Whirlpool has been awarded a patent for a new sous vide appliance that utilizes an induction system to both heat and power a cooking vessel with an internal water circulator. The system described in the patent also has Wi-Fi and a microcontroller to control the cook.
While the description of the system is very detailed (you can read it in all its glory here), below is a brief summary of how it works:
The system includes an induction heating surface that both heats water as well as powers an internal circulator within the vessel. The larger vessel, which sits atop the induction surface, has an internal vessel within it. There is a gap in between the two vessels where water circulates and is heated. The heating system is powered by a magnetic coupling of two plates. The internal stirring plate rotates and has heated blades on it, which help circulate and heat the water.
You can see a diagram of the blade-system below:
The whole system, which is controlled through a user interface on the induction hob/surface, has a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth temperature probe that sends water temperature information back to the induction surface. The system can also be controlled via Wi-Fi and an embedded microcontroller.
With this patent, it looks like Whirlpool has created an interesting induction-based sous vide system that is differentiated from the sous vide circulators from the likes of Anova and Nomiku and the water bath systems that started appearing over a dozen years ago.
As with all patents, there’s no guarantee that Whirlpool will actually productize their innovation. The company filed the patent in late 2015 and it doesn’t appear at this point that the company has brought the system to market. Personally, I think an induction cooktop with a turnkey sous vide cooking vessel is an intriguing new product, so I’ll be keeping an eye out to see what the appliance giant does with this patent.
How will sous vide fit into into the kitchen of the future? Come to the Smart Kitchen Summit to find out.