A very good sous vide circulator
Summary : Simple in design and $299, the Nomiku is a solid sous vide immersion circulator. While there is no timer function, the machine heats the water quickly and is impressive at circulating the water.
I have always had a fascination with Kickstarter, as it is a great opportunity for people, with a creative idea and an entrepreneurial spirit, to try something that might otherwise be near impossible. Whether it is a movie, video game, home appliance, cookbook or kid’s toy, Kickstarter allows people to present their business proposal and investment possibilities, to the public at large. Where before, entrepreneurs would look for large investments for their business idea, Kickstarter has changed all that. Using a model referred to as crowdfunding, large numbers of people can invest very small amounts of money to help fund a project. One of those very projects is what I want to share with you – it is the Nomiku!
Nomiku is the newest in the growing industry of sous vide immersion circulators. Funded through Kickstarter, the Nomiku developed out of a desire to bring a more economical version of a sous vide water bath system to the home kitchen. Posted on Kickstarter with a finanacial goal of $200,000, Nomiku quickly grew in popularity. It did not take long to reach that goal and by the end of the fundraising campaign, it raised $586,061, marking the Nomiku as one of the most successful food related projects on Kickstarter.
The Nomiku went into manufacturing and started shipping. Recently, I was excited to get my hands on one of these.
I have used sous vide as a method for cooking food for a while now. If not using the grill or smoker, then sous vide is my standard way to cook steak, chicken breasts, pork chops and more. Nothing in the kitchen can match the results of a sous vide water bath. My wife says every time that chicken breasts have never been so tender or moist as when they are cooked sous vide.
The Nomiku arrived in a nice bright colored box. Inside was the immersion circulator, power box, cable, instruction manual and a bunch of recipes. The box is built so that it will also store the Nomiku, when not in use.
Clearly displayed on the side of the Nomiku is the Min and Max water lines. It is essential, that after the water is filled in the pot (or other suitable container) and the food is immersed, that the water is between these two lines.
The display on the Nomiku is simple and straight forward. The screen is touch sensitive and pressing it will either turn it on or off (turning off requires the screen to be pressed for 3 seconds). During operation, touching the screen quickly will toggle the temperature reading from F to C.
Adjusting the temperature is done by turning the green knob. Turn the knob right to increase the temperature and turn it left to reduce the temperature.
Eager to test the Nomiku out, I hooked it up to a large stock pot and filled it with water. I filled the water about halfway in between the min and max, knowing that once it reached the temperature and I added bags of food, the water level would rise.
The clamp mechanism is very simple. Just clip it onto a large pot and it should stay secure. This was one aspect of the Nomiku that concerned me. Would the clamp hold the Nomiku in place? (I have used it many many times now, and the Nomiku has never moved at all. The silicone on the clamp provides a solid grip to the pot. It works really well and is easy to release as well.)
I set the power box to the side of the pot, plugged it into the wall and turned on the Nomiku. Immediately it starts, the water begins to circulate and the Nomiku heats the water to the set temperature. I was extremely impressed with how well the water circulated. A strong circulation of water is essential to limiting cold water pockets and ensuring that all the water is the same temperature.
There are not a lot of options on the screen of the Nomiku. Essentially, there is the actual temperature shown by the large number in the center of the screen and the set temperature which is a smaller font size and at the bottom of the display.
A simple dial on the Nomiku increases the temperature. The first thing I wanted to try in the sous vide was some marinated shrimp, so I set the temperature for 148F. It did not take long for the immersion circulator to bring the water up to temperature.
The temperature can be adjusted to a tenth of a degree. I played around with the temperature and dialed it up and down between 148.9 and 148.3F The Nomiku thermometer is sensitive and was able to gauge those minor changes.
I vacuum sealed some shrimp that were peeled and coated in a nice marinade. I placed them in the sous vide water bath.
Just 15 minutes later and the shrimp was pink and fully cooked. They tasted amazing! The Nomiku did a great job.
The next task I gave the Nomiku was 4 chicken breasts. I placed two in each bag and put the vacuum sealed bags in the water bath. Since these bags were larger and had more meat in them, I was most interested in how the Nomiku circulated the water. I kept coming back to check on the pot of water and it was circulating quite well. The Nomiku did a great job keeping the water flowing and you could clearly see ripples on the top of the water. The machine is very quiet as well, and you can barely hear the circulation motor of the Nomiku.
BTW – the chicken was delicious!
I love the Nomiku! One of the things that best describes this sous vide immersion circulator is its simplicity. There are not a lot of options, but really, there doesn’t need to be. The Nomiku does everything a sous vide immersion circulator needs to do, and it does it well.
This immersion circulator is retailing right now for $299. This is in the middle of the pack where some are as low as $199 and some as high as $800. For the price, it is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to get into this modernist form of cooking!
Pick up the Nomiku at their website.
Disclaimer: Nomiku provided me with the Sous Vide Immersion Circulator. They did not pay me for this review and the views expressed above are my honest reactions after trying the product.