What you’ll need
Having proper sous vide cooking equipment is invaluable when you cook sous vide. Until now, buying a sous vide machine required a substantial investment and a bulky piece of equipment.
With the Anova, sous vide cooking is simple. All you need to get started is a pot or large container to hold water, heavy duty bags, a few clips, and your Anova Precision Cooker, of course!
Preparation & Set Up
One of the best parts of sous vide cooking is that you don’t need to do much to your food before cooking. Most meats, fish and vegetables only need salt and pepper to shine. You can certainly get creative with aromatics, but butter and marinades are not necessary — even lean meats will retain their moisture on their own.
To get started, simply clip the Anova Precision Cooker to a large pot or container and fill with water above the minimum fill line on the stainless steel Anova sleeve. Preheat your water by setting the Anova to your desired temperature and hit the play button. It’ll beep when it’s ready.
Sous vide cooking is made even easier with the Anova recipes app — simply choose your recipe, prepare your ingredients, and hit “connect” on the app. It’ll set the time and temperature settings for you!
The key to sous vide cooking is the “sous vide” (or “under vacuum”) part of the equation. Vacuum sealing foods prevents evaporation and allow for the most efficient transfer energy from the water to the food. To do so, simply place your seasoned food in a plastic bag and remove all of the surrounding air to create a vacuum seal. There are three ways to create this seal:
Use a vacuum sealer and specially designed bags. Foodsaver is a common, and affordable, brand.
Use the “water immersion” method. Place the food in a zipper lock bag and slowly lower the bagged food into a bowl of water, letting the pressure of the water press air through the top of the bag. Once most of the air is out of the bag, carefully seal it just above the water line.
Use zipper lock bags and suck the air out with a straw. This method is not recommended for raw meat, but you can use it for fruits and vegetables.
You can also sous vide certain foods in glass canning jars. While we don’t recommend using jars for meats or bulky vegetables, they make fabulous vessels for cooking beans, grains, and desserts like custards or cakes. You can learn more about sous vide cooking in jars on our blog.
Cooking Time and Temperature
Sous vide cooking is all about mastering time and temperature. These two factors determine the final texture and flavor of your dish. Selecting the correct cooking temperature is all about knowing your desired doneness.
Cooking time is less strict, but still important. Sous vide foods must cook long enough to reach their target temperature and (in certain cases) eliminate any potential bacteria. Many animal proteins have an upper limit for cooking times as well — after four hours or so, their structure begins to break down and turn mushy. So while you have a much larger window for cooking times in the Anova than in an oven, you still do need to pay a little bit of attention to the timeline.
Want more details? All of our recipes include time and temperature suggestions. We’ve also created a few time and temperature guidelines for common sous vide dishes, like steak, chicken breasts, and hamburgers.
While sous vide foods are fully cooked and ready to eat right out of the water bath, they’re often much better when they’ve been finished with a blast of high heat. You can get a serious sear on your sous vide steak in minutes using a blazing hot cast iron skillet. Many cooks also like to use a grill to finish dishes like sous vide ribs or pork chops. The broiler also makes quick work of sous vide chicken wings or vegetables like eggplant. Even deep frying can be a good finishing choice — sous vide French fries are seriously delicious. Each of our recipes offers tips for finishing and serving.
Find out more on adding the perfect finishing touch to your steak with our Comprehensive Guide to Searing.
Just need a quick reference sheet? Get a printable reference sheet and learn all about the smoking points of fats and oils for tips on the perfect substance for your sear with our Fats & Oils Smoking Point Reference Guide.
Clean up is a breeze with the Anova. There are no tools or heavy lifting required. Simply drain the water out of your pot and give it a quick wash, throw away the sous vide bag, and approach the cleaning of your Anova like you would the rest of your dishes.
Anova’s unique circulator allows access to every nook and cranny through a simple removal of the stainless steel skirt. The skirt can be washed with your other dishes or placed into a dishwasher.