App precook time. Can I disable?

Anova is my third sous vide machine so I just started using it directly like I always do, ignoring the app. Today I decided to try poached eggs. I reviewed the various methods and decided to try the quick method: 13 minutes at 70C. I used a small porcelain pot I like because it fits because it has tall straight sizes and fits the Anova well and it comes up to temp quickly.

At the last moment I decided to try the app. It was annoying at first because it wanted to do recipes and I didn’t but I finally got to a page that asked for temperature and time. I already had the ANOVA at temp so I put in the eggs, pressed start and moved on to cooking bacon.

When I checked the app 5 minutes later I was surprised to see it in a “pre-warm” mode with the screen saying “add the food any old time during pre-warm.” I ended up with overcooked eggs even though I pulled them early.

So several questions:

  1. Is there any value to the app if you are not interested in the built in recipes?

  2. Can the pre-warm feature be disabled so it will cook for the time you ask for?

  3. Why was it “pre-warming” when the temperature was already correct? Seems like a bug to me.

There’s a few things you can do with the app besides using the built-in recipes. You can also control and monitor your cook remotely. This is especially true for the Wi-Fi model, since you can be far and away from the cooker. You can also view food guides and create your own recipes if you have iOS. We’ll slowly be rolling out a few different features and improvements for the app. But, how you want to use your cooker is totally up to you! Are you referring to the pre-heating feature? If so, cannot be disabled.

what is the purpose of the preheat feature. It can’t be to wait for the temperature because it seems to wait for a fixed time regardless of water temperature. It might be usefull if it waited for the target temperature but the current code doesn’t seem to do that. That makes it sort of useless. It seems like the only way to use this app in time/temp mode is to set the time with the desired time minus ten minutes. The only reason it doesn’t break more recipes is that an extra ten minutes doesn’t make much difference if the time is long enough. Strange!

The app is an ongoing train wreck. Don’t use it to control the Anova.

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Thankyou. That was my guess but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions. After all I just tried it ince. I was hoping for feedback from the community. An Anova rep is required to put things in the mist positive light.

A bad smartphobe app attached to a good product is a common problem, especially for a small company. Smartphone apps are a specialty skill. Sous vide is mostly a mechanical engineering problem. Mechanical engineers are not normally good smartphone developers. They often try to contract it out but managing such a relationship is its own skill and evolving the app to deal with real problems discovered by customers is usually not adequately planned for, ie there is no budget for it. The nature of “one shot” contracting deals cause most of them to end with bad will leaving the counpany with no good support option.

I’ve seen this happen so often (I’m in the business) that I tend to be paranoid and assume such apps are junk. It ia not always true though. Some companies manage these treacherous waters. I avoided Anova for my first two sous vide purchases because of their heavy marketing of the app and remote functionality as a primary differentiator. It seems to cosistantly get good reviews so after rwo fails I decided to give them a chance. So far I am happy with everything except the app but since I never believed in the app that is no hardship. I had to try it though in case it was the rare successful case of smartphone-app-as-a-side-feature. Apparently not.

There are many good smartphone apps but they are usually created by companies who specialize in that and the app is the central product.

Thanks again for the helpful feedback.

Thank you for your honesty, @zencuke. I will also post here part of what I wrote to you through PM, regarding the preheating functionality in the app, just so that if anyone else bumps into an issue with the feature, there’s transparency in how it’s expected to work.

The precooking time should only show you an estimate of how long it will take for your water to reach the target temperature. And it should also also say, “Now Cooking” once your target temperature has been reached. If this didn’t happen, I think you may have identified a bug. I’ve already spoken to our product team so we can dig a little deeper into this issue. I also recommend only dropping the eggs once the water bath has reached target temperature and not during preheating. Eggs are one of the few foods that have many sensitive variables, including time and temperature.