For those who don't have the budget for a full sous vide machine, the DSV Temperature Controller is a great alternative. Users can "create" a sous vide machine by simply plugging in a basic slow cooker through the DSV, which turns the slow cooker on and off to maintain a consistent temperature in the water bath. Owners find the DSV very simple to use, though it does require an additional heating appliance.
Suitable alternative to pricey sous vide machines. The DSV Temperature Controller maintains the temperature of a water bath in a separate rice cooker or slow cooker. The device monitors the temperature of the water and turns the power on and off to maintain a consistent temperature. The water stays at the target temperature within a few tenths of a degree according to reviewers. Owners are impressed with the ability of the device to maintain temperature nearly as effectively as a pricey sous vide machine. One difference worth noting is that this setup doesn't actively circulate water, so the DSV could get an inaccurate temperature reading, though that doesn't appear to be an issue.
Simple and straightforward to set up. Several reviewers refer to the DSV Temperature Controller as "plug and play." They say it's simple to supplement the device with a slow cooker and set it up to prepare delicious food with little to no work at all. One reviewer notes a downside, though: The device makes an audible clicking noise while it cooks, which can be grating when cooking takes 12 hours or more. Other than this flaw, all of the reviews we found were positive -- reviewers get consistently good results from their DSV Temperature Controllers.
Good build quality, excellent value. None of the reviewers we found expressed concerns regarding the longevity of the DSV Temperature Controller. Several Amazon.com reviewers even note that the controller seems to be really good quality. There is some additional cost to ownership, however. In addition to the $100 temperature controller, users need to own a nondigital rice cooker or slow cooker -- particularly painful for those who already own a pricey, digital slow cooker.
Nearly 100 Amazon.com reviewers give the DSV Temperature Controller an average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 -- one of the highest on the site. Reviewers say the device is well-made, yet simple to use. Many gush about the price -- hundreds of dollars less but with equivalent results.
Review: DorkFood DSV Temperature Controller for Sous-vide, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of August 2013
Tim Barribeau recommends another inexpensive immersion cooker as his first choice, but names the DSV Temperature Controller as a next-best option, docking it for requiring an appliance for heating. However, he says, "The advantage to this type of cooker is pretty self-explanatory: It's dirt cheap, and it works well."
Review: The Best Budget-Friendly Sous-Vide Gear, Tim Barribeau, Jan. 14, 2013
Jason Hamner is a novice cook who offers a detailed review of the DSV Temperature Controller. Overall he's very happy with the results, but notes one flaw: The unit makes an audible clicking noise as it turns power to the heating unit on and off.
Review: DIY Sous Vide and the Dorkfood DSV Controller, Jason Hamner, Jan. 16, 2013
This brief review introduces the DSV Temperature Controller and describes it as, "an interesting take on a growing [sous vide] phenomenon." Krepshaw doesn't list many specifics about the product, except that it needs to be used with a nondigital cooker and can turn an appliance you already own into a sous vide machine.
Review: Turn Your Slow Cooker or Rice Maker into a Sous-vide Machine, Brian Krepshaw, June 19, 2012
5. The Bon Vivant Blog
The Bon Vivant Blog discusses one specific experience with sous vide cooking and the DSV Temperature Controller. The post focuses primarily on the food and the sous vide cooking method. The author doesn't mention any issues encountered when cooking with the DSV Temperature Controller.
Review: First Sous Vide Attempt, Author of The Bon Vivant Blog, Jan. 7, 2013