Wow! Now you can sous vide for just $129!
Good news, sous vide fans! The price for sous vide devices just keeps getting better and better!
Not so long ago, sous vide devices would cost more than $1,000. Of course, you either had to be a professional chef or super rich to justify buying a kitchen gadget like that. And so, the perfect steak could only be had by dining in a fancy restaurant that would charge you an arm and a leg to eat a steak cooked sous vide.
The arrival of the Sansaire and the Anova Precision Cooker put sous vide devices below the $200 mark. So far, 2015 has already brought us the sub-$170 Paragon and now, we have the Meld that will allow you to cook sous vide for less than $130! But hurry, you only have till May 9th to get in on this!
So what is the Meld?
Sous vide requires two things, the ability to program your device to heat to a set temperature and the ability to keep the device at this set temperature. Devices like the Sansaire and Anova are immersion style sous vide devices that have heating elements that sit immersed in the water bath.
The Meld is a sous vide device that takes on a different approach. Instead of using heating elements to get to your set temperature, heating is done through your existing stove top burner. The Meld is actually made up of 3 individual components; Meld Knob, Meld Clip and the Meld App. And precise temperature control comes about through all 3 components, communicating through Bluetooth, working together to bring your food to the set temperature and then keeping it there.
The Meld Knob is a battery-operated, automated knob that fits onto your existing stove, replacing one of the knobs that controls your stovetop burner. Based on the video on their Kickstarter page, it looks like it’ll install pretty quickly on almost any electric or gas stove. Obviously not all stoves are the same and so we like that it even walks you through a three step calibration for you to tell the Meld where the high, low and off positions are.
The Meld Clip is a fast response, class 1 high precision, temperature gauge that clips onto your existing pot or cookware. And using Bluetooth, it then sends temperature readings to the Meld Knob. Do note that it needs to be attached to cookware that has a minimum depth of 3 inches.
To set your target temperature, you use the Meld App, which will be available on both iOS and Andriod when the Meld ships. Other than setting your target temperature, the app will also inform you when your set cooking time is up. And the app will also contain recipes to help you figure out what temperature is best for the food you are cooking.
Who are the founders of Meld?
Meld is a Seattle-based startup founded by 2 former colleagues from Amazon, Jon Jenkins and Darren Vengroff. Jon or JJ as he is more commonly known, is the CEO at Meld and he used to be head of engineering at Pinterest. Prior to that, JJ spent nine years at Amazon where he led a few different teams including one of the teams for the first Kindle Fire tablet. JJ shares, “Meld technology makes home cooking easier, more precise and takes the guess work out of making the perfect meal. Despite all the technology in our homes, we’re still cooking like our great-grandparents. Meld has brought cooking into the 21st century.”
Darren is the Chief Scientist at Meld and he has experience in precision food tech as the creator of Sous Vide Dash and PolyScience Sous Vide Toolbox, which incidentally won the Innovation Award at the 2012 International Chef’s Congress. Darren says, “They say that cooking is an art and baking is a science. At Meld we bring a little bit of science to the art of cooking. For example, it’s a fact that medium rare steak is 134°F and that water boils at 212°F. The Meld + Knob and Clip automatically adjust cooking temperatures to achieve the desired doneness. This allows home cooks to focus on where they can add the most value — the art of flavor.”
It’s nice to see that the team at Meld has put a lot of thought into the safety features. Other than turning itself off once a recipe completes, the Meld will also turn off your burner if all the contents in your cookware evaporate away or if your burner blows out.
We like the cleverness in the idea behind the Meld and we love the coolness in being able to cook sous vide just by simply ‘Pimping My Stove’ out. We also love that we can use our own gas stove burners to do the heating cos that means we can reach our target temp much faster than most heating elements in the immersion style sous vide devices. The Meld is also a useful tool in the kitchen as other than sous vide, it can also be used to simmer, slow cook, poach and fry. The Meld is expected to deliver in Oct 2015 and we can’t wait to test it for you when it comes out!
To secure your Meld, hurry on down to their Kickstarter page before it closes on May 9th!