I’ve been Beta testing Lipavi racks and vessels for about a year now. I don’t work for Lipavi, but they were kind enough to provide me with samples of their gear. When they first approached me, they were quick to point out that they had no expectations or requirements. None of them are SV experts or chefs — they call themselves “enthusiasts.” I like that. That’s the opposite of the way many people act.
One of them had joined the FB group that I administered, and they just wanted an honest appraisal of function. Typically, I follow a credo, if I don’t like a product, I say nothing. This is a great policy, albeit hard to stick to sometimes. I only started actually recommending them a couple of weeks ago, because I really wanted to take the time to get used to them. Everything is cool when it’s new. Then, you endorse, it, then you break it, then the cards and letters and emails and PM’s start flooding in. I had always hacked vessels and racks. I’ve even used the sink to process in. I wasn’t exactly an easy sell.
The Market is an Ocean, and We are Sailors
That being said, this stuff is ready for mainstream. Lipavi is a small, Norwegian company. They are not particularly price competitive, nor do they claim to be. They design their equipment to perform that specific function, and then they carefully vet Chinese manufacturers to find the one that does the best job of producing it. They don’t even have a warehouse in the states, Amazon houses their products until they sell. They’ve added knives to their inventory, which I am also Beta testing with great enthusiasm. I love a wicked knife. They are made from the very best Japanese VG10 steel, and hand crafted in China. Really. People, working by hand, shaping each handle out of this incredibly hard substance that the language barrier has prevented me from fully understanding. I think it’s some kind of fiberglass/resin model, but heat tolerant up to 280F. My friend says it is amazing to watch. Again, not cheap. Good. Very Good.
I’m gonna need more of these things.
As time passed, I realized that the racks had uses other than just organizing food in the vessel. Laugh if you will, I discovered that they could be turned upside down and used to keep food submerged in the bath, if necessary. They can be lifted out of the bath and put right in the cold water to shock, and then transferred to the fridge for further cooling and storage. They can be used as cold smoking racks, and I’m using some now to elevate some Lonzino and Braseola in the fridge. They’re not actually just flat racks, they are “looped” to create a buffer zone between the products that they hold, necessary for SV.
I mentioned this to the company rep, and, after he got over the shock of it, he realized that whatever purpose they could serve just made them that much more attractive. I wouldn’t say that my Nordic friends at Lipavi are flip about profit and volume, market domination, etc., but they do have a sort of relaxed, laid back, patient attitude towards commercialism in general. The overall philosophy seems to be that if you make a good product, and are willing to invest the time it takes for it to become noticed, it will sell. Very refreshing, really.
- The gear comes in several different sizes, including vessels, covers dedicated to each particular IC for perfect fit, and dedicated racks.
- If you go to this link, they show all the variations.
- For people with some restaurant or at least steam table experience, it boils down to third pan size, half pan size, and full pan size.
- This is the rack that fits in the smallest, so called third size pan.
- I use it a lot, but not quite as much as the next size up.
- The outside panels fold over for easy storage, there’s a lot of flexibility for configuration.
- In the vessel, you can see the Nomiku original model there next to it, to give you an idea.
- Nice stands on the bottom to keep water circulating everywhere.
- Because of the vertical configuration, and the height of the racks, a lot of processing can be done Sans Vide(tm), meaning, without going through the occasional torture of sealing the bags.
- Lipavi was the first, and only one that I am familiar with, that offers this capability.
- Yet another angle.
- Again, the Amazon link
- You can see the double row of slots to hold the racks secure.
- Very solid.
- Bends and solder, all done by hand.
- The medium size, so called “half pan.”
- It fits either way.
- Upside down, too.
- These things grow on you.
- Four rack configuration, room for 4 large chicken breasts, for example.
- The Beta testing isn’t done, but I wanted to get some pics out there so people can see how different these racks are from the basic hack.
- The rack technology has dragged a little behind the IC technology, apparently.
- Except for these guys.
- Lipavi is constantly adding dedicated lids, as new models of IC are introduced, and, as I mentioned, they are now selling some wicked Japanese VG10 steel knives, again at Amazon.
- You can just see the hinge action, this makes storage a snap.