My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: US$169 Anova Precision Cooker is the Sous-Vide Immersion Cooker for the Masses

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

US$169 Anova Precision Cooker is the Sous-Vide Immersion Cooker for the Masses

If you like to Vacuum-seal your food to makes the herbs and spices seep better into the meat as described in my blog article entitled “IndieGogo funded Vacuvita makes Vacuum Sealing Food Easy - How We Can’t Stop, Miley Cyrus Style Eating Organic Food as it last longer”, then you’re gonna love this story, as it just as succulent sweet! 

Introducing the US$169 Anova Precision Cooker, the Sous-Vide Cooker that’s Apple iPhone Controlled as described in “Anova Updates Their Sous-Vide Device for the Smartphone-Toting Cook”, published May 7, 2014 by John Biggs, TechCrunch

It has had quite a fundraising round, having raised an amazing US$400,000 within its first 24 hours, attracting some 3,000 backers as stated in “ANOVA’S NEW PRECISION COOKER JUST RAISED OVER $400K IN ITS FIRST DAY ON KICKSTARTER”, published May 6, 2014 By Drew Prindle, DigitalTrends.

The Anova Precision Cooker kickstarter round has bested the mark set by the Kickstarter campaign for the US$300 M3D Micro 3D Printer as described in my blog article entitled “US$300 M3D Micro 3D Printer for the Masses coming in March 2015 – HP may rise to challenge this Kickstarter to the Iron 3D Printing Throne”. With an end set to the funding round of Tuesday, June 17 2014 12:45 PM PDT and a product launch slated for October 2014, the Anova Precision Cooker is already cooking up a storm online!

Sous-Vide, which is French for “under vacuum”, is a  method of cooking seasoned meat or any food for that matter in boiling water vacuum-sealed in a plastic container at a precise temperature, is all the rage right now.  Sous-Vide is the latest technique developed by Chefs to produce tender yet rare meat and other foods that isn’t spoiled by losing it nutrients or volume to Water or Oil it’s usually cooked in.

All the seasoning is sealed in, the secret of course being in the fact that only the heat from the water cooks the food that vacuum-sealed into the bag! Sorta reminds me of using a Water Bath to gently heat Volatile Organic compounds during my Organic Chemistry Classes. Thus the advantages, as well as the specs for the Sous-Vide immersion cooker are as laid out on their Anova Precision Cooker Kickstarter page:

1.      Consistency due to the very precise cooking temperature and times
2.      Taste, with the foods being moist and tender and not burnt
3.      Waste reduction, with foods losing none of their mass, as it's not cooked with direct heat
4.      Overcooking risk reduced, due to the precisely controlled cooking temperatures and times which makes food is never overcooked

But most Sous-Vide equiptment is priced usually in the US$299 to US$399 range, making the new and improved US$169 Anova Precision Cooker a steal, Kickstarter Style as pointed out in the article “Anova makes smart sous vide cooking affordable”, published May 7, 2014 12:52 PM PDT, CNET Reviews!

Anova Precision Cooker – Sous-Vide for the Regular At-home Chef

This device is an upgrade to the previous Anova Sous-Vide Cooker introduced last year in September 2013 as stated in “Equipment: We Test the $199 Sous-Vide Circulator From Anova”, published SEP 24, 2013 by J. Kenji López-Alt, Serious Eats.

This time around, Anova Culinary, makers of the Anova Precision Cooker, have decided to kickstart their product and in the process upgrade it for the 21st Century with an App for the Apple iPhone that allows it to be remotely controlled as described on their Anova Precision Cooker Kickstarter Page.

The US$169 Anova Precision Cooker is much improved, as aside from the low price, it has been fitted with the following adjustments that have annoyed lovers of Sous-Vide and the previous Anova Sous-Vide Cooker as stated in “The New Anova Precision Cooker Promises to Be the Best, Most Cost-Effective Sous-Vide Solution on the Market”, published May 6, 2014 9:00 AM by J. Kenji López-Alt, Serious Eats:

1.      Removal of the Touch-Screen from the older model replaced with a LED Dial showing Cooking time and Temperature
2.      A dedicated Apple iPhone App that allows the chef to control the time and temperature of the Sous-Vide via Bluetooth
3.      Three Buttons on the new Anova Precision Cooker; a Power Button, a Timer Button and a Scroll-wheel button to make adjustments
4.      Adjustable Clamp, allowing the Anova Precision Cooker to be used with any pot with any amount of water
5.      Preset cooking times and Temperatures for virtually every meal with updates available for the App

These changes, albeit minor, have basically kicked the Anova Precision Cooker into the Internet of Things along with the Refrigerators that can be commandeered to launch a botnet attack as state in my blog article entitled Proofpoint says Refridgerator hacked and used to send Spam email - Internet of Things Terminator 3 Rise of the Machines for hacker's DDOS and Spambots”.

Sous-Vide Remote Cooking – Internet of Things Immersion Cooking like the George Foreman Grill

Yes, I must admit I’m not so crazy about an Anancy Calabash Pot that can cook by itself, Jamaican West Indian Folk Stories style. Worse, it has preset menus with little you can adjust and change, making it more like the George Foreman Grill than an adjustable cooking utensil as stated in “You Can Control Anova's New Precision Sous-Vide Cooker With Your Phone”, published Tuesday May 6th 2014, Gizmodo.

To be honest it’s not totally controlled by the Anova Precision Cooker App on your Apple iPhone. You can manually adjust the cooking temperatures and times on the Anova Precision Cooker using the Timer Button and a Scroll-wheel button, just not via the app. Still not pleased that this is made for the Apple iPhone crowd, albeit Google Android peeps, being so cheap, may not want be in the pay bracket that loves fine culinary cuisine prepared in a way only the French could have cooked up!

I’m also a bit disappointed at the fact that it’s not possibly to remotely control the Anova Precision Cooker via Wi-Fi, making it possible to put stuff in a pot and cook it remotely, as in while I’m in the Supermarket. Then again, you have to vacuum-seal the food with the herbs and spices or pre-seasoned and then place it on the pot, suggesting that the Anova Precision Cooker still needs you to be at least within 100m as it controlled via Bluetooth.

Still the Anova Precision Cooker is a genius way to cook food. I especially love the fact that all the temperatures and Times are preloaded, making it completely unnecessary for the Apple iPhone user to have to go online to research, a value unlike the more expensive Sous-Vide Immersions Cookers out there.

So it’s simple! Vacuum season your meats and veggies with the VacuVita Vacuum Food Sealer, place it in a zip-lock bag and then Sous-Vide it with the US$169 Anova Precision Cooker. And all you need is an Apple iPhone…for now! Bon Appetite, Apple Fans!

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