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nickrey

New Kickstarter: Meld - WOW

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Simmer at moderate heat? Cook at a low simmer for 20 minutes? What does this mean?

 

Ever dreamt of a way of controlling your hot plate to perfect temperature?

 

Look no further.

 

Simply put the temperature probe into your pot and let the controller do the rest with your existing kitchen range.

 

Think sous vide without buying the expensive circulator.

 

Perfect poached eggs.

 

Slow cooking without the fuss.

 

Use chef-created recipes to control your own range with precision.

 

Thanks to eGullet member Vengroff and his team for this new innovation. You may know him from Sous Vide Dash. 

 

I have no proprietal interest in the technology but am one of the first backers.

 

Check out the new kickstarter for Meld.

 

The first 250 backers get the $149 product for $99. Other backers get it for $129.


Edited by nickrey (log)

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Interesting. How would it handle a burner that goes out when set at a low simmer?

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How do you handle it currently?


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Meld is one of the increasing number of things which makes me say "Why didn't I think of that?".  I've been using sous vide for years and this device is going to allow me to use my stove top to accurately control a water bath.  I haven't yet begun to think of all the other things I can do with an accurate stove top.

 

If Darren and his team deliver a quality product as planned they will revolutionise stove top cooking.  I'm already thinking that I need more than one!

 

While I "know" Darren through participation in a private sous vide online group, I have no propriety interest in Meld.

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well it really is interesting.

 

i wonder how much power the motor in the knob has.  some rotary controls 'stick' more than others.

 

also, the fluid in the pots is not 'stirred' as with SV systems, so there may be a lag and overshoot in getting the temp

 

'just right'  this may not matter for most purposes.

 

a crock pot set up for SV is an example of a thermal sink  ie the crock that might matter for some SV situations

 

still    an interesting idea

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I think this is a really great idea - I have never backed a kickstarter before, but today is the day I changed that! I love SV Dash, so if this product is even close to being as good, I think it would be a big hit.

ETA: I think this has a much broader appeal than SV, which is still in the early adopter stage. Everyone uses their stove top to simmer, and if other people's stoves are like mine (ie inexpensive), it's almost impossible to find the exact spot on the dial to make an even simmer for a long period of time wihtout it cooling off or getting to hot from time to time. So instead, it requires constant monitoring - which is a real pain... This product would automate this...

Now, if they would just make one that could survive in a pressure cooker, that would make my stock making even easier! I constantly have to check on my PC to make sure it's not cooling or overheating.....


Edited by KennethT (log)

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Does it work on an electric range?

 

Since the probe remains stationary, and there's no water circulation, it's quite possible that the probe will measure a hot or cool spot.  Having taken the temp of many meals with the Thermapen, I know that the temp of the food being cooked varies in different areas of the pot. This seems to be more prevalent in lesser quality cookware (Martha Stewart vs All-Clad D5, same size and shape pot, for example) and on electric ranges, but it holds true even with high end cookware and the gas ranges I've measured. 


Edited by Shel_B (log)
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 ... Shel


 

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How do you handle it currently?

I avoid low simmer on that burner. But even if the burner wasn't a problem there's always a point in a gas control knob where theres a little gas that can flow but not enough for a flame.....when it's nearly turned off, but not quite.

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Interesting. Ought to work regardless whether the stove is gas or electric.

 

Future will probably bring us this concept but already built in to ranges and ovens. Controlled over the house wifi or BT you can check everything from the couch or even the back yard. I'd like video from above the range as well. I gotta have a visual at some point.

 

That gives me an idea!

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I suppose this issue can be fixed if you can 'train' the app to limit the knob position to something you choose, then set via the app.

 

I still fined the ideas here very interesting thinking.

 

no idea if the hardware design lives up to this, one way or another

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It would be great to be able to set a temperature and have a device maintain it. I thought PIDs already were capable of that. Not being disparaging, but this seems like an idea in search of a problem, especially in terms of cost.

 

On a side note, does everything need an app today?

 

p

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Hi All,

 

Thanks for the comments. We've spent a lot of time tweaking the algorithms so they adapt on the fly to different sized pots with different amounts of liquid inside.

 

As far as the low simmer issue we've done a couple of things there:

 

1. When you first install the knob the app asks you to turn your burner off, then on to max, then over to low. It records these positions in its memory to use from then on.

 

2. We have several built-in safety features. One of them is that if we detect that the amount of heat entering the pan is much lower than we expect (e.g. if the flame has blown out) we automatically turn the knob off and alert the user.

 

Thanks for your support and I'm happy to answer any other questions you have.

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Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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Thanks for your support and I'm happy to answer any other questions you have.

 

Would you be kind enough to address the points I made in my earlier post?  I'll quote here so you needn't search for it:

 

Does it work on an electric range?

 

Since the probe remains stationary, and there's no water circulation, it's quite possible that the probe will

measure a hot or cool spot.  Having taken the temp of many meals with the Thermapen, I know that the temp

of the food being cooked varies in different areas of the pot. This seems to be more prevalent in lesser quality

cookware (Martha Stewart vs All-Clad D5, same size and shape pot, for example) and on electric ranges, but

it holds true even with high end cookware and the gas ranges I've measured. 


 ... Shel


 

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Hi All,

 

Thanks for the comments. We've spent a lot of time tweaking the algorithms so they adapt on the fly to different sized pots with different amounts of liquid inside.

 

As far as the low simmer issue we've done a couple of things there:

 

1. When you first install the knob the app asks you to turn your burner off, then on to max, then over to low. It records these positions in its memory to use from then on.

 

2. We have several built-in safety features. One of them is that if we detect that the amount of heat entering the pan is much lower than we expect (e.g. if the flame has blown out) we automatically turn the knob off and alert the user.

 

Thanks for your support and I'm happy to answer any other questions you have.

 

 

I have a pretty cheap GE natural gas stove. Came with the house and already the oven doesn't work.

 

Anyway, "low" isn't low on this thing. When I turn it to the low position the flame actually gets bigger and I have to turn the dial significantly out of range past low to get a small flame that'll cook rice but not flicker out. Dial position isn't that important anyway as that flame is.

 

So with setting up the meld would I visually adjust the flame per the setup instructions or just stick to the positions on the dial?

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Would you be kind enough to address the points I made in my earlier post?  I'll quote here so you needn't search for it:

 

Does it work on an electric range?

 

Since the probe remains stationary, and there's no water circulation, it's quite possible that the probe will

measure a hot or cool spot.  Having taken the temp of many meals with the Thermapen, I know that the temp

of the food being cooked varies in different areas of the pot. This seems to be more prevalent in lesser quality

cookware (Martha Stewart vs All-Clad D5, same size and shape pot, for example) and on electric ranges, but

it holds true even with high end cookware and the gas ranges I've measured. 

 

Yes, it works on electric. At the very beginning of the project we were not sure it would, but we have been very pleasantly surprised at the performance on electric ranges.

 

We have done a lot of testing with multiple thermocouples in and around pots to try to understand how well convection works in various cooking modes. We're quite satisfied that for the recipes we will deliver with the app things will come out great. If, on the other hand, you are looking for tenth-of-a-degree precision for e.g. eggs, we're not there yet.


Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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I wish Meld (and those who buy/use it) every success.

 

I have been an 'early adopter' often in my life (I absolutely adore my freeze-drier for instance) but this product would be very difficult for me to buy into since I have no smartphone (on purpose) and I have (by default - not by choice) an electric cooktop with no knobs. Perhaps someday this 'solution' will be built into home stoves (and not necessitate the use of an 'app') - that I would be interested in if I am ready to change out my appliances.

 

I hope that restaurants buy Meld and use it for poached eggs since I have rarely encountered one (even so-called 'breakfast' restaurants) that can produce even decent versions of that dish. Luckily, I have no trouble making them at home - the old fashioned way.

 

I appreciate 'progress' but I wish younger people would first learn the basics (in this case, of cooking) before they jump into using technology to do every job for them. I guess I am too old for products like this but I, again, hope it works for others.

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We have done a lot of testing with multiple thermocouples in and around pots to try to understand how well convection works in various cooking modes. We're quite satisfied that for the recipes we will deliver with the app things will come out great. If, on the other hand, you are looking for tenth-of-a-degree precision for e.g. eggs, we're not there yet.

 

Not looking for such precision.  What about recipes that are not delivered with the app?  How does one set the device for those?  Will the cooking still "come out great?"  Where can one find the recipes that come with the app?  Are they specific recipes, or just general descriptions?  Seems like a smart phone is required for this product, yes?  If so, how does one use the product without a smart phone?


Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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well, the 250 @ $ 99 went fairly quickly

 

remember what happened when the Anova @ 99 went quickly ?

 

that might be a better barometer on how this item might do  'initially'

 

soooo  good thinking outside the box !

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Suppose Meld turns the gas fire to very low and a breeze blows out the flame.

 

Meld senses the temperature is getting low and turns the gas way up in an attempt to raise the temperature.!!!!!

 

What would happen?

 

 

dcarch


Edited by dcarch (log)

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Yes, it works on electric. At the very beginning of the project we were not sure it would, but we have been very pleasantly surprised at the performance on electric ranges.

 

How about on an outdoor gas grill?  What about other types of cooktops, like induction?

 

Can it be set up to handle variations of temp, such as bringing something to simmer, then to a boil, then down to a simmer again, which is not an unusual sequence.  Is the device programmable to a user's specific recipes and needs?


 ... Shel


 

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Suppose Meld turns the gas fire to very low and a breeze blows out the flame.

 

Meld senses the temperature is getting low and turns the gas way up in an attempt to raise the temperature.!!!!!

 

What would happen?

 

 

dcarch

 

Gets detected. Stated that it shuts off in this circumstance.

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Not looking for such precision.  What about recipes that are not delivered with the app?  How does one set the device for those?  Will the cooking still "come out great?"  Where can one find the recipes that come with the app?  Are they specific recipes, or just general descriptions?  Seems like a smart phone is required for this product, yes?  If so, how does one use the product without a smart phone?

 

For recipes that are not in the app, there is a manual mode you can use to choose a temperature and the system will hold it. We'll be releasing a list of recipes that come with the app in the not too distant future. They are specific recipes, not just generic ones. The list is constantly expanding because we are developing and testing new recipes and will continue to do so through and after the knobs and clips are delivered.

 

A smart phone is not technically required, as it will work with iPads and Android tablets too, but you do need a smart device of some form to run the user interface.


Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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this is an algorithm question.

 

if you had a really really big pot of Sunday Gravy, on a gas stove that was old and crapy in need of cleaning and repair or

 

replacement, you would need to get your head examined no matter what if you thought an App would let you leave the house

 

to play some golf.

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How about on an outdoor gas grill?  What about other types of cooktops, like induction?

 

Can it be set up to handle variations of temp, such as bringing something to simmer, then to a boil, then down to a simmer again, which is not an unusual sequence.  Is the device programmable to a user's specific recipes and needs?

 

We are definitely looking at other kinds of cooking, and we will adapt the system to handle them. But for the moment, we are a small team and want to focus on getting the first product shipped.

 

Many of our recipes do involve different temperatures at different stages for different amounts of time. We've also gotten a lot of early interest from home brewers who tend to want to do exactly that.

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Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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I'll pass it along on to the AHA and see... Definitely should work with step mashing on a small scale.

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