Christmas Brisket Crisis

Hi All - Merry Christmas! It’s Christmas already in Australia and I just woke up to discover my Anova stopped between 11pm and 5.30am last night. Aaagh! Trying not to panic but would appreciate some re-assurance.

The brisket had already been smoked for 12 hours, and was then vacuum sealed. I’m using the Anova in an insulated cooler so it held temp pretty well. It was set at 145. It must have stopped at about 11 - last reading then was 142F, and by 5.30 it was 117F. I started it up again at 5.30am and it’s now at 155.

By my very rough calculations, it’s probably had 3-4 hours in the danger zone (ie below 130F).

I’ve got at least 8 hours until we sit down. From what I’ve read, I think I’m in risky territory but not necessarily fatal. Thoughts? Was hoping to not give family the gift of botulism for Christmas…

First, don’t panic.

Since it was cooked, then sealed, and held at 145 for I’m guessing for a while.
Since the cooking would have killed any bacteria, sealing it soon after would have reduced the chance of contamination.
Plus, at 145 for more than an hour would have continued to kill any bacteria between smoking and sealing, so you should be fine.
Holding after fixing the shut-down would put you back into pasteurization zone so I think you’re safe.
I’ve had similar situations happen from time to time, so as long as you were able to recover the temp fast and didn’t lose the vacuum, it should protect you.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

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Ok, this is interesting and I guess this is as good a place as any to ask about this. My Anova sometimes just stops working after a couple of hours. It just stops and plays a long BEEP. I check everything and nothing looks to be wrong. Sometimes I can restart and it will continue to work for a while, but other times no. I would be very afraid to try anything that requires a longer cooking time. This seems to happen within 2-3 hours, thankfully that is about the time I am ready, but I would like longer times available. So I have a defective unit or is there another solution?

Thanks

(Edit) First post here, if this is in the wrong place I apologize.

Welcome RL, your Anova might be faulty, but usually if the unit is defective it stays defective. That long BEEP is usually a water level error signal, but you checked that. Right?

Another posible cause of that symptom is water vapour getting into the electronics inside the head of your Anova. That has been a problem with older models being used at high cooking temperatures. The solution is to cover the water bath while venting it away from the Anova. Appropriate covers can be floating ping-pong balls, aluminum foil, or plastic wrap. Some cooks wrap a towel or cloth beneath the top of the unit to prevent the intrusion of moisture during a cook.

And guess again, you might want to get better advice by contacting the Anova customer support folks at the SUPPORT link above. They are the experts. There’s only nerds here, whatever they are. Consider providing the SUPPORT people with more details; temperature setting, water level, visable clues, etc.

Thanks for the response. When the beep started the water level was the first thing I checked, no problem there. Will think about the covering aspect.

Thanks for your response. Turned out fine - I took it up to 185 for an hour, then dropped it to 145 for 3 hours. We ate it and no one got sick. Was likely only 2-3 hours in the danger zone temp.

So how did it taste?

I often use foil and vent away from the device. The added benefit is you reduce the heat dissipating so you can maintain the desired temp in a larger container when cooking large or multiple items.