After using my new Anova oven for 11 days, I agree that Anova is definitely on to something amazing with this product. For weeks I had been researching the cost and feasibility of adding a Miele steam oven to my smallish kitchen. Including electrical, reno and the $7,200 (Canadian) price tag on the Miele, I was probably looking at close to $10,000. That was likely a stretch too far to satisfy my itch to expand my cooking into the world of steam. But I WAS still considering it the day my husband came across an ad for the APO which had then been on the market for less than a month. After some research we decided to place an order and I scoured all the posts on this forum during the weeks we waited for delivery. After reading about some of the problems it was with a lot of trepidation that we unpacked the beast - but I figured if we had a lemon we could just send it back and console ourselves with a glass of wine. Instead, we celebrated with that wine! No problems whatsoever with set up. I already had the app on my phone (probably a good way to do it) and got connected to wifi easily. I also then put the app on a tablet I keep in the kitchen which makes it easier to read recipes. It was heavy to get out of the box, but it fits perfectly in the corner of my kitchen where I had decided I could easily sacrifice counter space.
(Apologies if the photos in this post don’t come through - I tried!)
After confirming we had NO leaks, NO flashing lights in the house and NO issues we could see, I did the set up sequence and got started with this new method of cooking. The app is brilliant! And so much easier than doing settings directly on the oven. First was the prosciutto wrapped chicken and it was good, especially considering I had to substitute some ingredients. Since then I’ve done King prawns (wonderful), a couple of versions of roasted potatoes (fast and delicious), “Ribs 101” (excellent), sourdough bread (good, but still a work in progress) and the most amazing leg of lamb we’ve ever had. I usually do a (Costco) boneless leg of lamb in my Dutch oven with rosemary and several reductions of red wine over about 4 or 5 hours and it’s always very good. I like to go for the “tender and falling apart” version rather than medium rare. I couldn’t find any steam recipe for that “falling apart” option so I improvised. I marinated in a pesto type concoction for about 8 hours then cooked 100% steam at around 170F for about 12 hours. When I checked after about 10 hours it wasn’t quite as “fall apart” as I wanted, so I boosted the temp to about 220F for another hour, then finished at about 450F for another 20 minutes or so. Since I had cooked it overnight (and wasn’t planning a lamb breakfast) I reheated it that night for dinner and it was fabulous! The overnight cook was a helpful move since the oven is a bit noisy - so for a long cook I’d rather not have it going all day in the kitchen. I found an excellent perforated pan made by “Granite Ware” that measures 14 X 9 inches that works well. Not cheap - but compared to $10,000 for the Miele option, I’m still golden!
Same for the Lodge 10 X10 inch griddle, which is great for bread. Speaking of which, my two sourdough loaves have been very good, but it seems I need to score them deeper than I’m used to - especially to get an “ear” on the batard. That’s all to the good because my interpretation is that the loaf REALLY wants to spring, so it needs a generous opening in the slash in order to do that. My first one bulged a bit near the bottom because I hadn’t scored it deep enough and my second one was better, but I think I can still score a bit more.
Despite having no serious problems with the oven I did have some questions and Anova Support has been a great help. It took a few days for them to get back to me, but my questions weren’t urgent. From Support I’ve learned that it’s normal for the timer light to be at 50% brightness when the timer is not set for a specific time. It’s at full brightness when it’s set. The farenheit and celsius modes can be (and may need to be) adjusted both on the oven itself and in the “profile” tab on the app to get the desired results. I’m also told that Anova is working on updating the app to allow for better options for customizing and/or creating and saving recipes. I haven’t yet figured out how to work with editing what is currently available but I understand it can be done. And we’ve also been told they will soon have more pans on the market. All in all I’ve had a great experience so far with this product and I believe the company is keen to provide the best support they can under some very challenging circumstances. One thing I’m considering is to try and find a small fan I can sit somewhere near the unit to move hot air and moisture away from my cupboards above the oven and the wall behind it. Has anyone tried this? At present, a lot of moisture builds up in those areas even though there is considerable space (3 or 4 inches) between the oven and the walls. This whole adventure is a learning curve and I’m expecting it to keep me nicely diverted during this “winter of discontent”! Obviously a forum like this is going to reflect various problems, so I felt it only fair to other readers and the Anova company to share my positive experiences. I’m keeping my box just in case, but so far so good!