While the ultra-early sous vide enthusiasts among us started their precision cooking journeys with water ovens like the Sous Vide Supreme, the last few years in home sous vide have been all about “the stick.”
That’s right, as sous vide enters the zeitgeist, immersion circulators from the likes of from Anova, Nomiku, and ChefSteps are the default option for everyone from Modernist Cuisine types to those dipping their toe into the precision heated water for the very first time.
But, as 2017 draws to a close, there are some new sous vide products coming to market that gives consumers an option beyond ‘the stick.’
Here’s my look at some of these new products:
Mellow Smart Sous Vide
After a long delay, the Mellow smart sous vide machine is shipping. This unique-looking cooking machine, which features a cooling system that allows you put your bag inside throughout the day, is now available for general purchase on the company’s website for $399 ($299 through cyber Monday!).
I’ve been testing the Mellow for the last few weeks, and I must say this: If anything, the Mellow is by far the most interesting looking sous vide appliance. That’s because unlike sous vide immersion circulators, with the Mellow you drop your plastic bag into the large transparent tank which allows you to watch your food suspended in water while it cooks. While it may seem strange to say it, watching a ribeye cook in a water bath can be surprisingly mesmerizing.
Here’s a video I took of the Mellow cooking a ribeye:
Like the immersion circulators mentioned above, the Mellow has an app that serves as the primary control interface for the device. The app is pretty solid, with a decent support/FAQ section, a limited selection of cooking guides and a good looking design.
And of course, the built-in chiller for sous vide is a nice benefit for those who want to program a cook for a specific time such as when they get home from work.
All this said, the Mellow has one downside: It’s fairly big. Not only does it have a large footprint, but it’s tall. Really tall. Like most, my storage space is at a premium, and I don’t have the space to store a device with the dimensions of the Mellow.
The Mellow is also a bit more expensive than immersion circulators (again, the company is selling it for $299 through Cyber Monday), but if you’re looking for the latest in sous vide gadgets, you might find the regular price of $399 well worth it.
The Cinder Grill
Want to move beyond the bag? The Cinder Grill might be for you.
The Cinder Grill allows you to cook sous vide without the water or the bags. The device, which looks like the love child of Tesla and the George Foreman Grill, has two precision heating surfaces that allow you to precision cook meat, vegetables or other food and also lets you finish the food with searing functionality.
The two-in-one sous vide and sear capability is an obvious benefit of the Cinder. I also like the idea of cooking without plastic, not so much because I am afraid of toxins within the plastic, but I feel bad about throwing away plastic after every cook.
Like the Mellow, the biggest downside of the Cinder is its size. I’ve been testing it out for a few months, and while it’s become probably one of my favorite ways to cook meat, the device has a really big footprint. And while it does have the benefit of being a dual-tasker (cook and sear), even with multifunction capability I would find it a struggle to stash the Cinder on one of my shelves.
You can see how the Cinder looks in action here:
Like the Mellow, the Cinder also has an app, which allowed me to set time and temperature and also notified me when a cook is finished. But unlike the Mellow (or even more so with sous vide immersion circulators like the ChefSteps), the Cinder app doesn’t go very deep with the cooking content itself, something I am sure the company plans to build out over time.
If you want to get a Cinder Grill, you can order one on their website, but it might take a little while before you see your Cinder. The company has started shipping to some of its backers, but is still in the process of ironing out some production kinks, and likely won’t reach wide availability until early next year.
Still, if you like the idea of precision cooking without the water and plastic, you might want to put in an order. The Cinder costs $499.
Sous Vide Supreme Touch+
And any mention of home sous vide appliances should include the new Sous Vide Supreme Touch+, the latest generation Sous Vide Supreme water bath. And while the idea of precision water baths are hardly new, with this product the company has completely remade their flagship product complete with a touchscreen, a see-through lid, Wi-Fi, an app (of course) and Alexa voice integration.
If you want to get in on the new Sous Vide Supreme Touch+ at a significant discount, you can buy it for $200 off the retail price at $399 on Indiegogo.
Anova Precision Oven
While 2017 has been an interesting year for the oven, 2018 is likely to be even better. One of the products I’m most intrigued about is the Anova Precision Oven. The device, which includes a steam oven, convection, and connectivity, also allow you to sous vide. The device, which was originally slated to ship in 2017, now looks on track for a mid-2018 ship date.
There’s no doubt that immersion circulators are easy to use, but by giving consumers more options to cook sous vide, will open it up to a wider audience.
In short, nowadays sous vide is more than the stick.
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