Joule turns sous vide from an experiment into an everyday cooking technique

HEY, I use my bread maker every week…for mixing dough that is…I don’t have a strong stand mixer
And I use my cheapo ronco dehydrator quite often also, making jerkey for a road trip next week.


A sous-vide machine doesn’t just “add heat to food”, like an oven does; this isn’t just a heating element you’re sticking in water. Sous-vide specifically brings a water bath to a specific temperature and then holds it there for as long as you need. It lets you cook meat (or eggs or veggies) at a low temperature, hands-free, for hours; you can set a steak or pork or whatever to cook and come back a few hours later to scientifically-timed perfectly cooked food that has no guesswork involved.

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I’ve been using my Anova since its original Kickstarter; its mounting gear is awkward but it can work with only a few inches of water. The thing works well, but the entire reason I got one was due to the promises of its Kickstarter campaign: a sous-vide machine controlled by an iPhone app that’d let you plug in the thickness and weight of your meat and desired doneness and it’d set the time/temp for you, taking all guesswork out. Unfortunately they never actually developed the app at all, so I just consult charts.

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I like the annova up/down clip 2nd best. The Nomiku has the best App and UI, imho. Nomiku is also a hard to use shape/clip in their 2.0 product, in my kitchen.

Because they all heat water to a .1 of a degree and the container you use impacts temp stability as much as that, they all produce the same quality food. It’s all about ease of use. I use the Joule a few times a week.

Like @SamWinston said, lower quality cuts of meat are elevated. I’ll buy vacuum sealed ribeyes at traderjoes and give them 75 min or (temp varies depending my kid being home or not, she likes more well done.) Any pre marinated and sealed meats are a great choice. Just remove the labels as they peel off in the water and keep them out of the circulator. Cheap, tasty meals you barely have to think about.


Yeah, it kind of does. It’s just more precise.

That’s… exactly what I said in the rest of the comment you edited out, yes. It adds heat to water but does so to a precise degree and, critically, keeps the temperature there for extended periods with the circulator. That’s what makes it different than any other cooking tool.

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Right. I’m disagreeing with the phrasing of your intro, not your entire premise, which is why I didn’t quote your entire premise. But I think you are right, I was being a bit pedantic about just one thing and maybe a bit short sighted.

Here’s what’s so great about Joule.

(1868 engraving of Joule’s device for quantification of the conversion of mechanical work to heat.)


You guys are too cranky. It’s another heating method. Maybe you need convection ovens, maybe you don’t.

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I’ll own that in this case, but I didn’t dis the sous vide method or your favorite sous vide device.

Despite the level of costs for the equipment. Sous Vide is pretty much available across a wide range of start up costs and budgets: from the DIY solutions mentioned, the partial DIY with premade controller and crock pot, to the higher end devices. This is a good thing.

The concept is one I’m sold on…steaks and short ribs are great and soft boiled eggs are perfect, carrots are fantastic and can be made without tending them and saved in the bag for latter use.

A break in your regularly scheduled programming?


Hey! How does this thingy work for pescatarians?

Fish cooks awesome

Sous Vide is probably the first cooking technique that was made popular by the Internet.
(Insert Thomas Keller and Molecular Gastronomy and El Bulli reference here…sorry spelling).
With the internet…people saw these chefs and said “HEY I CAN HACK THAT FOR HOME”

We’ve had many new cooking techniques in the past. Slow cookers, Fondu pots, convection oven, and microwave ovens. Made popular by magazines like Better Homes and Garden, and PBS cooking shows.

Internet cooks love to mess with technology and try new things, and they have the ability to talk to a wide range of people using technology in the kitchen. Look at this thread you have people saying “oh spend money” and people saying “hey, if you don’t have money to spend you can still make it work!”

Sous Vide for the home cook is a child of the internet. Not a specific product…but the concept and idea. Build it, make it or buy it. It’s now another tool in our kitchen.

Heck, the first thing I sous vided was simply using some bags, a digital thermometer and tea kettle.

EDIT: I think the idea of commercial available sous vide ‘sticks’ etc. is a great step to bring sous vide out of the lab/maker space and into the common kitchen. When you see these on the shelf at wal mart…you’ll know it’s arrived.

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Wow. That has not been my experience at all. I backed the Nomiku Wifi on Kickstarter, and received mine earlier this year. The Android app seems to be nothing more than a glorified web view. Unfortunately, it has never worked for me on the 2-3 devices I’ve tried it on. I am able to connect to the Nomiku, but completely unable to control it in any way. I have successfully controlled my Nomiku via their web site on my laptop, but that is far more cumbersome than just turning the dial to the appropriate temperature and letting it go. Maybe their iOS app is significantly better.

Based on my experience with the Wifi Nomiku, here are the things I would want in any sort of replacement:

  • It should be controllable via some sort of app or web interface
  • Bonus points if the app/web interface can do one or more of the following:
    • Notify me when the water has reached my desired temperature. The Nomiku app does not do this.
    • Notify me when my timer has completed. The Nomiku app does not do this.
    • If both my phone and my immersion circulator are in my house, and both are connected to my local network, they should be able to communicate with each other without talking to an intermediate server hosted on the public internet. The Nomiku app does not do this.
    • Conversely, if my phone and my immersion circulator are not both connected to my local network, but they do have a connection to the public internet, it should still be possible for them to communicate to each other, If I chose for them to.
      • This is so phenomenally low on my priority list that I considered leaving it off entirely. I have not yet encountered a situation where I would conceivable need to do this, but I am not an island, so I do not advocate preventing anyone from doing so. Perhaps if my existing app experience were better, I would see the value in this.
  • It should be controllable via a published set of APIs. My Nomiku is supposed to be able to do this, but they have not released any information on this as far as I’m aware. In all fairness, they have had some significant difficulties delivering the hardware to those that backed the crowdfunding effort, so I expect this has not been a high priority for them.
  • It should be controllable without the need for an app, at least for basic functionality. My Nomiku does deliver in this regard, otherwise it would be almost entirely unusable. There is a mechanical dial and a simple touchscreen interface that lets me set the temperature, a timer, and allows me to adjust settings like Wifi and temperature units, etc.
  • It sounds like the Joule does not have any sort of physical UI other than and on/off switch. :frowning:
  • It should allow me to set a timer so that I can keep track of how long I’m cooking food. My Nomiku does this.
  • It should provide an audible alert when this timer completes. My Nomiku does not do this. Instead, it silently begins counting up. At least I’ll know how long ago I didn’t get notified when my food finished cooking, I guess?

The above reads a bit like I’m disappointed in my Nomiku. Honestly, I am. However, I only paid $130 for it, and it has worked fairly reliably1 for me for what I use it for. It’s enabled me to easily cook a weeks worth of lunches at a time to take to work which are consistent and nutritionally sound. As such, I use it at least once a week, and I look forward to finding more ways to use it, and experimenting with it on things like ribs, brisket, and other things I haven’t thought of.

@jlw, since it seems like you own (or have owned) all 3 popular units (Annova, Nomiku, Joule), how would you rate them with regards to my requirements above? I had been looking at the Joule with some interest, but with it’s seeming lack of local operation, I think that would be a dealbreaker for me.

[1] : My Nomiku developed an issue wherein it would run for some period of time, and then spontaneously stop circulating water, set the temperature to 32F, and become entirely unresponsive. I contacted their support, sent it in, and received a replacement unit. I was without it for approximately 1 month, and I felt a little bad about the whole thing since there are some backers that still haven’t received their unit.

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