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The Breville Joule Turbo Is the Most Powerful Sous Vide We’ve Ever Tried

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A sous vide machine on a blue surface
Serious Eats / Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

Long gone are the days of sous vide being relegated to fine-dining restaurants. The dead-accurate, low-temperature cooking is now an easy (and arguably more convenient) way to cook your finest steak or make vanilla extract or creme brulee.

Now, I’ve owned a Breville Joule sous vide machine since 2015 when it first came out. But, I’ll admit: I’m guilty of considering sous vide a weekend (or even special occasion) method. I don’t want to wait 30 minutes-plus for a water bath to preheat on a Tuesday night, you know? So when Breville released the Joule Turbo Sous Vide earlier this year, my gadget-loving ears pricked up. It’s the first time Breville’s made a hardware change to the Joule since the immersion circulator’s inception. The Turbo promises not only to be faster but that it will “make your favorite sous vide dishes in as little as half the time of conventional sous vide,” the company says

I put the Breville Joule Turbo to the test, evaluating its accuracy, speed, and compatible app.

The Tests

A Breville Joule sous vide affixed to a plastic Cambro filled with water
Serious Eats / Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
  • Water Bath Test: I timed how long it took the Joule Turbo to heat a gallon of cold water (63°F) to 190°F. When the water bath was at temperature, I used an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature throughout the bath, evaluating its accuracy. I then checked the bath’s temperature every 10 minutes for an hour, to see if the temperature was stable.
  • Chicken Breast Test: I timed how long it took the Joule Turbo to heat a gallon of room temperature water (72°F) to 150°F. Then, I lowered two chicken breasts in a vacuum-sealed bag into the water bath and cooked them for one hour, setting a timer on the Joule’s app. 
  • Turbo Filet Mignon Test: To see how the sous vide works with its app and its app-guided recipes, I made Breville’s recipe for a filet mignon that utilizes the sous vide’s Turbo feature.
  • Vessel Versatility Test: I tried affixing the Joule Turbo to various sous vide containers, including a 6-quart Cambro, Dutch oven, and stockpot.
  • User Experience Tests: Throughout testing, I evaluated how easy the Joule Turbo was to set up, how well it worked with its app, and how useful the app was.

What We Learned

The Breville Joule Turbo Was Accurate and Wicked Fast

A closeup of the Breville Joule Turbo's app showing the temperature of preheating water
Serious Eats / Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

Like the Joule, the Joule Turbo is spot-on accurate. It had no problems reaching and maintaining its set temperatures. 

As far as speed, the Joule Turbo heated up a gallon of cold water in about 22 minutes and room temperature water in just under 13 minutes. While the room temperature water is on par with our other favorite immersion circulators, its cold water speed was exceptional. Compared to the Joule and Anova, the Joule Turbo was 13 and 38 minutes faster, respectively. 

To delve deeper into its speed, I reached out to Breville to see if the company could share any insights into the Joule Turbo’s construction. While the Joule Turbo and Joule have the same wattage (1100), the Turbo “has a software update and the algorithm is better able to sense what is happening and relay data for faster results,” a company representative told me. 

A look at a sous vide machine heating water in a cambro container.
Serious Eats / Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

"When heating the water, the new Joule Turbo Sous Vide has an updated PID controller that allows it to heat the water a bit faster than the previous Joule," says Douglas Baldwin, senior mathematician and food expert at Breville. "This updated controller also helps the Turbo algorithm cook tender cuts in about half the time of the previous Joule." PID stands for Proportional Integral Derivative, which is an algorithm-driven temperature control module. (Our favorite Breville espresso machines also have this.)

The Breville+ App Was a Massive Improvement

Screenshots of the Breville+ app against a blue background
The Breville+ app even offers cleaning instructions and videos.Serious Eats / Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

Compared to the original Joule app, the Breville+ app has a whole lot more connectivity and functionality. The app is chock full of videos and tips, like a step-by-step guide for cleaning your immersion circulator. The recipes include videos of each step, too. All in all, the app is now a well-rounded sous vide resource instead of just a place where you go for recipes and to set your sous vide’s time and temperature. 

The Turbo Feature Worked

two closeup looks at the Breville's app
The Turbo feature had you first measure and weigh your steak.Serious Eats / Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

Another notable app feature is the Turbo in Joule Turbo. Not every Breville+ sous vide recipe is Turbo, but the ones that are denoted by a little airplane in the bottom right corner and a lightning bolt in the top right corner of the recipe. 

To see how the Turbo feature worked, I tried the app’s Turbo Filet Mignon with Peppercorn Sauce and Air-Fried Garlic Mushrooms but just made the steak portion of the recipe. The app selects the time and temperature based on your preferred steak’s doneness. To further hone in on accuracy, the app also walks you through measuring (the Turbo even includes a small ruler for this very task) and weighing the steak, then spits out the temperature and time range based on these numbers. With Turbo, you add your food while the water is cold (yes, cold!) and immediately start the timer and water bath. My filet mignon was ready in 41 minutes flat. In comparison, a standard sous vide steak takes at least an hour after the water bath is heated.

The Verdict

Pros

The Joule Turbo is ultra-powerful, incredibly accurate, and heats a cold water bath lickety-split. Its app integration is incredibly helpful and the app itself is packed with helpful videos, guided recipes, and tips. 

Cons

Like the Joule, the Joule Turbo doesn’t have an adjustable clamp, which means its vessel versatility is limited unless you invest in a Big Clamp. However, the Turbo still has a magnetic base, which means it’ll stand upright in, say, a Dutch oven. It lacks an on-board display, which may be unappealing to the app-averse.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Polycarbonate; stainless steel
  • Wattage: 1100
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Warranty: 1-year limited 
  • Price at time of publish: $250
A Breville joule turbo sous video machine standing upright in a Dutch oven
Serious Eats / Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

FAQs

What does a Breville Joule sous vide machine do? 

A Breville Joule sous vide machine heats a water bath up to a set temperature and holds that temperature for a specified amount of time. To cook food in a sous vide bath, you’ll want to either vacuum seal it in a bag or press as much air out of a zipper-lock bag as possible before slowly lowering it into the water bath. The water bath cooks the food gently and slowly and the bag retains moisture, so it’s nearly impossible to overcook something. 

What can you cook with a Joule sous vide?

We have plenty of sous vide recipes on this very site (like sous vide duck confit, steak, and carrots). The Breville+ app also has plenty of guided recipes. 

Can I use Ziploc bags with my sous vide?

Yes, you can use a Ziploc bag to sous vide food. You’ll want to make sure you squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing it. 

Why We’re the Experts

  • To test the Joule Turbo, we tested its temperature accuracy, speed, app connectivity, and more. 
  • We’ve reviewed 18 other sous vide machines, so we know a thing or two about the appliance. 
  • Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm is the senior commerce editor for Serious Eats. She’s reviewed kitchen gear professionally for more than five years and has written reviews of air fryers, dinnerware sets, and more.

Editor’s note: We received a press sample of the Breville Joule Turbo, but all of our opinions are our own.

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kbreit
102 days ago
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Good-Bye Kris Nóva

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When anyone middle-aged or younger dies, It’s a cliche that they died much too young. Sometimes, it’s really true, though. Someone dies who’s a true, innovative leader who was changing the world for the better. Such a person was Kris Nóva.

I can’t claim to have known Nóva well, but she impressed me. Most people who’d met her would agree. Her job title when she died from a climbing accident was GitHub Principal Engineer. But, she was far more than that.

Not even 40, Nóva had co-founded The Nivenly Foundation. This organization is a member-controlled and democratically-governed open source foundation. Its goal is sought to bring sustainability, autonomy, and control to open source projects and communities. Specifically, it governs the popular tech Mastodon site, Hachyderm Decentralized Social Media, and the Aurae Runtime Project. The latter is a Kubernetes node workload management program.

Kris Nóva and Alex Williams

Many people claim to be “thought leaders.” Only a handful really are. Nóva was one. Her Kubernetes clusterf*ck talks were famous for revealing what’s what with Kubernetes and security. She also co-authored Cloud Native Infrastructure, a must-read for anyone considering running cloud native architectures.

Nóva also authored Hacking Capitalism, a book modeling the tech industry as a system. This book is interesting for anyone who wants to know how tech works.  It’s specifically for marginalized technologists who need tools to navigate the tech business. You should read this if you’re a programmer or engineer constantly flustered by tech’s management, social, and business sides. It will give you the insight you need on how investors, top leadership, and entrepreneurs view our ruthless, but predictable, industry.

She wasn’t just a speaker and writer, though. She was also an open source developer who contributed significantly to Linux, Kubernetes, distributed runtime environments, Falco, and the Go programming language. Altogether, she had created 388 GitHub repositories. In a word, she was “impressive.”

As Josh Berkus, Red Hat’s Kubernetes Manager, said on Mastodon, We lost one of the leading lights of tech this week. Relentlessly driven, astonishingly brilliant, and one of the bravest people I ever met, Kris Nóva was both an inspiration and a friend to dozens, if not hundreds, of people (including me). While it is fitting that she should have left us doing what she always did — taking risks — we are all poorer for having lost her.”

Indeed, we are.

The post Good-Bye Kris Nóva appeared first on The New Stack.

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kbreit
181 days ago
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Mastodon Needs More Brand Support

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As much as I want to move over to Mastodon full time, there’s one thing I feel that is massively holding it back. Yes, you can laud the big things about federations and freedom as much as you want. However, one thing I’ve seen hanging out in the fringes of the Fediverse that will ultimately hold Mastodon back is the hostility toward brands.

Welcoming The Crowd

If you’re already up in arms because of that opening, ask yourself why. What is it about a brand that has you upset? Don’t they have the same right to share on the platform as the rest of us? I will admit that not every person on Mastodon has this outward hostility toward companies. However I can also sense this feeling that brands don’t belong.

It reminds me a lot of the thinly veiled distaste for companies that some Linux proponents have. The “get your dirty binary drivers out of my pristine kernel” crowd. The ones that want the brands to bend to their will and only do things the way they want. If you can’t provide us the drivers and software for free with full code support for us to hack as much as we want then we don’t want you around.

Apply that kind of mentality to brands venturing into the Fediverse. Do you want them to share their message? Share links to content or help people join webinars to learn more about the solutions? Or do you only want the interns and social media professionals to be their authentic selves and pretend they aren’t working for a bigger company?

The fact is that in order to get people to come to Mastodon to consume content you’re going to need more than highly motivated people. You’re going to need people that are focused on sharing a message. You’re really going to want those that are focused on outreach instead of just sharing random things. Does that sound a lot like the early days of Twitter to you? Not much broadcast but lots of meaningless status updates.

That’s the biggest part of what’s holding Mastodon back. There’s no content. Yes, there’s a lot of sharing. There’s lots of blog posts or people clipping articles to put them out there for people to read. But it’s scattered and somewhat unsupported. There’s no driving force to get people to click through to sites with deeper information or other things that brands do to support campaigns.


Tom’s Take

You’re going to disagree with me and I don’t blame you one bit. You may not like my idea about getting more brand support on Mastodon but you can’t deny that the platform needs users with experience to grow things. And if you keep up the hostility you’re going to find people choosing to stay on platforms that support them instead of wading into the pool where they feel unwelcome.



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kbreit
285 days ago
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GM kills more than CarPlay support, it kills choice

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Apple CarPlay screenshot showing Devo's freedom of choice playing

Enlarge / Use your freedom of choice. (credit: Apple)

A long while back, Toyota told me it didn't want to give up interior real estate to Apple’s CarPlay. The automaker felt that losing that space to the tech company would be a huge mistake. Fast forward a few years, and after what I assume were some internal struggles, it caved and now you can get CarPlay and Android Auto on your fancy new Highlander, Prius, Tacoma, or Camry. It seemed like a silly decision had been reversed. Now it’s GM’s turn to go down the same path.

Today, news dropped that GM would be phasing out CarPlay support in future EVs. In its partnership with Google, it hopes that all the features you get from mirroring your iPhone can be replaced with an Android Automotive feature. GM, like Toyota before it, wants to control the digital real estate in its vehicles. It’s a revenue-based and walled-garden (ironically against Apple) decision that will cost them.

Software-driven vehicles should be about choice. Instead, GM is making a short-sighted decision based on a trickle of revenue under the guise of better integration. Owning all the data that a vehicle generates while driving around could be a great source of cash. The problem is potential customers have become accustomed to choosing which device they use to navigate, chat, text, and rock out within their vehicle. They’ve grown weary of being mined for data at the expense of their choice and they’re really not all that keen on in-car subscription services.

For years, automakers have been sharing their vision of a future where cars can drive themselves, and the passengers are kept entertained by a plethora of features that are meant to keep their attention as they roll without worry to their destination. If in this far-off future, a person were to get into their vehicle and be restricted from using their service of choice—CarPlay in this scenario—why would they even buy that vehicle? What’s the point of telling people that, in the future, they can use whatever they want if, as a company, you don't let them.

GM’s move is based on its desire to offer tighter integration with navigation and other in-car systems. Charging along routes isn't really possible within projected versions of Apple or Google Maps in many vehicles. That’s a solid reason for GM to make its mapping solution better. It’s not really a reason to reduce the choices it offers consumers. Yes, GM will offer Spotify, but if you use Apple Music, you’ll have to use Bluetooth, which means now you’re picking up your phone to make choices, and that’s far more dangerous than using the projected version of Apple Music on a vehicle’s touchscreen.

There’s also the loss of apps that GM might never want in its vehicles. Alternative EV route planning apps, navigation apps, messaging apps that read messages and support voice-to-text replies, podcast apps, and anything available now that GM and Google will determine they don’t want being offered to drivers.

Will this decision hurt Apple? Sure. But what it also does is damage GM’s reputation and potentially its bottom line because it gives people who are part of Apple’s ecosystem (for better or worse) pause when they are shopping for a vehicle. The news could be that GM is phasing out CarPlay support for EVs, but the average person sees “GM is killing CarPlay.” As a result, they look elsewhere.

This decision is particularly weird when new players worked hard to make sure their vehicles support CarPlay. Polestar may have taken longer than expected to bring CarPlay to its vehicles (something automotive journalists pointed out repeatedly), but it finally delivered. Lucid just announced that CarPlay is landing in its Air sedan and will be part of future vehicles. Both these automakers saw what the market wanted and delivered.

The software-driven vehicle revolution should be a place of choice. If the hardware can handle it, automakers can deliver it. GM is extremely proud that its Hummer EV has Unreal engine support. I’m not sure if people were clamoring for intense graphics for drive modes, but hey, you can get that now with a GM product. What I do know is that many people use CarPlay. It’s easy to set up and use, and more importantly, it’s familiar.

Nearly every modern vehicle supports CarPlay, making it easier for folks to move from vehicle to vehicle without learning a new UX while behind the wheel. That’s a huge win for safety.

GM sent over a fact sheet about its decision that states:

“This go-forward strategy will help us intensify our focus on designing the best integrated infotainment solution, reduce complexity and feature duplication, continuously innovate by adding more features and apps over time, and manage the overall in-vehicle experience in a more holistic way.”

This sounds like good news. But it doesn't have to come at the expense of what people already use and, in many cases, prefer. GM should create a better infotainment system that’s better integrated into the information coming from the vehicle, but it should offer its customers a choice. Because if GM doesn’t listen to what people want, plenty of other automakers are more than happy to swoop in and offer CarPlay support.

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kbreit
325 days ago
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Two Quick Links for Monday Late Night

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This song (Dogma by KMFDM) popped into my head just now and whoa, I haven't listened to this in more than 2 decades. [youtube.com]

Totally, totally pathetic. Twitter is no longer allowing promotion of "prohibited 3rd-party social media platforms" like Instagram, Mastodon, Facebook, Post, etc. Free speech! [help.twitter.com]

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Note: Quick Links are pushed to this RSS feed twice a day. For more immediate service, check out the front page of kottke.org, the Quick Links archive, or the @kottke Twitter feed.

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kbreit
428 days ago
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Hi, Hello, I’m Back At It

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*peeks hesitantly around the corner*

Hey everyone. Tomorrow, after almost 7 months of a sabbatical break, I’m resuming regular publication of kottke.org. (Actually, I’ve been posting a bit here and there this week already — underpromise & over-deliver, etc.) I’m going to share more about what I’ve been up to (and what I’ve not been up to) in a massive forthcoming post, but for now, know that I’m happy to be back here in the saddle once again. (And that my fiddle leaf fig is doing well!)

I am, however, still dealing with some chronic pain that sometimes makes it difficult for me to work. I’m doing the things I need to do to get better & stronger, but just be aware that it might affect my output here. It’s a very frustrating situation — in many ways, I’m in the best physical shape of my life and am excited to be back here but this more-or-less constant background pain is a real source of friction as I go about my day. Just wanted to get that out there — thanks for your continued patience.

Ok, here we go!

Tags: Jason Kottke   kottke.org   working
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kbreit
446 days ago
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