Our museum is temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

SousVide Supreme Machine

SousVide Supreme Machine

Usage conditions apply
Sous Vide is a cooking technique developed in France in the 1960s and used by American chefs beginning in the 1980s. Sous Vide (“under vacuum”) involves vacuum sealing food in a bag and cooking it slowly at controlled temperatures in a water bath, a technique that preserves the food’s texture, flavors, and aromas. Sous Vide cooking caught on in restaurants largely because it allowed staff to prepare food to a certain point, knowing it would retain its flavors and nutrients until it was time for finishing, plating, and serving the dish. Chefs discovered that flavors were actually enhanced by the long immersion of food in its own juices and ingredients.
This Sous Vide machine is the first countertop model designed specifically for home use. Introduced in 2009, the machine cost $449.00 new. It came with a 27-page user’s guide that promises perfectly cooked meals: “Just season, seal, simmer, sear, and serve!” The machine is also touted as a time, money, and work-saver, three things that appeal to many American consumers. Like a crock pot, this machine can be set to cook food all day and have dinner ready when everyone returns from work and school. Unlike a crock pot, however, the vacuum-sealed bag and precise temperature control preserves the essential flavors and textures of food. The user’s guide includes instructions on how to use the machine, a table of cooking times and temperatures for different foods, and 14 pages of recipes.
This machine was donated to the museum by a suburban Maryland woman who purchased it as a Christmas gift for her husband in 2009. As food enthusiasts, they had learned about the new countertop model Sous Vide Supreme on a food blog. Over the course of four years the couple made about two meals per week in the Sous Vide machine for themselves and two children. They enjoyed the process of learning how different foods responded to the cooking method or, as they said, “we keep finding new things to do with it, which is fun!”
Object Name
water oven
date made
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
metal (overall material)
box: 13 1/2 in x 16 in x 13 1/4 in; 34.29 cm x 40.64 cm x 33.655 cm
appliance: 12 in x 14 in x 11 1/2 in; 30.48 cm x 35.56 cm x 29.21 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Welmoed and Robert Sisson
See more items in
Work and Industry: Food Technology
Food: Transforming the American Table
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object