The age of the “affordable” circulator is upon us. When I first heard of sous vide cooking, lab quality circulators were priced around $1300 on eBay. “Home units” like the sous vide supreme were large and lacked features like pumps and strong heaters needed for true precision cooking. On top of a lacking feature set, they were still priced around $500, far too expensive to make the jump to “try out”.
Cheesecake is one of the kitchen’s deceptively simple fine arts. Balance of cheese flavor with recognizable sweetness, presentation of a flawless cake without cracks, crust to cheese ratio, and pairing with garnishes or topping.
In this recipe, I use the precision of low temperature sous vide cooking to create a perfectly creamy texture. I choose a high quality goat cherve from a local creamery with an unexpected tang to a recognizable favorite dessert. Additional technology from a whipping siphon aerates the cheesecake to the perfect medium airiness to the final dessert.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest meant an abundance of high quality affordable salmon. It quickly became one of my favorite protiens to work with. I can remember many a late summer back yard cook-out featuring salmon grilling over a cedar plank. The scent of burning cedar is the perfect complement to salmon and always makes for a stunning presentation when delivered smoldering to the table.
Just before the holidays, I received a circulator from Nomiku to test and evaluate. Nomiku’s slim design was one of the first kickstarter funded projects intended to bring sous vide and precision low temperature cooking into the home market. Priced at $299, Nomiku is a nice entry level price point making Sous Vide cookery accessible to the kitchen enthusiast.
The packaging and design are playful yet elegant. The biggest advantage of the nomiku over other circulators I’ve tested is its slim design. The unit is slim enough to be stored in an average kitchen drawer — however, talk to anyone that owns a circulator and you’ll find out that these workhorses rarely get stored away… you’ll use it enough to find counter space for a water bath regularly.
One significant disadvantage of the Nomiku from my perspective is the design of an external power supply (think laptop power brick). This is the first time I’ve seen this in a circulator and i didn’t love the idea of it. Nomiku says this design ensures that vital electronics will not be submerged during use, however i found it to be slightly cumbersome. The external supply also contains a fan — presumably for cooling the electronics — which runs whenever the unit is plugged in. It’s a quiet fan, but it was definitely audible in my apartment when nothing else was going on in the kitchen.
The controls on the Nomiku circulator are very good. A simple touch screen turns the unit on and off and a rotating dial adjusts temperature. The dial increases the rate of change based on how fast you spin it which gives the user quick but accurate control to 0.1 degrees.
I also like Nomiku’s innovative clip design which does not use any type of thumb screw like other companies. The unit was easy to attach/detach from various vessels in seconds without painstakingly turning a knob.
I put the Nomiku through my standard circulator test. Heating a large cooler of hot tap water to 63.2C for perfect eggs. The Nomiku’s 1150W heater got the bath up to temp in just over 17 minutes with no overshoot. Eggs came out perfect (as expected) after a one hour swim.
The Nomiku’s affordable price and slim design make it a serious competitor on the entry level Sous Vide market. The power supply is a disadvantage that can easily be worked around for anyone wanting to start cooking sous vide without investing a lot of money in a professional circulator or taking the effort to DIY one (don’t DIY one, trust me). Heating temp was a bit slower than other manufactures I’ve tested but controls were among the best I’ve used and accuracy was top notch. If you want to bring your food to the next level with accurate, low temperature cooking, I would encourage you to consider the Nomiku.