Ice bath for delayed cooking

Greetings, just got my wifi unit and have an issue. If I wait to get home to start cooking I eat too late. I’d like to put food in a ‘tank’ filled with ice and a bit of water. Then, remotely, turn it on when I know the time I want the food to be done. I’m thinking the ice will keep the food, say a steak, chilled through the day and then the Anova will warm the pot and cook my food. At this time, I’m thinking I’ll try it with my metal pasta pot but I will (and am) considering a cooler I customize.

Thoughts? Experiences?


Hi @Doug1

Ice Bath functionality is supported. An insulated container (such as the Coleman coolers that many of us use) is probably a must if you plan to use it.

Here’s a link to a discussion in this community forum on the subject: Ice Bath is Back!

Good luck!

Doug, you might want to do a test cook when you are at home for a couple of reasons.

New cooking equipment is generally reliable, but if you are going to experience a failure it will most likely occur in the first month of use, usually sooner than later.

It would be helpful for you to monitor your first transition from ice bath to cooking in person. That’s just in case of an app challenge. Some new Anova users have a problem with remote control and monitoring. You probably don’t want your steak bobbing around in a lukewarm water bath for half the day.

You would likely also benefit from knowing how much time your new Anova requires to raise the water temperature to your cooking set point. It takes a substantial amount of energy to melt a lot of ice.

I would also measure the amounts of ice and water used and be consistent with those amounts in future cooks.

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Thanks Chatnoir, good tips especially about trying it out while I’m there to insure no malfunctions.
Yesterday, I did a test. I placed a frozen freezer ice pack about the size of a good steak into the pot I’ll be using, filled the pot with ice and water to the Anova fill line with the unit in place and plugged in. I covered the pot tightly with aluminum foil and set the temperature to my desired doneness.

I left the house and monitored the water temperature via wifi. After 5 hours the temp was 39.2º, refrigerator safe for a steak for sure.

I turned on the unit 30 minutes before I’d be home and upon arrival the water bath was up to temp… I let the unit run for two hours, all was well. Sunday I’ll do it with a pair of steaks, same scenario. I’m going to let the Anova run for 3 hours. 30 minutes to come to temp and 2.5 hours to cook and pasteurize the meat… I may let it go 3 hours as I’ve been told leaving it longer makes the meat more tender.

Thanks for your reply, truly appreciated. Doug

Doug, on behalf of the Community thanks for the detailed and useful feedback on your test cook. Important factors in competent SV cooking are having both the knowledge and confidence to succeed. You clearly have both.

One of SV’s significant benefits is the latitude in cooking time it provides on the long side. Yes, a longer time results in increased tenderness but only so much before the outcome is unpleasantly soft.

Cooking time is product dependant. With 2 1/2 to 3 hours for your steaks, even as long as 4 hours and you’ll likely be very satisfied. Switch to lesser quality cuts of steak and you will discover you need a 12 to 24-hour cook for optimum results, sometimes even 36 hours for something as solid as brisket.

The cat prefers prefer blade eyes, deckle meat ( prime rib caps), and top sirloin cap from pasture-raised cattle with a rich flavour that grain fed rarely attains. As you are clearly comfortable with experimentation you might want to try something different occasionally.

Happy cooking.

I’m not sure if this should be a new thread or an add-on to this one. I did the delayed cook ice bath yesterday with 2 chicken breasts and it worked perfectly. I have a freezer full of individual boneless/skinless chicken breasts that I season and shrink wrap before putting in the freezer, as well as other meats that I’ll use this method with. I will do this again and again - it was so successful.

I used my SV container and expandable rack, filled it part way with ice and then added water. I didn’t insulate it or wrap it, for lack of knowing any better, but my chicken was frozen. The temp was 35.2 and I knew the chicken would be fine left in this ice bath for the day and it would slowly defrost while keeping the water cold. I set this up at 7:30 in the morning. I monitored it all day, since this was my first attempt and i was willing to throw out 2 breasts if I had to. At 3:30pm I got a notice on my app that the water temp was 40.1 degrees. I started the Anova via the app and it said it was cooking. The app didn’t count the time which was disappointing, but I kept an eye on my time. At 4:20, I checked my app and noticed the Anova was at my cooking temp of 145 degrees. I’m not sure when it reached that temp but I used 4:20 as my start time. I got home at 6:00, turned the unit off and decided to sear the chicken in a pan. I think this step was totally optional and only for some color. My seasoning was still on the chicken and the breasts were boneless/skinless. My husband and I were shocked and pleased that it was so juicy, tender and delicious, yet still firm. It was nothing like a crock pot chicken that would fall apart or the grilled chicken that can be dry and stringy. It was perfect!!

May I revive this topic of Ice Baths and the APC?

What happened? Using a general purpose search engine I get many hits “ANOVA+ice+bath”. Using ANOVA community forums’ native search box I get some but quite a few end at “You are not authorized to view this page.”.

Searching “ice bath’ in my ANOVA app returns no useful hits.

This morning I am cooking SV ‘hard boiled’ eggs using J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s recipe; boil three minutes, one minute ice bath, and 45 minutes @ 143ºF.