What is ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide?
Sous vide: cooking food in a vacuum-packed bag by immersing it in a water or steam bath to preserve color, moisture and nutrition, may require a good amount of kit, from a separate kitchen to an oven steam. However, sous vide style wand kitchens are a growing category. Smaller and smaller than others, so that it can be stored easily, ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide is operated by an application via Bluetooth and / or Wi-Fi. It is inserted in a tray of water in a trivet, where it is heated to a perfect temperature, which allows meat, fish, vegetables and even desserts to be cooked gently.
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ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide – Design and features
The ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide costs more than most sous vide wands, but where it is delivered it is stored: It is half the size of many, so it can fit in a drawer. Its elegant exterior lacks buttons, except one at the top that can be pressed to stop cooking manually, and a single light that changes color to let you know that it is heating up, cooking or if there is a problem.
at the bottom, there is a strong magnet that attaches to the bottom of a pan compatible with an induction plate, a loop that goes up half the side of the pan and an inlet and outlet to circulate and heat the Water. Wi-Fi connectivity is optional, if you want to get away without leaving your device behind. The application offers a selection of recipes that include videos and presets for the temperature and time, or the option to adjust the time and temperature by yourself.
ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide – How is it used?
Sous vide means "low vacuum", but cooking with Joule only requires food cooked in ziplock-style bags (or jars). Not using a vacuum packer means that it is not strictly sous vide, but it is a high-tech boil in the bag. Where it tends to recommend vacuum packaging is for vegetables.
Connecting Joule via Bluetooth on my Android phone was easy, as was connecting it to my wireless network, which gives it a little more reach. I saved some recipes from the ChefSteps website using my Joule account, but I was disappointed to find that they were not saved in the application when I entered.
There is little guidance on the size of the pot that I should use, but I chose my largest stainless steel Skillet and filled it with warm water. Even though it was a large saucepan, only the bottom of Joule's clip passed over the edge, indicating that a high-sided casserole (ie, a stock pot or an American-style pasta pot) could be a better combination. I started cooking one of his recipes for steak entree. While the water was heating, I put the meat in a bag along with the seasoning and the oil, and sealed it. There was not much guidance on the amount of cooking water, only that there was a need for at least a 2.5 cm space between the surface and the top of the pot. This can be difficult to achieve when taking into account the displacement of food and air in the bag. I discovered that as the water circulated and warmed up, a good amount was sprinkled on the countertop around the tray. This was still a problem when I placed the bag.
The application alerted me when the water had reached 53 ° C (which took about five minutes) and was ready to cook. Instead of starting automatically, I had to select to start it, which changed the flashing light on the Joule to solid green. It was predicted that the steak would take an hour, with a countdown in the application, which was useful. However, the sound of running water in the kitchen was strange and I thought I had left the tap open. After an hour, the steak was ready and an alarm rang on my phone. I stopped the cooking and removed the meat. It was brown but unappetizing. When I stopped cooking, the recipe for the application ended, although I knew I recommended a steak later. I had to go back to the recipe to read the instructions for this. A light churro on both sides made the steak look better but it was disappointing to eat it. While it was perfectly pink in the middle, the strands of fat inside the meat were chewy, since the low heat was not enough to melt them like in the traditional kitchen. Also, it seemed like a long time to wait for a steak.
Next, I decided to make chocolate pudding. This required screwtop jars but since I did not have any, I used Kilner style jars. As it was noticed that jars with too tight lids could explode, I removed the rubber seals. I found the recipe difficult to follow, because I had to keep revising the list of ingredients: some quantities were divided into steps and, often, were oversimplified without watching the videos. Other ingredients were Americanized, such as light cream and cornstarch.
Calibrate the level of water that had to heat was more difficult with the jars, so I had to put them in advance to solve it. Once the water heated to 60 ° C, I added the jars with tweezers. More water splashed on the worktop than before and I noticed that even though the lids of the jars were on the surface, the condensation started to cause water to enter. The desserts took an hour to cook, they were not placed and they were unpleasant. I also tried to make carrot and parsnip puree, after having found a recipe in the application, but this, in a disconcerting way, was made on a plate without Joule. Using the guidelines for cooking carrots, I put the bag of vegetables with Joule for three hours at 85ºC. Part of the water splashed or evaporated and had to be filled. The vegetables were cooked, but they differed little in flavor and texture of the boiled ones. The ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide was easy to wash and all that was required was a cloth, with vinegar in water recommended for a complete cleaning.
Why buy ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide ?
The application needs work to make it more suitable for the UK market and, given the long cooking times, it is unlikely that you use ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide for daily meals. Unfortunately, all the recipes we tested produced unattractive results. A vacuum packer and a high-capacity cooker will help you get the most out of it, while reusable sous vide bags (like Stasher's) are a green way to stay away from single-use plastic.