To find out how fast the different sous vide machines heat up we timed them heating 10 liters of water from room temperature (about 70°F / 21°C) to 131°F / 55°C. We stopped the timer once it hit 131°F / 55°C, though some of them took longer to stabilize, which we will address in a future article.
The machines we used in our benchmarks are:
, one of the top of the line units for professional kitchens which retails for $799.95.
Sous Vide Supreme, one of the top of the line units for home kitchens which retails for $429.00
SousVideMagic, a sous vide temperature controller which retails for $159.00, hooked up to a 4 liter crock pot.
We also just want to clarify that these tests were just done in my kitchen, not in a lab, and we're definitely not following stringent scientific protocol. However, we feel that these results accurately represent the performance of the various units and gives a good idea of how much electricity sous vide uses.
We also only had a crock pot big enough to hold 4 liters of water, so the result for the SousVideMagic is based on 4 liters, not 10.
How Long Does it Take to Heat Water with Sous Vide?
The graph shows the total minutes it took to heat the water to 131°F / 55°C. It clearly shows there are two camps, fast heaters and slow heaters. Both the Sous Vide Supreme and the Sous Vide Professional heat the water drastically faster than the SideKIC or SousVideMagic, about 2 to 3 times faster.
The SousVideMagic and SideKIC take 109 minutes and 118 minutes respectively to heat the water. With these machines you really need to start with pre-heated water.
The PolyScience is the overall winner by a long shot taking only 67% as long to heat than the Sous Vide Supreme. Though the Sous Vide Supreme heats the water in 37 minutes and the PolyScience heats the water in only 25 minutes, both of which are pretty acceptable times for starting with room temperature water.
To most people heating time is not the most important consideration when looking at a sous vide machine though it's a good indicator of the quality and power of the heater. In future tests we will examine how long machines took to stabilize and how stable the temperature stayed.
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