Precise oven/heater recommendations

I’d like to heat up small quantities of food at a precise temperature (100 or 125 Celcius) for 0.5-3 hours, preferably in a small, affordable appliance. What can I buy that will do that?

Wouldn’t a sous vide do this? (I’m guessing based on my limited knowledge of them - I don’t know - maybe someone else can clarify.)

Sous-vide uses water which would make it difficult to keep it precisely at 100 or 125 Celcius.

How small is the quantity? If it’s really small you could probably get a sterno and adjust how high above the food is.

If it’s larger, a crock pot will probably work, especially if it’s filled up enough to hold it’s temp as the the crock pot cycles on and off.

If you can cover it and/or drying out isn’t a risk, a toaster oven may work as well.

How precise? And how big? And how much can you afford?

There are precision laboratory ovens (like this) but those are very expensive. I think it’s either that or a counter-top convection oven. Convection ovens have fans that circulate the hot air, so those should have more accurate temperature control than conventional ovens or toaster ovens.

A pressure cooker will get your water above 100 °C. A toaster oven, which has already been mentioned, should be settable for anything between 100 to at least 200.

I don’t think any crock pot can hold a temperature above 100C, since they are designed for water-based foods.

That’s a good point, but I don’t think they go up as high as 125C. The Instant Pot only goes up to 118C.

IIRC, crock pots are in the neighborhood of 200 on low and 300 on high (95 and 150ish). But due to the mass of the crock and the amount of food they’re designed to hold, the t-stat may have a large swing.
I think we need more info from the OP. We’ve got suggesting ranging from a sterno to a pressure cooker and without more details, it’s hard to know which direction to go.

Another suggestion, again depending on the actual amount and type of food (and cookware available), is just putting it in pot on the stovetop. If you can turn it down low enough, you may be able to get it to sit just where you want it.

I’d love to give you more info but the board rules prohibit me from going into details about why I’d want to precisely heat a small amount of organic matter for 0.5-3 hours. But now you can probably guess.

The chemistry involved is finicky, too little heat or too little time and it’s suboptimal. Too much heat or too long and it’s just as suboptimal.

When I was back in college, I had good luck alternating between the microwave for a few second and the freezer for a few minutes. I’m sure there are and were better ways, but it worked very well and finding things on the internet was harder in 1998.

Anyways, I’m going to go back to an oven (regular or toaster). Put everything in some kind of pot (no pun intended) with a loose cover* (oil shouldn’t evaporate or expand too much) and I think that’ll do it.

*A small Le Creuset type dutch oven or even a ramekin with some foil over it. Really, anything oven proof.

“Le Creuset type” meaning “enamel-coated cast iron”. Le Creuset is ridiculously expensive, and there are many MANY other brands making very similar products. I would say it’s extremely rare for any brand to be made of faulty iron; the differences between brands come down to the quality of the enamel coating. So IMO you’d be perfectly safe getting a brand that doesn’t have a (noticeably worse than average) crop of complaints about premature chipping & cracking of the enamel. The smaller sizes in the non-“prestige” brands are not expensive.

Yes, that’s what “type” means. Any brand, same basic idea. The OP may even already have something.

I’m not sure if it matters but instead of oil, it’s ground up vegetable which I process with heat then, when it’s out of the oven and back to room temperature, mix with peanut butter. The peanut butter is then put on a banana. If you haven’t tried peanut butter on banana, you might like it.

I’m not really sure than. But if a dry heat is okay, I’d think an oven is fine. When I did it, the vegetable was in oil and the heat would transfer the oil soluble thing you’re after into the oil, then you could do what you wanted with the oil (we put it in capsules).

I don’t know about the process you’re using, I’d just be concerned about burning and/or drying it out (if that’s a problem). If that’s an issue, you could probably use a little vegetable oil. That would mix with peanut butter just find, I’d think.

Sorry - I think I got carried away because I just was looking for one myself.

Depending on how precise you need to be, something like this might work:

A dehydrator maybe?

Laboratory HotPlate with Magnetic Stirrer.

You will need to shop around but they will do 200C and you can get usable ones starting at about ~$60 on the typical online stores.

Are counter-top convection ovens particularly useful for things other than special vegetables?