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I was really intrigued when I first saw the Oliso Smart Hub sous vide system. It's a combination of an induction burner with a water bath, kind of like a Sous Vide Supreme on steroids.
I will have a full-review coming up after the holidays, but in the meantime I wanted to share the Oliso's results from our benchmark tests.
Oliso talks about how using the 1500 watt induction burner heats the water faster than most other methods so we were anxious to see how it held up. The first set of tests determine how quickly the circulator can heat the water.
Note: For the full numbers, you can view the entire sous vide benchmark results.
It went from room temperature to 140°F (60°C) in only 18.5 minutes and from hot tap water to 140°F (60°C) in just over 5 minutes. Even the time to rise from 140°F (60°C) to 183°F (83.89°C) was just under 14 minutes.
All three of these times were either the 2nd or 3rd fastest of all the sous vide machines we tested, only being edged out by the Gourmia Immersion Circulator Pod, which is still the fastest heating machine. The Oliso was faster than, but in the ballpark of, the Joule, Sansaire and PolyScience Pro and beat out the Anova by almost 15 minutes on the initial heating.
The Oliso also managed to do this while using less total power for both the first hour of the test, and the total test time, than any other sous vide machine except the Sous Vide Supreme.
Generally, it is pretty simple to answer how stable a sous vide machine holds the water temperature. Unfortunately, we ran into some measurement issues with the Oliso due to our equipment. The magnetic field from the induction burner can cause fluctuations in digital thermometers, something cooks often run into when making candy or heating frying oil.
Oliso claims their temperature stability is 0.18°F (0.1°C) and with their setup we think that's reasonable, though the lack of a circulator could lead to some temperature variations.
With our flawed tests, the variability came back as a 0.7°F, or 0.3°F in either direction, still making it accurate enough to cook any type of food as long as you're not at the absolute minimum of the safety range.
The other big benefit to the Oliso is that you can use the base of the unit as a portable induction burner. This can be really convenient, especially if you don't have a great stove, or you like to take your sous vide machine with you to friends' houses.
Because there is no circulator, you can also cook directly in the sous vide water bath itself. This is useful for stocks, beer, cheese, yogurt, and other preparations that are hard to bag.
The Oliso Smart Hub is more expensive than most consumer units, and probably isn't worth the money just for the sous vide functionality. However, if you are in the market for an induction burner anyway, or you would use the ability to cook directly in the water bath container, then it might be worth it for you.
Have you used the Oliso Smart Hub? Have any follow up questions you need answered? Let me know in the comments.