VacMaster SV1 Review: Commercial Circulator for the Home Cook

VacMaster SV1 review


VacMaster, well-known for their legendary vacuum sealers ranging from $80 for home use to massive $18,000 commercial machines, entered the sous vide machine market with the introduction of the VacMaster SV1. The SV1 follows VacMaster’s roots – durable stainless steel designs that can be used both commercially and for home use. In this VacMaster SV1 review, we’ll dive into the design of the product itself and the major features.

Design

From first look you can tell that this was designed with potential commercial use in mind. It looks like it belongs in a restaurant kitchen. The stainless steel base makes for easy cleaning and a very durable design, something that is very necessary for frequent use. At first glance, the SV1 sous vide machine seems pretty large – larger than other sous vide immersion circulators. However their unique slim design is only 2 ¾” deep which takes up a lot less cooking space than other sous vide machines. The shallow depth of course means that the SV1 is wider (5 ½” wide), however this isn’t too concerning from a usability perspective.

The digital control panel is very straight forward and easy to use – no hunting through the user manual to see how this thing works. Controls include temperature settings, Fahrenheit to Celcius controls, start/stop, and a timer, which we will dive into detail below.

VacMaster display
The controls on the VacMaster SV1 are very straight forward and easy to use. The overall design is also very durable.

VacMaster really went for practicality and durability with their design. However, with this in mind, the overall design of the sous vide machine is a bit dated compared to the more recent sous vide machines for sale, such as the Sansaire. Again, this is merely a factor of appearance.

Features

The VacMaster SV1 rocks quite a few great features, some of which are rare to come by in immersion circulators. At a high level, major competitive features the VacMaster SV1 offers includes a cooking timer, powerful heater, and safety controls. Let’s dive into each of these main features.

Digital Timer

Yes! Finally, you found a sous vide immersion circulator with a timer on it! The SV1 timer can be set up to 99 hours of cooking time and will sound an alarm when the time has reached. Modifying the temperature of the device when you have the timer set can be a bit finicky, however. You have to stop the device to change the temperature, which resets the timer. This was only an issue one time when I realized I had the wrong temperature set, though, so it is not a frequent occurrence.

Circulator

VacMaster SV1 uses a powerful 1500W heater which can heat up to 30 liters of water. This is quite a bit higher than most sous vide machines on the market, which typically limit around ~25 liters. Not only can it heat and circulate more water, but it also heats water faster – of course this also means it uses more energy too. Operating temperatures range from 25 degrees to 99 degrees C, which is consistent with comparative sous vide machines.

Safety

An added benefit of the VacMaster SV1 is its safety controls. If the unit detects temperatures higher than its recommended operating limits, it will power down. This prevents a fire hazard in the off chance something went very wrong with the machine and started getting too hot. In addition, the SV1 has a low water alarm, which is a great feature for long cooks such as roasts that may take up to 48 hours.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the VacMaster SV1 is a serious option for commercial use or frequent use in homes. The durable design and cooking timer is the major selling point of this sous vide machine, both of which are ideal for commercial use. The price of course is a bit high compared to some sous vide machines, however there are often sales running on VacMaster’s website. If you’re planning to cook sous vide a lot and really want a cooking timer on the unit, the SV1 is your best bet.

How we Rated this

Features: Major positives were the timer and safety features. The only possible negatives are the lack of WiFi/app compatibility and the price, which is a bit high.

Design: The design is rather outdated compared to competition (appearance). However the stainless steel is very easy to clean.

Performance: Temperatures were a bit off, within 2 degrees, however that could have been as a result of the containers we were using.

Ease of Use: Very easy to use, control panel is straight forward. Adjusting the temperature requires you to stop the unit, which results in resetting the cooking timer.

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