Innovator, food nerd, and sometime barman Dave Arnold never seems to take a break. Though he’s just (temporarily) closed his ground-breaking modernist New York City-based bar Booker and Dax, Arnold is back with a new product: Almost two years after releasing the Searzall, a clever blowtorch attachment, he’s releasing a centrifuge — a machine that uses centrifugal force to separate liquid contents into matter of various densities — for smaller format or home use. The Spinzall, which Arnold and company say is the first centrifuge to cost less than $1,000, hits the market this week.
Sold exclusively through Modernist Pantry, the Spinzall will be offered as of this Friday for a promotional price of $699. Once a sales threshold (of $699,999) is met to offset the costs of production, early buyers will be charged for their initial purchases; the first units will be shipped out next June or July. The sales price will eventually go up to the MSRP of $999.99. (The appliance comes with at least a six-month warranty and can run continuously for over 900 hours.)
Unlike the Searzall, an attachment that modifies a straightforward source of heat, the Spinzall is a leap for most cooks — home or professional. Centrifuges are rarely called for in cookbooks; they’re used most often in laboratory or medical environments, to separate blood into its component parts, for instance.
Arnold knows this, but also knows there is a growing demand for a centrifuge that isn’t $5,000. “There are a lot of things people buy where there’s a barrier because of the cost or because there aren’t that many recipes,” he says, “Or there are ways to make something without this specific tool, but that isn’t the best or really the right way to do it.” Pea butter, one of Modernist Cuisine’s most well-known recipes, can be done without this machine, but for the best results a centrifuge is essential.
The Spinzall, which is the size of a food processor, will come with a guide and recipes. It’s NSF certified (for professional kitchen use), and dishwasher-safe, but this particular appliance will probably be most appealing to the professional cook and the “whole group of people out there that own the Modernist Cuisine cookbooks.... [who] have been clamoring for a reasonably priced centrifuge for a long time,” Arnold says.
Though the kitchen lab and online culinary school ChefSteps (an Eater video partner) haven’t yet tested the Spinzall, Arnold says they’ve seen early prototypes and know about the concept and they’re “all for it.”
So say you have a spare $700 this winter and extra space in the cupboard — is there anything else this thing can do? On the home side of things Arnold says it makes “incredible” baby food. A mash of sweet potatoes goes into the machine and out comes an incredibly silky puree on one side and sweet potato water on the other.
Lest you think the Spinzall is all Arnold is focused on right now, fret not: “The idea is to build upon each idea. Make the Searzall with no moving parts... then you build the first thing with a motor in it... the next product will be cheaper — not a cheap product — but will have mass market appeal.”