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Anonymous Modernist 19235

Used laboratory immersion circulators for cooking sous-vide?

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Sorry, first post, so forgive me if I stumble through this a little.

I'm in a bit of a pickle! I've managed to get my hands on a second hand, ex-laboratory, Grant immersion circulator and am very keen to set it up for Sous Vide. However, I've been reading conflicting advice on whether I should use it for the purpose I intend.

On the one hand, there's advice to say that it absolutely should not be used for food prep - the risk of contamination from carcinogens/pathogens is too high.


On the other, that if I give it a clean with household bleach, then vinegar and then 70% alcohol (I presume surgical spirit would do the trick) then it should be fine.


I've cleaned the unit with the above - using an old toothbrush to get into the crevices with the various cleaning agents as much as possible. However, even the best cleaning is unlikely to reach every single part.

Does anyone have any advice on how paranoid I should be? How should I go about giving the unit a thorough clean? Any authoratitive view would be hugely appreciated. As I say, I'm in a bit of a pickle.


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First thing you should do os try to find which kind of laboratory this equipment is coming from. That should give you a better idea of the kind of washing you'll have to do. I've no problem using ex-laboratory immersion circulator and centrifuges. I do everything I can to clean/sterilize it. Bleach, vinegar, autoclave, brushing and I never put the food directly in contact. For me these precautions are enough but that's a personal choice.

Good luck


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I have used second hand lab circulators for several years, just clean them well and use acid and base wash cycles i.e dairy cleaner and clean with a solvent like alcohol to be thorough. As long as the food is sealed in plastic i wouldn't worry. I was told by an engineer that it is exposure time multiplied by concentration that we should worry about, get the concentration low and the exposure time can increase. My circulators had mineral scale on them indicating water was the main solvent heated. I hope this helps.

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Hi Guys

Grant has been manufacturing scientific laboratory equipment for more than 60 years and in 2002 we developed a stirring unit suitable for sous vide cooking and for use in the harsh kitchen environment so the unit you have purchased should be fine for the application, i.e. heating water to a precise and consistent temperature . Food would not be in direct contact with the heating unit as it would be placed in vacuum sealed bags. With regards to cleaning, we would simply recommend any product which you might use to remove hard water deposits from a dishwasher, kettle, washing machine etc. Incidentally we offer a "cage" attachment on the sous vide SV200 unit which prevents the bagged food from touching the heating element which would break the vacuum and destroy the contents


Roy Homent

International Sales Manager Grant sous vide

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