Let’s face it, going out to eat can be very expensive. We all love tender cuts of meats, and even more delectable side dishes. But would you believe me if I told you that you could make the same fabulous dishes in your own kitchen?
Well, with Chefsteps Joule Sous Vide, anything is possible. The company sent over a sous vide for us to check out, so let’s see how the product stacks up.
Being fairly new to the world of Sous Vide, I originally found myself falling in love with a cut of steak I tried at a friend’s restaurant on a Saturday brunch where he used the slow cook water method to make one of the most delicious meat I had ever tasted. After then I knew that I would find a way to start making if not all, my more important meals directly from a sous vide. Prior to this I would cook my meats on a grill, or a cast iron pan, and while it tasted good to my liking, the clean-up process was a tad bit annoying, and having to hover over a stove top to make sure the meat was properly cooked was a huge pain. Then I received the Joule in the mail.
Created by the owners of Chef Steps, the Joule is made for helping you learn new creative recipes and culinary techniques in the simplest way to give you restaurant quality meals every single time. Because who wants to pay $60 for a perfectly seared steak that chances are, you can make an identical replica at home?
Everything from eggs Benedict, lamb, poultry, and of a sultry piece of salmon can be created just by using the Joule. Unboxing the Joule is about as simple as it can get as the Joule comes encased in a black box that once unfolded shows the white and silver sous vide unit.
There is a clip on the back of the Joule that like all other sous vide systems clips onto the side of the pot that you decide. There are actual sous vide clear pans that you can purchase from Amazon that do the trick as well, but any standard sized pot will do. I suggest sitting the pot on a cutting board to avoid damaging your countertop over time due to the heat temperature while cooking your meals. The cable of the Joule isn’t super long compared to others due to the Joule’s form factor, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Unlike the Gourmia Sous vide that I reviewed a few months ago, the Joule not only can easily fit inside of a cabinet, but when inserted into a pot, even if you have the pot sitting under a shelf in your kitchen there’s enough room that it won’t knock a cabinet door.
It’s worth mentioning that all of the actual controls to cooking on the sous vide are all through the Joule app which is free on the app store. There are two physical power function buttons on the Joule itself, but if you are looking for a start/stop timer on the device, you will not find one. I haven’t found a problem with this, however, if decide to slow cook your meal and go run an errand but someone’s home to monitor it, unless they have access to the Joule app as well, there’s no way they can tell the accurate temperature just from simply looking at the pot.
Once you place the water in the pot with your Joule, you connect the Joule to your Wi-Fi network after being prompted to set up. It’ll take you through prompts to tap the button on the top of the Joule to begin before asking you to rename your Joule before taking you to the sous vide menu which is pretty robust.
One thing about the Joule being connected to the ChefSteps app is the ability to get frequent updates of new and innovative new recipes from not only famous chefs, but regular schmegular sous vide users out there. For all intended purposes I decided to just make a traditional chicken breast with my Joule the first time out. There are plenty of poultry recipes out there, but what sets Joule apart from the competition is that not only are you getting the recipe you desire, but they even allow you to gauge how tender or tough you’ll like your meals.
Say if you like your chicken juicy and tender, you can cook it at the set temperature ChefSteps has suggested to give you a succulent cut of chicken breasts. If that’s now what you’d like, you can go up a little bit to get a different quality cut.
What’s more is the Joule not only estimates how long it takes to cook your food, but depending on if the food is fresh or frozen, and even how thick the cut of your meat or meal are, it can gauge from that which is something I did not expect in the competition for the Joule.
Joule’s notification system is also less annoying and intrusive than others as well. If you set up your phone to send you alerts throughout the cooking process you’ll be prompted on temperatures as well as when the food is ready so there’s virtually no guesswork at all.
When the time is up, the Joule lets you know that while your food is finished cooking, if you are still out doing chores, it will say that you can leave it in the water for an allotted period of time which is great for those of you who are a bit concerned about it overcooking your meals.
After you take the Ziploc (or vacuum sealed) bag out of the water if you wish, you can throw your food on a pan to add a bit of smoky flavor, or warm up the meat a bit further before eating.
I like the charred look of meats after using a sous vide so I tend to throw them on the stove top grill to give them that nice appearance, all while the meat retains the juices and flavors that may have been dried out if I decidedly cooked them straight on the grill.
At the end of that, not only can you enjoy a delicious meal that will save you quite a bit of money from going out, all the while not leaving your sink full of dishes. I stand completely behind the Joule sous vide and it’s the only way I cook most of my meals these days. While I haven’t tried eggs Benedict yet (I’m a scrambled kind of guy), I do intend on using the sous vide for more than just cuts of meats in the future. But as of right now, I’m absolutely in love with my slimmer profile, fully functioning sous vide by Joule.
For more information on the Chefsteps Joule, head over to their site today.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: Every cut of meat tastes delicious; app integration is awesome and even if you leave your home you can still see the progress of your meal
What Needs Improvement: Nothing