By Larissa Zimberoff
Updated September 23, 2014
© Nomiku

In under 12 hours yesterday, Nomiku successfully raised more than $200,000 on Kickstarter to fund its next-generation sous vide machine. The San Francisco–based hardware startup galvanized fans already obsessed with the previous model, a compact gadget that took the art of cooking in temperature-controlled water out of high-end restaurants and into the home. This new Nomiku is going to be twice as powerful, made in the US, and Wi-Fi-connected to allow you to cook a meal at home while you are at the office. (We really don’t want you to miss that point.)

While the project is fully funded with 28 days to go, there are still some pledges left for early backers to score the device for $149, a sliver of the cost of restaurant–grade water baths, which can go for thousands of dollars. Delivery is estimated for the spring. Until then, you can study up on all its cool uses. Though famous for cooking eggs and plastic baggies of meat and fish to perfect temperature, sous vide immersion circulators have a range of surprising uses. Here, five cool tricks for the new and improved Nomiku.

1. Chill bottles of wine. Though sous vide is mostly associated with heating water to a steady temperature, the Nomiku’s minimum temp is 0°C (32°F). If you need to cool a bottle fast, submerge it in a pot and watch the device circulate water and ice around the bottles. It will chill the wine in 20 minutes, and function as your clever little party trick.

2. Infuse your booze. Bartenders like sous vide because you can infuse spirits and syrups with all manner of herbaceous blends in hours instead of days. In New York’s Greenwich Village, All’onda uses the Nomiku for a fennel-flavored syrup in its Anafesto Collins. You can even hack instant gin like NYC’s Betony does by sous viding vodka, juniper and other botanicals for just 90 seconds.

3. Make One-Step Dessert. Even the pros on Top Chef can get tripped up on dessert. If you’d rather focus on the savory acrobatics, you can still make perfect dulce de leche by dropping a jar of condensed milk into a sous vide set at 85°C. Drizzle the result over ice cream or eat it with a spoon.

4. Experiment with pâté. Here’s a way to blow away your dinner guests or parents: Try making this old school classic. Essentially a fancy meat loaf, pâté comes out smooth and perfectly cooked, thanks to the pressure imparted by vacuum-sealing the ingredients and the precise temperature controls. The folks at Our Daily Brine, along with chef Evan Brady, detail every step of the way here.

5. Prepare hassle-free ice cream. No ice cream maker required. Create a custard base via sous vide and use this Mad Genius Tip to freeze.

About Larissa Zimberoff: New York-based writer with a San Francisco heart. I'm a helmet-wearing cyclist who loves the journey to finding good food, great chefs and incredible experiences.

Check out her blog and follow her on Twitter/Instagram at @ibikeforfood