Why Precision Matters: Cooking Sous Vide with Anova
Our typical appliances at home are wildly inaccurate. Ovens fluctuate as much as 40°F degrees, and cook from the outside in. Same with grills and skillets. High heat means the outside of your meal is overcooked before the inside is even cooked at all. The results are unpredictable and a few minutes, heck, a few seconds one way or the other means overcooking or undercooking. The best news is there is an answer to these common woes. Anova cooks your food at a precise temperature, evenly, from edge-to-edge, every time you flip it on. We put two of everyone’s favorite proteins to the test, steak and chicken, to show the real difference that cooking with Anova makes.
How Does Steak Stack Up?To demonstrate the advantages of cooking with Anova, we took two NY Strip steaks each 1″ thick, salted them, and gave one a 129°F / 53.9°C cook with Anova for 1 hour. The second steak, we cooked in a hot cast-iron skillet for about 4 minutes per side until the internal temperature reached 129°F. We tracked weight before cook, and weight after cook. In the case of the steak cooked with Anova we weighed after the sear in order to be as accurate and fair as possible.
Steak #1. Cooked with Anova at 129°F / 53.9°C for 1 hour:
- Weight before cook: 13.2 oz (375 grams)
- Weight after cook and after one minute sear at 500°F in cast-iron skillet: 12.6 oz (359 grams)
- Moisture loss by weight: 4.2%
Steak #2. Cooked in 500°F cast-iron skillet until internal temperature reached 129°F / 53.9°C.
- Weight before cook: 13.6 oz (387 grams)
- Weight after cook: 10.1 oz (286 grams)
- Moisture loss by weight: 26%
Steak ResultsThe steak cooked with Anova retained over 6 times the juices as one cooked in a traditional cast-iron skillet. The doneness was precise from edge-to-edge, compared to the steak cooked in a pan which had large gradient bands of overcooking near the edges.
No More Chicken ConundrumsOur second test involved some good ol’ boneless and skinless chicken breast. Traditionally chicken breast becomes dry and stringy at the USDA approved internal temp for food safety of 165°F / 73.9°C. With Anova we can safely cook the chicken at a lower temperature (145°F / 62.8°C) for a longer period of time, and the results speak for themselves. We cooked two breasts, roughly 1″ thick. One at 145°F / 62.8°C for 2 hours with Anova, and the other we baked at 400°F in the oven until the thickest part of the breast registered a temperature of 165°F / 73.9°C.
Chicken breast #1. Cooked at 145°F / 62.8°C for 2 hours with Anova:
- Weight before cook: 8.8 oz (249 grams)
- Weight after cook: 7.9 oz (224 grams)
- Moisture loss by weight: 10%
Chicken Breast #2. Baked at 400°F until thickest part of breast reached 165°F / 73.9°C.
- Weight before cooking: 8.7 oz (248 grams)
- Weight after cooking: 5.9 oz (168 grams)
- Moisture loss by weight: 32.2%