Revived sometime in the mid-1960s, sous vide is a method of evenly cooking food using an airtight vacuum-sealed plastic bag submerged in a temperature-controlled water bath, and it's become increasingly popular for home use in recent years. But instead of requiring yet another appliance that occupies precious kitchen counter real estate, GE has developed a wireless sensor that turns its new range of induction cooktops into space-saving sous vide machines.
You don't necessarily have to buy a dedicated counter-top sous vide machine to use the cooking method at home, there are also devices that clamp onto the side of large pots that will heat and monitor the temperature of the water inside. But even those demand a bit of cupboard space when not in use. So GE has just announced a trio of new induction cooktops in the company's Monogram, Profile, and Café lines that wirelessly connect to a new sous vide sensor so that the burner regulates the heat of the water in a pot while all the probe has to do is monitor its temperature.
It means the probe itself, which attaches to the side of almost any adequately-sized pot, isn't some monstrous accessory that's a pain to store when you're not using it. And with wireless functionality that will eventually connect to an accompanying app, you don't actually have to be in your kitchen to keep an eye on or adjust the settings of a long hot water bath.
That added convenience does come with a price, though. The sous vide probe will be pretty reasonable at $150 once it's available come May, but it only works in conjunction with GE's new touchscreen induction cooktops that range in price from $1,500 to $3,100 depending on their finish and features. So if you're planning on upgrading your kitchen that's already got a spot for a dedicated cooktop, these certainly seem worth considering. But if you're just tip-toeing into sous vide cooking, a standalone machine might be a better introduction before you decide it's time to gut and reno your entire kitchen to accommodate GE's new offering. [GE]