This has been a really exciting week of deliveries to my doorstep. First I get the new Gluten-Free Flour Power from Ideas in Food. Then a few minutes later I get a package delivered from Anova. Let the Un-boxing of the Anova Precision Cooker begin! So my first impressions of the packaging is that it is super impressive. It comes in a very large brown, square box. When you open the box you are greeted by a gigantic tube. It almost looks like a huge Duracell battery. The top part which is the lid, is yellow and the bottom half is black. I was shocked at the heavy duty materials used for the packaging as well as the weight behind the entire thing. This just added to anticipation of opening the tube up and seeing what was waiting for me inside!
So my first impressions when I pulled the Anova out of the box is how well built it feels. The main part of the unit that sits in the water is a metal tube. It has a nice heavy duty feel to it. The next thing I noticed is that it has a clamp very similar to my Polyscience Discovery. The difference is this one can be adjusted as to how high up on the tube it sits. The nice thing about it is that instead of it just being a screw holding it in place it is a plate you’re adjusting. When I plugged it in I was impressed with how it lit up. Nice and clean display and the track wheel that adjusts the temperature lights up a nice blue color. It is also really quiet, just about the same noise level as my Polyscience. Which is great, because the last thing you want in your kitchen is a piece of equipment that is noisy, especially when you are doing something that is cooking for 72 hrs.
You will notice in this picture that there is a Bluetooth symbol on the screen. Now this would be super exciting, except for the fact that once again having an Android phone has come back to bite me. There is no app for my Android to use this feature of the Anova. Now I guess, from what I have read, there is one in the works but no timeline on when it will be released. Super disappointed that I don’t have an iPhone at this point. Can’t wait until I get my upgrade in May! So my next step was to do a side by side test of heating up water. I wanted to put my Polyscience Discovery up against it. As I was setting this up I realized something, not that it is a huge deal, but the Anova seems to only adjust temperature in increments of .5 degrees. So if you, for some unknown reason needed to cook something at 60.3 C then you are out of luck with the Anova. However my Polyscience Discovery you can set it at exactly what temperature you want. Like I said not a huge thing but it did strike me as odd.
As you can see, I have 2 Cambro’s set up and have an equal amount of water in them. I let them sit for several hours once filled up to let the temperatures equal out. Once I was happy with where it was at I got my stop watch ready and my target temps set. My starting temperature on both was 16 C and my target temperature was 47 C. Why 47 you ask me? No reason. Just happened to be the number I landed on. I hit the start button on both and quickly started my timer. I had no lid or covering of any kind on either container, which I know makes the warm up process take a lot longer. So the Anova took 38:30 to reach the target while my Polyscience took 41 minutes. So the Anova won the race, however I noticed that when it started hitting the higher temperatures my Polyscience did make a good run and started to catch up fast the warmer it got.
One other thing is that unlike my Discovery, the Anova does not have any kind of a timer on it. Maybe that is part of the app but again I don’t have access to that to see or test.
Another interesting feature is that you can change the direction of the water flow so if you are cooking something like eggs it won’t knock them around and eliminates the worry of breaking one of them. I look forward to testing it out next by cooking some things in it. I am getting ready to cook up some things for a class I am teaching on sous vide cooking so I will get to test it out here in the next few days.
Overall at this point I am very impressed overall with the Anova. I have to say that if I had to choose between the Sansaire that I used and the Anova, that I think I would pick up the Anova everytime. Not only does it have a better look, but it also really feels a lot more professional and well constructed. Now if I had to choose between it and my Polyscience I am not sure which I would choose. I would probably lean towards the Polyscience due to the fact of the flexibility of the temperature control. Even though you would very rarely, if ever, need to do cook something at an odd number, but it is nice to know that if I needed to I could. Plus how can you go wrong with that amazing yellow color!
But if you were looking to get a model for home use you cannot go wrong with this unit. I would give it a high A as far as a grade. I am guessing that the only thing that would heat that water up faster would be a bigger more commercial grade unit. And that is what I hope that I can get my hands on next.
So if you are looking to get into sous vide cooking at home my recommendation is to go out and get yourself either a Polyscience Discovery or the Anova Presicion Cooker. You will not be dissapointed with either of them!