Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Condensing Pot Lid

For rapid water removal
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Many hours are wasted waiting for water to boil off sauces and such to produce a thicker tastier product. There are several ways to speed this up, you can use a shallow, wide pan to increase surface area. You can aim a fan at the surface, this blows water vapor away from the surface decreasing the partial pressure and enhancing further evaporation. You could also move the pot to an advantageous location, Vostok station or the summit of Everest come to mind. Here, low-pressure high wind speeds and very dry air would really speed the process at the cost of some convenience.

An alternative would be to manufacture a pot lid with a Peltier thermoelectric cooler built in. The cold side should face down onto the inner-lid, a dome-shaped condensation surface. Around the inner perimeter, a shaped rim collects the condensate and a small gear-type pump moves the water to a waiting tube for collection. The hot side of the Peltier should be attached to the outer lid which is separated from the inner condensation lid by fiberglass insulation.

In operation, the lid will be placed on a boiling pot. After a few seconds, the steam will displace any air in the space above the liquid. Adding power will cool the inner lid. This will condense water vapor to be pumped out, this will dramatically increase the evaporation rate. Your sauce will thicken up much faster.

bs0u0155, Jan 22 2019

[marked-for-rumination] Vacuum_20Reducer
[FlyingToaster, Jan 22 2019]

[link]






       Excellent idea [+] you might get away with cooler temperatures too since there's always going to be a degree of vapour at the top of the pan - creaming this off would encourage additional evapourage.
zen_tom, Jan 22 2019
  

       Adding a vacuum and gasket seal would improve times also.
RayfordSteele, Jan 22 2019
  

       //encourage additional evapourage.//   

       I'm stealing "evapourage". I'm going to build the marketing around it in fact. When I'm finished, it will be industry canon that "evapourage" is a mainstay of classical French cooking.
bs0u0155, Jan 22 2019
  

       A vacuum process is going to be much more energy-efficient than a Peltier device.   

       However, the pump will need to be carefully selected. Fortunately the pressure gradient required isn't high, but the pump will either need to be water-lubricated, or have a lubrication system that copes with wet steam.   

       Alternatively, an oscillating-diaphragm pump with no sliding contacts would work well, as the liquid should be almost pure.   

       As a bonus, you get a free supply of distilled water out of the condenser.
8th of 7, Jan 22 2019
  

       //free supply of distilled water out of the condenser.//   

       I doubt the liquid would be pure, there's spattering on the inside of any lid I've ever used, then there's any volatiles in the food, ethanol from wine for example. A stern warning in the manual should state, that under the wrong conditions (several examples should be shown as what not to do) the equipment might be used for the production of high concentration alcohol. Which is to be avoided. Obviously.
bs0u0155, Jan 22 2019
  

       So, what's the difference between this and boiling without a lid ?   

       Also <link> :)
FlyingToaster, Jan 22 2019
  

       // So, what's the difference between this and boiling without a lid ?//   

       There IS a lid. That's the main difference. The vacuum reducer is getting there with a vacuum pump alone. This is getting there with a condenser, which will create some vacuum in combination with the scavenge pump. This is more complicated and less efficient, so I'll compensate with aggressive marketing. On late night TV "Solid-state evaporage" is a winner.
bs0u0155, Jan 22 2019
  

       Excellent!
calum, Jan 22 2019
  

       If you fling it skywards, then photograph it, do the resulting pics look like a UFO?
xenzag, Jan 22 2019
  

       Good grief, [bs]. Surely you have ample access to a Rotavap or a Speedvac?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 22 2019
  

       //Surely you have ample access to a Rotavap//   

       I have access to all sorts of things, most don't. Sadly bringing a sauce to work isn't that convenient and I haven't successfully lobbied for an in-building serviced apartment.   

       Actually, there was a nearly new rotavap in a recently closed lab. I asked and wasn't allowed to have it, so it sat. Then I saw it smashed and bent in a skip, worse than book burning if you ask me. Strange is the convoluted nature of ownership when it comes to scientific equipment.
bs0u0155, Jan 22 2019
  

       //bringing a sauce to work isn't that convenient// No, I was thinking the reverse.   

       //I asked and wasn't allowed to have it// The trick is to take it, and then wait for someone to ask for it back. Most of my company's equipment has arrived in that manner.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 22 2019
  

       // The trick is to take it, and then wait for someone to ask for it back.//   

       I've learned a variety of techniques since that incident. When legitimately acquiring old equipment, they're often marked with stickers/tape with "Smith lab, do not remove" and sometimes old asset tags from one of the many attempts at central control of lab equipment*. Such stickers should be harvested and kept to demonstrate the legitimate providence of any newly acquired resources. Also, brake clean does a very good job of eliminating all printed information from any label.   

       * "How much did it cost?" "$29,000" "OK, what's the current value?" "somewhere between $-350 and $65,000 depending what experiments the reviewers ask for" "can you give me a solid figure" "not really" "surely there's a reasonable estimate, what's it worth on the open market?" "The global market is me, I'll take it off your hands for -$350, tell you what I'll throw in shipping and I can test it for another $500" "I'll put down $0 and send you a tag" "I wouldn't do that, very adhesive sensitive is the photon alignment in the 1989 Photicon XL1201b, you can end up with 2nd harmonic peaks, that was the main problem when Photicon were acquired by Perkin Elmer, Literally just the rebadging made it un-calibratable.... I mean I could go on"
bs0u0155, Jan 22 2019
  
      
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