Instant Pot Accu Slim Immersion Circulator Review
Pros: Maintains very stable temperature, recovers quickly when food is added
Cons: Below average performance in our circulation attempt, so-so interface
Manufacturer: Instant Pot
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Overall, the Instant Pot Accu Slim scored much lower than average and we have a hard time identifying a particular reason why you should purchase it. It has a price tag that is much higher than other models that scored better, so it isn't really a great budget buy and can't compare to the performance of the top models.
Overall, it was the Accu Slim' temperature stability and its speed at recovering the set temperature once food was added that impressed us the most. To score stability performance, we sealed a temperature logger in a bag and had it measure the temperature of the water bath 60 times over the course of an hour. Points were awarded based on the amount of time each sous vide wavered from the steady-state temperature, with the Instant Pot Accu Slim maintaining a temperature within 0.1°F throughout the entire hour.
The Accu Slim also bounced back very quickly once cold food was added, only taking a minute to regain the set temperature of 135°F in its 9.5 quart water bath once 3 frozen hamburger patties were added in a vacuum sealed package. This sous vide was also only about average in temperature accuracy, displaying an average error of 0.27°F under the set temperature of 135°F and 0.72°F under the set temperature of 147°F in our assessments. This was measured in six places throughout the container with a lab-grade calibrated digital thermometer.
The Instant Pot Accu Slim didn't do all that well in our circulation or ease of use tests, as well as the remainder of the temperature tests. This sous vide machine took a bit more time to initially heat up the water than some of the other products, with close to an hour elapsing before the Accu Slim could heat up 9.5 quarts of cold tap water to 147°F — something the top models did in less than 40 minutes.
This sous vide also fared fairly poorly in our circulation tests, moving the water around in the container much slower than the top-tier models. We added a small amount of diluted food coloring in a corner of the container, then timed how long it took each product to achieve a uniform hue. The Accu Slim was one of the slowest products in our tests, taking 3 minutes and 16 seconds, whereas the fastest models did this in 15 seconds or less.
We also weren't huge fans of the interface on this product, finding it to be one of the least intuitive of the group. You need to hit the "Play" button to start it heating and then hit it again once the water is at temperature to start heating. The screw on the clamp mount also doesn't spin super freely, so it can take a bit more time to get it mounted to the side of a container.
The Instant Pot Accu Slim isn't a great value in our minds since it was easily outperformed by other models that cost quite a bit less.
All in all, the Accu Slim isn't a terrible sous vide machine by any means but it's a bit of a hard sell. We've made plenty of great meals with this product but there are so many other products that scored significantly better and a handful of those cost quite a bit less as well.
— Michelle Powell and David Wise