All products in stylish home kitchenAfter months of design, testing, logistics, and a half-cow’s worth of steak tastings, I’m thrilled to announce the first two new products from Sansaire since our sous vide circulator!

The Sansaire Steak Aging Sauce gives any steak the flavor of 60-day dry aging. Just add one tablespoon per pound of meat to the bag before cooking sous vide – there’s no need to marinate ahead of time. The sauce was inspired by a line in Modernist Cuisine at Home that suggested adding a dash of fish sauce to your steak to add “aged” flavor. We took the idea several steps further, through dozens of rounds of variations. The final recipe is scientifically formulated with a high concentration of glutamic acid, the naturally occurring molecule responsible for the umami flavor we enjoy in aged meats. The natural sugars in the sauce – from fish sauce, soy sauce, and molasses – will also contribute to a rich golden crust when you sear your steak. It makes cheap steak taste expensive, but without imparting a flavor of its own. Think of it as a steak amplifier. But, don’t take our word for it… the reviews are starting to come in. See’s Steak Aging Sauce Review.

Sansaire Searing Kit Torching Roast
For the last two years, the Sansaire has enabled you to cook your steak to the perfect interior doneness every time, but what about the sear? Introducing The Sansaire Searing Kit, the most powerful culinary blowtorch ever designed for home cooks. Produced in partnership with BernzOmatic – a trusted name in fueled flame products since 1876 – the kit includes a trigger-start torch head, a flavorless propane fuel cylinder, a heavy-duty stainless steel searing rack, plus an enameled tray to catch drippings and protect your countertops from the intense heat of the flame. I had been using a hardware store torch for years to sear my foods, and I can say that larger flame size and increased power of the Searing Kit torch is positively grin-inducing. The clean-burning flame produces no “torch taste” and the heavy-duty searing rack makes cleanup easy – just toss it in the dishwasher. I’ve used the Searing Kit to put a golden crust on a whole prime rib (for 12 people, as they gathered around the kitchen counter in amazement), to sear ling cod for fish tacos, to char peppers for salsa, to fire-roast corn, to brulee watermelon cubes… and other uses that I probably shouldn’t name for insurance purposes. The thing is a beast, and you’ll love the deep crust it produces.

If you’re already cooking sous vide, adding these tools to your arsenal might just turn your kitchen into the best underground, pop-up steakhouse in the neighborhood. If you’re new to the movement, I encourage you to jump on in. The water’s warm!

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Today is my last day at Modernist Cuisine. After three and a half years serving as the Director of Applied Research, it’s time for me to turn my attention to Sansaire full-time.

To call this decision “bittersweet” is a gross understatement. This has been my Dream Job, and every moment of my time at MC lived up to the fantasy I conjured when I first heard about the place. I’ve had the most incredible opportunities and the most unimaginable experiences here. I’ve worked alongside ridiculously talented people and learned from the best culinary minds in the world. And, for my part, I’ve made a contribution to books that will forever mark the period in history when the science of cooking became accessible to the world.

My first visit to the Modernist Cuisine lab was five years ago. I visited as part of an open house thrown in honor of the International Food Blogger’s Conference, and although I had spoken with Nathan on the phone once previously, it was our first time meeting in person. He was as effusive and smart as I expected, and way less stuffy. I soaked in every detail of the lab tour (with my jaw dragging on the ground), and I wore a stupid grin for a week after that.

It was crystal clear that this is where I was meant to work. Although he never said it in exactly these words, I think Nathan recognized that I was the right kind of crazy to be at Modernist Cuisine. (Note: Nathan has, on many other documented occasions, pointed out that I am plenty of other kinds of crazy.) When he created an opportunity for me to graduate from “unofficial fan club president” to full-time employee, Nathan was taking a risk that some guy from the Excel team at Microsoft with no culinary training and (I mean this pejoratively) a blog would be a good addition to his team.

Less than two months into my job, I was on a plane to Los Angeles with a steamed omelet laser-etched with Jimmy Kimmel’s face packed in my suitcase. A few weeks later, I was sitting for lunch with the Top Chef judges, designing our new website, and reviewing chapters for the upcoming Modernist Cuisine at Home release. When I opened my eyes next, I was writing code for a motorized microscope mount to shoot focus-stacked photography, designing a museum exhibit, mastering CNC-milled slip-cast ceramics, introducing Ferran Adria at Seattle Town Hall, 3D printing a mold for bean-to-bar chocolate, making liquid nitrogen ice cream on Irish TV, building a robot, laser-cutting a gingerbread house, and convincing Andrew Zimmern to drink dinosaur broth.

Through all of those experiences – and too many others to list – I had the time of my life. The Modernist Cuisine team has grown and matured, and their capabilities, creativity, and energy now are the best I’ve ever witnessed. My team specifically – Melissa, Caren and Gabbie – are individually the kind of people I may spend the rest of my career trying to find and hire; as a team, they’re an unmatched force in the industry. The editorial team is turning the largest bread book project in history into a printed reality, and with Head Chef Francisco Migoya at the helm, the culinary team is cranking out delicious, beautiful, and uniquely Modernist bread that [I believe] will hugely disrupt the world of baking. I’m very thankful to all of these people for allowing me to play alongside you.

Most of all, I want to thank Nathan. Nathan, you have given me my Dream Job, and extended to me the trust, encouragement, and resources to make this the most incredible period of my life. The lessons that I’ve learned from you – some of which I know, some of which I don’t yet realize – will resonate with me for the rest of my career. I am indebted for the opportunity to apply my brand of crazy to your vision for Modernist Cuisine, and I will remember these years (and all that sous vide pastrami) with great fondness.

All the while, during my fantastic voyage at Modernist cuisine, a team of incredible folks have been hard at work bringing Sansaire to life, growing the business, and creating new opportunities to change the way the world cooks. My nights and weekends at Sansaire won’t cut it anymore – we have big plans and hard work ahead, and it’s time for me to be with my Sansaire family full time.

So here we go…

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sansaire $199 sous vide machine

I am beyond thrilled to announce that our Kickstarter campaign for the Sansaire has been successfully funded*, and we’re now open for pre-orders at!

*OK, “successfully funded” is a bit of an understatement.  We hit our $100,000 funding goal in the first 13 hours, 4 minues of the campaign.  In 30 days, we raised $823,0033 and became the most-funded food project in Kickstarter history. We are absolutely blown away by the level of support and enthusiasm from our 4084 Kickstarter backers, as well as our family and friends who helped spread the word about the project.  Since I like charts and graphs, check out this beauty.  That dotted blue line at the bottom was the funding goal.

The night before the Kickstarter campaign, I was a nervous mess. I was only cautiously optimistic that we’d hit our funding goal within 30 days.  When I did the math in my head, we had to sell just over 500 units, or about 17 per day.  That seemed achievable… maybe… as long as we could get the word out, and as long as I could coerce all of my friends to buy one.  But what if everyone hated it? What if we were criticized because there have already been other sous vide projects on Kickstarter? I had that same feeling as where you show up to school in your underwear in a dream.

The campaign launched at 5AM PST. I was up. By the time I checked the Kickstarter page we already had two backers. Phew, I thought – at least it’s not a shutout! I made coffee (the night before a Kickstarter is a long night), took a shower and checked the page again. This time, we had $4,000 in funding.  “Whoa, that’s awesome. But maybe we peaked early, and we’ll run out of interested people soon.”  I got dressed and said goodbye to my wife before heading to work.  “How’s the campaign going?” she asked.  I checked my phone. $11K.  That was pretty much the best morning ever.  I wore a stupid grin all day.

I left the office a little after 5PM to meet Lukas and Widad, the other Sansaire co-founders, at a coffee shop in Seattle. I made it just in time to watch us tick past the $100,000 mark.  It was a surreal moment!  We looked at each other.  “I guess we have to make sous vide machines now!” Nothing could make me happier!

Over the following weeks, we were fortunate to get some really great press.  We owe a tremendous thank you to Kenji at for writing an incredible piece that he posted the same morning as our Kickstarter campaign. If you aren’t already a religious reader of, you will be soon. Thank you, Kenji, for testing the Sansaire and giving our backers confidence that the machine works! Thank you, as well, to the awesome folks at Mashable, Tested, Cnet and LA Times who gave us some love during the campaign!  Finally, I want to thank all of the readers of this blog who have supported and encouraged the sous vide cooking movement. You guys rock.

Now that the Kickstarter campaign is over, we’re focused on building the Sansaire on schedule and with high-quality. We’re beyond thrilled to bring this project to life, and we can’t wait to deliver the Sansaire to all of our Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers.  Speaking of which…

The Sansaire is available for pre-order right now at  It’s still just $199, but act fast – due to the incredible demand, we’re likely to sell out of our first shipment soon.

Sansaire $199 Sous Vide Machine

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