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Can a portable induction cooker be used for sous vide?

Modernist

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10 replies to this topic

#1 ScoopKW

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 02:17 PM

My wife has a wild hair about doing shabu-shabu parties. Doesn't matter that we don't have many friends here in Las Vegas. Maybe she thinks if we put out shabu, they will come. (She just read over my shoulder and said, "You make it sound like I'm nuts. It's for Chinese New Year.")

OK, dear. But we still don't have enough friends to justify a shabu/fondue/raclette party.

Anyway, reading the description of these portable induction cookers, they claim to be able to hold food at various temperatures -- which could be IDEAL for small amounts of sous-vide. A couple steaks, for instance, but not a turkey.

Here's a typical brand/model to run through Google -- Sunpentown Micro Induction Cooktop 964TB.


Any chance this working?
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#2 mkayahara

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 02:27 PM

If I don't say it, someone else will: shabu-shabu is a Japanese dish, and the Japanese celebrate the Gregorian New Year, not the lunar one. :wink:

Yes, you can definitely do sous vide in a big pot of water that you hold at a given temperature. An induction burner will do that more accurately than a gas or electric burner, but you're still not going to have the level of control you would with a PID device. An induction hot plate is probably a good investment in its own right though, so you might as well pull the trigger!
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#3 Lisa Shock

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 02:47 PM

The one issue I have encountered relates to the size of the pot and the room temperature. If your room is cold and the pot is large there can be a big temp difference between the top of the water and the water at the bottom. Heavier pots retain heat better, so they help. Stirring may also help a bit, too, but in some cases this is an insurmountable issue -no one wants to stand at a stove and stir for 36 hours straight. I'd recommend looking into one of the circulation devices people use when they make homebrew setups.

#4 _john

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 05:49 PM

if you want to use something like sousvide magic controller to do sousvide with an IH burner you are going to run into two problems. Induction burners don't turn on automatically when they are plugged in so they can't be modulated with the controller unless you modify them. Also I have a had a lot of trouble using digital thermometers with IH burners. Something about the magnetic field of the burner causes the thermometer to malfunction. unless you are getting a 220v induction burner it will also take a long time to get the water up to temperature.

#5 nickrey

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Posted 15 January 2012 - 06:17 PM

A lot of the cheaper induction cookers seem to have a smallish range of fixed temperature settings. With the one you referred to, for example, the website says that they have twelve fixed keep warm settings 100-120-140-160-180-190-210-230-250-280-300-350-390°F. Of these, I'd probably only use the 140F and 160F for sous vide cooking and only then if it could hold the temperatures stable. My feeling is that the induction cookers are far better at keeping consistent cooking temperatures than is a gas burner but they would be far less consistent than dedicated sous vide cookers. I'd possibly use one of these in preference to a hotplate for emergency sous vide but wouldn't use it as a matter of course.

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#6 David Sundstrom

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 10:06 AM

An induction cooker would be cool to have around, but not for sous vide. For the same cost you can get the portable solution from http://freshmealssolutions.com/ that includes a Sous Vide Magic controller and a bubbler. You can use this in most any size pot, or a small cooler for higher temperature cooking.

I have one and recommend it. A few more wires to manage than other solutions, but very cheap for a system that includes a bubbler or circulator.

#7 mgaretz

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 10:33 AM

An induction cooker would be cool to have around, but not for sous vide. For the same cost you can get the portable solution from http://freshmealssolutions.com/ that includes a Sous Vide Magic controller and a bubbler. You can use this in most any size pot, or a small cooler for higher temperature cooking.

I have one and recommend it. A few more wires to manage than other solutions, but very cheap for a system that includes a bubbler or circulator.


That's hardly the same cost. The Supentown that scoopkw was mentioning sells for under $60. The SVM controller and bubbler combo is over $350. I'm not saying they are the same thing, or that you could do anything but simple sous vide with the induction cooktop, just pointing out they aren't in the same cost ballpark.

#8 PedroG

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 04:26 PM

if you want to use something like sousvide magic controller to do sousvide with an IH burner you are going to run into two problems. Induction burners don't turn on automatically when they are plugged in so they can't be modulated with the controller unless you modify them. Also I have a had a lot of trouble using digital thermometers with IH burners. Something about the magnetic field of the burner causes the thermometer to malfunction. unless you are getting a 220v induction burner it will also take a long time to get the water up to temperature.

There might be a few "dumb" portable induction hubs out there with mechanical controls, see Viking - Portable Induction Cooker and Manual Control Countertop Induction Cooker (120V)
If you really encounter a dumb induction hob, I guess it would make a very responsive (low thermal inertia) system similar to an immersion heater like FMM.
If you can get one, please post your experiences here. But before buying make sure it heats after power OFF/ON.
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#9 Keith_W

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 02:05 AM

Something about the magnetic field of the burner causes the thermometer to malfunction. unless you are getting a 220v induction burner it will also take a long time to get the water up to temperature.


I think the above which I quoted more or less puts paid to the idea of using an induction cooker for SV. If the magnetic field induces a current in the thermometer probe, then you will never get accurate temperatures.
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#10 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 03:53 AM

What about a regular portable electric stove? Would that work?

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#11 gfweb

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 08:38 AM

An old fashioned hot plate/magnetic stirrer might do the job if the temp control knob was sensitive enough. But even then I think it'd be inferior to a pid controller / crock pot





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