This new new sous vide machine is as clever as its web and app suite

There’s nothing like a sous vide dish to impress your guests. ChefSteps gets it; this week the company announced the Joule, one of the smallest immersion circulators set for market.

Immersion circulators, as if you didn’t know, heat and monitor water temp to cook the perfect sous vide dish. The newly announced Joule is one of the easiest such devices to use. At 11 inches tall and less than two inches around, it’s slim and short enough to store in a kitchen drawer. At a little over a pound, it’s not likely to tip any pots over, either.

The bottom of the Joule is magnetic to hold it in place on most steel pots or induction cookware. In case your pots aren’t magnetic, you can use the clip to hold it to the side of the pot. ChefSteps says it operates so efficiently that it preheats faster than most other immersion circulators. The Joule is also waterproof, and surprisingly, not all immersion circulators can make that claim.

Of course, the Joule’s cooking app extends the convenience to your phone, so you don’t have to stay in the kitchen. The watched pot does boil, but it seems to take a lot longer when you’re standing over it impatiently. The app puts the Joule’s controls on your iOS or Android phone, where a patent-pending “Visual Doneness” process lets you choose a video or pic of a finished dish — the Joule will change the temp and cook-time so you can end up with a meal to match the image.

Valve’s Gabe Newell must know the awesome power of home sous vide — or at least its delicious taste. The game-design genius threw some dollars ChefSteps’ way and appeared in the commercial above. Though he’s not a creator of the Joule, he did loan the company some money.

According to Eater, he approves of ChefSteps’ engineer-like approach to cooking. The Seattle-based company has been helping people “cook confidently” for three years with its website and apps that offer interactive content and everything from recipes to classes, teaching aspiring chefs and enthusiastic cooks traditional and modern techniques.

Eager home cooks can pre-order a Joule for $200 until January 15, when the price jumps to $300. This includes ChefSteps premium, the complete library of cooking guides, classes, and recipes. The Joule will ship in May of next year.

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