You may have already read our PolyScience CHEF Series review, PolyScience’s powerful immersion circulator designed for chefs and pro cooks. More recently, they also created a lower cost sous vide machine targeted for home cooks: the PolyScience CREATIVE Series. Overall, PolyScience’s sous vide products include the following:
- CREATIVE Series (this review): lower cost; geared towards home use.
- CHEF Series: higher cost; commercial grade but also a legendary addition to home kitchens.
- CLASSIC Series: highest cost; commercial use.
Being we reviewed the CHEF Series first (more expensive) which set the stage for performance, the CREATIVE Series has a lot of ground to cover. In this review, we’ll focus on the CREATIVE Series including design, major features, and performance. At the end, we’ll see how it compares to its big brother and if the lower cost results in lower performance. Let’s get right to it!
Unboxing & Design
PolyScience designs their immersion circulators with durability in mind. With such a strong presence in commercial-grade kitchen products, it’s only natural that their design characteristics follow suit in the entry-level products. The PolyScience CREATIVE Series looks and feels more like a commercial product rather than home use. As a result, the overall appearance falls short compared to competitors such as Sansaire, Nomiku, or Joule. However, the durability of the sous vide machine surely impressed us compared to some competitors which use flimsy plastic.
A few key design features from the PolyScience CREATIVE Series include:
- Long power cord.
- Great clip/clamp to ensure its securely in place.
- Backlit LCD display
All of PolyScience’s immersion circulators come with a powerful 1100W heater to quickly warm up large water baths. As a comparison, the Anova immersion circulator only has 800W. We performed a quick test to determine just how fast the CREATIVE sous vide machine can heat water. Here are the results:
- 6 Liters of water
- Starting water temperature: 75.5 degrees F
- Ending water temperature: 135 degrees F
- Time to reach temperature: 11 minutes 44 seconds
The CREATIVE machine heated the water to temperature very quickly. Once it reached 135 degrees F, the water temperature continued to climb, inevitably reaching 138 degrees F before returning back down to 135. This is very common for all sous vide machines since the heater does not effectively begin turning off until the temperature is reached. After reaching the steady temperature of 135F, I used instant read thermometers to check the accuracy. The first thermometer displayed 134.8 and the second showed 134.9.
The circulator pump flow rate in the CREATIVE Series is half that of its bigger brother, coming in at 6 liters per minute; however, this is still very competitive given the price range of this device. The 6 lpm flow rate means you can use up to a 20 liter water container for cooking. If it’s any larger than that, you will risk the chance of inadequate circulation. In the video below you can see and hear the water circulation to give a better idea. Overall, the circulator seemed strong while remaining relatively quiet – more than adequate for my water container.
All of PolyScience’s immersion circluators include safety controls to prevent damage of the product or injury. High temperature protection and low liquid level warnings help prevent the sous vide machine from damaging while alarm and fault indicators let us know when something is wrong. We did test the low liquid level warning, which worked without issue.
The PolyScience CREATIVE sous vide machine performed great during our review. In order to test, we cooked one of our very own recipes: filet mignon with gorgonzola cream sauce. As noted above, the water temperature heated quickly and accurately. Once the water temperature was at 135 degrees we placed the vacuum sealed filets into the water and the device’s timer started. After an hour and a half, we pulled the steaks, patted them dry, and seared them over a hot cast iron pan. The results were phenomenal, and it couldn’t have been any easier.
Overall, the PolyScience CREATIVE Series immersion circulator definitely stands up to its more expensive counterpart, the CHEF Series. For nearly half the price, the only things you’re missing out on is pump speed regulation, display configurations, and certified commercial use. PolyScience does lack many of the bells and whistles that many of the more recent sous vide machines have, including WiFi/Bluetooth connectivity and apps. However, if app-controlled cooking isn’t your thing, and you’re looking for the most durable non-commercial grade sous vide machine on the market, then this is absolutely it.
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Looking for more information on sous vide? Check out this impressive video on The Sous Vide Revolution created by PolyScience.