Mellow brings sous-vide cooking to the home user
By Dave Parrack
April 23, 2014
Many people aren't fortunate enough to have a partner both willing and able to prepare delicious meals on a regular basis. Those who are blessed in such a way can stop reading right now. Everyone else will surely be interested to hear about Mellow, a smart sous-vide machine that is able to prepare meals as and when you want them.
Mellow is a sous-vide machine capable of cooking meals to order. It's a countertop kitchen gadget comprising a water bath and a unit for controlling the temperature. The unit is 16 inches (40.6 cm) high, 6 inches (15.2 cm) wide, and 12 inches (30.5 cm) deep. It has a cooking capacity of 4.5 liters, which is enough for around six adult portions of food.
For those not au fait with the term, sous-vide is a cooking method in which food is sealed in airtight bags and heated gently in a water bath. Sous-vide is well-regarded for its ability to cook food with precision, with exact temperature control meaning over- or under-cooking meals is virtually impossible. Benefits to sous-vide cooking include the retention of nutrients, the lack of added oils and fats, and the reduced electricity usage required.
Mellow brings the idea of traditional sous-vide cooking into the modern era in a couple of interesting ways.
Firstly, it uses an accompanying smartphone app (iOS and Android) to control operation of the machine. The software is capable of learning from previous experiences, so it will remember your preferences when it comes to certain meals. It also provides real-time feedback, so that even when you're out of the house, you can check in to see how a meal is cooking. Employing a smartphone app means plans can be changed remotely, so it isn't a problem if you're delayed at work and need the meal to be ready at a later time than previously specified.
Secondly, Mellow is not only capable of heating the water but also of cooling it in order to keep your food at refrigerator temperatures prior to cooking. This effectively means you can place the components of your meal into Mellow hours or even days before you want them cooked. Mellow will begin the cooking process at the appropriate moment so that the meal is ready for the time you have specified.
The capacity for the smartphone app to learn your preferences and adapt to them means the creators' claims that this is the world’s first smart sous-vide machine might not be too wide of the mark. Mellow is available to pre-order in the United States, with an early adopters' price tag of US$400. Potential buyers might also want to check out some other home sous-vide devices, such as the Codlo, Nomiku or SousVide Supreme Demi.
The video below shows Mellow in action, as well as its creators talking about how it came to be.