Today's interview is with Daniel, one half of the team from Underground Circulators. Underground Circulators makes lower cost immersion circulators for sous vide enthusiasts. If you want to see one in action, Snake river farms will be featuring one at the caterer source trade show in Las Vegas at booth #933.
1) You are a father-son team. How did the two of you get started making sous vide circulators together?
As a chef in training in several restaurants, I was taught, and enjoyed working with, sous vide cooking. I wanted to prepare similar dishes on my days off. However, I could not afford an immersion circulator. Never to be discouraged, I began buying, refurbishing and reselling used units.
After several months, I could afford to keep one for my personal use. My co-workers wanted their own and began to borrow mine when they wanted to sous vide at home. I realized that if an affordable and reliable unit was available, anyone who wanted to experiment with sous vide cooking could do so.
The original idea to build one (Underground Circulators) happened over thanksgiving dinner with my dad. Through months of thought, design, and trials with my father, an electronics engineer, we developed one of the world's first affordable immersion circulators.
2) Your one year anniversary is coming up, any exciting plans for year number two?
Our first year has been an exciting one with testing, meeting new clients, chefs, and sous vide enthusiasts. We are ready for year number two. As for plans, there may be some accessories and additional options for units in the future but for now we are going to keep focusing on hand building high quality units at a great price.
3) What is your favorite meal to prepare sous vide? What is the most amazing sous vide meal you've eaten?
Most vegetables are better sous vide. Any chance I get, I do a batch of beets, carrots or whole new potatoes with herbs and some light butter.
Beef to me is best sous vide. It has an even temperature all the way around. If the beef is pre-seasoned and some duck fat is added it makes for a spectacular meat dish.
4) At $499 your circulator is much cheaper than other circulators and still claims to have very high temperature stability. What's your secret?
Our secret is simple. We are a local, small town company that had a vision (opportunity and preparedness) to make a high quality circulator affordable so more people could sous vide. We do not feel it's right to charge an additional $600 or more for our company's name on the box. Our circulator also circulates 360 degrees and we believe that helps hold better temperature.
5) Where do you think the future of sous vide is headed?
I feel sous vide is here to stay. Europe has used it since the 70's and as long as we practice proper cooking procedures, we stand to become the front runner in all things cooked under vacuum. I'm looking forward to dinner as we speak!!!
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