With a new at-home version of the Sous Vide produced in China, everyone can make the perfect egg at home (and many other delicious things…)
My friends Hendrick and Star invented this nifty device to bring Sous Vide precision cooking to the masses. Formerly the tool of world-class chefs and molecular cooking enthusiasts, they’ve figured out a way to manufacture it in China to drop the price down to almost $100 USD.
Professional sous vide’s are basically giant water baths that allows you to cook food at an incredibly precise and steady temperature. You just combine the food and seasoning together in a bag and throw it in. I have heard it’s especially useful for cooking the perfect steak, although there are delicious vegetarian applications as well
When your food is done, you can eat it right away or leave it for several hours, a day, two days etc. Since it’s maintained at the same temperature, it won’t go bad. Star illustrated a situation where this might be useful: Imagine that before your dinner party guests arrive you have thrown the food a bag and dropped it in the sous vide. The conversation goes so well that you forget to take the food out until six hours later. While in the past this would have resulted in some kind of combustion event and a smelly kitchen, the sous vide makes cooking worry free.
I can already imagine the infomercial throw-back to the 1950’s where a formerly stressed out and disheveled house wife now has free time to read and have a glass of wine while technology takes care of the food in the kitchen. Even better, Hendrick and Star’s sous vide doesn’t require a clunky water bath. Their device can turn any kitchen device with a heating element into a sous vide. We tested ours out with our water boiler for making eggs. Based on this guy’s analysis, we choose to make ours at 64-65 degrees Fahrenheit. Delicious!
I have nearly zero understanding of electronics so I’ll explain the mechanism in layman’s terms. You stick the temperature probe into the water, and this feeds information back to the temperature control unit. You then plug your kitchen appliance into an outlet that comes with their sous vide. The temperature control unit allows your appliance to heat up like normal, but when the water reaches the desired temperature it turns the power on and off to keep it within .3 degrees farenheit of your target.
Precision cooking aside, sous vide style cooking also nutritional benefits. Whereas with boiling and stir-frying some vitamins and minerals may be lost, cooking food in a bag prevents nutrient loss. The food cooked in a a sous vide doesn’t undergo a Maillard process either (the chemical reaction that creates that delicious brown layer on the food), so there are fewer nasty carcinogenic compounds like heterocyclic amines (HCA’s) in the food.
Hendrick and Star are making this primarily for the U.S. market, but leave a comment if you’re interested in getting your hands on one in China and I’ll try to put you in touch!