Funding for this project was suspended by Kickstarter on January 28, 2014.
About this project
SOUSIMPLE + Your Kitchen Appliance + Standard Zipper Bag = Home Sous Vide Culinary Excellence!
What is sous vide cooking? Sous vide is a culinary technique using precise temperature control to achieve perfect results, every time. Simply place your desired ingredients into a sealed bag, give it an airtight seal, and lower into a water bath. The food cooks slowly and gently without losing natural juices, resulting in tender, moist, and flat out awesome chow!
What is the SOUSIMPLE? The SOUSIMPLE is an electronic device that will bring the sous vide cooking method into your home at a fraction of the typical sous vide price. Its foolproof method eliminates the guesswork and lets anyone cook foods with incomparable taste and texture: steak perfectly cooked edge-to-edge, vibrant vegetables, and juicy tender chicken breasts exploding with flavor. Never over cook your food again!
How does the SOUSIMPLE work? First, plug one end of the SOUSIMPLE into a wall outlet and the other into a kitchen appliance you already own, such as a slow cooker or rice cooker. Next, insert your food into a standard plastic zipper bag, and get as much of the air out as possible. Place your food into the cooker, fill the remaining space with hot tap water, and drop the SOUSIMPLE's remote temperature probe into the water. Finally, close the lid, set the desired cooking temperature on the SOUSIMPLE, and walk away - SOUSIMPLE handles the rest. Typical cooking methods force you to eat when the food is ready, or else the food will over continue to overcook. With SOUSIMPLE controlling the food temperature, your food will NEVER overcook, allowing you to eat when YOU are ready.
Why not buy another sous vide product? Sure, we know there are higher end sous vide products out there, such as the Sansaire, Nomiku, or Sous Vide Supreme, but their costs are MUCH higher than our solution (3-6x more!). And most homeowners do not want to spend hundreds of dollars on ANOTHER kitchen appliance when they can use something they already own to yield the same results. The SOUSIMPLE lets you do more while spending less – for equal results! Another benefit is that you can use standard plastic zipper bags with the SOUSIMPLE instead of buying a vacuum sealer and expensive vacuum seal bags.
Can the SOUSIMPLE be used for other things than sous vide? Yes, it sure can! Use the SOUSIMPLE to keep any food or item at an optimal temperature. Great for gooey cheese dips, football game day chili, Lil-Smokey party appetizers, and chocolate fondues. It is also perfect for regulating temperatures of soups and stews – never burn the roof of your mouth again! Want another benefit? It also makes cleanup a breeze – never again burn foods to the inside of your crock pot or warming dish, leaving you to scrape away the dirty mess. Convenience!
Crock pots and rice cookers do not circulate water - is this a problem? No. Water at elevated temperature evenly conducts heat throughout, all by itself. Other high end sous vide cookers such as the Sous Vide Supreme do not feature water circulation, and our testing yielded equal results when comparing circulating and non-circulating devices.
What is the hard science behind sous vide cooking? All meat has connective tissue (collagen) and muscle fibers (protein). Tougher and lower priced cuts of meat typically have more collagen, whereas higher quality cuts have less. Collagen will break down and become tender (often known as collagen melt), but is a function of temperature and time. Higher cooking temperatures constrict the proteins and mechanically ring the water out of muscle fibers. However, with sous vide cooking, the temperatures are LOW so the proteins do not get the drying effect. Because of this, the resulting food is tender, juicy, and bursting with natural flavor.
What foods cook best with sous vide? Beef, lamb, chicken, fish, seafood, pork, wild game, eggs, fruits and vegetables. Every order will include our easy to read time and temperature chart, getting these foods on your plate in no time! Below is a sample of the temperature chart for beef (steak).
Our Progress All along, it has been our mission to share with the masses the benefit of sous vide cooking at a price point that does not break the bank. A lot of time has been spent building, testing, and perfecting the hardware. We are quite proud of how the many prototypes evolved into a superb final design. Product testing has ironed out the major kinks and concerns. However, we need your help to proceed with final drawings, perform a first article qualification with our cabinet shop vendor, order final assembly tooling, prepare assembly instructions and generate wiring procedures, and get quantity pricing for initial order fulfillment. With your help, the SOUSIMPLE prototype will turn into a manufacturing reality.
"The Package" Funding Level - Wood Choices
- Darren Jeseritz is a food geek who loves bringing technology into the kitchen and perfecting the art of cooking. Expect more KickStarter projects soon, as he has lots of ideas up his sleeve! Darren earned a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota and loves spending his free time tinkering on DIY projects in his garage.
- Mark Bliss loves turning ideas into reality - at 29, he has already started and grown two businesses! Darren opened Mark’s eyes to the world of sous vide cooking by turning tough and chewy venison into filet mignon quality. Mark earned a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota and loves spending his free time playing with his German Shepherd.
Risks and challenges
As with any project, there is the possibility that something could go wrong and introduce an unforeseen delay. However, leading large engineering projects at our day jobs have fine tuned our skills to minimize blunders, create amazingly detailed project plans, and accurately predict product costs.
We want to keep the production local and benefit our Minnesota, USA community. Everything from wood case production, electronic wiring, and final assembly and test will be performed by small family-owned businesses in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region. Yes, some of the electronic parts are sourced from China, but the majority of parts are from the USA! We have already tested our supply base and are ready to build and deliver the quality product you expect.
Any appliance having a manual control function (rotary selectable off, low, med, high, etc) or simple plug-in-the-wall powered operation is compatible. This includes crock pots, slow cookers, rice cookers, coffee immersion heating elements, coffee pots, heating basins, etc. If your device features digital control but has a manual setting option, it will NOT work. This is because the SOUSIMPLE will NOT work with a fully digital controlled device – the two sets of digital controls do not play together nicely.
You bet it is. The electronics are housed in a high strength plastic case and placed in a wooden case, sealed by a scratch resistant coating. We’ve done repeated tests of table drops and pushing and pulling on the assembly, yet the SOUSIMPLE still runs great after simulated abuse. Don’t cut the cord with a sword though – that it cannot withstand!
NO! We have done extensive testing and found that placing food in a simple plastic zipper bag and then getting the air out as best possible is equal to vacuum sealing. Many traditional sous vide appliance manufacturers recommend using a vacuum sealer and proprietary bags, because – well, they sell these products too and end up making even more money. If you want to use your existing vacuum sealer, have at it – we will not stop you. Just know that a simple zipper plastic bag will yield equal results in the end. Try it yourself!
NO! If you look at suggested cooking temperatures for meats and other common sous vide foods, the ranges are much larger than what the SOUSIMPLE controls within. Having a tighter band is pointless, is more expensive, and does not give improved results. If you do not believe us, buy the SOUSIMPLE and run your own head-to-head cooking comparison with the competition. Once you are a SOUSIMPLE believer, simply return their device and consider the case closed!
Yes. Food cooked sous vide retains important nutrients typically lost in the cooking liquid or into the air. Fats in meat and fish, which become damaged at high temperatures in the presence of oxygen, remain un-oxidized and unharmed. Almost all potentially harmful organisms will be killed at 54.5degC given sufficient time to heat the food completely to that temperature. Since most sous vide cooking is done between 54.5degC and 85degC, the food will be safe. Simply follow our included sous vide instructional guide displaying a chart of meat, thickness, temperature, and cooking duration information.
Yes. Food grade plastic zipper storage bags have been tested to meet food safety standards. We recommend using plastic bags free of BPA (bisphenol-A), phthalates (toxic metals, such as lead), and other plasticizers, such as Ziploc brand bags. Sous vide temperatures never reach boiling, which is unsafe for plastic bag use.
Yes. If you rather have the controller display units of Fahrenheit instead of Celsius, simply let us know this when you place your order.
The SOUSIMPLE can be used to control any device 1000W or less.
At the moment, we are NOT offering the SOUSIMPLE for markets outside of the USA. There are lots of rules and regulations to comply with for specific geographies and will scale when it makes sense.
When using a crock pot or rice cooker, no circulator is required. This is because unlike the other circulating devices on the market, the entire container is heated evenly. The heating element for a crock pot is wrapped around the entire side wall of the ceramic pot, so the heat is MUCH more even than with a clip-on circulator. For the average rice cooker, the entire bottom is heated and natural convection does the rest (your rice isn't unevenly heated is it?). We've been using this method for months and have never run into an issue with uneven heating.
Some articles showing DIY solutions will tell you to use an aquarium bubbler to serve as a circulator. In our opinion all this does is add room temperature air to your hot water, making the heating element's job that much more difficult. In our tests, moving the probe around in the water when the system reaches a stable temperature shows no measurable difference regardless of where the probe is placed.
The DIY kit includes the electrical controller, power cables, wire nuts, cord grips, and assembly instructions and pictures. Assembly will take a novice 5min to complete. A total of 10wired connections need to be made, and a soldering iron and special tools are NOT NEEDED!
All that we do not provide is the box in which everything is placed. You must build your own, or order one from DigiKey or other electronic supply source. Home Depot even has some too!
- (30 days)