Right off the bat, let me tell you I’m a fan of the 2nd generation Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker. It allows me the luxury of having a delicious homemade meal with minimal time spent in the kitchen. sous vide is a cooking method that has been around for a few centuries, but became popular around the 70s when the Restaurant Troisgros adopted it to make their foie gras absolutely stellar. Since then, it has trickled into most restaurant kitchens and is loved by stalwarts ranging from Heston Blumenthal to Gordon Ramsay.

Back in May 2014,  Anova launched a Kickstarter campaign for a sous vide cooker that will interface with your mobile phone. It raised $1.8 million as capital, launched, rapidly became everyone’s favorite, and was acquired by Electrolux earlier this year. The latest model, Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker is a WiFi-compatible 900-watt powered smart device which has rapidly become a darling of chefs, enthusiasts and laymen alike for it’s practicality and convenience.

Anova sous vide precision cooker at work

The Anova sous vide Precision Cooker, WIFI 2nd Gen, 900 Watts

Source: sousvideguys.com

So what is sous vide anyway?

This is a slow-cooking method where food is vacuum-sealed in a bag, then cooked at a very precise temperature in a water bath for a long time, often several hours. This versatile technique keeps food tender, flavourful, juicy and nutritious, and is still quite simple to execute. It’s only disadvantage is the amount of time it takes; that makes it pretty impractical for someone who is cooking only for friends and family. Luckily for us, we live in an era where sous vide cookers are easily available, so it gets easier.


Watch how easy sous vide makes it to cook a whopping 3 inch New York strip steak in a way that leaves it juicy and flavourful.

Advantages of Anova

Here’s where the Anova gets to be our savior. My girlfriend and I enjoy good food, but hey, we have busy schedules. The last thing we want to do is wrestle reservations and get dressed up to go out after a gruelling day at work. That’s why I love the Anova; it has single-handedly raised my kitchen game like no other gadget before it. Our food is evenly cooked all through, without any loss of juiciness, and none of those dried-out gnarly bits at the edges.

Before I leave for work, I just seal our steaks and herbs in a vacuum baggie and put it in a pot of water which has the Anova clipped to it, start it up (or start it up from my desk at work via the app around lunchtime), and let it start working its magic. It tenderises even the toughest cuts of meat, and what’s amazing is that it’s almost impossible to overcook food in it. As with all low-and-slow heating methods, the meat is cooked to perfection and all I need to do once I’m back is make a salad while I finish our steaks off by pan-searing them.

I love it because the food is dependably cooked to perfection even though I’m far away, the flavours are spot-on, the food looks amazing and it saves me a huge chunk of time. My girlfriend, on the other hand, loves the fact that sous vide retains more vitamins and minerals through the cooking process. And entertaining is a breeze, because Anova is a real trooper when it comes to cooking larger quantities too.


Watch how easy the Anova Precision Cooker makes sous vide for you.

How to get the most out of your Anova

The Anova Cooker is basically a device that clips onto any existing pan, heats the water within it, and circulates it for even cooking. Since the food needs to be in a vacuum bag, you could either invest in a somewhat-expensive vacuum sealer, or adopt this nifty little technique.


An easy method to vacuum-seal your bags of food for sous vide.

Another problem one often faces with sous vide cooking is that bags sometimes float in the water, even when there is no air in them. This leads to uneven cooking, and that defeats the purpose of sous vide entirely. Luckily, J.  Kenji López-Alt from Serious Eats has an easy solution.


Prevent sous vide bags from floating with this easy hack

Drawbacks

Sous vide may be awesome, but it has its own share of limitations and drawbacks. For one, it takes time. Sure, it may not be time that you are at the stove, but it takes a bit of advance planning. Once you’re used to thinking about what you’re making for dinner while you’re eating your breakfast, you’ll find it’s pretty smooth sailing from there. Another disadvantage is that you wind up having specialised equipment that you won’t use for anything else, and some of us in tiny apartments really don’t have the space for that. The Anova solves that by being rather compact, but some people remain unconvinced. Those of us who like a nice crust on our steak will still spend a bit of time BBQing it, or pan-searing it to get that.

The Anova comes with a pricetag of a little under $200, so it is certainly pricey for someone who isn’t completely convinced that they will make sous vide a regular part of their meals. However, a large number of customers are now up in arms about the requirement of opening an Anova account and linking the unit up to one’s Facebook account, because that opens a can of worms as far as privacy is concerned. If you’re concerned about that and choose not to, you won’t have the option to control it via the app, but manual controls will continue to work.

Given the convenience and versatility, though, the advantages far outweigh these drawbacks, making sous vide one of the easiest ways of making delicious and healthy homemade meals. With Anova, the future comes to your kitchen, making sous vide a convenient and delicious addition to your repertoire. Buy one here and see what a difference a smart cooker can make!


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