ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide (Bluetooth)10 minute read
10 minute read|
Updated for May, 2019
In this article we’re taking a look at the compact and extremely powerful Sous Vide from ChefSteps. This company focuses on bringing smart technology into the kitchen to make the cooking process more accessible and straightforward.
One of their exciting innovations is the Sous Vide, which is a highly accurate appliance that uses water to cook vacuum-sealed foods. This method is ideal for seniors because it’s hands-off, precise, and effective. The ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide in particular boasts a lot of unique features that make it stand out from the crowd.
- Accurate Cooking
- Simple to use
- Visual Doneness
- Size and Weight
- The App is Simple
- Can only control from the app
- Requires clip for large pots
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Ease of Use
Sous Vide devices are highly accurate immersion cookers that boil water when submerged. Doing this allows you to cook meats to the perfect temperature every time.
This method of cooking may be new for some older adults and may require some getting used to. But once you test it out, the delicious results might just make you a believer.
Before using, you must place the food you’re going to cook in a bag, so that it does not get water-logged. Once the sous vice appliance has heated the pot to your chosen temperature, your food will be ready, although some cooks recommend quickly searing the meat after cooking for more flavor.
What makes the Joule Sous Vide stand out from other kitchen devices is its incredible temperature accuracy and the ability to control it remotely from an app. If you have a smart home device like Alexa, you can also control the Sous Vide from that device, which is excellent if you are chopping vegetables, for example, and don’t have a free hand.
The first thing you might notice about this Sous Vide is its extremely compact size. Weighing only 1.28 pounds, it is the lightest on the market by a long shot.
This is great because it takes less space in your cabinets and it also allows you to fit more food into the pot you are cooking in.
If you have ever eaten anything that has been cooked using a Sous Vide you know that the meat comes out tender and juicy, and the Joule is no different, despite its small size. When used correctly you will never have to worry about over or undercooking your food again.
The Joule Sous Vide cooks the meat to the exact temperature you choose, and it notifies you and shuts off once it reaches that temperature. If you plan on searing the meat or combining it with a sauce after; you could even choose to cook the meat to a slightly lower temperature to compensate for the heat later on.
Using an immersion cooker like the Joule does require some patience. We were surprised by how quickly the Joule gets the water to a rolling boil, but once you are cooking the meat, it takes its time. Many seniors may consider the precisely cooked results of the Joule Sous Vide well worth the wait, but you may want to consider a different model if you’re planning to cook in bulk.
A lot of the accuracy of this Sous Vide comes from the visual doneness chart on the app. It allows you to choose a picture of exactly how you want your meat cooked. For example, it might ask you to indicate how pink you prefer your steak. This is great feature for older adults and any beginner cooks who might not know the exact temperature needed to cook their food, but who can still visualize how they want it to turn out.
This feature also works for other types of meats like chicken, pork and fish. Something else that gives the Sous Vide a bit of an advantage over other methods of cooking is the sheer consistency of its approach, plus its ability to cook multiple items at once.. If you have a large enough pot, there is no reason why you could not cook ten steaks to the same temperature over and over again. That capability sets the Sous Vide apart.
This Sous Vide also boasts the ability to cook in up to ten gallons of water which means you could potentially cook a large amount of food at one time.
The design and size of the Joule is also something that makes it unique on the market. The device is small and sleek, making it fit nicely into any size pot while leaving plenty of room for food. You can also store this device easily in the cabinetsince it’s only 11 inches from top to bottom. This makes it a great option for seniors with limited kitchen space.
The best thing about the design of this Sous Vide is the magnetic bottom, which allows you to insert the device into a pot without needing a clip. If you do not have a magnetic pot or are using a plastic container, you could always use a clip.
Unlike some of its competitors, the Joule sous vide doesn’t feature a screen; just a small light to indicate whether it’s on or off. Beyond that, users will use the app for basically everything. You receive notifications from the app, and you will control all the settings there as well.
This is somewhat disappointing, and we wish there were more manual capability because doing everything from the phone might not make sense for some seniors. It would be nice if there were manual buttons that allow you to change temperature and shut it on and off. If you lose connection or experience Wi-Fi issues, you will not be able to use your sous vide device.
If you have a smart home device like an Amazon echo, you can use that to control the Sous Vide by telling Alexa what to have it do. This makes it a bit easier, although we realize that many older adults do not have these devices. The fact that the Joule sous vide is so tech-centric will be a bonus for some seniors, and a drawback for others.
Appearance and Durability
Overall the Sous Vide itself looks attractive, and the size makes it perfect for fitting into smaller living areas. It also feels durable and well-built, and the design is simple and streamlined. Since the device is controlled completely by an app and doesn’t have its own internal computer, there’s less risk for it to have a technical malfunction as well.
Since the Sous Vide prides itself on cooking at precise temperatures, seniors are less likely to accidentally make and consume undercooked or unsafe meat. If you are a caregiver this could alleviate some of the worries about your loved one cooking for themselves. It also poses less of a fire hazard than traditional cooking.
The ChefSteps app has lots to offer home cooks. There are tons of recipes, a handy visual doneness checker, and other instructions to help you use your Sous Vide properly.
To understand the app you need to understand that company and what they do. ChefSteps is a food research company that works with chefs and scientists to find simpler and more innovative ways of cooking. They have created this app and chosen recipes that make the most sense for cooking with a Sous Vide.
And when we say you can cook everything with the sous vide, we truly mean everything. They have many recipes beyond just meats and vegetables; you can make cakes, pies, and other desserts in bags and jars.
Using the app is easy and cooking is as simple as going into the app and choosing your temperature. You will be required to connect the device with your Wifi, and thankfully, there is a step-by-step walkthrough to help you do that.
If you go from the app to the ChefSteps website, you can also take free online classes on topics like knife sharpening, vegetable chopping, and ice cream making.
The more you experiment and play around with the device, the more you understand that ChefSteps is a research and education company and not just a retail product manufacturer. They want to make cooking easier and more fun for everyone, including independent older adults.
That said, the Joule sous vide is not perfect. We realize that a lot of people will have an issue with using a smartphone to operate the device. You cannot control the sous vide manually, which means you have to turn it on, choose your temperature, and turn it off entirely from a smartphone. If you do not have a smartphone, you will not be able to use this product in any way.
Even if you do have a smartphone, this may not be the perfect kitchen appliance for you. If you experience issues with Wi-Fi connectivity, you also may experience issues. We wish the company had included manual controls to make the device more inclusive for seniors who may not be as comfortable with new technology.
All the technology aside, it is a good Sous Vide device at a modest price point. Even if it didn’t have all the high-tech features we would still use appliance.
The Bottom Line
If you had never heard of sous vide cooking before reading this article, hopefully you feel more informed now. For many users, these devices do make cooking easier and more precise. And older adults in particular may benefit from using a method that’s hands-free, doesn’t require handling sharp objects, and won’t present a fire hazard.
Depending on their level of comfort with smartphones, seniors may also enjoy being able to operate the device remotely. What’s more, the sous vide puts food safety first by ensuring that meat is cooked to an appropriate temperature every time.
As a standalone Sous Vide, the Joule cooks just about anything to perfection.We only wish you could manually control the device if you wanted to.
All in all, ChefSteps is revolutionizing the home cooking world, and this is just the beginning.