Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.
Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker. I have talked about Sous Vide Cooking a lot on the show and this is my third cooker to purchase before settling on which to recommend. One worked great until it crapped out in six months and a value model proved to be of little value for consistency.
There are two versions of the Anova to consider, they are,
The difference is you can control the Bluetooth only version with your smart phone when in bluetooth range. But the WiFi becomes a device on your network attached to an account (that is free) with Anova. This means you can control your cooker from anywhere you have signal to your phone. Like the parking lot at your office when you leave work. More on why you may want this in the PS below.
Here is my thoughts on this though, when I buy anything I think about its disposal value. If I need to sell or barter it, will the cost of the additional option make it more valuable at hat point, in this case for 10 extra bucks, I say yes it will. So with no further thought I got the WiFi model.
The Anova on the other hand is what I always look for, it JUST WORKS, always works and also always works. Sous Vide is a method of cooking that I describe as a dry poaching. Poaching of course is holding a food item in a liquid until it is cooked to your liking. This keeps foods moist and prevents over cooking. It is also simmering in water when you get right to it, for some stuff that is fine.
There are a few primary differences with Sous Vide. First it uses a precision cooker, meaning if you want 137 degrees you get exactly that, if you want 165, and you might, say for chicken, you get EXACTLY THAT. Not 162, not 166, not 163, you get precisely the temperature you want. Most poaching is a best effort process. It also in general uses higher temps say 180 for instance for eggs.
Next Sous Vide is dry, well not exactly dry but the food doesn’t contact the heated liquid, it is instead held inside a food safe bag. This can be done with a quality zip top bag but I prefer to use a vacuum sealed bag. The meat or other item is seasoned as you choose, then cooked to the exact temp you want. After that it is finished with a quick sear, about one minute per side or less.
For steak the results are a perfect cook to your preferred temp, we are talking end to end pink or red or what ever you want. Not perfect in the center and darkening to the outside. We just did up some steaks with this tool in Episode 5 of Biltong For Breakfast.
There are other uses too though. Like today I am thinking a new riff on jerk chicken. Part out chicken and marinate in Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning. Vac seal and sous vide to 165. At this point the chicken is perfectly cooked, no cool spots, not over cooked spots. Now just crisp the skin on the grill and done, perfect. How about fried chicken, imagine just being able to fry to a perfect golden brown and never worry about the chicken being “done”.
There are tons of things you can do with Sous Vide cooking, tune in today to learn some more and check out Episode Five – Dead Cow Flesh of Biltong for Breakfast to see this cooker in action. Above all if you have been considering a Sous Vide cooker, I truly recommend the Anova for consistency, value and longevity.
Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.
P.S. – So why would you want to be able to control your cooker from miles away. Imagine you want to come home and have steak for dinner. Well in the morning you take your vac sealed steak and put it in a pot of cold water and fill it with ice. Your trusty Anova goes in to the pot too.
A one inch steak takes about an hour to cook but still mostly frozen it will take 90-120 minutes. So as you get in your car, you push start. When you get home say 45 minutes later, the steak has about 45 minutes to go. You start your side dish and salad, open the bag when ready, sear and eat. Oh and while you can run Sous Vide too long for a cut of meat, it will NEVER over cook because it can’t, 135 is 135 period. More on this in today’s show.