About a year and a half ago, we experienced the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon with the term sous vide: Once we learned about the cooking technique, we started hearing about it everywhere, especially on Kickstarter. Yet another machine has hit the crowdfunding site this week.
The creators of the SousVant believe their machine is superior to immersion models or enclosed contraptions that mimic those found in restaurants. The sous vide method of cooking involves sealing meat or vegetables in a plastic bag and slowly cooking it in a bath of water whose temperature is controlled like a thermostat, holding the heat to a precise degree. Traditionally, the devices, whether they clamp onto ordinary pots or use their own water tank, have been prohibitively expensive. In recent years, the price has come down to more affordable levels.
The SousVant is the second type of machine. It’s completely self-contained, with a removable carafe you fill with water. The appliance has a large display controlled by four buttons, with cooking timer and temperature. Under the hood, a pump circulates and heats the water. A tight-fitting lid keeps the water from evaporating. And that’s pretty much it. The design makes it look like it’d be right at home next to your blender.
Unlike something like The Mellow, which connects to your smartphone and can keep food cool until you’re ready to cook it, the SousVant aims to be as simple as possible. All that simplicity comes at a price. Right now, the early supporter Kickstarter price is $299, $100 less than its planned retail price.
It’s definitely not the cheapest sous vide option we’ve seen, but we do like the idea of being able to watch the magic happen with SousVant’s clear carafe.