Sous-vide without water: Using the Cinder Grill

For most of us sous-vide is synonymous with water, as the whole point is a temperature-controlled thermal bath providing precise heat transfer to our food. So I was intrigued when the makers of the Cinder Grill reached out to me saying that their device could sous-vide, grill, and sear — all without water.

So I had to give it a try. I was skeptical of course. First I carefully measured the surface temperature of the grills (there is both a bottom and a top grill) with a FLIR thermal camera. Then I placed a steak on it and tracked the internal temperature with a MEATER wireless thermometer. The Cinder passed both tests with flying colors. And yes, after a quick sear on the Cinder the steak was amazing. So was some salmon. In my book, the Cinder gets a definite thumbs up as an interesting sous-vide alternative for foods that are “flat” enough that they make uniform contact with the grill surfaces.

You can read my full review of the Cinder Grill (and the impressive MEATER wireless thermometers) on at: Aside from benefiting from evenly shaped food (my experiment with short ribs wasn’t quite as impressive) the other difference is the difference in the moisture environment for the food. That can be a plus (who wants wet steaks:)), but for foods that benefit from it — like the semi-final step in my time-consuming process for making pastrami — I’m not sure it would produce the same results.

As always, happy cooking!

December 13, 2019. Technique.

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