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Anova Sous Vide Circulator (Part 2)


Anova Jeff
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The stainless rack is my favourite thing about the SVS. It's pretty cleverly designed to sit in several different orientations with various bag arrangements. I almost always use my IC for sous vide now, but I still use the SVS rack with it, and I'd love to get another one. It makes a lot more sense to have a bag sitting on a fixed rack with lots of clearance than flapping around randomly on the bottom of a big bath.

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I have noticed this but given the long cooking times it really doesn't seem to have any impact other than violating my sense of symmetry.  It seems to go away if you reorient the water stream.  I am cooking in a square cambro with the unit mounted in the corner and if the outlet slot is oriented to shoot out along one of the two adjacent walls (i.e the flow is along the walls of the container) things seem to float in the middle.  At least that's been my experience.

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Not speaking to Wifey at the moment.  She set out to make some cheese, using my Anova which worked so well last time.  Problem is, she put straight it into the milk ... 'Why does it smell burnt?"

 

It remains to be seen if the Anova has survived the experiment.  It's currently soaking in water and white vinegar.

 

I do not recommend doing this.

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Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
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After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

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All's well - the Anova's thermal cutout clearly works and it lives to cook another day, albeit with somewhat blackened nether regions.

Marital harmony is (almost) restored.

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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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My first Anova IC was a lemon. Bought it November 2013 and joyfully unboxed it and set it up with a 12 litre polycarbonate container for some 36hr pulled pork ala Modernist Cuisine to find within an hour the unit was cutting out and resetting itself without any indication from an alarm that this had happened. Restarted it and the same happened again and again. Luckily Anova sent me a new one to the UK free of charge and marked as a gift so no taxes to pay this end. The second unit has behaved itself so far and love it. I've tinkered with the first one but haven't as yet got to the cause of the problem although it might be moisture getting into the unit through incomplete sealing of the lower half of the unit. Refitting the main circuit breaker worked for a while but it's back to it's old tricks. Anyone else had the same problem? Amazon US shows one other with the same problem ( check 1 star review ).

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All's well - the Anova's thermal cutout clearly works and it lives to cook another day, albeit with somewhat blackened nether regions.

Marital harmony is (almost) restored.

A new Anova is much cheaper than a lawyer...

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As I'm in the process of developing new equipment with our team, I'd just like get the pulse of everyone in this forum about our usage of LCDs:

 

 

1) What do you really feel about the use of LCDs in our equipment? 

 

2) Do you have preference for LCD display features or LED longevity or care more about overall design? 

 

3) Do you think LCD screens out of place in a kitchen environment or on sous vide equipment?

Jeff Wu

Senior Engineer

Anova Culinary LLC

BBQ Fanatic, Organic Gardener, Organic Grape Grower

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1) I don't have a problem with it, they certainly can give more information than a single led display like the sansaire.

 

2) I don't have any data on the longevity of lcds, my main problem with lcd failures has been the backlight, and using a LED backlight will solve that problem.

 

3) lcd screens are not out of place, no. anybody that says so is probably hankering for a big metal knob that just says "low-medium-hot"

 


1) What do you really feel about the use of LCDs in our equipment? 

 

2) Do you have preference for LCD display features or LED longevity or care more about overall design? 

 

3) Do you think LCD screens out of place in a kitchen environment or on sous vide equipment?

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As I'm in the process of developing new equipment with our team, I'd just like get the pulse of everyone in this forum about our usage of LCDs:

 

 

1) What do you really feel about the use of LCDs in our equipment? 

 

2) Do you have preference for LCD display features or LED longevity or care more about overall design? 

 

3) Do you think LCD screens out of place in a kitchen environment or on sous vide equipment?

 

I do like the screen and the visual aspect of choosing the time/temp. It makes it easy to pick and see the large numbers. Saying this, I think the LCD screen is under utilized and can have much more potential, such as storing pre-set cooking times/temps, etc. Something like Sousvide Dash app built in, with the ability of editing/adding info would be fantastic.

 

If the idea is to just to show Temp/Time, then a LED display would be just as good.

 

Side note, would be great to have the min/max water level markers on the skirt a little easier to see, I've been tempted to use a permanent black marker.

 

Hope that helps...

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Side note, would be great to have the min/max water level markers on the skirt a little easier to see, I've been tempted to use a permanent black marker.

 

I agree completely, I've been thinking about, (but haven't gotten around to, quite yet) using this http://imgur.com/a/dCvS5 method to etch a line around the skirt so that it's easy to see where the min/max is, the markings on there are a bit too subtle for me.

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I do like the screen and the visual aspect of choosing the time/temp. It makes it easy to pick and see the large numbers. Saying this, I think the LCD screen is under utilized and can have much more potential, such as storing pre-set cooking times/temps, etc. Something like Sousvide Dash app built in, with the ability of editing/adding info would be fantastic.

 

If the idea is to just to show Temp/Time, then a LED display would be just as good.

 

Side note, would be great to have the min/max water level markers on the skirt a little easier to see, I've been tempted to use a permanent black marker.

 

Hope that helps...

Must agree that min/max marks need to be made more clearly visible.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Hi Jeff,

 

I've purchased two Anovas in three months, so obviously I think you guys are doing something right. I previously built my own DIY one based on instructables and the heating element crapped out on me fairly quickly (whether unlucky or otherwise) so I am a bit wary of all ICs for unfair reasons. That is to say, even though it's actually a fairly non-complex piece of machinery, I do not trust that ICs will last very long. This is my own bias, so adjust my opinions accordingly. Here are my opinions of the Anova IC in general, and your questions in particular:

 

1) The LCD has been fairly easy to use, overall. That said, it was one my hesitations initially. Obviously not your fault, but color touchscreens sort of scream to me "whiz-bang consumer gadget", the sort of feature to attract unknowing consumers. That is my initial reaction, and my second reaction is that it will be the first part to fail. (I've read the things you've written about resistive touch screens, and my smartphone certainly hasn't failed yet despite a ton of use, but still....)

 

2) I think I care more about design and ease of use, actually. I've resigned myself that the IC will probably fail at some point, but if I get solid use out of it before that happens, I'd be pretty happy. That is to say, if the touchscreen DOES fail in 3 years, then I won't really care. Because maybe the impeller or the heating unit or whatever else will fail, too. For $200, I'm very happy to buy a new one every couple years (and i'm sure the technology/manufacturing process will improve and/or the prices will drop in the future). I really went back and forth between the Anova and the Sansaire, because the Sansaire has a good-looking, simple design that seemed to allow for a quick adjustment and had all the information I would need. I've never used a sansaire, however, and was happy with how the Anova's performed so I decided to get a second Anova. Maybe for my third, I might see how the sansaire works.

 

3) I don't think touchscreens are out of place. That said, I am a tinkerer and a gadget hound, and things like that don't scare me. I would imagine most IC purchasers right now are like me, and happy to deal with some complexity that perhaps my mother would not be willing to do. If touchscreens were in kitchen appliances for my mother, I think they need a really simple interface; perhaps slightly simpler than the current one.. 

 

All that said, since there IS a color touchscreen and since I believe most current purchasers are gadget and tech-savvy like me, I think you've missed out on a bunch of really neat things you could've done with the touchscreen. For example, if the unit were user upgradeable (firmware upgrades don't scare me, or anyone on this forum for example), that would be a huge plus. A simplified interface would make that impossible, but the touchscreen and computer in the Anova seems to make that possible. One feature I would love, for example, is if instead of the countdown timer, there was an option to just have the a timer that counted up -- something that simply told me how long the current bath has been running at the current temperature.  This could be an easy firmware-type thing, but as it is, there is no way for me to do something like that myself if the feature were ever implemented in the future. Built-in or user-stored  presets (chicken, steak, etc. and/or rare, medium, etc) would be another obvious use for the screen. 

 

But anyway, I think ICs are still in their infancy, and the target-market for them are changing, so it really depends. The Sous Vide Supreme, for example, which is all self-contained, I think would be something I would buy my mother and smoething like that necessitates a simpler, easier interface. Something like the Anova IC, where I need to find my own heating vessel, create a makeshift cover, etc., I think can get away with something that was a bit less simple. If you created a profesisonal/consumer line, then I would suggest you also sell a container with cover and right cutouts (easy profit!) for the consumer line, as the DIY-ness of the current solutions just means you'll never reach some poeple.

 

Anyway, love the unit. In the end, I jsut want it to be accurate and to cook. 10 seconds to set the temp vs 2 seconds means nothing to me. So for me, personally, I don't care either way. But as I've said above, they do give me initial impressions that I haven't let go of yet...

 

Andy

 

 

 

As I'm in the process of developing new equipment with our team, I'd just like get the pulse of everyone in this forum about our usage of LCDs:

 

 

1) What do you really feel about the use of LCDs in our equipment? 

 

2) Do you have preference for LCD display features or LED longevity or care more about overall design? 

 

3) Do you think LCD screens out of place in a kitchen environment or on sous vide equipment?

Edited by kindofgreat (log)
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As I'm in the process of developing new equipment with our team, I'd just like get the pulse of everyone in this forum about our usage of LCDs:

 

 

1) What do you really feel about the use of LCDs in our equipment? 

 

2) Do you have preference for LCD display features or LED longevity or care more about overall design? 

 

3) Do you think LCD screens out of place in a kitchen environment or on sous vide equipment?

I'm not a fan of LCDs here.

They seem fragile...may not actually be. Water resistance issues?

LEDs look cooler. Not a small issue.

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As I'm in the process of developing new equipment with our team, I'd just like get the pulse of everyone in this forum about our usage of LCDs:

 

 

1) What do you really feel about the use of LCDs in our equipment? 

 

2) Do you have preference for LCD display features or LED longevity or care more about overall design? 

 

3) Do you think LCD screens out of place in a kitchen environment or on sous vide equipment?

 

I love the Anova screen and interface.  I am a bit surprised the screen is LCD, I would have guessed it was OLED.  Touch screens are great for the kitchen because there are no buttons in which food can get stuck.  For example one purchase I am planning is a digital scale with a touch screen interface.

 

To add to what others have suggested for the circulator, please make the water markings more legible.  After a while you get used to where the markings are even if you can't see them.  But it would be nice to see them.

 

And I'd like for your company to offer a straight sided insulated container (or series of containers) that would accept hotel pans and also have a provision for holding an iSi.  I know that there are eGullet people making cheese with their Anovas and my project is to try to use it for preparing ice cream base.  (I wrote you about this last year.)

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The only thing I don't like about the screen is it going black. I wish it would stay on all the time.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, 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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Welcome back, Jeff - haven't seen you here for a while.

 

All I can do is echo many of the comments above.  I really like the look/feel of the current screen; I think its simplicity is one of the Anova's real strengths, particularly for people new to SV.  However, additional functionality, like kindofgreat's suggestion of a count-up timer or DiggingDogFarm's of an option to keep the screen on would certainly be useful.  Maybe extra features could be on a second 'Advanced' screen, accessed from the basic one.  I don't have a view on LCD vs LED; just so whatever it is works.

 

As a non-US user, user-upgradeable firmware would be a big thing for me.  I'd be more likely to forego new features (then grumble about it!) than be without my Anova for the time it would take to go to the factory for an upgrade then back to me.  I don't have any concerns about it passing through Customs multiple times, but I recall some of the earlier discussion mentioning being hit with taxes/duties when the product crossed county borders.

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

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

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While I like the touchscreen - I also like the look of the LED screen on the newer one.  And I assume with the LED screen that it wouldn't shut off.  I do like the idea of the display being readable all the time.  

 

Also like the idea of the potential longer life of the LED screen.  

 

However don't feel that LCD screen is out of place in a kitchen.  

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While I like the touchscreen - I also like the look of the LED screen on the newer one.  And I assume with the LED screen that it wouldn't shut off.  I do like the idea of the display being readable all the time.  

 

Also like the idea of the potential longer life of the LED screen.  

 

However don't feel that LCD screen is out of place in a kitchen.  

 

Kerry, by "newer one" do you mean the unit you mentioned being beta tested?  Any chance of a picture?  (Twiddling my thumbs and eating peanuts for another two hours till my 72 hour short ribs are done.)

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You will be among the first to know...that is if I feel like dinner after all these mai tais and peanuts.

 

I forgot to mention for Jeff's benefit that so far I have not used the Anova timer.  I am quite happy with my stand alone external LCD timer, and the display stays on all the time.  Even if it goes up only to 99 hours.

 

Twenty four minutes fourteen seconds to go.

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I like the LCD screen and I love that it's touch screen (no buttons, so: no moving parts, no leak points)

 

I don't find the Sansaire LED display anywhere near as easy to read, for example.

 

More info = better

 

I agree that a 'count UP' timer option would be nice... as would a loud alarm.

 

As far as the durability of the LCD screen... I'm not going to assume ahead of time it's a problem.

 

I will agree that I'd probably rather the screen stay on, but a quick touch to view it is really not that big a deal.

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