Do you own a catering business, restaurant, bakery, or any other food-service establishment? To be a professional baker, one of the most important skills you can obtain is the ability to make a perfect batch of dough every time. That’s where the Best Dough Proofer comes in.
A dough proofer is a cabinet that helps to provide consistent temperature (75-80F) for rising of yeast-based doughs. In fact, a cabinet with controlled environment and humidity for the fermentation of bread dough to increase volume and improve texture by allowing the yeast to become active.
Since there are many different styles of proofing cabinets available, we spent so much time researching and picking out the top 10 best dough proofers that are trending and best selling in the market right now. These proofing cabinets will help you produce perfectly risen dough for flavorful and perfect baked goodies, for sure.
Best Dough Proofers- Quick Check
- Best Energy-efficient Dough Proofer: Winholt NHPL-1836-ECOC
- Best High-end Dough Proofer: Adcraft PW-120
- Best High-Performing and Versatile Dough Proofer: Cres Cor 121-PH-UA-11D
Top 3 Best Dough Proofers- Reviews
1. Winholt NHPL-1836-ECOC Heater Proofer/Holding Cabinet
Best Energy-efficient Dough Proofer
If you are looking for an energy-efficient heater proofer for all your food storage and proofing needs, investing in Winholt’s non-insulated heater proofer is the best deal. This full-height (30-3/4 “W x 21 “D x 66-1/2 “H) cabinet is ideal for both residential and commercial purposes. Moreover, its aluminum construction makes it rust-free and durable, which is pretty good to invest in.
- Temperature Range: up to 115 Fahrenheit
- Typical Humidity: 30%-95%
- Material: Aluminum Construction
- Door Type: Clear, Lift-Off
- Product Dimensions: 33 x 23 x 69 inches
- Inner Dimension of Cabinet: (W) 18” x (D) 27” x (H) 50”
- Item Weight: 129.7 pounds
- Capacity: (35) 18″ x 36″ sheet pans
- Wattage: 1440 watts
- Voltage: 120 V
- It is manufactured with non-corrosive aluminum material that ensures durability and permanence. More to the point, the heater proofer cabinet makes a perfect symmetry between air and humidity to proof the food as preferred.
- Furthermore, it keeps the food at a normal serving temperature for some time.
- It consumes 1440 Watt power and provides up to 115 Fahrenheit temperature range, and when in heat mode, it supplies nominal temperature up to 180 Fahrenheit.
- The forced air design provides even heat distribution all over the cabinet.
- Another striking feature is its user-friendly buttons and controls for ‘Heat’ and ‘Proof’ modes. There is an LED thermometer display for accurate measurements.
- The removable/ replaceable control drawer, along with the water tray, assists in easy cleaning.
- The cabinet comprises two swivel plate casters and two brake plate casters with polyurethane tread that provide firm support and also aids in easy shipping and moving.
- The cabinet is not heavy at all
- It works flawlessly
- You can use it for residential or commercial purpose both
- Excellent quality for the money
- It does not come with shelves
2. Adcraft PW-120 Heater Proofer Cabinet
Best High-end Dough Proofer
Another best dough proofer on our list comes from the house of Adcraft. The model PW 120 comes with all the sophisticated features that you need in a commercial dough proofer machine. It is one of the most high-rated models that consume 1800 Watt power and thus a great buy for all your food proofing and storing needs. Moreover, the full-size option allows accommodating various large-sized pans; therefore, serving the crowd is so much easier.
- Weight: 0.160 ounces
- Base Type: Casters
- Material: Aluminum
- Capacity: (36) 18″ x 26″ pan capacity
- Door Type: Clear
- Wattage: 1800 Watts
- Voltage: 120 V
- Warranty: 1 Year Limited Warranty
- It’s a five-star rated full-size heater proofer cabinet that holds (36) 18″ x 26″ pan capacity and consumes an 1800 W unit.
- It has aluminum construction with a non-corrosive feature that simply stores the prepared food at appropriate serving temperature for a while.
- The detachable control door with an LED thermostat provides easy control to operate humidity and temperature range.
- The air blower helps in the even distribution of heat all over the cabinet for food proofing.
- It is equipped with 5″ strong castors to ensure immovability. Additionally, it is outfitted with a clear lemon door with an aluminum frame.
- Well-built and sturdy material
- Full-size cabinet for both residential and commercial purposes
- Rust-free aluminum construction makes it long-lasting
- Strong and hard wearing casters along with brakes allow the cabinet to be moved easily
- It does not include inner trays
- The door does not have a lock. It requires straps or Velcro when transporting
3. Cres Cor 121-PH-UA-11D Proofer
Best High-Performing and Versatile Dough Proofer
The Cres Cor proofer hot cabinet is our next pick for the best dough proofer. The model is versatile and can also be used as a holding cabinet for your needs. It’s easy and simple control facilitates you to change dual modes at the flip of a button. You can switch between proofing and holding as per your requirement. Thus it is a great buy for both professional or non-professional bakers both.
- Capacity: 18″ x 26″ pan capacity
- Wattage: 2000 Watt
- Voltage: 120 V
- Control Type: Thermostatic
- Door Type: Clear
- Warranty: 1 Year on parts/ 90-day labor warranty
- This resourceful proofing and holding cabinet features a total of 11 sets of pan slides in which different pan sizes are adjusted in changeable 1 ½ inch centers.
- The easy control facilitates you to switch between proofing and holding modes at the single flip. The unit’s proofing function comprises 80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit temperature and gives 95% adequate moisture to keep the food moist and perfect.
- Along with that, the holding mode comprises maximum heat of 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Another exciting feature is its clear Lexan door that includes Magnetic door latches, which exceptionally provides product recognition.
- The 5″ Heavy-duty swivel casters, along with brakes, give support to the cabinet and helps in easy shipping.
- The simple rectangular design fits anywhere in the kitchen
- Swivel castors provide durability and better support
- 11 different set of pan slides
- Easy control at the single flip
- Bit Expensive
How to Choose the Best Dough Proofers for Commercial Use? (Buying Guide)
1. Cabinet Size and Pan Capacity
The volume of the proofing pan determines the volume of dough which can be proofed at a time. This feature is particularly important if you are planning to use the machine for commercial purposes.
For this, you must consider how many pans of bread you will proof per batch, and consequently, you must choose the correct cabinet size for your needs.
- The commercial dough proofers typically come in a size range of 5 to 6 feet in height and 25, 26, or 30 inches wide.
- A full-size machine (69-72 inches high) can hold up to 17-20 full-sized (18-inch-by-26-inch) sheet pans with a spacing of 3 inches.
- These machines also come in three-quarter size (54-57″ tall) and half-size (36-41″ tall) to accommodate 12 and 8 pans, respectively.
- Some undercounter models are also available (less than 34″ tall) that easily fit under the counter and are best to use in tight kitchen spaces.
The dough proofer machines come either insulated or non-insulated. An insulated bread proofer is built with fiberglass or foam insulation inside its walls, which prevents heat loss. Thus, it maintains a consistent temperature inside. However, these are expensive but can make a price difference in the long run by reducing its energy cost. On the other hand, non-insulated ones are cheaper and lighter, but the drawback is the temperature inside the unit will fluctuate.
3. Door Type
1. Solid Doors
These types of doors are good in terms of energy efficiency, insulation, and heat recovery time. The only downside with the proofing cabinets with solid doors is that you can’t monitor the progress of the bread without opening the door. It thus results in loss of heat, and consequently, the inconsistent product.
2. Polycarbonate Doors
With these doors, you can get a clear view of the inside’s content without opening the door. The best part is that these are cost-effective over glass door types. But the material gets scratches and becomes cloudy over time.
3. Glass Doors
Like the polycarbonate doors, glass doors also allow you to monitor the process without opening the door. Addingly, these are easy to clean, scratch-resistant, and more energy-efficient.
4. Automatic Check
Check temperature & humidity within the cabinet. This feature ensures that ambient conditions within the cabinet are within a suitable range during the proofing process.
5. Humidity Control
Controls the amount of moisture within the cabinet for a stable environment.
6. Cabinet Slides
The cabinet slides come in chrome-plated wire, aluminum, or stainless steel. Operators can remove these components to clean them and adjust them to accommodate the products being proofed.
7. Control Type
You can choose between manual control and thermostatic control depending upon your preferences. Manual controls require constant supervision, whereas thermostatic controls can provide better temperature control.
Manual controls do not have any sensors or controls for maintaining desired temperature or humidity. On the other hand, thermostatic control maintains desired temperature by automatically adjusting it when needed. They have external gauges that assure that the desired temperature of 75-80 degrees F is being maintained inside the dough proofer cabinet, so the rising of yeast-based dough can take place uniformly without overproofing.
The price of commercial dough proofers varies a lot from one manufacturer to another. The range is between $500-2,000+ depending on size range and other options. Features such as automatic shut-off for floured products are also available for an extra cost. Before purchasing a commercial dough proofer machine, it is worth considering the product features and options that are available.
What else do you need to consider?
- It must include caster wheels for easy mobility. To cover a longer distance, make sure that it comes with a larger caster of 6-inches or more.
- Make sure that it also comes with a latch system to secure the door properly while transportation.
- If you want a stationary fix-up of the machine, you can opt for the one with legs instead of casters.
- Adjustable digital temperature controls with LCD readouts or a thermostat to monitor the cabinet’s temperature.
- It must come with removable heating and control modules so that you can easily clean the cabinet without damaging the electrical components.
- It is better if it comes with adjustable pan slides so that you can customize the unit’s interior to deal with various pan depths easily.
- If you want more versatility, you can opt for combination proofing/holding cabinets that can not only raise dough for bread but also hold cooked foods at safe temperatures until it is time to serve guests. These units generally switch from a proof to a hold mode automatically.
Typical Proofing Conditions Essential for Optimum Quality Yeast-Leavened Bakery Products
- Temperature: 95–110°F (35–43°C)
- Relative Humidity: 80–85%
- Cycle Time: 40–70 minutes
What Makes a Commercial Bread Proofer Best Over the Home Proofing Machines?
- They are more efficient in temperature control, and they keep temperature stable.
- Commercial bread proofer machines are more durable than home proofers.
- Commercial bread proofers are available in a wide range of sizes—small, medium, large to extra-large, and very large. The machines come with different capacity or batch sizes for production depending on commercial baking operations like bakery chains, full-service restaurants.
- Commercial Bread Proofer Machines have an extra-large capacity and can handle larger volumes of bread dough in one batch. Large capacity means that machines can produce a large number of loaves out of one batch; this may save your money on production costs and supports any commercial baking operation that needs to bake more than 2,000 loaves daily.
- With these machines, you will get more consistent product quality and texture. The dough is more uniform as it is made in a controlled environment with consistent temperatures. It allows you to achieve consistent results in the end product.
To wrap it up, dough proofers are a great investment in bakeries, restaurants, or even in an office conference room. They are affordable pieces of equipment so that you can get the most out of your investment for the best bread. As far as Commercial Dough Proofers go, our personal recommendation is the Winholt NHPL-1836-ECOC. As well as having a very sturdy aluminum construction, it is very easy to use and is among the most reliable proofers on the market. Moreover, it is very energy-efficient too.