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Small Appliances

This slow cooker has a taste for sous vide

The Du3t from 3 Squares marries the venerable slow cooker with a trendy new technique.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

CHICAGO -- Sous vide is trending into more and more mainstream kitchens just as slow cookers did a generation ago, so why not marry the two? That's exactly what 3 Squares is promising with the Du3t, a combination sous vide and slow cooker that's headed to Kickstarter later this year.

If you aren't familiar with the technique, sous vide cooking suspends vacuum-sealed ingredients into a water bath that's heated and held at a precise temperature. Like a much fancier, much more effective version of boil-in-a-bag, sous vide gradually brings food up to the desired temperature with little to no risk of overcooking.

Professional chefs have been using expensive sous vide setups in high-end restaurants for years, but a recent bumper crop of clever cookers has made the technique more affordable and accessible. The Du3t hopes to join their ranks, and with a retail price of $130, it stands to be one of the most affordable of the lot. Other all-in-one water bath units from names like Caso , SousVide Supreme and SousVant can retail for upwards of $500.

The Du3t isn't the first sous vide solution to put a slow cooker to work. For $99, you can buy the Dorkfood DSV , a simple thermo-controller that regulates your slow cooker or rice maker's temperature to help it cook sous vide. The Du3t looks to be largely the same thing, except the sous vide controls are built right in.

The crowdfunding space has been generous towards sous vide, with repeated successes for Anova and Nomiku , two of the brands that helped spark the recent sous vide surge. GE's First Build initiative also found crowdfunding success for its sous vide cooker, the Paragon Induction Cooktop .

3squares-du3t.jpg
3 Squares

The Du3t features a stainless steel build with a 6-quart aluminum interior and a tempered glass lid. In addition to basic high and low slow cooking settings, you'll be able to fill it with water and dial in to temperatures ranging from 105 to 195 degrees Fahrenheit (about 40 to 90 Celsius). The unit also comes with a sous vide rack that helps keep multiple pouches separate during the cook.

In addition to the Du3t, 3 Squares announced a new miniature version of the Tim3 Machin3 multi-cooker, along with the new Soup3rb Heat + Blend Blender . Both are expected to arrive by the end of the year.

As for the Du3t, 3 Squares expects its Kickstarter to launch by May, with plans to start shipping units out in November of this year. 3 Squares doesn't currently ship outside of the US, but it's looking into international expansion this year -- the Du3t's $130 price converts to about AU$170, or roughly £85 in the UK.

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