Review: Anova Nano sous vide stick is a great iPhone-connected cooking gadget

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 7
The Anova Precision Cooker Nano is a fun, techy, and precise way took cook everything from creme brulee to steaks with your iPhone as your sous chef.

Anova Precision Nano sous-vide cooker
Anova Precision Nano iPhone-connected sous-vide cooker

Sous-vide?

Sous-vide for the uninitiated, is a style of cooking where the food is immersed in a very precisely controlled water bath for between one and seven hours. The food is put into a vacuum-sealed bag, with its name being the french for "under vacuum."

The logic behind it is when a piece of meat is tossed on a grill or other high heat, by the time the dead center is cooked to the temperature you want, much of the rest is overcooked.

Two same-size steaks cooked sous-vide (left) versus grilled (right)


When a steak is cooked sous-vide, the entire steak will be a perfect 135-degrees from edge to edge. It can then be very quickly seared off in a flaming hot pan just to give the outside a char, as usually meat emerges from the water bath without the dark brown exterior, and relatively unappetizing without the extra step.

Other items, such as fish or creme brulee, can be difficult to cook on their own, while techniques like tempering chocolate can be tricky for the home cook. Sous-vide makes them all more approachable.

A steak cooked sous-vide is mid-rare in its entirety with a charred exterior
A steak cooked sous-vide is mid-rare in its entirety with a charred exterior


Previously, it used to be quite cost prohibitive for the amateur chef, but companies -- such as Anova -- have pioneered bringing it the technique to the domestic kitchen.

A newer iteration

The original Anova Precision Cooker versus the new Precision Cooker and Precision Cooker Nano
The original Anova Precision Cooker versus the new Precision Cooker and Precision Cooker Nano



The original Anova precision sous-vide machine was pricier and larger than the Nano, which has improved on both drastically. Nano is finally small enough to easily fit into a kitchen drawer without taking up much space.

Also, since we originally used the initial Anova machine, the app has improved significantly, making it much easier to use and having a more modern appearance.

Anova has recently taken the wraps off a new high-end machine, designed for professional kitchens, but the Nano is squarely focused on the entry-level market.

Getting started

Controls and display of the Anova Precision Nano
Controls and display of the Anova Precision Nano


The Anova Precision Nano is a pretty simple device. It plugs into a power outlet, then clips right to the side of a pot or other large temperature-approved container. It often is used with a metal stock pot, though more insulated options are out there.

Clamp on the Anova Precision Nano
Clamp on the Anova Precision Nano


A slight line on the front identifies the maximum amount of water that can be in the container and a blue LED identifies its power state. Controls consist of a trio of touch-sensitive buttons that reside just below the display which provides the current and target temperature.

Needless to say, this can also be controlled via your smartphone.

Cooking with your iPhone

Anova Culinary app connects over Bluetooth
Anova Culinary app connects over Bluetooth


Using Bluetooth, the Anova Precision Nano can connect to your iPhone to make using the device even easier.

Say you are cooking dinner. In the Anova Culinary app, just choose the chicken breast and the app will let you know what the target temp should be and how long that will take.

Choosing one of the recipes, it also walks you through the entire process of making that dish, including integrating your Bluetooth sous-vide along the way.

Flank steak cooking with the Anova Precision Nano
Flank steak cooking with the Anova Precision Nano


Piece of meat such as steak are great because you can visually see the cook you are looking for -- such as that mid-rare filet.

Within the app you can also add your own recipes, add favorites, and view your profile which has a history of your cooks, private, and public recipes.

Get cooking

Flank steak after cooking via sous-vide
Flank steak after cooking via sous-vide


We've been sous-vide fans for many years -- before it got popular -- and we've tried our fair-share of sous-vide devices. The Anova Precision Nano is a big step forward for the culinary device maker.

It is smaller, more efficient, and easy to use. The only complaint we have is that it is limited to only Bluetooth and to 750W, which means it is going to take a bit longer to get to temperature without adding hot water manually. The new pricier Anova Precision Cooker and the Precision Cooker Pro both offer higher wattages, as well as connecting over Wi-Fi, which effectively eliminates the Bluetooth range issue.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Pros

  • Entry-level price.

  • Easy to use

  • Better way to cook certain foods

  • Smaller than the original

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi

Where to buy

You can try out the Anova Precision Cooker Nano on Amazon for less than $100.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    The Pro version was recently on for half price (down to $260). Not sure if it’s still on sale. Mine arrived a couple days ago. 

    I absolutely love sous vide and cook just about everything using it.
    jbdragonfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 8
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,348member
    They made it slightly smaller and then named it “nano”. I was just complaining about this very word abuse a day ago with some sci-fi nonsense or some never-went-to-market BS Silicon Valley product.

    Thanks for the explanation of “

    Anova Nano sous vide stick 



    Undo paste doesn't work!! And autocorrect still doesn’t work on new lines!!! Why is this STILL and issue????

    Anyway, that whole series of five words didn’t mean anything to me until the article explained it. Made for a surreal title. 
  • Reply 3 of 8
    dysamoria said:
    ..
    Undo paste doesn't work!! And autocorrect still doesn’t work on new lines!!! Why is this STILL and issue????
    ..
    Maybe throw in grammar checking too :/

    That picture of the steak on the right under the 'Sous-vide?' title .. I would eat it no problems :#
  • Reply 4 of 8
    This review is generally accurate about the Anova but the descriptions of sous vide cooking are off the mark. The precise temperature control doesn’t merely prevent overcooking. It also allows tougher cuts to cook a very long time to tenderize. After removing the meat or fish from the sous vide bath, the chef doesn’t “char” anything (heaven forbid!) Rather the meat is SEARED in order to add the tasty caramelization familiar to steak lovers! There are lots of good blogs and cookbooks to help newbies get the most out of sous vide cooking. 
    toysandmejbdragonfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 8
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,348member
    kimberly said:
    dysamoria said:
    ..
    Undo paste doesn't work!! And autocorrect still doesn’t work on new lines!!! Why is this STILL and issue????
    ..
    Maybe throw in grammar checking too :/
    :-D

    Part of the problem with touch keyboards: anger results in even worse typing.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,804member
    Have the older model and really enjoy cooking with it, from perfect tenderloin to salmon to lobster. all cooked in a sealed bag of appropriate ingredients (olive oil, butter & lemon, or whatever). Take it out of the bath when it’s ready, give it a quick sear and perfection. 
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 8
    I’m a non-practicing vegetarian so I’ll have to give this a try. 
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 8
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,189member
    toysandme said:
    I’m a non-practicing vegetarian so I’ll have to give this a try. 

    Searing in a pan works, but makes a lot of smoke.  Using a Propain torch with a searing head on it works great.  You do that part of it outside.  It's great as you can say do 6 steaks.  At once all perfect, and then sear them all quickly.   You can start them early, and if they cook a few hours longer in the water, it won't hurt them.   You can also vacuum seal steaks you get a deal on, throw them into the freezer and when you're ready to eat one or more, pull it out and toss it in.  Then cook at least time and a half.  So if normal cooking is 2 hours, you cook for at least 3 hours.   Though I hear if you defrost overnight first and then cook, I'll taste even better.

    A really GREAT youtube channel on this is called "Sous Vide Everything".  You really learn a lot.  They will try ideas from others.  They experiment all the time on just cooking things a little differently at the same time and see what works better.  You can really get a lot of great ideas watching them, and hungry as they eat it all.   They do try other things besides steaks.   You're going to want to get one of these things after watching them!!!

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpFuaxD-0PKLolFR3gWhrMw
    fastasleep
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