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Mellow smartens up sous vide with app control and a sharp design

In the past two years alone, immersion circulators (the devices needed to cook sous vide) have become smaller, cheaper, and easier to use. However, there’s a new one in the works that aims to take sous vide to a whole new level.

It’s called Mellow, and as far as we can tell, it’s the first sous vide cooker to feature so-called “smart” controls. But before we get into all the nifty high-tech features under the hood, let’s take a moment to gawk at the stunning exterior.

Creators Zé Pinto Ferreira and Catarina Violante of FNV Labs, the brains behind Mellow, knocked it out of the park in the design department. We’re getting some serious Dieter Rams vibes from this thing. The machine looks like an odd hybrid of a Braun SK 4 and a Brita filter pitcher, but instead of playing music or making your tap water taste better, it prepares perfectly-cooked food at the touch of a button.

Additionally, unlike some of the more popular immersion circulators on the market right now, Mellow isn’t designed to be clipped, clamped, or otherwise affixed to the side of a pot. Instead, it comes with its own built-in water tank, so it just sits on your countertop, coaxing you in with it’s sleek exterior and inviting you to use it more often.

But Mellow’s beauty isn’t only skin deep. Under the hood it’s got some pretty stellar features, including Wi-Fi connectivity. Mellow can connect to your home network, allowing you to control everything from cook time to temperature using your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

In addition to an über-precise heating element that allows it to heat the tank and cook your food to perfection, Mellow is also equipped with a cooling unit. That might not sound like a big deal at first, but it’s a complete game changer for sous vide. The addition of refrigeration allows you to place your unprepared food inside Mellow during the day, and leave it there until you want to cook it. Since you can control Mellow via Wi-Fi, you can drop food in it before you leave for work, and then use the app and arrange to have your meal finish cooking around the time you get home. This helps to solve the time problem of the sous vide cooking process, which often takes two hours or more.

Starting today, FNV Labs is accepting pre-orders for Mellow ($400) on its website, and expects to ship the first units to consumers in early 2015. Find out more here