If you’ve ever imagined yourself as a maser chef while cooking up a meal in your tiny apartment kitchen, the Anova WiFi Sous Vide Precision Cooker is for you. This device turns any Joe Schmoe with a kitchen into a five-star chef. For those not in the know, sous-vide (pronounced sue-veed) is a french term for “under vacuum” and refers to the process for cooking foods in vacuum sealed bags in a boiling or close to boiling water bath. The advantages of cooking foods using this method is that you can get foods such as steak to a precise temperature for whatever level of “done-ness” you prefer. Cooking a perfect steak, for example, is fairly simple. If you enjoy your steaks medium-rare, you would set your water bath temperature to 129°F, vacuum seal your steak in a bag with some butter and herbs, and drop it in the bath. Cooking times vary depending on the cut and thickness, but usually it’s around 1 to 3 hours for most steaks. After cooking in the water bath for the required period of time, your steak will need to be taken out of its bag and seared on a super hot pan to give it some flavor.
The Anova WiFi Sous Vide Precision Cooker makes the above process even simpler; It hooks into your phone with the Anova app, which is readily available on the Android Play and Apple App stores and lets you easily set cooking times and temperatures for your water bath. The Anova is well built and very cleverly packaged in a long tube padded with foam, which doubles as a storage case when not in use. Although steaks are usually the first thing that come to mind when cooking sous-vide, there are a plethora of recipes for other meats, as well as vegetables, and various desserts, which can be found both in the Anova App and various other sous-vide related websites.
The few downsides of this device are not really due to the device itself but rather the process of sous-vide. Cooking times are significantly longer; A steak that will usually take around 7-8 minutes on a grill will take 2-3 hours to sous-vide, not including the time to sear it. However, this method, although more time consuming, will produce consistent results, unlike the traditional methods. These tend to leave many variables open, allowing for the possibility to under cook or over cook your meat. The Anova app, which is used to control the device remotely, feels a little clunky and unfinished, but serves its purpose well enough. The built-in recipes and cooking times save you the hassle of looking for them yourself.