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FauxPas

Joule Sous Vide from ChefSteps

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Not that I don't trust their team. But for me I will wait.

 

In their design, there are several materials in close contact with each other. Each with a different thermal expansion coefficient. In repeated heating and cooling, who knows how they will behave. If the thin pottery glaze develops a crack (what? cracks in pottery glaze?) you will have high voltage in direct contact with water.

 

Perhaps they have safety built in.

 

A normal heating coil has the heating element in thick ceramic jacket and the jacket is sealed in electrically grounded stainless steel tube.

 

dcarch

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Handily skips the "find phone.  Unlock phone.  Find app.  Launch app.  Wait for app to start." steps, which will take quite a bit longer.

 

I thought the video was quite clear, it's just the setting of the temperature. The initial set-up of the machine and app is a different matter.


~Martin :)

I try to find the good food in every situation!

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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I'd be very happy with a circulator that's the size of the Joule, as simple as the Sansaire (I don't need fancy connectivity or other bells and whistles), as reliable as the Anova and a ~$99.00 price point.

I'd buy a few of them!  :cool:  

 

FWW, you can get close out Anova 1s for $79 US right now. 

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Since I own two Anova PC1, with one constantly out in my cook corner and one at my girlfriend's I really can't see the appeal of the Joule. I only ever use the Anova App for odd timings like 17 minutes or such.

The open source and community idea is great, but my PCs are hardly big and I never need to use that much liquid when cooking for one or two people. In this photo you can see in using a washing tablet box with a cut out in the flip up lid. It heats up in moment and is plenty stable .

image.jpeg

 

although Dave Arnold's 500ml 'fuge is on the way.

Where is the latest info on this?

The Dead Parrot; Built from the ground up by bartenders, for everyone:

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I hope Sansaire has a smaller circulator in the pipeline. 

 

If not a Joules in Black might be tempting.


“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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Yep. Wifi and Bluetooth.

That's good. What will make or break this is clearly going to be the online community and how well that is implemented and how dependable those features are.

The size and wattage is a bonus, but I'd suggest that if you need to hear up loads of water, you don't mind an extra two inches of machine. Likewise, if you're hearing 2 litres, you can make do with less wattage.

The aesthetics are good and it fits the Apple iStore styling that middle classes like, so that makes a lot of sense... It's a shame for them that Aniva beat them to getting this in the Apple Stores.

It's a great looking and clearly powerful machine - I love the Chefsteps team also, I might add - but I have a feeling they are at least a year too late with this.


The Dead Parrot; Built from the ground up by bartenders, for everyone:

Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Champions, 2015

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Chef Steps has been in bed with Poly Science for so long I've wondered if they realized the growing market for circulators is looking for a sub $200 unit.  I'm sure I'm not their only "member" who follows the site, uses it for reference and recipes and then plugs in an Anova.

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Chef Steps has been in bed with Poly Science for so long I've wondered if they realized the growing market for circulators is looking for a sub $200 unit.

 

That is a good thought, but it seems unlikely that they wouldn't be aware of that.  Perhaps they are intentionally aiming for higher margins and lower volumes towards the upper end of the home user market.  I will be interested to see if they are able to maintain that $100 price jump after the introductory period. 

 

There is a smoker called a Pit Barrel Cooker that seems to have succeeded with the same strategy and price points.  They offered $100 off their $300 cooker, sold a bunch of them, got a lot of buzz and then maintained the $300 price point.  It may have taken some time for people to get used to the idea of paying $100 more, but they seem to be doing very well now.  There are cheaper options, but a lot of people seem to think it is worth a premium.  Perhaps Chef Steps is hoping that will also be true for the Joule.

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What's the big advantage of a small circulator? I find most of the time I wish mine was longer so I had more flexibility in the bath I use. I have a surgically-enhanced Esky/Cooler that fits the circulator through the lid but it doesn't reach very deep so I use more water than necessary for small batches. Maybe that's not a major issue for some, but I don't see the current size as a too large.


It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I succumbed to the Joule sale back in August - not long after my Anova died on me (it was subsequently replaced under warranty).  My Joule finally arrived yesterday.  I knew it was compact, but it was really striking to see it in person:

 

Joule.jpg

 

That is a standard 12 oz beer bottle.  The beer is a little closer and the angle distorts it a bit, but the Joule is quite compact.  I will give it a try in the next few days but I don't expect it to perform dramatically better or differently than my Anova.  It will be nice to have a little more room in the pots I typically use for SV though - not to mention drawer space.  My Anova is probably headed for the back of a distant pantry cupboard.

 

Chefsteps claims they will be caught up on their backorders soon.  They are now taking orders at $199 including shipping.  I am sure they would have liked to have kept the $299 price, but there are now many lower cost competitors.

 

 

 


Edited by rustwood clarity (log)
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Impressive!  I've been anxiously awaiting mine to arrive.  It's supposed to arrive tomorrow, unless the winter storms delay it by a day.  Unfortunately it's scheduled to arrive at home, and I'm traveling for the next few months.  :-( I really wish they'd kept the original schedule, in which they promised an October delivery.

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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2 minutes ago, Smithy said:

Impressive!  I've been anxiously awaiting mine to arrive.  It's supposed to arrive tomorrow, unless the winter storms delay it by a day.  Unfortunately it's scheduled to arrive at home, and I'm traveling for the next few months.  :-( I really wish they'd kept the original schedule, in which they promised an October delivery.

Dang!  I can imagine the small size would be a boon in the confines of the Princessmobile. Oh well, next year!

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Mine arrived on Friday, just before we left for Lima.  I held the box close but did not even have a chance to open it.  Will start playing with it when we come back this weekend!

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Im very pleased that circulators have become common, and one has choices at reasonable prices.

 

not so pleased CombiOvens have not followed suit.

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Came back home and started playing with Joule.  Downloaded the app, no problems.  It offered me to re-name Joule.  Now her name is Mashwa, after an exotic root vegetable that I ate in Peru.  

 

Side by side comparison with Anova.

image.jpg

 

Real strong magnet made using clip unnecessary in Le Creuset pot.  Made lamb leg overnight, it worked like a champ and I could check the cooking temp on iPad without getting out of bed (although I did not).

 

image.jpg

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The size difference is very noticeable. I find the Anova somewhat big and clumsy and keep thinking about the Joule. But the Anova was recently $99 and the Joule is twice that and I just can't justify buying the latter right now at that price. But the Joule does look very elegant. Does it circulate the water just as well? 

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I've been very happy with mine so far. It's so much smaller and SO much quieter than my Polyscience. It also heats marginally faster. The pump isn't nearly as strong (which is a good thing -- the PS is, if anything too strong) but it doesn't need to be because its impeller sucks in the coldest water from the bottom. Apart from the size and noise benefits (which are substantial) I think my favorite thing is that you can use it in basically no water. It's feasible to use it in pretty much any pot or container, however small. This not only saves water but also heats up faster so you're ready to cook in a shorter amount of time. While I'm kinda tempted by how cheap the Anovas are, if I was going to get another circulator, it'd be a Joule for sure.

 

Now, if only they'd update the software so you can control multiple Joules from the same device...

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I was very tempted to order a Joule but I think I'll wait another year or until the Anova One (I have that and two SVMs) dies.

 

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~Martin :)

I try to find the good food in every situation!

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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According to a reliable source (ahem), Joule can be run completely submerged under water for at least an hour and then continue to run with a normal water level for the remainder of the day without any problems.  It is not a recommended practice though - the official high water mark is just below the power cord.

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My Anova is working well so no need to upgrade and figure when the Anova craps out, they will be on Joule v4

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11 hours ago, chefmd said:

Real strong magnet made using clip unnecessary in Le Creuset pot.

 

 

I like that feature, but how's the clip?  Although more clunky, the Anova clamp seems more versatile.

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Clip is not adjustable, it is about 5 inches high so your pot has to be at least that tall.

image.jpg

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It doesn't really have to be that tall. I've cooked eggs in an 8"X8" glass casserole dish. (Try that with any other circulator.) And I've used several dutch ovens and All Clad pots with the magnet (which is great). The clip from the factory is pretty small (too small to clip on the classic "big Cambro" that many use for SV) but they designed Joule so you can swap the clip out for a larger one that will fit Cambros and premium coolers like the Yeti. The bigger clip isn't on the market yet, but should be soon. 

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I also like that the anova has a removable cord.  Makes the device much easier to store.  But assuming both products hold temperature and circulate well enough, what it comes down to is the pot you wish to use.

 

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      Chef Grant processing the broccoli

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      Broccoli stems after cooking
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      Poached Broccoli Stem and Crisp Bread cooking

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      Chef Grant devises a plating scheme for the Poached Broccoli Stem while Curtis looks on

      Chef Grant ponders one potential plating of the dish. He called this incarnation 'predictable' and started over.

      Another plating idea. This version is garnished with broccoli petals and ultra-thin slices of connected grapefruit pulp cells. The yellow petals are stand-ins for what will ultimately be broccoli blossoms
      Grant is still displeased at the dish's appearance. "The dish tastes as I envisioned it....texturally complex, with the crispness of the bread, the soft elements of the floret puree and stem, and the pop of the eggs. The buttery richness from the bread gives the stem the flavor of the melted cabbage I loved at the [French] Laundry. And the hot and cold contrasts from the roe and broccoli …I like it…..I just don’t like the way it looks.” Another attempt and the group agrees, it is better but not “the one.” The use of the thinly sliced cross sections of peeled grapefruit energizes the group. In the next rendition, they make small packets with the ultra thinly-sliced grapefruit containing the roe...

      A third plating configuration for Poached Broccoli Stems; this one featuring the packets of roe wrapped in ultra thin sheets of grapefruit pulp cells
      At this point the team decides to move on and come back to it next week. After some conversation they decide that in the final dish, broccoli will appear in at least 5 forms: poached stems, floret puree, some raw form of the stem, the tiny individual sprouts of broccoli florets, and the blooms. Grant feels that Poached Broccoli Stem could be ready for service, although he still envisions some changes for the dish that will make it even more emblematic of his personal style. “Our dishes continue to evolve after they hit the menu. It is important for us to get to know them better before we can clearly see their weaknesses.”
      The thought for the dried crème brulee originated over a year ago when a regular customer jokingly asked for a crème brulee for dessert. “He said it as joke, I took it as a challenge,” says Grant. "Of course, we never intended to give him a regular crème brulee.” The team tried various techniques to create the powder-filled caramel bubble while at Trio to no avail. An acceptable filling for the Dried Crème Brulee has been developed by the Chef and his team but several different methods, attempted today, to create the orb from caramelized sugar have been less than 100% successful.

      Caramel blob awaiting formation. Chef Curtis kept this pliable by leaving it in a low oven throughout the day

      Chef Grant’s initial idea to use a metal bubble ring and heat gun (normally used for stripping paint) to form the bubbles does not work as hoped. Attempts to fashion them by hand also come up short.
      Says Grant, “At Trio we tried a hair-dryer. When Martin told me about these heat guns which get up to 900 degrees F, I thought we had it for sure. If it was easy everyone would do it I guess.” Eventually, Alinea partner Nick Kokonas garners the task’s best result by positioning a small, warm blob of sugar onto the end of a drinking straw and blowing into the other end. The results are promising. Curtis suggests using a sugar pump to inflate the orbs. That adjustment will be attempted on another day.
      “We intentionally position whimsical bite in the amuse slot, it tends to break the ice and make people laugh. It is a deliberate attempt to craft the experience by positioning the courses in a very pre-meditated order. A great deal of thought goes into the order of the courses, a misalignment may really take away from the meal as a whole.” For PB&J, the grapes are peeled while still on the vine and then dipped into unsweetened peanut butter. They are allowed to set–up, and then they are wrapped with a thin sheet of bread and lightly toasted. When the peeled grapes warm, they become so soft they mimic jelly. The composition is strangely unfamiliar in appearance but instantly reminiscent on the palate. PB&J is, according to Grant, virtually ready for service. There are a couple of aesthetic elements, which need minor tweaks but the Chef feels very good about today’s prototype.

      Chef John peels grapes while still on their stems

      Peeled grapes on their stems with peanut butter coating

      Chef Grant studies the completed PB&J in the Crucial Detail designed piece

      PB&J
      Often, creative impulses come by way of Alinea’s special purveyors. “Terra Spice’s support over the past couple of years has been unprecedented, and it has accelerated with the start of the food lab,” says Grant. “It is great to have relationships with people that think like we do, it can make the creative process so much easier. Often Phil, our contact at Terra, would come into the kitchen at Trio and encourage us to try and stump him on obscure ingredients. We always lost, but not from lack of trying. He even brought in two live chufa plants into the kitchen one day.” The relationship has developed and Terra team has really made an effort to not only search out products that the chefs ask for but also keep an eye out for new ingredients and innovations. In August, Phil brought by some samples of products that he thought the Alinea team might be interested in trying.

      Phil of Terra Spice showing the team some samples

      Coconut powder and other samples
      Grant recalls “the most surprising item to me was the dried coconut powder. When I put a spoonful in my mouth I could not believe the intense flavor and instant creamy texture, it was awesome.” That was the inspiration for what is now Instant Tropical Pudding. The guest is presented with a glass filled with dried ingredients. A member of the service team pours a measured amount of coconut water into the glass and instructs the guest to stir the pudding until a creamy consistency is formed.

      The rum-spiked coconut water being added to the powders
      At the end of the day, the Chefs assess their overall effort as having gone “fairly well.” It’s a mixed bag of results. Clearly, the fact that things have not gone perfectly on Day 1 has not dampened anyone’s spirits. The team has purposely attempted dishes of varying degrees of difficultly in order to maximize their productivity. Says Grant, “Making a bubble of caramel filled with powder…I have devoted the better part of fifteen years to this craft, I have trained with the best chefs alive. I have a good grasp of known technique. The lab's purpose is to create technique based on our vision. Sometimes we will succeed, and sometimes we will fail, but trying is what make us who we are." The team's measured evaluations of their day’s work reflect that philosophy.
      According to Chef Grant, “The purpose of the lab is to create the un-creatable. I know the level at which we can cook. I know the level of technique we already possess. What I am interested in is what we don't know...making a daydream reality.” With little more than 100 days on the calendar between now and Alinea’s opening, the Chef and his team will have their work cut out for them.
      =R=
      A special thanks to eGullet member yellow truffle, who contributed greatly to this piece
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