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Inkbird ISV-101W Review

The sous vide device Inkbird ISV-101W is the third sous vide device from the Chinese company Inkbird, which specializes in producing temperature controllers, including thermometers designed for cooking.

In the last two years, Inkbird entered the sous vide cooking field with affordable devices for every home cooking and proved itself as a sous vide brand that is both cheap and does not fall behind the competition in results.

This review will verify whether the new device brings news and an upgrade compared to its previous models such as the 100W and the model 200W.



 

How is the ISV-101W model compared to the previous models?

  • Innovative and unique design and not just a standard and black design.

  • The screen was replaced with a 2-inch color TFT screen displaying the type of food/recipe being cooked at that moment.

  • A more compact device

  • Intuitive and easier control than the previous models - no more touch buttons, but physical knob buttons that are easy to operate.

  • The upgraded engine shortens the heating time of the water to the target temperature. The metal body that protects the heating element and propeller, has been upgraded to a full metal body and the silicone bottom that was constantly breaking in the previous models has completely disappeared.

sous vide inkbird isv-101w

First impression

The new Inkbird sous vide device ISV-101W comes with an innovative and unique design and not just a standard and black design that is so common in other sous vide devices.

In terms of dimensions, you get a smaller and more compact device than the previous models, while controlling the device has also become easier and more intuitive.

It seems that Inkbird put a lot of emphasis in this model on design, size and ease of controlling the device.

The build quality is also very good and even the silicon bottom that was constantly breaking in the previous models has completely disappeared and been replaced with a full metal body.

sous vide devices - Anova vs. Inkbird

In terms of the specifications, there is no actual innovation, but when we dive into prolonged work with the device, we will sample whether there are innovations in the level of power and heating speed.

When you turn on the device, the first thing you notice is a small fan noise even when the device is in standby mode and only the screen is on, something that I have not encountered in any sous vide device before.

Connecting to the application was very simple and fast within one application that brings together all the Inkbird devices that are controlled remotely.

connecting inkbird sous vide circulator to the application

From that moment, the device was put into intensive use for a month and about 200 hours of work to check whether it was worth the purchase and most importantly, whether it was accurate and reliable.


sous vide cooking blog

Impressions after intensive use

After intensive use of the device for over a month, the new look and compact design model revealed that it comes with an updated engine and manages to meet expectations, but at the same time, it is not immune to problems and I will elaborate on this during the review.

inkbird isv-101w knob

Noise intensity test

The first thing I did was compare working noise against other models when Inkbird ISV-100W is considered one of the silent models available.

From a short test, the Inkbird models are more or less working at the same decibels with the new motor producing a buzzing noise which could be interpreted as a louder noise, a buzz similar to Anova sous vide devices.



Start cooking!

I started with small cuts in short cooking times up to 10 liters of water - fish, steaks and cuts up to 2 kg. The device easily succeeded with all cooking tasks and produced accurate results.

Salmon in sous vide using inkbird circulator

searing salmon with searzall cooked in sous vide

Cooking at a high temperature of up to 10 liters was also not a problem and the device worked without hassle.

Comparing the water heating times to previous models, it’s noticeable the significant improvement in favor of the new model

Inkbird 101W

From 25c to 55c → 00:21:00

From 25c to 82c → 00:53:00

Inkbird 100W

From 25c to 55c → 00:30:30

From 25c to 82c → 01:00:00


I slowly increased to a higher capacity up to 12-16 liters and then it was already possible to see a disadvantage compared to previous devices - the top water level is relatively “low”, which limits the maximum working capacity and will cause the device to stop.

inkbird max water level bar

One example is cooking pickles in a jar which require a very high water level for the entire jar to sink and create a vacuum.


In all the temperature samples, it was possible to see that the device manages to be accurate compared to much more expensive models.

sous vide percision inkird vs. anova


The device was then tested with a 26 liter container and at high temperatures of 82-85c degrees.


osso buco in sous vide

Although the manufacturer's specifications indicate a maximum capacity of 15 liters, the device still manages to heat the water and cook at a higher capacity of up to 20 liters (with a lid) in a home test.

Such a capacity is important for cooking whole and long cuts such as a whole leg of lamb, brisket, and rack of short ribs

leg of lamb in souis vide using inkbrd

In all types of containers, if felt how loose the gripper was when the device was attached to the side of the container and also at an angle - in fact, to maintain its stability while pressing the buttons, the circulator needed an additional hand.

sous vide inkbird clip holder

Manual control of the device

The control of the device has moved to a physical rotary knob and button, which allows a quick transition of the temperature and times.

On the one hand, I was very happy to see more convenient and intuitive control of the device, but on the other hand, the more I used the device, the more I was surprised by the number of clicks that had to be made to change the cooking data.


inkbird isv-101w tft screen

Recipes

The application's recipes are still lacking without an explanation or an example of the final result that can be obtained, so I would use other sources such as My blog (just saying…).


The app does allow you to save custom recipes.

While with manual control you can only jump in whole degrees, the app allows control in tenths of a degree (0.1c).

inkbird custom cooking

Notifications

The application and the device provide important information alerts such as reaching the target temperature, the meal is ready (note that this stops the device from working) and also warning alerts that will cause the device to stop working such as, the water level is too low or too high.

sous vide inkbird meal is ready

inkbird notifications

inkbird alert - exceeding water level

Safety

It is important to mention food safety when it comes to cooking in a vacuum - food that stays in an environment without oxygen, needs to remain at a temperature where the bacteria do not grow when there is a limited time in which a portion can drop to a dangerous temperature range (a window of 4 hours).

For this reason, sous vide devices should not stop cooking and must remain at a constant temperature, even when the timer reaches its destination.

Unfortunately, the sous vide device Inkbird ISV-101W  does stop when the timer reaches its destination.Even if we try to set the timer to zero, the device will stop when it reaches the target temperature - undesirable and unclear behavior for a sous vide device.


The bottom line

After intensive use for over a month and about 200 hours of work with a device, I must point out that this is a device that gives value for the price and that it is a price that the competitors do not reach.

While the competitors sell a sous vide device from NIS 600 to NIS 1,600, Inkbird manages to provide a sous vide device that will cook the same meal, with the same precision and achieve the same result at half the price.

Perhaps the owners of the previous Inkbird models will not see a reason to upgrade to this device, and may even think twice because of the slight buzz that the device produces, but anyone who wants to enter the world of sous vide cooking or purchase another device as a backup, will see the device as the right cheap option for them.







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