About Power Precision Cooker
Featuring a digital time and temperature display, Power Precision Cooker is a sous vide device that clips to the side of your cookware, circulates hot water, and creates a 360-degree bath to precisely cook food from edge-to-edge, whether meats, fish, vegetables, soups, or desserts.
In fact, the manufacturer claims that the device works so well that it can eliminate overcooking and mediocre meals, and is guaranteed to produce perfect results every time. In total, the process works in three steps:
- Place food in a plastic bag or jar (the device works with any sealable plastic bags or jars; no vacuum sealer required).
- Drop the bag into the water.
- Press start and watch as your food cooks to perfection.
All of these benefits certainly sound great, especially if you’re looking for an easy meal that perfectly retains moisture and flavor. But is the Power Precision Cooker necessarily your best sous vide option? And if you’re new to the cooking technique, how can you choose the one works best?
We’ll start by taking a look at how sous vide differs from other cooking methods. Then, we’ll dive into other important aspects like pricing, online customer feedback, and the competition.
What Is Sous Vide Cooking & What Are Some Pros & Cons?
According to SousVideSupreme.com, this phrase is French for “under vacuum,” since “food is vacuum-sealed in a cooking pouch and heated up at a precise temperature in a water bath.” It was first developed in the 1970s by Chef Georges Pralus.
Compared to traditional cooking methods that work from the outside-in, the sous vide process cooks food at a much lower temperature, but for much longer periods of time (anywhere between one hour and a couple of days). The result is that food is often perfectly cooked, extraordinarily tender, and infused with much more taste.
And despite this extra cook time, the set-it-and-forget-it nature of sous vide can offer a great deal of convenience, and it can be used to cook a wide variety of foods (it’s not just for meat).
It’s not all positive, though. For example, Business Insider's Megan Willit notes that not only do sous vide meals take longer, but you'll also "lose the experience of cooking. You don't get to smell, taste or tinker the way you can when cooking on a stove or grill."
And if you think you’ll spare yourself from dirtying other cookware, whether using Power Precision or another device, keep in mind that you’ll still need to sear your meat in order to achieve an attractive brown glaze (otherwise, it’ll look like a piece of boiled meat).
Is the device’s price also a potential downside? Let’s find out next.
How Much Does Power Precision Cooker Cost?
There are two ways to purchase the Power Precision Cooker:
A 30-day trial for $14.95, plus free shipping. Then, you will be billed three equal installments of $33.33, for a total of $114.94.
You can save the initial $14.95 trial charge by paying $99.99 in full, including free shipping.
Regardless of the payment option you choose, Power Precision Cooker comes with a recipe book, along with a 60-day refund policy, less S&H. To request one, you’ll need to contact Tristar Products’ customer service department at 973-287-5192.
Power Precision Cooker vs. Other Sous Vide Devices
Although the sous vide cooking method has been used professionally for decades, its adoption by amateur, at-home cooks occurred much more recently, as affordable devices have made their way to market over the last several years.
To see just how many options you currently have, type the phrase ‘thermal immersion circulator’ into Google and watch all the results that pull up. Third-party brands more or less competing directly with Power Precision Cooker include:
|Brand/ Model||Price||Special Features|
|Power Precision Cooker||$100||Digital display, clips to sides of deep pots, time and temperature display|
|Anova Precision Cooker||$130-$200, depending on retailer and model||App/ smartphone access via Bluetooth, 360-degree directional pump (1-1.2 GPM), removable stainless steel skirt for cleaning|
|ChefSteps Joule||$200||1.3 pounds, 1,100 watts of power, app connectivity, Wi-Fi/ Bluetooth compatible|
|NutriChef Sous Vide Souve Precision Cooker||$80-$135, depending on retailer||Time and temperature adjustable, built-in thermostat, digital LCD display, compatible with all deep cooking pots|
|Tayama Sous Vide Immersion Cooker||$64-$80, depending on retailer||Digital display, active control thermostat (within +/- 0.01 degrees)|
|Synck Sous Vide Precision Cooker||$80-$200, depending on retailer||Clamps to most deep cookware, no digital display (scroll wheel only), removable pump housing, directional water cap|
How to choose? Earlier this year, Emily Johnson at Epicurious tested several popular immersion circulator models like the Anova, ChefSteps Joule, Kitchen Gizmo, and Nomiko.
And while some of these were much more expensive than others, she found that most delivered solid temperature control, along with excellent cooking results. Ultimately, she reported that, “Choosing the right immersion circulator for home cooks is more about design features, ease of use, and differences in the technology that accompanies the machine.”
With this in mind, we spoke with three different customer service representatives looking for more information about the Power Precision Cooker, including:
- What’s the wattage?
- How accurate does the temperature remain?
- Can the device be accessed via Bluetooth and an app?
- Is there an automatic start and stop feature?
- How many gallons per minute (GPM) does the device produce? Can flow rate be adjusted? What is the total number of gallons it can handle?
- Does it feature any removable parts for cleaning?
- Can the head’s direction change?
Unfortunately, none of the representatives we spoke with could provide these details, as we were informed it’s a very new product. What does this mean for you?
Our Final Thoughts About the Power Precision Cooker
While we didn’t test it ourselves for firsthand feedback, priced anywhere between $30 and $100 lower than the popular Anova immersion circulator (depending on retailer and model), Tristar’s Power Precision Cooker certainly seems like it delivers important key features at a very competitive price.
Furthermore, if it doesn’t work out for your needs, Tristar stands behind it with a 60-day refund policy, which should be more than enough time to decide if it’s right for you. Just remember that you’ll have to pay to ship it back to the manufacturer, plus the initial $14.95 fee if you opted for the 30-day trial.
However, since customer support wasn’t able to advise us about any of its key features—especially if it can be accessed remotely via a smartphone app—this means it may require a more hands-on approach than competing models.
For example, you’ll have to start and stop the immersion circulator in person, which could present occasional inconvenience (such as needing to start a recipe in the middle of the day, so it will be ready by the time you get home from work). Furthermore, nearly all immersion circulators can be used without a vacuum sealer, so this doesn’t seem to be especially unique.
And without knowing its wattage, GPM circulation ability, total gallon capacity, or how closely it's able to maintain a constant temperature, it's difficult to know if Power Precision Cooker's meaningfully lower price will deliver meaningfully better value. Or, if it really will help you "cook to perfection" like a "professional chef at home," as claimed on the website.
4 out 4 people found this review helpful
Reliability is poor
I bought it at Sam's Club about a year ago, and have used it about a dozen times. It worked OK - I found the pressure switches to be finicky, requiring playing around with the presses to fix time and temp properly. Basically, it didn't always respond to a press. Otherwise, it worked well until yesterday. It seemed to work properly for a few hours, and then it shut down. When I tried to restart it, it would shut itself down again. After several tries, I got what looked like an error code: "EE1". I called the support number, but all they would tell me is that it was probably an electrical short, and I would need to buy another unit. Of course, I am way past the 60-day warranty. A very expensive device, given the number of times it actually worked. No way will I ever buy anything from Tristar again.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend