Eat Figo launched a crowdfunding campaign today for it’s (almost) eponymous countertop Figo sous vide device.
In addition to being a connected sous vide machine you can control with your phone, the Figo is also offers vacuum sealing and cold storage capabilities. The company is looking to raise $20,000 on Indiegogo, with the base model costing super-early backers $139 and the deluxe model (which comes with the vacuum sealer attachment) costing $149. Both models are supposed to ship in March of 2021.
Avid Spoon readers may be thinking to themselves a sous vide machine that keeps food cold until its time to cook? That sounds familiar. That’s because Mellow promised to do much the same thing a while back. But as WIRED found out, the Mellow did not keep food cold enough to keep it safe and that product (and the subsequent attempt at a sequel) died.
What’s different about the Figo, however, is that the food is kept in dry cold storage (as low as 37 degrees) instead of a cold water bath. When it’s time to cook, water is added from a built-in tank and heated. When the cooking is done the water is evacuated from the heating cavity and back into the tank. I don’t know if, scientifically, this makes it easier to keep food at safe temperatures, but that’s certainly different from the Mellow.
The bigger question is whether Figo is two years to late to the sous vide party. While enjoying a bit of a mini-boom back in the 2015 – 2018 timeframe, the consumer sous vide market has subsequently crashed. After layoffs and cuts, ChefSteps sold to Breville, Nomiku shut down, and the aforementioned Mellow is all but gone. Anova is still truckin’, but it too has moved on to its combi steam oven that promises sous vide-like cooking.
Perhaps there still is a market for consumer sous vide machines. As of this writing, Eat Figo has already raised more than $7,000. But even if you love sous vide and you think that this might be the device for you (though you may want to make sure the cooling part works as promised), remember that crowdfunded hardware projects have a spotty record, at best. You don’t want to take a bath by backing a sous vide machine that doesn’t make it through manufacturing.