Newbie: How do I know when my meat has reached proper temperature?

I just got my Nano for Christmas and am anxious to try it out. I know about vacuum sealing and having the water up to temp before inserting the meat. However, how do I tell when the meat is done? I can’t use an instant thermometer. Do I simply use a time estimate (which doesn’t seem too accurate)? Or do I wait until the water temp is equal to the set temp? Or is there some other method?


You’ll find a lot of info on this forum. Also on the recipe site. What type and cut of meat is it? If it’s a steak cut it will just need to be brought up to your done-ness temperature. This can take anything from an hour to 4 hours depending on how thick it is cut.

Otherwise, look up a few recipes that use similar cuts to what you are using as a guide.

If you are cooking chicken it is highly recommended to cook it until it is pasteurized. Baldwin’s A practical guide to sous vide has tables for pasteurizing chicken. ( It is highly recommended reading.

ChefSteps and SeriousEats both have very good information on sous vide processing. And the guide in the Anova app (if it works) are also useful.

You don’t need a thermometer as cook times based on thickness using Baldwin’s science-based tables are dependably accurate. Ember’s other recommended sites are also useful. Beware of social media information as much of it is inaccurate, guesswork, and some luck. Any SV recipe that uses ingredient weight instead of thickness should be considered suspect if not unreliable.
And there are a lot of them even here.

Always wait untill your Anova signals your temperature set point has been attained before adding food to the water bath. Yes, that’s when the water temperature is equal to the set temperature. There’s no other correct method. Cooking time always begins at that point.