I got my Anova and realised that I don't really have a tall enough pot, but I looked at a small chilly bin (what a lot of you would call a cooler) and thought "yeah, that should work". It is really good because it is insulated. So time to try out sous vide cooking . . .
First test: I vacuum sealed a sirloin steak and cooked it for 2 hours at 58°C, wanting a medium steak. It didn't seem like medium to me, more like well done. Strange - guides & recipes suggested that medium was anywhere between 58 & 63 degrees, so I was at the lower end. Next time I'll go for medium rare! It was still fine to eat, just more cooked than I was expecting.
Second test: Entire chicken 1.7kg (3.75lb) cooked for 6 hours at 66°C. This was the most succulent & tender chicken I've ever cooked. It is just too easy to get a chicken too dry and stringy in the oven, with sous vide it is so much better. I'll call this one a resounding success.
Third test: Steak time again, this time a scotch fillet. I did this one at 54°C for 2 hours. It came out really nice, medium rare and really tender. I had cooked up some mushrooms and fried a tomato to go with it, great meal. Another success.
Fourth test: Entire chicken again, 6 hours at 66°C again, juicy and tender again. This sous vide cooking is really consistent, fantastic stuff! Basically, I'm getting to eat the best chicken I've ever had - every time!
I'm a little perplexed at how there was no pinkness at all on my 58°C steak, it was completely grey all the way through and very much what I would expect to get at a restaurant if I ordered well done steak rather than a medium steak. But I really liked the 54°C medium rare steak, so I'll stick with that in the future.
I'll also be trying the sous vide for cooking venison sausages, chicken sausages and other stuff. Maybe even a burger patty too. I'm just trying out basic stuff to get confident in achieving good results consistently. I'm no chef, not even a particularly competent cook, so if I can get great results consistently then so can anyone.