Want to sous vide? A small appliance manufacturer is coming out with a slew of products to make water-bath cooking more accessible to newbies and enthusiasts.
Anova Culinary will release a $99 version of its popular sous vide immersion circulator this summer, the company announced at CES in Las Vegas. The device, called the Nano, will include Bluetooth so you can control it through Anova's Android and iOS app. The $99 machine is part of a new line of products that will include a revamped version of Anova's Precision Cooker with Bluetooth + Wi-Fi, a $299 Pro model (that converts to around £242 or AU$410) with a built-in touchscreen, and the Anova Precision Oven. The appliance, which is set for release in summer 2017, a countertop oven that will sear, convection bake, steam cook and connect to the company's precision cookers.
Before we go any further, let me explain this relatively new way of cooking. To sous vide (which is French for "under vacuum"), you put a cut of meat or another food item into a plastic bag. You put the bag into a container of water. A sous vide machine will heat that water to the temperature you need and maintain that temperature while your food cooks inside the plastic bag.
It's easy to spend a lot of money when you decide to bring sous vide to your kitchen. Full sous vide systems (countertop appliances with a container for your water) can cost $500 or more. Immersion circulators (columns that attach to the side of a container you already have) like the Anova Precision Cooker are cheaper, but you can easily spend $200 or more. Anova's $99 connected sous vide machine, however, could change the game. It's cheaper than comparable products, which could make the immersion circulator more appealing to folks who want to give sous vide a try without throwing down a lot of cash.
The cheaper model won't be as powerful as the other two, nor is it equipped with Wi-Fi. But it's "something people can start off with and explore," and they can eventually upgrade to another version, Anova spokeswoman Jordan Houston said.
Anova's pro model is also noteworthy. It will be the same size as the traditional precision cooker, but its controls will resemble the Anova One, the company's first venture into sous vide machines. The control panel will be a full-color touchscreen that will let you access sous vide instructions, controls and guides that are similar to what you'd find in the Anova app. This the opposite approach of ChefSteps, a company that recently released a competing connected sous vide machine. Whereas Anova throws everything onto the body of the Pro, the Joule immersion circulator only has one button, so you have to control the device with your phone.
"We're making the device smart on its own without needing your phone in your hand," Houston said.