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Monday, September 1, 2014

Sous vide cooking article by former Microsoft CTO in engineering magazine

hi-tech oven by Nathan Myhrvold IEEE Spectrum Jul. 2014, p. 36-37

PHOTO: a sous vide style of a high technology oven designed for a better way of cooking is described in the computer and electrical engineering magazine article by Nathan Myhrvold, "Nathan Myhrvold's Recipe for a Better Oven. We cook our food using technology invented to bake bricks -- We can do a lot better," IEEE Spectrum, July 2014, p. 6, 36-40, 54-56. Nathan Myhrvold is the former chief technology officer of Microsoft and author of the book Nathan Myhrvold, "Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking" (2011).

I recently started experimenting with sous vide style of cooking by placing food in sealable plastic cooking bags that can be immersed in boiling water, but instead of boiling the water I heat it precisely to the food safety temperature, for example 140 degrees Fahrenheit, so that steaks can be cooked perfectly without being over done or unsafe to eat. I started doing this for two reasons. First, my local food suppliers have become sloppier and even steaks done on a grill can make me sick if they were not overcooked and secondly, I want to experience the joys of sous vide cooked food that I learned about from several internationally famous chefs.

I am sure that my father would find this interesting because he had a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and spent decades helping "Betty Crocker" at General Mills engineer several new food designs that are still in production today.

Nathan Myhrvold has done the quintessential Silicon Valley proposal (or Silicon Forest if you are a true blue Microsoft person living in Seattle, Washington like he was) by proposing a new type of oven that would make it much easier to do sous vide and other types of advanced cooking techniques he describes in his article.

My current oven is 20 years old and the timer has broken, therefore I would be a prime customer for such a beast if somebody would make it. Of course, I can guess it would be hard to market to most people because few people understand the technology and few cookbooks exist that would make it easy to do.