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Anova Jeff

Anova Sous Vide Circulator (Part 2)

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The Anova bottoms out at 25C

Well, 1.2 is more than the listed accuracy window. And the thermapen registers a perfect 32 F when I follow the calibration steps they recommend (crushed ice with cold water to cover, stick in the pen and stir, etc.)

I guess another possible test would be to set it to 99 C and see if the water boils (shouldn't).

I haven't tried setting my anova to lower than 32f, and seeing what it reads in an ice bath, I don't even know if it can be set that low.

might have to try that. I know I can set it to 60f and just use it to stir up the water.

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@ Tasunder

See the last lines of the manual « Cover your tank...........................is an uncovered tank » on the last page.

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Just to jump in on the defrosting conversation... It is NOT safe to use the Anova as a defrosting tool. The Anova can only heat water, not cool it.

The fastest and best way to defrost is to place the meat in an airtight bag and place it in an ice water bath inside the fridge. The ice ensures that the water begins at a temperature NOT in the danger zone. The fridge ensures that the water temperature moves to a temperature still out of the danger zone. Therefore, no portion of your meat will ever be at an unsafe temperature.

Harold McGee seems to think otherwise:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/08/dining/a-hot-water-bath-for-thawing-meats-the-curious-cook.html?_r=1&
It's a good method if you've run out of time, you're cooking your meat sous vide, you don't need your meal done by a specific time AND you intend on cooking the meat immediately upon defrosting.

If you have time, the ice water in a fridge will ensure a relatively quick but even defrost - important if not cooking your meat sous vide.

Faster? Definitely.

Safe? Yes, if the water is at the right temperature, constantly circulating and the meat is cooked immediately upon defrosting (unless you're certain the meat is above 32F and less than 45F).

Overall, too many ifs for it to be the best method.


Edited by Ryan Imgrund (log)

Ryan Imgrund

Food Lover and Published Foodborne Pathogen Expert

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You can recalibrate the Anova by hitting the top right corner when you turn it on, there is a +/- sign on the latest firmware version. You can calibrate it to your thermapen.


“...no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”

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Overall, too many ifs for it to be the best method.

I disagree.

and apparently so does McGee

anything I WOULD freeze can be brought to temp Sous Vide and finished on another heat method if necessary... plus it's quick enough that there is no REASON to defrost before ready to cook.

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Cooking from frozen is a well-documented (and safe) technique for sous vide water baths. It's acceptable to both cook raw frozen proteins and to retherm frozen but cooked items to serving temperatures. If you don't want to use a circulator, most cuts of meat (except for large cuts) can be thawed in a cold water bath in an hour or two -- no need for ice water. But even roasts will dethaw relatively quickly in cold water; the thermal conductivity of water is much higher in water than in air, so keeping a vacuum sealed cut of meat in a water bath in the fridge is the fastest way of thawing it without cooking.

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What does McGee suggest?

"At the U.S.D.A. labs in Beltsville, Md., Janet S. Eastridge and Brian C. Bowker test-thawed more than 200 one-inch-thick beef strip loin steaks in three different groups: some in a refrigerator at 37 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, some in a constantly circulating water bath at 68 degrees, and some in a water bath at 102 degrees.

Air-thawing in the refrigerator took 18 to 20 hours, while the room-temperature water bath thawed the steaks in about 20 minutes, and the hot-summer-day bath in 11 minutes. These water-bath times are so short that any bacterial growth would remain within safe limits."

Much appreciated.

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Overall, too many ifs for it to be the best method.

I disagree.

and apparently so does McGee

anything I WOULD freeze can be brought to temp Sous Vide and finished on another heat method if necessary... plus it's quick enough that there is no REASON to defrost before ready to cook.

McGee's background is English Lit. His formal training is in writing not interpreting scientific results.

McGee is basing his opinion off of ONE research study that has never been replicated. I say one, because the second study he referred to looked only at taste and a mathematical model saying that the chicken would hypothetically have less bacteria when thawed this way compared to being left on a counter for four hours.

Duh.

If you read the main article he is referring to, not just the abstract or his unscientific interpretation, the authors only concluded that rapid thawing is safe for small cuts of intact beef loin. Where did he get all these other meats from???

For him to extrapolate the results of a rapid beef thaw study to other meats is irresponsible. E. coli, Capylobacter, etc., do NOT act the same way when exposed to different temperatures. The fact McGee thinks so exudes scientific negligence.

In terms of taste, more than one study has shown that rapid thawing by >9C water immersion DOES impact quality. One such study found pork refrigerator thawing was superior to 9C water thawing and 14C water thawing when it comes to quality of the meat. Another study found the same thing in carp.

McGee apparently tried this rapid thawing technique with salmon, but made no mention of the temperature or water circulating speed. Did you know that according to UN's FAO, fish should only be rapidly thawed if they are whole? It should never be done on fillets. Also, fish should be thawed at a temperature not exceeding 18C with water travelling at least 5 mm/s.

And isn't it funny how he fails to mention the biggest flaw of rapid thawing? Uneven temperature distribution in the 'defrosted' meat. Not a cook's best friend. Guess it didn't fit his paradigm.

At the end of his article, McGee makes reference to five factors that affect thawing time and thus could lead to premature cooking or unsafe bacteria levels.

How many factors do you have to consider in fridge water immersion thawing? None. Just put a little planning into your meals.

Please understand: I come at this from the perspective of a foodborne pathogen expert. McGee is not one, despite how he tries to convey otherwise. I wouldn't even call him a science writer. He is a writer dabbling in interpreting scientific research papers. And doing a poor job at that.

Anyway, I agree completely with your second point though - if you're cooking sous vide anyway, why defrost? It's truly an unnecessary step.


Ryan Imgrund

Food Lover and Published Foodborne Pathogen Expert

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Re pathogens, it is pretty normal to be obsessed with the issue in a commercial situation. If only for legal reasons.

As for us, we have hesitated for a very long time to make our own cheeses because of that so-called pathogens issue.

But we are just clean and never had any problem. By the way, pathogens are all over the place, so the real issue is "how fit is your immune system".

In contrast, from what I can gather, making your charcuteries involves a serious danger because of the claustridium (unless you are equipped with a colloidal silver maker, that is). After saying that, I made a salted duck breast and I am live and kicking.

Food for thought.

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Please understand: I come at this from the perspective of a foodborne pathogen expert. McGee is not one, despite how he tries to convey otherwise. I wouldn't even call him a science writer. He is a writer dabbling in interpreting scientific research papers. And doing a poor job at that.

1) your soapboxing has nothing to do with the anova, and very little with sous vide in general.

2) you apparently won't be happy until everybody is prepping food in a walkin and the food never spends any time between 9c and 55c for safety reasons, though how you're going to get it past that terrible pathogen divide, I don't know.

3) you say you're coming from the perspective of an expert, what is your PhD in?

4) please explain how taking something from frozen to workable temp in 20 minutes in any way violates acceptable safe food handling practices?

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You can recalibrate the Anova by hitting the top right corner when you turn it on, there is a +/- sign on the latest firmware version. You can calibrate it to your thermapen.

Thanks. Anova also suggested this, but I'm at a loss as to what to set it to since the temperature variance differs depending on the temperature the Anova is set to. I guess I'm inclined to set it to a small amount of correction since I don't want to undercook things.

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Calibrate at the most common operating temperature.


~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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Please understand: I come at this from the perspective of a foodborne pathogen expert. McGee is not one, despite how he tries to convey otherwise. I wouldn't even call him a science writer. He is a writer dabbling in interpreting scientific research papers. And doing a poor job at that.

1) your soapboxing has nothing to do with the anova, and very little with sous vide in general.

2) you apparently won't be happy until everybody is prepping food in a walkin and the food never spends any time between 9c and 55c for safety reasons, though how you're going to get it past that terrible pathogen divide, I don't know.

3) you say you're coming from the perspective of an expert, what is your PhD in?

4) please explain how taking something from frozen to workable temp in 20 minutes in any way violates acceptable safe food handling practices?

The defrosting via circulating water immersion is an Anova issue.

As for pathogens, I eat my salmon at 113F, order my steak rare and sous vide my chicken to 135F. I encourage safe scientifically-proven practices. A food safety article by an English afficianado with an English Lit PhD wrongly interpreting one scientific study is not sound advice.

Bringing frozen food to a workable temp in 20 minutes is okay DEPENDING on what that temp is, what the meat is, what is done with the meat afterwards, etc. You're making the same simplifications as McGee and falsely extrapolating what is safe for beef is safe for other cuts of meat. I'm not saying he's incorrect. I'm saying I encourage further research into the area.

And my expertise? PubMed my name and you'll see it's in Campylobacter with the Public Health Agency of Canada, in the Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses.


Edited by Ryan Imgrund (log)

Ryan Imgrund

Food Lover and Published Foodborne Pathogen Expert

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Anyway, I agree completely with your second point though - if you're cooking sous vide anyway, why defrost? It's truly an unnecessary step.

to me that remains the bottom line.

I'm not looking to ADD a pointless (techy) step.

the few things I will freeze go right into the bath to cook when I'm ready.

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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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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 (log)

Ryan Imgrund

Food Lover and Published Foodborne Pathogen Expert

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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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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 ;-)

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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 (log)

~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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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?


Ryan Imgrund

Food Lover and Published Foodborne Pathogen Expert

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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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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!

  • Like 1

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

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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.

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      More than any other single thing, Ferran Adria is known for the use of “foams” in cooking. While he is proud of his achievements with foams, he stressed that while appropriate in some circumstances, the real utility of foams is limited. He bemoans their ubiquity -- and wishes to not be blamed for others’ poor deployment of the concept. In the course of describing this and other techniques, Adria made a point of stating that using them should not be inferred as copying. Techniques and concepts are to be used and shared. He invited everyone to learn and harness whatever they found interesting, and to employ it in to their own pursuits.

      Another set of techniques discussed and demonstrated by the master and his assistant, Rafa Morales from Hacienda Benazuza, included three types of spherification. These included the use of calcium chloride (CaCl) and sodium alginate as well as the converse, and exploration of a new agent, gluconodeltalactone. The original combinations of alginate into CaCl for “caviar” production, and CaCl into alginate for larger “spheres” have chemistry-related limits as to what can be sphericized. In private correspondence, Harold McGee explained to me that Adria described encapsulating a mussel in its own juice. While this would make the dish technically an aspic, unlike conventional aspics it remains a liquid. Adria said that though gluconodeltalactone is very new, and they are just beginning to get a handle on it, he is very excited by it. He also demonstrated a machine for spherification on a larger scale than they had originally been able to do, as well as liquid nitrogen and freeze-drying (lyophilization) techniques. At the conclusion of his demonstration -- and thus the Conference -- the audience once again awarded him a standing ovation.

      While Adria’s appearance was the culmination of the conference, the energy it produced was not just because of his stature in the world of gastronomy -- it was also due to the excitement generated by the conference that preceded it. If there had previously been any doubt, Thomas Keller’s welcome of Adria was a clarion: Spanish cuisine has landed on North American shores and is finding a niche in the North American psyche. Spanish cuisine -- in its multifaceted, delicious entirety -- lives here, too.

      + + + + +

      John M. Sconzo, M.D., aka docsconz, is an anesthesiologist practicing in upstate New York. He grew up in Brooklyn in an Italian-American home, in which food was an important component of family life. It still is. His passions include good food, wine and travel. John's gastronomic interests in upstate northeastern New York involve finding top-notch local producers of ingredients and those who use them well. A dedicated amateur, John has no plans to ditch his current career for one in the food industry. Host, New York.
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