, compact enough to keep on the kitchen counter or in a cabinet or drawer. This one is not. At 13 inches tall, 6 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep, and weighing in at 4.5 pounds, the SV1 is one of the largest circulators available on the market.
In addition to its bulky size, this unit also has a small water level range. In order for a sous vide machine to work properly, the water must be within a minimum and maximum level. If the water goes under or above the range, the machine will automatically turn off. The SV1's has a range of 2.5 inches, much smaller than the average of 4.5 inches. With only two and a half inches of leeway, the water level must be regularly checked to make sure it is working properly. If you purchase this device, you will get the most use out of it by insulating the container either with a lid or ping pong balls to prevent moisture from escaping.
The SV1 is not Wi-Fi or Bluetooth compatible, which compounds the problem of having a 2.5-inch water level range as the SV1 has no way of alerting you when it gets low or turns off. This unit also happens to be more expensive than other units we tested, which is bad considering you can get better results from the less expensive models. Still, this unit performs within acceptable ranges and will allow you to cook a decent amount of food at one time.