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I have a Nu-Wave induction cooker and the normal pans, and I want to try to use it as a sous vide cooker for steaks. I plan to get it going with the steaks and then move on to everything else, finishing with searing the steaks at the very end, right before serving.

The nu wave has a digital control that goes up or down by 10 degree increments (farenheit). from other experience I have found that it maintains the temperature very consistently and accurately.

Since I will not be using a more pricey rig, I know I will have to make sure to occasionally stir the water bath. I'm not going to try to rely on convection.

Before I plunk down the cash for some good steaks, will this work and what things am I overlooking?

Any advice to prevent me botching this would be greatly appreciated.

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    I think the power of sous vide really comes out as a substitute for braises where the sous vide is about 24-48 hrs.My experience with quick sous vide for salmon, chicken breasts etc. were similar to traditional poaching. Also, you have to make sure the meat is tightly wrapped with little air gaps because heat convection will take a lot longer when there is a layer of air between the meat and the hot water and your implementation of the recipe might err. Immersion circulators cost as low as $50 and Anova Blk Fri at Best Buy was $99 so.. prices are good now. – user62973 Dec 15 '17 at 0:43
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Make sure to clip the bags away from the bottom of the cooker, where it heats from. If a bag ends up flat against the heating surface, without water between, then it could heat up far past the water temperature and melt the bag.

Beyond that, if you're willing to stir reasonably frequently and it really does maintain the water temperature well, then you'll end up with a good replica of what happens in a normal sous vide bath.

That said, 10 degree increments are really large, especially for steak. See for example The Food Lab's sous vide steak guide - rare 120°F, medium-rare 129°F, medium 135°F, medium-well 145°F. You won't really have any ability to tune for exactly where you like it, though you'll be able to avoid overcooking.

So... does this work? Well, it depends. A few of the big benefits of sous vide:

  • Precise temperatures: avoiding overcooking, and getting it just right
  • No drying out: the food stays with whatever liquid it releases.
  • Hands-off: just put it in and forget about it til it's done.
  • Flexible timing: leave it longer? No problem.

You're getting some of the temperature precision, and the avoiding drying out, but it's not hands-off and the timing isn't really flexible since you're not going to want to keep stirring longer than you have to. To me, this sounds like a good idea to try sous vide, and see how you like the results. But it doesn't sound like a replacement. The convenience is a huge deal.

  • Thanks for the input. I'm also going to use this to make the case to be able to plunk down for the real deal later ;) What about using something like a steamer insert to keep the bags off of the bottom? – Paul TIKI Dec 14 '17 at 22:16
  • Depends on the steamer insert - if it's mostly solid with small holes, I'd start to worry about how good the circulation is. If that's not an issue it seems fine, though, it would certainly avoid direct contact. You might also be able to find a small metal rack (like for canning), or kludge something similar. – Cascabel Dec 14 '17 at 22:20
  • I'm thinking that a round metal trivet or metal vegetable steamer basket would still cause hot spots. Thinking about using a bamboo steamer basket to keep sous vide bag off the bottom and sides of the pot. Has anyone tried this? – hijo Jun 19 '18 at 5:01

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