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    thought i’d start a new thread now that i’ve thoroughly trashed up greg’s sous-vide thread. [g]

    the anova apc arrived this morning and i was immediately impressed with the packaging–the quality of which i very rarely see outside an apple product. the only annoyance is that the instruction manual comes curled up because the device is packed in a tube. i think i could make a half-decent diy telescope out of the tube!

    i haven’t even turned it on yet but i guess the first question that comes to mind is whether i only need to get the vents or intake/outflow (?) slots at the bottom of the apc into the water bath.

    and before i test this thing out, i’m going to express my skepticism that this device, inserted into an open container, can regulate temperature to within 2º, 5º, or even 10º. of course this is based on decades old experience developing slide film with primitive temperature control and monitoring equipment. the requirements for slide film are to hold temperature within 1/4º over a period of 5-30 minutes and if you weren’t in a commercial lab, your tools were a thermometer (it was hard to afford a lab-accurate one back then), a pot of boiling water, and a container of ice cubes.

    thus, i’m going to say that if this thing can hold a temp within 2% in a closed or partly closed container or 5º in an open container i will be surprised and pleased and realize that the state of the art in temperature control and fluid dynamics has progressed exponentially since my old slide developing day.

    anyway, i have 4qt and 8qt square containers coming in but won’t be here for a few days although i did get a supply of ziploc bags and a couple of lids for the 8 qt container which i plan to carve out to accommodate the device. i plan to try to use one of my pc containers to run a test using water and an accurate thermometer just to satisfy myself this thing is up to the task.

    so i’m going grocery shopping today or tomorrow and all i have in the freezer is a half-chicken and i’ve been reading @greg and @helen saying that chicken is better in the pc anyway. and, i’m batting about 100% on chicken in the pc so far.

    what would you recommend for the first test? the stuff i really want to shift over to the apc are things like steak and fish and they are too expensive to buy to experiment on although i guess i could cut off test segments before i commit the whole chunk of meat. i could try the 3rd thing i would like to use the apc for-eggs–but those are a whole different problem set than meat or fish i understand.



    That is my thread Guy:) although Greg is the expert among us.

    I would start with steak or fish because basically it is pretty hard to ruin it. They don’t take that long and as a rank amateur I haven’t managed to ruin anything.

    You don’t have to buy expensive. Most stores in Canada have 3 packs of pink salmon frozen for $5 or 1 kg. bag of frozen cod/tilapia/etc. for $6-$8. Less than $2 a portion. A steak will be a bit more but should be still under $4 for a reasonable sized one. I usually buy strip loin roasts when they are cheapish (less than $5 a lb.) and cut my own steaks. I partially freeze before cutting so I can make them nice and even. I have done chuck as well and flank but oddly enough they were more per pound than New York/strip loin. Just as good though. Make sure on the fish that it is not all stuck together in a big lump.

    Pork is often the cheapest at under $1 lb. but while it is very good sous vide, I don’t find it as spectacular as steak. Well worth the effort but again

      I recommend starting with the steak

    . Lamb is spectacular as well but pricey.

    So far I don’t like the chicken or the eggs. The chicken looks, tastes and feels like processed and the eggs are either slimy or overcooked IMO. Both look like example pictures so it is probably a matter of personal taste.

    I started my first Yukon (close to Alaska) sous vide today. A chunk of moose neck which I will cook for 24 to 72 hours. Wish me luck.

    I have very little in the way of cooking spices, pots, containers as I come with whatever I can get in a suitcase, but I have scrounged a square 8 liter food grade cookie dough tub to sous vide in. And I have discovered that a roll of quarters or any loose change wrapped in a bag makes an excellent weight to keep your bags submerged. Much better than the other 10 things I have tried.


    Your insert from your PCs will be a good container or any reasonably sized pot. My Anova does regulate the heat within a degree AFAIK and I am the kind of nutbar who checks with 3 thermometers.


    i just finished the instruction manual and although it had some problems, i think it covered nearly everything i needed to know to get started. i am, after all, a long time proof reader and i can’t keep from spotting errors!

    yeah, they had a picture in the manual of the apc going into what looked like a way too shallow and small saucepan. i think it said the container needed 4 inches and some change of depth.

    don’t you smell conspiracy theory when you live in texas and yet gasoline and beef are so pricey? i mean there are cows roaming around on my street and oil seeping out of the ground in some parts of the neighborhood!

    i did learn that there is a port at the bottom of the unit where the water flows (or rushes or spurts?) out and that you need to keep it away from direct line of sight from the food. i got the idea that making sure it face the container wall was the best bet. this part was one shortcoming of the manual since it was omitted in the parts illustration.

    another anomaly i noticed is that the manual said unequivocally that the food has to be vacuum-sealed. there are dozens of recipes out there (and i think greg said–i’ll have to go back and review) that say or at least strongly imply that you can just put some things loose in a sealed bag. hopefully that water displacement method is a good enough vacuum–i am getting a portable food saver unit, but i don’t trust it to work very well or me to have supplies for it all the time. i’m hoping i can hack it to work with regular ziploc bags since i got a good deal on 100 of them.



    oh, and the casual pricing i’ve done on steaks i recognize such as t-bone and ribeye run $12 and up. the new york strip and filet mignon were higher than that. they looked like 8-12oz portions for those prices. which is why i’ve only bought one steak so far (a ribeye) and it was marked down to about $8 and not even worth that out of the pc.

    salmon can be caught on special for sometime $4-5 a ‘chunk’ of about 4-8 oz each which isn’t bad although sometimes they make you buy two pieces at once.

    i’ll investigate the other types of steak you mentioned.



    Helen seems to have pretty much covered it. But…
    There is a min and max mark etched on the barrel. Just make sure your water level is above the first and below the second.

    You DON’T need a vacuum machine. You DO need to exclude air getting between the food and the water as air acts as an insulator. Anything that achieves this is fine. a vacuum machine is just the simplest way to achieve this. The cheapest is water displacement.

    I don’t know what Helen is on about. Eggs are simply gorgeous SV. I will admit I like my eggs just barely cooked.

    Most things don’t care where the vent is pointed. A few delicate things are better out of the jet stream. The main thing is to avoid blocking the inlet (grill) and don’t crowd the pot. Water needs to circulate freely or it won’t maintain an even temp. Also if multiple things are crowded too close together they can behave like one big thing and take a LOOONG time to cook.

    If you keep a lid on, you will be pleasantly surprised just how well these things maintain a temperature. I’ve used ping pong balls, bubble wrap, plywood and cling film as lids quite successfully. What you are trying to do is reduce evaporation. Anything that cuts down on the surface is good.


    The salmon I was talking about is in the frozen section at Wal-Mart or any grocery store. Probably about $2 for each chunk. High Liner I think and another brand. Fresh is better, but frozen is as good or better as transported fresh which is generally previously frozen anyway. Plus you can cook it when you want to.

    If steaks are indeed as high as you say then look for frozen prepackaged steaks in boxes in the freezer section. Might be cheaper by the lb. and some are cryovaced individually. Or buy a reasonably priced roast and slice it yourself. Very easy, freeze for 1 hour and use one of those sharp knives you bought.

    I did an 10 oz. T-bone which I paid an exorbitant $8 for and it was excellent but way too much meat and tasty fat for me. I was burping up for 2 days. Sometimes I am such a pig.

    But… a 4 oz. sous vide steak is about right for me. You lose very little mass/volume in the process. 4 oz. in and approximately 3.8 oz. out after searing.

    For me, cooking is kind of an interesting hobby. Kind of like computers and IT stuff. I spent 3k on a new computer and related paraphernalia last year, just because I wanted it. Didn’t need it, just wanted it, and it was easily half my baggage this year. Makes my Instant Pot and Anova look cheap by comparison.

    I am pretty thrifty where food is concerned but occasionally I will just say **** it and buy it.


    We will have to agree to disagree about eggs. I still plan on doing the Hester thing but haven’t so far. I have probably cooked 20 eggs sous vide starting with the beer cooler and the best I got was edible. Not good, but maybe 4 I could eat. The rest I cooked a bit more and made egg salad for my sister. I cannot abide a hard cooked egg in any form. Bizarre I know.

    But I am happy with the traditional methods of poaching eggs or Laura’s soft boiled eggs although I am a bit nervous about trying them in the North with a higher elevation. The geographical change has me befuddled despite the excellent advice from Laura and you.


    well, maybe i can break the tie on eggs since i like them so much. i do see a lot of differences in results for eggs depending on how fresh the eggs are. and fresh is not always the best for certain cooking methods.

    so the row of horizontal slots are the water intake and the one at bottom on the plastic end cap is the outflow?



    Sorry about the delay. My iPad wasn’t cooperating this morning.

    Yes the horizontal slots are the inlet and the little slot in the plastic is the outlet.

    Have you tried 75°C @13 minutes? This is pretty close to a perfect poached egg in my book. It assumes a 64g (about 2 oz) refrigerator cold egg. This is one of the few times when SV timing is pretty critical. If it is a lot bigger or smaller you will need to adjust the timing. I use larger eggs at room temperature.

    The 63° egg is similar but leaves the watery part of the white liquid. So better with a very fresh egg. It needs to be wiped off (roll it on a paper towel) before serving.

    My chooks gave me a 79g egg the other day. It was a monster. More like a duck egg.


    ok. things are coming together. i had ordered an 8qt container that anova recommended initially, but the amazon vendor is the slowest shipper of all time. outside of book rate shipping or economy from china i’ve never encountered such a long shipping time–it’s taking about 3 weeks to get here.

    so meanwhile i ordered a similar 4qt one from amazon (although a different brand) and i got it in today. i immediately put the apc in it and am pleased with how it looks although there is not a huge amount of space to place the food. just enough for a medium-sized steak or a couple of fish filets or a good chunk of salmon or some eggs. but i only cook for one, so that might well suffice. i don’t plan to cook my bulk items in it anyway such as beans or rice or potatoes as i will continue to cook them in the pc since i now feel comfortable i can cook these items fairly well.

    i was nervous the anova would over-balance a small container, but it feels solid right now and when liquid is added it’ll be even more stable.


    on another subject, went shopping today and spent way too much! i hadn’t been in a couple of weeks.

    providentially, they had t-bone steak on sale this week for $5.97/lb. they wouldn’t cut me a 8-16oz portion so i had to buy a pre-packaged bag of three good size chunks adding up to 2.19 lbs and costing $13.07. just one will feed me for 3-4 meals so i’ll need to freeze the remainder carefully, was that trick @helen (?) of putting them in a ziploc (or vacuum?) bag and coating them with some oil just for salmon or would it help beef as well?

    i also got 3 different brands of brown rice (texmati, mahatma, and comet)since i really shouldn’t be eating white rice with diabetes. i also shouldn’t eat potatoes, but i read that red potatoes are not as bad as the bakers and i like red as much as any of them and i bought 5 lbs of them–i hope they don’t go bad before i can eat all of them but i was buying 2-lb bags and running out, not to mention the 2-lb bags were more expensive per ounce.

    i also got two large yellow onions as my bunny book said that instead of trying to choose from all the varieties, those were probably the easiest to work with and multi-purpose.

    oh, and i also got 3 small avocados so i can try to make guac now that i have the masher. the store sells a small plastic bin of it for $5 and it goes bad pretty quickly.

    oh, and no one at the meat counter at the albertsons grocery store had ever heard of sous vide! but i’m a wizard–i thrive on being mysterious!

    so i blew about 3 weeks food budget in one trip–i just hope i can convert everything into something i can eat.

    so, off to the pc for now to cook a pot of beans, some rice, and maybe potatoes as well. maybe tomorrow i’ll tackle the steak in the new apc.

    oh, btw helen. i know you’re hesitant about the price of the thermoworks thermometer. mine came in today and i’m just blown away with the quality, the packaging, the attention to detail, and the documentation–the equal of which i’ve very rarely seen. their shipping prices are very discounted and they ship same day if your order gets there in time. i have already placed another order since they sent me a catalog and i found another couple of items i could use. oh, and they sent me a free ‘fridge magnet with cooking temperatures on it–gonna be invaluable for the new sous-vide cooking. and, as they say, it comes with the certificate of accuracy keyed to the serial number. i tested it under my tongue and got 98.2º (i run a little cool all the time–i suffer in winter and would die the first day in the yukon!). one of the first things i did was set the tenths digit for the display resolution–it comes default showing just full degrees. i’ll test it further against my water boiler, but i have no doubt it’s way more accurate than i’ll typically need. i pulled out my workhorse taylor digital thermometer and after playing with the thermoworks model, i could barely tolerate how slow the taylor was.



    whew! hopefully i just dodged a bullet. i had started my beans:

    soaked beans (pintos)
    1c water per cup of soaked beans
    some salt
    10 minutes cooking time
    natural release

    my first recipe! but it’s straight out copied from laura’s with none of her finesse.

    anyway, i had started the timer and later was passing by the kitchen and heard a ‘boiling’ type sound. luckily in investigated and found that even though i had my steam/pressure switch in the right position, it had gotten wedged slightly open and was hissing out the pressure. this was just a few minutes after it started coming up to pressure, so hopefully things work out.

    i’ve gotta go re-visit my garlic and onion prep. i just end up tearing things apart i get so frustrated.



    I don’t actually eat many eggs. I have very high cholesterol and went meatless/eggless and ate practically nothing but rice/veg and lentils for 3 months to no avail. Was a bit grim and made no difference. But I eat far less meat and eggs since then. The last 3 months I have probably eaten more meat than in the last year before that mostly due to cooking experiments with the new cooking gear:)

    But I will try the scrambled and the poached again one of these days.

    Well that is all so exciting. You are just leaping along. I enjoy the experimentation possibly as much as the results. And as you have discovered you can cook a reasonable to high quality meal for less than one premade or store bought meal.

    Potatoes keep very well in a dark place. A few may rot and a lot will sprout, and they may get green under the skin although they won’t as often in a dark place. And in the fridge they may keep as long as a year. If they sprout just cut off the sprouts. and sometimes a 10 lb. bag of red potatoes costs less than a 2 lb. bag.

    Greg is the expert in the freezing and marinating process. I believe he puts soy and fish sauce and something else in the bag at times or freezes them without if his butcher has cryovaced them. Fish sauce does not make them fishy, just makes them taste beefier in my experience.
    I often use Italian dressing as a marinade for fish or chicken which I put in the bag before freezing.
    My standard method of freezing is to put 1 or 2 portions in 2 cent plastic bags, then put them all in a large freezer bag with the store label inside. The cheap bag inside a freezer bag will pretty much protect your meat from freezer burn for a very long time. Just flatten and fold so the air is out in the cheap bags.

    A smaller container is a good thing. less evaporation and less electricity. Evaporation is a pain in the butt.

    Good buy on the steaks.

    The Yukon is pretty warm in the summer. was 27 degrees Celsius last week which is plenty warm for me. Farther north in summer it is often the highest temperatures in North America because the sun doesn’t go down. One pities the poor tourist who comes with a parka.

    I am sure I will buy the thermo pen one of these days. Both my Taylor and others are frustratingly slow. But I will wait till there is nothing that I want more. I have at least a 20 item list, some of them quite cheap, but if I buy them all at once I will appreciate them less. Just the way I am.


    Pretty sure your beans will be fine. Not closing the pressure valve has been one of my most frequent problems. I just closed it and everything was fine.


    i can keep my potatoes in the fridge? i’ve always thought they grow mold in there.

    btw, i have two drawers at bottom of my ‘fridge–one says fresh and one says crisper. are these truly for different things? i’ve just been tossing stuff in there willy-nilly.

    btw, on the high cholesterol thing. first, it’s sort of a scam. the way they determined that high cholesterol was bad for you was to measure the cholesterol of dead people who had died of heart problems. next, when i left italy i’d ballooned up to 235 lbs on a 5-10, 5-11 frame and tried various diets before i discovered atkins. it’s got a horrible reputation because it’s all about all the stuff they’ve been warning you about (and they got eggs and shrimp dead wrong anyway and now are saying ‘nevermind’). and you know they (nutritionists) aren’t close to being right because the ‘balanced’ meals with lots of veg and little protein has been followed for 40 years and we are blowing up with obesity.

    anyway, not only did i lose nearly 80 lbs in a little over a year on atkins, i had a blood lab done every 3 months and my cholesterol dropped from 250-300 down to under 100 and my triglycerides dropped from over 400 down to normal range as well. but i followed atkins very very strictly and did the pee-on-the-stick deal to make sure (since i’m diabetic) to not go into the dangerous ketosis (?) state.

    anyway, i’m probably way off base posting this, but in my opinion doing my own research and monitoring my own body, cholesterol is not the demon they’ve portrayed it as and red meat is not as dangerous as they’ve been saying and you are seeing many back off that now. i totally distrust nutritionists. i was once in the hospital years ago and they flagged me for the diabetic diet and it was around 3500 calories with apple pie and ice cream!

    but, having said that, after eating so much protein on that diet, i could survive easily on a veggie diet if they allowed me dairy and some fish. one way atkins works is psychological–when you eat so much meat daily you get satiated and don’t eat as much. and what you do eat you burn off the fat and cholesterol and triglycerides before they lodge in your blood vessels. this is just my theory, btw–i don’t have any medical reference for that.

    ok, ’nuff of that. let’s go see if i saved the beans!



    ok. beans cooled and stashed in the fridge. i’m going for the triple crown, the trifecta, the triple play, the triple threat, whatever sports metaphor you prefer! sure wish i’d thrown some sort of low-brow meat into the beans, but then again i’ll soon be (hopefully) cooking some steak.

    after reviewing laura’s potatoes recipes (again, on the smart pot app) i came up with 6 medium red potatoes (skins on), 2c of water, and 18 minutes cooking time. laura said 20, but i have a smaller cooker and my pot takes a long time to naturally release pressure. i threw in a teaspoon or two of sea salt and piered each potato. we’re off on the 2nd leg as soon as it comes back up to pressure. rice will be the finale assuming the potatoes go well.

    and this time i wiggled the pressure valve. lesson learned … [g]



    new run of masterchef (usa) tonight. i’m about 8-9 episodes in on the streaming of mc_oz. i realized one big difference in the two shows is that in the usa version the judges all insist on ‘adversarial’ strategies from all the contestants and encourage them to think of who their worst competition is. the oz version does depend on won ‘advantages’, but the aussie contestants use those more to reward their friends than to punish their enemies.



    bad bad bad news. will start a new thread.


    I’m with @Guy on the whole healthy food thing. It seems it is like some of the exams I did in my uni days. They kept the same questions from year to year. Just the correct answer was changed.

    On eggs and cholesterol I recall a study from a few years back that body builders on a high egg diet in a study on cholesterol actually measured zero on the scale. After much head scratching and more experiments, they decided that despite containing cholesterol, eating eggs actually reduces the body’s cholesterol. They posited that the body produces its own cholesterol. And that the cholesterol in the eggs told the body to shut down production. In the mean time, the egg cholesterol,got secreted so the end result of eating a high egg diet was a reduction in cholesterol.

    I have seen a lot of “good” things declared bad, then get declared good again. I have also seen the reverse happen. So these days I just try to apply the Buddhist principle of “All things in moderation”.


    I totally agree. One day margarine is good and next it is butter.

    The reason I eat less meat and eggs these days is a physical feeling I get if I have too much. It is like I am full just thinking of them. Overall this is a good thing as I have reached a healthy weight again with no effort at dieting.

    I enjoy what I eat and as you know enjoy trying new flavours and methods. Overall I am thrifty, buying things on special and freezing them, but if I want lobster or lamb, I buy it, pay for it cheerfully and don’t worry about cholesterol or calories.


    at least you guys didn’t take me for a raving lunatic on the subject of nutrition and health. believe me, i’ve done a _lot_ of research. if you are diabetic you tend to pay a bit more attention to the glycemic index of foods and whether the conventional wisdom makes sense or not. after all, your body is the laboratory!

    and those buddhists knew stuff 1000s of years before the rest of us caught on.



    How To Sous-Vide Steak

    so is foodgawker (or greedygournet) correct in saying i can just take my frozen meat out of the fridge and put it in the sv process? how about chicken–they only mention beef.

    also, i’ve been reading the sous vide recipes on this site and others and none of them so far other than the one on the chefs steps site use the apc but they all say you have to pre-heat the water. is that necessary with the apc? do i have to adjust the time? or should i stick with the recipes that are specific to the apc?

    thanks! /guy


    I cook from frozen all the time. It is actually safer than defrosting then cooking as the food spends less time in the danger zone where bacteria thrive.

    I add 15—30 minutes depending on how thick the piece is, but given the forgiving nature of SV the reality is I just toss a piece of steak into the bath an hour or two before I want to eat.

    With a few exceptions, I preheat the bath before I put the food in. Again it is to dodge the danger zone as far as possible. I usually let the machine heat the water, but if I am in a hurry, I use hot water from the tap or kettle as a preheat method. I have been known to use two SV units in the one bath to hurry things along too. I don’t bother to wait until it reaches temperature. Above 50°C is fine in my book. Technically the danger zone is below 52° but I figure the time spent warming those extra two degrees will NOT be enough to have a bug population explosion. I start timing once the set temperature is reached. I am probably being overly cautious but I have no wish to kill my mother in law with food poisoning.

    My main exception is milk I am heating for cheese. I put it in the cold bath and then turn on. I set the machine to 83° and take the milk out when the milk reaches 80°.


    And yes. It is fine to do it with chicken and fish as well.


    ah! i can tell from your description i still have some landmines to avoid before i’m ready to do more than simple tests. i still haven’t decided if i’m going to try the steak or some eggs first. eggs might be a good test since they’re trickier and you’d get your results very quickly.



    Start with an egg. Cook it in its shell @75°C for 13 minutes. Use a timer. This is for an xl egg (64g). If you have much smaller or larger you will need to adjust time. The egg calculator will help you adjust for your egg.

    I suggest this as you need no special equipment beyond what I know you have.
    Also there are no special finishing techniques. Just peel and eat. The result should be pretty close to a perfect poached egg. Serve it on toast, or go fancy and try eggs Benedict (serve it on spinach) or just crack the top and dig in with a spoon.

    Once you have tried one egg, use the results to adjust the timing for subsequent eggs. Longer for firmer. Shorter for softer. Because this is cooking at higher than you want the final temperature to be for a soft yolk, timing is critical. If you want less critical timing, cook @63° for about an hour. But the whites won’t be as firm.


    good morning guys!

    i guess i shouldn’t have waited until i was starving to setup the apc!

    the egg calculator, after adjusting for my white/yolk prefs, yielded 71/160º. my eggs are large and weigh 57/59g respectively which corresponds to xl on the site even though 5-6g lighter than you specify. so i’m going to do 160/71º at 13 minutes.

    i put 3l water in the 4l container and turned on the apc. nice display! paired it with the iphone and set the temp to 160º, but the display didn’t change no matter what i did. it showed current temperature and set temperature and although it took my temperature units change, it ignored my /set temperature/ setting. i finally just turned the wheel.

    next question was when it was going to start coming up to temp. i didn’t know whether to press /start/ or what to set the time for as all i wanted was a pre-heat–not for it to start the actual cook time. you’d think they’d make provisions for that. if you set it from a cold start and tell it 13 minutes, will the timer start right away even though it will probably take more than 13 minutes to come up to temp? something about this sounds wrong.

    anyway, i’ll save more questions until i get further along. i see on the iphone app that’s it up to temp now and it took, by my estimation, about 8-10 minutes. i never did enter a time, i just hit the start icon in the app.

    but now i have to dump the water and start over because that first one was a test and to rinse things out before i started the first cook.

    i plan to put two eggs into a sandwich size ziploc, but it’s not very heavy duty. is there a chance of it melting?

    oh, and my 8qt container arrived today. it’s too big and the 4 qt is a little cramped. you know what that means i’m sure–i should have ordered a 6 qt to start with! typical.

    [later] i think i’ve grokked the procedure so far. set the temperature and then the app or the local alarm will notify you of that. then you go in there and place your ingredients in the container and _then_ start your time.

    and i realized i didn’t need to dump the water–after all, it’s not touching the food. but i did realize the water will probably kill the apc in short order unless i boil up 3-4 liters to use. and even with boiling i found more than a full teaspoon of white, chalky grit in my drinking water this morning.

    also, i can tell that the last 2% of time coming up to set temperature is taking about 20-30% of the total time. i will probably call most things good when the water is within 1-2º. and when you drop in the ingredients it’s going to drop for awhile so i’m [ass]uming that getting the whole time at the precise temperature is not going to be possible, although i’m also [ass]uming from the lack of complaints, that such ultimate precision is not necessary.


    so another glitch or conflict between the app and the machine. when i went and placed in the eggs (btw, they float–is that ok?) i started the timer on the app. and _then_ it informed me that it would only start the timer when the water was up to temp. but i’m [ass]uming you could put your contents in and start a timer because they would cook while it was coming up to temp, right? might not matter for a chunk of beef, but i’d think it would for eggs and fish.

    so the temp only dropped one degree or so when i put in the ingredients, but now it’s taking way too long for the timer to start. i’m thinking this app is hopeless and buggy as crap and very feature-free to boot. it’s a shame because they make it so awkward to set the time on the device itself. it’s come back up to temp, but i can’t get the timer to start counting down on the app. and now i have no idea how long they’ve cooked.

    yeah, this friggin’ app just bounced back and forth between pre-heating and ready and never actually starts the timer. now i’ll have to guess and just try to finish manually. crap.



    i posted this on the anova /getting started/ forum:

    so i fired up my new apc today and was going to try eggs for my first experiment since they don’t take long to cook. device connected to my iphone without probs but then the trouble started–who wrote the firmware and the software for this thing? whoever they were, they need to be flogged and then fired and then flogged again. i’ve worked in IT for 45 years and this is sloppy stuff.

    so i used the app to set the temperature which i’d calculated using the egg calculator: 71/160º @13 minutes. but the machine didn’t recognize that i’d set it. so i set it on the machine. then i didn’t know, nor did the faq or docs tell me, whether, if i set 13 minutes it would allow for coming up to temp before the actual cooking time started. so i just hit start with no time and waited for it to achieve set temp. but it took forever to get that last tenth of a degree and until it hit it exactly things were sort of at a standstill. finally the app told me to insert my ingredients (2x58g eggs), so i set the time to 13:00 and nothing happened.

    i said, screw this and went back to the instruction manual to find out how to set the timer on the device and found instructions for a rubik’s cube or a chinese watch instead. hold something down 8 seconds, no we meant 3 seconds … maybe.

    holding down the start/stop for 8 seconds toggles the temperature units along the way to the timer. and then i have to hold that icon for 3s to get the wheel to work. and when the timer appears i find it only works in 5 minute intervals. you kidding me? so now i have to hold it 8s again to get back to ºF since we took a side trip to ºC.

    so i realize i have to go back to the app to set the time. and meanwhile my eggs have been in the hot water for an indeterminate amount of time. and i still can’t get the app to count down the time. so i say screw this too and set a manual timer for my guess as to how long they still need. and i still don’t know if my guess was wrong as you’ll see later.

    the eggs were inedible. so i started over with two fresh ones. this time, somehow i held my mouth right and the app seemed to work and it told me what the faq or the docs should have told me to begin with–that the time wouldn’t begin until the set temperature had been reached. the first glimmer of logical intelligence i’ve yet seen in the software.

    after it had reached temp again and i had put the two new eggs back in, more problems appeared. every time the temp would drop by a tenth of a degree the app would pop up alerts to me saying to put my food in and press /start/. but this time at least it ticked off 13 minutes (i had set a manual timer to test it against and in case it failed) and i removed my eggs.

    raw. hardly any more cooked than if i’d run a hairdryer on ’em for 13 minutes.


    doing a complete cold start reset after that fiasco. i powered off and on the apc and re-installed the anova app. paired it up again and this time things seemed to go the way they should with the app controlling the apc and telling me that the timer would start when the set temp was reached. the notifications need to be a little more intrusive though as they won’t break through the sleep or standby mode on the iphone. i think i’ve fixed this in /settings/ though–i’ve set it to the highest level of notification.

    the other thing different is i went back and read through the comments on the egg calculator and i’m using grade ‘A’ large eggs–not ‘AA’ xtra-large. but the calculator doesn’t ask for the gram weight. but this time i move the sliders for both white and yolk all the way to /firm/ and this yielded 85/185º @14:28 compared to the first trial which was 71/160º @13:00. of course you can’t set seconds on either the apc or the app, so i’ve set 15 minutes.

    (taking a long time to come up to temp even though the water was still like 130º when i started)

    also, acting on a tip from a forum post, i’ve made up a little bag with strong magnets to put into the food bag. this way i can use another magnet on the outside to get the food bag contents underwater–last time my eggs were floating to some extent.

    (i noticed the temp was going backwards. for some reason the apc had stopped itself. now it’s rising again …)

    so i’ll be back to report on the status in about 20-25 minutes. i’ve been waiting on breakfast for over 3 hours now! [g]



    i don’t think the apc was made for things like eggs. it has taken 10-20 minutes to get the water to the set temp. and i got the notification to work on the iphone. but does the timer start from the time of the notification? you’d think it’d wait until i got back from putting in the ingredients else if it took me 5 minutes, that’s 5 minutes i’d lose. maybe it doesn’t start back up until you clear the notification–that would make the most sense. but it doesn’t work in seconds so you have to wait a full minute before you even know if it’s counting down or not. there needs to be a symbol or icon telling the user when it’s operating. and that way i could tell whether it paused the countdown when the temperature went out of spec.

    well, the magnet tip worked a treat! i was able to ‘drag’ the bag to the bottom of the container using the outside magnet and this time both eggs are submerged.



    i finally got to eat an egg about 5 hours after i started. but i’m still as puzzled as when i started. two nearly identical eggs from the same carton, same bag, same water bath. yet one was raw and one had a yolk that was as firm as a hard-boiled egg.

    the only thing i can glom on to is that when i moved the bag with the eggs so they’d be underwater, one was on top and one on bottom. but if that was the cause for the inconsistency it would mean the water bath is not a consistent overall temperature.

    gonna be a lot of head scratching and reading before i’m gonna trust a t-bone steak to this thing.



    I said to set 75° and change the time if your eggs were seriously over or under size.
    So what did you do? Change the temperature Sigh.
    Also I said nothing about using a bag. There was a reason for that. Don’t use one. An egg has its own bag. It is called a shell. By adding a bag, you introduced air around the egg which acts as an insulator. Result? Undercooked egg. How do I know you didn’t remove the air from the bag? The bag floated. If it was the egg itself that was floating then it was very very stale. My eggs sink. If they don’t I throw them away.

    From a cooking point of view, Eggs are funny things. The white cooks at a higher temperature than the yolk. But the yolk is insulated by the White. This means that if you cook to equilibrium as you do with most SV (and is why times don’t matter a great deal) then you will end up with undercooked whites to get the yolk right. Or overlooked yolks and correct whites

    You get around this by using a temperature gradient. Set the temperature so the white cooks nicely, then time things so the yolk is just reaching the perfect temperature when you take it out. Lots of experiments, And failed eggs, indicate that 75° and 13 minutes work well.* If you want to play with this, by all means do so, but you will have to run your own set of experiments.

    Yes the timer on the APC sucks. I am sure I mentioned this somewhere. Probably talking to Helen. I am sure I also said I don’t use the app. The thumb wheel is brilliant however. Set the temperature. Hit go. Wait for it to beep to indicate it has reached temp. Drop the egg in. Start your timer. ( most phones have one) when the timer beeps, take your egg out and eat. Ignore the extra carry on with the beeping APC. Yes the temp will drop when the food goes in which means it. Will beep again when it comes back up to temperature. And it will continue to do so during the cook as it tries to maintain temperature. You will minimize this if you insulate your container, including the top.

    *So does 100° and three minutes. (Classic boiled egg) But the whites tend to be overcooked and rubbery, and the window for the yolks is very small.


    @greg: it appears that i didn’t quite do everything possible wrong. i can try again for a better /wrong/ score if you are easily amused! [g]

    i got off your steps when you told me to use the egg calculator. i figured that since it didn’t ask for weight and indeed said a 59g egg which is what i had although they called it an x-large–i saw later in the comments this was a mistake they haven’t corrected. so what they meant was one the size of the ones you used. and since you can’t set the time in seconds (or can’t from the app or the apc–i know better than to use that since your latest post) i figured a difference of a few grams wouldn’t make a minutes worth of difference.

    and yes, there was air in the bag. i got the idea from our previous discussions that there were some exceptions to having to use a bag, but that it would never hurt to always use one. and i made it worse because by the time i realized i should have tried that water displacement technique, the water was too hot to do so. and i’m too dumb to realize i could have simply used another container instead of the hot one. duh!

    i did put some silicon panels on top of the container while the food was in there (no, i evidently didn’t learn my silicon lesson!) and they did insulate it somewhat. later i plan to cut an apc-sized corner off a lid and use that.

    well, despite me having to eat cottage cheese and toast for breakfast today, i hope i’ve learned some invaluable lessons. sorry to not heed all your excellent tips, hopefully the lesson learned will stick. [g]



    I had a another look at the egg calculator this morning. It has changed. And not for the better. It used to let you set the size of the egg by U.S. Size, weight in grams, diameter and circumference in mm. The last two being the most valid as it is the thickness that matters most.

    Now they only list us egg sizes. Totally useless for me now.
    1. I don’t live in the U.S. I have no idea what those letters mean in real terms. Is XL the same size as the XL t shirts I wear? I don’t think so.
    2. My eggs come out of hens. Not boxes with a size marking on them. And they are not graded. They vary from tiny 45g eggs to massive 80g

    I am sorry I mentioned it now. The calculator is seriously broken. Note to self get on their website and complain bitterly.

    I now have a custom hole cut in the lid of my beer cooler – the container I use most often, but that bubble wrap that comes around all those gadgets you buy works quite well too. I would suggest the foam beans too, but the ones I have received recently are “biodegradable” which means they dissolve in water. Great for the ecosphere. Not so great for repurposing them.

    Btw you can make a great cottage cheese with either the APC or the ip. Have a look at Laura’s ricotta recipe.


    I had a look at both the app and the website version. The website version still uses circumference (use a piece of string and a ruler) which is much more useful than l, xl, m, etc. the app seems to be getting worse. Not better with each iteration. The website also cautions not to use B-grade eggs. Whatever that means to a U.S. Purchaser.


    you are talking about the one on chefstep, right? that’s the one i used. and there is one constant and two variables. the constant is ‘grade AA’ which, as you say, is meaningless to you although the grades are explained down the left hand side. also, the text indicates the calculator works for the grade A eggs i was using. there is absolutely no mention of weight or dimensions. you have to look below the article to find that ‘extra large’ eggs are recommended although the text above says it will work for large, x-tra large, and ‘jumbo’. also, i really see no mention of fresh vs refrigerated either.


    btw, i’ve been reading since my experiment earlier and in three reviews they all concluded the same as you–the app is useless and the timer is too clunky to use. i found every one of my complaints in those reviews. i should have read them before i started!

    as much as i hate to ignore features i paid for, i learned to ignore all the buttons on the now dead pc except for the +/- time buttons, the cancel button, and the saute/brown button. i suspect the new ‘smart’ pot will have useless button programming as well, so i knew that going in.



    That looks like a way to measure the egg to me…
    “Or measure With a string…”
    They used to have weight in grams and diameter too.
    Probably because the USonians complained about the peculiar measurements.
    “Why can’t we have good old sizes. They were good enough for my grannie…”
    Just as one of the most common complaints about Laura’s book is that it doesn’t have familiar recipes.


    now come on! none of that is on the pages i’m showing! the calculator i’m seeing at the link i posted let’s you enter the degree of ‘firmness’ you want the yolk and the white to be and then spits out a temperature and a time.

    i’ll go back and look again … but are you sure this isn’t an old version that’s still stuck in your browser cache?


    i do see the 75º/13m recipe where they specify a 57g egg, which was exactly the weight i was using.


    i’m not seeing why the circumference is more important than the weight though. but then again, i don’t see why an AA egg would be so much better than an A egg except for quality control and maybe less imperfections.


    On the last page, there are three buttons…
    Egg size, start temp, bath type.
    These allow you to refine your result
    You can specify the starting temperature of the egg in °C with defaults for refrigerator and room temperature.

    I’ve got to say that for someone who claims to have a skill at proof reading you are remarkably poor at paying attention to detail :P

    This is all missing in the app.

    It is not the circumference so much as the maximUm thickness.
    Heat travels through an object at a finite speed. The thicker it is the longer it takes to heat up the centre. As an egg is roughly circular in cross section, the circumference is directly related to the thickness. And is easier to measure on a round object without specialist tools. Personally I prefer to measure diameter directly, but then I have lots of thickness measuring tools for my woodwork.

    This need to consider thickness is true of all cooking. Laura pays heed to it on her cooking times page. And all those old recipes that say “cook for 30 minutes per pound” (or similar) are also aware of it. They just don’t realize it. For big lumps of meat, weight is roughly proportional to thickness. The fact that it doesn’t quite work that way all the time is one of the reasons cooking is classed as an art, not a science. If those old cookbooks had said 30 min per inch of thickness (or whatever), cooking would be much more straightforward.


    I double checked that page you linked to as that was where I got 64g from. The blurb at the top says 57g. The recipe text says 64g.

    I think they need a better proof reader too.

    From the reader comments, I suspect 64g is correct.
    One did say they got poor results with an old egg but when they bought new eggs the result was great.


    unless i’m totally going bonkers, i think they’re feeding me different pages than you are seeing. but tomorrow morning i’ll go back with all my ad and flash and pop-up blockers turned off and see what happens.

    do you have a direct link to that? or is it just on the main page? if you right click on the actual calculator does it offer a link to copy?

    tks! /guy


    I’m on the iPad (hence the typos) so I don’t get those choices. I’ll fire up the computer a bit later and check on that.


    Checked on the Computer.
    It works the same as on the iPad.

    iMac OSX 10.10.3 (Yosemite)
    Firefox 38.0.1
    Adblocker installed. Cookies enabled.

    Had a quick look at the code. It is way too complicated for me to decode, but It appears to be a java script as I expected. There are a few conditional display elements listed at the top of the page. Most are concerned with turning stuff off for printing. But there may be others.

    I cannot select the calculator element separately from the page. It has been handled as a division.

    As my name and email address are in the code, I think it is created dynamically on load.


    Now that’s a thought. It may generate a different page with extra options if you are registered and logged in.


    I don’t (so far) like the sous vide eggs. I did quite a few with the beer cooler because eggs are cheap. They looked like the pictures but then again I don’t actually like the look of the eggs in the pictures. So far I don’t like the sous vide chicken either. My thighs were stringy and the breasts had the texture of processed deli chicken. But many people like their eggs and chicken this way it seems. I will probably do more eggs and chicken eventually as I don’t give up easily.

    I also am under impressed with vegetables cooked sous vide. People rave about carrots and asparagus cooked sous vide. I can only think they have never been able to cook carrots and asparagus properly. Not that they aren’t okay, but I can cook both faster and tastier in at least 6 ways and not have to vac seal them or weigh them down etc. Cabbage is pretty good though.

    If I use a plastic container or stockpot I wrap bubble wrap around it. Comes to and maintains temp faster/better. And I put a layer of bubble wrap on top. I use quarters as a weight now.

    I haven’t seen the Anova or Instant Pot apps but I have seen many complaints about them. I suspect that they are using amateurs to write them. I just go manual.


    @greg: tried firefox. no change except it looked like i was on a pr0n site i got so many popups and other crap in my face including a request to install a video player–a known tactic of hackers. but the egg calculator was the same.

    i’m using this link:


    i get there by going to the main page, hitting the /resources/ menu at top, and then selecting the calculator.

    i also tried in safari with the same result. i signed in using firefox but not with safari. i then went back to chrome and signed out. but the site knew i was playing possum and registered and wouldn’t show me the calculator until i logged back in. also, i checked ad blocker and it was blocking one ad, so i exempted/whitelisted the chefstep site.

    i did notice there was a /settings/ icon on the calculator and i eagerly went into it, but the only option was to change from ºc to ºf.

    the first panel is a slider asking me to set a range from /runny/ to /firm/ for the whites.

    the next panel is a slide asking me to set a range from /runny/ to /firm/ for the yolk.

    the next panel is my temperature and time result of those two variables.

    i laid awake thinking about this last night. (!) one thought i had was if you had an old cookie. the javascript does indicate it uses one or more of the several cookies the site reads from you. i haven’t been an html programmer in decades and never used cookies so i can’t tell you if this would make sense or not. if you delete your cookie(s) it will probably forget your settings at the site such as which classes you’re enrolled in.



    @helen, you might have a point with the eggs. i also don’t like the looks of any of the eggs in the pictures although i ignored that since they were small and low quality. and it’s not like i insist on my eggs as well done as my meat–i love over-easy eggs with enough liquid yolk to soak into some toast. i don’t like the white runny though. in hard-boiled egg terminology, i like one somewhere in between soft and medium.

    but i love eggs and i’ve had the krupps automatic egg cooker for 20 years now–replacing them as they wore out. if you’re not familiar with it, it’s a device which seems hardly ‘automatic’ and slightly counterintuitive to me.

    basically, it’s just a heating element with a water tray on top and then the egg holder on top of that and then a cover. they give you a graduated measuring cylinder where you select how many eggs and how they are cooked solely by the amount of water you add to it. for example, you can do 4 eggs soft or 6 eggs medium or 8 eggs hard or any combination or those and more. once you have the proper amount of water added, you add that to the water tray and start the device. it heats the water which creates steam up into the egg holder (it holds whole eggs or has trays for poached eggs) and then shuts off automatically when there’s no water left. that’s why the amount of water has to be so precise.

    but if you’re careful and get it right, it will turn out consistent eggs. i used to cook eight medium ‘hard’ boiled and take them to work to eat throughout the week.

    i don’t know enough about cooking to have an opinion on whether this sous vide method is better for certain types of foods such as vegetables. but if it’s as good as they say for steak i would think chicken and fish would be great too. but perhaps their chemistry is so different from beef and pork something suffers.

    i’m having great luck with veggies and chicken and cheap meats in the pc, so those aren’t that much of a concern to me. the reason i wanted the apc was so i could have fish and a good steak occasionally. this egg experiment is just to get me familiar with the device using a medium that i can see the results in minutes instead of hours. if i’m critical of the eggs, my krupps is sitting right there ready to go.

    i ordered a 6qt square polyethylene container to try to get the size ‘just right’ as the 4qt is a little cramped and the 8qt is too expansive. i also got some clips on the way. and i actually found a permanent straw in my drawer so i can try the trick of sucking the air out of the bag so i’ll have an option to water-displacement and my cheap little vacuum machine.

    i can get more eggs next week without driving all the way to town–the little local store even has farm fresh ones if you get there early in the week. if i go to town i’ll get extra-large grade AA this time.

    ok. next project is to test my new smart cooker with some water and to take some meter readings for a benchmark. if everything checks out, i have brown rice to try!



    I don’t understand what is happening on that page. If I follow your link, I get the same calculator I am seeing. I even tried on my notebook which I am pretty sure has never been to the egg calculator page before. It has certainly never been used to log in to ChefSteps. It keeps asking me to sign up.

    Can you post a picture of the final time/temp screen on your computer? I still think you are just missing seeing the buttons. They don’t do anything to highlight them. Just text in a circle.

    You might find this page at Serious Eats (J. Kenji López-Alt – generally referred to as Kenji) worthwhile reading on the subject of eggs.
    It is more about equilibrium eggs and goes into lots of detail about that. But it also mentions the 75º/13 egg. Kenji calls it the 167º egg though.

    Incidentally, Anova have recently signed a deal with Kenji, so a lot of Kenji’s work is appearing on Anova’s app.

    I really like those 75º eggs. And thought you would find them pretty straightforward. So I am sorry I appear to have led you up the garden path.


    oh don’t apologize for encouraging me to experiment. i was a radio hacker when kevin mitnik was in diapers!

    but i have tracked down the anomaly. your hint about there being buttons on the last panel was the key. bear in mind, i used three different browsers and none of them showed these buttons.

    wait a moment–just had a thought … damm! i missed a bet in my troubleshooting. instead of using the iphone app, i went to the main web site using the iphone. hard to navigate on a phone, but i was able to pull up the calculator and the buttons on the temp panel are there clear as day. this would have hopefully queued me to look in other directions. but before i did that, i discovered …

    … that the buttons are there on the chrome browser as well. but to see them i have to zoom in about 6 levels–in other words, the text is so huge i never have the need to zoom in this far.

    so i’m calling it some sort of resolution bug although you’re on a mac as well. i do have a 27″ monitor and am running a resolution of 2560×1440.

    i’m pumped we got to the bottom of it although i doubt i would even have thought of zooming until you described the panel and the location. what the site should have done is show me scroll bars on the panel to indicate the box had more contents. the real key was ’round’ because you can see them outlined behind the button at bottom, so it’s not like they’re offscreen, the script is unable to handle some display function.

    so here are the comparison screen shots and you can tell me whether i should have noticed the background circles weren’t just design elements. the top is what i’ve been seeing up until now.

    my normal browsing mode:

    Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 19.58.52

    and after zooming:

    Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 19.59.59


    yay! it was literally keeping me awake at night. [g]

    this was the very definition of ‘hidden in plain sight’.

    but you’ll notice that even with three new variables, the time and temperature was exactly what i used for that last run although i’ve pretty well concluded that what you said was true–air in the bag insulated and negated any temperature setting anyway.



    I use a 27″ Mac too. But I also have a second Eizo monitor attached. Also 27″ but higher resolution. I mostly browse on the iPad though. I try REALLY hard to avoid browsing on the phone. I know it is theoretically possible but SHEESH!!!

    Glad we have resolved the calculator issue. Now to get those eggs right!

    Currently listening to the Classic 100 countdown. This year the theme is “swoon” Basically once a year my local classic music radio station conducts a poll for the favourite pieces of music. Then play them over a long weekend. We are up to day 4 now and #17 on the list. Bizets Pearl Fishers if you are interested. http://www.abc.net.au/classic/classic100/swoon/
    So I have moved my chair into the sweet spot for the stereo and am using the iPad. Haven’t moved for several days.


    that was a thorough and interesting egg link you provided. better pictures too. i actually found one i’d like to try to emulate:


    so they’re playing complete pieces? with or without ads in-between. that’s virtually unheard of although years ago a texan with too much money bought a radio station and played beatles tunes 24/7 until he ran out of money. [g]

    i played violin in school and still have 2 or 3 or 4 around somewhere buried in the packing boxes and rotting away i suspect. i have no energy to dig in 6′ tall boxes for any specific item. but i play like crap–always have and always will. but still, it gave me an early appreciation of classical music although i no longer remember many pieces. i like a lot of different composers from heavy to light and have some favorite violin players such as david oistrack ? oistrach? (sp?).

    i’m gonna try the 75º@13m eggs again, but i want to restock with some better eggs. or maybe i’ll sacrifice the older ones i do have and have been using.

    i didn’t want to put the eggs loose in the container because i was scared of fouling the new machine. also, my water here is putrid and i might get a few gallons of distilled (i can use that, right?) and only use that, refilling as necessary.





    It is a publicly funded station and never plays ads except for self promos. And they NEVER interrupt a piece of work. They will be selling the music on CD (actually a bundle of 10) from tomorrow and possibly as digital download as well.

    Some are complete works. Some are excerpts. Currently on #15 – Beethoven’s emperor concerto which they are playing complete.

    One idea I have seen is to put the egg into a balloon whisk. Stops it blowing around and makes it easy to retrieve while not impeding water and heat flow. I have not had any problems just dropping eggs in. But then my eggs don’t have thin shells. I don’t stint on feeding them grit.


    ah! actually i have a macha green tea powder (chasen?) which would be just about the right size. and it’s made for whisking hot tea, so it should be ok in the heat. i think it is very similar to your balloon whisk but made of bamboo.


    Yes you can use any water. I use filtered rainwater. It is only filtered because it is also our drinking water.

    As the water doesn’t come into contact with what you eat you can use any water. Though you are right to be wary of hard water which can leave scale deposits and water with a lot of sediment that can foul the impeller.


    I’m not sure the bamboo would hold up to repeated prolonged dips in hot water. It should be fine for a few tests though. Those things are gorgeous. Wish I had one. Be a shame to destroy it.

    You don’t happen to have an old transformer you can strip do you.? I know I have quite a few lying around. It would be easy to make a wire cage.


    i have some bits and pieces lying around. i’ll come up with something …

    i’ll go into town tomorrow and get more eggs and the distilled water. i’m not exaggerating–my water kills anything it comes in contact with and i’m eating ice like raisins in this texas heat and i badly need a filter on the ice-maker.

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