A tale of 3 Sous-Vide wands

Cooked tonight and will be again tomorrow night for family and friends

Tonight was a 3 sous-vide cooker night:
-Steaks at 129 (for 4 hours)
-Bacon at 145 (since last night)
-Brussel sprouts at 183 (for 35 minutes)

Hands-on time for tonights's meal was minimal and I also got to do a sous-vide comparison. Here are my impressions:

Sansaire: Have used this the longest -3+ years I think. It is the bulkiest and clunkiest of all the bunch. But, it holds constant temperature and it's apple-esque dial-in temperature is idiot proof. I checked the temperature periodically with a thermapen and it was always spot on accurate

Anova: More solid design and slimmer than the Sansaire. "Clip" to the water vessel is a little more stable than Sansaire's (but not that I've had a problem with Sansaire). Dial-in temperature control is incredibly simple and requires no instructions (just like Sansaire). Temperature is spot on accurate

Joule: By far the slimmest of the bunch (3/4 the size of the Anova and maybe even 1/2 the size. It takes up virtually no room at all in the water vessel. It's clip-to-pan solution is ok, but I like the magnet on the bottom which allows you to stick this anywhere in a metal vessel and it holds upright even against a little resistance. Temp is spot on accurate. Big downside for me is that this requires operation via a phone/ipad app. The app installation and use is straight forward and easy, but I hate having to rely on an app for something that should be dialable on the actual device. My only gripe about this otherwise incredibly slim and solid performer

Winner in my books for the price:

ANOVA (95 points): #1 for ease of use (easy on-device dial-in temp). They have an app that you can use to control the device via wifi but I doubt I'll ever use it

JOULE (90 points): #2 for very slim unobtrusive design but some points off for requiring app operation

SANSAIRE (80 points): sadly showing it's age. Construction nowhere near as solid as the other two and is also much bulkier. BUT, it performs just as well as the other two which is why 3+ years ago or so it made a big splash. In need of a design upgrade or I fear this will go the way of the do-do bird
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by ADC:
K
What kind of vacuum packer do you use? I just started looking at chamber vacuum packers. Foodsaver has to go.


ADC . . .after having used a foodsaver for many many years, I decided to upgrade and go with the smallest of the Vacmasters (will send you an email with model number). It is a chamber sealer and is awesome! Only problem is that it is heavy and large

So, I use when I know I'm going to be doing a bunch of sealing or when I'm sealing something for a 24+ hour sous-vide. When I'm doing day to day sous-vide (e.g., chicken for ~3-4 hours), I generally just do the water displacement method using a ziplock bag.

But, the Vacmaster is great for sealing for longer cooks (where I'm not so confident in sealing ability of Ziploc for that period of time) and sealing things that are going in the freezer for long periods of time. Have sealed strawberries in the freezer for almost 2 years now and when I bring them out and de-thaw them they taste as close to fresh as you can get in the middle of winter.
quote:
Originally posted by Florida Keys Girl:
I love my anova!


An awesome device indeed. I really don't think there's anything on the market that can beat this. With it's newest model that has wifi capability, it has all the tech you need if you are so inclined, but I love that you don't need to rely on an app

That said, for DD -- Sansaire is quite literally just as good at doing what it's supposed to do.

My personal opinion is that if you have already invested $150+ in any of these, it is not worth spending the cash for a new one if your current sous vide wand is still functional
quote:
Originally posted by jburman82:
My Anova is great. One year old and going strong. I have never done a vacuum sealer. Just used ziplocs. I rarely do anything longer than 3-4 hours though.


DD recommended a 72 hour short-rib sous-vide at 133 (I think). I wound up going 130 and it was a luxurious cut of meat - fantastic texture and great concentrated flavor
quote:
Originally posted by Parcival:
quote:
Originally posted by jburman82:
My Anova is great. One year old and going strong. I have never done a vacuum sealer. Just used ziplocs. I rarely do anything longer than 3-4 hours though.


DD recommended a 72 hour short-rib sous-vide at 133 (I think). I wound up going 130 and it was a luxurious cut of meat - fantastic texture and great concentrated flavor


I"me going to get a vacuum sealer soon, the ziplocks are often a pain. I'm lucky though that when I do a really long sousvide (like the 72 hour ribs) I take them to my local butcher and he uses his large chamber vacuum for me. Still a pain to walk the block to him with seasoned meat wrapped up to quietly slip him and I invariably feel like I have to buy something to ease my conscience...
quote:
Originally posted by Parcival:
quote:
Originally posted by jburman82:
My Anova is great. One year old and going strong. I have never done a vacuum sealer. Just used ziplocs. I rarely do anything longer than 3-4 hours though.


DD recommended a 72 hour short-rib sous-vide at 133 (I think). I wound up going 130 and it was a luxurious cut of meat - fantastic texture and great concentrated flavor


I've done 72 hour short ribs and they are amazing. Once finished in the bath, I coat with a rub of spices and brown sugar and put on the grill for a minute or two. AMAZING.
J - I just did salt and pepper and served with a red wine reduction

But, FL Keys Girl's spice mix sounds like it would be delicious . . . from the sounds of it, was this a fairly traditional type of rub you might also use on ribs (e.g., brown sugar, paprika; onion & garlic powders; maybe some cayenne or chile powder?)
I"ve been wanting to do a batch in a cocoa or instant espresso rub for a while. I"ve done venison loin in a cocoa rub a few times and it's spectacular and I've done sous vide steak in coffee butter which was memorably good as well.

On the topic of coffee I had carrots baked on top of coffee beans and was told that beets are at least as good (the carrots were out of this world) and it seems like sous vide would be useful for this as well (the carrots were done in the oven at 225 for 4 hours).
quote:
Originally posted by Rob_Sutherland:
I"ve been wanting to do a batch in a cocoa or instant espresso rub for a while. I"ve done venison loin in a cocoa rub a few times and it's spectacular and I've done sous vide steak in coffee butter which was memorably good as well.

On the topic of coffee I had carrots baked on top of coffee beans and was told that beets are at least as good (the carrots were out of this world) and it seems like sous vide would be useful for this as well (the carrots were done in the oven at 225 for 4 hours).


So, layer of coffee beans on a sheet pan and then carrots layed on top (to protect from heat at bottom of pan)? I think I may need to try that this weekend.

Beets though at 225 I would have to imagine would take 6 hours or longer though, true . . . I guess depending on size?
quote:
Originally posted by Parcival:
quote:
Originally posted by Rob_Sutherland:
I"ve been wanting to do a batch in a cocoa or instant espresso rub for a while. I"ve done venison loin in a cocoa rub a few times and it's spectacular and I've done sous vide steak in coffee butter which was memorably good as well.

On the topic of coffee I had carrots baked on top of coffee beans and was told that beets are at least as good (the carrots were out of this world) and it seems like sous vide would be useful for this as well (the carrots were done in the oven at 225 for 4 hours).


So, layer of coffee beans on a sheet pan and then carrots layed on top (to protect from heat at bottom of pan)? I think I may need to try that this weekend.

Beets though at 225 I would have to imagine would take 6 hours or longer though, true . . . I guess depending on size?


He dry pan roasted/tossed the beans for a minute to get them shiny and oily then did exactly what you mentioned. Covered with tin foil and baked slow. I agree, beets would probably be 6+ hours.

If you want really intensive Victor Barry when he had Splendido Restaurant in Toronto used to do a 5 hour carrot which was basted with ginger honey every 10 minutes for 5 hours straight. Splendido Carrots. They were insanely good. Went to his house for dinner over the summer and I asked him if he'd make them. He told me to F-off. Big Grin
quote:
Originally posted by Parcival:
J - I just did salt and pepper and served with a red wine reduction

But, FL Keys Girl's spice mix sounds like it would be delicious . . . from the sounds of it, was this a fairly traditional type of rub you might also use on ribs (e.g., brown sugar, paprika; onion & garlic powders; maybe some cayenne or chile powder?)



I just do a little salt and pepper while they are cooking, and maybe a little red wine. The rub is brown sugar, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin and chili power usually. Sometimes changes based on mood... I have done cacao and coffee in there, too, and it's delish.
quote:
Originally posted by jburman82:
Yeah, I figured, like any steak, you would want a grill or pan to give it a nice crust. Maybe the blow torch would work since they are so small. Im always looking for an excuse to use that.


Agree . . . with sous-vide, can't think of a reason why increasing temp in last 12 hours would make much of a difference. And, think of it this way, to prove that this would make a difference would take a ton of experimentation that I don't think anyone has done

With sous-vide, I always stick with same temp through sous-vide cook, then finish off in a pan (depending on what I'm cooking)

Last night, I did an experiment though with chicken to evaluate the impact of different temps when cooking chicken breast:
A) 149 for 1 hour
B) 140 for 3 hours

Finished both off in cast iron pan heated to medium high heat to render/crisp up the skin. The results were virtually identical. My wife suggested that the 140 degree version (and she did not know which was which) was very very slightly more tender, but I could not tell a difference. When I told her the cook time between the two was 2 hours different, she then claimed they were the same!
Anybody having trouble with their Anova not holding temp? I just received it today and set it at 128F to make sure the unit was working properly.
It keeps reading 130.3-132F on the readout and hasn't yet dropped to 128 after a couple hours.

Was wondering if this was normal, I have it in a metal pot with approximately 2 gallons of water.
quote:
Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
If I ever start cooking with a technique that causes concern with a 2 degree variance in temperature, please shoot me!

No disrespect, bhauk. I just find the whole sous-vide thing a little amusing...

PH


Haha, I agree.
It was a good deal on Amazon so wanted to try it out, I've never done it before. I think it will work well for pheasant, elk and other game that can dry out very easily on the grill or under the broiler.
Review of 2 Sous-Vide wands here Click I have yet to take the plung but I think I will soon. With 2 little ones running around it's harder to stand over the stove every night and make dinner. Would be nice to throw something in the water bath and play with the kids while it's doing its thing.
Anova user here. I have two of them.

Favorite applications:

Hard boiled eggs - 170 1 hour perfectly cooked with a great creamy textures

Pork chops - this is my favorite application - 140 for one hour and a quick sear with a soy, honey, siracha, and ginger glaze

Chuck roast - 56 hours at 130 with a quick sear, simple salt and pepper seasoning

Veggies of many kinds - 190 for one hour, tender, crisp, and never overcooked.

Things that I have tried and not been too crazy about include: chicken, salmon, and pork ribs. Nothing bad about them, I just think that traditional methods suit these so much better.

I do want to try this on wild game such as deer and elk. Seems to be a good way to keep them from overcooking and drying out. I also want to try a brisket, cook at 120 for 48 hours and then finish in a cold smoker for a few hours and then turn up the heat for an hour to make a bark. Seems that it be moist and tender. I will post here after I try it.
quote:
Originally posted by GalvezGuy:
Anova user here. I have two of them.

Favorite applications:

Hard boiled eggs - 170 1 hour perfectly cooked with a great creamy textures

Pork chops - this is my favorite application - 140 for one hour and a quick sear with a soy, honey, siracha, and ginger glaze

Chuck roast - 56 hours at 130 with a quick sear, simple salt and pepper seasoning

Veggies of many kinds - 190 for one hour, tender, crisp, and never overcooked.

Things that I have tried and not been too crazy about include: chicken, salmon, and pork ribs. Nothing bad about them, I just think that traditional methods suit these so much better.

I do want to try this on wild game such as deer and elk. Seems to be a good way to keep them from overcooking and drying out. I also want to try a brisket, cook at 120 for 48 hours and then finish in a cold smoker for a few hours and then turn up the heat for an hour to make a bark. Seems that it be moist and tender. I will post here after I try it.


I've used my Anova 10-12 times now and most of the time super impressed with it, last night it again went from 128 to 136 while doing ribeyes. I was watching it, but that's taking a prime ribeye from medium-rare to medium. I don't know why it's doing that and not too happy about it. Don't mind if it's a store-bought steak, but if it's one of our steers that hung for 30 days, I get a little pissed.

I've enjoyed steelhead and halibut in the Anova, but prefer the Weber charcoal.

Pheasant has been good after a few trials, my pheasant is wild harvested so is easy to dry out on the grill. The best has been a Maille dijon mustard glaze at 135 for 30 minutes.

Deer, elk and sharptail grouse have been excellent so far. 120 for 30-40 minutes then seared.
quote:
Originally posted by bhauk:
quote:
Originally posted by GalvezGuy:
Anova user here. I have two of them.

Favorite applications:

Hard boiled eggs - 170 1 hour perfectly cooked with a great creamy textures

Pork chops - this is my favorite application - 140 for one hour and a quick sear with a soy, honey, siracha, and ginger glaze

Chuck roast - 56 hours at 130 with a quick sear, simple salt and pepper seasoning

Veggies of many kinds - 190 for one hour, tender, crisp, and never overcooked.

Things that I have tried and not been too crazy about include: chicken, salmon, and pork ribs. Nothing bad about them, I just think that traditional methods suit these so much better.

I do want to try this on wild game such as deer and elk. Seems to be a good way to keep them from overcooking and drying out. I also want to try a brisket, cook at 120 for 48 hours and then finish in a cold smoker for a few hours and then turn up the heat for an hour to make a bark. Seems that it be moist and tender. I will post here after I try it.


I've used my Anova 10-12 times now and most of the time super impressed with it, last night it again went from 128 to 136 while doing ribeyes. I was watching it, but that's taking a prime ribeye from medium-rare to medium. I don't know why it's doing that and not too happy about it. Don't mind if it's a store-bought steak, but if it's one of our steers that hung for 30 days, I get a little pissed.

I've enjoyed steelhead and halibut in the Anova, but prefer the Weber charcoal.

Pheasant has been good after a few trials, my pheasant is wild harvested so is easy to dry out on the grill. The best has been a Maille dijon mustard glaze at 135 for 30 minutes.

Deer, elk and sharptail grouse have been excellent so far. 120 for 30-40 minutes then seared.


Wow! I have never heard of that issue with any of the wands. Have been using Anova and Sansaire for over 2 years . . . Joule for ~4 months now. Have not seen that with any of them.

Hopefully, you can return/exchange that sucker because there must be something wrong with its innards
quote:


Hard boiled eggs - 170 1 hour perfectly cooked with a great creamy textures

Pork chops - this is my favorite application - 140 for one hour and a quick sear with a soy, honey, siracha, and ginger glaze



gonna try that with hard boiled eggs. Curious to compare with a more traditional method. Lately I've been putting eggs into already boiling water for 1 minute, then lower heat to simmer and cover for 10 minutes. Creamy yolk and the egg shells peel right off if doing deviled eggs (seriouseats.com recommendation)

For pork chops, mind sharing that glaze recipe . . . sounds delicious
I've been putting eggs in 1/2 inch of boiling water, cover for 6 1/2 minutes, remove and put in cold water. Good soft boiled eggs. I often peel and marinate a few of the batch in soy, ponzu and mirin for about 6 hours and use in homemade ramen.
quote:
Originally posted by Parcival:
quote:
Originally posted by bhauk:
quote:
Originally posted by GalvezGuy:
Anova user here. I have two of them.

Favorite applications:

Hard boiled eggs - 170 1 hour perfectly cooked with a great creamy textures

Pork chops - this is my favorite application - 140 for one hour and a quick sear with a soy, honey, siracha, and ginger glaze

Chuck roast - 56 hours at 130 with a quick sear, simple salt and pepper seasoning

Veggies of many kinds - 190 for one hour, tender, crisp, and never overcooked.

Things that I have tried and not been too crazy about include: chicken, salmon, and pork ribs. Nothing bad about them, I just think that traditional methods suit these so much better.

I do want to try this on wild game such as deer and elk. Seems to be a good way to keep them from overcooking and drying out. I also want to try a brisket, cook at 120 for 48 hours and then finish in a cold smoker for a few hours and then turn up the heat for an hour to make a bark. Seems that it be moist and tender. I will post here after I try it.


I've used my Anova 10-12 times now and most of the time super impressed with it, last night it again went from 128 to 136 while doing ribeyes. I was watching it, but that's taking a prime ribeye from medium-rare to medium. I don't know why it's doing that and not too happy about it. Don't mind if it's a store-bought steak, but if it's one of our steers that hung for 30 days, I get a little pissed.

I've enjoyed steelhead and halibut in the Anova, but prefer the Weber charcoal.

Pheasant has been good after a few trials, my pheasant is wild harvested so is easy to dry out on the grill. The best has been a Maille dijon mustard glaze at 135 for 30 minutes.

Deer, elk and sharptail grouse have been excellent so far. 120 for 30-40 minutes then seared.


Wow! I have never heard of that issue with any of the wands. Have been using Anova and Sansaire for over 2 years . . . Joule for ~4 months now. Have not seen that with any of them.

Hopefully, you can return/exchange that sucker because there must be something wrong with its innards


Did a water trial tonight with Anova unit, was off by 10 degrees with an instant-read thermometer. Will see if Amazon will replace, only had it for a month.
quote:
Originally posted by WinoCA:
I've been putting eggs in 1/2 inch of boiling water, cover for 6 1/2 minutes, remove and put in cold water. Good soft boiled eggs. I often peel and marinate a few of the batch in soy, ponzu and mirin for about 6 hours and use in homemade ramen.


now, two good egg recipes to try. My wife loves soft boiled eggs. I've always gone the typical route - hard boiled approach but for less time, but always looking to improve my game!

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