What is a Combi Oven?

Everything you need to know about our latest innovation in Precision™ Cooking.

For years, combi ovens have been the most precise, most versatile pieces of cooking gear around. But they’ve also been humongous, expensive, and only available for commercial environments … until now.

A traditional oven lets you control temperature (usually, not very well). But a combi oven gives you control of both temperature and, here’s the kicker, humidity. It’s this combination that gives chefs — and now, anyone — precise, predictable, and powerful control over the way food cooks.

Whether you’re roasting a juicy chicken with crispy skin, cooking asparagus until it’s snappy and vibrant, or casually plating a picture-perfect omelette, the Anova Precision™ Oven makes better meals and, by improving your level of control and understanding of the cooking process, will make you a better cook.

 

It gives us no pleasure to throw shade at your home oven. It’s trying its best, but even high-end home ovens suffer from the same two major design flaws:

1. Mood Swings. The thermostats used in most home ovens are notoriously imprecise. The actual temperature inside an oven can vary by 25°F above and below the temperature you asked for. How can you expect consistent results if you don’t get consistent heating?

2. Lack of Humidity Awareness. Most food is made mostly of water. As such, water plays an enormous role in the way food cooks. But if your oven is totally unaware of humidity, how can it possibly account for this?

So if you’ve ever been disappointed by dry, inconsistent, or improperly cooked results, it’s probably not you. It’s your oven.

For the first time, home cooks (without the bankroll or appetite for commercial permitting) have access to a better solution than a traditional oven. Here’s how combi oven cooking is different:

Temperature Control: Instead of the bang-bang thermostat in your old oven, the Anova Precision™ Oven uses a sophisticated combination of PID control loops, multiple temperature sensors, and a beefy onboard microprocessor to control heating. It will maintain temperature as tightly as +/- 0.3°C (0.5°F) of the set point.

Sous Vide Mode. Using an innovative wet bulb sensor, the Anova Precision™ Oven knows what temperature your food actually experiences and ensures that you never overshoot your target doneness.

Steam Control: The Anova Precision™ Oven allows you to add steam or control the specific relative humidity inside the Oven when you cook. This is the key to achieving the best results you’ve ever tasted.

Connected, Multi-Stage Cooking: The Anova Precision™ Oven comes with its very own mission control. The Anova Oven app allows you to control and monitor your Oven via WiFi and effortlessly cook from our library of expert recipes. And, using the Food Probe and timer functionality, you can cook multi-stage recipes to optimize your food’s doneness, both inside and out.

Traditional Cooked Chicken
Anova Cooked Chicken

All of the differences above add up to a vastly improved cooking experience.

The roast chicken on the left was cooked according to the instructions from a very popular celebrity chef recipe, at 425°F. We mercifully ended the cooking 60 minutes into the 90-minute cook time and tented the bird with foil. Not only did this traditional method produce overcooked meat and uneven browning, it also squeezed the flavorful juices out of the chicken and evaporated them into the kitchen.

By contrast, the chicken cooked in Anova Precision™ Oven was juicy, evenly cooked throughout, and extremely repeatable. By using Sous Vide Mode in the first stage of the recipe, we ensured that the meat couldn’t overcook — the internal doneness sailed gently to just the right temperature. (And that temperature is no longer a guessing game — the included Food Probe lets you know where you’re at in the cooking process, every step of the way.) Then, once we guaranteed that the meat was evenly cooked, we cranked the oven up for high, dry, convection heating to focus only on crisping the skin. The results speak for themselves.