The cheapest sous vide circulator on the market
Summary : The Anova has an excellent control panel that is easy to use with all the features you need in a sous vide immersion circulator. It has great temperature control but a very weak motor to circulate the water. At $199 this is the lowest price for a sous vide machine on the market.
I am a sous vide junkie. Ever since I had my first bite of a steak that was cooked sous vide, I was hooked. Over the past year, I have been cooking sous vide at least once a month and I have not looked back. Steak, shrimp, chicken, pork and even alligator all come out of the water bath tender, moist and succulent. Vegetables are bright with flavor and still retain their crispness. Poach some sous vide peachesin a sous vide water bath , with a little bit of cognac, for quite possibly the most amazing peach dessert you will ever taste! This modern form of cooking has revolutionized the way we can prepare dinner and it is becoming more and more accessible to the home cook.
Sous vide machines are the fastest growing kitchen appliance as foodies are trying to recreate dishes they see on Masterchef and Top Chef. There are many different sous vide machines to choose from and they range greatly in price. There are many people who have not taken the plunge into the sous vide realm yet because the prices have been on the higher end. Anova has released the first sous vide machine that comes in under $200. This unit is quite affordable at $199, but I was really curious to see how it would work compared to some of the more expensive brands out there. After a thorough testing I am really impressed and totally recommend this to anyone looking for a sous vide machine.
The Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator clamps onto any large pot that can be filled with water. The machine has a heating element and a circulation motor that are in the lower part of the device. This rests in the water and heats it to the set temperature while circulating the water throughout the pot.
The clamp is quite large allowing it to attach to many different containers. I tried it on pots, ceramic dutch ovens, Rubbermaid containers and the device clamped onto all without a problem.
The water capacity for the Sous Vide Immersion Circulator is 6 gallons or 22 liters. So, it can heat up a lot of water, which is good if you are cooking a lot of food or larger cuts of meat like ribs or a pork roast.
The touch screen display is clear simple and responsive. I was really impressed with how little options it had, but how it allowed you to do everything you needed. The main display has three buttons: set temperature, set time and start.
It is easy to set the time and temperature. Simply tap the number to increase. It is possible to set the temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit.
Above is the display when the machine is running. The read temperature displays the actual water temperature in the pot. The set shows the target temp and the timer shows how much time is left. Yes, the above pic has a timer going at over 39 hours! You can have this circulator running for a long time, which is needed for some dishes, like sous vide pork belly!
I tried the Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator to make many things from steak, chicken, shrimp, eggs and vegetables, like the picture above showing green beans in the sous vide. Sous vide cooking is a great way to infuse flavors into the vegetables while they cook. A tablespoon of lemon zest in with the green beans give a wonderful lemony flavor with the vegetable.
For the recipe of sous vide green bean almandine click here.
I tend to cook meat sous vide more than anything else. Chicken breast in the sous vide comes out so tender and juicy. It is great to use for wraps, on pasta, or just on its own. The Anova Sous Vide Circulator does a great job getting up to the temperature and holding it. A quick setting of 146F and the machine is off heating the water. The one thing I found I needed to be careful of, is to make sure that there is an open space between the vacuum sealed bags of meat. In the picture above, I cooked a bunch of chicken breasts (7 actually) and had them in multiple bags. It is necessary that there is space between each bag so the water can circulate all around the bag for even cooking. This is typical for all sous vide machines.
The machine’s one weakness is in the actual circulation of the water. Whether it is in the design of the machine or the power of the motor, I did not notice much movement in the water. This can become more of an issue when there are multiple bags of food in the water. Sometimes the unit created a loud scratching sound. This was due to the steel sleeve loosening and causing the water impeller to scrape against the steel sleeve. This was quite annoying and seems to be a design flaw in the unit.
Clean up of the Anova Sous Vide Circulator is simple. The bottom shield can twist off and be rinsed, and the rest can be left to air dry. The Anova product is handy for people wanting to get into sous vide cooking but who do not have the counter space for one of the larger countertop units. This particular product is nice and small and can be packed away until needed. At $199 I am very impressed with the product as it is comparable to some of the more expensive immersion circulation units out the the market.
You can buy this at Amazon – Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator
Disclaimer: Anova provided me with the Sous Vide Immersion Circulator. They did not pay me for this review and the views expressed above are my honest reactions after trying the FoodSaver product.