Wancle Thermal Immersion Circulator Review
Pros: Powerful circulating pump, solid thermal stability
Cons: Bulky design, somewhat pricey
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Our Analysis and Test Results
One aspect of the Wancle that made it stand out from most other sous vides is how bulky it is, with a significantly larger carrying handle than most models. It also can be a little pricey given its performance, with top-tier products costing about the same but offering more functionality in a smaller package.
The Wancle Immersion Circulator's most noteworthy performance was in our circulation metric, which accounts for 30% of its overall score. In this metric, we added a small amount of food coloring to the corner of a 9.5-quart water bath, then awarded points proportional to the amount of time it took for each machine to disperse the dye enough that a uniform color was achieved. It only took the Wancle 14 seconds to do this, when it took the slowest models over ten times as long — 196 seconds.
The Wancle Immersion Circulator also performed well in our temperature recovery and stability evaluations. This sous vide only took two minutes or so to regain its set temperature of 135°F after we dropped in three vacuum-packed frozen burger patties. Points were awarded based on the amount of time the Wancle Immersion Circulator deviated from the steady-state temperature as monitored by our thermochron temperature loggers, with these data loggers measuring down to the tenth of a degree. This product only showed deviations from the steady temperature for 3.33% of the hour — one of the better showings we have seen.
The Wancle Immersion Circulator did so slightly above average in our initial heating test, raising the temperature of 9.5 quarts of 48°F tap water to 147°F in 51 minutes. The fastest models did this in just over 35 minutes but you can always start with hot water if you don't feel like waiting this long.
The interface on the Wancle isn't the easiest to use but wasn't too bad. It's easy enough to read the display the control wheel isn't too finicky when it comes to setting the timer and the temperature.
Regrettably, the Wancle Immersion Circulator delivered some less than impressive results in our temperature accuracy test. We checked the temperature accuracy by using a precision thermometer to measure the temperature in six different locations for two different setpoints, then averaged results. Each sous vide was given ample time to come up to the set temperature and reach stable conditions before we started measuring. This product averaged 0.70°F under the set temperature of 135°F and almost a full 2 degrees — 1.73°F — when the temperature was set to 147°F.
We also found the spring clamp that attaches the Wancle to the side of the sous vide container to be a bit cumbersome, particularly if there was a lip.
If you are shopping for a sous vide on a limited budget, then we think the Wancle is a worthy option.
The Wancle Immersion Circulator isn't a bad sous vide by any means but it just can't match the performance of the top-tier models. It's a great bargain option, usually found offered at substantially less than its list price, and gets the job done.
— Michelle Powell and David Wise