First, for those who may not be familiar with sous vide cooking (pronounced “sue-veed”), Sous Vide is a French term that describes cooking food in a sealed bag, immersed in water that is kept in the exact temperature that you set. This means steak is never over cooked, chicken is always tender, and salmon is always perfectly succulent. Needless to say, it’s a pretty awesome way to cook a whole host of foods and once mastered can really step up your cooking game. In the past, cooking sous vide required either a large expensive piece of restaurant equipment or a complicated stove top set up involving thermometers and constant heat management. However, in the last few years, a number of small home sous vide cookers have come to market and I received one of those, the Joule by Chef Steps, as a Christmas gift and have since been putting it through its paces.
The Basics: The Joule is a sleek little piece of equipment. It’s the smallest sous vide device on the market and its styling would lead you to believe it was made by Apple. Not only does its small size make it easy to store and transport, it also makes it take up very little space in a cooking vessel meaning you can use a regular pot or pan, no special bins required. The entire unit is waterproof, so no worries about ruining it if you overfill a pot. The unit is supported by a magnetic rubberized foot for use in metal pans and a sturdy metal clip for when you decide to go plastic. As far as controls go, the actual unit only has one button and a single LED. The rest of Joule’s functions are controlled wirelessly using your smartphone and an easy to use, helpful app. The app handles all the heavy lifting as far as time and temperature settings and even features video representations of how your food should turn out.
My Review: First, to be completely honest, the Joule is my first experience with a sous vide cooking device.That being said, this thing is awesome. So far I have cooked salmon, steaks, and pork loins. The salmon turned out perfectly pink and juicy and was some of the best salmon I have ever had. The pork loins, of which we were able to cook 4 at once in a single pan with a single Joule and then finish with a quick sear on a gas grill, turned out juicy and succulent and was the hit of our New Year’s party. Getting a steak done to your perfect temperature couldn’t be easier. Just set everything up with a few taps on the Joule app, then when the steak is done cooking with Joule give it a quick sear for 90 seconds or so on each side to give it a great crust. Joule is definitely a great new weapon in my culinary arsenal and I am really excited to see what I can cook next with it.
The Final Verdict: With a small, tough design and an easy to use app that is constantly being updated with cool new features by Chefsteps, I have to say Joule is a definitely a great buy! Want one for yourself? Check them out here!
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