Mellow Hot-Cold Sous Vide Water Bath

Photo courtesy of Mellow

I’m a geek. I admit it. I love technology and cooking. Cooking technology? I’m all over it. (That’s why I’m fascinated by sous vide cooking.) The Mellow is the coolest new cooking technology I’ve heard of since sous vide was introduced.
As you’ll see, “coolest” is a pun. Sorry.

I heard about the Mellow in passing at the end of the This Week In Apple podcast – the mentioned a sous vide machine that is a heater AND a cooler. That’s…that’s…genius! Why didn’t anyone think of that before?

My first thought was time shifted sous vide cooking. I drop a bag of vacuum sealed food in the Mellow as I leave for work, and it keeps it chilled all day – until it is time to cook. Then it turns on the heater, and ten minutes later it is at sous vide cooking temperatures. I walk through the door, and my sous vide is ready to go.

They had me at “built in cooling”, but then I watched their video – they didn’t stop at cooling. The technology in this unit is impressive. The Mellow is WiFi compatible, with a smartphone app that controls the unit. It’s also weight sensitive – when you drop something in the water bath, it contacts the app. In the video, you’re asked what was put in the unit, how big it is, what degree of doneness you want, and when you want it to be done cooking. (I want my pork chop at medium at 6:30PM.)

Photo courtesy of Mellow

The Mellow takes over from there – it switches from cooling to heating at the appropriate time, and the food is cooked and ready when you want to eat. Running late today? Open the app, change the time, and everything shifts. Thanks to the cooling unit, you can even tell the Mellow you want to put off dinner for an hour…or until tomorrow. Tomorrow? No worries. The food is kept at refrigerator temperatures by the Mellow; it will wait for you, food safe, until you’re ready.

Here is the demonstration video:

I do have a few concerns. The first is, I want it NOW! Unfortunately, the Mellow is not ready to ship until 2015. They’re taking pre-orders, kind of like a Kickstarter project, but they’re running it on their own. You won’t be charged for your Mellow until they ship it to you.

The second concern: the Mellow is expensive, $400 as a pre-release special, increasing to a list price of $500 when it is released next year. Sous vide machines are getting cheaper, and if you want a unit, you can get one for around $200 nowadays. But, for all that extra technology? I’m not surprised it’s expensive, and it seems cheap for what we’re getting. I’ll gladly pay extra for the tech.

My third concern is size. The Mellow is half the volume of my Sous Vide Supreme Demi. Normally that’s not an issue, but when I’m cooking for a crowd, I want the extra space. I hope this first model sells well, and they introduce a larger model in the future.

All that said…concerns? Me? I blew right past all that, and pre-ordered a Mellow within seconds of watching their video. If the Mellow sounds as good to you as it does to me, you can pre-order your own here:

So you know, and so I’m good with the FCC, Mellow has a “refer a friend” program; if you pre-order though one of my links, I get a discount on my pre-order. Please use that link – I appreciate the help in getting my hands on one of these beauties. Thanks!

Mellow: CookMellow.com

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

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10 Comments

  1. Chris Lukowski /

    Is the pressure cooker stock from 10/2009 still your primary method of making stock? Any recipe variations since then, apart from using the Kuhn Rikon instead of the Fagor? I’ve been using grocery store Swanson’s lately out of laziness (for shame) and want to get back to collagen country.

  2. “Primary Method” is a relative term. 🙂 The method from 2009 is how I usually make stock – but I treat stock as refrigerator velcro – I need a chicken carcass, an onion, and a bay leaf. After that…garlic? celery? carrots? Sure, if I’ve got ’em, they go in the pot. Am I feeling Mexican? Garlic becomes mandatory, and I throw a dried pepper or two in the pot. Asian? A knob of ginger, and star anise if I have it in the cabinet. Italian? Add some peppercorns, and maybe a sprig of rosemary.

    I usually use my electric Instant-Pot pressure cooker to make stock…just because it’s easier. I do everything else the way I did in my bigger pressure cookers.

  3. chefjeff /

    My one concern is the agitation within the tank. Not a problem for pouched and sealed foods, but more so, when I see eggs cooking in their shell.

  4. I know. I prefer to cook eggs in my SousVide supreme water bath. But…the Mellow looks like it agitates the water less than the immersion circulatory I own.

  5. chefjeff /

    Probably not such a big deal for chicken eggs. The video showed some “dancing” quail eggs, and I guess that’s what got me to think about the water movement.

  6. Chris Lukowski /

    How much stock do you get when using the Instant Pot? And if you do use the IP, do the ingredients listed in the “full” PC recipe get cut in half?

  7. I get 2 to 3 quarts, and I use the same ingredients as in the recipe.

  8. Sorry, I have not experienced it myself.

  9. Fanatoli Guyoff /

    you act as if you’ve never eaten beans before?

  10. It depends on your slow cooker. The trouble with the new ones is the inefficiency caused by the removable crock. Previously the heating element was built right into the crock so it was a much closer transfer between element and crock. With the new ‘dishwasher safe’ crocks, there is an air gap which significantly reduces the heat transfer efficiency.

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