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WiFi Nomiku review: Nomiku stumbles with Wi-Fi sous vide machine

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The Good The $249 WiFi Nomiku sous vide circulator lets you use an app to send cook times and temperatures to the device. Food from meals cooked with the Nomiku come out to the correct doneness.

The Bad The countertop kitchen gadget is a lot bulkier and more cumbersome than its slimmer, Wi-Fi-less predecessor. The app is sparse when it comes to sous-vide guides and tips.

The Bottom Line The WiFi Nomiku lacks the sleekness and ease of use that we've seen with similar, less expensive sous vide circulators.

6.7 Overall
  • Design 5
  • Features 6
  • Usability 6
  • Performance 8

The sous vide game has changed since Nomiku popped up on the scene. The company launched its first immersion circulator on Kickstarter in 2012, making it one of the OGs of at-home sous vide cooking. Nomiku raised nearly $600,000, which proved that home cooks were eager to cook their food in a temperature-controlled water bath.

Four years later, there's a new wave of sous vide products out there. And this time, they have Wi-Fi. Once again, Nomiku was one of the first companies to include a wireless connection in an immersion circulator when it launched its Kickstarter campaign for the Wi-Fi version of their original cooker. But a delay in getting the final WiFi Nomiku to backers and retail customers have given other products such as the Anova Bluetooth + Wi-Fi and the FirstBuild Paragon Induction Cooktop opportunities to steal some of the connected sous vide cooking spotlight.

Had the $249 (roughly converting to £190 in the UK and AU$340 in Australia) WiFi Nomiku come out earlier, I might have regarded it as a pioneer in connected sous vide cooking. You can pick the temperature for your water bath from an app, along with set a timer and view user-submitted recipes. And food that I cooked with the WiFi Nomiku was delicious. But when you compare the WiFi Nomiku to other sous vide devices, the WiFi Nomiku feels like a dinosaur -- big, intimidating and in danger of extinction if it doesn't evolve. It's much bulkier than its less-smart model, which makes it harder to use. And the app lacks some of the tools I've seen with other products, such as cooking guides that are helpful to sous vide newbies.

When we first reviewed the original Nomiku, we advised you to hold off for the Wi-Fi version or shop around for a cheaper immersion circulator. Unfortunately, the WiFi Nomiku falls short of the competitors that have emerged in the sous vide marketplace. Before you set your sights on this immersion circulator, consider the less expensive and easier to use $199 (roughly £150 and AU$270) Anova Bluetooth + Wi-Fi.

Getting started with the WiFi Nomiku

Sous vide is a relatively new cooking method that has been around since the 1970s. You put your food in a plastic bag, get rid of as much air inside as you can (hence the name "sous vide" is French for "under vacuum") then put the food in a temperature-controlled water bath. Some countertop appliances are self-contained water-bath devices designed just for sous vide. Immersion circulators (like the WiFi Nomiku) attach to the side of the container of your choosing, which means they take up much less storage space than the water-bath devices and are often less expensive.

The original Nomiku (left) is thinner than the Wi-Fi version on the right.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

With the exception of the wireless connection, the WiFi Nomiku works the same way as the original version. Once you clip the device onto the side of a container filled with water, you can use a green wheel that surrounds the display to select the temperature you want the water to reach. However, the original Nomiku's turn wheel was small and included notches for your fingers that made it easy to adjust the temperature. The WiFi Nomiku has a larger display and, therefore, a larger turn wheel without finger notches that makes it harder to manually set the temperature. And the dial isn't the only feature to gain heft with the second Nomiku: At about 3.75 inches wide (about 9.53 centimeters), the Wi-Fi version is almost twice as wide as the original. The added girth and bulky appearance make the WiFi Nomiku feel outdated, even though it's a new product.

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