Sous vide at home: GE’s Bluetooth-connected cooktop lets you cook like the French

Everyone who’s overcooked a steak or dried out a chicken may need a little sous vide in their lives. French for “under vacuum,” the cooking technique is a foolproof method for ensuring meats and veggies stay perfectly tender — provided the temperature is kept consistent.

Much like a Crock-Pot takes hours to prepare a stew or pulled pork, the sous vide method uses water, well below boiling, to slowly cook food stored in vacuum-sealed bags. There have been a lot of sous vide machines launching on Kickstarter recently, because an increasing number of people want what was once a restaurant-only technique in their home kitchens. GE and FirstBuild have teamed up to offer the first sous vide accessory made to work with its Profile, Café, and Monogram induction cooktops.

The wireless temperature probe communicates with the cooktop via Bluetooth; by syncing the two, the cooktop can adjust its setting and keep the water at a steady temperature. GE plans to create an app, so you don’t have to hover at the oven during the whole process. The sous vide accessory, $149, will be available with the compatible cooktops in May 2015.

GE Bluetooth Sous Vide Thermometer
GE Bluetooth Sous Vide Thermometer

The new Café, and Monogram induction cooktops GE is releasing also include some new features beyond the sous vide. Tablet-like, touch-activated controls light up with LEDs, and an integrated, stainless steel griddle comes with the Café and Monogram models. The smooth surface is flat and knob-less, thanks to the slider controls. You use a finger to slide around the controls and raise or lower the heat. Because it’s an induction cooktop, electromagnetic coils heat your iron or steel cookware, leaving the cooktop surface cool (as well as your copper pans; its not magnetic enough to be energized by the coils). The pans heat up the food, instead of the cooktop itself.

When they’re released in May 2015, the Monogram 30-inch will cost $2,600, while the 36-inch will be priced at $3,100. The Café models will cost $2,000 for the 30-inch and $2,300 for the 36-inch. The Profile offers induction cooking without the slider controls and costs between $1,500 and $1,900, depending on size and color. Fancy cooking with a price tag to match.