Epic Failure

I received my Anovas in early January, I’ve used them a dozen or so times successfully on simple / short cook items that weren’t in the bath more than an hour or two.

I attempted to make the 72-hour short ribs for a dinner party at my place this weekend, despite my significant other expressing concerns about pinning the main dish to something she didn’t totally have faith in / understand. It turns out those fears were well founded.

I put the sealed meat on 72 hours in advance, set the temp for 144, spot checked the water temperature with a digital thermometer once the digital display indicated it had come up to temp, and left it. I checked it several more times over the next two days - the temp on the display was holding tight at 144, circulating, etc. I put in some extra warm warm to combat evaporation about 24 hours into the process - I saw the temperature on the Anova dip down, then climb back up, all seemed well. I didn’t spot-check the water temp with my digital thermometer again after the first time, however.

After about 60 hours (morning of event), I put in a little more water. No temperature fluctuation. I found that weird, so I dipped my finger into the pot - the water was barely tepid above room temperature. The Anova display still read 144 and was still circulating. It had completely frozen - no change in the display, no sound indicating change, nothing. No way to know how long had it been that way.

I pulled the short rib out and cut it open - what emerged was a messy, weird-tasting semi-gelatinous mass with extremely irregular texture.

So, $50 worth of grass fed short rib into the trash the morning of the party, then a run to the grocery store to figure out a game plan.

Pretty disappointing. The water was never filled beyond the ‘Max’ fill line, there was no leakage of anything into the water, the bag was completely closed and the water was still perfectly clear, and the was plenty of open space around the Anova - the bag was clipped to the side of the pot.

It just straight up failed.

@kevinrogers I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been having issues with your machine, I’ve passed along your message to our support team and they’ll be in touch with you shortly. Thank you for your patience!

That sucks that you had all your ribs ruined like that! When my first Anova froze up ~60 hours in on some short ribs the heater was on when it froze up so it boiled the ribs. They were still edible but nothing like I wanted at all. I ended up making some bbq pulled beef short ribs out of it.

I really need to make a new support request for return since my second Anova precision cooker is exhibiting the same symptoms as the first, though it hasn’t frozen during cooking yet. That is probably because I haven’t trusted it with any long cooks. It likes to freeze the temp when I turn off the cooking mostly right now. The only way to unfreeze it is to unplug it and plug it back in.

Last week I did some 48 hour chuck steaks that were unexpectedly unpleasant, I didn’t think to test the water temperature when pulling them from the bath but I will watch out for that next time.

@elangomatt Have you tried re-calibrating at all?

@jordan Re-calibrating what? The temperature? When my Anova Precision cooker is working properly the temperature is dead on as measured by a Thermapen. I’ve not had my current APC overheat anything yet but I also haven’t trusted it for any long cooks yet either. It has only frozen up so far when turning off the APC circulation/heat and then it won’t do anything until I unplug it and plug it back in. I can’t consistently get it to freeze up yet though.

@elongomatt - Yes, wanted to check to see if that might help solve the issue with freezing up but it doesn’t sound like what you’re experiencing. I’m sending the issue over to the team to take a look at - would you mind sending a video or image so I can show them what it looks like? Might be hard since it’s inconsistent as you’d mentioned, but if you’re able to catch it in action let me know. In the meantime, we can get you a new unit if you’d like - let me know!

@jordan I was playing around with my Anova yesterday trying to get it to mess up again and it did something that I’ve not seen before. To test it I was just turning it off or on every once in a while at random just to see if I could get it to fail. Finally yesterday evening I noticed that it the temperature readout was changing temps every couple seconds and the water was steaming more than it should be when set at 120 degrees F. I temped the water and it was at 191 degrees despite it only being set at 120 degrees. I did catch this short video before I accidentally hit a button and the temp readout stopped changing. https://vine.co/u/1183645501179273216 After hitting a button, the temp readout screen has stopped updating but I can still change the set temp with the scroll wheel.

I guess I’ll go ahead and request a replacement sometime in the next couple days. I just hope that the third time is the charm on an Anova Precision Cooker since I’m already on my second one. Thanks again for the help.

@elangomatt Yikes! Glad you got a video of that, your unit is going haywire! Will share with the rest of the team for their reference.

We’re so sorry, please do go ahead and submit another replacement request so we can get you taken care of.

I also ruined a nice steak when the Anova cooker got stuck at the target temperature but kept happily heating. Noticed it later due to the developing steam.

I have the exact same issue as the OP, any solution to this issue? should i RMA my unit?

@Magnus - We’re so sorry you’re experiencing these issues. We’d be happy to fix this for you, could you please email our support team at support@anovaculinary.com so we can take a look and get you a replacement? Thanks!

Hi all - I split off a few comments from this discussion, including those from @TomD, into a new thread so we can start a conversation about the different ways measurement tools others are using when cooking sous vide. Also, it will allow us to identify and resolve issues within this thread for those experiencing similar problems.

To continue discussing measurement tools such as the ChefAlarm and Thermapen, please visit this thread:


I just got this issue as well. is it fixed on newer models?