Full Review: WiFi Nomiku
Nomiku (Japanese phrase which translates to “eating and drinking”) is one of the founding companies to focus on the affordable in-home sous vide revolution. Nomiku started their journey in the summer of 2012, led by CEO Lisa Fetterman who we recently had the pleasure of interviewing, after successfully raising over $500,000 on Kickstarter for their flagship sous vide machine. Fast forward a few years and Nomiku landed another huge investment deal, but this time with a shark.
Backed by investor Chris Sacca, Lisa and the Nomiku team launched a new and improved version of their immersion circulator: the WiFi Nomiku. We recently had the pleasure to get our hands on a WiFi Nomiku to test its design, features, and performance. Keep reading to see how the WiFi Nomiku stands in comparison to all of the other sous vide machines we reviewed.
Nomiku was packaged very well and comes in a vibrant, albeit a bit busy, white box. Inside you will find the Nomiku machine itself and a packet of your typical paper materials including a quick start guide and marketing material for their Sous Vide at Home cookbook. While on the subject, we had the opportunity to get an early copy of the Sous Vide at Home cookbook and it is absolutely one of the best out there – check out two sneak peak recipes we shared including creamy squash soup and salmon with miso-fennel salad. However, I really wish they somehow included this cookbook bundled with the Nomiku device – if that book came free, customers would be ecstatic.
Wifi Nomiki Design
First impression is that the Nomiku is much bigger (wider?) than I had envisioned from seeing countless pictures online. Or perhaps I’m biased after reviewing the ChefSteps Joule from two weeks prior which was shockingly small. However, this isn’t a jab at Nomiku by any means because their device is still smaller than many others out there. Take a quick comparison look at Nomiku vs Sansaire vs Joule below:
Nomiku has a 2.4” LCD screen with two buttons below it: the menu button pulls up the main screen with options including settings, quick start, change Celsius to Fahrenheit, etc., and the action button physically selects whatever is highlighted.
One thing I do love about Nomiku’s design is the iconic fluorescent green often found in their branding. You’ll first notice the vibrant green turn dial on the top of the device – this is your main selection mechanism for the entire device. It navigates all of the settings and temperature adjustments with a simple rotation. However, the actual usability of this turn dial selection tool, in combination with the user interface, is a bit clunky. I often turned the dial one click (you can feel set increments as you turn the dial, much like the volume knob on many car radios) but the selector moved two spots – other times it only moved once. A few other concerns we had with these controls include:
- Adding my network password into the device for Wifi capability was a bit time consuming and slightly frustrating. There is a “quick start” so you can avoid doing this step, but it was not working for us, so we opted for the manual setup.
- Adjusting the temperature of the device took WAY too long. Each click of the dial seemed to increase the temperature by, like, 0.5 of a degree. When you fire up the device it starts around 35 degrees, and I was about to cook a steak at 132F, so I sat there spinning that wheel for what seemed like an eternity.
Another characteristic I noticed on the Nomiku is that is has a non-detachable power cord. We like the looks of this from a design standpoint, but it’s nice to be able to pull out the cord when finished to store it away easier. Joule is another sous vide machine that does not have a detachable power cord.
I believe Nomiku is the only device with a front-facing clip as well. It wasn’t super strong (nothing beats the turn clamps that are found on Anova and PolyScience CREATIVE) but definitely more sturdy than Sansaire’s clip. You shouldn’t have any issues attaching this to your sous vide container.
Features and Performance of Nomiku
How Fast Does Nomiku Pre-Heat Water?
Nomiku has a 1000 watt heater (the entire device operates at 1100w). As a comparison, Gourmia GSV-140 has 1200 watts, Joule and Sansaire have 1100 watts, and Anova has 800 watts. But the real question is how fast it can preheat water. Nomiku took over 16 minutes to heat water from 75F to 135F while Joule took under 13 minutes. But let’s be honest, who is going to complain about an extra 3 minutes of pre-heat time? After all, Anova is a popular sous vide cooker and that takes over 24 minutes to pre-heat!
Temperature Accuracy of Nomiku
We also tested to make sure our Nomiku was actually heating the water to what it was set at. We complete this test by using a simple digital thermometer and infrared thermometer to check the water temperature. All we want to verify is that it is within a degree, which Nomiku was. This shows there is not an issue with the device and that food safety won’t be of concern.
Circulator – How Big of a Container?
The WiFi Nomiku can efficiently circulate 1.8 gallons of water per minute and you can use a sous vide water container up to 8 gallons in size. We were surprised by how little you could actually see the currents moving. Many other devices make quite a bit of waves and bubbles as it circulates water. As a result, the Nomiku was unbelievably quiet – check out this video to see the circulator in action and (attempt) to hear the device.
Tender App and Wifi
At first, setting up my Nomiku device to use the Wifi was a bit difficult. The quick setup wasn’t working, as I mentioned earlier, but after a bit of tinkering I was able to manually connect it. Once connected, I downloaded the Tender app for Android, created an account, and paired my device. From this, you can control your device including the temperature levels. Again, similar to the user interface on the device, it was a bit clunky in regards to navigation.
The actual Tender app and website, however, is a lovely aspect of the Nomiku brand. Tender is a social platform for sous vide enthusiasts to share recipes with one another. We definitely support this endeavor and started using this platform regularly. To make it even better, you don’t have to own a Nomiku – anyone can sign up for an account.
Final Thoughts on the Wifi Nomiku
Overall, Nomiku was a long awaited device (often burdened by extensive back-orders) that is finally landing on customers’ countertops. The design of the device is fun and creative, but the user interface could use some fine tuning. The performance of the Wifi Nomiku, including heating times and accuracy, matched expectations and the Tender community is an amazing feature. Also, I recommend EVERYONE grab a copy of their cookbook, Sous Vide at Home. It has some of the most incredible food pictures I’ve ever seen and the recipes are not hard to recreate.
The price is the next factor and may be a hurdle for many to jump. As of right now, Nomiku is not available on Amazon and appears it can only be purchased on their website.