So we have VeryRapid Pot (obviously it is called something else well known, but in the spirit of avoiding using brand names, I will refer to it now simply as a multicooker).
As it turns out, it's capable of cooking stuff at 15psi in steam … which is the standard setting for an autoclave. Looking online, earlier models even featured a specific “Sterilize” function (according to the manual, this is meant for things like baby bottles, not medical equipment, but this disclaimer is likely there because in otherwise they would have to get it actually licensed as a medical device).
We use ours routinely (chicken tikka masala is particularly good in them), but I started considering using it for sterilizing our medical stuff. I used to have access to an EO sterilizer, which I used for years, but that access is no longer there, and, consequently, we haven't been able to sterilize some of our stuff for some time, which has caused us to stop using them (sounds in particular, ought to be sterile).
So yesterday, I went on c***gslist and found a dude selling a used 6QT one for $30. At that price, I looked at Playtime and we both agreed we had to try it. So today, I bought a multicooker to use strictly for sterilization. I just cooked it for the first time, and have the following observations:
- I need a new sealing ring. These things trap mega oder, and when I fired it up in my clinic, it now smelled of rice. Heavily. I like rice, but it's not a good like … kinky clinic scent. Gotta .. air stuff out for a bit now.
- It seemed to work well. I ordered some autoclave pouches on jungle-website, and these ones have an indicator that will tell me if it actually gets sterile. I'm going to try one on my next cook (after I get my new seals in today so I don't have to smell more rice).
- It is … large, but not cavernous. I'm a little concerned with being able to put the pouches in - I'll need to make sure they cannot touch the side walls, since those get way hotter (for searing/etc). Some items might not need pouches (items where sterilization is good, but which don't have to stay perfectly sterile before use - like specula, which is the first thing I tried cookin), but it might be a bit harder for stuff like sounds, which barely fit anyways (I have a shorter set - the long ones I have definitely do not), and definitely need to stay sterile once cooked. Multicooker company makes an 8qt version and used to make a 10qt version, but both are rather expensive new - the 6qt is by far the most common (as for household meals, it's nearly always enough).
I'm interested in others' experience with these things. They aren't cheap, but they are still considerably less than even small-scale autoclaves. I'm hoping this experiment ends up working….