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Anova Sous Vide Circulator (Part 2)

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#241 pbear

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 01:40 AM

Ryan, with respect, I think you're overstating your case.  I say this not as an expert - that would be you - but rather as a well-informed consumer of scientific information.  Is thawing in the fridge best?  Of course.  One can even hasten the process by using a cold water bath, as you mentioned in Post #229.  But it's not faster (as you originally claimed) than using warm or hot water.  The issues are whether whether speed thawing is safe and whether it adversely affects texture.  The funny thing is that I don't actually have a dog in this fight, as I rarely cook from frozen and never by speed thawing.

 

Still, whenever I hear an expert criticizing something as outside best practice, I'm inclined to ask how serious the risk of second best.  Bear in mind, as I'm sure you know, there are plenty of food scientists (used to be more) who won't have anything to do with sous vide because it isn't best practice.  In particular, they fret over the fact that doing it safely requires careful attention and accurate instruments.  Speed thawing is the same, as far as I can tell.  The multiple "ifs" you mention in Post #248 aren't all that daunting.  Not best method doesn't equal unsafe.  As for texture. a very different issue, I tend to agree (which is why I rarely cook from frozen and never by speed thawing), but surely that's a matter as to which individual cooks may draw their own conclusions.

 

By the way, beating up on McGee because his degree is in English (just a bachelor's, as I recall, not a Ph.D) rather misses the point.  He's been reading and writing on food science for over thirty years now.  That's no different from how you keep your knowledge up to date.  Not saying he's infallible, but he's not just some schlob who somehow got a gig writing articles for the NYT.  And, in my observation, McGee tends to be somewhat conservative on food safety issues (e.g., he's the one who called out Ruhlman for claiming reheating stock stored at room temp is sufficient to make it safe).


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#242 Ryan Imgrund

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 12:25 PM

Ryan, with respect, I think you're overstating your case.  I say this not as an expert - that would be you - but rather as a well-informed consumer of scientific information.  Is thawing in the fridge best?  Of course.  One can even hasten the process by using a cold water bath, as you mentioned in Post #229.  But it's not faster (as you originally claimed) than using warm or hot water.  The issues are whether whether speed thawing is safe and whether it adversely affects texture.  The funny thing is that I don't actually have a dog in this fight, as I rarely cook from frozen and never by speed thawing.
 
Still, whenever I hear an expert criticizing something as outside best practice, I'm inclined to ask how serious the risk of second best.  Bear in mind, as I'm sure you know, there are plenty of food scientists (used to be more) who won't have anything to do with sous vide because it isn't best practice.  In particular, they fret over the fact that doing it safely requires careful attention and accurate instruments.  Speed thawing is the same, as far as I can tell.  The multiple "ifs" you mention in Post #248 aren't all that daunting.  Not best method doesn't equal unsafe.  As for texture. a very different issue, I tend to agree (which is why I rarely cook from frozen and never by speed thawing), but surely that's a matter as to which individual cooks may draw their own conclusions.
 
By the way, beating up on McGee because his degree is in English (just a bachelor's, as I recall, not a Ph.D) rather misses the point.  He's been reading and writing on food science for over thirty years now.  That's no different from how you keep your knowledge up to date.  Not saying he's infallible, but he's not just some schlob who somehow got a gig writing articles for the NYT.  And, in my observation, McGee tends to be somewhat conservative on food safety issues (e.g., he's the one who called out Ruhlman for claiming reheating stock stored at room temp is sufficient to make it safe).

Cold water in the fridge is the fastest of the proven safe methods. Of course cold water can't defrost faster than warm water or hot water. But they haven't been proven safe so I excluded them.

Like you, I never defrost as I don't buy my meat frozen. I was just putting it out there that cold water in the fridge is one of the fastest of proven safe methods.

I agree with your take on food scientists and sous vide. I myself was hesitant until I found the Sous Vide app and the Baldwin tables. But with rapid thawing in hot water, time is unknown. There IS a risk of over-defrosting which leaves the meat unsafe. With sous vide, you can't over cook - just over-tenderize (which I tested last night with my Anova - chicken breast cooked for 2 hours at 141F is much more palatable than when done for 4.5 hours).

As for McGee, I just know from what I read. And from what I read he took a good study about rapid thawing beef loin and formed conclusions that the authors of the paper wouldn't support. My issue with him is he is sung his expertise in writing to convince others that he is an expert in analyzing scientific studies.

And he IS using his writing to confuse the public. He's done it here by oversimplifying rapid thawing and convincing everyone, without solid evidence, that it's safe for all meats and has no impact on palatability. Proper rapid thawing, as I've described before, MAY be safe if multiple factors are followed and more research was done.

But honestly, you think it's right that he's basing his conclusion on food safety off of just ONE microbiological study? This is enough to completely discredit him to me.

Edited by Ryan Imgrund, 24 January 2014 - 12:39 PM.

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#243 pbear

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 11:17 PM

On reflection, it seems to me this discussion is somewhat afield from the main topic of the thread, which is the Anova circulator.  So I'm going to let it go.  If you or anyone else wants to open a separate thread or take up the subject in the general sous vide thread, I'll do my best to participate


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#244 mol_air

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 04:05 AM

I actually ordered my Anova because of the information on the forum and ordering it is also the reason that I have now joined the forum...

 

The case is that my Anova has just arrived (I'm in The Netherlands) after taking a short holiday in Chicago it seems. However, using it has been challenging in the fact that  it keeps displaying "system: low liquid", no matter what I do.

 

Any suggestions? 

 

No change yet. Lisa from Anova suggested I let the water rest for half an hour before putting the anova in and also asked about the dh of the water im using (which is 8.5dh). She said that sometimes soft water can cause these issues.

 

I really hope I don't have to send it back...besides having waited for it for a long time it's also quite costly to ship and get through customs. Don't want to do that again ;-)



#245 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 09:38 AM

I finally received the ANOVA today after nearly a one month wait.

ANOVA 60.0 °C......ThermoWorks Therma K 60.0 °C

 

:smile:


Edited by DiggingDogFarm, 25 January 2014 - 09:39 AM.

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#246 Ryan Imgrund

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 06:46 PM

I actually ordered my Anova because of the information on the forum and ordering it is also the reason that I have now joined the forum...
 
The case is that my Anova has just arrived (I'm in The Netherlands) after taking a short holiday in Chicago it seems. However, using it has been challenging in the fact that  it keeps displaying "system: low liquid", no matter what I do.
 
Any suggestions?

 
No change yet. Lisa from Anova suggested I let the water rest for half an hour before putting the anova in and also asked about the dh of the water im using (which is 8.5dh). She said that sometimes soft water can cause these issues.
 
I really hope I don't have to send it back...besides having waited for it for a long time it's also quite costly to ship and get through customs. Don't want to do that again ;-)

Earlier, Jeff from Anova stated that water level is detected by their patented low water level electrode sensor. It is pulling charged particles from your water. A few suggestions:
1. You could try ionizing the water by placing a few drops of alkaline water concentrate in it.
2. Try a different container or pot (I don't think this will have an impact though).
3. Add a little bit of salt to the water, which will ionize into sodium and chlorine ions.
4. If all else above fails, try harder water just to see if the type of water really is having an impact on the sensor.

Did any of the above work?
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#247 mol_air

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 06:15 AM

 

 

I actually ordered my Anova because of the information on the forum and ordering it is also the reason that I have now joined the forum...
 
The case is that my Anova has just arrived (I'm in The Netherlands) after taking a short holiday in Chicago it seems. However, using it has been challenging in the fact that  it keeps displaying "system: low liquid", no matter what I do.
 
Any suggestions?

 
No change yet. Lisa from Anova suggested I let the water rest for half an hour before putting the anova in and also asked about the dh of the water im using (which is 8.5dh). She said that sometimes soft water can cause these issues.
 
I really hope I don't have to send it back...besides having waited for it for a long time it's also quite costly to ship and get through customs. Don't want to do that again ;-)

Earlier, Jeff from Anova stated that water level is detected by their patented low water level electrode sensor. It is pulling charged particles from your water. A few suggestions:
1. You could try ionizing the water by placing a few drops of alkaline water concentrate in it.
2. Try a different container or pot (I don't think this will have an impact though).
3. Add a little bit of salt to the water, which will ionize into sodium and chlorine ions.
4. If all else above fails, try harder water just to see if the type of water really is having an impact on the sensor.

Did any of the above work?

 

 

Thank you, Ryan Imgrund for these tips. I have tried adding salt to the container, but this didn't solve the problem. I can't really see why the water I'm using wouldn't be hard enough. It's pretty hard as is....

 

Guess I'll just have to wait for a response from Anova  :sad:


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#248 mol_air

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 06:30 AM

Just received word from Anova. They're sending me a new unit. Quite a bit of service there!



#249 lesliec

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 07:53 PM

Good to hear, Mol-air.  The impression I've gained all along is that they're great on service (not least through Jeff's occasional presence here).

 

Lamb racks courtesy of my Anova last night.  SV is SO kind to lamb!


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#250 bonkboo

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 04:23 PM

Got to work today and was informed that I won the Super Bowl pool. Yay, me! Ordered me up a black Anova. Can't wait.

#251 nwin

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 02:46 PM

I have a problem with my Anova (purchased back in October).  The last few times I've used it, every now and then it will sound like metal banging against metal.  I've never taken the thing apart, but normally turning it off and on again or moving it around a bit will fix it just fine.

 

Well, I cooked some tenderloin for about 5 hours a few days ago at 140F, and the middle was completely raw.  Everything I've seen for tenderloin says about 2-3 hours should be enough for 1-2" thick loin, so I was confused by this.

 

I took out my thermapen and started seeing if it was a calibration issue.  First temp I took was ten degrees shy of what the anova was saying.  Then I started taking the temp in different spots.  Sure enough, at the opposite corner of the cambro, it was off by 30 degrees.

 

Here's a video before I took anything apart. Notice the lack of water movement and the sound at startup (note: the metal on metal sound I have mentioned does not occur in this video)

 http://youtu.be/2Km3rUSygb8

 

I also noticed that the water wasn't moving around as much, so I was wondering if the impeller had gone out on it.  I took it apart and the impeller looked a bit bent almost.  Also, some of the metal probes had a bit of rust on them. Finally, I know my area has hard water, but all the metal on the heating element was scaled a bit.

Here's a pic of how the impeller looks...

 

BfgZZChl.jpg

 

As you can see, it seems a bit off kilter as it were.  I messed around with it and you can see where it has scraped against the metal.  Right now it's working just fine, I've tested it twice and the temp matches perfectly and the water is circulating.  However, i worry that the life of the impeller has been shortened somehow.

 

Anyone experience this before?  Since it has a year long warranty and I'm located in Houston (I think the office is in Stafford, TX...fairly close by), I might try e-mailing them and trading it in before the warranty is up.

 

Second question-the scaling?  Would it be safe to put some white vinegar/water in a cambro and have the Anova run for a bit in that?



#252 SleeperService

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 03:16 PM

first, when you start the anova in your video the first time, you can hear it 'clunk' as the impeller hits the frame, and it's *clearly* not circulating.

 

second, it's normal for the impeller to not be exactly centered in the hole.

 

thirdly, you should disassemble and clean the unit now and then.

 

fourthly, vinegar is fine, or a solution of CLR (recommended in the manual) to clean up the crud.

 

fifthly, the cambro isn't the best container, because the stepped sides cause the anova to push against them, which tends to push the bottom off center, and make it more likely that the impeller will rub (the scraping sounds you've heard, which are not normal.)

 

I suggest either putting a small wedge under the bottom lip of the anova clamp, or using a better container, I like the carlisle 1072407 12 qt, it's got straight sides, front and back, it's cheaper, and the lid is easier to cut a notch in than the cambro.

 

I have one of those cambros, and I took some sugru and made a mounting pad on the side to compensate for the step in the side, then I got the carlisle for my other anova unit, and i like it a lot better.

 


Here's a video before I took anything apart. Notice the lack of water movement and the sound at startup (note: the metal on metal sound I have mentioned does not occur in this video)

 http://youtu.be/2Km3rUSygb8

 

...

As you can see, it seems a bit off kilter as it were.  I messed around with it and you can see where it has scraped against the metal.  Right now it's working just fine, I've tested it twice and the temp matches perfectly and the water is circulating.  However, i worry that the life of the impeller has been shortened somehow.

 

Second question-the scaling?  Would it be safe to put some white vinegar/water in a cambro and have the Anova run for a bit in that?


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#253 nwin

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 03:37 PM

Thanks for the tips!  I've only used it maybe 15 times so far, but I will heed your advice on cleaning it in the future-also I'll pick up some CLR.

 

As for that container, I'll have to see if a local restaurant supply store sells them-every online store wants just as much to ship it as they do to charge for the item itself!  That or I'll try some Sugru like you suggested.

Thanks again! I e-mailed Anova-can't hurt to see what they have to say in re: to the extra wear on the motor.

 

first, when you start the anova in your video the first time, you can hear it 'clunk' as the impeller hits the frame, and it's *clearly* not circulating.

 

second, it's normal for the impeller to not be exactly centered in the hole.

 

thirdly, you should disassemble and clean the unit now and then.

 

fourthly, vinegar is fine, or a solution of CLR (recommended in the manual) to clean up the crud.

 

fifthly, the cambro isn't the best container, because the stepped sides cause the anova to push against them, which tends to push the bottom off center, and make it more likely that the impeller will rub (the scraping sounds you've heard, which are not normal.)

 

I suggest either putting a small wedge under the bottom lip of the anova clamp, or using a better container, I like the carlisle 1072407 12 qt, it's got straight sides, front and back, it's cheaper, and the lid is easier to cut a notch in than the cambro.

 

I have one of those cambros, and I took some sugru and made a mounting pad on the side to compensate for the step in the side, then I got the carlisle for my other anova unit, and i like it a lot better.

 



#254 SleeperService

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 03:45 PM

I got mine at acemart, looks like they've got four houston locations: http://www.acemart.com/store-locator

 

I haven't had my anovas as long as you have, but I've been using them quite a bit, two 24 hour cooks on one so far, and have had both going at once doing different things a few times. XgBgSoj.jpg

 

I also used the red one as a humidifier when it got quite cold up here a couple weeks ago, I put it in one of the 22liter long tubs, and set it on 175, and left the lid off and let it steam.

 

with the crappy water up here in plano (north of dallas) after 24 hours of working the evaporation, I took it apart and toothbrushed crap off the heating coil... by then amazon had delivered a steam vaporizer. :)

 

 

 

Thanks for the tips!  I've only used it maybe 15 times so far, but I will heed your advice on cleaning it in the future-also I'll pick up some CLR.

 

As for that container, I'll have to see if a local restaurant supply store sells them-every online store wants just as much to ship it as they do to charge for the item itself!  That or I'll try some Sugru like you suggested.

Thanks again! I e-mailed Anova-can't hurt to see what they have to say in re: to the extra wear on the motor.

 


 

 


Edited by SleeperService, 08 February 2014 - 03:50 PM.


#255 Barrytm

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 06:10 AM

Nwin. if you have rust on the elements,  take a photo and send it to Anova and ask what they suggest.  I had some rust on the heating tubes, and they told me to send it back, and the replaced it with a new one for me.



#256 SleeperService

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 01:11 PM

discoloration of the two water sensors (the shorter and longer straight rods) is normal, according to a post Jeff from anova made in the first anova thread here, it's a byproduct of the way the unit senses water level.  Essentially they pull ions out of the water as a byproduct of sensing the water level.  just wipe them off.

 

 

Nwin. if you have rust on the elements,  take a photo and send it to Anova and ask what they suggest.  I had some rust on the heating tubes, and they told me to send it back, and the replaced it with a new one for me.



#257 nwin

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:45 PM

Heard back from Anova first thing this morning-They answered my questions and sent me a return label stating that they wanted to make things right.  Pretty great customer service!  Also, sleeper, I stopped by the local acemart today and picked up the Carlisle 12 qt+lid.  The lid was very simple to cut and it seems like it will work great.  Thanks again!



#258 weedy

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:04 AM

Fwiw I use the 12 qt cambro regularly and find it no trouble.

The anova unit clamps in just fine and looks vertical in the water (or damned near enough) and nothing 'rubs'.

#259 SleeperService

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:15 AM

is there clearance between the unit and the back wall, or is it resting against the back wall?  in the carlisle, there's clearance, so the water flow is (presumably) better.

 

plus the carlisle is cheaper, and the lid is easier to notch out to fit.  but, it's not worth throwing a cambro away for.


Edited by SleeperService, 11 February 2014 - 11:16 AM.


#260 weedy

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:09 PM

I'm not dissing the Carlisle (which I've not tried), just saying the criticism of the Cambro is, in my view, way overstated



#261 SleeperService

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:11 PM

I've got both, I expressed my opinion that the cheaper one is better. 



#262 weedy

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 10:22 PM

Yes, I understand.

 

I was responding more to the few posts that said the 12qt Cambro "doesn't work"... very different than "I prefer..."

 

 

interestingly, I notice that the Anova is back on amazon.com, but at $349, even though it's still $199 on Anova's own site.

 

wonder why


Edited by weedy, 15 February 2014 - 10:23 PM.


#263 Adam George

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 08:27 AM

Anova is the Pappy Van Winkle of kitchen equipment.
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#264 scubadoo97

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 10:21 AM

Anova is the Pappy Van Winkle of kitchen equipment

Funny.  Maybe soon I can resale my Anova for  5X what I paid for it.



#265 SleeperService

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 11:33 AM

 

 

interestingly, I notice that the Anova is back on amazon.com, but at $349, even though it's still $199 on Anova's own site.

 

wonder why

 

because anybody can put anything on amazon for any price, just like on ebay, check the buying options: someone just trying to cash in.



#266 SleeperService

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 11:39 AM

 

 

I was responding more to the few posts that said the 12qt Cambro "doesn't work"... very different than "I prefer..."

 

the cambro "doesn't work as well..." as the carlisle.  I've got both and use both.

 

to summarize again:

  • the carlisle is less expensive than the cambro.
  • the carlisle has straight front and back sides which gives more clearance for the anova so it doesn't press against the back of the container, and might give slightly better waterflow by not having some of the inlets blocked by the back wall.
  • the carlisle has an easier to trim lid so that you can make a nice notch to fit the anova.

in my opinion ;)



#267 weedy

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 03:03 PM

 

 

 

interestingly, I notice that the Anova is back on amazon.com, but at $349, even though it's still $199 on Anova's own site.

 

wonder why

 

because anybody can put anything on amazon for any price, just like on ebay, check the buying options: someone just trying to cash in.

 

no, the 'seller' is listed as Anova... not a third party

 

I bought mine via Amazon, at the $199, months ago



#268 weedy

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 03:05 PM

 

 

 

I was responding more to the few posts that said the 12qt Cambro "doesn't work"... very different than "I prefer..."

 

the cambro "doesn't work as well..." as the carlisle.  I've got both and use both.

 

to summarize again:

  • the carlisle is less expensive than the cambro.
  • the carlisle has straight front and back sides which gives more clearance for the anova so it doesn't press against the back of the container, and might give slightly better waterflow by not having some of the inlets blocked by the back wall.
  • the carlisle has an easier to trim lid so that you can make a nice notch to fit the anova.

in my opinion ;)

 

 

I think we've covered this,

 

you clearly prefer the carlisle.

maybe it's even 'better' objectively, beyond just your opinion.

 

that's not the same as some other people saying "don't get the cambro because it doesn't work with the Anova'

 

it does.

that's all

 

 

mine's in the kitchen working right now <g>


Edited by weedy, 16 February 2014 - 03:06 PM.


#269 SleeperService

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 03:42 PM

 

 

 

 

interestingly, I notice that the Anova is back on amazon.com, but at $349, even though it's still $199 on Anova's own site.

 

wonder why

 

because anybody can put anything on amazon for any price, just like on ebay, check the buying options: someone just trying to cash in.

 

no, the 'seller' is listed as Anova... not a third party

 

I bought mine via Amazon, at the $199, months ago

 

er, no, the main listing says "by anova", then "available from these sellers: http://smile.amazon....&qid=1392590341  and when you click on it, you see that christophermbruno is offering one for 349.99, and sifa is offering one for 450.



#270 weedy

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 09:38 PM

I stand corrected... interesting again

I bought mine, through Amazon, but directly sold from Anova

 

I did notice it was unavailable on Amazon after a while, so maybe they stopped selling through them


Edited by weedy, 16 February 2014 - 09:39 PM.






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