INTRODUCING THE MELLOW DUO SOUS VIDE MACHINE
Imagine the following: it’s a Tuesday, and you just finished working your standard 8am-5pm. You’re tired and hungry, but every option you can think of for dinner doesn’t check every box of the weeknight dinner trinity: delicious, cheap, and quick (with healthy being a major factor for many as well).
Ordering takeout or delivery is a convenient option, but usually isn’t healthy and certainly isn’t cheap. Your Lean Cuisine in the freezer is both cheap and quick, but that just sounds like a depressing end of a depressing day. You’d love to crush a perfectly cooked steak and steamed vegetables, but who has time for prep, cooking, and dishes after a long day? So, you do what you always do – you give in, and you’re left feeling disappointed and empty inside.
Now imagine a glorious alternative ending to the same story. The second you crack the door to your home, a magical smell permeates through your entire soul. Incredibly, a fully cooked and warm meal is waiting for you, that required minimal time to put together, because it’s been cooking while you were at work. Oh, and did I mention that clean up will be a breeze too? This is the life you deserve.
The Mellow Duo Smart Sous-Vide Machine aims to check all the boxes and, in the right hands, can truly bring delicious, low-effort meals to any aspiring home chef.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A SOUS VIDE MACHINE?
Sous-vide (French for “under vacuum”) is a method of cooking that places food within sealed containers, and cooks them in a water bath over an extended period of time. This is not boiling, blanching, poaching, or any other form of cooking in water. Sous-vide specifically keeps a lower regulated temperature in order to cook evenly, while retaining moisture (read: super juicy steak, soft and tender vegetables, etc.). You’ve most likely seen sous-vide in gourmet restaurants or on Food Network, but it’s become increasingly popular and accessible for smaller restaurants or home chefs (love the sous-vide egg bites from Starbucks, absolute must try). This all may sound very confusing, but trust me, the Mellow Duo’s addition of smart technology certainly helps to lower the barrier to entry and bring this growing style of cooking to anyone’s home.
What the Mellow Duo specifically brings to the table (pun intended) is the ability to control the machine through smart technology and a user-friendly app, allowing you to utilize the sous-vide cooking method while away for the day. Set up your food in the morning, drop it in the machine, use the app to select how you want to cook and when you want it ready by, then come home to a precisely-cooked meal that is tender, juicy, and extremely healthy!
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The Dual Vat version of the Mellow Duo retails at $249.99, but you can get a single large vat version for $199. There’s also the first generation of the Mellow Sous Vide machine available to snag on Amazon, if you’re so inclined.
Here’s what you need to know about the Mellow Duo:
- Weight: The Mellow Duo weighs 20 lbs
- Size: It stands 16 inches tall, 7.5 inches wide, and has a depth of 14.1 inches
- Heating Power: 1000 Watt
- Cooling Power: 178 Watt
- Temperature Range: 39* F to 194* F
Honestly, this thing looks stylish. It’s a little taller and deeper than an average countertop appliance, so definitely measure your kitchen, but for the right kitchen, this is super sleek and modern.
UNBOXING THE MELLOW DUO
The product comes packaged ready to go. No assembly required. Once removed from the box, all you need to do is plug it in, grab the plastic cooking bags that come packaged inside, download the app, and you’re ready to start cooking.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE MELLOW DUO SOUS VIDE MACHINE
Whether you’re cooking an ordinary week night meal or trying to impress friends at your dinner party, the Mellow Duo has got you covered. Being able to control the cooking cycle from your phone saves you time and allows flexibility whatever the occasion may be. The guarantee of a perfectly cooked meal will leave you stress-free and feeling accomplished.
To start, make sure you download the app and pair your device with the Mellow Duo. Next, determine what you’d like to cook by using the recipe ideas from the app or your own recipe and gather the ingredients necessary to complete your meal.
When you’re ready to start the cooking process, place the ingredients in the plastic bags provided, season to taste, and seal. Fill your Mellow with water using the guideline measurements on the machine to avoid overfilling. Place your packaged ingredients into the water and secure with lid.
Now you can use your app to begin the cooking cycle. Choose from one of the existing recipes in the app or select “Create Your Own Recipe” to select a desired cooking temperature and time. Name your recipe, press start, and Mellow will cook your meal to perfection!
There’s a lot to love with the Mellow Duo, so it’s probably in our best interest to explain what makes this thing a worthy addition to your kitchen.
This may be one of the most underrated features to the Mellow Duo, and clearly something that needed attention in the second iteration. If you drop raw steak into the machine in the morning, and want it to be done cooking in the evening, there is plenty of down time there where the steak does not need to be cooking, thus sitting in lukewarm water with the potential of producing bacteria. Therefore, the Mellow Duo further improved its refrigeration system, keeping your food at a safe temperature before the cooking needs to begin, even monitoring through the app and guiding users through steps to keep their water cool and their food safe.
All food requires different cooking times and temperatures, so the Dual-Vat system of the Mellow Duo can truly give you a full meal experience. By using two smaller vats on the machine, you can cook a main dish and sides simultaneously, program and monitor them separately, and create a full meal in one machine.
Your Mellow Duo will be controlled by an easy-to-use app that will not only monitor and update you on your food, but also provides an assistant chef feature that can recommend cooking temps and times to ensure all food is cooked perfectly. To build on this, the Mellow Duo also includes built-in WIFI and Bluetooth, ensuring you can control your meal anywhere at any time.
Does the idea of having a kitchen appliance on all day make you afraid to see your electricity bill? Well don’t worry, Mellow Duo’s double wall tank keeps the machine energy efficient. You can also remove the tank for easy maintenance, cleaning, and prep!
SO, SHOULD YOU BUY ONE?
Let’s be honest, sous-vide cooking is certainly not for everyone. If your signature dish at home is dry pasta and Prego tomato sauce, this may be a little out of you comfort zone. Also, keep in mind that this machine doesn’t remove all manual effort. For instance, if you want to do it right – you still should season and prep your food a little before throwing it in. Or, if you cook a steak, you may need to give it a quick sear to finish it off after you get home. Who knows, maybe I’m just high maintenance
With all that being said, for an adventurous home cook, the Mellow Duo is an outstanding investment. It’s perfect for couples who are both at work, stay at home moms (and dads) busy with children, or just anyone who wants to take their cooking to the next level.
If time is the #1 factor holding you back from making a lovely weeknight dinner, then I think the Mellow Duo can seriously ease that burden. Plus, this isn’t a smart version of a kitchen appliance you probably already own. A sous-vide machine is an exciting piece of kitchen technology that can be used at any time, for many different dishes, and is frequently preferred by world-class chefs.
So, while the Mellow is heavily marketed as a time-saver for weeknight meals, this is still a state-of-the-art machine with a fun-to-use app that is going to take your cooking to the next level. It’s incredibly versatile, as you can use it to cook a beautiful steak to perfection on a date night, and absolutely nail the perfect eggs in the morning, and so much more. This would be a fantastic addition to the right home chef’s kitchen! For all that it can do, we find it to be a pretty solid investment – and one that won’t break the bank.
FEATURES WE’D LIKE TO SEE IN THE NEXT GENERATION MELLOW
While we came away entirely impressed with the Duo (and the Mellow brand in general), there’s one minor thing we’d tweak to make this thing even better than it already is.
The machine is fully controlled by the app, which I don’t really mind. You can activate other users by adding them on the app which will allow them to use and control your device.
However, one thing that could use some improvements is whoever initiates the cooking cycle is fully responsible for monitoring and controlling the cooking process end to end. Others cannot manage or stop the process even if you have added them as secondary users to the app. This can be problematic at times especially when you have one person starting the cooking cycle in the morning but need another person to halt the cycle in the evening. This one change would significantly improve the usability of the product. Other than this, the Mellow Duo has a seamless user experience from beginning to end!
If you’re someone looking to save some time without sacrificing a quality home cooked meal, the Mellow Duo is the perfect solution. It’s easy to use, allows flexibility in your day-to-day, and always cooks to perfection, making you feel like a gourmet chef without all the hassle! I highly recommend this product!