Anova Precision Cooker - Making Steaks in the Bathroom
Although the Tech Gourmand is not a cooking site, I do enjoy cooking technology and the Anova Precision Cooker fits that bill perfectly. I received this sous vide device for my birthday and I am loving it. For a full description of sous vide cooking, head over to https://anovaculinary.com/what-is-sous-vide/ or just search it on the web.
The device is exactly as advertised. It sits in a water bath and heats the water to the specified temperature while circulating it to provide that exact temperature around the whole bath. The food is stored in vacuum sealed bags so the food is essentially braising without it actually touching the water. It works in a pot with a couple of quarts, or in a big plastic storage container with a few gallons. It has bluetooth connectivity to work with an app to set times and temps in addition to a simple interface on the device to do the same.
I tried a few meals to test it out and worked with dishes that typically are better with long cook times and low temps. We bought some beef tendon and cooked it for 3 days, some steaks and cooked them for a few hours, and some quicky jobs (like 1 to 2 hours) on salmon and corn on the cob. All the food worked out well but you really want to follow instructions on cooking settings and seasoning for each dish; find those online.
The annoyances of the device are easy to see right away. The cord is way to short. I have used an extension cord every time I've used it. The device also hooks perfectly to a pot but if you are doing a large meal, like ribs which I plan to try for the July 4th weekend, you need a huge container and then attaching it how you want is tricky. When I did my steaks, I ended up filling a plastic storage container half way, attaching the Anova to the outside of a small pot, placing it in the water, and then weighing it down so the whole thing wouldn't move (and float). It ended up working, and the steaks were great (after a quick post sous vide trip to the skillet for some crust) and the corn-on-the-cob I threw in at the end was great also (might was well use the water if its all heated up).
Of course, cooking in such a large container, you have 2 problems: the water is slow to heat up ( like hours slow), and you need to find someplace for the container. I chose my daughters bathroom for the steaks and while there is no risk of contamination, both my daughter and wife were a little uncomfortable eating food cooked in the bathtub (especially after my daughter decided she'd use the bathroom ... and it was a full use).
I however, enjoyed a perfectly cooked steak.