Sous Vide Gear
To choose your sous vide cooking equipment, you’ll be limited to 3 possibilities.
Forget the buffet water bath warmer. It very simple design helps keeping warm placed in a gastronorm container. This type of device is not made for sous vide cooking. Precision and stability will not be at the rendez vous. Water baths used for sous-vide cooking are most often unstirred. With this equipment you will be able to obtain acceptable results. However, you will have to face significant disadvantages such as being limited by the size of the container and a low heating power. Unstirred water baths are not suitable for cooking or reheating at a customer's premises, as Event Caterers would do. Water baths for sous-vide cooking with integrated stirring systems are uncommon and expensive. These are usually laboratory equipment. The main drawbacks of this type of device are: the accessibility of the stirring system and its maintenance, being limited by the size of the container and the price. The results obtained with this kind of equipment are good.
A combination oven is an oven that combines three methods of cooking in one appliance: convection, steam, and a combination of steam and convection This equipment represents a significant financial investment in a professional kitchen. You can cook or reheat large quantities of sous vide pouches with acceptable results. Since you can use temperature higher than 100°C in a combi oven, it is faster to cook sous vide vegetables compared with a water bath. Because this type of oven uses steam and not water (as in a water bath), the diffusivity of the heat is not optimal. So it is not unusual to face significant temperature differences (± 1.5 ° C) between the top and the bottom of the cooking chamber of the combi oven. In addition, when opening the door of the combi oven, a significant amount of energy will be lost. This equipment is therefore particularly energy intensive.
An immersion circulator is probably the ultimate device to cook sous vide. It is light, compact and you can use it in any kind and sizes of container (up to 58 L maximum). Thanks to its immersed heater element and pump which mixes the water bath, the immersion circulator optimally controls the temperature of the water contained in the container. Its price is competitive compared to the other alternatives indicated above.
The immersion circulator is clearly the best choice for chefs or even caterers looking for flexibility of use, accuracy, reliability and a competitive price. We have selected for you the most efficient immersion circulator on the market with excellent value for money: the SWID Premium.
It is strongly recommended that as chef, in addition with your sous vide cooking equipment, you equip yourself with a very important accessory: a thermometer for sous vide cooking. This thermometer allows, thanks to its needle probe, to take the core temperature of the food. This device is often wrongly overlooked. Indeed, if your water bath, oven or immersion circulator is badly calibrated then a thermometer with its core probe will allow you to compensate for this defect. Generally, a combi ovens benefits from an external probe. Some immersion circulators can also benefit from this option. Regarding the immersion circulator, the "integrated" probe is considered expensive and not "flexible". It is preferable to purchase of 2 separate devices: an immersion circulator on one side and the thermometer with needle probe on the other side. This will allow you to use the thermometer in several different containers but also as a temperature probe for an oven... The price of a good thermometer for sous vide cooking is reasonable overall, but it is a fragile equipment that must be taken care of (be careful with the breakage of the probe) and which, depending on the technology used, can quickly loose its calibration. We have selected for you a thermometer with an exceptional probe: the SWAT.