Review: Dash 800 W Sous Vide Circulator

Dash, an American manufacture of mid-range kitchenware, has entered the sous vide immersion circulator arena with a new 800 W unit. Despite featuring some welcome luxury features, and performing well during test cooks, we were overall concerned with the build quality.

Let’s crack into things.

Specifications

Dash specializes in affordable, indoor-focused cookware for those seeking to maximize counter-space and optimize workflow. Their immersion circulator is light-weight, but unfortunately also feels the part.

  • Dimensions: 3.2 x 15 x 3.7 inches
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
  • Temperature accuracy: +/- 0.2F
  • Power: 800 Watts at 100-120 Volts
  • Gallons Per Minute: 2.1 GPM
  • Warranty: 2-year with product registration
  • Wine Chilling Function

Dash doesn’t provide any additional details regarding minimum water depth or gallons per minute of circulation. With that said, our testing has showed that it competes ably at this price point with other models. At a guess, we’d place it’s minimum water depth at about 2 gallons – although there was a quarter-inch of float between my water bath and the bottom of the Dash Immersion Circulator.

Build Quality

Dash is known for producing small, medium-quality pieces of kitchenware like sandwich presses and air fryers. When it comes to sous vide, however, Dash’s 800W is the American company’s sole sous vide offering at the time of writing.

While working with the Dash Immersion Circulator, which is part of their Chef Series of Kitchen appliances, we found it to be of average to below average build quality. The plastic shelling around the electronics feels lighter in quality than we’d expect given the price point. When pressing down firmly on the side of the black plastic we were able to hear light creaking along the seams. Time will tell if the unit lasts, but we found this to be a worrying flag for power users looking at a reasonably priced sous vide immersion circulator. Fortunately, Dash offers a 1-year manufacturer warranty. Even better, if you register your product at time of purchase the warranty is bumped up to two years.

More trouble comes with certain design choices, such as the LED display. The Dash Chef Series Sous Vide Immersion Ciruclator sports a display that is bright and clear, but it lacks in responsiveness when pressing buttons – much like other units in this range. This leads to the peculiar sensation of feeling like you’re pressing against air rather than a button.

We also found that one-pin clamp system to be just a tad loose. However, it was significantly more stable than an alligator stlyle clamp. There was very little lilting during cooking

 

Ultimately, where Dash seeks to differentiate itself is through certain luxury features that we’ll discuss under the Function tab.

Function

Dash’s Chef Series Immersion Circulator took just about 20 minutes to reach our desired cooking temperature of 135 degrees. This was slightly slower than a 1,100 W unit, which can heat a similar range in around 15-minutes. Although the circulator features a commendable 2.1 gallon pump its actual circulation didn’t seem to be much better than the market average for its price point.

Its heat output was steady, clocking in at around 0.5 degrees of variation. Dash reports that this should be around 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit. As mentioned above, lilting was kept to a minimum through the single pin clamp. In terms of noise, expect a low hum throughout the whole cooking process. It’s safe to say that, at least here, discretion is in fact not the better part of valor. If anything, it’s the most audible part. All that to say, there are definitely quieter units out there, but not necessarily at this price.

One pleasant surprise was Dash’s thoughtful inclusion of both a quick recipe card and ten air-seal bags with an accompanying hand pump. Although not technically sophisticated, like a vacuum sealer, these bags are perfectly serviceable for someone getting started with sous vide. One word of caution; the bags are marked with a do not fill above  line. Following directions like these is incredibly important. Common complaints about bags like these involve bursting, sealing issues, or leakage into the bath during cook (none of which are good).

Be gentle with your new bags. Keep an eye on the level marking  on the bag while vacuum sealing, much like filling a Ziplock bag by hand using water pressure.

One of the most interesting parts of Dash’s offering is the wine chilling function. This operates exactly as you’d think. Drop a bottle of white, or some bubbly I suppose, into the waterbath, hit chill and viola. This is a fun, luxury inclusion that hints Dash might be looking to innovate.

Open Sesame

To test this unit out we decided to do a family favorite – salmon with sesame, lemon and parsley. All the usual suspects were present – soy sauce, half a head of garlic, a little bit of mirin for good measure. Salmon is something we’ve had as a treat for years. Sous vide and fish is, typically, a match made in heaven (in particular white fish). Salmon, however, can be surprisingly temperamental.

During cooking we experienced minimal issues. However, when it came time to serve we discovered that not every piece of salmon had been cooked through properly. Although we used Dash’s temperature guide, the thickness of the salmon compromised that estimate. It’s possible that this was a temperature control issue. Either way, it’s a good reminder to always judge your protein by both thickness and weight.

Conclusion

All in all, the Dash 800 W Sous Vide Immersion Circulator is a fine first entry into the sous vide market place. Recently Sous Vide Guy has reviewed a large number of companies entering this marketplace for the first time. Dash does a good job of hitting most of the right notes. Our biggest concerns surround the build quality of the plastic shelling. This is interesting, and a little surprising, considering the presence of luxury options such as wine chilling.

One final note on the wine function. Every sous vide unit can do this with a little help. The temperature for, say, champagne is around 32 degrees Fahrenheit. A standard unit set at 34 then filled with ice can have the same effect.

Regardless, Dash’s 800 w unit impressed at its price point. Even if not everything is quite where it should be.

  • Performance - 7.4/10
    7.4/10
  • Ease of Use - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Design - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Features - 7.8/10
    7.8/10
7.3/10

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