I got my Anova today!

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Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
42,804
272
126
Sigh. I didn't even know these existed, and now I'm in for one.
I like it because it's always plugged in & ready to go, and is more compact than other sous-vide appliances (ex. Sous Vide Supreme) because of the vertical design, and has a chiller built-in to hold your food for you during the day until you get home from work. You can remote-start it from anywhere in the world via the app! Pretty handy!
 

PJFrylar

Senior member
Apr 17, 2016
847
450
106
I like it because it's always plugged in & ready to go, and is more compact than other sous-vide appliances (ex. Sous Vide Supreme) because of the vertical design, and has a chiller built-in to hold your food for you during the day until you get home from work. You can remote-start it from anywhere in the world via the app! Pretty handy!
Yeah, when I saw it I was thinking ... well damn that looks convenient. I'm a single man, so I often am cooking for one. It just seems so much more practical. Unlike that one time I cooked that huge bunch of ribs ... when I had to wrap the 10 gallon tub in towels and all of that. They were good, but that sucked effort wise... 36 hour cook time... oof. Next time I do ribs, I'm definitely going to try the instapot.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
42,804
272
126
Yeah, when I saw it I was thinking ... well that looks convenient. I'm a single man, so I often am cooking for one. It just seems so much more practical. Unlike that one time I cooked that huge bunch of ribs ... when I had to wrap the 10 gallon tub in towels and all of that. They were good, but that sucked effort wise... 36 hour cook time... oof. Next time I do ribs, I'm definitely going to try the instapot.
Yeah, I use both the Sous Vide & the Instant Pot. I have an IKEA floor shelf with two Mellows and a 6-quart Instant Pot for daily use. The Mellows have been rock-solid for me, as has the Instant Pot. Nearly all of my food gets purchased, flash-frozen, vac-sealed, and tossed into my freezer. Then I just pull out what I want & how much I need. My schedule is variable, so sometimes I'm just cooking for myself instead of my family, so I can tell you that if you're cooking for one, it does just fine! You can eat like a king, too!
 

Kyle

Diamond Member
Oct 14, 1999
4,137
1
91
Wow...that Mellow looks ideal for me...I have an Anova and loved it, but for the last year or so w/ my new job I haven't used it based on schedule/energy after work etc. Have you had any issue w/ the refrigeration or cooking performance in general? Assuming you've used other sous vide devices, notice any difference in accuracy? Do you have to use their time/temp suggestions from the app or can you adjust? Think I might have to grab one of those...
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
42,804
272
126
Wow...that Mellow looks ideal for me...I have an Anova and loved it, but for the last year or so w/ my new job I haven't used it based on schedule/energy after work etc. Have you had any issue w/ the refrigeration or cooking performance in general? Assuming you've used other sous vide devices, notice any difference in accuracy? Do you have to use their time/temp suggestions from the app or can you adjust? Think I might have to grab one of those...
I have 2 Mellows & use them weekly. The biggest limitation is the size of the tub. You can fit maybe 3 large steaks in a single tub, so if you're cooking for a crowd on a regular basis, you're going to need to stick with your Anova.

I don't use any of their settings, I do everything manually & use my own timers because that's how I prefer to cook.

As far as the chiller goes, you either have to pre-chill it or throw in some ice cubes, because it takes awhile to get cold (like 2 hours from room temp, the chiller is good when it gets going, but it's so tiny that it takes awhile unless you add ice) & there's a risk of putting your food in warm water, then waiting for it to chill, thereby entering the "danger zone" of temperature for bacteria to grow. You can remotely pre-chill it via the app, or if you have an ice maker in your fridge, just drop some in to quickly chill the water. Physics can only do so much due to the size of the unit, but I haven't really had an issue with it once I adjusted my workflow. I've had mine since Christmas of 2017 & haven't had any issues with either unit.

tbh it feels like it's a magic food machine. I heavily stock my freezer with vac-sealed meat (steak, burgers, meatballs, shrimp, various fish, pork chops, bacon, pork shoulder, pork tenderloin, chicken thighs, chicken breasts, chicken wings, etc.)...it's so easy to just grab something, toss it in the Mellow in the morning, and have it ready to sear/fry/whatever when I walk in the door. My Instant Pot handles the veggie or starch side (rice, corn on the cob halves, etc.), plus I typically do some dinner rolls or homemade bread or something, and voila - dinner! The Mellow also has a higher WAF, unlike my Anova "science expeirment", haha, so it gets to stay in the kitchen 24/7 as a permanent appliance.

At $99, these are a steal! I'd buy more, but I already have 2 lol.
 

Kyle

Diamond Member
Oct 14, 1999
4,137
1
91
Awesome, thanks for the quick reply- I'm usually cooking for myself so size isn't an issue. I don't have an ice maker where I'm at now so would probably use the pre-chill or fill it w/ water from a pitcher from the fridge. Good to hear you can set your own time/temp settings.
 

PJFrylar

Senior member
Apr 17, 2016
847
450
106
I'm going to bust out my Mellow this weekend.

Anyone want to hit me up with an idea of what to make first? I've got a prime rib steak in the freezer, but I'm open to suggestions.
Edit: wrong thread ... I saw Kaido and a topic with a capital A. Alternative explanation: I'm an idiot.
Can anyone help a poor simpleton out?
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
42,804
272
126
Can anyone help a poor simpleton out?
Personally, I suggest doing a simple boneless NY strip steak, at least 1" thick. Pre-heat the water to 130F, bag the meat, and cook for a minimum of 60 minutes (recommend at least 2 hours, however).

When the cooking is done, pull it out & remove from the bag, pat dry (no need to rest!), and sear on a cast-iron skillet using. Before searing, put mayo on each side (makes the outside crispy), and be sure to salt & pepper each side.

This procedure will introduce you to:

1. Cooking with your sous-vide
2. Searing meat after cooking SV
3. Tasting & chewing a SV-cooked steak

I got hooked on my first cook (thanks @Hayabusa Rider!)...perfect meats, every time! I got better at searing & eventually at doing sauces (and rubs). I cook SV all the time now...once you get familiar with the setup & stock your freezer & create a weekly menu, it's just too easy to grab a steak or burger or whatever out of the freezer, toss it into your Mellow, and come home to a ready-to-sear, perfectly-cooked piece of meat. I eat steak & potatoes for dinner for the same price as a Big Mac meal at McDonalds these days, it's awesome!
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
42,804
272
126
Can anyone help a poor simpleton out?
Also, do you need help setting up the Mellow or operating the app? The interface can be a tad non-intuitive at first, at least for manual runs!
 

PJFrylar

Senior member
Apr 17, 2016
847
450
106
Nah, I'm pretty sure I'll have no problem with it. I'm just looking for some inspiration recipe wise. I've been super busy/sick lately and haven't had the chance to unbox it yet. Between a paid holiday today and actually taking Sunday off, there is a good chance i'm going to fire it up. Right now i'm favoring marinating the prime rib in a korean bbq style sauce and putting it into a drunken noodle stir fry.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
42,804
272
126
Nah, I'm pretty sure I'll have no problem with it. I'm just looking for some inspiration recipe wise. I've been super busy/sick lately and haven't had the chance to unbox it yet. Between a paid holiday today and actually taking Sunday off, there is a good chance i'm going to fire it up. Right now i'm favoring marinating the prime rib in a korean bbq style sauce and putting it into a drunken noodle stir fry.
Whoohoo!

So I would say that the primary point of Sous Vide cooking is to pasturize & tenderize meats perfectly, every time. It makes meats soft & perfectly-cooked; that's the core function. From there, you can eat it plain, sear it, add a rub, add a sauce, or get creative with it in other ways, such as shredded chicken for tacos, chicken strips for cold salads, and so on. You will have to do some testing to see what texture you like, which takes some experimentation. For example, here's a chart with some chicken times & temperatures, for different effects:

https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/07...-guide-to-sous-vide-chicken-breast.html#chart

The key is really combining (1) the sous-vide texture you want, with (2) the finished product you want. So I may do a NY strip steak with a mayo sear (mayo = eggs & oil, which makes the surface nice & crispy on a hot cast-iron pan), or I may do a chicken breast with a Peruvian spin using green sauce & quick-pickled onions (super delicious!), or I may coat my chicken wings with potato flour & tapioca starch, sous-vide them, and then flash-fry them for a nice crispy crunch, with perfectly-cooked meat inside. Once you get rolling with SV, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it, haha!

Also, here's a good tutorial for SV'ing prime rib:

https://www.amazingfoodmadeeasy.com/info/modernist-cooking-blog/more/how-to-sous-vide-prime-rib

Remember, sous-vide perfectly cooks it...it's up to you to sear it after & to add flavoring. SV, in essence, just makes soft, fully-cooked meat; it's a foundation for you to build your "food house" on - spices, herbs, sauces, rubs, frying, searing, grilling for char marks, baking the skin separately for crispy chicken skin, etc. And also yeah, it's not just for meats...I make ice cream base with mine, I make mini pots of desserts (cheesecakes, yogurts, pots de creme of various flavors, etc.), all sorts of stuff! It's a great hobby because you gotta eat, so you might as well do it for cheap at home, do it easily with the SV appliance, and get stellar results so you actually look forward to easily-made, budget-friendly, home-cooked meals!
 

Kyle

Diamond Member
Oct 14, 1999
4,137
1
91
I also recently received my Mellow (thanks again for posting that deal) - played around w/ the app some but plan on actually cooking something this weekend. I've cooked a bunch w/ my Anova so I'm most excited about the cooling and coming home from work to a fully cooked meal.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
42,804
272
126
I also recently received my Mellow (thanks again for posting that deal) - played around w/ the app some but plan on actually cooking something this weekend. I've cooked a bunch w/ my Anova so I'm most excited about the cooling and coming home from work to a fully cooked meal.
Yeah, the cooling thing is a REALLY nice feature. It takes a couple hours to chill, so you have to pre-chill ahead of time so that your food doesn't sit in the "danger zone" for bacteria growth, but they added an "add ice" feature to the app, so if you have an ice maker handy in your freezer, it's a piece of cake to chill the water quickly. If I'm cooking a lot in a particular week, I just leave the chiller on 24/7 when not cooking for convenience. I'll have to dig up my measured Kill-a-watt numbers, but it wasn't too bad to keep running once it got cold. It's like a little thermo-electric-whatever chiller, so kind of a wimpy version of a mini-fridge unit, which explains why it takes so long to get cold, but it's no biggie in practice.

It is really nice walking in the door after work, cutting the bag open, and searing. I have a plug-in induction hot plate, which gets my cast-iron pan super-hot in a jiffy, so I can make quick work of chicken, steak, SV burgers, etc. I have my freezer setup with all kinds of vac-sealed meats, so that makes dinner meal-prep as easy as picking something, dropping it in the chilled Mellow bath, and having it ready-to-sear later that day. All remotely adjustable from the app! I mean, it all depends on what fits your lifestyle. Sometimes I don't get home until 5, 6, or 7pm, and I don't want to have to fire up my Anova, cook, and then be eating late. Or else having to do all of the cooking ahead of time for the week & store it in the fridge, which I've played with & works great, but the "cook on the day of, grabbing vac-sealed meat from the freezer" approach has really been working out well for me lately!
 
Sep 25, 2001
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1. The steak is just kind of soft mush. This adds a crust. It's a texture thing. Go ahead & try eating it without a sear lol.

2. Because of the surface bacteria, the surface kind of turns to a gray-ish color, not super appetizing. The bacteria is dead, but the color is a bit funky on steaks. Searing gives you that beautiful crust on the exterior.
so I got lazy and didn't sear it.

yeah on the steak looking grey. :eek:
and it tastes like it was boiled in water even tho I added same amount of spices as when I seared. :(
(it basically was boiled in it's own juices)

searing it is! (even if it means another item to wash.)
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
42,804
272
126
so I got lazy and didn't sear it.

yeah on the steak looking grey. :eek:
and it tastes like it was boiled in water even tho I added same amount of spices as when I seared. :(
(it basically was boiled in it's own juices)

searing it is! (even if it means another item to wash.)
Yay steak!

Cast-iron sear + Outback salt-jacketed baked potato FTW!

 

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