Housewares Design Awards

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2011 Best in Category: Cooking Electrics

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Eades Appliance Technology, LLC.

SousVide Supreme water oven

The SousVide Supreme, this year’s winner of a Housewares Design Award in the cooking electrics category, is a testament to the spirit of invention that has underpinned the housewares business throughout its history.

The product is the invention of Michael and Dr. Mary Dan Eades, a couple for whom the SousVide Supreme represents their first foray into housewares and the process of product invention. The inspiration for the product, according to Mary Dan Eades, came from a late-night room service meal during which they tasted a pork chop that Michael Eades described as the best he’d ever eaten

Upon investigation the pair discovered the pork chop in question had been cooked sous vide style. Looking to duplicate the experience in their own home, the two soon discovered that, while commercial sous vide cookers were available there was nothing on the market for consumers. Having an engineering background, Michael Eades undertook the task of designing a product that would deliver high-quality sous vide results in the home.

Sous vide cooking involves vacuum sealing foods in airtight pouches, submerging and cooking in a water bath that is maintained at a consistent— lower than normal— cooking temperature throughout the process.

To develop an appliance that could deliver restaurant quality sous vide within consumers’ home kitchens required overcoming a number of technical obstacles, not the least of which was taking an otherwise complex task requiring large, often costly and difficult to maintain equipment and condensing it into a configuration that could perform those tasks without need for consumer intervention.

Conventional immersion circulators for example, are too large and too unwieldy for consumer kitchens, utilizing a PID controller box attached to a heating element immersed in a tub of water, coupled with a pump to circulate the water. Other solutions, often requiring a homemade device that combines a water retaining vessel, such as a slow cooker or rice cooker with an external PID control box and an aquarium air bubbler can be both messy and, in the case of the PID control, require complex recalibration.

The SousVide Supreme houses a water bath and PID controlled heating element in one package. Each unit is hand calibrated at the factory, eliminating the need for re-calibration by the cook.

In its one-touch operation the SousVide Supreme embodies the modern ethos of applying technology to consumer product design, by applying technologically sophisticated mechanisms or processes in ways that are effectively invisible to the consumer. The result is a product the consumer can operate with deceptive simplicity, while the product itself manages many if not all of the complex tasks that would have previously required a level of culinary training or expertise.

—Bill McLoughlin

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