The Anova Culinary Precision Cooker ($179) is a Bluetooth-enabled immersion circulator that allows users to cook sous vide style. The Precision Cooker got its start on Kickstarter, where Anova raised more than $1.8 million. Anova’s device comes with an adjustable clamp, which allows it to attach to any suitable container for sous vide cooking. A free app enables users to control and monitor the Precision Cooker while away from the container.
Sous vide is a cooking method in which food is sealed in plastic bags and is then (usually) placed in a water bath at a controlled temperature for a set amount of time. If done properly, the food will cook evenly, and allow for a quick sear at the end for a great, moist piece of food. We tested the Anova Precision Cooker on cod and ribeye steak.
Setup is easy — find a proper container, fill it with water, then insert the Anova into said container (we used a pot). The included clip is used to keep the Precision Cooker fixed to the side of the container. Plug it in, connect to Bluetooth, and it’s ready to go. We found the Precision Cooker to be well made, and well worth its price tag in materials, as it’s constructed out of polycarbonate and stainless steel. The bottom part can be removed and cleaned in the dishwasher.
The Precision Cooker uses the free Anova Culinary iOS app to set the temperature and time for cooking, though there are also controls on the circulator itself. The app allows for remotely operating the Precision Cooker — users can set the temperature, time, and switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius. A library of sous vide recipes is included in the app, and selecting one of those recipes can automatically set the time and temperature. We found the app worked very well, both in properly setting the time and temperature, and keeping us abreast of the information while away from the container.
Food tastes are subjective and though we’re obviously not a food site, we at iLounge have long had an interest in the culinary world. We found both the cod and ribeye steaks to be well cooked, though we preferred the steak for sous vide purposes. The ribeyes were seared quickly after cooking and came out as excellent, consistent, medium well pieces of meat. This part of the review says as much about sous vide cooking in general as it does about the Anova, but the point remains — Precision Cooker turned out the kind of food you’d expect.
While the iOS app isn’t necessary for using the Anova, it does make things easier. As a whole, the Precision Cooker is a fine device. For those looking to get into sous vide cooking, it’s an affordable starting circulator, and it might be all most home cooks ever need in that regard. It comes highly recommended.
Company and Price
Company: Anova Culinary
Model: Anova Precision Cooker
Compatible: Bluetooth iPads, iPhones, iPods