New Sous Vide User? What Are Your Burning Qs?

Hey everyone!

If you’re new to sous vide or even new to Anova - I’d like to hear all of your burning questions!

Lots of people on here (along with myself) can help with them. No question is too silly to ask. Feel comfortable and ask away in this thread! :slight_smile:

-Alyssa

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I have watched the video 8 times at least on how to set time and temp. But my unit has no " clock" icon and the start button never changes from red. How do I do it or is my unit defective?

Hey @Nancyd - maybe I can help clear things up!

Try this out: Plug in the device. A red start button should immediately appear. Hold the red button for a few seconds until you see the timer button. The timer button will appear in white to the right of the bottom set of numbers. Once you see it, you’ll be able to press and hold the timer button and adjust accordingly.

Let me know if these steps help in any way!

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This is a super-basic question, but I’ve never seen it addressed specifically: Is it safe for bags to touch the metal surface of the cooker? Is there a temperature where I should start worrying about melting, such as the high range for veggies?

I’ve cooked many things already, all awesome, but I usually try to keep the bags away from the cooker. If you’re cooking 3 tri-tip roasts at a time (Happy Christmas!), this can be difficult. :slight_smile:

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You’re fine with them touching the sleeve of the cooker. The heating elements are inside and surrounded by water, so the sleeve can never exceed the boiling point.

Bag safety has been a hot topic on here several times. Several manufacturers have stated that their bags are safe for sous vide. Even cooking veggies, you’re not near their melting point. But - you really want to stick with the thicker bags (eg. freezer bags). The edging on the thinner bags are prone to failure.

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When using the timer function will the APC shut off when time is completed or will the alarm continue to beep only? In addition, if it does keep beeping can I shut it off and have the APC continue to maintain the temp while I prepare the rest of the meal?
Thanks
Berge

Yep, the unit will continue to warm and beep. If you want to cancel the beeping but continue to warm, just stop and start the cook in the app. It won’t reinstate the timer unless you adjust it.

Thanks for the quick comeback.
Just finished eating our first chicken breast cooked Sous vide style. Fantastic!! Could cut it with my fork. Pork chops tomorrow​:sunglasses::+1:

How do I keep my steaks to look RED? I’ve tried 3 times now, and once with duck, but the meat just comes out grey all the way :confounded:, just like it’s overcooked. Tried different cuts, different thickness different times.

Sunday I lowered the temp on my steak to 50C (so 5C under medium) and it still was overcooked :frowning:.

Help!

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Have you cut into any of your meat, pre-sear, just to see what level of doneness it’s at from the sous vide?

The most common cause of over-cooked meat is that the sear is at too low of a temperature and too long in contact with the cooking surface. You want a good solid cast iron pan (and good ventilation! - searing produces a lot of smoke!) :slight_smile:
If I want to produce the thinnest layer of char, preserving the doneness of my meat, I put my heat on full and don’t put my avocado oil in the pan until the cast iron is already blistering hot and smoking. Then I put in my avocado oil, swirl it around (making sure it’s piping hot), then I throw in about a tablespoon of butter which I lay the meat on (butter just produces a nice char and flavour).
With a pan this hot, leaving a surface of your meat stationary for a full minute will produce a blackened exterior - if you want less char, you need to keep it moving.

Lots of reference charts for smoke points of cooking oils out there, here’s one:

That’s the pinnacle of how shallow a sear you can do (the highest heat) - you could play with other oils and lower temperatures after that, but remember, if you’re searing at a low temperature you can cook your meat all of the way through (with is really not the point of sous vide) :slight_smile:

Getting back to the pre-sear question - do you have another good thermometer to make sure that the APC isn’t malfunctioning? If not buy or borrow one (I have a Taylor digital instant thermometer I’m a fan of - quite inexpensive) and verify that it’s accurate in it’s moderation of your bath.

If you haven’t already, you should familiarize yourself with the serious eats guide here:

But, you’re right in the hunt for rare at 50C (49C is 120F - the food lab’s recommendation for rare).
Let’s presume you aren’t trying for blue. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the information I’m sure to look at the tips.

I checked the cuisson before searing. It’s already over when it comes from the sous-vide machine. Perhaps only the middle looks pink. Not the bloody you expect with 50.

The last time, with 50, I was trying to correct for searing and perhaps faulty thermostate. Was aiming for medium rare.

perhaps I should check the sous vide machine next with a thermometer

Umm. I just had a thought…I don’t mean to presume anything, but I have to ask. You ARE putting your meat in vacuum bags, right? You’re not just putting the meat directly in the water?

Sorry…had to ask. :slight_smile:

Lol. Yes. But not official bags, just the ziplock bags that are suggested as an alternative.

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Heh…sorry for asking the obvious…sometimes it’s surprising. :wink:

Yep, I’d verify that your temperature is bang on…sounds like it may be high - may need to calibrate it in the app.

Keep the Q’s comin’!

thx for the help. I’ll do so this afternoon.

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Hi Alyssa, Cooking a 1kg frozen Inghams turkey thigh 3hrs at 146F have left it in its vac sealed bag on with foil inside. Should one be aiming for a minimum internal Temp for optimum cooking? I will be browning it in air fryer after removing Vac bag and foil.

I am new to all of this and think I am really going to enjoy cooking sous vide. My question is how much does weight matter? If I see a recipe that talks about one and a half pounds of chicken and I want to cook three pounds do I have to make adjustments to the time and/or the water temperature? Or, does it matter?

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Hey @newbee!!! :slight_smile: Just to clarify - your food is wrapped in foil, and then put into a vac sealed bag?

I myself have not cooked up turkey let, but we have a couple resources for turkey thighs or legs that might help:

Thanksgiving Turkey Testing with The Food Lab and this post from the community awhile back.

Heyyy @jimsad welcome to the world of sous vide (it’s pretty epic!) :sunglasses:

Weight doesn’t matter very much - it’s thickness. As a general rule, temperature controls doneness and time controls texture.

What pieces of the chicken would you like to sous vide?