Adapting recipes

I was trying out a chicken thigh recipe (from Milk Street) that called for 450F for 30-40 minutes.
I put the chicken on rack 3 and used top/bottom heat (can’t get 450F with bottom alone).
The za’atar rub got blackened after about 5-10 minutes so moved it to rack level 2 (one down) and dropped the heat to 350. It was done in 15 minutes total.
I’m guessing that the top heat element acted like a broiler. I’m reaching out for any experience adapting recipes. Should I keep the same temp and use top/bottom but put it on a lower rack? Keep the same temp but use convection for less time? Cook at a lower temp?

In my experience, a good starting point is to take 25 degrees F off of the temperature and start watching the doneness at 80% cooking time.
You can also turn the convection down or off, but I think only when using the top and bottom heating elements and no steam.

Thanks. I see when trying to create a recipe that it says “Fan is locked to High when Steam or Rear heat source are selected”. That jibes with what you said.
Thanks again,

Where do you see this? I have just received my APO and am confused about what settings to use when and why they are different. Thank you.

I’ve been there, experimenting with different oven racks, temperatures, and cooking methods to achieve the perfect results. I think it’s great that you’re reaching out for advice and sharing your experience.
Personally, I’ve found that it’s often a combination of factors that contribute to the final outcome of a dish. In your case, it sounds like the top heat element caused the za’atar rub to blacken quickly.
As for me, I’m currently trying to perfect my guláš recept. I’ve been experimenting with different types of paprika, meat cuts, and cooking times to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.

For new users:
1 Read the manual, aka quick start guide.
2 Anova Precision™ Oven Tutorial - YouTube
3 To mimic a conventional oven, i. e. no convection, use top and bottom heat, no fan, no steam. You must set this up in the app, you can’t turn off the fan without the app.
5 Don’t Google for APO recipes, try combi steam cooking instead.

I think my biggest frustration with the recipes that are included “officially” to use with the oven is the fact that there is no way to print them out without getting a huge number of pages. For each recipe, there should be a “print recipe” option that offers it in print format – like a regular cookbook recipe without all the extra spaces, etc. Once I like a recipe, I want to print it out to put in one of my cookbooks. I have 3 ring binders, each one titled with something like “cakes,” “pasta,” etc. filled with recipes printed from the internet. I understand the directions for these might be a bit heftier, but really, it should not take up more than a line of type to list all the settings at the beginning, or at one or two stages.

Right now I’m in a holding mode, because I unfortunately have to ask to have my oven replaced after less than 3 months of use. The electronics seemed to suddenly go haywire, and do strange things that ruined my last batch of bread dough. Sadly, it was a double recipe using 8 cups of expensive bread flour! I hope to get a replacement quickly. I do like the oven, and have a lot of luck with the steam for various recipes.

On another topic, I really resent being forced to use a phone app to cook. I don’t have my phone with me much of the time, and don’t see why I should not be able to set my oven and do all the parts of a recipe without having to go to my phone. I noticed other comments about the app – other people like me, maybe older, who are not constantly on their phones and don’t want to be. Of course one app connected issue is that there is no safety response from Anova about the oven not shutting off when the time is up. I have two other convection ovens (plus a microwave of course) and ALL of them shut off when the time I put in for the recipe comes to an end. My Instant Pot does as well. And of course, so does my toaster and my electric hot water pot which shuts off as soon as water boils. When someone’s house burns down, perhaps Anova would listen. At the least, there ought to be a specific time, like a 10 minute period that it would stay on and then if no one comes to turn it off manually or with the app, it would turn off.

You can use the oven without the app, unless you want to turn the fan off. But the app is good for staged cooking.

But you if you have something that takes an hour to cook and you want to leave the kitchen, if you want to be safe, you have to have your phone with you and pay attention when you get a message that the item has reached the correct time. Otherwise, you could forget and return to a house filled with smoke, or worse. So the App is more necessary, I think, than it should be.

Just set a timer, or look at your watch? That’s what we do when using our older ovens, they don’t have timers to shut them off.
And I wouldn’t leave the house for hours if I were doing high temp cooking.

I have two other fairly large and high heat counter top convection ovens. Both of them turn off when the time I dial in is up. I’m not talking about necessarily leaving the house for hours. I am talking about not being right in the kitchen and dragging a phone around with me. Although I know it wouldn’t set the house on fire, it is helpful if the oven turns off in case you are not right there but just not in the kitchen and doing something else that takes your attention. But for safety, in case someone does forget, I would suggest that Anova provide what every other counter top convection oven I know does — it turns off automatically when the timer buzzes. And as I said, even a 10 minute time to give someone an opportunity to turn it off would be a good safety valve. I have scrapped my old “regular” oven. I expect new technology to provide new things, but I also expect the oven to operate without having to use a phone. Phones are not always charged, not always right with you. People my age, avid cooks and bakers, are not people who sit glued to phones. My phone is mostly a nuisance, loaded with scam calls and requests for money and for services I don’t want or need. I have no pocket to carry it in, and half the tiime, if it rings, I can’t hear it. I would say a lot of people in my age group would agree, but even if we are old, we are ready to try cooking with steam. After all, we grew up with those old pressure cookers!

I’m another one who wishes the oven would shut off when the time is up.

I agree that it would be helpful if Anova provided an automatic shut-off feature for their ovens, like many other brands do. It’s always better to err on the side of caution, and having a safety valve would give you peace of mind even if you’re not in the kitchen all the time.

I also understand your point about not wanting to rely on a phone to operate the oven. Phones can be a hassle, and not everyone wants to be glued to their screens all the time. But at the same time, I do appreciate the convenience of being able to control the oven remotely, especially when I’m busy with other tasks. Maybe there’s a way to find a happy medium between the two options? I think you can read more on this topic.