Sous Vide Like a Pro – Anova Precision Cooker

If you think cooking is more of a science subject than arts where everything is measured, down to the cooking temperature and duration, meet the Anova Precision Cooker. Personally I never liked recipes that includes “a pinch of salt” or “a dash of pepper” – I need a real unit of measure, something like 5 grams or one teaspoon!

When I first saw this Sous Vide cooker, I immediately thought of MasterChef and the food looked really good so I decided to find out more about it. To my disappointment I couldn’t find it anywhere in any mall and the best I could find were ancient Sous Vide cooker that came with a bulky attached water bath that belongs in the museum. So I decided to buy it online and check it out for myself. Here’s a video review about the Anova Sous Vide cooker and a sneak preview of cooking the perfect medium rare steak.

The Good

  1. Compact and easy to use – like I mentioned earlier, no attached water bath and you can use any pot lying around as long as the depth requirements are met.
  2. You can get restaurant quality food and avoid overcooking by controlling the temperature precisely, giving you a tender and juicy result everytime. I tried various dishes and felt that it’s best for seafood where you tend to overcook. You will get that creamy, soft, pink-center salmon by going Sous Vide, guaranteed.
  3. There is an app which not only connects to your cooker but also give you tons of food choices with the guide or user submitted recipes. You can browse through various type of dishes and with a push of a button, set the temperature and time required to cook. I highly encourage you to download the app before buying, just to check out the food choices.

The Bad

  1. Cooking time is minimally 30 minutes (for salmon) and goes all the way up to an hour or more for other types of meat. The steak I cooked took 45 minutes, where more experienced cooks can do the same in 10 minutes.
  2. For those who like to go pro, you might need to invest in a vacuum sealer to bag the meat, and a plastic tank for the water bath. The food might not cook properly if there are air pockets in the bag (air is an insulation for heat). I usually get the butcher to marinate and vacuum seal my meat, so that I can just cook it immediately.
  3. You will need to “finish off” the meat before serving as it will come out wet and pale. For the steak, scallops and prawns that I’ve cooked, they needed to be patted dry and grilled with a flaming torch to achieve the charred flavour.

The Verdict

I recommend the Anova Sous Vide cooker for cooks who like their meat to be cooked to a certain perfection and have lots of spare time. It’s definitely not a 10-minute meal, but if you can wait, you’ll be having a delicious meal at the fraction of the price compared to restaurants out there.


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