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PARTU Sous Vide 850W Review

A great option if you are hoping to get a new sous vide without spending a ton of cash
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $45 List
Pros:  Inexpensive, very strong circulating pump
Cons:  Large, harder to use
Manufacturer:   PARTU
By Michelle Powell and David Wise  ⋅  Mar 3, 2020
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59
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Temperature - 40% 5
  • Circulation - 30% 9
  • Ease of Use - 30% 4

Our Verdict

The PARTU was unavailable for purchase in Summer 2020

While it would be difficult to say that the PARTU Sous Vide 850W is the best of the best when it comes to sous vide machines, it did score surprisingly well given its bare-bones nature and significantly lower price tag than the top-tier models. It's our favorite option for anyone shopping for a new sous vide on the smallest of budgets and we have made plenty of particularly tasty meals with it.

Our Analysis and Test Results

In addition to being a great value, the PARTU did impress us with its particularly powerful pump, delivering one of the best performances we have seen in our circulation tests. This makes it a great option if you are using larger vessels or plan on having a rack with multiple items cooking at once, ensuring you get an even temperature throughout the water bath.

Performance Comparison


If you are shopping for a sous vide on a budget  then the PARTU is a great choice.
If you are shopping for a sous vide on a budget, then the PARTU is a great choice.

Temperature


Our initial series of side-by-side evaluations focused specifically on how well each machine heats water, which is responsible for 40% of the final score for each appliance. We awarded points based on how long it took each machine to heat up water to cooking temperature, how consistently it maintained a temperature, and how accurate it is, and how quickly it recovered to the desired temperature once food was added. The PARTU delivered so-so results overall, earning it a 5 out of 10.


We timed how long it took each machine to heat 9.5 quarts of cold tap water — approximately 48°F — to 147°F for our initial heating test. The PARTU delivered a middle-of-the-road performance, requiring 55 minutes to heat the water. The fastest models took about 20 minutes less to heat up the water but you can always expedite this by preheating the water on the stovetop or in a kettle.

Using our calibrated thermometer to check the accuracy of the PARTU.
Using our calibrated thermometer to check the accuracy of the PARTU.

The PARTU did do quite a bit better in our recovery test, taking only a minute to regain the set temperature of 135°F in the same water bath when we dropped in three frozen hamburgers in a vacuum sealed package. Unfortunately, this sous vide machine did score quite a bit below average in our temperature stability and accuracy tests. We found the PARTU tended to be slightly under the prescribed temperature, averaging 0.87°F under when we had the temperature set to 135°F and 1.29°F under when we set the temperature to 147°F. These numbers were based on averaging six different readings throughout the water bath using a calibrated lab-grade thermometer.

To rank and score temperature stability, we sealed a thermochron data logger in a bag and used it to measure the temperature every minute for an hour in a preheated water bath. Since each machine has varying levels of accuracy, we awarded points based on the percentage of the hour that each machine maintained a steady-state temperature, rather than the set temperature.

The PARTU spent close to a third (28.33%) of the hour off of its steady temperature but the average error was only 0.25°F. The top models maintained the temperature within a tenth of a degree for the entire 60 minutes.

The PARTU had one of the best performances in our circulation test.
The PARTU had one of the best performances in our circulation test.

Circulation


Next, we moved on to comparing and ranking how well each sous vide machine moved water throughout the container, which is responsible for 30% of the PARTU's and the other sous vide machine's final score. The PARTU 850W did considerably better, earning a 9 out of 10 — one of the best scores we have seen to date!


To compare sous vide circulation performance, we introduced a measured quantity of diluted food dye to each water bath and then timed how long it took the pump on each product to achieve a consistent color throughout. The PARTU took a mere 16 seconds to accomplish this, with other products taking over 3 minutes to achieve the same level of mixing.

The PARTU earned a below-average score in our ease of use tests.
The PARTU earned a below-average score in our ease of use tests.

Ease of Use


Our final round of evaluations assessed the different ease of use and convenience functions that each product has. We looked at the interface on each product and how easy it is to attach each sous vide to different containers for this metric. These tests account for the remaining 30% of the total score for the PARTU, which unfortunately didn't do all that well, earning it a 4 out of 10.


The PARTU does not have a companion app so you are limited to the interface on the device itself to input the time and temperature. We weren't huge fans of this method, as the buttons weren't the most responsive in our test and the interface isn't that intuitive. The mode select to toggle between setting the temperature and time isn't illuminated and can be hard to see and the wheel to set either makes it hard to set them accurately. It tends to change the numbers frustratingly slow or far too fast.

The PARTU didn't have the most responsive interface of the group.
The PARTU didn't have the most responsive interface of the group.

The mount is fairly easy to use, as it has a separate holder that you clamp to the container and then slide the sous vide in once it is attached. It's nice to be able to clamp the holder on without the PARTU getting in the way but we did find this product to be so large that it can be quite cumbersome compared to other products.

Value


The PARTU 850W is a fantastic value, getting you going with sous vide cooking for a super low price compared to the premium models. It isn't the best but definitely offers more than acceptable cooking performance.

Eggs can be cooked right in their shells with these products.
Eggs can be cooked right in their shells with these products.

Conclusion


The interface can be a bit finicky and the temperature accuracy is nothing to write home about but these flaws can for sure be overcome with a little experience. It can definitely make plenty of tasty meals though we would advise some caution if you are making recipes that are right on the line when it comes to food safety, since this machine was typically slightly under the set temperature in our tests and giving yourself a bigger margin of safety is never a bad idea.

Michelle Powell and David Wise