• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

Keith_W

Portable induction burner for sous vide?

28 posts in this topic

Sorry guys, I know there is a huge sous-vide thread here on EG but it is waaaay too long for me to browse through. I went through the first 20 out of 98 pages and it did my head in!

Anyway, I have been thinking of buying a sous-vide controller from these guys:

http://www.cookingsousvide.com/info/regula...king-controller

... to use it, you plug a rice cooker or a slow cooker into the controller. The controller then monitors the water temperature and turns your appliance on and off to maintain the water temp.

One of the disadvantages that I see is that my rice cooker and slow cooker are pretty small. I could probably do steaks for two in my slow cooker, but forget about dinner party cooking.

I was thinking that I could use a portable induction burner, and put my great big stock pot on top. My stock pot is big enough for me to open my own soup kitchen, or to make stock from the neighbour's family pet (can you tell I am Chinese :) ). It should be able to sous-vide steaks for 8 people quite easily.

My question is: do most induction burners need to be turned on from the front panel if they have been switched off from the mains? Can anyone recommend a brand that would be suitable?


There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...

My question is: do most induction burners need to be turned on from the front panel if they have been switched off from the mains? Can anyone recommend a brand that would be suitable?

Induction (in a real world commercial product) requires internal control electronics.

So there is a commercial advantage to offering it for sale with an electronic, rather than a mechanical, 'user interface'.

Which is totally unsuited to being controlled 'upstream' by your external sv controller.

You will not find a cheap induction unit that retains its settings while the power supply is interrupted.

There might be potential for a real hardware hacker to dismantle an induction unit and incorporate a PID controller, but neither of us are ready to go near that sort of stuff.

If you are looking to use an external PID sv controller, then you need to seek out a really simple heater for it to take charge of.

Any controls just get in the way -- hence the advice to turn any thermostats to maximum.

The ideal for those devices is just a plain heater element ... and no control more sophisticated than the simplest mechanical switch!

The forerunners of the current portable single burner induction units had a single traditional electric ring with a 'dumb' (mechanical) thermostat. One of those units might be a possibility.

Or maybe even an electric hotplate ...

However, the sensible thing would be to start with your rice cooker, and find your feet with sv.

Then later, maybe, you could consider using your controller with a bigger pot ...

Particularly with a long thread (like the sv one), its well worth using the 'search within this thread' facility -- located near the bottom left corner of every page.


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the Viking Induction Cooktop, I actually tested this and it does reset when you pull out the plug.

Depending how often you want to use it, you may get around this.

Remember that Grant Achatz demo'ed in a video a turkey sous vide without a water bath at all. He just used a digital thermometer. This may not always work and probably too painfull for longer cooking time ut a good way to start off.

Cheers

JK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried an induction unit that had a about 10 settings, and actually, it was cheap and did ok. In sous vide, there are basically 2 types of cooking - short duration and long duration. In short duration cooking, up to a few hours, almost any setup is good for heating. I got my intro using a pot-within-a-pot method. The larger outer pot insulated the inner water pot from too rapid a change in temp, and I just jacked up the heat until the outer pot was about 1-2 degrees above the inner pot. I just used a digital oven thermometer, and it was good enough for some chicken breasts, steaks, and salmon.

I then got an induction burner for around $100, and it, too, was excellent. I acknowledge the fact that most will not re-set after a power failure, but I did not have a power failure for the time I used it. I really like induction, and still use it. It had 20 settings, and the problem was that they were not really exact enough for sous vide. You really need to have accurate settings for most dishes, or it simply isn't going to come out the way you like it. This being said, I feel that accurate to approximately 1 degree is plenty good enough.

I finally got a rice cooker that held 10 quarts, a Sous Vide Magic PID, and I am a totally happy camper. The whole rig cost $240, and yielded good results from first plug-in. There is always better. There is always more expensive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... I acknowledge the fact that most will not re-set after a power failure, but I did not have a power failure for the time I used it. I really like induction ...

I have been enthusing about induction for several years!

However, my point (in reply to the thread starter) was simply that those induction units are completely unsuited to being controlled by a plug-in PID controller, like your SV Magic.

Why? Because it controls by switching the power to the heater on and off.

And you know exactly what happens to the induction unit when the power goes off! :smile:


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My cheapie Burton induction burner has temp settings, 140F being the lowest. I tested it at that setting with a pan with ~2 quarts of water and the water temp stabilized and held (+-2F) at 158F. I'm not sure how it's measures the temp, if you know the idiosyncrasies of the unit, it *might* work for certain types of SV. I haven't tried any type of SV yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just ordered one of those from freshmealssolutions.com , this weekend, and I'm planning to try it with a cheap hot plate under my stock pot, to see if I really need rice cooker.

As I understand it, the issues with the stock pot/hot plate approach are that, since a ricer cooker is better insulated, it'll have more uniform temperature throughout the pot than a stock pot, and it'll require less power than a stock pot to keep at temperature.

I'm planning to keep the lid to the pot on during cooking to help minimize the heat loss, and, if I find that the temperature in my stock pot isn't uniform, I plan to try an aquarium powerhead.

I'll post back with my results once everything's arrived, in a couple of weeks. (Assuming I don't forget...)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for the helpful information and especially dougal. Looks like that induction cooker idea has gone out the window.

I have been driving myself bonkers trying to think up of a cheap SV solution. I quite like the pot within a pot idea, but it would be difficult to monitor the temp for long duration SV cooking - which is what I would like to try!

Maybe I should just buy an immersion circulator and be done with it!


There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cheap hot plate under the stock pot worked fine. I even made eggs in a plain, 3 qt sauce pan (covered). The temp while using the sauce pan stayed a couple of degrees over the set temp; didn't happen with the 12 qt stock pot.

I poked around in the stock pot with another temperature probe while I was cooking a NY Strip and the temp was constant inside the stock pot, so I don't think I'll be using a powerhead or a bubbler.

Oh, and while auto-tuning over night, the sous vide magic freaked out on me (the sensor reported temperatures in the 300's, and the unit started beeping), but it hasn't happened again, so I'm not sure what that was about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I think I'll try out the SV Magic with my current small rice cooker. I'll need to buy a bigger one for bigger cuts, but that's like $100 at the most I believe. Plus $150 (shipped to the US) for the SV Magic and you have a solution for around $250? That sounds almost too good to be true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too started with a water bath and hot plate then I went the Sous Vide Magic route too and was happy until I tried some sort time stuff. I was seeing so large temperature variation (I may of overloaded the unit to be honest...one could calculate the maximum mass one can add to the water to minimize the temperature drop but I didn't want to look up the formula) so I added a lab stirrer I borrowed (I did use a stirrer and rod). That worked great to get a faster return to temperature at the top. I was seeing about 1 half a degree C different with it. I think an air bubbler might work too but haven't tried it. But for anything over 30 minutes, I find the SVM works fine.

I did think of using an old polysci chiller from the lab but then starting worrying traces of ethylene glycol and methanol....


"Drop it in a bucket. If it stays, grill it. If it climbs out, deep fry it" Cajun recipe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got the SV Magic and tried out a ribeye steak at 131F for 5 hours. It was the best steak I've ever had. So tender.

That steak barely fit into my 5 cup rice cooker. I think my next stop is to get a 10 cup rice cooker off of Craigslist for about $30. After that, a hot plate (probably around $30 as well) hooked up to my stock pot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is time some manufacturer come up with an induction cooker with sue vide control. Until then some one has to hack it I guess

Able

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There might be a few "dumb" portable induction hubs out there with mechanical controls, like the Viking - Portable Induction Cooker or the Tundra Manual Control Countertop Induction .

If you really encounter a dumb induction hob, I guess with a SVM it would make a very responsive (low thermal inertia) system similar to an immersion heater like FMM.

Did anyone try one of these with a SVM?


Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?


Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.


There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By eG Forums Host
      Introduction

      Welcome to the index for the Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques, & Equipment topic, one of the largest and most influential topics on eG Forums. (The topic has been closed to keep the index stable and reliable; you can find another general SV discussion topic here.) This index is intended to help you navigate the thousands of posts and discussions to make this rich resource more useful and accessible.

      In order to understand sous vide cooking, it's best to clear up some misconceptions and explain some basics. Sous vide cooking involves vacuum-sealing food in a plastic bag and cooking it in a water bath at precise temperatures. Though it translates literally as "under vacuum," "Sous vide" is often taken to mean "under pressure," which is a misnomer; not all SV cooking involves food cooked in conditions that exceed atmospheric pressure. (See below.) In addition, calculations for SV cooking involve not only time and temperature but also thickness. Finally, due to the anaerobic conditions inside the bag and the low temperatures used, food safety issues are paramount.

      You can read the basics of SV cooking and equipment here. In the summer of 2005, Nathan Myhrvold (Society member nathanm) posted this informative, "I'm now going to answer my own initial questions" post, which addresses just about everything up to that point. For what came next, read on -- and be sure to order Nathan Myhrvold's highly anticipated Modernist Cuisine book, due in spring 2011.

      As with all indexes of on-going discussions, this one has limitations. We've done our best to create a user-friendly taxonomy emphasizing the categories that have come up repeatedly. In addition, the science, technology, and recipes changed over time, and opinions varied greatly, so be sure to read updated information whenever possible.

      Therefore, we strongly encourage you to keep these issues in mind when reading the topic, and particularly when considering controversial topics related to food safety, doneness, delta T cooking, and so on. Don't read a first post's definitive claim without reading down the topic, where you'll likely find discussion, if not heated debate or refutation, of that claim. Links go to the first post in a series that may be discontinuous, so be sure to scan a bit more to get the full discussion.

      Recipes were chosen based solely on having a clear set of information, not on merit. Indeed, we've included several stated failures for reference. Where possible, recipes include temperature and time in the link label -- but remember that thickness is also a crucial variable in many SV preparations. (See below for more information on thickness.)

      History, Philosophy & Value of SV/LTLT Cooking

      Over the years, we've talked quite a bit about SV as a concept, starting with this discussion about how SV cooking got started. There have also been several people who asked, Why bother with SV in the first place? (See also this discussion.) What with all the electronics and plastic bags, we asked: Does SV food lack passion? Finally, there have been several discussions about the value of SV cooking in other eG Forums topics, such as the future of SV cooking, No More Sous Vide -- PLEASE!, is SV "real cooking," and what's the appeal of SV?

      Those who embrace SV initially seek ideas about the best applications for their new equipment. Discussions have focused on what a first SV meal should be -- see also this discussion -- and on the items for which SV/LTLT cooking is best suited. There's much more along those lines here, here, and here.

      Vacuums and Pressure in Sous Vide Cooking

      As mentioned above, there has been great confusion about vacuums, pressure, and their role SV cooking. Here is a selection of discussion points on the subject, arranged chronologically; please note that later posts in a given discussion may refute earlier ones:

      Do you need a vacuum for SV cooking, and, if so, why? What exactly is a "vacuum"? Click here, here, and ff. Are items in vacuum-sealed bags "under pressure"? Does a vacuum sealer create a vacuum inside the bag? Do you really need a vacuum, or can you use ZipLoc bags? Also see here, here, and here. If "sous vide" means "under pressure," aren't the items in the bag under pressure? There is more along these lines to be found in this discussion.  

      The Charts

      We've collected the most important of many charts in the SV topic here. Standing above the rest are Nathan Myhrvold's charts for cooking time versus thickness and desired core temperature. We worked with him to create these three reformatted protein tables, for beef, fish, and chicken & pork.

      Nathan provides additional information on his charts here. Information on how to read these charts can be found in this post. For an explanation of "rest time" in Nathan's tables, click here.

      Other Society members helped out as well. Douglas Baldwin references his heating time table for different geometric factors (slab/cylinder/sphere) here; the pdf itself can be found here. pounce created a post with all three tables as neatly formatted images. derekslager created two monospace font charts of Nathan's meat table and his fish table.

      Camano Chef created a cumulative chart with information gathered from other sources including Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc. Douglas Baldwin shared this chart devoted to pasteurizing poultry. PedroG detailed heat loss and steady state energy consumption of sous vide cookers in these charts.

      Finally, there is also an eG Forums topic on cooling rates that may be of interest.

      Acknowledgment & Comments

      This index was built by Chris Amirault, Director, eG Forums. It was reviewed by the eGullet Society volunteer team as well as many Society members. Please send questions or comments to Chris via messenger or email.
       
       
    • By TdeV
      Wikipedia defines pork wings as: a pork product made from the fibula of a pig's shank - a single bone surrounded by lean, tender meat.
      Images from the internet look like a finger-size bit of meat around a bone.
      Mine, however, look more like the meat (lots) which surrounds a bone. My butcher called this cut pork wings.
      You can see on the right that there's a small amount of bone.
         
       
      My butcher said he regularly ate SEVERAL of these. But this one measures 15 oz (425g).
      He also said it had to be cooked slowly.
       
      So, if I cook these sous vide, what temp and for how long?
    • By jedovaty
      Good morning!
       
      Long story short: I am doing a spin off the coconut/chocolate/almond candy (almond joy), and trying to create a specific shape out of the almond.  My hands are cramped after a couple dozen failed attempts whittling roasted almonds, so now I'd like to try a different approach, and instead, create some kind of sub-candy or cookie with roasted almonds that I can put into a mold or use a mini cookie cutter.  I'm fairly new to sweets, my knowledge in this area is pretty slim.  Some ideas so far, I don't like any, but it might help turn some gears:
      1. dusting almond over a stencil, but that's not enough almond nor crunchy enough
      2. almond brittle, but that's too hard and sweet, I'd like it more of a soft crunch, and bringing the almond flavor forward
      3. meringue with almonds (sort of macaron-ish), however, weather has been humid and raining here, and I'm ending up with a gooey mess instead of that soft crunch
       
      In addition to having almond-forward taste and soft crunch texture, it'd be fun to explore something modernish - I have a accumulated a few tools and ingredients not customarily found in homes.
       
      There are dietary considerations I will have to account for, however, no need to worry about that now, I am just looking for ideas and a place to take it from there
       
      Thank you for your time in reading!
    • By Franzisaurus_Rex
      FOOD BRETHREN!
      I need some advice. I have one last piece of pork belly confit in the fridge. I brined these bitches for about 5 days (brine included pink curing salt), vacuum sealed the squares of pork belly with lard and sous vide them at 158 F for 16 hours. I cooked this on 11/10/16 and its been in my refrigerator since. 
      Here is the general recipe I followed, with some modifications based on my taste: https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/...
      The last piece is still vacuum sealed and submerged (mostly) in lard. Any visible pork only has contact with the bag. 
      It's staring at me. And calling my name.
      I want to deep fry this sucker and have a little date night with the handsome devil I see in the mirror every morning, but the last thing I want is spoiled food. I can't find any conclusive information about how long pork confit lasts for. I've only seen references that duck confit or in general that the confit technique will last for months in the fridge. I have found no sources which directly addresses pork confit.
      Questions/Factors I'm Considering:
      - Does pork confit keep for as long as duck confit?
      - Does vacuum sealing have any effect on the length of preservation?
      - Does sous-vide cooking method affect the length of preservation?
      I know I am probably being a bit paranoid, but I thought I would do my due diligence before taking the plunge, so to speak. Any advice on these questions would be extremely helpful and appreciated!
      The Franzisaurus-Rex
      PS - you should totally make this if you are into sous vide, confit, food, or have any respect for the enjoyment of life. Flash-searing these things after cooking was OUT OF THIS WORLD.
    • By JoNorvelleWalker
      The NY Times has a current article in the science section "A Universe of Bubbles in Every Champagne Bottle".
       
      The article asserts that it is better to serve Champagne at warmer than refrigerator temperatures so that the bubbles are larger and convey more flavor.  Also to serve in a narrow glass.
       
      However Gerard Liger-Belair (who is referenced as an authority in the Times article) points out in his book Uncorked (forward by Herve This) that the colder the wine the more viscous and the more dissolved CO2.  Liger-Belair also prefers a goblet to a flute.  I bought Uncorked after reading about it in Liquid Intelligence from Dave Arnold.
       
      Discuss.
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.