Hmm, my Arduino version is one-twentieth of the cost and has a larger cooking area, but in fairness it *does* look like a hack compared to this shiny beau.
Sid Whiting
Looks great, but the main reason for vacuum sealing in sous vide cooking is to prevent growth of aerobic bacteria at the low temperatures involved. This is not addressed in this article . . .
so .. another Tefal Optigrill ?
It reminds me of a guy named George....
Or for the same money, buy a cast iron griddle, learn to cook and buy 50 prime rib eye steaks. You ain't a real man unless you can cook a steak!
Richard Guy
Regrettably the author of this article doesn't understand sous vide cooking very well.
It is absolutely not the case that in sous vide cooking time is not a factor. One of the great advantages of sous vide cooking is that the technique enables the chef to make the best of cheaper, tougher (and usually more flavourful) cuts of meat because it's possible to slow cook the meat for a very long time at a precise temperature. Sous vide doesn't just provide the accuracy of temperature (though this is important): the fact that the meat is vacuum sealed in a bag means that the meat doesn't dry out.
I strongly suspect that if you tried to cook, for example, shin of beef in the "Cinder sensing" cooker, it wouldn't work terribly well. Though the meat wouldn't overcook, it would dry out to the point of inedibility the the time (4 hours +) it takes to cook this cut well.
This Cinder... is a crap chef's way of cooking steak well. It's not a replacement for sous vide. I am sure it can indeed cook steak to near perfection with little effort but $500 is a high price to pay for not learning how to cook a steak properly. If you want to achive pretty much the same effect: [preliminary: season the steak with salt and spices to your taste and leave it to rest at room temperature until it has lost it's fridge chill - probably about 45 minutes]. 1. put on your oven to about 130 degrees C 2.heat a couple of spoons of good frying oil in a pan until it is very, very hot and starts smoking. 3. Gently lower in your steak(s) and cook them on each side until they are brown to your taste. 4. Remove the steak from the pan and wrap it up tightly in kitchen foil. 5. Put it in the pre-heated oven, 6. Remove from the oven after a short time. I suggest 6 minutes but this will vary according to your taste. 7. Leave the steak in the foil and put it in a warm (not hot) dish/container or wrap it in a tea towel or something insulating and let it rest for 10 minutes (while you cook the vegetables) 8. Remove the steak from its tea towel and foil and serve it on warm plates immediately, with veg and sauce as required. There will be much juice in the foil if you wrapped it up properly, which you should pour over the steak or stir into a sauce if you are serving your steak with sauce. 9. Eat the steak. 10. Decide if it was well enough or too well done and adjust the time you will leave steak in the oven next time you cook it.
There: $500 saved.
Jim Reich
Hi, I'm CTO of Cinder, and I'd be glad to clear a few things up and answer any other questions.
Just to start, there's actually a lot more here than just a new form factor for sous vide. It uses the same target temperature idea, but unlike a water bath, Cinder can go above boiling. This is actually where a lot of the fun reactions are that can add a lot to your cooking -- browning (maillard), caramelization and others. You can brown without burning -- so you can do things like making grilled cheese sandwiches where the cheese inside is browned, not just the stuff that dripped on the grill. You can make butternut squash evenly brown and sweet, or make apple pie filling with no sugar, because the caramelization cranks up the natural sweetness of the apple, or make onions exactly how you want (brown and sweet to top a burger, or crisp with a bite for fajitas) with minimal stirring. This is really an entirely new cooking method which can get results not possible with pans, grills or sous vide.
If you look at steaks produced by experienced cooks in pans, the Foreman or the Optigrill (which, BTW, is really just a regular grill with a timer plus thickness sensor), you'll see a "bullseye" effect -- the outside of the steak is well done and the inside is rare. They're less moist than they could be, and tougher. This isn't any fault of the cook, it's just that they are cooking on a too-hot, uneven surface. And they can't caramelize well, because it requires temperature to stay within an 8 degree or so band -- hotter and the food gets bitter, any cooler and it doesn't get sweet enough.
And just try leaving a steak or chicken breast on a foreman for 2 hours -- it'll be destroyed if you don't take it off immediately. On Cinder, it'll still be perfect, even if your guests are an hour or two late, or the kids won't come down for dinner when called
Addressing vacuum bagging: The most important reason for vacuum sealing in sous vide is to actually to improve heat transfer. In a vacuum, you just exchange aerobic bacteria for nastier anaerobic ones like botulism. But in both cases, the important thing is to be sure you've reached an appropriate temperature long enough to kill the bacteria -- it's just a different selection of bacteria. And in Cinder's process, you know the internal temperature with great accuracy, so you can cook safe without ruining your food.
Nicolas Zart
I'm becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the WI-fi and bluetooth enabled things. Seriously, for a cooking utensil? Pros and cons, I understand, but definitely not something I need.
@Jim Reich - On the subject of leaving a chicken breast or steak on the grill for a couple of hours. Won't that dry it out (particularly chicken) unacceptably no matter how controlled the temperature ? Without a hermetically sealed environment (vacuum bagged) do you not run the risk of ending up with beef or chicken jerky ?
Jim Reich
@nicho. Nope, 2 hours is just fine, we do this all the time for chicken, steak and pork. At the temperatures Cinder and sous vide use, moisture release is largely a function of temperature, not exposure to atmosphere.
We take food quality very seriously, and have done multiple blind side-by-sides and measurements of moisture loss for sous vide vs. Cinder. Our development chef for these tests was one of the foremost sous vide experts, so we know the sous vide was done optimally. We were actually surprised by the results— the Cinder actually had slightly _less_ moisture loss than sous vide. Our best explanation was that the vacuum process or water pressure of immersion had squeezed some liquid out.
For overnight cooking, I’d probably concede to sous vide — but more likely due to oxidation than moisture loss.
But no jerky. Honest.