cooking sous vide on a large scale?

Joined Aug 28, 2015
Hi! I would love to hear anybody's experience and advice on cooking sous vide on a large scale.

I have an event coming up and was thinking about cooking 70 striped bass sous vide style.  In theory this seems to be the best method.

My setup:

120 qt cooler with temp control, water heater, and water circulartor (any recommendations?)

My main concern is if the fish are crammed into the cooler, laying side by side/on top of each other would this prevent even cooking?  Should I have any other concerns?

Thank you!
Joined Jan 15, 2015
Make them in batch and store in the refrigerator.

On the day of the event, you only need to re-heat (take less time) and finish it.
Joined Dec 23, 2004
Cook/chill isn't going to work very well for striped bass IMO.  The cooking time should be fairly brief, maybe 30-40 minutes at 120[sup]o[/sup] F to 125[sup]o[/sup] F.  Definitely they need some space for water circulation.  Do you have a vacuum sealer?  I'm kind of assuming you do.  Depending on the size of the fish you can seal a few in one bag, then get some kind of rack to organize them.  Think outside the box here!  Cooling rack, rib rack, dish drainer, etc...anything that will work.  You can probably stack a couple of them on top of each other so long as you have enough room and water.  Be aware that your circulator will have to have enough oomph to get bring the water back up to cooking temp quickly.  You may want to start the bath at 135 or thereabouts and reset it when you have the product in. 

Experiment a bit ahead of time.  Don't learn how to do this at the event.
Joined Jul 13, 2012
70 fish, or 70 servings?  What size are the fish?  Are you breaking them down yourself, or is this a team thing?  If you are taking on something this ambitious you must have a recipe, or a plan in mind.  
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Joined Jun 27, 2012
Sounds like a catering thing.

If so is the customer willing to pay for the use of your setup (plus the bags and time spent on prep and final bake off for color)?

Just wondering.


edit to add.... the whole point of cooking for large parties is to make money so thinking about how to put out the best product for the least amt of investment is key.

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