About this project
Our Kickstarter campaign is over, but you can still get a Codlo in your local version (available in US, UK, EU, AU/NZ-style plugs). Head over to Codlo.com for more info and to place an order.
Thank you all backers!
Thanks to you, the Codlo sous-vide controller was successfully funded!
Orders are now available through Codlo.com.
Jason Perlow, eGullet founder, Senior Tech Editor ZDNet - "This could be next revolutionary food geekery toy. Sous Vide for the iPod-set."
As featured in:
Codlo is a powerful controller that lets you try sous-vide cooking at home, just with the help of a simple rice or slow cooker. It comes with commercial-quality precision and smart capabilities to help you make healthy, gourmet meals at home, effortlessly.
Codlo comes in 4 variations for US, EU, AU/NZ and UK-style plugs (see "Technical Specifications" section below for more info).
What’s sous-vide cooking? Why is it awesome?
The key to great cooking is temperature control. Sous-videis a cooking technique that uses low (way below boiling) and precise temperatures to create amazing dishes. Overcooking food will be history given the precision and control you now have.
Sous-vide cooking is easy: All you need to do is place your food ingredients into a bag, make it airtight, then plop it in a rice or slow cooker filled with water - Codlo does the rest and you only attend to it once it's done. Addition of fat or oil is optional.
We'll let the results speak for themselves:
Sous-vide is amazing with eggs the texture can change drastically from 60ºC/140ºF to 65ºC/149ºF. Check out this video:
Sous-vide lets you eat healthier while saving time & money too! Here are some tasty examples of what we've cooked using sous-vide so far (more examples in this update and our website's recipe section)...
How does Codlo work?
Codlo accurately regulates the water temperature in your cooker to ensure perfect cooking everytime.
Codlo works with appliances that has an analogue, mechanical switch (see FAQ at the bottom of the page for more on compatibility).
Just plug Codlo into your electric outlet, connect your cooker to Codlo (at its base), and dip the temperature probe in the water-filled cooker - you're now ready to cook sous-vide! It's plug-and-play at its best.
Why are we doing this?
We want to make sous-vide cooking easy and accessible. Currently limited to top chefs and a lucky few, we wanted to share the brilliant simplicity of this cooking technique with other home cooks like us. However, current consumer sous-vide appliances are either too expensive (£300-£900), bulky, or complicated to use. We decided to build our own to address those issues.
We took the sous-vide machine back to the drawing board. 3 elements are required for sous-vide cooking: a vessel, heater and temperature regulator. But why duplicate the vessel and heater when we already have similar kitchen appliances? Why add another bulky item to your kitchen countertop unnecessarily?
We focused on building a better temperature control system that works with any simple cooker (analogue / mechanical switch), which resulted in our patent-pending Fluid algorithm. Fluid automatically adapts to your individual cooker's characteristics for accurate temperature control.
This means Codlo learns as it cooks: automatically calibrating and updating PID parameters in the same cooking cycle, on-the-go. Thus Codlo can be used in a variety of situations (different cooker, amount of water, food, temperatures etc), without the need to adjust settings. No setup required, just plug-and-play.
- Sleek, compact and space-saving design
- Intuitive control panel
- °C and °F compatible
- Traffic light progress bar indicator
- Enhanced temperature stability with the adaptive, patent-pending Fluid algorithm
- Compatible with analogue switch cookers up to 2,000W in UK, EU, AUS/NZ and 1,000W in US
- Available in 110V-120V and 220-240V versions for UK, European, US and AU/NZ-style plugs
- 1-1.4m thermometer cable length
- 2.4" tri-colour wide-angled EBTN LCD display
- Temperature setting range: 20°C - 90°C / 68°F - 194°F
- Temperature resolution: 0.1°C / 0.1°F
- Temperature stability (once settled): ±0.2°C / ±0.4°F
- Timer setting range: 1 min to 99 hours
- Timer resolution: 1 min
And finally, a big thank you to:
Our friends Ian Sciacaluga (director), Nigel Kinnings (lighting & camera), Simon Buck (sound), Luke Thompson (editor), Jahzzar (music) for the amazing dedication and great work on our fantastic video.
YOU! For reading all the way to here, and taking an interest in our project! So here's our latest sous-vide dish we'd like to share with you:
Yours truly, the Codlo team
Risks and challenges
**THESE ARE RISKS AND CHALLENGES AS SEEN WHEN LAUNCHING OUR KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN ON 28 JUNE 2013.
FOLLOW US ON OUR BLOG FOR THE LATEST UPDATES ON HOW THESE CHALLENGES HAVE BEEN MET.**
1) Quality control: We are strict when it comes to the quality and finish of our products. Despite the confirmed confidence of our design team who worked with the manufacturer several times before, there's always the risk that we are not 100% satisfied with results of the initial test run. In such a case an additional iteration and improvement of the manufacturing process might be necessary. This unlikely scenario would delay the manufacturing process.
2) Product safety approval: From the start, we have engaged product safety experts and referred to safety guidelines outlined by various regional standards (CE, FCC, EMC, ETL/UL etc) when designing Codlo. Pre-compliance testing plans have also been arranged to ensure that Codlo will pass these safety tests in the first go. However, given that Codlo is a new kitchen device, there's always a risk that new safety regulations may apply or that the testing company's schedule itself is delayed. If this occurs, Codlo's shipping would be delayed.
We've been working on Codlo for a year, doing all the necessary preparation work upfront (more prototype testing, design finalisation, component and factory sourcing) to minimise our project risk and the potential delay. We are aware of the challenges above and have arrangements in place to overcome them.
We are committed to bring the Codlo sous-vide controller into the market with your help. Join us and be part of this exciting journey!
Thank you so much for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Sous-vide is known to be excellent with meat, fish and eggs. But it's pretty magical with vegetables too.
Sous-vide cooks meat evenly to your desired “doneness” without overcooking it. For example, steak cooked sous-vide would be medium rare throughout and would not suffer from the usual “gradient of doneness” (overcooked outside, undercooked core) commonly found in the traditional methods of pan frying over high heat.
With fish and eggs, sous vide empowers you with the ability to achieve textures not found in other cooking methods. Think meltingly tender and velvety salmon and the creamiest egg in the world.
It works well with fruits and vegetables too. A pear or quince cooked sous-vide would be deeply fragrant and firm. Asparagus are bright green, sweet and crunchy; whilst potatoes (yup, you heard me right!) are yellow, firm and buttery.
All you need is a suitable, compatible cooker (see below) and food-grade resealable bags like Ziploc.
Codlo works with any analogue kitchen appliance that has a heatable vessel with manual (mechanical) switch. To check if your appliance works with Codlo:
1. Connect your appliance to an electrical outlet, turn it on to start heating.
2. Disconnect your appliance from the outlet without turning the appliance off.
3. Re-connect your appliance to the outlet.
4. If your appliance continues to heat after step 3, it will work with Codlo. If it requires pushing of a button to start heating, it's not compatible.
In short, it depends.
If you cook sous-vide for immediate serving (cook-serve), a vacuum sealer is not necessary. Using good quality resealable Ziploc bags with the water displacement method works well for sous-vide cooking temperatures. Most users tend to use this method for home use.
A vacuum sealer is recommended if you tend to store food cooked sous-vide for consumption at a later date (cook-chill), require compression of certain food or use other techniques such as flash-pickling. We recommend exploring cook-chill at a later stage once you become more familiar with the cook-serve method.
The main purpose of the vacuum (or just an airtight bag) is to ensure an efficient heat distribution from the waterbath to food for even cooking, because air is a poor conductor of heat. This is also the reason why you can survive in a sauna at 70°C / 158°F yet scald your fingers if they are dipped in a waterbath for a few seconds at the same temperature.
From our experience, we found clamp-style vacuum sealers unnecessary as it has the additional downside of not being able to seal pouches containing liquids, such as marinades.
A common misconception about low temperature cooking is that it is unsafe as it involves cooking in lower temperatures that are in the bacterial "dangerzone" of 10°C-55°C (50°F-131°F).
In fact, food safety is a function of both time and temperature; a low cooking temperature would be perfectly safe if maintained for long enough to achieve pasteurization.
Generally, food that is heated and served within 4 hours is considered safe (including unpasteurised food), but meat that is cooked for longer to tenderise must reach a temperature of at least 55°C (131°F) within 4 hours and then be kept there, in order to pasteurise the meat.
Unpasteurised food is not dangerous if fresh, high quality ingredients are used with proper hygienic practice. Or else we wouldn't have sushi, rare steak or carpaccio. However, it’s advisable to not serve unpasteurized food to highly susceptible, pregnant or immuno-compromised people.
Sous-vide cooking is safe with good food hygiene practices, purchase of fresh food and adherence to the time-temperature guidelines. Sous-vide cooking is not more dangerous, as these precautions apply to other conventional cooking methods too!
The main concern about cooking in plastic bags involve leaching of potentially harmful chemicals, such as BPA (bisphenol-A) and phthalates from the bag into the food. Food grade plastic bags, certified as suitable for cooking by their manufacturer, are safe to use. We leave it to experts to comment on this issue.
Harold McGee, author and prominent food science expert commented in an article in New York Times (11 August 2008):
“Heavy-duty Ziploc bags are made from polyethylene (PE) and are approved for contact with hot foods. True sous-vide cooking involves vacuum-packing the food, which zipping a bag won’t do for you. But you can certainly use the bag to immerse food in a water bath whose temperature you control carefully. It can be hard to squeeze out all the air, so the bags tend to float and heat unevenly unless you weigh them down. Sous-vide cooking generally involves water temperatures between 120°F-180°F (49°C-82°C), which the heavy-duty bags can take.”
Nathan Myhrvold, author of Modernist Cuisine also advised users to:
"Avoid bags containing polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Ziploc bags for home cooks are a safe alternative because they are made from polyethylene (PE), which does not break down at the low temperatures of sous-vide cooking and are BPA-free."
We have customised the specification of the rice cooker to suit sous-vide cooking optimally. It's a large (2.2L, 15 cups) and powerful 900 watt rice cooker that's compatible with Codlo. It's 26 cm tall and 32 cm wide, comes with a removable non-stick bowl for easy clean up.
This model can accommodate up to 3.8-4.0 litres of water to accommodate larger portions too. In terms of design, it comes in a sleek silver outer shell with black accents so that it matches perfectly with whatever colour of Codlo you decide on. It is difficult to find large, non-commercial rice cookers of this size and power configuration, for this price (especially in Western markets), hence we thought this rice cooker is perfect for The Full Monty package!
In short, it's not necessary. It's important to make sure the waterbath has even temperature throughout. With a rice cooker or slow cooker, we find that the combination of the closed vessel, wider heating element and convection currents creates a great waterbath that works even with sensitive foods like eggs without the need for circulation. For sensitive food items, you can always add a small plate at the bottom to place your food on to avoid direct heat. Temperature even-ness (if that's a word!) also relies on food to water ratio (stuffing too much food), size of vessel and position of heating element.
Circulation is needed for immersion circulators as they have a single heating element (often near the surface of the water) and often with no top insulation. Due to heating element, they are also a lot more expensive and you'll have to monitor them for water levels constantly for safety reasons.
Please check out this image we've created to explain the differences (http://i.imgur.com/AkORmBp.png). We've done tests to measure this and the temperature differences within a cooker (with the lid closed) is 0.1°C-0.2°C / 0.3°F-0.5°F at most.
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