Noob question

Hello community. We picked up a cooker at Costco on sale, and I’m trying to get the hang of it. I must be doing something wrong, or just confusing myself.

I can’t figure out how long and what temperature to cook things.

For example, I had a frozen tri tip that I wanted to cook. I search for tri tip, and I see various recipes in the app, but most of them just seem to recommend a time and a temperature with no ‘tuning’ advise. For example fresh or frozen? weight of the meat (tri tip in this case)? Desired doneness (ie medium well)?

Sorry if this should be obvious, but I’d appreciate some newbie level help.


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Hello Dlang, welcome to your new entirely different cooking technique, often referred to as Precision Cooking because that’s what it is.

Below is a link to a comprehensive site that covers all the basics of sous vide cooking and the associated food safety hazards of low temperature cooking for prolonged periods of time.

It’s important you first gain some fundamental knowledge of SV cooking. Sure, you can follow a recipe without understanding what you are doing, but that can be risky as not all recipe writers are competent. You have already discovered that some recipes are not appropriate for the item you want to cook. You will do better by learning by cooking with guidance.

Here’s a few fundamental items you must know.

  • First, weight doesn’t matter in SV cooking. It’s thickness that is critical to SV cooking time.
  • Desired doneness is determined by the cooking temperature you select. Dr. Baldwin will guide you with his tables. He has a table for cooking frozen meat if you must.
  • Start keeping a journal recording the details of every cook: cut of meat, frozen or thawed, thickness, cooking temperature and time. Also record your evaluation of the outcome, particularly if it wasn’t wonderful. And be sure to make some suggestions on what to do next time. Eventually you will have your personal SV cook book to guide you to cook according to your preferences, not someone elses.

Come on back to Community with any questions. We are here to support you in your new culinary adventures.

Do well.

Thanks, Frank!! Good stuff

Tri-tip is a cut which benefits from longer cooking, and I would personally shoot for medium to medium-well. Rare and medium-rare tends to be pretty darn chewy. You might also think about chilling the meat when done (dunk in ice bath), then later finish on the grill or smoker. Alternatively, put a few drops of Liquid Smoke in your cooking bag. Regarding cooking frozen meat, you can do that, just add an hour or two to the cooking time, when compared to cooking thawed.
Tri-tip is not well known outside of California. Along the Central Coast (Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo), you can find people setting up cookers in parking lots, from whom you can buy cooked tri-tip. We just returned from a long weekend near there and can tell you the classic rub is salt, pepper, and garlic. We got some from a taco truck; very tender and flavorful, and definitely cooked to medium-well (no pink at all). Let us know how it turns out! I just started a 36 hour brisket using a tri-tip rub.

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Dlang, when cooking from frozen don’t guess, - for a safe outcome please use Baldwin’s Table 2.3. Precise cooking is achieved by keep your cooking records and thinking about your preferences.

Do well.

Thanks all, I appreciate the responses.

So Anova team, I don’t know much about SV cooking yet, but I do know tech products. I’ve been doing that for 25 years. Please take a look at this thread and find a massive opportunity to improve your app.

Frank gave me some very sage advice, but keeping a journal? Guys your app should be my source to record notes! The variables (thickness, doneness, etc) could easily be added in the app as well to give advise on water time/temperature. Clearly personal preference will always override but your company has a massive opportunity here to enable new SV users such as myself.

Regardless thanks for the help I do appreciate it and I think I’ve got a much better idea what I’m doing now.

Dlang, thak you, - the journal? is understood.

Maintain it as best you can. Your personal data and associated feedback on results facilitates thinking and learning. It’s this cat’s method of achieving ever-better. Not everyone is up for that and will follow app recipes and accept whatever they get.

As you discovered the Anova App recipes present some challenges. It may be a while before data will drive enhanced app performance. The Anova folks are learning too.

Appreciate the feedback! Totally with ya!

thank you for your reply this is really helpful foe me

Kamesh, welcome, and it’s good to know you find helpful information here.

Love it! Welcome

thank you..

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Diang14 / OP

If you are “wary” (a little is good) then I recommend you simply play around with sous vide eggs to have on toast & pre-determine from several versions & timings out there what difference a few degree’s / 15 mins - 45 mins + holding time all make.
(use serious eats site to have a look at slight variables on yolk cook types, however for a no faff, zero presentation egg on toast I recommend Emily & Jeff Farris 45 min cook 63.3C / 146F (decent cornish sea salt flakes or cholula fruity sauce to accompany) to get your head round things there is the “favourite” option & the frequently cooked" options on your phone app profile, if you find an item of interest it will ask you (somewhere) “cook this recipe”? …& ping to your Anova the setting & time pertaining to that “recipe”.

Give it a try, set a Siri / Alexa / “whatever” timer & play…
Remember that Costco sells in bulk (uk at least) bacofoil brand Sous vide suitable bags, which works out cheaply & are multimodal kitchen kit if you don’t have time to vacuum seal) the 3 litre bags work out at about 13 pence each.

Eggs in the shell do not need a bag obviously :slight_smile:
& remember a block of butter if finishing off in a hot pan for the steaks you are itching for,

(incidentally the other week we cooked off venison steak, buffalo & regular rib eye (uk version) all in the water from the freezer at the same time, same temperature we like ours rare to vaguely medium) all fared well, so whilst technical is good, once you trust your anova, experiment a little further to understand squeezed for time along with safe & edible.
(a 7 minute temp raising circulatory dip is enough to unfreeze most regular steaks, burgers etc, stand around, crack that heat saving thermal lid on your pot for temperature recovery best practise & get your head round it all quicker. (took 20 hours with a simple silicone lid on my instantpot to come down to 19C / 63.2F room temperature from cooking yesterday at 59.7C / 139.46F (as I was in a hurry I didn’t use any insulation, just the lid, & didn’t have to concern myself with water loss nor water vapour condensate in the kitchen.

I only wish I could get hold of more Ostrich hearts, they are delicious “steak”

I heartily recommend your first chicken breasts @ 60c /140F for 2 hours, (as per the app guide for meat types for either a salad wrap or simple no faff chicken salad) …eye opener to say the least (again pan finish the breast)

Think “trainer wheels” & don’t trust the app 100% there are a few jerks out there putting out spurious time uploads (usually denoted with obvious garbage)

Enjoy, (however far you take it), it’s all good.