The Anova is a Star Performer!

Following-up from our unboxing of the Anova Precision Cooker, the Sous Vide Guys are pleased to bring you our in-depth review of the Anova Precision Cooker!

To see a video of our review of the Anova, you can check out our video on YouTube here:

For more details and pictures from our review, read on!

Nova is a word that refers to a star that increases in its brightness. Not sure if that’s what Anova Culinary had in mind when they came up with the name of their company but the Anova Precision Cooker certainly does shine bright in the crowded arena of the sub-$200 sous vide device.

The Anova Precision Cooker was launched on Kickstarter in May 2014. The company, Anova Culinary asked for backing of $100,000. By the time it closed, they had raised more than $1.8 million dollars! As of today, the Anova Precision Cooker is the most successful food-related project on Kickstarter thus far. So is all that hype valid? Let’s see how the Anova performs in our tests and evaluations.

We discuss and evaluate the Anova Precision Cooker based on the following criteria:

  • Packaging & Build Quality
  • Design & Features
  • Clip Design
  • Cleaning
  • Water Level Difference
  • Noise
  • Temperature Accuracy
  • Heating Speed

 

Packaging & Build Quality

We’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Anova and right from opening the box, it doesn’t disappoint. Packaging is sturdy and the foam inserts hold the device safely and securely. We love the bold orange on the box that plays off nicely against the black. The box has a nice premium feel with its smooth matt laminated exterior. In fact, ‘premium’ is a word you’re going to hear a lot in this review. There’s just no other word that better describes the Anova.

Looking at the device, the external body is mostly made of polycarbonate and stainless steel and the finishing is excellent. The Anova is made in the US and the quality is immediately apparent. Like we said, the device really does convey a premium feel.

Contents

 

Design & Features

In terms of design and features, the Anova really shines. Its got all the bells and whistles a kitchen geek would want in his sous vide device. Built-in timer, adjustable clamp, adjustable water jet outlet cap, removable stainless steel skirt, Bluetooth pairing with your smart phone and the ability to cook a dish right from your iPhone! Wow!

We did an entire walkthrough of the Anova iOS app where we also showed how easy it was to pair the device with the app. Bluetooth pairing is very straightforward and takes less than 2 seconds. Once paired, you can do things like use your iPhone to toggle between Celsius and Fahrenheit on the device, set your preheat temperature and set your timer. The app allows you to search through the recipes and it shows the recommended cooking time and temperature for each recipe. We really love how you can cook right off the app and it never fails to impress anyone and everyone we demonstrate the Anova to.

AnovaIOS

Even if you don’t have a iPhone, the other features and functions on the device still perform well. The device will beep when the set temperature is reached and also when time has expired on the timer. The adjustable water jet outlet cap is a very useful feature in that you can direct the water flow in multiple directions. This helps to prevent delicate items like eggs from smashing to the back of the water bath when you start the device.

Outlet OutletOff

 

Clip Design

The adjustable clamp shows Anova really has thought through the design of this product well. This feature allows you to attach your Anova safely and securely to water baths of various depths and thickness. There are 2 knobs on the adjustable clamp. The large knob is to secure the device to the water bath and the small knob is for you to attach the device to the clamp. So simple and yet so effective!

Knobs

 

Cleaning

The Anova is very easy to clean and decalcify. The removable stainless steel skirt gives you easy access to the heating elements. Just twist and pull away to remove. To reattach the skirt, make sure you check that the fan blades of the circulator have cleared through the opening before you push the skirt in and twist.

SkirtOff HeatingElement

 

Water Level Difference

EVALUATION CRITERIA: Having a wide range between the minimum and maximum water levels is a good feature. If you are cooking something like ribs over 48 hours, there will be water loss from evaporation. So having a wider range in the water levels means you don’t need to monitor the device as closely.

On the Anova, the difference between the minimum water level and the maximum is 3.6 inches! Excellent!

MaxMini

 

Noise

EVALUATION CRITERIA: Having a device that’s quiet is a important feature if you live in a small apartment. If you have to leave the unit running overnight, you certainly do not want a sous vide device that rumbles all night in the kitchen. We test noise levels through our Decibel Meter iOS app with the water level at midpoint between the max and minimum levels. And the test is conducted with the phone just in front of the water bath, on the opposite side of the device.

In our test, the Anova returned a average reading of around 64 decibels.

TestNoise

 

Temperature Accuracy

EVALUATION CRITERIA: Having a device that’s accurate is super important in sous vide cooking. A difference of just a couple of degrees can take your steak from medium to well done. It is also important that the device can hold the temperature evenly and consistently. You don’t want a device that has huge drop offs and that spikes after that. We test temperature accuracy at 3 points; At the start, during the climb, and finally at a holding temperature of 140°F / 60°C. We conduct our tests using our Cooper-Atkins, Guaranteed Accurate for Life, digital thermometer. Whilst it is branded as being accurate for life, there is a stated margin of accuracy of ±2°F so this should be taken into consideration when evaluating our test results.

At the start, the Anova showed a reading of 89.5°F while the thermometer showed 89.6°F, a slight difference of 0.1°F.

TestTempStart

During the climb, the discrepancy between the Anova and our thermometer was at roughly 1°F throughout. And finally, at the holding temperature of 140°F, the difference was once again back to around 0.1°F to 0.3°F.

TestTempEnd

 

Heating Speed

EVALUATION CRITERIA: Having a device that gets to your set temperature fast is ideal. For our test, we time the device to see how long it takes to heat up from 90°F to 140°F (32°C to 60°C).

In our test, the Anova took 23 mins and 35 secs to achieve that.

TestHeatingSpeed

 

Summary

In almost all aspects, we found the Anova to be above par. In short, it has excellent build quality, superb finish and is feature-packed. The only disappointment was in its heating speed. Sure, it would have been great if it could heat faster but let’s not forget that Anova managed to keep the price of the Precision Cooker below $200 while still including all the bells and whistles like Bluetooth pairing and the free iOS app! And all this while keeping manufacturing in the US! With its premium feel and stellar design, the Anova Precision Cooker is truly a star performer!

 

PS: If you are keen to purchase the Anova Precision Cooker, we will greatly appreciate it if you make your purchase by clicking on our Amazon affiliate link below. It will take you to the Amazon webstore where you can purchase the item. The affiliate link means that if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. You will not be paying any additional charges when you do this and this small commission helps us to defray our costs and allows us to continue giving you useful and valuable content on our site. If you are interested to buy the items advertised on our site, we would greatly appreciate your valuable support in making your purchases through our affiliate links. Thank you!

We believe in being open and direct with our community and so we wish to also let you know that the sample product was provided by Anova Culinary. We believe in giving you frank and honest opinions and we will never compromise on that.

 

  • Anova Precision Cooker 

    Anova Precision Cooker
    $179.00 & FREE shipping
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