About this project
Our Kickstarter campaign has ended but you can still get your own Sansaire at Sansaire.com.
- Serious Eats: “The Sansaire Sous-Vide Circulator is the Solution We've Been Waiting For”
- Mashable: “Sansaire Sous Vide Circulator Brings Pro Technique to Your Kitchen”
- Cnet: “Sous Vide is Coming Home with Sansaire”
- Tested: “Will drops by the home of Seattle Food Geek Scott Heimendinger to check out the Sansaire, a new immersion circulator for sous vide cooking”
We are humbled by the tremendous support we’ve received from our Kickstarter backers! The next couple months are going to be a whirlwind of activity, but we’ll be posting regular updates on Sansaire.com. We can’t wait to deliver the Sansaire to our wonderful Kickstarter backers. We think you’re going to love it!
What is it?
The Sansaire immersion circulator is the only tool you need to cook sous vide, and it only costs $199. Just place the Sansaire in a pot or basin, add water, and set your cooking temperature. The Sansaire maintains the water temperature, ensuring that your foods will cook perfectly every time. In the last few years, a few companies have marketed devices for sous vide cooking. Unfortunately, those devices are still too expensive for home use, in our opinion. We believe the Sansaire can change that.
What is “sous vide” cooking?
Sous vide is a cooking method that uses precise temperature control to achieve perfect results, every time.
On a stovetop, in an oven, or on a grill, you’re cooking with temperatures that are much higher than you ever want your food to reach. As a result, if you turn your back for a moment too long, your steak can overshoot perfection and end up as a tough, gray mess. And, even if you do achieve a medium-rare interior, the high heat environment of traditional cooking creates bands of overcooked areas around the outside of your food.
By contrast, sous vide uses relatively low temperatures to achieve perfect, repeatable results that you just can’t replicate through any other method. Foods are cooked evenly from edge to edge, to exactly the doneness you want. And, because foods won’t overcook while they hang out in the water bath, dinner is ready when you are.
How does it work?
The Sansaire is an immersion circulator: it houses the heating coils, thermometer, microcontroller and water-circulating motor that work together to maintain a precise temperature in your water bath. Unlike some other sous vide machines, which have a fixed-size water bath, or require you to use your own rice cooker or crock pot, the Sansaire circulator works with any container. Just making a few eggs for breakfast? Attach the Sansaire to a small saucepan, and you’re ready to cook! Cooking racks of ribs for a crowd? No problem – the Sansaire will heat and circulate up to 6 gallons of water in a large basin!
Clip the unit to the side of any basin, such as a stock pot or food storage container, like a Cambro. The clamp on the back of the unit is adjustable to fit most containers.
Plug in the Sansaire using the included power cord. Stretch Goal: if we hit $250,000 in funding, we will also produce a 220V version of the Sansaire for users outside of North America!
To change the cooking temperature, just turn the silver temperature ring. After a moment, the display switches back to showing you the current temperature of the water bath. You can set any cooking temperature between 0C (32F) and 100C (212F) in increments of 0.1 degrees.
You can switch the Sansaire between Celsius and Fahrenheit at any time by pressing the temperature mode button on the top of the unit.
It has been our mission to create a low-cost, reliable sous vide machine for nearly three years. Beginning with the $75 DIY Sous Vide Machine that Scott developed, we’ve known that a great sous vide machine doesn’t have to be expensive. But, graduating from off-the-shelf parts to a commercially-viable design is not a quick process. We’ve been working closely with a factory in China to produce the prototypes that we have today. We’ve visited the factory, and have been meticulously testing and critiquing every element of the device. We’re very proud of the Sansaire prototypes that we have today, but we need Kickstarter’s help to proceed with final tooling, certification, and initial order fulfillment.
- 250K (unlocked)- A version of the Sansaire with 240V 50Hz compatibility for all our international backers. This covers all of Europe and most all other countries. The pledge category and the deliver date are the same as the US/Canada versions.
- 350k (unlocked)- We're including a reference towel with every Sansaire. Do you need to remember what temperature the Sansaire should be set to to make super juicy chicken breasts? Not when you can sneak a peak at your cheat-sheet towel.
- 600k (unlocked)- Choice between blue display and Kickstarter-green display.
Our next step is to finalize the tooling for our molds, and lock in all of the exact components that we’ll use for the production machines. These components include everything from the circulating motor and LED display, to the type of rotary encoder we use for the temperature ring. Once we’re happy with a final prototype, we’ll start our first production run and begin shipping Sansaire circulators to our backers!
- July: Testing pre-production prototypes. We’re confident that the units function well, and hold up to the abuse they might encounter in the most chaotic kitchens. We’ve sent these units out for user testing to gather valuable feedback from folks we trust, and we're incorporating their feedback into the final design iteration.
- August: Next-round prototypes. We’ll keep making tweaks until we get everything just right. Meanwhile, we’ll be spreading the word about the Sansaire Kickstarter, so you’ll have the chance to be one of the first owners!
- September: Final tooling, packaging and certification. Once our tooling is complete, we’ll send off a few units for certification. This process will uncover any fault-prone components, and help us sleep better at night, knowing the Sansaire circulators won’t achieve consciousness and turn against their human overlords.
- October: Production. Our manufacturer has extensive experience in high-volume production, and we feel confident that we can meet the demand for our initial production run.
- October/November: Shipping! Each Sansaire circulator will be boxed up for the greatest journey of its lifetime: across the Pacific Ocean and headed toward your doorstep!
Scott Heimendinger has been a sous vide devotee since his first bite of a 65°C egg back in 2009. Shortly thereafter, Scott reverse-engineered his own immersion circulator and posted the instructions for a $75 DIY Sous Vide Machine on his blog, Seattle Food Geek. The article was later republished in MAKE magazine, and has inspired over 1,000 do-it-yourselfers to build their own device. In 2012, Scott left his career in the software industry (Microsoft, IBM) to become the Director of Applied Research for Modernist Cuisine. Through his work there, Scott has earned a Webby award for his video series with CHOW.com, and was named one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30.
Lukas Svec is the Technical Genius for Sansaire. He became fascinated by sous vide when he listened to Nathan Myhrvold speak of his Modernist Cuisine cookbook in 2009. After building Scott's DIY sous vide machine, he realized sous vide can revolutionize the home kitchen if evangelism is paired with a killer circulator. He has worked with synchrotron radiation, cloud computing, and various mathematical models and is now getting his PhD in Physics for quantum computing. In his spare time, you can find him in his lab programming micro controllers to do his fuzzy logic bidding or in the kitchen baking delicious pies and searing juicy duck breasts.
Risks and challenges
As with any project, there’s the possibility that something could go wrong and introduce an unforeseen delay. We’ve got a lot of experience bringing other kinds of projects – software applications, business deals, PhD theses – to fruition, but manufacturing a complex electronic product in China is a new adventure for us. That’s why we’ve partnered with a manufacturer headquartered in Seattle that has extensive experience with crowd-funded projects. They have boots on the ground in China making factory visits and streamlining product development. Furthermore, the main Chinese manufacturing company we are working with has extensive experience manufacturing and certifying products in this category. The personal site visit we made in November confirmed their professionalism and dedication to quality.
Certification. Shipping a safe, reliable, quality product is our top priority. That’s why we’re submitting the Sansaire to a certifying authority. They’ll smash it, burn it, force it to overheat, crack it open, and see what mayhem it could cause under the very worst circumstances. These extreme conditions may reveal the need to tweak our design, and that could mean a small production delay. However, since the very beginning, we’ve designed the Sansaire with an eye towards certification compliance and general safety.
Shipping Date. We’ve already received several prototypes from our factory in China, so we have a good sense for how long it takes to implement design changes and send out updated units. All of our components have already been sourced and tested. However, there’s always the possibility that something unforeseen could introduce additional delays. We’ve built padding into our schedule, and we really want to make sure you all have the opportunity to cook your turkeys sous vide this year!
Whatever happens, we will keep you updated, and to do everything we can to ensure a high-quality, on-time delivery of the Sansaire!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
For a quick intro, see "What is Sous Vide?" on this page. Also, we really like the article "Why Cook Sous Vide?" by the Modernist Cuisine team for a little more depth (http://modernistcuisine.com/2013/01/why-cook-sous-vide/).
Not at all! Restaurant chefs have turned to sous vide cooking for the same reasons it makes sense at home: perfect, repeatable results that can’t be undone by a moment’s inattention or life’s little distractions. Whether you’re making a weeknight meal for yourself or catering for a crowd, the easy, practical nature of sous vide will change your relationship with cooking. You’re gonna love it.
There are other sous vide machines out there – some even got their start on Kickstarter. Why are you still making the Sansaire?
When we first started cooking sous vide several years ago, the only sous vide devices that fit our budget were used laboratory circulators that we scavenged from eBay, or the sous vide machines we built ourselves. However, we believe that for sous vide to live up to its potential, the world needs a great-looking, reliable immersion circulator that is as easy to use and won’t break the bank. That’s why we are making the Sansaire.
Nope. Although Scott works for Modernist Cuisine, this project was underway before he joined the team. He was generously given permission to continue work on the Sansaire as an after-hours project.
Why doesn’t the Sansaire have a timer / data logging / WiFi / Facebook integration / a speaker for streaming Pandora stations / friggin’ laser beams?
The Sansaire’s job is to heat a water bath to a precise temperature and hold it there indefinitely. Additional features clutter the interface and detract from the main purpose of the unit. We’d rather make something that’s really good at doing one thing, than just OK at doing a dozen. In fairness, we had a long internal debate regarding laser beams.
We reached our stretch goal for providing 220/240V standard support! Along with the 120V model, the Sansaire will work across most of the globe. With your pledge of $199 or more, we'll let you choose between 120V and 220V after the funding window closes!
If you have questions about compatibility with your country, write us a message. We are currently looking into compatibility with Japanese 100V/50Hz and 100V/60Hz standards because of the many message we received.
If you simply can't wait for a model built specifically for your country's voltage standards, there are options. You can purchase a 1500 Watt step-up or step-down transformer (for under $100 on Amazon) that handles the power conversion for you.
Yes. We are offering a one year warranty covering all faulty or damaged components.
By far the most common liquid with sous vide is water. This is because it is a fantastic medium for conducting heat. Though other liquids have been used in place of water, many times these liquids can be just be placed in a container submerged in water. This is how chocolate is tempered and beer wort is fermented.
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