Sous vide is a cooking technique that was exclusive only to professional chefs in high-end restaurants. And that was because sous vide machines were limited, and only pros could lay their hands on them. But with many sous vide equipment on the market, you too can do sous vide cooking in your kitchen.
As a cooking technique, sous vide uses precise temperature setting to cook your food for a specific duration excellently. Sous vide machines make cooking more convenient since you set the time and cooking temperature using efficient digital controls.
But there is the question of power consumption by these high-end kitchen appliances that deliver a consistent doneness level in the kitchen.
Your sous vide immersion circulator uses electricity depending on the cook time and wattage rating. A 1000-Watt sous vide immersion circulator brings the water bath to the set temperature in 20 minutes. And it uses only 100 Watts of power to maintain the temperature throughout the cook time. If you’re looking to know how much money you’ll pay in energy bills, be sure to read through.
How Much Will You Pay to Do Sous Vide Cooking?
You already know that a 1000-Watt sous vide machine takes about 20 minutes to achieve the set water bath temperature. Also, such a high-powered sous vide machine will maintain the attained temperature using only 100 Watts of electricity.
A sous vide immersion circulator rated 1000 watts uses the same electrical power to function for an hour at full capacity. That means cooking for less than an hour requires less than 1000 Watts of electric power.
Since your unit only requires 20 minutes (this period is less than an hour) to raise the temperature, you can be sure to use less than 1000 Watts.
You will multiply the wattage rating by 20 minutes – the time a sous vide machine took to reach the set sous vide temperature. In our case, that would be 1000 Watts × 20 minutes. But we need to express the wattage rating in kilowatts and time in hours.
1000 Watts equals 1kW, and 20 minutes equals 13 hours (20 minutes divided by 60 minutes). So, that would be 1kW × 13 h. Multiply those values, and you get 0.33kWh.
As such, a 1000-Watt sous vide machine uses 0.33kWh of the electric unit to achieve your set temperature. Assuming you pay 15 cents per kWh of electricity unit, you will pay 0.33kWh × 15 = 4.95 cents.
But we aren’t done yet. Your sous vide machine uses 100 Watts to maintain the temperature setting you selected. But the cook time also comes to play and contributes to the power consumption by your preferred sous vide cooker. Preparing a medium-rare steak calls for a 2-hour cook time. That means the sous vide machine will use 100 watts of electric power for 2 hours.
The electricity unit consumption, in this case, would be 0.1kW × 2 hours = 0.2kWh. Going by our electricity payment rate, you will pay 0.2kWh × 15 cents = 3 cents. Add this electricity bill to the bill you’d pay to achieve your set temperature, which is 4.95 cents, and you get a total electricity bill of 7.95 cents.
That amount equals about $0.08. Therefore, you will pay far less than a dollar to cook your steak and have a medium-rare doneness level.
How Do You Increase the Energy Efficiency of a Sous Vide Cooker?
You can include the lid to make your sous vide immersion circulator more energy efficient. Energy efficiency refers to using as little electrical energy as possible to do sous vide cooking. A water bath with no lid evaporates at a faster rate and loses more heat in the process.
Your sous vide machine will then use more energy to raise the water bath temperature. To reduce the energy amount your unit requires to raise the water bath temperature, consider placing a lid on the sous vide container to curb evaporation. So, that’s one way of making sous vide more energy efficient.
You can also place the whole sous vide rig in a cooler to make sous vide more energy efficient. First, the cooler blocks the external environmental conditions from affecting the temperature of the sous vide water bath. As a result, there will be no wind to speed up evaporation or slow down the heating process. Therefore, your sous vide machine will not work as hard as it would outside the cooler. You can use these two methods to make sous vide more energy efficient.
Does It Mean I Will Pay More If My Cooker Has More Wattage Rating?
A sous vide cooker with a higher wattage rating is more powerful for sure. But it also consumes more electricity. You can expect your high-powered unit to raise the water bath temperature in less than 20 minutes. A 1500-Watt unit will usually take about 10 minutes to raise the temperature to your desired level.
That means you will pay less to raise the water bath temperature to your set level if you’re using a more powerful sous vide cooker. But maintaining the achieved temperature uses more electric power if your unit is more powerful. As a result, you will pay more in the long run, especially if the sous vide cooker runs for long!
Does Overnight Sous Vide Cooking Consume More Electricity?
When eyeing medium-rare steak doneness, you might do sous vide cooking overnight at 135°F. Since your sous vide machine will not work at full capacity to maintain this temperature, you can expect it to use less power to function. Overnight sous vide cooking doesn’t cost much in energy bills. You will hardly notice a change in your monthly energy bills despite doing sous vide overnight.
Your sous vide cooker uses electricity, depending on its wattage and cook time. If it has a higher wattage rating and you cook for an extended period, it will consume more electricity. But this doesn’t apply to cooking for a short period. You will use less electricity and pay less in energy bills. Therefore, you should mind the cooking time and the wattage rating of your preferred sous vide cooker.
Knowing how much electricity your unit consumes is not challenging. Convert the wattage into kilowatt and the cook time to hours and multiply the two values to get electricity consumption in kWh. You can then multiply the resulting value by your electricity provider company’s rates to get the payable amount. We hope you’ve learned something new. If so, be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section below.