Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sous Vide at Home

There's an article in the New York Times about people doing sous vide at home with a new machine.

I'm mentioning this here because a number of customers of mine either cook sous vide, or have expressed interest in doing it.

5 comments:

rps said...

The price is off-putting. I don't see why a sous vide machine should cost much more than a crock pot or a rice cooker, or why it shouldn't be able to run at a lower temperature so it could double as a fermentation box. But I'm sure some competitor will come along...

Heath said...

rps - the first part of your comment is intriguing.

"I don't see why a sous vide machine should cost much more than a crock pot or a rice cooker..."

If you read the article, it says the first 500 machines were pre-sold, and they are now taking orders for delivery in January. Those are clear signals from their customers that $450/ea is low.

One would bet that if another company appeared tomorrow, with an identical product, they'd charge $450/ea or more for it - because that's what people are willing to pay.

"...or why it shouldn't be able to run at a lower temperature so it could double as a fermentation box."

I suspect liability concerns led them to eschew a fermentation feature.

On the pricing issue, Wooly Pigs and other Mangalitsa producers have the same problem as these guys - that is, how to price Mangalitsa pork and products.

There are no substitutes for Mangalitsa, and relative to demand for Mangalitsa pork and products, there's very little supply. So the market price is "overpriced" - from all Mangalitsa producers.

rps said...

I guess it is low for now, since there's no competition, but the price should come down to what it costs to manufacture plus a reasonable profit. Since a sous vide cooker is essentially just a rice cooker with more precise temperature control it should be only slightly more expensive than a rice cooker (which is about $30).

Of course, that's assuming that competition has driven the price down, which it hasn't. Yet. Let the first movers make their money.

As for fermentation, you can already buy a kimchi refrigerator or a yogurt maker. But I'd like to minimize the number of one trick ponies taking up space in my ktichen.

Heath said...

RPS - Thank goodness we have a relatively free market. Home sous vide machines will likely be available from multiple vendors soon, and prices should drop.

I ordered one, because I figure I need one for work (research). I'm more the type to wait for Panasonic to make a good and cheap one. I can't help but feel that the machine I'm ordering is going to have flaws - but I need to do my research now, so I'm biting the bullet.

Anonymous said...

"I don't see why a sous vide machine should cost much more than a crock pot or a rice cooker..."

...have you seen this one?
"http://www.sousvideathome.com.au/"