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Another new toy: CINDER


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From the available documentation it appears to be a smart version of an electric grill that encloses the food that will be cooked.  The heat transfer medium will still be the grill plates, air and residual steam.

 

A smart version of the George Foreman grill perhaps?  I do doubt it's claims that's its as good as sous vide at that price range given the heat transfer mediums.

 

This was also called the 'Palate' at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014.

 

See T-Fal optigrill for a similar product.

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I certainly agree with the previous posters. This looks more like an over priced glorified George Foreman oven or Panini press than it does anything else! For a couple of hundred dollars it may be useful but for $500?? Certainly not going to get that money from me.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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Was there not a thread on something similar earlier last year?

 

Here we are. As mentioned above by fsiu (welcome by the way) - the Palate.  

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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For those of  you wishing to try this pretty toy, save $75 when use the code FB75.  No date given, but this was posted on Facebook today, March 21, 2015.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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Was there not a thread on something similar earlier last year?

 

Here we are. As mentioned above by fsiu (welcome by the way) - the Palate.  

 

That explains my déjà vu. The name switch threw me off. Anyway, anyone interested in this product should be sure to check out that thread. One of the designer/developers provided a bunch of information and answered a lot of questions.

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Was there not a thread on something similar earlier last year?

 

Here we are. As mentioned above by fsiu (welcome by the way) - the Palate.

I knew this thing rang bells. And I see how on the original topic I begged for somebody to make me covet this. I am still not even close to wanting one. Perhaps I am just being dense.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I find it interesting that the pictures show the steak seared on all sides. You probably have to cook it at a low them, them raise the temp and sear it. Would be smart if it could do both without having to touch the steak. It would need to heat up very quickly and it probably wont sear the sides.. but hey.. maybe one day.

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I find it interesting that the pictures show the steak seared on all sides. You probably have to cook it at a low them, them raise the temp and sear it. Would be smart if it could do both without having to touch the steak. It would need to heat up very quickly and it probably wont sear the sides.. but hey.. maybe one day.

 

If you read the other thread, they explain that they cook it low temp, remove the steak and crank the Cinder to full power, then sear the steak and use tongs to sear the sides.

 

I don't get it. But I think this product would be awesome if it were slightly larger and you could unfold and use both sides as a high-powered, super-temperature-stable plancha.

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Cinder-ella it is not.

 

I am sure it can cook something. To me, 2 hour max for steaks is not sous vide. 

Automatic sensing food thickness? Come on! I have seen machines which use laser beams to sense meat thickness for cutting and trimming. 

This thing cooks best if your food is flat.

 

dcarch

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  • 3 months later...

I like to 'muck-about' with my food so this would not work for me.  Probably good for the youngsters who are obsessed with their iPhones!  Just say'n.  No worries.  Put the meat on and I will be informed as to when it is ready.  Where's the fun in that? :wink:

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Hello eGullet, I'm a founder of Cinder. As mentioned above, we just reduced the preorder price to $249, I hope that makes it more accessible for people to try. We do control temperature with precision similar to sous vide, but all the way up to high sear. Like sous vide, precision cooking remains two steps for meats since Cinder takes a few minutes to warm to sear. Some foods are more forgiving and can be automatic, an example is butternut squash -- you can leave the food on while we heat from low temp to high temp. Another is hash browns. And the sear is pretty amazing, very even and deep. John Biggs said "the searing function alone is well worth the price of admission."

 

And yes, the thought of automated iPhone cooking excites some, but as a food enthusiast I've found that precise temperature unleashes creativity. For example, we had a pastry chef make caramel by throwing on brown sugar and setting to a specific temperature -- the end. Apparently that is hard to teach and it gets burned all the time at the pastry shop. Another example is toasting nuts. Imagine sous vide control but all the way up with Maillard and caramelization. Oh, and that steak seared all the way around is simply done with tongs, which is how I do it in a pan as well. As to playing around with it, Kenji Lopez called it "a game changer" -- look for more reviews soon.

Edited by ericjacobsen (log)
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Eric, I buy as many kitchen "toys" as the next guy, but it is hard to justify paying now for something that may come out in 2016.  Especially when you read the Sept 2014 posts ( nearly a year ago ) in which is sounded like you were ready to bring it to market then.  That, plus the name change, makes me pretty nervous. 

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Did Kenji do a formal review of it? I'd like to see what he thinks.

 I looked at the link for the Kenji comment and it was some tweeted comments from April, 2015. He did initially say it could be a game changer, but then said:

 

can hold very precise low or high temps. But grain of salt, Because I've only seen it demoed. [...]

 

Eh, just surface temp of a pan is not that exciting to me. It's the practical applications of this that are more interesting. [...]I haven't written about it yet. Waiting to get a testing unit first.

 

Then the cinder people say they will get him a test unit soon.  

 

From here:

 

https://twitter.com/thefoodlab/status/583409927668031489

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  • 2 weeks later...

My humble opinion: into the future the kitchen of tomorrow most cooking surfaces and methods will have fine temperature control. Microwave ovens will optionally sense the surface temperature of the food being cooked, or even the interior of the food could be detected by a probe, CrockPots will be settable to precise temperatures like water ovens, and indeed will be usable for a wide range of tasks including sous vide and deep frying. Ovens will have an air circulator so that the interior air temperatures can be similar to water ovens and still transfer heat quickly enough to bring the core temperature to safe levels quickly and/or have temperature probe sensors in the core of the food to allow automatic temperature reduction to forever prevent overcooking. It's great to see the beginnings of the change occurring in products. This is the first precision cooktop with fine grained temperature control, with more to come.

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My humble opinion: into the future the kitchen of tomorrow most cooking surfaces and methods will have fine temperature control...

 

Agreed. I suspect sous-vide (at least in its current forms) is too fussy for most home cooks. But if someone can make combi-oven affordable, and tame the user interface, that could cause a paradigm shift.

 

We're probably going to see a lot of gizmos like this thing over the next few years. Most them will probably fail or be marginal successes. But something will stick. Remember that not too many decades ago ovens with a thermostats were a novelty.

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Notes from the underbelly

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  • 2 months later...

Kenji at Serious Eats plays around with a prototype:

 

http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/10/worlds-most-precise-griddle-replace-sous-vide.html

 

Not fully realized yet, there are some limitations on the test unit. For example:

 

 

 

While the final model will supposedly have computer controlled algorithms that predict internal temperature based on starting temperature and thickness (which it automatically measures), the tester unit I have requires the use of a temperature probe which I insert into the center of whatever I'm cooking.

 

 

I'm wondering how much of a jump it is from the prototype to the desired final product. 

 

 

 

The makers of the Cinder are claiming that it's the "third generation" of precision cooking. By their logic, slow cookers were first, sous-vide was second, and the Cinder is the most recent upgrade. I have to say, I disagree. Just as sous-vide isn't a complete replacement for other tools in your kitchen, neither will the Cinder replace sous-vide devices or other traditional cooking devices.
Edited by FauxPas (log)
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Kenji at Serious Eats plays around with a prototype:

 

http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/10/worlds-most-precise-griddle-replace-sous-vide.html

 

Not fully realized yet, there are some limitations on the test unit. For example:

 

 

 

I'm wondering how much of a jump it is from the prototype to the desired final product. 

 

Cinder is making a mistake by pitching this as the next step after SV.  Its a really precise griddle. That's enough in itself.  I don't need to replace SV, but I'm happy for a better griddle.

 

But I want it built in and not another thing on the counter

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