We frequently get asked: What is the cost of electricity to run the Sous Vide Professional? So we performed some research and testing to find out for ourselves!
We used average costs of utilities in the USA as of September 2010 – electricity at $0.132 per kilowatt/hour and natural gas at $1.062 per therm.
There are two stages to the heat up/cook process when using the Sous Vide® Professional – initial heat up and holding (cooking). During the initial heat up, more power is consumed as the unit heats at full power to reach the desired temperature. The duration of this step can be greatly shortened by starting with hot water.
For our experiment, we started with cold tap water at 9°C (48.2°F). Cost of initial heat up: $0.15. Had we started with hot water, the cost and duration would be reduced by more than half.
We then vacuum sealed a 2lb beef tenderloin and allowed it to cook for two hours at 59°C (138.2°F). Cost of 2 hours of cooking at 59°C: $0.06. This makes our total electricity cost $0.21.
For more information about the cost benefits of sous vide, check out this post on our blog for a number of ways cooking sous vide can actually reduce costs of labor and raw materials. You might also find this case study by Chef Chris Windus interesting, where he discusses how sous vide has helped him to increase efficiency without compromising quality.