Sous Vide Supreme

The long-awaited announcement of what MD and I have been working on for the past couple of years is at hand.  We have developed (along with a team of engineers, designers, manufacturers, business people and a host of others) the first stand-alone sous vide unit made specifically for the home kitchen.  It’s called the Sous Vide Supreme and is pictured at left, getting ready to ship.  The Sous Vide Supreme is the first new category of kitchen appliance since the microwave, so we’re incredibly excited about our role in what we think is a world-changing event.  At least world changing in the same way the microwave was world changing.

For those of you unfamiliar with sous vide, it is a French term meaning ‘under vacuum’ and refers to a method of cooking in which vacuum-packed foods are cooked in a water bath creating a taste and flavor that can’t be replicated any other way.  Though many of you may never have heard of the term ‘sous vide,’ it’s a good bet that you have tasted food prepared using the ‘sous vide’ method, especially if you have eaten at a fine restaurant.

Why on earth would two physicians who made their reputations caring for overweight patients and writing books about diet and nutrition veer off in the direction of manufacturing a kitchen appliance?  As is always said in situations such as this one, it’s a long story.  But not really that long, so I’ll tell it.

A couple of years ago I was trolling through the internet looking for something – I don’t remember what – and I came upon an article about the sous vide method of cooking.  I read about it and did a little more research.  Once I understood the concept, it all made perfect sense to me, so I did what I always do in cooking situations: I dragooned MD into doing all the work.  I did help a little, but she was the real technician in putting our first sous vide contraption together.

So you’ll understand how sous vide works, I’ll digress a little from the story of our development of the Sous Vide Supreme to explain.

Say, for instance, you want to cook a perfect medium rare steak.  You throw it on a very hot grill (or skillet) and try to guess the amount of time it will take for the extreme heat to penetrate the steak until it raises the temperature in middle of the steak to 134 degrees F.  Often you miss and either under cook or (more commonly) overcook the steak.  You can be more precise if you use a meat thermometer and pull the steak off the grill when the temperature reaches 134 degrees.  This meat-thermometer technique is obviously a more accurate way to ensure the perfect medium rare steak, but it has its drawbacks.  If you pull the steak off the grill when the center is at 134 F, the steak continues to cook and will end up more well done than medium rare.  If you pull it off at, say, 128 F, you are playing the guessing game again, hoping that it will cook to the 134 F on its own.

And we’re not even talking here about the problems you run into if you are cooking several steaks of differing thicknesses, a situation that multiplies the probability of having a not-quite-right outcome – at least with some of the steaks.

If you use either of the above methods precisely, you end up with a perfect medium rare steak…right in the middle.  The center of the steak is medium rare, but it gets more and more well done as it gets closer to the surface.  You have what looks kind of like a target with the perfect medium rare center being the bulls eye with the rest of the target being progressively more well done as it gets nearer the edges.

Sous vide solves this problem.  You season your steaks however you like them seasoned, then you put them in vacuum bags and seal them.  (You don’t have to have an expensive machine for this.  You can find vacuum bags and pumps for just a few dollars at most grocery stores.)  You then put the seasoned, sealed steaks into a sous vide water bath set for 134 F and walk away.  You can leave them in for an hour or eight hours – the time doesn’t really matter that much because as soon as the steaks reach 134 degrees throughout, they are perfectly medium rare and they don’t get any more well done beyond that point.  So if you’re having a dinner party and your steaks are in a sous vide cooker awaiting the meal and the pre-dinner chit chat runs a half hour (or an hour or two hours) over, it doesn’t matter.  You take the steaks out, remove them from the bag, finish them off for about 30 seconds, and you’re finished and have perfect medium rare steaks.  And it doesn’t matter if some of your guests want thick fillets while others want thinner sirloins and yet others want rib eyes – they all come out perfect at the same time.

Sous vide is the perfect method for cooking tougher cuts of meat.  Grass fed beef, though tasty, isn’t always the most tender of selections.  If, however, you put a couple of grass-fed beef steaks in a sous vide bath before you go to work, by the time you get home, they are as tender as a mother’s heart while still retaining all their taste.  MD blogged about flank steak cooked sous vide a while back.  You can cook flank steak, which is really tasty but tough, using the sous vide method and have a meat that is as tender as filet but with all the taste of the flank steak and best of all, not overcooked.

Here is a link to a full-page Wall Street Journal article from about a year and a half ago that describes the sous vide process and has a pretty good video showing how it works to cook a steak.

But it’s not just for steak. You can use the Sous Vide Supreme to cook any kind of meat and vegetables.  And can even use it to make ice cream base, béarnaise sauce, creme anglaise and anything that requires a precise temperature to cook properly.  Vegetables cooked sous vide are out of this world.  For instance, if you cook beets the traditional way by boiling them, you’re left with a lot of beet-colored water in the pan after you’ve removed the beets.  This beet-colored fluid contains flavonoids, carotenoids and other beneficial nutrients that you would prefer not to lose. If you vacuum seal the beets and cook them sous vide at 185 F, you end up with beets that are unlike any beets you’ve tasted before.  They look the same, but taste much more beet-y, because they have retained all the nutritious fluid that you previously threw down the drain after boiling.  The beets are tastier, have a better consistency and are more nutritious than beets cooked any other way.  It works the same with all veggies.

When MD built our first home-made sous vide contraption on our stove, she used a stock pot that she had to put up on a scaffold she built out of odds and ends she rounded up from the kitchen.  She had to get the pot above the flame because even at its lowest setting, the fire was hot enough to simmer water, which meant that the temperature was 212 F, way, way too hot for sous vide.  She had to get the bottom of the pot high enough, so that the temperature in the water in the pot was around 140 F (at that point, we thought 140 was the temperature required for a perfect medium rare steak).  It was no mean feat to do so.  She had to keep a candy thermometer in the pot and keep adding little bits of cold water and even ice to keep the water at 140 F. (I now wish that I had photographed this early contraption, but, alas, I didn’t, so you’ll just have to imagine it.) After keeping a couple of vacuum-sealed steaks submerged at roughly 140 F for a couple of hours (which required her constant attention), MD pulled them out, finished them off on the grill for a few seconds, and we cut into them.  We learned a couple of things.  First, 140 F is too hot for medium rare, and, second, finishing is an important part of the process.

MD with my invaluable technical advice fiddled with our device for another few runs of steaks before she hit on the way to cook them perfectly.  Once she did, and once we tasted them perfectly done, I was sold.  I decided that we needed to purchase a sous vide unit for our house.

I got online and searched.  What I discovered to my absolute amazement is that there was not a sous vide unit made for the home kitchen.  There were several companies making sous vide units for restaurant use, but the price of them would knock your socks off.  The least expensive one – and it was tiny – ran to over a thousand dollars.  Most costs many thousands of dollars.  I kept thinking that there had to be a home sous vide unit somewhere, but search though I did, I couldn’t find one.

The light bulb went on.

I reasoned that I couldn’t be the only one who wanted a home sous vide unit.  And of such thoughts are opportunities made.  I figured it couldn’t be that tough to make a unit, since, after all, they were nothing but sophisticated Crock Pots.  So I thought.  As it ends up, nothing is further from the truth, but I didn’t know that at the time.

During my online searches for some kind of home sous vide machine, I came across countless articles on sous vide cooking.  One of these articles contained a quote by Nathan Myhrvold – the retired Chief Technical Officer of Microsoft who has devoted his post retirement to cooking, photography* and various other endeavors – a sous vide expert who figured prominently in the Wall Street Journal article mentioned above, and who is the go-to guy whenever a writer needs a comment about sous vide.  When I read these words, I knew  there was a real opportunity.

Most dedicated home cooks purchase laboratory water baths, which are available on eBay, says Myhrvold.

“I believe someone will produce a home sous vide machine in the not-to-distant future,” says Myhrvold.  Basically, “a Crock-Pot with [a] very accurate thermostat.”

Knowing as I did Nathan Myhrvold’s status in the food world, I reckoned he would know if someone was already working on one, and since he didn’t mention it (and since I’m an eternal optimist), I figured there wasn’t anyone working on one.  So, it was full speed ahead.

What I didn’t realize was that Nathan Myhrvold was wrong.  Not about the no-one working on one, but about the technology required.  He made it sound easy.  But, as it turns out, a sous vide cooker is much, much more than a Crock-Pot with a very accurate thermometer.  To be able to cook sous vide, the temperature can’t fluctuate more than a half a degree in either direction.  For example, eggs cooked at 63 degrees C (you can set the Sous Vide Supreme for either C or F) are totally different from eggs cooked at 62 or 64 degrees.  Try to cook perfect eggs by setting a Crock-Pot at low, medium or hot, the temperature selections available for most.  You can’t do it.  The maintenance of a specific temperature for hours (and even days) is an absolute necessity in cooking sous vide, and that was what we set out to do in developing our machine.  This kind of temperature control can’t be maintained with a simple thermostat mechanism.

Once we decided to make the leap and try to develop a home sous vide unit, it dawned on us that neither of us knew anything about the appliance business.  So we hadn’t a clue as to how to launch such a venture.  But we allowed as how there were bound to be people who did.  So I set about finding them.

Through a business acquaintance, I got introduced to an entrepreneur and businessman who had some experience in the small appliance development business. (A pedigree in small appliance development would be more correct.  He took The Juiceman and The Breadman from concept to success and was also an executive VP at Salton with the George Foreman Grill.)

Bob Lamson, who is now a partner in the business and a great friend, is just the kind of guy I enjoy being around.  I, of course, don’t think he is nearly as smart as I am, but he may disagree.  He is trained in philosophy, has a undergraduate degree from Yale, has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Washington, ran for US Congress as a Democrat (and almost won), is the author of a book on the economics of the defense industry, and was in a small high school philosophy study group with Barrack Obama’s mother.  As you might imagine, Bob and I have many spirited conversations about many, many topics, which keep all our get togethers stimulating. He is a Seattle resident of long standing, thus our many trips to Seattle where a branch of the Sous Vide Supreme offices are located.

MD and I (MD mainly) came up with the specs for a home sous vide unit, and Bob, who knows everyone involved in the appliance business the world over, after gathering bids, recommended an engineering and design firm in London that got started on the design work.  After much back and forth, and many prototypes, we finally got the design we wanted and a prototype that worked like a charm.

After a lot of consultation, we concluded that if we had any hope of bringing our product to market at a reasonable price for the home consumer, we were going to have to have it made in China, a situation about which I had considerable angst.  We were confronted with the reality that if we made it somewhere else, our appliance would be too costly, and if we made it in China, it would, well, be made in China.  Bob assured us that many Chinese factories were state of the art, and that it was just a matter of selecting the right one.  Bob had had many products made in China (just about everything, I discovered, including the Macbook Pro I’m typing these words on is made in China) and had had no problems.  He told us he would go to China himself and check out any factory we might end up using.  MD and I decided to go as well.

I was in for a huge surprise.  During my years as an engineer I visited many factories, so I have a pretty good feel for what US factories look like.  The factory we decided to work with in China was a marvel of high technology.  In their showroom were many of the products we’re all familiar with here in the US, and as we were shown through the huge work spaces, there were all these same familiar products rolling off the assembly lines.  The testing facilities were beyond compare, and the engineers were terrific.  In fact, the engineers there solved many of the temperature-control and cooling problems that had been plaguing us.  Whenever we found anything problematic, the folks at this factory were immediately responsive in getting it fixed.  After spending a couple of days at the facility, meeting the engineers, and watching the testing processes, we felt more than comfortable using this factory for our product.

What we didn’t realize when we started this venture was that the difficulty in achieving the precise temperature control necessary to sous vide cooking meant that each and every machine had to be calibrated by hand after it came off the line.  The engineers at the factory developed a system to do this that required filling each machine with water and testing multiple temp settings without the process adding huge amounts to the cost of the system.  I found the Chinese engineers easy to work with and incredibly understanding of all the hassle required to bring a product to market in the US.

After designing, building and working all the kinks out of our Sous Vide Supreme, one hurdle remained for us.  We had to get it approved by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).  No UL approval, no US sales.  It was as simple as that.  No retail stores will touch an appliance that isn’t UL approved, and let me tell you, UL approval isn’t easy to come by.  The UL people visited the factory in China, worked with the engineers, made suggestions as to how we could improve our machine, and finally granted us the coveted UL Approved moniker just a couple of weeks ago.  It was this approval I was waiting for before I wrote this post.  I didn’t want to alert the world as to what we were doing until we had this final and most important process firmly in hand.

I can’t begin to tell you what an enormous project this has been.  You don’t really know (I certainly didn’t) what’s involved when you go down to buy a small appliance at your local department store.  We’ve had to hire designers to create logos, do artwork for the box; we’ve had to come up with how-to-use manuals (which are a part of getting a product through UL) and cooking instructions. We’ve had to test multiple iterations of the machine and tweak each one until we got it right.  We’ve had our units tested in major test kitchens here and in Europe, and worked with famous chefs to get it right.  We’ve had to deal with trans-oceanic freight companies and packing and shipping facilities in the US and China.  We ourselves have cooked a zillion different foods in our own test kitchen. It’s been a seemingly never-ending process as you can tell by how long I’ve been putting off the great revelation.  But now it’s done and ready to go.

Our PR firm, Duo PR, is sending us out on a cooking/demo tour that should start on October 18 if all goes well.  Most of the gigs we’ll be going on will be private affairs for potential retailers, but if any are public, I’ll post them so that any of you who have the opportunity and so desire may come to one of the events.

If you want more information about the Sous Vide Supreme, here is the website of our company, Eades Appliance Technology, aka EAT.  Sign up where indicated and we’ll email you information as it becomes available.  And, BTW, the ‘Eades’ in Eades Appliance Technology means a bunch of Eadeses, not just MD and me.  We’ve tapped our family for legal advice, financing, food tasting and creative assistance.  So it is truly a family enterprise plus Bob, Mo and the rest of the staff at the Sous Vide Supreme office in Seattle.

Since this blog isn’t really a blog to sell stuff – other than an occasional recommendation here and there – I’m not going to be writing much on the Sous Vide Supreme.  I’ll have links to the website on the links, and I’ve started a Twitter account so I can put up links on sous vide cooking.  But other than those, this is pretty much it. (I may have one other major announcement, if we can get the legal-contractual issues worked out, but that should be it.) Many people have wanted to know what we’ve been working on so mysteriously, so this is it.  In fact, this is the very first piece to go out into the world about the Sous Vide Supreme. Other than the team working on it, you are the first in the world to be learning about this product.

Next post I’ll be back to the nutritional stuff.

Here are a few photos of MD cooking steaks in one of the sous vide machines in our kitchen.

Here you see a couple of units on our counter so you can get the feel for the size. To the right are cooked, vacuum-sealed steaks pulled from the water bath ready to be finished. The steaks are lying in the inverted top of the Sous Vide Supreme. This top as tray was one of MD’s innovative brainstorms.

SVS steaks up close1

In this close up of the perfectly medium rare steaks, you can see that they have been seasoned before being put in the vacuum bags. They are now ready for the skillet. But first, you’ve got to put some butter in the skillet and heat it until the butter is foaming. Then you put the steak in and leave it for just about 20-30 seconds on one side, then flip and sear on the other side for only a few seconds.

SVS steak being cooked1

One steak in the pan searing on one side and about ready to be flipped.

SVS steaks being cooked1

Two steaks cooked perfectly. I wish the photo were as perfect as the steaks. I intended to take a picture of the steak after it was cut, but my hunger got the best of me and I forgot.

* Nathan Myhrvold took the photos I displayed in a previous blog post.

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209 thoughts on “Sous Vide Supreme

  1. Whats the $$$ ????

    I hate seeing cool stuff with no pricing info on the web…

    We’ve been waiting to get our final manufacturing costs nailed down, which we just now have done. The Sous Vide Supreme will retail for $449.00. Those who sign up early on the website will get a $50.00 discount, making it $399 (which is a third and half the price of a new commercial model).

  2. Wow! That was good, quick thinking! I admire you and MD’s entrepreneurial spirit. I remember searching around for sous vide equipment on the net, but gave up.

    Please spill the beans on price. How much moola?

    Slightly off topic, but maybe you could come up with a blender that actually works?! Mine self destructed yesterday while making one of your shakes. A timely coincidence perhaps… but hey, if you’re getting into the appliance business…:)

    We’ve had great success with the Blendtec blender. You can see ours to the left of the two sous vide machines on our kitchen counter. Blendtec blenders cost about the same as a Sous Vide Supreme, somewhere between $350/$400.

    The Sous Vide Supreme retails for $449 with a $50 discount to anyone who signs up early. So, the moola is $399.

  3. Very nice — I do the crock pot + PID controller method, which gives decent temp control, but this seems so much more convenient and accurate. Looks like you are using a Foodsaver for the vac packing rather than an industrial vac packer? And, of course, what’s the retail?

    In the early phases of our development we tested a PID controller and a Crock Pot as well (this is the setup shown in the WSJ article I linked to in the post), but we had problems with the probe(s) breaking, and, unless you get the probe placed absolutely correctly, you have trouble precisely controlling the temperature.

    We used a hand pump we bought at the grocery store to do the steaks pictured in the blog. We have multiple vacuum machines (no commercial ones) that we’ve tested, and most of them work well.

    Price is $449 minus $50 discount for early orderers.

  4. Great story, and great idea. Personally, I would have been worried about letting the Chinese engineers know too much about the product, fearing they might end up producing it for themselves. Did you take any precautions to prevent this?

    We took precautions, for what it’s worth. We’re working with an extremely reliable middle man who is located both in the UK and in Hong Kong. He and his team will keep an eye on things for us.

  5. Sous vide means “under vacuum” not “under pressure” this would be “sous pression”.

    You are right, and I knew that. For some reason I was thinking of Thomas Keller’s book about sous vide titled Under Pressure. I’ve fixed the post. Thanks for the heads up.

  6. This is awesome, Dr. Mike. After reading Dr. MD’s sous vide blog post several months ago I investigated the technique for myself and found the situation to be exactly as you described!

    I even bought a blow-torch to finish meat (you can always find a use for a blow-torch around the house…) while deciding to buy one of the few available inexpensive temperature control systems designed for crockpots.

    Good luck and I hope this is world changing!

    PS – FYI, your website signup form has some problems with Firefox – possibly cookie related. I had to use IE and even then it demanded a phone number (though that is optional).

    Thanks for the good wishes. We are working on the website.

    We, too, often finish meats with a small butane torch. Many restaurants use that method as well.

  7. Congratulations. Not just on your new product but for being someone who has an idea and acts on it. I can’t tell you the number of “ideas” that have popped into my head over the years that some other person with the same idea takes the initiative to act on and prosper from.

    There are so many possibilites to your machine. One being for spouses who claim they can’t cook. At least I KNOW he can brown. Oddly, I bet the low-fatties out there will love it too since they can marinate and cook without fat.

    Since I love “kitchen gadgets” anyway, I’m definately going to check this out. I can’t wait too see you and the Mrs. hawking them on HSN!! Too bad Billy M isn’t still around. This would pair great with his vacuum sealer product!!

    I think it’s great there are already cookbooks out utilizing this method if not the appliance. Good luck!

    Thanks!

  8. I guess I’ll be the first to ask since this wasn’t mentioned in the article. Isn’t Sous Vide dangerous at low temperatures due to possible bacterial contamination? Is there some floor on the temp gauge to prevent this from happening? Just what I’ve heard. Still, looks interesting.

    Oh, big fan of the diet books and blog. Keep up the great work!

    I suppose any kind of cooking is dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. We’ve spent a lot of time preparing instructions that if followed will minimize any problems.

  9. Well, I can’t wait for one. Quality looks nice. It should go well with my Cuisinart appliances and Al-Clad stainless steel cookware.

    I can certainly vouch for your readers, doc, that what I call “low & slow” is the way to go for both steaks and roasts. Not having a sous vide, I have come up with methods like oven cooking steaks at 150 using a meat probe and thermometer, removing them at an internal of about 125, letting them rest with the probe still in until the internal temp peaks, then firing them in the broiler.

    I do get excellent results, medium rare edge to edge:

    http://freetheanimal.com/2009/01/odds-ends-admin-note-a-question-and-food-porn.html

    More “low & slow” here:

    http://tinyurl.com/yc67rml

    But the purpose of my comment isn’t to in any way upstage this fine achievement, but rather to say that the good results I have achieved take tons of time, effort, and constant attention; and when you cook a tri-tip roast at 150, be prepared for a couple of hours at least. A prime rib roast? The one we did last Thanksgiving took about 6 hours at 150.

    So, alas, this will be welcome and I’ll be purchasing one the day they’re available. If the vegetables are as good as you indicate, I guess I’ll have to get two units.

    We use two units ourselves now. One for meat and one for vegetables, so that both can be cooked at the same time.

    If you do get one be sure to let me know what you think of it.

  10. Dr Eades,

    Congratulations! This looks terrific and should become a real must-have appliance, especially for us Protein Power eaters. I just have one question.

    Are there any concerns about chemicals leaching into foods from the plastic bag after sitting in a hot-water bath for several hours? Is there any specific plastic bag you have researched that minimizes the potential for such leaching?

    Yes, we have looked at this issue. Any plastic bags made for sous vide are fine. Any we include or market along with will be fine.

  11. I would like to volunteer to test this product for you in my home. Please package one up and ship it to me along with a box of steaks & I’ll let you know what I think.

    I’ll get a man right on that.

  12. Sounds interesting. Approximately how much will said appliance retail for?

    Will retail for $449. Early orders get a $50 discount, which makes the price $399.

  13. Wow, that looks awesome — particularly because I’ve been discovering the difference that slow-cooked-food makes! The only question is… how will I fit it into my already too-full kitchen?!?

    One question: Any worries about chemicals from the plastic bags leaching into the food?

    As long as you use the appropriate bags, there are no worries.

  14. I have a digital PID controller that I use with a crockpot for sous vide cooking; it works fine, but it’s not nearly the elegant, self-contained unit you’ve created. To be honest, my favorite sous vide food is overnight, soft-boiled eggs. But, the tenderizing that three days at 135 degrees can do to tough cuts of meat is absolutely amazing; beef heart comes out so tender that the distinctive flavor is the only indication that it’s beef heart.

    You’ve definitely got the sous vide bug. Once you start cooking that way, it’s hard to go back to the old way.

  15. Being half Chinese (by marriage) and spending significant amounts of time there, I can attest they are able manufacture virtually anything and do it precisely to your specifications. That’s the good part.

    The bad part(s) are: They do not indulge in much R&D themselves — too expensive when others do it for you for free. So by way of culture (it is a society that virtually requires its citizens to break most laws just to survive, so these “victimless crimes” are part of every day life there), they do not respect your Intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyright, etc.). These are just more of those silly rules that prevent them from making ends meet. They simply do not understand (or respect) IP.

    The result is that you should expect to see two disappointing things to occur. One: Many unaudited units will ship out the back door and end up in the “night markets” or possibly even foreign gray markets. The biggest example of this is North Face jackets. $5 in Shanghai, and shipped worldwide, but not by North Face.

    The second thing to expect is that your device will be cloned by various other manufacturers. They won’t work as well as yours, and they wont last very long, but they will look nearly identical.

    They have no QC requirements there (UL or otherwise), and if they did, the certs would be forged as quickly as the units roll off the line.

    Having said all that, I’m glad to hear you forged ahead with this idea. Good on yah. Well done. I hope its a bestseller.

    What with all the time, effort and expense we’ve put into it, I, too, hope it is a bestseller.

    I’m aware of all the problems with manufacturing in China, but that’s simply part of what you have to endure to get the quality you want at a reasonable price.

  16. …You are actually a Genius.

    This looks totally bitchin’, is it coming to the UK?

    If so, the fat-reducing grilling machine is gone. Sorry George!

    Bitchin?!?!?! I haven’t heard that word since I was a teen on the beaches of Southern California. What a blast from the past.

    It is indeed coming to the UK. If we can get our legal deal worked out this Wednesday, it may be there sooner than we thought.

    The Sous Vide Supreme is a fat-reducing machine; it’s a fat-saving flavor machine.

  17. Ah, the real answer to pasteurizing eggs in the shell…

    There is one important question left unanswered: What’s this contraption gonna cost?

    $449 minus $50 discount for early orderers.

  18. It’s a beautiful looking machine and I really looking forward to this. I trust you and MD implicitly and I know this is a going to be a quality device.

    Thanks for your vote of confidence. We appreciate it.

  19. Dr Mike,

    Congratulations! Great idea!

    I bought Thomas Keller’s sous vide book Under Pressure after your post on sous vide (last fall) got me interested. As you mentioned above, the equipment available at that time was quite expensive so I never pursued the technique.

    I will certainly line up to get your new sous vide machine! I hope many others do so as well!

    Good luck to you all,

    Regards,

    Philip Thackray

    Thanks very much. Hope you enjoy the machine if you get one.

  20. Doesn’t the heat cause leaching of the plastic and/or other chemicals from the vacuum sealed bag into the food??

    Not if you use the correct bags.

  21. Is it for sale yet? If so, how much and where?

    Should be available by the end of October through the website. We are working on a deal with a specialty retailer that may carry the units nationwide for the Christmas season. The price is $449 but early orders through the website will get a $50 discount, making the price $399.

  22. How exciting! I am intrigued… Cooking is pretty much my favorite pastime and I love trying out new techniques. I already signed up on the website for more info! Hopefully it will be out in time so I can put it on my Christmas list. :) Congrats to you!

    Thanks!

  23. Sounds neat. Hopefully they will be around in New Zealand somtime in the not too distant future.

    Also, is there a vacuum packing feature on the sous vide or do you need to get your own pump?

    I had to laugh at the George Foreman reference though. “Knock out the fat!”

    What happens if your PR firm comes up and says “we need to make this more heart healthy, how about a fat-reducing sous vide machine?”

    We’ve got our PR people well-enough schooled that they won’t be making that recommendation.

    Hope to have the machines in NZ at some point soon.

    We will include a hand pump and a few bags in the box, but you can use any kind of vacuum machine you may already have.

  24. $399, eh… I guess I’m going to have to consider getting one for my wife for Christmas.

    “Say, for instance, you want to cook a perfect medium rare steak.”

    Ugh. I consider “Medium rare” way overcooked. I show the steak to the grill long enough to scare away any bacteria on the surface, but not long enough to cook it. If it was safe, I wouldn’t bother with the grilling part.

    Although, considering the other comments, I guess I’ll have to try it sous vide style. Is 134 deg hot enough to kill E. coli? Or should I sear the surface on the grill first (In which case, I’d have to do it while not hungry…)?

    Just about everything is killed at 130 F. We’ve researched all the stuff, but I’m traveling right now (in Little Rock, AR at this precise moment) and don’t have all the info with me. We’ll have it all in the materials that come with the machine, however. In the interim, you can take a look at Douglas Baldwin’s A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking that he’s made available online and that contains all the temperatures that you might need. We are working with Douglas on the Sous Vide Supreme project to create a more comprehensive book.

  25. Dr. Eades,

    First, congratulations on your finished project.
    My grandma was french and she used some homemade contraption to cook this way.
    Her vegetables were the best I’ve ever tasted.
    Like Richard, I’ve discovered the slow-method….especially when grilling grass fed beef. People can’t believe that I grill meat for 2 hours.

    I look forward to purchasing the SousVide Supreme….but look forward more to taste the end result with my favorite grass fed flank steak.
    How much do the bags cost? And I’m assuming they are specially made for the process of heating up. (ie, chemical/plastic contamination)
    Marc

    You can purchase sous vide bags at many grocery stores. The cost maybe 50 cents apiece and can be reused if you want to go to the trouble of washing them out. If the Sous Vide Supreme catches on, I suspect the bags will become much less expensive, quickly.

  26. They use this method on Top Chef all the time (never really explaining it or talking about it, there is drama over at the oven that is much more interesting, right?)…and now I’m totally sold. Of course, with my kitchen under construction I’m not sure I can order early or ever convince my husband that I need yet another kitchen appliance. Thank you very much for the impending marital argument 😉

    Ah, that’s me. I love to sow marital discord. :-)

    If you notice on Top Chef, once a chef turns to sous vide, he/she usually wins. It’s the secret weapon.

  27. Excellent!

    I was introduced to sous vide by another blogger who came up with a pretty ingenious home contraption for making it work since she, like you, was shocked at the price of commercial units. I fell in love with the idea although I wasn’t ready to build my own setup. Now I don’t have to build my own!

    And thanks for dispelling some of the myths about China. I know many people who are shocked when they actually visit China rather than buying into the stereotypes sight unseen. If people knew the story of where China has come from since the mid to late 70’s they would be even more amazed. Their history is even darker than the worst days of the former Soviet Union.

    By the way, you should use a grill to finish those steaks. Much tastier. :-)

    Michael
    Nutrition and Physical Regeneration

    We did use a grill initially, but once Heston Blumenthal told us about cooking them in foaming butter, we were stunned at how much better they were than when finished on the grill. Try it. And make sure you pour the hot butter from the skillet over the steaks when you serve them.

  28. Fantasiticol!

    IMHO, all you need to cook up a great steak, particulary a grass fed steak, is some sort of sous-vide contraption and a big green egg grill! In fact, that was the subject of my very first blog post ever.(http://beefandwhiskey.com/?p=6).

    Do you include some cooking instructions? I’ve figured out how to do steak and salmon flawlessly in the crock pot, but it’s trickier with other kinds of meat, and I dont have the time and budget to go around ruining dinners to figure out what works, haha. For instance, I tried doing pork chops the same way as steaks, but they came out tasting like rubber! I also tried sous-viding steaks and then carrying them to a friends house to cook-no good, they tasted like rubber!

    Looking forward to adding one of these to the kitchen counter!

    Pork chops cooked correctly are absolutely divine. Sous vide is the only way you can get thick pork chops to be juicy all the way through yet thoroughly cooked. You have to taste it to believe it. The cooking time is a function of how thick they are. They need to be bagged individually and cooked for at least 1.5 hours at 134 F. Pull them out, run the bags with the pork chops under cold water for a few seconds just to cool down the outside of the meat. Then remove them from the bag, dry them off, and sear in foaming butter. MMMmmmmmm.

  29. Hey Mike, now an entrepreneur.

    CONGRATULATIONS on having C.O. Jones as one of the company members, and of producing a better mousetrap. While the Palaeolithic diet is a good guide to what we put in our mouths, by reverting to the Emersonian Era for inspiration and creating a means to make mouth watering MEAT dishes should further enhance our big brains.

    Even better, it’s a family thing, Cosa Nostra, a cooperative venture.

    Thoughts which occur:

    Marketing Pitch: “EAT SousVide”

    Company Motto: “EAT, drink and be merry” or “Mangiare, dormire, e siate allegri”.

    Dr Mike Objective: To NOT go head to head with George Foreman in a TV ad.

    Fred Hahn could promote his exercising approach as “Le Sous Vide Burn”

    Will Sally Fallon be as disapproving of Les Eades as she was about your recommendation to use microwaves? Perhaps not: Micro is “fast food”, SousVide is “slow food”

    I notice clever Google manages to plug the add-on sous vide controller from FreshMeals Solutions. It will probably garner them some sales until the market realises that EAT SousVide is the iPhone product!

    Would I use a propane burner?
    When between wives, I had a second-best cast-iron pan dedicated to steak, which I first proved. To cook, I heated it until it smoked, with neither fat nor oil; then slapped on the steak for 30-40 seconds each side. It charred in its own muscle fat, making the kitchen blue with smoke. After eating, I cleaned the pan by sprinkling it with salt and wiping it down: no water, no cleanser. It was a bachelor time: pan-fried steak and wokked beansprouts.

    Cest la vie en rose!

    Meanwhile, those kidneys need cooking.

    Thanks for all the marketing tips. I’ll be sure NOT to go mano a mano with George Foreman on TV. I probably wouldn’t last long.

    And I’ve got to ask, What is the deal with having C.O. Jones as a company member. I missed whatever that means.

  30. Wow!! I’m so impressed… Big congratulations to you and MD!!
    Braising has been my favorite cooking method for a few years, and I – like many other readers, it seems – was unable to find any affordable sous vide device that I could use to do some sous vide braising. Now this looks like the perfect appliance for me. I can’t wait to get one.

    If you do get one, I hope you enjoy it. We love ours.

  31. You’ve sold it very well with this blog post! It looks very smart, too. Is Canada on your list of places to distribute?

    Canada is indeed on our list. In fact, the first place we’re previewing it on our coast to coast tour is in Vancouver on Oct 18.

  32. Hi Mike, Mary and all involved,
    Congratulations on your new venture and I wish you all the very best for its success. Any ideas of the availability of the machine “down under” in Australia?

    Thanks very much. It will be available there; I just don’t know when yet.

  33. Good stuff. Dr Mike but for all those folks that find pork chops a bit unkosher and like nice, juicy lamb chops instead? Have you tried cooking lamb chops in it? Anyway, seems like a nice product. I am not much of a cook but will consider it . Good luck!

    Lamb chops are incomparable.

  34. Wow. Hard to type while salivating. But I have questions: How much warm water vapor would this generate and put in the air? (thinking of walls & windows in the winter) How much water does it require? Do you fill and empty each time your use it? How do you empty it? What is required to clean it? What are the outside dimensions? (thinking of my little apartment kitchen) How heavy is it? How heavy when full? ***Will this ship to Canada?***

    I don’t have on here (I’m traveling), so I can ‘t measure. They absolutely do not heat up the kitchen nor put out vapor. They are very green even though I’m not particularly. Use very little power. You can keep the same water in and use repeatedly. No real cleaning is required unless a bag would happen to break. Which has never happened to us, and we’ve used multiple machines a zillion times. It will ship to Canada. As I wrote to another commenter, our first stop on the preview tour is Vancouver.

  35. There seems to be concern by some cities Health departments about the potential for food poisoning if not used correctly ?? Article in Globe and Mail about NY restaurants :

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/article794462.ece

    do you think this is just over zealous health
    officials worried because its a new thing? I think they are more concerned with having meat in vacuum, than cooking temp….?
    Whatever the case, I will take one if you will be shipping to Canada!!

    I think it’s a little over zealous. But health departments hold restaurants to standards that could never be met in home kitchens. We will be shipping to Canada.

  36. You’ve long been one of my heroes, not just for your ability to separate good science from bad science, but because of your generosity in offering all of your advice in a free forum. However, I’m completely let down by your sous vide enterprise. I trust that it will bring financial security to your family and you certainly deserve that. But all of this excitement over tender meat and flavorful vegetables. I’ve been secretly hoping that you and MD had helped to engineer some sort of international peace accord or mend Arab/Israeli relations. Food preparation? Bah,humbug.

    Sorry that I’ve failed you so miserably. :-)

  37. A major tip of the cap to you and Mrs. Eades! On behalf of your loyal readers, we wish you success, and I am envious( yet happy) about your endeavor. The history of entrepreneurialist activities is strewn about with those for whom(the boat company) the results have led to improved character development above all, with characters included at quite the extra charge.

    A question, what do you do when half your guests want medium rare, and the other medium well? You da man!

    You cook them all medium rare in the Sous Vide Supreme, then leave the medium one(s) on the skillet or grill a little longer.

  38. OK, I guess I’m gonna have to buy one….though I doubt it will make my very expensive grill obsolete.

    Any thoughts on getting Alton Brown or America’s Test Kitchen to try one out?

    Who knows. We’re working on a bunch of different angles.

  39. That’s what many of us who are engaged in tuning a PID-controller with a stockpot or rice cooker have been waiting for! I could not find any specifications on http://www.sousvidesupreme.com. What is the resolution of the temperature display? What is temp. accuracy (traceable to NIST standards?). Temp. stability? Amplitude and duration of initial overshoot after ramping up to 55°C from ambient? Amplitude of temp. dip and recovery time after disturbance with e.g. a one-pound-iceAKKU of -20°C? Inner and outer dimensions? Weight? Forced circulation? Draining tap, or do you have to transport the unit to a sink and turn it upside down to change the water?

    I’m traveling right now and don’t have all these specs at hand. There is no forced circulation; the temperature holds within a 1 degree tolerance (0.5 degree either way). It does not have a draining tap, but it is easy to carry and dump because of the offset handles. We usually leave the water in ours because it stays clean. In tests the Sous Vide Supreme has proven equal to or better to comparably sized commercial units in all parameters tested.

  40. Is this all about taste or does it reduce AGE’s or something? Must start watching Iron Chef…

    It absolutely reduces AGES, but it’s really designed for the cooking properties that bring about the phenomenal taste.

  41. Is it possible to cook both meat and veggis in the same unit at the same time?

    No, not in the same unit at the same time. Meat is cooked at lower temps; veggies cooked at about 185 F. But, no problem, you can order two.:-)

    We use two at the same time. One for our meat and one for vegetables.

  42. Looks good! Is it dual voltage, i.e. can it work in countries with 220-240 volts?

    We’ll have machines configured differently electrically for other countries.

  43. I’d love one of these, but I live in New Zealand, which has a different electrical system (different voltage, different plugs). Hopefully it’ll be such a huge success that you’ll be able to go international.

    That’s our plan. The first machines were actually designed for UK voltage and had to be changed to work in the US, so refitting the electronics is no problem.

  44. First off, I just want to thank you for your continually amazing blog, twitter, and your books (also for introducing me to Good “Calories, Bad Calories”).

    On to my question:

    Are you interested in additional marketing for the product as it starts to get released in the U.S?

    I work for a Santa Barbara marketing agency, RevUpNet LLC, which works with clients as a source of extension of their marketing department. We specialize in setting up and managing affiliate programs (like the Amazon affiliate program, except we set it up on platforms like CJ.com), and also offer other services like radio advertising, and search engine marketing. I’ve really wanted to talk to you about potentially working with you before, but now seems like the perfect opportunity.

    If it doesn’t sound like a good fit for this product, then it might be a good fit for your past nutritional supplements and other products you’ve developed in the past.

    Again, thank you for continuing to take the time to share your thoughts and all the research you find. I really believe that continuing spread of knowledge will end up helping the obesity issue (and the enormous consequences it will bring if it continues).

    Thanks for the offer. I’ll have our business guy get in touch with you.

  45. Fan-freaking-tastic. I’ve been thinking about trying s-v cooking since I saw Myhrvold talking about it a few years back, but the cost and Rube Goldberg nature of options for the home cook made it a passing fancy. Sign me up!

    Go to the website and sign in. We’ll send you all the info you need as soon as we get it all together. Machines should be available by late October.

  46. http://www.cooksillustrated.com/ has been on to the low and slow, finish hot, method for some time, you ought to see about getting them a review unit, the magazine is available in most news racks (Safeway, for instance). Recommended, they don’t just give you a recipe, they explain why the other ways to make the dish do not work as well, because they tried them. The do the America’s Test Kitchen show on PBS ( http://www.americastestkitchen.com/ ), and also http://www.cookscountry.com/ magazine and TV.

    Now how to come up with $400 for a kitchen appliance.

    Thanks for the suggestions. As to the price, just be glad it’s not a nice espresso maker you want. Talk about pricey.

  47. Congrats to you and MD, looks like a great product. I’m an engineer and I can appreciate the challenge it must have been to get such precise temperature control at a reasonable cost.

    Sounds like a cool deal where you could come home for lunch or dinner and have a steak or chop ready to eat in minutes. I saw your comment on pork chops. I love those but usually avoid them because they’re so hard to cook them without drying out.

    Question: Is this good for seafood (fish/shellfish)? Or is fish already so tender that it doesn’t help?

    Yes, it makes terrific seafood. Scallops are beyond compare and easy to cook without overdoing them. Fish works the same way – tender, moist and delicious without ever worrying about overcooking.

  48. If I buy one through the website will you ship it to Australia?

    Write to the folks through the website. I don’t have anything to do with that part of it. But I would imagine that if you were willing to pay the freight, we would be willing to ship.

  49. Dr. Eades said:

    We did use a grill initially, but once Heston Blumenthal told us about cooking them in foaming butter, we were stunned at how much better they were than when finished on the grill. Try it. And make sure you pour the hot butter from the skillet over the steaks when you serve them.

    I will have to try it again. I like it but it wasn’t the same for me. But then again I flame char my steaks so maybe that is difference. At any rate I will have a good time experimenting! Thanks again for the post.

    Michael
    Nutrition and Physical Regeneration

  50. Dr.Eades…Is there any concern about using plastic bags, p.o.ps etc at heat ?

    Any other type of bags possible ?

    Thankyou

    Not any other type of bags I know of. Make sure you use bags made for sous vide, and you should be fine.

  51. Don’t know if you know this, but using Firefox 3.5 to submit my information to the form on the Sous-vide Supreme website doesn’t give me any feedback after I’ve clicked “Submit Information”. It just goes to the top of the page.

    As someone who’s developed for the web for almost 10 years, no feedback is a big user experience no-no. Definitely suggest you get your web guys to look at that. Good luck with the oven, I’m in Taiwan, so I’m going to assume it won’t be over here any time soon :(

    Reported it to our web guys. Thanks for the heads up. Don’t know when it will be in Taiwan.

  52. The big reveal! I would never have guessed this would be it in a million years. I have just been complaining to people that I’m a horrible meat cook despite how much of it I eat. I can never get my fish right and my steaks are always overdone or too undercooked. Given how much I love how I don’t have to babysit food in my crockpot, I think I will indeed have to buy this thing… sounds like the perfect solution to my terrible cooking skills. Would you happen to recall offhand how many watts of electricity (approx, I assume it depends on the temp setting) the US version will use?

    I don’t recall, but I can get those figures when I get off the road. It doesn’t pull many watts, though.

  53. Congratulations Mike and MD, I wish you all the best for the success of this nifty little unit. I can’t wait for them to be released in New Zealand!

    In reference to the C. O. Jones comment by Desmondo – pronounce it as if it were Spanish and all will come clear!

    Yes, thanks. It had finally dawned on me. I’m not usually that slow.

  54. Hi
    Hope they are coming to Australia as well! I’ve never heard of it but now I guess that’s the way “Hogs Breath” restaurants do their steaks which are great! Do you have “Hogs Breath” over there?

    A couple of questions – I don’t speak French – do you say it like “sue” “viday”?

    What is the cost to run it – if you are leaving it on for a couple of days?
    And what if you like “rare” – is that still doable?

    cheers
    Lynne

    No ‘Hogs Breath’ here that I know of.

    You pronounce it ‘Sue veed’ (rhymes with weed).

    The machine is very inexpensive to run – even for a couple of days at a time. Rare is easily doable. You just set the temp to that for rare.

  55. Damnit! I’m already trying to convince myself and my wife that we have space for the Gaggia Titanium fully automatic espresso maker. Its cheap at Costco online for $699 and I figure they would deal with any problems like they do for everything else.

    Now I’m going to have to try and convince her that we NEED this and have room for it also. I’m going to have to start throwing out stuff in the kitchen. I would just buy a bigger house and sell a couple of ours but the housing market here in Tampa really has me screwed.

    Any clue about the warranty? I didn’t see that question yet. That’s my problem with the Espresso maker and why I’m considering it from Costco.

    There will be a warranty. That’s one of the things we’re working on with our legal team right now. At this point I don’t know what it will be, but we’ll have it figured out by the time the machines are available.

  56. those pan fried steaks look nice and all. In fact, I gotta try that soon, since it’s quite illegal for me to use a charcoal grill on my balcony any more. That said, I don’t really believe the foamy butter method can possibly come close to the glory of a sous-vided grass fed steak tossed onto the molten glow of the big green egg roaring at full blast.

    Here’s what I’m talkin ’bout:

    http://beefandwhiskey.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/sousvidesteakcutopen.jpg

    Looks great. I thought the same way you do until I tried the foamy butter method. Try it then decide.

  57. How does this unit do on cooking food from the freezer? Can you freeze something in the sous vide bags and then just pop it in the unit to cook? or does it have to be defrosted first? Either way, I’m in. Count me sold. I wonder how turkey tastes when done sous vide. I hate dry turkey breast.

    Works perfectly from freezer to machine. Many people season their meat, vacuum seal it, throw it in the freezer, then pull it out in the morning, toss it in the sous vide unit, remove and finish when they get home from work.

    Turkey is the one thing we haven’t tried. If it’s anything like chicken or duck, it will be phenomenal.

  58. Congratulations on this great achievement! ! I know what I want for Christmas!

    And here I thought your big secret was a new political party. 😉

    Nah, I’m trying to escape political parties, not create them.

  59. Dear Dr Eades,
    I never heard of sous vide cooking until I ran across the term in MD’s blog. Of course I had to look it up, and was intrigued – except for the prices of the commercial machines. Since we are retiring soon, I’m not sure $400 is affordable for us, but I’d love to try cooking in one.

    On another topic I’ve been lo-carbing for some time, keeping my blood sugars under control but not losing weight. Your article on intermittant fasting prompted me to try the 15 hr version, and the scale is finally moving down. Thanks for all the great infrmation, nd all the ammunition against vegetarianism, which I have always felt was just wrong.

    One point about your newsletter: every apostrophe is replaced by a little box containing 00 above 92. i use the latest Foxfire and Thunderbird.

    I assume you get the email version? I don’t really know what happens when it goes out that way. I’ll check with my web guys who are mad at me right now because they’re covered up with sous vide stuff.

  60. Uh oh. I am a terrible gadget freak. That combined with the fact that the most serious of my marital spats center around me over-grilling her steaks, and I think that I’m going to have to get one of these units. What is its capacity … i.e. what volume of food can it cook in a single session?

    I don’t have the specific capacity specs with me now, but it can easily cook six pretty good sized steaks.

  61. “… but once Heston Blumenthal told us about cooking them in foaming butter, we were stunned at how much better they were …”

    I routinely clarify my butter to use for cooking, which allows for higher temperatures and avoids the carbs. But I’m guessing clarified butter (ghee) won’t foam. Is that correct? If so, it seems the SVS (Sous Vide Supreme) will eliminate yet another pesky kitchen chore.

    Also, what is the capacity of your new wonder? More than the four steaks you’ve pictured?

    I suspect you’re right about the ghee not foaming. The Sous Vide Supreme will easily cook six steaks.

  62. Sounds fantastic. I think that one of your big obstacles will be the argument that you can’t leave food between 40-140 F for more than 2 hours that has been ingrained in my head since working at a deli 15 years ago I believe you when you say that is not true, but I recommend building up a strong defense.

    We’ll work on it. Restaurants routinely leave food in for longer than two hours. We have left ribs in for 72 hours – they come out great.

  63. Fascinating stuff.

    I was just wondering what the average cooking time is for steaks the size of the ones featured in your post done medium rare?

    You can cook them as quickly as 20 minutes if the water is already at temp when you put them in. Good quality steaks don’t take long to cook because they don’t need to be tenderized. If you have a lesser quality steak or something like eye of round or flank steak, you can leave them in for 8 hours and have a tender piece of meat.

  64. Hi Doc,

    This was not exactly the world changing news I was expecting, but I am very impressed nevertheless. Congratulations and good luck to you both.

    I saw a comment about pasteurizing eggs, which gave me a thought. I used to keep goats and pasteurized goats milk in a home pasteurizer and also used to heat treat colostrum (to prevent passing some disease to newborn goats). The pasteurizing was at 160 degrees and heat treating at 100 degrees. The home pasteurizers cost around $400 for a “dual” model (both temps) and over $300 for a single temp model.

    The point being, I wonder if your device could be used as a water bath to heat treat and pasteurize? If so, the price would be very competitive for goat farmers and have the added benefit of the sous vide cooking, which is the main point, obviously. Just thinking of another potential market for you.

    I will be starting the 6 week cure after a wedding this weekend, and have been scouring the internet for reports of others. Wish me (and my fatty liver) luck.

    Jeff

    I think it would work perfectly for what you’re considering. It will hold a specific temperature for days at a time and never vary more than a degree.

    Good luck with your own fatty liver.

  65. This is very exciting! Will the unit be available in any other colors or just the stainless steel finish that is shown in the pictures?

    Right now just the stainless finish. Ultimately our plan is to produce the machines in multiple colors. The tooling to do that is expensive. Strangely, it’s less expensive to do the stainless tooling even though the stainless is more costly for the raw materials than would be the plastic we would use for the colored finishes.

  66. We’ve already signed up on the website. We’re going to sell our generators to afford it, but, hey – we eat more than we use the generators!

    Yeah, who needs to generate anyway? :-)

  67. Magnificent! And nary a typo that I noticed.

    My wife has tried for a very long time to cook our steaks properly, but it happens only about one time in three, and she’s going to be ecstatic when she reads this post. So will I, when my five-times-a-week filets (VLC, of course) begin turning out flawlessly.

    Any timetable for availability to those of us who submit first-day orders?

    As it stands now, we should have our first units available around the end of October. Those with early orders will get one of these first units.

  68. So, since you’re located in Seattle, any chance that those of us in the Seattle area can jump the gun and get them a little sooner if we pick them up ourselves?

    [I do have patience. It may not be measurable with current technology, but I’m sure I have it somewhere]

    Actually, the warehouse that will hold and ship the units is between Boulder and Denver, CO. They won’t be coming to Seattle.

  69. If I can set it for 132 degrees F, I will purchase two or possibly three. 132 is as low as you want to go for slow pasteurization of fish. Looks raw, yet totally sterile.

    Thank you so much for this product, Dr. Eades. I will reward you as soon as I can!

    Thanks very much.

  70. THANKS MD! (Somebody had to!) : D
    Seriously, beyond wonderful.
    I hope it makes you a TON of money!
    And me a ton of meat!

    I hope so, too. In both cases.

  71. Interesting, but I’m with GwG on the sizzle-flip-sizzle-plate steak grilling method (or slow smoking of various fish and fowl) – AGEs be damned! – and having recently acquired the ultimate tool for those jobs (a Big Green Egg) I’m not seeing why I’d need this. But I’m willing to let you try to convince me. Keep us posted on your demo tour, I’ll try to attend the Seattle one if my schedule permits.

    I hope to see you.

  72. What about the possibility of developing one unit with two separate and independent cooking chambers. It could be slightly larger than the original unit. just an idea. I am sure you have already thought of it. or even tested it already.

    Have thought of it, but haven’t made a prototype or tested yet.

  73. Congratulations, Mike! The machine sure looks nice for any kitchen (it would look great next to my espresso machine actually!). I’ve read about this cooking method in the past… you’ve been to The Fat Duck, correct? I believe they use this method there (though not your appliance, though!). I know there are other high end restaurants and ‘molecular cooks’ that use this method very effectively. I can see how this appliance can be easily adopted in culinary schools to add to their kitchen labs. I sometimes participate in a one-week fun/cooking experience where the chemistry of cooking is explained and the Sous de Vide Supreme could actually be a great tool to use!

    Now… I have to devise a strategy to convince my wife that we would benefit from having one in our new kitchen! Wish me luck! :)
    Congratulations again to you and MD.

    Actually the Sous Vide Supreme has been tested in the Fat Duck experimental kitchen and found to be the same as or better than similar sized commercial sous vide units.

  74. I’m sorry, I forgot to ask this question… are there any special recommendations for the type of water? Soft ok?, Filtered, distilled, etc., to protect and extend the life of the tank? I know that heavy water is an issue in the water baths we use in the lab and we can only use distilled water to avoid damage to the tank.
    Thanks.

    The tank is stainless steel, so I don’t think it much matters. We use tap water in ours.

  75. Now all you need to do is consult George Foreman for marketing advice!

    Good Luck!

    Bob knows George well, so maybe he’ll give him a call.

  76. Totally off subject but I was watching a new show with Dr Oz. I caught a bit of his show and he was giving advices on everything from eye treatments to prostate prevention to nutrition. He seemed to know it all, more like a wizzard. But the punchline came later as he rounded up two contestants and asked quizzed them about nutrition. One of the question was: What is the danger of the low carb diets? A. kidney failure B. kidney stionesC. High cholesterol D. All of the above And the answer was D all of the above. And then he went on to explain how dangerous low carb diets are. I wouldnt be shocked but I saw him debating with few nutritional experts once and he didnt think low carb were dangerous, he thought they were shor term but not dangerous. Do you think he truly believes what he sais or more like going with the main stream to get his sponsors and more money?

    I’m clueless as to what he truly believes.

  77. Hi! I left a comment on your 6 Week Cure Blog Idea on Friday and another on Monday. They’re both still “awaiting moderation”. Did I do something wrong when I posted them? Is there something wrong with my posts? Are you not using that blog anymore? There haven’t been any other posts to the 6WC Blog Idea since mine but you are alive and well here on this blog. I’m concerned. I must have done something wrong? Please can you let me know. Thank you very much. Mary-Clare

    No, you didn’t do anything wrong. I just haven’t gotten to them yet. I’ve been traveling and have been able get to my computer only sporadically. The way I usually work is that I deal with all the comments I can on the post that is currently up. When a new post goes up, I deal with those comments immediately and the others when I can get to them. My travel schedule has been such that I haven’t been able to get enough computer time to keep up with the Sous Vide Supreme comments, let alone those from previous posts. I will get to them, though. I’ve got a little down time tomorrow.

  78. OK. So there’s a date comments close and although the 6WCBI was Friday 25th, my question was too late! I guess this is too late too~

    Nope, you must have misread the date.

  79. Down the road a bit I may buy one; unfortunately bills will come first for a while. But it looks like a great item! One question, though… what are the correct plastic bags to use for this type of cooking so as to avoid plastic leaching into the food? I guess this will also require purchase of some sort of bag-sealing device (used to have one, but never used it, so re-sold it some time back). Best wishes on your entrepreneurial adventure.

    Personally, I have been a bit wary of the Chinese ever since the pet-food contamination scandal. But I notice that, these days, just about everything is made in China, and you have taken what precautions you can. I have a home icemaker for our home office which was made there.

    This might also be a good item to sell on eBay via drop-shipping. The eBay seller basically would forward the orders on to you, and your company would ship them to the buyer.

    Well, some day I wll be able to buy one, and I look forward to that.

    At this point (and for the foreseeable future) I would never, ever sell or take any kind of supplement or ingestible made in China. It’s difficult to muck up stainless steel, however, and since stainless steel is the only thing that comes in contact with the water and since the water should never really come in contact with the food inside the bags, I don’t think it’s a problem.

    You’ve got to use bags made for sous vide. You can find them in many grocery stores (probably all grocery stores once sous vide is more common) for a few bucks for a packet of several boxed along with a hand vacuum pump.

  80. Congratulations! And ditto to all the praise and goodwill already sent your way.
    I’m looking forward to acquiring one made to Italian specifications in the not too distant future.
    Second on my list only to an ergonomic desk chair (sorry, but I have to be able to work in order to have the money to buy your machine!)

    I understand.

  81. Congratulations!!! It’s only fitting that the re-discoverers of the right way to eat would be the producers of the best way to cook. I know you will be a tremendous success. Thank you so much for all you’ve done for the health of our minds as well as our bodies. I can’t wait to buy a Sous Vide Supreme.

    Love and gratitude to you both!

    Thanks for the good wishes; we truly appreciate them.

  82. I have read that immersion cooking should be limited to 4 hours:

    “it is important that raw and unpasteurized foods are consumed before food pathogens have had time to multiply to harmful levels. With this in mind, the US Food Code requires that such food can only be between 41°F (5°C) and 130°F (54.4°C) for less than 4 hours (Anon., 2005b, 3-501.19.B).”
    http://amath.colorado.edu/~baldwind/sous-vide.html

    That is what I have been using as an upper limit for sous vide immersion. Is this right?

    I have a temperature data logger and I used it to investigate the utility of various kitchen items for sous vide. Crock pots do not have powerful enough heaters to reach temperature quickly and control it. However, inexpensive electric skillets do a fine job although they are too shallow for large food items. Just calibrate your skillet with a digital thermometer and they are good to go for about +/-2F.

    Not true about the 4 hours. The person who wrote the book you linked to is working with us on this project. He often cooks things longer than 4 hours.

  83. I’m also Big Green Egg kind of guy… but after trying what the “EggHeads” on the forum call “hot tubbing” (immersion prep for steak — which some people seem literally to do in their hot tub) I’m quite sold on the sous vide method. Interesting because I’ve been experimenting a lot with low-and-slow smoking/roasting which the Egg allows, but sous vide is so different and precise. Big Green Egg is a fantastic tool for lowcarb/primal style eating.

    I think I need to do some more experimenting, and perhaps try a competing device for controlling a crockpot/rice cooker first… But with luck I’ll easily convince my partner that we need an upgrade! (She thought I was nuts for shelling out $1,000 for a BBQ — but easy now to agree that it was our best money spent on a cooking tool.)

    I spent a couple hours last night diving into the massive 100-page sous vide thread on eGullet. Amazing that this cooking method has developed from incredibly obscure to an affordable home device in just a few years. Those guys on that forum are SERIOUS about it!

    Not that I’m trying to sell you a Sous Vide Supreme (SVS), but you’ll go nuts trying to use the controller/rice cooker setup. MD and I did that along the way, and I’m here to tell you, it is a real pain. The instructions for the controller are impenetrable, the probes break and unless positioned perfectly (which perfect position comes only from much trial and error and ruined food) don’t work well, and the whole contraption has a Rube Goldberg quality to it. Plus, it doesn’t cost all that much less than the SVS.

    MD has spent hours and hours herself on eGullet – the folks there are most serious about cooking in general.

  84. George Foreman selling grills, Mr. T selling the Flavourwave oven… will we see Ronald Coleman* selling the Eades’ sous vide?! 😉 :)

    *Famous bodybuilder for those of you who don’t know the name

  85. Dr Eades,

    As you would have seen from this blog, the instinctive reaction of many is to ask about the safety of the plastic bags.

    A close friend, who is a top level chef and restaurant owner in Sydney, also asked this as her first question, when I showed her your blog post. She said that it was (unprompted and unsubstantiated) concerns about the plastic bags that until now meant she had not cooked using this method. My guess is also that the method does not fit well with the image of “clean, green, natural ingredients, cooked where you can see” that is cultivated by many Asian fusion cuisine restaurant owners, including my friend.

    My guess is that you are going to have to put together a Q and A on your www site re- a number of questions and that the answer to this question will be need to be convincing, if you are not to lose sales.

    For myself, I will still be happy to buy one when it is available in Australia – it looks a bit bulky to ship.

    Take a look at the link to the Australian article in the previous comment. A lot of restaurants apparently aren’t worried about the plastic bag issue. Bags made for sous vide don’t really leach into the food. Based on all the comments I’ve gotten on that subject, however, makes me realize that we will have to address this issue head on.

  86. When will it be available to order? I already signed up for more info on your website. Also, I’m having problems seeing other people’s full comments. They are getting cutoff. Thanks!

    You must be using IE 6 as a browser. We are working to get that problem fixed.

  87. Well done – you look like you’ve got it perfect there. Unfortunately, for me, I recently bought an industrial version from ebay. Works a treat, but boy is it ugly – so it has to go in a cupboard between uses. Out of sight also means out of mind and consequently it doesn’t get used as much as the end result warrants. If this is going to be on sale in the UK then I might well sell mine and get one of these.

    If you know the when and where I’d love to know, otherwise I’ll keep a lookout.

    Best wishes

    Darren.

    Depending upon how the legal wrangling goes (which is taking place today and tomorrow), it could be available in the UK soon.

  88. Dr Eades,
    Off topic but, can you use D-ribose as needed or is it something that needs to be taken for a period of time to show effects. And what is the minimum dose I should use for the days I do high intensity exercise? Can I just add it to my shake per your new book on those days and leave it out on the other days?

    You may add it on those days. The dosages are discussed in the book. When I do Slow Burn, I take a teaspoon (4 g) of D-ribose right after.

  89. interesting little tidbit… sous-vide is how Chipotle cooks their pork, according to the internet, anyway. I read somewhere they do it all in Chicago and ship it out to their restaurants. That must be one big sous-vide super supreme machine they got there in Chicago!

  90. “…will we see Ronald Coleman* selling the Eades’ sous vide?!” — Tezza

    Probably not. Mr. Coleman is currently facing charges for impersonating a police officer (he used to be on the Irving, TX police force, but was not at the time of his arrest). That will probably put a crimp in his ability to sell anything.

    “Just about everything is killed at 130 F.” — DrEades

    Hmmm. In that case, why do I need to cook chicken until the interior is at least 165 to 170?

    Perhaps you don’t need to.

  91. But why use something that is expensive and needs special plastic bags for the food to be cooked? I would rather spend my money on a proper cooker and oven, an excellent set of pots, pans, professional kitchen knives and a hand-held blender. Crock-pots aren’t bad either.

    I suggest that you spend your money however you see fit.

  92. Congratulations! The temperature concerns expressed in some comments refers to state required holding temps of cooked foods exposed to air-born pathogens in a buffet line, etc. You wouldn’t want potato salad kept too warm or cold cuts too cool for example. The sealed nature of sous vide cooking would not allow these pathogens.

  93. don’t forget the home shopping channels! Might be a great way to jump start sales and awareness of this.

    So sorry it has to be made in China. I’ve been on an anti-Chinese made goods tear for several years. They are killing our economy. And the middle class.

    anyone remember the fable about the golden goose?

  94. re: fixing ie6…you might forward the following to your web guy:

    __________________________

    A quick hack that targets only ie6 is to prefix an underscore to a css command. (All other browsers will ignore commands with an underscore.)

    example:

    h2 {
    font-size:1.7em;
    margin-bottom:0.7em;
    margin-top:0.0em;
    _margin-top:-.2em; /* only rendered by ie 6 */
    }

    I just forwarded this. Thanks.

  95. Hello,

    The thing looks awesome! I want to try and bring those to Israel.

    One health question apart from the bags (non?)issue –
    Will the relatively low cooking temp kill all of the harmful bacteria? (At least when comparing to normal cooking)

    I’ve read this paragraph @ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_n2_v24/ai_8295139/ and would appreciate your comment.

    “the cooking process for sous-vide kills some of the harmless micro-organisms whose odor can warn consumers of spoilage. But non-vegetative microbes — including those that can cause botulism — may survive the cooking, and therein lies the roots of the sous-vide controversy.”

    Clostridium botulinum, the bug that causes botulism, can grow only in an anaerobic environment. No matter how much you try to get all the air out of the plastic bags during vacu sealing, you can never get it all out. As a consequence, the bugs producing the botulism toxin can’t really grow and multiply.

  96. You wrote:
    “Not that I’m trying to sell you a Sous Vide Supreme (SVS), but you’ll go nuts trying to use the controller/rice cooker setup. MD and I did that along the way, and I’m here to tell you, it is a real pain. The instructions for the controller are impenetrable, the probes break and unless positioned perfectly (which perfect position comes only from much trial and error and ruined food) don’t work well, and the whole contraption has a Rube Goldberg quality to it. Plus, it doesn’t cost all that much less than the SVS.”

    With a PID-controller and a fountain pump I stabilize my stockpot to ±0.06°C (longtime) compared to ±0.5°C of the SVS. For Joe Sixpack the SVS will be definitely easier to handle, and it looks nicer. But for food safety reasons I should recommend a minimum of 56°C for longtime cooking with SVS; with more accurate temperature control (checked with a calibrated high precision thermometer which easily doubles the cost of the whole equipment) 55°C will be safe. I never had a problem with probe position or ruined food.

  97. I’m going to sound dim here, but what do you say to someone who likes the idea that traditional cooking drives off some fat from the meat, and what is left is just the right amount? With SVS, is the texture different, slimier, greasy?

    Texture is fine. At least it is to me. If you’re looking for a way to get rid of the fat, then sous vide may not be for you. Me, I want to keep it.

  98. Metabolic Syndrome Linked To Liver Disease In Obese Teenaged Boys
    ScienceDaily (Sep. 30, 2009) — Researchers studying a large sample of adolescent American boys have found an association between metabolic syndrome, which is a complication of obesity, and elevated liver enzymes that mark potentially serious liver disease.
    See also:
    Health & Medicine
    Hypertension
    Liver Disease
    Children’s Health
    Chronic Illness
    Diet and Weight Loss
    Fitness
    Reference
    Hypercholesterolemia
    Diabetes mellitus type 2
    Blood sugar
    Detox
    The link between metabolic syndrome and the suspected liver disease did not appear in adolescent girls, said study leader Rose C. Graham, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. There were ethnic differences among the boys as well, she added, between Hispanic and non-Hispanic males.
    The study appears in the October 2009 print edition of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.
    Metabolic syndrome is of concern as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and is estimated to occur in 22 percent of U.S. adults and 4 percent of U.S. adolescents. It is defined by insulin resistance, increased waist circumference, high blood pressure, and abnormal measures of high density lipoprotein (“good cholesterol”) and triglycerides in the blood. The criteria are similar for pediatric metabolic syndrome, although there is some dispute over details of the definition.
    In adults, researchers have shown an association between metabolic syndrome and a group of diseases called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which at its most severe, may progress to irreversible liver damage. The purpose of the current study was to investigate to what extent metabolic syndrome in adolescents was associated with elevated levels of the liver enzyme alanine aminotransferase (ALT), a marker of NAFLD.
    Graham and colleagues analyzed a nationally representative sample of 1,323 U.S. adolescents, aged 12 to 19, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They found a strong association between metabolic syndrome and elevated ALT levels in adolescent males, but not in adolescent females.
    While looking more carefully at this association in boys, they found that among Hispanic males, this association largely coincided with being obese, as measured by body mass index. The researchers expected to find this correlation, because for all ethnicities, obesity was already known to be a risk factor for both metabolic syndrome and NAFLD. However, they also found that among non-Hispanic adolescent boys, metabolic syndrome and high ALT levels were associated with each other, independent of obesity. “Something else seems to be going on, in addition to the effects of obesity,” said Graham. “Some unknown factors may be at work here.”
    The finding may have implications for treatment, she added. Currently, the only known treatment for NAFLD is weight loss. “If some adolescents with metabolic syndrome may be susceptible to this liver disease regardless of whether or not they are obese, there may be other treatments yet to be discovered.”
    NAFLD is increasingly being recognized among overweight teenagers. “Our findings suggest that NAFLD in adolescents merits closer attention, and its treatment may require more than just weight loss,” said Graham.
    The National Institutes of Health provided grant support for Graham and another investigator of this study. Graham’s co-authors were Nicolas Stettler, M.D., of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and Ann Burke, of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.

  99. Dr. Eades: “Clostridium botulinum, the bug that causes botulism, can grow only in an anaerobic environment. No matter how much you try to get all the air out of the plastic bags during vacu sealing, you can never get it all out. As a consequence, the bugs producing the botulism toxin can’t really grow and multiply.”

    Thank you.
    What about other potentially harmful organisms?
    Do we need to be more careful about the origin of raw food when cooked with Sous Vide or is it about the same risk as normal cooking?

    It’s pretty much the same as with regular cooking. The problem with sous vide and bacterial overgrowth comes from the holding of food for long periods AFTER the sous vide cooking process, a problem that applies mainly to restaurants. It’s not a problem for most home users who typically take the food out of the cooker and eat it immediately.

  100. I love the idea of not having to worry about overcooking. I prefer my meat rare to medium-rare and hate when I overcook something, which I do more often than I’d care to admit.

    I hope you and Mary Dan will be following this with a cookbook, and look forward to not stressing about overcooking my steaks.

    We are working on a cookbook with one of the sous vide pioneers, so there should be one available soon. None of the currently available cookbooks deals with sous vide in a way that most home users will do it.

  101. Looks great! Will it be available in Canada? There’s nothing worse then fussing over a BBQ in the dead of winter when it’s -30. Brrrr!

    It should be available in Canada.

  102. @brainpower who said: “But why use something that is expensive and needs special plastic bags for the food to be cooked?”

    Using that logic I would ask you why you still aren’t cooking your meat on a stick over a campfire? The answer of course is safety, convenience, speed, uniformity, taste, etc. All benefits that are amplified in Sous Vide cooking. Being intrigued by this idea, I’ve read everything I could on it and am sold for the following reasons:

    – Uniformity. Meat never overcooks and is the same amount of doneness from side-to-side
    – Taste: keep all of the flavors, fats and nutrients in the food rather than boiling/frying/grilling them away
    – Convenience: Throw your bagged, frozen meat into the machine and forget about it. Cook in bulk and reheat later with no loss of flavor.
    – Safety: Sous Vide can pasteurize foods. Eat medium rare beef, raw eggs or medium pork/poultry without worry. This goes back to taste.
    – Savings: Buy cheap, tough cuts of meat, Sous Vide them for 24+ hours and they are as tender as filet with more flavor

  103. You are in Little Rock now? Are you doing any sort of seminar or something? I live here and have not heard anything. Then again maybe you are just visiting and want it left that way. :)

    This machine looks wonderful. I have such a hard time getting my steaks as tender as I like them. I am excited about this.

    I was in Little Rock for a few days for a wedding. I’m in Nevada right now and have been in several other states in between.

  104. What about roasts? Will your device cook these large cuts? You’ve mentioned steaks, chops, etc., but I cook steaks far less often than slow cooked roasts (roasts create 3-4 time-saving meals for my small family). I use both dry-roasting and moist braising techniques with roasts, depending on the cut and desired effect.

    We’ve never cooked a roast, but it should cook one just fine. And it will allow the roast to be a lot closer to medium rare while still breaking down enough collagen to make it as tender as you are used to roasts being.

  105. I gots me a grass fed steak in the rice cooker (set on low), gonna try your foamy butter trick in an hour or so. I may hit it with the blowtorch too, just for fun. How hot do you get the pan, I’m guessing medium high-ish.

    something way way off topic…. saw a Nova program recently where they connected the diet of one generation with the development of diabetes two generations later. This was based on a study done of meticulous harvest records kept in Iceland, or Sweeden,or some such place. Apparently when the harevest was really good, it somehow caused genetic damage (epigenetic damage, actually) that resulted in more diabetes for their grandchildren. The program didn’t mention it, but as a good low carber, I’m sitting there thinking (happens occaisionally) hmmmm, good harvest, means they were eating lots of grains. Ah ha! another reason to avoid grains, they screw up your genes. Or your epegenes. Or whatever.

    Okay, enough with the epigenetics. How was the foaming butter method?

  106. Forgive me if this questions is answered in the comments, but the main point for me to purchase one is Recipes for LC. Do you plan a cook book around the Sous Vide Supreme?

    Yep. Got one in the works.

  107. From A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking:
    “Place the pork either in a 176°F (80°C) water bath for 8–12 hours or in 155°F (68°C) water bath for 24 hours. When cooking at 176°F (80°C), the bag will puff (from water vapor) and may float to the surface. To prevent uneven cooking, the bags should be held under water using a wire rack or some other restraint.”

    Does the Sous Vide Supreme include such a restraint?

    Yes, it comes with a rack that can be used to stack the meat and keep it under the water.

  108. One more bag question if you can stand it. Are the sous vide bags the same as the bags used with my Food Saver vacuum sealer?

    I think this appliance is going to make you all a ton of money which, I’m sure we all agree, is well deserved.
    And, too, is going to make a lot of cooks and diners very happy.

    The bags used with the Food Saver can indeed be used for sous vide. That’s what we use for most of ours.

  109. A question on your book as you don’t have the blog up yet and there is no FAQ section:

    After the two weeks of shakes, if we can’t get our blood taken, what happens to all the toxins that have been in our livers? Do they just circulate in our blood before the liver cleans them out all over again? Or do we excrete them over time?

    The toxins are released from the fat where they are stored. If not removed, they simply find their way into other fat cells. It’s tough to get rid of them without giving blood or using some other not particularly pleasant maneuvers.

  110. Dr Mike, as I remember you are using MRM whey protein. I have been using Isopure whey isolate. Its fine but I recently read that lots of companies including Isopure derive whey from inorganic, lol cows. Many so called specialists recommend using Jay Robbs whey as it is the only whey on the market that uses stevia and gBCG free cows that. But it is insanely expensive and not cost effective even though people who use it swear it has the best taste.

    What is your opinion on using whey from inorganic cow milk versus expensive hormone free milk derived whey? Do you like MRM whey? Its certain cheaper than many others.

    I think MRM is fine.

  111. The first time I had ever heard of the sous vide method was in reading this very blog and I must admit to being very intrigued. This weekend, my husband and I went to Las Vegas and stayed at the Wynn resort. A chef by the name of Daniel Boulud has a restaurant in the Wynn and we were lucky enough to dine there. My husband ordered the chicken breast and I ordered the steak. The minute I had a bite of the chicken, I knew it had to have been cooked via sous vide. It was simply the most tender chicken breast I had ever eaten. Then, I amazed my husband with my new found knowledge by telling him (before cutting into the steak) that the color would be perfect right to the edge. Sure enough, it was perfectly medium rare to the edge and exquisitely tender. I asked our waiter if Chef Boulud used the sous vide method and he said, “No, just wonderful chefs”. Totally unconvinced, I googled him and the sous vide method when I got home and, sure enough, found an article stating that he had expanded the use of the sous vide method in all his restaurants in the past 2-3 years. Thank you so much for the education into this fabulous and simply delicious way of cooking.

  112. http://diabetesupdate.blogspot.com/2009/10/what-is-really-known-about-fatty-liver.html

    I believe that you may be extremely interested in this link, Doctor.
    It possibly refutes what you say about NAFLD in your book.
    Please let me know what you think… and I am curious about what markers the Duke and Cambridge researchers used to measure liver fat ( in the studies mentioned in the six week cure), since Jenny says that liver enzymes are inaccurate.

    This particular post is a perfect example of the old adage that says a little learning is a dangerous thing. I’ll be putting up a post on liver fat soon. It will address many of these issues.

  113. Any suggestions on specific vacuum sealers and plastic bags for sous vide cooking?

    MD has used a number of different machines and pretty much thinks they all do an adequate job. Most come with their own specific bags that are designed for sous vide.

  114. mike, i eat alot of raw homemade cheese and lacto fermented vegies, do you think a little raw undercooked steak can cause me problems?

    It shouldn’t, but I can’t say for sure because I don’t know if you’ve got any health problems that might cause difficulty.

  115. I am so looking forward to having one of these fabulous machines! I’m saving my pennies. I know that it wasn’t designed for physically challenged folks, but there are times that I simply cannot stand at the stove/counter for more than a few minutes (muscular dystrophy) and thus go through the local fast food place for burgers, sans buns of course. Also, my elderly blind friend, with whom I live, doesn’t really cook for himself anymore, aside from heating soup, etc., in the microwave, so it falls to me to produce quality meals (although I think that this would be a great product for the visually impaired as well).

  116. Kathee:

    I have eaten at Boulud’s brasserie at the Wynn three times and I highly recommend it. I used to go to Vegas (hey, change one letter and it’s Vegan) on business a number of times per year and this has been one of my recent favorites. My favorite Vegas restaurant, and I’ve been to every big name there is: Alize, top of the original Palms. They do a changing French menu and specialize in lobster, all the dishes being _prepared_, i.e., you’re not cracking shells & such. They also have a cognac collection that’s astounding to view. Some bottles from the 1700s with hand written labels.

    Anyway, re Boulud, the best dish on the menu in my view is the braised beef short ribs and at least for the three times I went there (more than a year ago, now), that was their specialty. Don’t know whether it’s sous vide, but it is truly amazing.

  117. “Okay, enough with the epigenetics. How was the foaming butter method?”

    what, you’re not fascinated with my conjecturatin’ about the possible connections between high grain diet and genetic damage??? Hmmmmppphhh!

    On to the foamy butter then! Since I can’t use the big green egg on our balcony anymore (thanks to the fire dept!), I did the foamy butter thing on a granite slab heated up to over 500 degrees on our electric grill… the results were ok, sorta, but nothing close to the taste and texture of a “hot-tubbed” steak tossed onto a scorching hot big green egg…

    And since I screwed up the link on my first comment way up there, pls excuse me whilst I plug my first blog post, which was on the topic of sous-vide-ing:

    http://beefandwhiskey.com/?p=6

    Thank you for your kind indulgence!

  118. Dr. E. I’m on the list and can’t wait for my device to arrive (after paying for it of course). I had a question about the dark pad that she places on top of the unit. If it’s a thermal pad to help keep heat in, why wasn’t a thermal barrier built into the lid — or was it just not thought of until it was too late to do that?

    The pad is a thermal pad and it acts as a pad to set the lid on when it is used as a platter.

  119. I’d love to hear Dr. Mary Dan post about the Sous Vide on her blog, too. It’s ’bout time she started pulling her weight ’round here (no matter how slight)–in addition to writing the books, perfecting new cooking machines, and tryin’ to keep Dr. M out of trouble…

    I’ll pass the word along.

  120. Wondering a couple of things:

    1. Just how long can you cook stuff without overcooking it? I mean, could you put your dinner steaks in there in the morning before you leave for work? Or put your breakfast eggs in overnight?

    2. What are the toughest cuts of meat that you have turned into great steaks this way?

    How long you can cook it without overcooking is a function of what kind of cut of meat it is. If you cook a steak at 134 degrees F for hours, it won’t really get beyond medium rare but it will get a little mushy if it is a good cut of meat going in. The better the cut of meat, the less you need to cook it. A really good expensive rib eye comes out perfect when cooked for only 20 minutes.

    We’ve turned eye of round into pretty tasty steaks. And you can’t beat what sous viding does to flank steak. Steaks from grass-fed animals tenderize nicely when left in the Sous Vide Supreme for a few hours.

  121. Just curious, can you cook a whole chicken or cornish game hen or do you need to cut it up and bag the pieces separately first?

    You have to cut it up and bag the pieces separately because otherwise it will cook unevenly. I think you may be able to do it with a chamber vac (at least I’ve heard that it can be done that way), but you definitely cannot with a suction vacuum sealing device.

  122. This looks to be a fantastic piece of equipment!

    I know it’s not “paleo perfect” but have you tried to make burgers with this?

    Best,
    Skyler

    Yep, we’ve made burgers. Here is a link to a restaurant that uses sous vide to make its burgers.

  123. did a berkshire pork chop in the rice cooker last night (about 3 hours at 131 degrees), finished it off with the foamy butter method. WOW. WOW. WOW. Didn’t know pork could be that tender and taste that good. Cooked a similar chop for my wife using conventional methods (she thinks I’m nuts!), it was good, but no where nearly as good as mine.

    looking forward to buying a couple SVSs, but due to the economic reversals tossed my way this past year, that’s gotta wait awhile….

  124. My husband has been hooked on sous vide for about a year now. he bought a commerical unit, and uses it just about every day, mostly for fish, though he has cooked roasts, short ribs, and chicken (he’s a fish-eating vegetarian). We found out about the demo in Vancouver (where we live) last night, and he’s tried to get a seat, to no avail. I’ve been saying that sous vide will be the next big thing in kitchen appliances from the start – so glad to see I’m not alone in thinking that! Good luck with your project, and I do hope you do another presentation in Vancouver soon. We’ll be there.

    I thought these appearances were going to be open to the public, but I’ve since discovered that they aren’t. They are for chefs and the media. I didn’t set them up this way – in fact, I didn’t set them up at all. Our operating team did – MD and I are just showing up to be pretty faces and introduce Heston Blumenthal, who loves the Sous Vide Supreme and is the real star of the show.

  125. Cool machine and about time it’s brought to market. Now allez before Ron Popeil and the like copy you. I often look at the cheaper cuts of beef and think about If I could just make them tender without the hassles and time involved. My wife is actually from the little in France where one of the inventors of this method is from. The French rule all cuisine, Period, end of story. Now, l’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace Dr Eades.

  126. Also, you might want to develop a yogurt maker with a consistent, accurate temperature and a ceramic or glass container for at least least two quarts per batch. Try to find such a thing, it doesn’t exist. Too much heat and you kill the good probiotics,. Especially for making SCD diet legal yogurt which needs to be fermented for 24 hours until all the lactose is gone. This is the best yogurt in the world but currently the best machine is the Yogourmet which has no accurate heat sensor and a plastic container.

  127. What is the volume of the device? It looks to be shaped like a cube but in your steak pictures, you can only fit 3 steaks, staggered, on a single layer. Is there some reason you are limited to what seems like 1/6th of the total volume of the device?

    It holds a lot more than three steaks. We are on a demo tour with Heson Blumenthal right now – in fact, I’m writing these words at 33,000 ft on a flight between San Francisco and Chicago on a plane with onboard WIFI, which is very cool – and he puts multiple steaks, chicken, fish, whatever in the cooker. He stuffs it full, and the stuff comes out great. I think it holds about 11 liters. Don’t have the spec book in front of me right now, but I know that’s a pretty close estimate. I’ll post later on the tour and show how stuffed the machines can get and still function fine.

  128. I love you two to death, have all of your books and am at a good fighting weight because of them, but there’s no way I can afford this machine, as I’ve been unemployed for most of a year.

    Any suggestions?

  129. I’m /mostly/ sold. I’m sure you must have looked carefully into the hot-plastic-touching-the-food questions, would you care to share any links to the studies which led you to feel confident that there are “no worries” with the proper bags? Hopefully, studies which were not funded by such sources as the American Chemistry Council or Grocery Manufacturers Association. I’ve so-far only managed to find studies that give me pause, such as one which demonstrated “high migration” of DEHA from food-grade cling films onto cheese (by researchers in Zurich, published in _Food Control_ March 2007), and another which established by GC-MS the migration of DEHP from medical-grade tubing into blood during hemodialysis (by researchers in Tokyo, published in _International Journal of Pharmaceutics_ April 2004). I wouldn’t want to learn 10 years from now that cooking food in submerged plastic bags turned out to be not such a good idea. Because a perfect steak is a very yummy thing. :)

    Your book pretty-much saved my life in 1999.

  130. I don’t want you to think that I’m a disguised competitor trying to poo-poo your product–I think it’s an awesome idea–I just really do have plastic issues and I noticed many others do also. So, I’ll give you the solution I just thought-up for an alternative to shrink-wrapping the steak. Stuff the steak into a stainless-steel canteen, with a full-size-opening top which is held on by flip-down clamps. The sealing is achieved by nothing more than precision-machined flat mating surfaces, maybe 5mm wide and coated with vegetable oil, then compressed together with those flip-down bent-wire snap levers. There could be different sizes to minimize the amount of included air. Maybe it wouldn’t be as hermetically-sealed as plastic, especially over time with some wear, but there would be no worries about phthalate esters and BPA and whatever compounds we haven’t even identified yet. You would be on the cutting-edge of “back to good old glass and iron” food preparation technology evolution. Such meat-canteens could be sold separately, those with no plastic worries wouldn’t buy them. Those with plastic worries, who otherwise would not have bought your appliance at all, now have a choice.

  131. @Virginia:

    Get a digital thermometer if you don’t have one already and use a large pot. It will take a bit of time to trial and error to figure out your stove and it requires more attention during cooking but some things can be made without this. Think food processor versus knife.

  132. @ Guy

    I went out and got a Food Saver at Target, the one with the stainless lid, about $80 I think and it uses the rolls, so you can make a bag any size you want.

    Couldn’t be happier, and, it does a MUCH better job at vacuum which, makes sure that heat transfer is uniform so you don’t get hot spots by having air which is less efficient at transfer.

  133. Any closer to knowing a UK release date? I’m close to getting a PID controller, but would rather get this sweet unit – I’m itching to start doing some proper sous vide.

    • A shipment of SVS is on its way to Europe right now. In fact, it may already be there. The machines have the power leads for the UK and other European countries.

        • As soon as the units arrive in their respective countries in Europe, we should have ordering information up on the SVS website. This whole operation has grown way beyond what I can deal with, so I’m more in the background now instead of hands on. Consequently, I don’t have all the up-to-the-minute info on everything that is happening. I do know, however that our web guys are working hard on getting our website international. If you’ll keep checking, you should find a UK version of the website soon, and you can order. Or the machines should be in UK retail outlets pretty soon as well. I’m meeting with all the people who are in the know next week, so if you don’t see something up on the SVS site within about 10 days, ding me again, and I’ll give you a more current update.

    • Soon. We’re working on the website now. The big event of the year is the International Housewares Association show coming up next week in Chicago. Once that is over, I’m hoping we can turn our attention to the European launch.

        • Thanks, Gabe. I don’t know how much time – if any – we’ll have. We’re flying in late one day and flying out two days later. Having never been to this meeting, I don’t have a clue as to what our time demands will be. If possible, however, it would be great to get together.

  134. Hi Dr. Eades,

    I hope that you don’t mind my posting this announcement on this old thread, but I thought googlers might find it. Plus, as you know, I’m hopelessly in love with my Sous Vide Supreme, so I figured it would be okay. :-)

    * New E-mail List & Blog Carnival for Sous Vide *

    I’ve recently created a mailing list and blog carnival for folks cooking sous vide: http://www.modernpaleo.com/sousvide.html

    Here’s the description from the web site:

    SousVide is an informal, private mailing list for people who cook sous vide, particularly home cooks. Its basic purpose is to facilitate the sharing of information, resources, recipes, and tips related to cooking sous vide.

    All and only subscribers to SousVide are eligible to submit posts to Sous Vide Review, a blog carnival featuring the best posts of the month on sous vide cooking hosted by The Modern Paleo Blog ( http://blog.ModernPaleo.com ).

    SousVide is not moderated, but members who violate its very basic rules will be subject to moderation, if not unsubscribed.

    The list is part of my “Modern Paleo” web site ( http://www.ModernPaleo.com ), but you don’t need to eat or advocate a paleo-type diet to join the list.

    You can subscribe here: http://groups.google.com/group/sousvide/subscribe

    If you have any problems subscribing, just drop me an e-mail, as I can subscribe you manually.

    Please feel free to spread the word! I’m hoping that the list and carnival can become a major resource as we experiment with sous vide cooking.

    FYI, I’ve blogged a bit about my own experiments with sous vide here:

    http://blog.modernpaleo.com/search/label/Sous%20Vide

  135. Hi Dr Eades, apologies for asking again, but is there any news of a UK release date? We’re “champing at the bit”, so to speak, credit cards out and ready…

    • Not April Fool, that’s for sure. I have nothing to do with the European launch of the product. Whenever I ask, I’m told that it will be in a week or so. After every week that it doesn’t happen, I ask again. I get told that there were a few problems here and there and it will be a week. I do think we are very close. We have about 3,000 machines in Europe right now – it would be nice if we could have them available.

      • Thanks for getting back to me Dr Eades,

        It seems cleverer people than I have find this on the Souvide Supreme website – https://www.sousvidesupreme.com/uk/shop/ so it does indeed look like the UK launch is iminent!

        Sadly the bump in pricing, if correct, to £550 (approx $850 at today’s exchange rates) has put it way out of my budget.

        Still, kudos to you for starting the ball rolling. Thanks again.

        • The price you see is a placeholder at this point. As I mentioned to an earlier commenter, we provide the machines to European retailers at our US wholesale price. They add for import duties, VAT, distributor costs (we don’t have these in the US), and retail markup. After all that, the price ends up whatever it ends up, but we still make the same amount as we do when we sell one in the US for $449.

      • The UK price is absolutely insane, it’s essentially double the dollar price. Was going to buy one, will definitely not now.

  136. I know the site is not live yet, but the UK shop page is showing a price of £549 plus shipping (USA is USA $449). In the UK we are (unfortunately) used to US products costing the same in £ sterling as US Dollars, but not substantially more. I know there are dealer costs, certification costs, VAT, etc, etc, but I hope this is a placeholder price, and it will be lower – as at this level it is just too much to get away with as an “ooh, I’ll treat myself” purchase.

    Anyway, it is a great product, and good luck with it!

    • I don’t know what the price is going to end up in the various countries in Europe. We are charging our same wholesale price in US dollars in all other countries. By the time the import duties, VAT, distributor charges and retail charges are added in, the price becomes whatever it becomes.

  137. Hey hey! Saw the new TV advertisement for the SVS the other night. Well done! Saw Dr. Mary Dan next to the machine and lifting out the tray (the ad seems to be made partially out of your instructional video).

    Very nice ad. (And if I didn’t already have one, I’d buy one! {wink}) We had lovely steak tonight — around 3 hours at 138 degrees… Lovely texture: Interestingly, I dislike medium rare and rare beef elsewhere, but the texture from the SVS is so nice, I CAN eat and enjoy medium rare!

  138. Was about to order the SousVide from Dean & Deluca as they seem to have the best price, but noticed that the SousVide is made in China, and D&D will not accept returns on this machine. Do you have any distributors here in NYC where one can see the SousVide before purchasing it? Is there only one model? I was thinking of making a brisket with it and was wondering what is the largest piece of meat that can comfortable fit into the cooker?

  139. Well, you could always send me a unit and I’ll pay you back later ;). Or we could be the first wave of reviewers and shill you mercilesslly.

  140. Sous vide looks incredible, and I’m dying to give it a go. But I just can’t get past my concerns about plasticisers, phthalates, endocrine disruptors etc. leaching from the plastic into the meat. I’m very much hoping my concerns are misplaced, but hours of searching haven’t found anything authoritative-looking on the matter.

    Seven months ago, you said “Take a look at the link to the Australian article in the previous comment. A lot of restaurants apparently aren’t worried about the plastic bag issue. Bags made for sous vide don’t really leach into the food. Based on all the comments I’ve gotten on that subject, however, makes me realize that we will have to address this issue head on.” Has this been addressed yet?

    With all the talk on this site about food science, and the potential for chemical harm from our food, I’m very surprised that this question appears to have been addressed so casually…

    I’d have thought this could be put to bed for once and for all by sous vide-ing some high-fat meat, and sending it to a lab for analysis. That we haven’t seen the results of such a test only makes me more wary that the results aren’t positive. As much as I’d love to get into sous vide (and buy an SVS), with 2 children at home I just can’t do it with this level of uncertainty around the safety of cooking in plastic.

    • These studies have been done, at least with the bags we sell. We’ve put them at high temperatures for long periods of time and found virtually zero contamination of the test products contained within. The plastics in the bags are heat stable. And, foods cooked sous vide are kept at low temperatures relative to any other cooking method out there, which even minimizes more any risk for contamination.

    • Yep, we’ve got them in a warehouse in London. Now if we could just get a bank account opened, we could sell them. Unbelievable how difficult it is to open a simple business account, not to mention dealing with all the VAT and the rest of the bureaucracy. We’ve at least got a UK landing page now with a full website that will be up in a couple of weeks.

  141. As much as I hate to bang on, but have you heard anything more on the European (UK) launch? It’s all gone a bit quiet…

    I know it’s not in your hands, but maybe you could give someone a poke to see if they can shed any light on it.

    Thanks

    zdz

  142. Yippee, I just ordered mine. I got to hear that John Lewis here in the UK were selling them. I went online and found only three left in stock, so bought one immediately. At £350, its considerably cheaper than the £500 they were being sold at direct (which was just a little bit too high for me). No doubt, they’ll come down in price in the same way that microwaves did, but that’s life…..

    I can now get rid of the messy trail of wires, PID controller and large water boiler that is my current sous vide setup. Hopefully I can sell the old set-up on eBay before everyone cottons on they can buy an all-in-one Sous Vide Supreme.

    • Our company sells the units to various retailers throughout the world at our wholesale price. Once they get it, we have no control over how they those to price it.

      • i know this is your first product as a manufacturer, but you’re making a grave error creating price inefficiencies in foreign markets by refusing to take a lower margin to guarantee price equality. this is the whole point of an MSRP, and aside from a VAT markup you will rarely see any other.

        what you’re doing by remaining price inflexible in your own margin is creating animosity wrt to your product and brand from your client base in foreign markets (you’re seeing that in the comments above). of COURSE you have control, you’re the manufacturer. competitive manufacturers who are concerned about brand management and market share will not only take lower margins, but implement price controls on foreign vendors and simply not sell to them if they violate them. the other strategy used is to create the distribution/import strategies in the foreign markets first before selling them, otherwise, the market is not pursued.

        what you’re risking, is for other manufacturer’s to come in and easily compete, without you having laid much foundation in market share besides you having been there longer. it really isn’t a question of if, it’s a question of when. my advice, is to initially take the lower margin, get your distribution setup in your target markets and/or implement controls, and make up the difference later while gaining very valuable initial market share.

        although quoting anonymously, i feel compelled to share that i’m an executive at a fortune 500 and spend a good amount of time considering and implementing the practicalities of the strategies above. i enjoy your blog, so urge you to consider my thoughts. good luck!

  143. I have been very interested in this for a long time and wonder where I could but a machine in Hong Kong where I live.