Review of the PolyScience CHEF Series
PolyScience Culinary is the world leader in sous vide, as proven by their award winning chef-trusted immersion circulator. PolyScience’s commercial grade immersion circulators are used by chefs throughout the world. More recently, they also created a lower cost sous vide machine targeted for home cooks. Overall, PolyScience’s sous vide products include the following:
- CREATIVE Series: lower cost; geared towards home use.
- CHEF Series (this review): higher cost; commercial grade but also a legendary addition to home kitchens.
- CLASSIC Series: highest cost; commercial use.
In this review, we’ll focus on the PolyScience CHEF Series including design, major features, and performance. At the end, we’ll stack this up against the other sous vide machines we reviewed to help you make an informed decision. Here we go!
Talking strictly aesthetics, the PolyScience CHEF Series falls short to some of their cheaper competitors, such as Sansaire or Nomiku. However it’s important to note that the CHEF Series was built with commercial use in mind, which limits the creative opportunities in regards to design. Moving into the practicality of the CHEF Series design, it’s perfect. This thing is built as an industrial kitchen appliance with its high-grade stainless steel heating coil and pump. Overall, you can feel the quality (heavy, sturdy) compared to the cheaper models as soon as you pick it up.
A few more takeaways from the PolyScience CHEF Series design include:
- Long power cord; and we mean LONG. It’s about double the size compared to the Anova.
- Great clip/clamp to ensure its securely in place.
- Backlit LCD display
- Comes with a carrying bag to store after use.
The PolyScience CHEF Series circulator rocks a powerful 1100W heater which quickly heats up and maintains water temperature with 0.1 degree F. This was definitely the fastest of the immersion circulators we tested. Of course, as a result, it was a bit louder than others. At most, it’s a light hum – nothing too concerning.
Since this has such a powerful heater, you can use a water bath up to 30 liters in size (pumps/circulates 12 liters per minute), which is higher than many other sous vide machines.
Control Circulation Levels
A unique and useful feature with this model is the ability to control the flow of water, enabling more precise temperature controls. The water flow can be regulated by adjusting the flap on the unit. This is especially useful to point the flow into a more open area of your container (creating better water flow) instead of it pointing directly at food in front of it.
The CHEF Series includes a few safety controls, most of which are common in sous vide machines today, including high temperature protection, low liquid level warning, and alarm and fault indicators. It also has an auto restart, which is incredibly useful to prevent possible food illnesses as a result of the unit unexpectedly shutting off (power surge) before cooking is finished.
Performance and Final Thoughts
Overall, the PolyScience CHEF Series immersion circulator matches or exceeds the competition in every category. The biggest factor that reduced the rating from 10 out of 10 was the price. We reviewed this product from the perspective of home-use, even though it’s commercial grade. Now you may be wondering… why pay upwards of $800 for a commercial unit when I can buy an alternative for around $200? That answer is: durability. If you plan on cooking sous vide very regularly and putting your device through a lot of use, the CHEF Series will hold up a lot better than the cheaper alternatives since it is ETL commercial approved and so durable. On the other hand, if you only plan on cooking sous vide every now and then, going with a cheaper option may be the better choice. All in all, you won’t be disappointed with the product – but your bank account might be.