Cooking has been largely the same for hundreds of years. Sure, new cooking methods do pop up occasionally, and more often old methods are refined and improved. It seems like cooking should have caught up a bit to food science advancements by now. We’re not going to see anything like some of the fanciful inventions in some movies (Pizza rehydrator on Back to the Future 2, right?) but there are people looking to take a step forward when it comes to cooking. The Cinder Grill launched recently on Indiegogo, and it’s looking to change the way you prepare your food.
If you’ve read my Sansaire 1.5 review you know that there are already methods available for precise temperature control cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I still love sous vide, and it’s a great method for cooking. The Cinder Grill looks to take some inspiration from sous vide, and apply those principles to a contact grill that looks in many ways like a panini press. The design is absolutely intentional, as it allows heating elements to come in contact with both sides of your food, and the longer “walls” on the sides prevent ambient air from coming in and wreaking havoc with the temperature.
The grill design removes several of the steps involved with sous vide — the water bath, sealed bags, searing at the end — while keeping several of the very beneficial parts of sous vide. I’ve mentioned precise temperatures a few times, but Cinder really takes that up a few notches for a grill. The entire cooking surface is precisely controlled to .1° Fahrenheit. The grill surfaces are comprised of thousands of tiny heating elements that are controlled electronically and refresh hundreds of times per second. This allows Cinder to keep your food at its ideal temperature — like sous vide — and hold it there — like sous vide — for several hours.
Now, I mentioned removing the additional searing step, and that may not have been 100% completely true. You will still have the option of searing your food once it’s completed cooking, but Cinder will take care of that for you as well. You don’t need to get out another pan or torch. Simply turn the temperature on your Cinder up, and it will enter searing mode, which will allow you to get the nice seared crust on your meat in just a few minutes.
One of the main benefits that Cinder has over sous vide is its flexibility. It would be exceptionally difficult to make a grilled cheese sandwich sous vide, but Cinder handles it easily. Sous vide can poach eggs, Cinder can make eggs sunny side up, or even help you craft an omelet. Cinder is also faster than sous vide, with eggs and vegetables taking between 2 and 10 minutes, steak pork and salmon running 20 – 30 minutes, and chicken clocking in at 35-40 minutes. And like sous vide, Cinder will cook from frozen as well. Clean up is a breeze too with Cinder’s non-stick ceramic grill plates.
Cinder has an app available (iOS only right this second, but the Android app is coming soon) that allows you to keep track of your food as it cooks, as well as save your preferences. You don’t need the app to cook though, everything can be done from the grill itself.
Cinder is currently funding on Indiegogo, and they’ve already crushed their funding goal in only a few days. They’re using the crowdfunding in order to show there’s a high demand for this grill, as well as raise funds to complete their Android app. The funding they raise will allow them to make several final improvements to the app and Cinder itself before placing a large order with their factory. Cinder is already out in the wild and in the hands of some early testers. We should be getting a Cinder to test out ourselves, and our full review will, of course, come soon afterward. Check out the video below, and then head over to Indiegogo and back Cinder!