Timer Function on the Anova Precision Cooker

Actually a couple of timer questions. It appears that after the cooker has reached temperature, to activate the timer you need to:

  1. Hold the "play" button down for 8 seconds. During that time the display will change from C to F.
  2. Hold the (newly lit) timer button down for 3 seconds.
  3. Use the scroll wheel to set the time.
  4. Press the "timer" button to start the countdown
  5. Hold the "play" button for 3 seconds to get it so switch back to C

Do you have to actually do this every single time you want to start a timer or just the first time to get the “timer” button to appear?

Also, does the unit turn off when the timer expires or does it just beep (or both)?



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Hi @adnewman - Thank you for sharing this, it’s very helpful to our other community members! We also have a video if you’re interested, which can be seen in a related thread here: http://community.anovaculinary.com/discussion/344/video-setting-the-timer-temperature/p1

You will have to set the timer for a new countdown each time like this. It will not turn the unit off when it expires, although using the app will give you more control over this and will enable you to pause the cooker remotely, as long as you’re within range for Bluetooth.

Thanks @JordanHouston I appreciate the answer. I have ordered a unit (confirmation #143043). I’m curious, however as to why the timer functionality has to be so complicated. There is a single “timer” button on my stove. When the timer isn’t running and I press it, I can set the timer. After a few seconds without input the timer starts. If I press it again I can (re) set the value. If I press it twice in a few seconds it clears the timer. Is there a design reason you have chosen to “hide” the timer on your precision cooker so it requires all the “pressing and holding”?

On a related note, I will be developing software for the unit and would love it if you folks published an official description of the protocol (yes, I know a member of your community reverse engineered it). -Thx

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@adnewman The focus is much more on the temperature that the food is being cooked at as opposed to the time, which is why the timer function isn’t as prominently featured. The timer isn’t designed to be a standalone feature but more of a complement to the temperature.

Within the app, the timer’s primary use corresponds with recipes but future builds should make the use of the timer more navigable overall.

We look forward to hearing more about the software you plan to develop as well and will keep in touch with you about it!

Even if the timer is not a main feature, why make it so complicated on purpose? It’s not detrimental, so let the user decide. I find it particularly annoying that the temperature units change when first pressing play for 8 seconds (so it has to be changed back). It feels like you included the feature so people don’t bug you about it, but purposefully try to make it so annoying that people won’t use it (in which case, don’t include it). Are there any plans to change this (as I will not be using it with the app)?


@eelgc First off, I’d like to apologize for causing you the trouble with the timer - I completely understand and will share this with the team.

I can assure you that the timer definitely wasn’t implemented in its current form with the intent of frustrating users. Our customers are our number one concern and we would never design something to purposefully make things difficult. We added it as a feature and have received a lot of feedback on its implementation, all of which we are reading and discussing.

I’m so sorry again for the frustration we’ve caused you. We don’t want to make your sous vide experience anything less than perfect. With future app builds, we’ll be able to make the timer easier to use through your phone.

If you’d like to chat more about this, we’d love to hear from you. Please let me know - thank you!!

I would have to agree with the above noted comments. Seems downright silly to make a function MORE difficult when the entirety of the technology universe strives to enhance usability. Reorienting the cook’s perspective to temperature over time is understandable in this context, but not at this cost.

I have to agree with everyone else I just don’t follow the logic of making the timer button so difficult to use. i bought my mother who isnt all that young one and this time process is a real hassle for her, heck even for me. We are all adults we understand that the time isn’t as critical but there is no need to basically prevent us from setting it manually. For some reason the timer doesn’t always get set when i use the android phone app.

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Wow! I’m typing this in JANUARY 2017 so this issue is over 2 years old! I just received my Anova and am trying to use it for the first time, and time is still an issue with this! What happened to the promise - 2 years ago - to make the timer function more user friendly? My brand new unit operates the same frustrating way as described above. Is Anova either that slow or just unresponsive to user preferences?


Hi @T_Shot! Welcome to community! Sorry the manual timer is not the easiest to set. We have found that the majority of our users like to set the time and temp from the app, as it is a more familiar interface. We taking feedback into account and working on making the timer easier to use manually, while also trying to make the interface too busy. Thanks for the feedback!

Sorry guys, but your reply to this last user’s answer just doesn’t cut it. You clearly got the message two years ago that one of the fundamental functions with your device is deeply flawed. Yet you’ve done nothing to fix it. I just got an Anova device as a gift - and have found that the very same app you’ve chosen to rely upon to solve all user needs is also deeply flawed. Just read the user reviews on the Apple App store and you’ll see what I mean.

Here’s what your community is demanding. If your company hopes to continue, something’s got to change with your company’s design and engineering team. Fix the app TODAY. Change the device’s design. This is basic stuff for any contemporary digital company to pay attention to.


I want to reply here saying I am disappointed that setting the timer is not an easy task when I don’t have my phone. And that people have been complaining for two years and you guys haven’t done anything about it. The timer is a button, why can’t we just press the timer button???

Just because most people have a phone doesn’t mean everyone does. What if I lose my phone? What if my internet is down? Why are you forcing us to use the app? With recipes I know I just want to walk into the kitchen, turn the thing on, set the timer, leave.


So as the guy who started this thread (2 years ago), I remain disappointed that Anova doesn’t regard this more seriously. Since I bought my Anova unit, the ChefSteps Joule has emerged as a credible competitor. The primary strength Anova has is that is can function without the need for a smart phone or tablet. Wouldn’t it be great if Anova consolidated this strength by improving the phone-free usability of the timer?

A simple firmware change is all it would take. Just allow the user to press and hold the timer button and use the scroll wheel to set the time. Press the timer button once to start and again to cancel. (Or alternately press again to pause the timer and press-hold to cancel…doesn’t really matter to me).



Hey all, I want to assure I am doing my best to pass this all on to the design team, your feedback is really important, and we are always trying to iterate to make things better, but changing the physical device takes a lot longer than changing our software, but I am communicating this all back to our team, so things can improve.

hi – i just bought the Anova 800 bluetooth from amazon. i like it a lot. except for the manual interface on the screen of the device. several online reviews have mentioned this issue. also here, over the past year or so. we just need something inside the box, either in or with the little booklet – or even on the front page of the website – listing the steps to take to set timer, temp, and cook start. even the website of the videos would be helpful – right there at the very beginning. the company has had ample time to make a little fix for this problem. even a single extra page with this beginners info thrown in the box as it leaves the warehouse. so easy! yet here we are – including you – still dealing with the same complaint. this is the kind of thing that makes people choose other devices. Like the joule, for example. just do it! at the very least put that video page at the very beginning of this website so it’s accessible for people. i’ve been on the site for 3 days and just discovered those videos and the written instructions tonight. and i was on the verge of returning this device tomorrow. thanks. hope the company takes care of this asap.

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We also received an Anova bluetooth unit as a gift. I’m appalled that such a basic device has an arcane method to set the timer. One reply above from Anova stated that most users prefer to use the software. How do you know that? The software isn’t much better (I’m using iOS). Everytime I open it I get repeated error messages telling me to remove airplane mode – which isn’t turned on! These messages appear one after the other, between 3 and 5 times, then stop without me doing anything but saying OK to each message.

Back to the Timer – we have a fifteen year old oven with a digital timer that requires two light presses to set and forget. It ain’t hard folks. Fix it.

Hi. I also just got the bluetooth version. The software timer doesn’t work either if you lose bluetooth connectivity with the device. Once I’ve lost it, I can reconnect but the timer does not restart or show where it currently is. I’ve tried it both by choosing a recipe on the app and setting both the temp and time manually from the app. It is inconceivable to me that at minimum 2 years after timer issues were first brought up this still is an issue. I’ve seen above that a response is that the time isn’t as important as the temperature with the anova. Fair enough, but it would still be nice to know at what point the food you are making has finished cooking. Especially during the week when you want to eat sooner rather than later. I feel bad that I got this as a gift and a week later I wish I had gotten the joule instead. Is there a way you can see the time remaining or otherwise pick up the timer where you left off if you lose bluetooth connect? Is the timer you set with the app supposed to go off on the machine? Because in my experience neither happen.

I got my Anova Bluetooth as a Christmas gift, and just like the most recent contributors, I’m surprised by the problems with the timer; I have wasted a lot of time trying to find out how to get it started. I can set it on my Android phone, and I can follow the temperature both on the phone on the display, but I have found no way to make the timer start. The statement that most people don’t use the timer anyhow is nonsense, especially as it looks as if it is available.
I also agree that the quick cooking guide coming with this cooker should have been more detailed, it does show a picture of this unit with a letter C for setting the temperature, but nowhere how to do it. Neither is there any instruction about the timer function (or much else) in the User manual I found on the internet, and the manual I found was for the Wifi cooker, not for the Bluetooth version.

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Hi Everyone, just wanted to give a quick update. The issues with the timer manually and on the device have been noted and are currently in the process of being updated. Unfortunately we cannot update the manual version on the current models. But we are devising solutions for it in the future. We take your feedback very seriously and are working to integrate all your great suggestions!

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I just used my WiFi Anova for the first time this evening and had a variety of issues in regards to the the timer.
I set the unit with the Anova app for a cook time of 1hr. 30min into the cook I get the low water level notification on my phone. Once I top it off, I have to restart the whole scenario and lose the timer in the process.
Since I don’t know where it stopped at, I’m screwed for this cook session.
How difficult is it to resolve simple timer issues? Are scenarios like this above ever tested prior to production?
Once I restarted everything, the temp indicator was stuck on 32F even though the water was at 183F.
All in all not impressed at all.
I’ll try it once more and then if it doesn’t work, it goes back to the store.

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