If you own a Pico home beer brew appliance like me, you’ll notice the next time you turn it on that one of the menu options alongside brewing beer is sous vide.
That’s because this week PicoBrew is set to release an adapter that enables the Pico to double as a sous vide machine. The software upgrade to the Pico that allows it to work in sous vide mode was rolled out this weekend.
I asked Bill Mitchell why they decided to add a sous vide option to the Pico, and he told me it started when his brother, Jim Mitchell, began to use the original PicoBrew Zymatic as a sous vide machine.
“Jim’s foray into sous-vide meats was the inspiration. He’s a staunch believer in gourmet food and that gourmet beer goes with gourmet food.”
It’s not that surprising that Jim would be food hacking with the PicoBrew. He’s following in the footsteps of his grandfather, who just so happened to invent Pop Rocks and Tang.
When it comes to converting the Pico to a sous vide machine, it helps that sous vide usually requires a water bath, something that the Pico essentially has built in with its step filter, which is the large container which holds the PicoPaks.
But having a water bath built in was the easy part. Making it work took a lot of engineering time.
“There was substantial engineering cost to this because of the way the Pico works with steam injection (vs. the Zymatic),” said Mitchell. “Unlike other Kickstarter project companies, we promised it, so by god we figured out a way to deliver it.”
You can see what sous vide in your PicoBrew looks like below:
The company will send out the sous vide adapters to Kickstarter backers first. All those who have purchased a Pico at retail or in the future will also get the adapter free of charge. The company will include the adapter in the PicoBrew Pico box starting at the beginning of 2017.