Don’t know what to use the Anova cooker for

I’m a newbie… I’ve read about all the things people cook with their Anova (lots of foods I’ve never even heard of). I got my Anova quite a long time ago, & have made sous vide egg bites a couple times (which were yummy, but time consuming), & chicken breast once (which was pretty much just steamed, overcooked disappointment). Otherwise I don’t know what else to cook with it. We eat very basic, inexpensive foods, that don’t take very long to cook (such as burgers or chicken, or pork chops, or eggs, or gluten-free pasta, and always with veggies &/or fruits on the side). Please help me to understand, what “normal foods” can I use the Anova to cook? I currently cook in the pressure cooker, or on the Griddle, or in a pan on the stovetop, or in the oven? I really am having trouble figuring out what I can make with the Anova that will justify it taking up space in my cupboard. I really would like to put it to good use, but I don’t have hours & hours to plan & prep ahead before each meal, or the money to by expensive meats to experiment with. (Besides, my husband doesn’t eat anything unusual.) What can I start cooking at about 4:15 or 4:30-ish in the afternoon, to put on the supper table at about 5:30 or 6:00? Any kind suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks.

Oh LuAnn, chicken breast is often acclaimed as the best reason for using Anova. Something went wrong and you owe it to yourself to a repeat effort with some assistance.

You may have overlooked the original benefit of SV cooking where you can safely cook all the basic items you refer to long ahead of service, known as cook-chill or cook-freeze preparation. Those techniques when regularly employed with normal foods can save you substantial time and effort without hours & hours to plan and prep, just some occasional re-organization of your kitchen time.

Please think back to why you bought your Anova, SV cooking isn’t for everyone, particularly for a dedicated cook-serve family like yours. It might have been a mistake.

If you can describe how you cooked that sad chicken breast to us we may be able to provide you with some useful guidance. Burgers, chicken, pork chops and eggs are all SV appropriate foods. Let’s see what this Community can do for you.

Like Chatnoir, I’d suggest trying the chicken breast again. It sounds like you cook was way too hot by your description.

So far the best benefit I have had from mine is cooking entire chickens. SO very tender & succulent, best chicken I’ve ever had! I cook a 1.7kg (~3.75lb) chicken for 6 hours at 66°C (150°F). This is a very quick and easy thing to make, you don’t need to do anything while the chicken is cooking until you make the other things (like roast vegetables in the oven).

I make the chicken in the weekend when I’m able to get the bird into its water bath nice & early.

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Sou Vide is not for everyone. Unfortunately it’s a method that isn’t conducive to your start at 4:30 and serve at 5:30 schedule. My wife wouldn’t think of doing it but I love it and very much in the learning process. She has no problem with me doing it. My wife and I grew up in the Midwest USA, have been retired for 17 years, and eat pretty basic stuff. Corn on the cob takes 40 minutes at 185°F. Fresh Broccoli takes 30 min. at 183°. Recipes are online. I haven’t done Pork Chops yet but they are on my list. Burgers get cooked on my charcoal grill. I just Sous Vide reheated a half Ham in the store cryovac packaging and it came out fine - 4 hrs at 140°F. I have smoked Pork ribs and Pork Butt and then finished them with my Anova. Ribs take 4 hours of smoke at 200° and 4 hours vac sealed in the Sous Vide. Pork Butt is a much much longer cook. .

Hi @LuAnn_Price

Roast beef is an excellent choice. You can buy an inexpensive cut, take only a few minute to season and bag it, then let it cook for a couple days. Remove, dry, and sear, and if you purchased a nice big roast you’ve got dinner and sandwiches for a couple days!
I’m posting this because that’s what my wife and I had for dinner tonight. Roast beef sandwiches tomorrow for lunch! :slight_smile: I seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and fresh rosemary in the bag; cooked it at 134 F for 50 hours, then seared with a torch. It was excellent!
Looking back over the process, the seasoning and bagging took less than 10 minutes. And the removal from the bag (saving the juice), drying, and searing also less than 10 minutes. Sous vide cooking takes so little of my personal time and is so forgiving as to when you need to call it “finished” that it’s easier not harder to get things cooked on time.
If you want to eat at 5:30 or 6:pm then toss the roast in the bath a couple days before and pull it out 15 minutes before you want to eat! (I had planned to cook my roast for 48 hours…but we decided to eat a couple hours later, that’s why it cooked for 50 hours. No problem! :slight_smile:

Best of luck!

Salmon, shrimp, tilapia, and other fish can be prepared sous vide in an hour or so. Also rice and eggs cook much faster than meat. Lots of recipes are available on the internet for fish, eggs, and rice.

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My advice to you is to “gift”, sell, or give away your immersion circulator (your Anova) to someone (anyone) who is a real “foodie” and can appreciate the awesome flavors and wonderful tenderness of sous vide-cooked meals!
What you need is the kind of person who is willing to put in the time, energy and has the brainpower to do the research and reap the rewards!! Someone exactly NOT like you!! I hope this helps. Good luck!!


Please play nicely, Michael.


How do you “bag” an entire whole ckicken for Sous Vide??? Or, is it quartered first??
I would really like to know, because I would really like to try this myself!!

I use a 28cm roll, making a decent sized bag with my Foodsaver and I just slide the entire 1.7kg chicken in there. The largest size chickens I have seen available might be a problem, but the size I use is not hard to fit into the 28cm wide bag.

For lower fat levels you can remove the skin first (chicken is very low fat if you remove the skin before cooking), but the chicken should fit with or without skin. Roasting a chicken without the skin could result in a dry chicken, sous vide is different and the chicken will still be moist and succulent.