Developed by a systems engineer from global aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin and a product developer from Toyota, the Cinder Sensing Cooker is a countertop kitchen appliance that allows the home cook to have the same precision temperature control as sous-vide — without the need for vacuum-sealed bags or a water bath.
To do this, Cinder actually employs design techniques that are traditionally used for spacecrafts.
Here’s how it works, from founders Eric Norman and Jim Reich:
“To begin, the materials and the structural and heater design for Cinder were selected specifically to optimize heat flow. Like controlling the motion of a satellite, Cinder’s predictive control system and sensor placement are carefully tuned to avoid overshoot, relying for information upon multiple sensors in the cooking plates that are accurate to within 0.25 degrees Fahrenheit.
"The shape and materials are carefully optimized based on detailed simulation to even out heat flows and achieve constant temperature. By containing the plates in a thermal chamber, Cinder prevents heat leakage, which lets the edges of the food get as warm as the middle. It also saves power and enables the device to precisely control all of the heat flow into and out of the device. This lets Cinder’s patent-pending virtual-thermometer algorithm infer the temperature of the food, so it can tell when the food is done, without needing thermometer probes.”
The Cinder Sensing Cooker can be controlled from your smartphone or other Wi-Fi- or Bluetooth-enabled device, and can be instructed to hold your food — say, a medium-rare steak — at a precise temperature until you’re ready to serve it. The amount of temperature control you have ranges from room temperature up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit, in one degree increments.
The Cinder Sensing Cooker is available now for pre-sales at $499, and is expected to begin shipping in early 2016. Customers who place orders before March 20 will receive special perks and have the ability to apply to be part of the beta-testing process.