Okay, so you are a professional chef, or looking to take your home cooking to the next level. Maybe you are running a restaurant, or perhaps you are a personal chef. Should you upgrade your equipment?
Most definitely, especially if you are going to have paying customers! A stronger, more reliable Sous Vide machine will ensure you can consistently have a great product.
So how do you choose the perfect commercial sous vide?
Well, this post covers everything you need to know about the best commercial sous vide units. We’ll go over which is best, what factors to consider, and unique features you might like.
Below you will find a table summarizing our thoughts.
1. Breville Polyscience HydroPro Plus
Best for: Professional chefs and commercial kitchens looking for the most advanced sous vide machine.
The Breville Polyscience HydroPro Plus is a 100% commercial product. It isn’t meant for anyone just looking to sous vide a juicy steak for their family. Instead, it’s designed for restaurants.
But if you do buy this and you’re a home user, you’ll never have to purchase another sous vide again. It’s made from steel, not plastic and can last for decades if you look after it.
This is our top pick because it’s one of the most advanced machines available and it offers countless features you won’t find with other commercial products.
It’s also affordable compared to other professional sous vide machines.
If you’ve been in the restaurant industry for a while, you might recognize Polyscience. Phil Preston founded it, and it’s one of the first companies to make sous vide machines for circulator cooking. Before that, they specialized in designing lab equipment.
Their goal when creating this product was to combine all the best features into one machine and offer it at an affordable price.
This commercial immersion circulator is quite heavy compared to other units. It weighs seven pounds and comes with a padded travel bag, probe, and some tape to prevent the bag from leaking when putting a thermometer in your meat.
Here are the specs:
- A maximum water capacity of 12 gallons
- A maximum temperature of 194°F
- Heater wattage of 1450 watts
- Maximum pump output of 4.5 gallons per liter
- An adjustable flow of three speeds
You’ll also find helpful features like:
- Low liquid safety warning
- Over-temperature protection
- Alarm and fault indicators
- Coil-less heating chamber
- Adjustable and detectable clamp
- Built-in recipes
This makes the Polyscience immersion circulator the perfect option for any commercial kitchen or professional chef looking for reliable sous vide.
- It can last decades if you look after it
- The HydroPlus is easy to clean
- It’s affordable compared to other commercial machines
- It’s durable so it won’t break if it falls
- It’s not a practical option for home chefs as it is expensive
- The HydroPlus doesn’t offer WiFi connectivity
- Precision Temperature Probe: Digital probe allows for precise internal temperature control to achieve perfect and safe cooking temperature, delta cooking techniques and reduces cooking time by up to 50%
- Bluetooth Enabled: Easily Transfer HACCP Data Logs to your phone or computer via HACCP Manager App
- Sous Vide Toolbox: a built-in sous vide cooking guide
- Perfect results: Using sous vide toolbox feature allows you to select type of food, size and level of doneness. Dinner comes out predictably perfect, every time.
- Heats up fast: Powerful 1450 Watt heater and 17 liter per minute water flow
2. Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Pro
Best for: Restaurants and professional chefs on a budget who’re looking to get the most bang for their buck.
The Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker is another machine designed for professional chefs and restaurants. But compared to the Breville, this one is less pricey while still offering many advanced features.
Anova is another household name in the sous vide industry, and with this unit, their goal was to build something that can run for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It’s made from steel, and the components are super reliable. So if you’re looking for a sous vide that’ll run for a long time, consider the Anova.
Again, like the Breville Polyscience HydroPro Plus, this high volume sous vide isn’t meant for home users.
Here are some specifications for this cooker:
- 1800 watts or 220 volts of power
- A flow rate of 12 liters per minute
- A maximum cooking size of 26 gallons
- Temperature range of 32°F to 197°F
- A waterproof touch screen
- Minimum container size of 63 mm and a maximum of 170 mm
Over 100 million chefs cook with Anova and established brands like Business Insider, and Good Housekeeping even named it the best overall sous vide.
When it arrives at your doorstep, you’ll find the wand comes in a sleek box. There’s a booklet that teaches you how to operate it, but it isn’t necessary since the Anova is so easy to use.
The body is made from steel, so it’s quite solid. If it falls, you won’t have to worry about it breaking. On the side, you’ll find the locking wheel mechanism that attaches the circulator to your container.
On top, the touch screen is slightly different from previous versions. It’s a bit bigger and squarer, whereas older models used a rounder screen.
- It’s made from steel so it’s solid
- The designers built it to run for 24 hours a day
- It’s super easy to use and clean
- The touchscreen is bigger than most commercial machines
- It might seem expensive for home users
- Perfect results every time: Never over or undercook your food again. The Anova Precision Cooker Pro circulates water at the exact temperature required for perfectly cooked meals, no matter what's on your menu.
- What to cook: Sous vide (pronounced “sue-veed”) cooking offers the perfect level of doneness for nearly any food. Chicken, fish, vegetables, eggs, beef, lamb, pork, and more, are all ideal foods for sous vide circulation. The ability to lock in flavor and moisture during the cooking process results in texture and taste that is second to none.
- Our most powerful sous vide cooker: The Anova Precision Cooker Pro was ruggedized to thrive in the most demanding of kitchens, able to heat up to 100L of water when in a covered container, and run for a minimum of 10,000 hours straight. Constructed of stainless steel, it is drop tested and IPX-7 rated; drop it on the floor or dunk under water, and you can keep on cooking, no problem.
- Easy to use: Simply attach the precision cooker to your own pot or container, fill the pot or container with water, add your food in a sealed bag, and cook manually with the built-in controls or with the Anova app
- Customer experience: designed in San Francisco, CA. Anova delivers thousands of sous vide recipes for free in the Anova app, created for cooks of every skill level by award-winning chefs and home cooks alike
3. Breville Sous Vide Joule
Best for: Home and private chefs who use sous vide to prepare meals for friends and family.
If you’re a home chef and looking for a commercial sous vide machine that you can use to cook meals without breaking the bank, then the Breville Joule Sous Vide is your best bet.
It might not be as durable and reliable as the previous two options. But it’s more affordable, and the manufacturers did a good job ensuring it still offers many useful features.
When you’ve received your Breville Joule, you’ll need to download the app and sign up for a free account. Once you’re logged in, the app walks you through tasty, built-in recipes and some pre-set options. Some of these options include:
This way, you don’t have to guess what temperature and time to leave your meal in the bath. The Joule will recommend a time and temperature range for the best results possible.
But if you find that a different temperature works better for you, the app allows for customization.
Unlike the previous two commercial options, there aren’t any dials or screens on the circulator. You’ll need to use it with the Joule app on your mobile device. You’ll also notice it’s way smaller than most cookers, making it a convenient option when traveling.
Here are the Breville Joule specs:
- 1100 watts of power
- A weight of 1.2 pounds
- Bluetooth and WiFi features compatible with Android and iOS devices
- The maximum water volume of 10.5 gallons
- Minimum water depth of 3.8 cm
- Maximum cooking temperature of 208°F
This circulator has a small metal clip used to attach it to a pot or container. But if this clip is too small for your pot, you’ll be happy to know that the base is magnetic so it can attach to anything metal.
What I like about this immersion circulator is how quickly it works. Within five to ten minutes, your water will be up to the perfect temperature. And when your meal is ready, Joule sends you a push notification.
Now that we know the three best commercial sous vide machines, let’s consider some crucial factors.
- You can control temperature and time with the mobile app
- It’s affordable for home users
- The app comes with built-in recipes
- The magnetic base allows you to fit it to any container
- It isn’t as sturdy as the previous two options
- The Joule isn’t a practical option for restaurants
- Smallest, sleekest sous vide tool available at just 11 inches tall and 1.1 pounds, with streamlined white body and finishes.
- Saves space: Half the size of other sous vide machines, it’s small enough to slip into a top drawer.
- Heats up fast: 1100 watts of power for hyper-fast water heating. Operating Requirements: Frequency 50 to 60 Hz, single phase
- Perfect results: Visual Doneness feature in the Joule app displays exactly how food cooks. Dinner comes out predictably perfect, every time.
- Wifi and bluetooth ready: Works with iPhone or Android—connect with Bluetooth alone, or cook from anywhere with Wi-Fi.
What To Look For When Shopping For A Sous Vide Machine
Here are some factors to consider when buying a sous vide machine:
- Power, wattage, and speed
- Simple controls
- Easy to clean
- Water capacity and flow rate
Power, Wattage, And Speed
The power and wattage of your sous vide circulator will determine how fast your meals cook and how much water you can heat up.
Most commercial sous vide equipment range between 1000 to 1200 watts. Anything lower than that falls into the household machine category.
If you’re shopping for a sous vide machine in this power range, it’ll take around 15 minutes to heat up three to five gallons of water. With bigger machines above eight gallons, it’ll take 20 minutes to half an hour.
Most powerful machines also recover quicker when you add a frozen piece of meat, saving time.
So when shopping for a circulator, consider how important time is for you. If you don’t mind waiting a few hours for your meal, then low-powered machines are perfect. But if you’re in the restaurant industry and always cooking meals, then a powerful machine is more practical.
Regardless of how advanced a sous vide machine is, the controls should always be super simple. You shouldn’t even need an instruction manual. Unfortunately, many companies make unnecessarily complex products.
You want to avoid these units.
Instead, opt for any of the above because it offers several advanced features, but is still easy to use.
The LED touch screens are straightforward. You’ll find the temperature is displayed in a large font so you can see it when walking past or in the dark.
Easy To Clean
When buying a sous vide circulator, look for one that’s easy to clean and maintain. There are few things worse than taking apart and cleaning a complicated sous vide after enjoying a delicious meal.
You should only have to clean the heating coil and check for debris collected in the circulator pump. I’d suggest using a clean cloth or wet wipe to clean your coil. If there is some debris in your pump, running a cooking cycle with vinegar and water should clean it.
This only takes a few minutes.
Another primary factor to consider when buying a sous vide machine is price. You can get a decent sous vide machine for less than $150. However, these aren’t as reliable as their pricier counterparts.
That’s why you must set a certain amount of money aside and not spend more even if there’s a special or promotion.
But if you’re looking for a more durable, commercial sous vide machine, you’ll want to spend a bit more initially and not have to worry about problems in the future.
Many sous vide machines sold today have Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity features so you can control the temperature and time without having to stay in the kitchen.
But before buying your machine, consider if you really need these features. If you buy a machine with connectivity features and never use it, you could spend the same money on a higher-quality device without Bluetooth or WiFi.
As a professional chef, you won’t need this. You’ll notice that most commercial sous vide machines don’t have these features. This is because chefs are always in the kitchen preparing meals.
But if you’re always busy, then it’s well worth it. This way, you can toss your steak in the sous vide and head to the office. When you come home, your steak will be ready waiting for you. The only thing you’ll need to do is give it a quick sear.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Commercial Sous Vide Machine Used For?
A commercial sous vide machine is used in commercial kitchens that cook meals for many people. This is because a sous vide produces the perfect meal every time, which is difficult to achieve when frying or boiling. Another professional sous vide application can be a private personal home chef.
Home Vs Commercial Sous Vide Machines: Which Is Better?
A commercial sous vide machine contains more features and is more durable than home units. This is because it’s made to cook for 24 hours a day, so the components are more expensive.
But if you’re just cooking for your family, a home machine is better. It might not have all the features of a commercial machine, but it’s more practical.
How Do I Care For A Sous Vide Machine?
Caring for a sous vide machine is about using clean water and rising it after every meal. You also want to clean the heating coils and ensure there isn’t debris in the pump. If there is, use a tweezer or toothpick to remove it. It also helps running a cooking cycle with vinegar and water every few weeks to keep it clean.
When running a kitchen, buying the correct commercial sous vide machine is essential. It allows you to quickly cook the perfect meal, and if it’s durable, then it’ll last for decades.
Consider using the Breville Polyscience HydroPro Plus or Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Pro if you’re looking for a durable sous vide machine for professionals. Or, try the Breville Joule Sous Vide if you want something to cook meals for your family at home.