Let’s start with the basics, what the heck is precision cooking?! A favorite cooking technique in restaurant kitchens worldwide, precision cooking (also known as sous vide) circulates water around a vacuum-sealed bag of food at a very precise temperature to cook the food to the exact level of doneness -- no worries of ever overcooking! Think about that perfectly medium-rare, tender steak you ordered at dinner last week, or the flavorful, juicy chicken breast you raved about even after you left the restaurant. Chances are, those delicious dishes were the work of precision cooking. With your Anova device, you can accomplish these impeccable results and impress your friends with your awesome culinary skills, all from the comfort of your own home.
So, now that you’ve received a beautiful, shiny new Precision Cooker at your doorstep or office (so you can show your new toy off to your coworkers), what’s next? Don't let getting started slow you down. Here, we'll go over what you'll need to get started, how to cook using the basic features on the device and in the app, as well as some basic recipes, tips and tricks. If you get stuck, don't worry! Everyone in the forum is here to help so if you get stuck, please don't hesitate to use this thread as a resource to ask questions!
For those of you who are already precision cooking pros - please join in! Help our new Anova food nerds out by answering questions and commenting with your own advice and tips on getting started. Thank you!
- - Awesome packaging
- - A sweet Precision Cooker (psst...there's a sneaky plastic film on the interface that you can peel off!)
- - A convenient clamp (it's hiding in the top half of the tube)
- - A handy operating manual (not pictured)
What You'll Need: The Basics
You don't need a vacuum sealer to vacuum seal a bag. Just pick up a pack of gallon-sized, resealable plastic freezer baggies like these at the store and use water displacement to get the baggie sealed. More on that later.
Keep your bag from floating away by clipping it to the side of the pot - use binder clips, chip clips, hair clips, money clips…(the clip in the photo is actually a former mylar balloon anchor!)
You're going to need a good-sized vessel for your Precision Cooker and the options are endless. From stock pots to Cambro tanks to creative DIY coolers. Our community members are experts on crafty vessels, check out what they've made here.
It's going to be so friggin' good so it doesn't even matter what you decide to cook. You could cook a tire with your Anova and it would taste good. Just use a lot of pepper.
We love to see your results photos, so don't forget to take pics and share those awesome precision cooking results with us using #anovafoodnerd!
A vacuum sealer and plastic bags specific to your sealer. Otherwise, you can just use a Ziplock bag and water with the water displacement method (more on that in a moment).
Setting Up for the First Cook
Attach and adjust the clamps and fill the vessel with water until it's at least at the "Min" line marker on the skirt. If you want to give your device a super boost, use warm tap water or even simmer the water on the stove. Not necessary, but if you're impatient like me, it helps.
Prep your food however you'd like and drop it into the bag you're planning on using. If you're using a vacuum sealer then you might not need to worry about the water displacement method; however, it's sometimes beneficial to use water displacement instead of the vacuum sealer for more delicate foods like fish to avoid squishing it.
Once you've prepped the food, place it into the bag. Holding the bag by the top, slowly lower it into the vessel of water while holding the top above the water. The water pressure will push the air out as you continue to lower the bag into the water. As you submerge the bag, slowly go from one corner to the other, sealing the bag up so that the final corner is sealed just before hitting the water.
If you do have a vacuum sealer, prepare your food and place it in the specialized baggie used with your vacuum sealer. Seal up the bag and place it in the water. If you don’t have a setting for moisture locking extra sauce in the bag, you can trick the sealer by adding a bit of paper towel at the top where you’ll be sealing it. It will still remove all the air, but the paper towel will block the sauce from escaping.
Starting the Cook
Set the desired temperature using the scroll wheel, hit the PLAY button, let the water get up to the set temperature, then clip the baggie to the pot. For help setting the timer, check out this handy little video: Setting the Precision Cooker Timer.
The Precision Cooker can also be controlled through a handy Bluetooth app on your phone. If you haven’t downloaded the app already, check it out for iOS here and Android (beta) here. You can browse recipes to choose what you want to start with and start the cook from your phone, or, if you already know the time and temp of you want to cook at, you can manually start a cook with your selected settings. If you’re not sure what time and temp you need, you can ask our forum members or check out the quick guide on our website here: http://anovaculinary.com/pages/sous-vide-precision-cooking/
Floating bags: drop some silverware or heat-safe glass beads into the bag before sealing it to weigh it down.
Post-searing: No crusty deliciousness after cooking? Do a quick post-sear in the skillet for a crispy and delicious finish.
- Reheating leftovers: The beauty of precision cooking is that you don't have to worry about over-cooking. If you have leftovers, you can pop them right back in the next day at the same temp and reheat and they'll be just as delicious as they were the night before.
Got any #SousVideHacks of your own? Share them here along with more advice for getting started and any questions you might still have.
Thank you and happy precision cooking!!