Jet City Gastrophysics co-founder, Director of Applied Research at Modernist Cuisine, recipient of Forbes 30 Under 30 award, and all around awesome dude Scott Heimendinger has really done it this time. He’s taken his DIY $75 sous vide immersion circulator and scaled it up to a full fledged commercial project – the Sansaire sous vide circulator. Raising funds using Kickstarter, he and his team have managed to achieve their goal of $100,000 in just 13 hours. And it’s still going – over $485,000 at the time this was published.
But just how did he get from tinkering at home to mass production? Well, let me tell you.
From Good To Better To Best
If we look at this screen shot from Scott’s Kickstarter video, we see his original sous vide machine with three iterations of the Sansaire.
Does this remind you of anything? Of course it does: Iron Man.
Through persistence, hard work, and genius, Tony Stark created a machine capable of achieving his goals, which included saving the world. Scott does the same thing but to cook awesome food. Basically Scott is like Tony Stark.
But, to keep the analogy going, he’s only showing you the first one built in a cave and the fancy gold and red ones. What about the second suit, the chrome one? Yes, there was a chrome one. How do I know? I bought it.
The Chrome One
Yes, I was Scott’s very first customer, back in 2010. Like most people, I wanted to try sous vide, but I couldn’t afford the pricey circulators on the market, and didn’t want to build one myself. So he built one for me.
We can see from his first version below, the circulator was clear, used a simple eye bolt to hold it in place, and sealed in the back by nothing more than black duct tape.
Mine was upgraded to red and a proper tightener instead of a screw.
It worked fantastic, until I totally destroyed it (lovingly recalled in the post Sous Vide Apocalypse and the Mangalitsa Resurrection). Amazingly, he crafted another one for me, which I also managed to mangle (it turns out off-the-shelf aquarium pumps do not like to be submerged in 194F/90C water for hours at a time). Undaunted, he made yet another one. Out of frickin’ metal.
There were several innovations with this bad boy. First, nothing was going to melt with its metal casing. The cord was moved to the back (or maybe the display was moved to the front). It was screwed together instead of taped. A nice improvement. A nice progression. A nice evolution.
Now years later, after countless hours, he has continued to iterate and test and improve, until this moment has arrived with the Sansaire. If you haven’t tried sous vide and are ready to take the plunge, back the Sansaire on Kickstarter. As of this writing, over 2400 people have joined in. There’s two weeks left to be part of the revolution! It already comes with a towel with a handy sous vide reference printed on it, and if it hits $600,000 you can choose between a blue or “Kickstarter green” display option. Scott has worked his butt off, and you can reap the rewards – this suit is ready to fly.