As a relatively new kid on the block the TINVOO SVC150 has no shortage of competitors.
Although the TINVOO SVC150 lacks Bluetooth or wi-fi functionality, I found it to be a quiet-running behemoth of an immersion circulator. One that I have no trouble recommending, provided you own a large enough water bath.
At a cool 1,100W the TINVOO competes with any number of sous vide immersion circulators on the market. It allows for programming in both centigrade and Fahrenheit, depending on your preference. The range for the SVC150 is 32-194F or 0-90C with a temperature swing of +/- 0.1C or +/- 0.18F during cooking. This isn’t quite as high as the Chefsteps Joule, which can reach temperatures of 208F.
During testing the TINVOO SVC150 did a great job of staying right on target with very minimal adjustments to keep the temperature as specified.
Although it boasts a maximum range time of 99 hours there are some absolutely necessary precautions that you should take beforehand.
When aiming for a low and slow approaching make sure to double or triple seal your bags as a precaution. One of the most common complaints about sous vide is bag bursting, which is usually the result of a bad seal. Good sous vide starts with a great seal (check out our 2019 wrap up for some suggestions).
Unlike many other immersion circulators on the market the TINVOO SVC150 boasts a stainless-steel design instead.
One of the most frequent issues with plastic sealed circulators, even with polycarbonate, is shell cracking, which leads to a host of other issues. The TINVOO SVC150 mitigates this risk by using stainless-steel, the chef’s kitchen staple.
While the TINVOO SVC150 looks great on my kitchen counter it still some of that ‘new kid on the block’ syndrome. The joins between the plastic touch plate and the stainless-steel body are a little rough, as are a few of the corners or edges. Even so, the panel and touch controls are all solidly built, responsive and feel like they’ll stand up to repeated use. It’s also minimal and simple to use. Each button does exactly what you’d think.
If anything, the largest issue with its build quality is the same thing I like about it – the stainless-steel. As someone who isn’t a fan of plastic kitchenware in general the TINVOO SVC150 is a great buy. With that said, as a stainless-steel kitchen item it will attract finger prints like moths to a flame. After even one usage I felt compelled to give it a quick wipe-down.
One of the biggest surprises was simply the TINVOO SVC150’s size.
It stands at 14″ by 3.5″ by 6″. It weighs in at 2kg.
To fill it to the minimum safe operation mark you need a whopping total of 5.8 gallons, or 5 liters of water.
If, like me, you like to use pots you might have trouble hitting the minimum with anything other than a dedicated stock pot. Because of the unit’s height it’s a challenge to make sure that the bottom exhaust is clear of the bottom of your pot. Although you could stand the unit flat on the bottom of the pot or container, this would risk partially blocking the vent on the bottom. Even with a 11-gallon pot I still ended up angling the TINVOO SVC150 slightly it was clear.
An important note for anyone using a rubbermaid style sous vide water bath lid. As most immersion circulators are cylinders you might have difficulty fitting this into your the top of your water bath. Simply put, the TINVOO SVC150 is a rectangle in a world of cylindrical immersion circulators.
By default, the TINVOO SVC150 will start at 60C/ 140F for a cook time of 2 hours. This isn’t a bad starting point for most beef, white poultry, or pork to cook to medium doneness. It’s also a good starting point for seafood – although in all cases we would recommend adjusting the cooking time to fit your dish.
If you like your steak medium rare, for example, then 56C/ 134F is a better starting point for temperature.
Unlike many of the newer immersion circulators on the market the SVC150 does not come with out-of-the-box wifi or Bluetooth functionality. If anything, I actually liked this decision. I can’t say that I miss having to futz around with wi-fi connectivity or pairing. It’s great to just press a button and have your device work.
I was also absolutely astonished at how quietly the TINVOO SVC150 ran given. Like many home cooks I like to play music when I’m cooking. At one point during testing I actually muted my playlist to make sure SVC150 was actually on. It was seriously that quiet.
Given its size I was doubly impressed by how silently the SVC150 ran. A quiet, heavy duty immersion circulator? Brilliant.
Shrimp Stress Test
Before delivering my verdict I wanted to show off what the TINVOO SVC150 can do at its best. I decided to take a run at a once-around-the-kitchen type recipe. After picking up some shrimp at my local butcher, along with some fantastic tomato pesto dried noodles, I whipped up a simple garlic, parsley, and butter sauce to compliment the shrimp.
The results were above and beyond what I was expecting for a Sunday night meal.
As you can see, the shrimp came out with wonderful colour. I decided to add a little of my favourite cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano, and some pan-fried mushrooms plus spinach. This evened out the dish with some meatiness, not to mention earthy notes. The shrimp was perfectly to my taste, buttery soft with just a little bite.
Overall, I was incredibly satisfied with how the TINVOO SVC150 performed.
The TINVOO SVC150 impressed on a lot of levels.
Many of its features seem to target professional kitchens – from the easy to use touch interface, to rugged design, size, and out-of-the-box default settings. Although its build quality is a little rough around the seal the pad itself feels solid when in use. Its size was also a little bit of a shock, though ultimately one that I didn’t end up minding.
For me, the lack of in-built wi-fi or blue tooth functionality ended up being a plus. There have been plenty of horror stories about immersion circulators that don’t work because it won’t connect to a wi-fi network.
Personally, I’m fine going without. The instruction manual for the TINVOO SVC150 comes with a handy temperature guide that, provided you keep it around, will serve as a field guide for sous vide cooking.
With that said, and although I haven’t had any issues with my unit, the most frequent complaints about the machine is it not standing up to heavy use.
This is especially worrying as the TINVOO SVC150 seems designed for both the speed and the intensive usage of a restaurant environment. Even so, I can’t attest to any issues with my unit so far. If you’re a home cook, then it’s is very unlikely to break given the number of times you can expect to use it in a week.
Even if you do suffer a fault the the SVC150 comes with a generous 2-year warranty.
The TINVOO SVC150 is a heavy-duty immersion ciruclator which competes with some of the best name brands. Although it eschews wi-fi features for a plug-and-cook method I was incredibly impressed with its consistency and whisper-quiet circulation system.