Nomiku vs. Cinder: cooking restaurant quality steaks in your apartment kitchen
If you have ever hosted a party at home, you’ve been there: scrambling to cook a perfect meal in the kitchen, while your guests introduce themselves to each other and fumble through conversation in the other room.
The Wifi Nomiku and Cinder are two devices that seek to solve the problem of too much hands-on cooking time required for cooking meat, fish, and vegetables. Let’s take a look at how you can cook the perfect steak in your home every single time without the fuss of smoke or burnt pans.
The Nomiku: The modern way for sous vide
The Nomiku is described as, “the world’s smallest and most powerful sous vide device.” What’s sous vide, you ask? According to Nomiku’s explainer video, sous vide is, “a cooking technique in which sealed food is perfectly cooked in a temperature-controlled water bath.” Though the company website seems to emphasize Nomiku’s use for cooking steak, the press kit explains that it can also be used for fish and veggies.
The Wifi Nomiku works as one small device, about the size of a large remote control. The cooking process used with the Nomiku is simple. You put steak in a bag, and submerge the bag in a container of water. Then, the Wifi Nomiku heats up the water to the exact temperature required for cooking your steak perfectly. You push one button to turn of the Nomiku, remove your meat and it’s ready to eat.
The Wifi part of Wifi Nomiku means that the device also works remotely. You can use the company’s mobile app, called Tender, to begin the cooking process, even if you’re away from home.
Tender is available for iOS, Android and Windows. In addition to controlling the Nomiku from outside of the home, the app also offers users hundreds of recipes, and is described by the company as, “the largest mobile sous video community.”
An advantage of the Nomiku is that you don’t need any special cooking equipment to use the device; you just need the Nomiku itself. You use a typical zipper-locking plastic bag, and any large container for water, like a Tupperware of large bowl. Another advantage is the small size: the Nomiku could easily fit in a drawer or cabinet, or even in a corner of the countertop.
Nomiku was founded by a husband and wife team in San Francisco in 2012. The company launched with a successful Kickstarter campaign, funding its first product called the Nomiku Sous Video Immersion Circulator. Since then, the company has released its second product, the Wifi Nomiku.
Cinder: The Foreman grill of the future
Cinder is billed as, “the world’s first precision grill.”
Cinder, like the Wifi Nomiku, also uses smart technology and an accompanying mobile app to allow you to interact with the cooking process. When using the Cinder, you’ll receive mobile notifications when you’re food is ready, and the Cinder will hold the food at the set temperature.
Unlike the Nomiku, Cinder is an entire grill. Picture the kind of George Foreman grill-type device that you would find if you went to dinner at Mark Zuckerberg’s house.
Like the Wifi Nomiku, Cinder is made for cooking meat, fish or vegetables. Users place their food onto the Cinder, and then use the Cinder mobile app or the device itself to set the desired cooking level: rare, medium or well done. The app then notifies you when the food is ready, and allows you the option to “finish with a sear” if so desired.
Users can expect to clean up the cooking surface and the dripping tray. The dripping tray is dishwasher safe, while the cooking surface is removable so users can wipe it down after use.
While the explainer video for the Cinder features the mobile app, the product order page reveals that the app is not ready yet. That said, “While the app will enhance user experience, it is not required to operate Cinder.” The app will be available for iOS and Android soon.
The competition: Nomiku vs Cinder
Cinder clearly acknowledges the competition of Nomiku on its FAQ page, responding to questions like How is [Cinder] easier than sous vide? How is [Cinder] faster than sous vide? The arguments presented are reasonable, with Cinder claiming that it saves a step without requiring you to put the food in a plastic bag.
Regarding speed, Cinder claims that the product preheats in about a minute, “while a bathwater can take as long as 35 minutes to reach cooking temperature.” However, both products emphasize the capability to “set it and forget it,” so if you’re not going to be waiting around the kitchen for the food to cook, then the cooking time may be less significant.
For safety, neither product uses an open flame. However, users may feel more concern about leaving the Cinder unattended, as it does generate a hot cooking surface in order to cook the food. The Nomiku, on the other hand, only heats up water, which may be perceived as safer by some users.
Both products offer users a generous library of content in the form of recipes. The Nomiku features recipes on its Tender app, while the Cinder blog is filled with mouth-watering images and recipes of food cooked with the product.
Clean up is one area where the products seem to split. The Nomiku requires nearly no cleaning, as the user simply removes the cooked food from the plastic bag, serves the food and discards the bag. The Cinder requires two separate cleaning steps, as both the dripping tray and the cleaning surface must be cleaned. While both pieces are removable, only the dripping tray is dishwater safe.
Which one takes the steak?
If you’re wondering if you should put the Nomiku or the Cinder on your Amazon Wish List, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself:
- Do you prefer grilled food or sous vide style food?
- Do you have the counter space for the Cinder, or would you prefer the portability of the Nomiku?
- Would you prefer the slightly cheaper Nomiku at $199, or would you splurge for the Cinder at $299?
Both devices grant users the freedom to cook delicious home meals without having to monitor their food. Ultimately, it depends on how you want to cook your food and how much you want to spend to determine if the Nomiku or the Cinder is the right smart cooking product for you.
As of this writing, the Cinder is available for order. The Nomiku is currently available at Amazon.