Sous vide cooking allows chefs to create impossibly tender, unbelievably flavorful dishes. But until now, it's required investing in (and storing) extra stuff—like an immersion circulator or temperature-regulated water bath. That's kept sous vide from catching on outside the kitchens of chefs and foodies, which is a shame.
Today, appliance behemoth GE debuted a new gadget that can turn any one of its new induction cooktops into a sous vide cooker. And just in case you don't want to upgrade your whole kitchen around induction, there's also a standalone induction burner that promises sous vide for anyone.
GE's newest device is a small thermometer that attaches to the side of a pot. It connects to any one of GE's newest induction cooktops via Bluetooth, and constantly gives feedback to the cooktop's thermostat to ensure precise temperature control.
That's what makes sous vide possible. The technique, which means "under vacuum" in French, slow-cooks vacuum-sealed food at low, constant temperatures. Induction cooktops are capable of reaching—and maintaining—extremely low temperatures, and the temperature controller keeps those temperatures constant.
The device will cost $149—about $50 less than many popular immersion circulators—and works with new 2015 GE Profile, Café, and Monogram induction cooktops.
The thermometer will also be compatible with the Paragon Induction Cooktop—a single induction burner that's currently in development. It's expected to sell as a package with the thermometer for between $200 and $300.
Perhaps just as interesting is how that thermometer came to life. It's part of GE's FirstBuild project, and was originally conceived not by a GE employee, but by a FirstBuild community member.
Purists will scoff at the lack of an immersion circulator, but GE says temperatures in the pot should be even enough not to require one. Potential buyers should also note that they'll need a vacuum sealer to get food ready for cooking, but enterprising home chefs who are short on space have little to lose in trying this thing out.