Test SV-310T par Sammic.
Again, Apologies to Sammic to have taken so long to post this review. As I was saying in my previous article. Work was taking priority. I had a little bit of time on my hand and here it is: the review of Sammic SV310 chamber vacuum sealer.
I’ve been cooking sous vide for a while and like lots of people who start with this technique my first attempts were done using the simple Ziploc bag in a pan of water technique. Actually to be completely honest, my very first attempt was using my deep fat fryer filled with filled with water, but it was sad and am ashamed of how badly it ended up.
I, then move uo to a run of the mill exterior vacuum sealer, a £60 model I picked up at amazon.co.uk. It did the job ok. I used it for nearly a year. It had its problem though, the vacuum wasn’t high enough and there wasn’t anywhere near enough control. That’s when I decided I needed to move on to a better model, so I switched to a La.Va V300. It has a more powerful pump, nice control via a pressure control valve and overall it’s way better.
It’s fine for me after all, I’m a home cook. It does the trick and I am happy with the resulting food.
then again, it’s limited and limiting. Unless I resort to tricks or jumping through ever growing hoops. Compression techniques is out of my reach and precise variable vacuum pressures is near impossible and vacuuming liquid is a far away dream.
For a passionate amateur like myself, this is frustrating, and for a professional chef, it’s a real handicap.
The solution? A chamber vacuum sealer! I had the opportunity to get a model on loan by the good people at SAMMIC. SAMMIC is a leading international professional kitchen equipment provider. They offer a vast range of Chamber vacuum sealer for all kitchen sizes and budgets. When we talked I asked for a model that could fit in my tiny London Flat, they sent me the Sv-310T.
The first thing you notice when you open the box is how beautiful the machine is, all stainless steel and shinny. Size-wise (384 x 455 x 405 mm) it is not the smallest model and it was good as it was perfect for pretty much all sous vide application from large brisket joint to single serving steak. Despite its reasonable size it is heavy. Thirty five kilos to be exact. You might want to find a place for it and leave it there. for like ever!
So why is it so good to own a chamber vacuum sealer?
There’s various reasons for this and I’m going to talk about a couples.
With an exterior vacuum sealer, when you try vacuuming liquid like marinades, stocks or sauces… The machine sucks up the liquid while sucking the air out thus damaging sometimes permanently the equipment. Because the Sv-310T (like other Chamber vacuum sealer model) creates a vacuum in the chamber no aspiration is happening. Allowing you to sous vide liquid without making a mess and that’s a huge difference. With traditional suction vacuum sealer you have to freeze the liquid or like I’m doing, in gelatin form.Compression
Maybe one of the coolest thing you can do with a chamber vacuum sealer is what we call compression. This technique opens doors to new culinary adventures and bring new horizons in food preparation. What is “compression”? Using a high pressure setting you can vacuum pack vegetables or fruit and compress them so much that you change their look and texture. This technique is nearly impossible to replicate with most external vacuum sealers.
Good usage of a chamber vacuum sealer allows you control the type of vacuum you want in the bag. You may need to apply a fair amount of pressure for some food or sometimes you need to be more gentle and remove just the necessary air, but not enough to damage the delicate food you’re cooking. The Sv-310T is pretty good at that in a very simple way, you just change the timer up or down. If you ever watch Bruno Goussault DVD about Sous vide cooking. He explain that when cooking chicken on the bone he need to get a gentler vacuum going as to not suck out the bone marrow from the bones thus making the bone black. This is the kind of control you gain using the Sv-310T.
Why the Sv-310T? First it is a very powerful yet compact machine. It is not the smallest on the market, but if you invest in this kind of equipment you want something that would work in pretty much all application and the Sv-310T offer exactly that.
Using the SV-310T is extremely easy and quite straightforward. You lift the lid, place your pouch in the chamber resting the edge of the bag on the sealing bar. On the front of the machine, you find the different control, push the vacuum button then set the time you want the vacuum to go for, push the sealing button and again set the timer to how long you want the machine to seal. close the lid et voila. The vacuum is made the bag sealed and the lid open automatically. Nothing that could make you feel inadequate.
There’s a couple of advance functions, but mainly this is what you need to make it work. It was actually lucky that the machine is so easy to use, because one thing I have to be critical of is the instruction guide, it’s a couple of pages in a leaflet and I didn’t find them really clear or helpful. If anything Sammic should revisit the instructions and made them clear for people who don’t have much experience with those kind of machine.
The pros and cons? Really it’s all good. I wish I still had it, I still mourn the day I had to give it back. I should have tried to negotiate a discount price and buy it for myself.
Good size, allowing a wide range of produces to be vacuum sealed. Sturdy, aesthetically nice and very easy to use. On the negative side, the weight . 35kilos you won’t move it everyday, then again it’s one of the lightest. The price! it’s quite expensive and at the moment it’s stays in the realm of the professional kitchen or the passionate cook with loads of cash.
If you have the need or the means, go crazy. it’s worth it.