I’ve yet to master the ability to flawlessly cook pasta, so I was sceptical of a product that existed to help me cook steak (and lots of other things) perfectly.
But the product, a sous-vide machine called the “Nomiku,” tempted me to try.
Sous-vide is the modernist cooking method of placing vacuum-sealed food into a temperature-controlled water bath. It’s a slower process than other ways of cooking, but the end result is perfectly cooked meat, eggs, and fish … every single time.
No stove, no boiler, no grill.
But cooking sous-vide has long been the realm of only high-end restaurants or those who could afford the pricey and space-consuming equipment. So after hacking together their own sous-vide machine in their Lower East Side apartment a few years ago, Lisa Fetterman and her husband Abe wanted to bring this art to the masses.
A week after their wedding, the couple launched a Kickstarter for the Nomiku, a “stunningly designed immersion circulator the size of a hand- blender that clips to the side of any large stock pot to harness the powers of sous vide.”
In 2012, it attracted nearly 2,000 backers and raised more than $US586,000. Right now, the device is on the market for $US299.95.
I tried out the Nomiku with the intent to cook steak. I’m not a chef, and steak seemed like a daunting dish to prepare in my apartment kitchen. But the Nomiku made it incredibly easy, and I felt like a professional chef as I sat down to eat my perfectly cooked steak.
Here’s how I did it.
This is the Nomiku. It weighs a few pounds and needs to be plugged in in order to work:
Plug it in and clip it onto any large pot you have in your kitchen. This happens to be the only pot I own, which shows how little I cook:
The Nomiku user manual comes with tons of recipes and tips. The important part is to get the temperature set to reflect how you want your food to turn out. Most temperatures are found in the manual, but you can quickly Google search and come up with an answer as well.
For a medium-rare steak, I turned the knob on my Nomiku until the bottom number read 134.6 degrees. The bigger number, on top, changed as the pot of water began to heat.
This is steak I bought at Whole Foods. I used just a third of the cut, because what if I needed three tries to get this right?
I don’t own a vacuum packer for food (who does?) so I took the advice off the Nomiku website and used these tips to make sure I sealed the steak correctly.
I tossed the piece of steak, a little olive oil, and a smattering of spices into a Ziploc bag and closed it as tightly as possible.
I put it in the pot, which was already whirring. I set the timer on my microwave for two hours. (Yes, you have to make sure you have a little time on your hands. I considered ordering back-up pizza in case I was out of a meal by 9 p.m.)
Two hours went by. During that time I would go into my kitchen to make sure things looked like they were supposed to look.
Was I really cooking steak in a bag, in a pot of water?
We would soon find out.
This is the steak I ended up with! It looked and tasted great, though my phone’s camera didn’t do it any justice:
For the sake of presentation, here’s a look at the Nomiku promo, which shows exactly how the steak will look when you take it out of the bag:
Then you put it on a pan and sear it for 20-25 seconds.
I was surprised by how good the steak was, considering my expectations were low. Using a Nomiku doesn’t take practice or skill, just time; which is why it’s so appealing to people, and why I’ll be less afraid to use it again.
If you can turn on a faucet, you can cook the perfect steak with this awesome contraption.
Click here to learn more about the Nomiku and all of the food it will help you cook to perfection.
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