With the goal of making sous-vide cooking more user friendly, the team responsible for the Nomiku immersion circulator have added Wi-Fi to a new model that is smaller and more powerful. Thanks to a Wi-Fi connection, the device can now be controlled remotely and recipes can be browsed, shared and tested more easily using the accompanying smartphone app.
Sous-vide cooking (from the French, cooking under vacuum) involves vacuum-sealing food and letting it cook in water at low temperatures, while a device known as an immersion circulator makes sure that the temperature is kept constant, usually within a tenth of a degree or less. The process is not exactly quick: cooking an egg will take approximately four hours, while meat can take 48 hours or more depending on your cut of choice. But to many who have tried it, the result – food that is extremely tender, moist, and cooked very evenly, every single time – is worth the wait.
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Until recently, sous-vide used to be the domain of haute cuisine and gourmet restaurants, partly because of the prohibitive cost of immersion circulators. But in recent years, products like the first Nomiku, the Anova and the Sansaire have started to surface, reducing the price to well below the $300 mark. As a result, amateur chefs around the globe have dipped their toes in the sous-vide waters. Just three months ago, for instance, the Kickstarter campaign for the Anova cooker was able to collect pledges from over 10,000 backers. The Nomiku seems headed in the same direction.
According to the San Francisco-based startup, the new version of the Nomiku improves on the original that launched back in 2012 in several ways. It will have the original coil heater replaced by a safer PTC heating unit; it is more compact but more powerful, drawing 1,150 watts of power, which will shorten cooking times by 15 to 20 percent; it has a larger touchscreen and a single knob to control the temperature; it uses less water, with a minimum water level of 1.5 in (3.8 cm); and it's easier to clean, thanks to a removable bottom.
With this new version, the creators are also aiming to make the Nomiku easier to use, reducing the steep learning curve that a novice sous-vide cook would otherwise face. The device will come equipped with 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and will be controllable remotely through a smartphone app. Moreover, the appropriately named Tender app will allow users to create, browse and share sous vide recipes. With the tap of a finger, users will be able to send cooking instructions, including exact time and temperatures of choice, directly to the device.
Reaching its Kickstarter crowdfunding goal of US$200,000 in only 12 hours, backers can get their hands on the new Nomiku in either black or white with a pledge of $149, assuming all goes to plan. For the time being, the device only ships to the US and Canada (Canadian citizens will need to add a $10 shipping fee). For everyone else, a pledge of $10 will allow you to be first in line to purchase the upcoming 240 V unit for the same $149. The delivery date for the US version is set for March 2015, with a stated retail price of $249.
The video below shows the Nomiku in action.