June 7, 2015 at 10:50 pm #22927
about 1/3rd my cd collection (which i’ve painstakingly ripped to itunes) is classical. when i worked at the newspaper my friend was the music/arts critic and he introduced me to a lot of stuff i would have otherwise not have discovered on my own. also, he got a bunch of cd’s for review and he would keep the best versions for himself and pass on to me those he deemed of lesser quality but which were still outstanding.
he also got me going on opera which i’ve always hated with a passion. but i find i can tolerate most of puccini and i’ve come to adore the pavoratti deutch grammophone recording of la boheme.June 7, 2015 at 11:40 pm #22928
My musical taste is quite eclectic. Ranging from classical to fado. Stopping along the way at zydeco, klezmer, folk, jazz and rock among others
Love opera. Hate ballet. Though there are exceptions to both generalizations.
I too have burned most of my CDs to HDD and use a sonos system to pipe them through the house. I still prefer to buy the cd then burn. I mistrust digital downloads and subscription services.June 9, 2015 at 3:36 pm #22937June 9, 2015 at 8:27 pm #22939
I had to check the date reading that. I was sure it was an April fools joke. Sadly, it appears it is not.
We are having quite different issues with chooks here. Unscrupulous producers are stocking at densities up to 20,000 birds per hectare and claiming free range status. And charging double the price for eggs. The recommended stocking level for “free range” is 1500 per hectare. Trouble is, the recommendation is just that. It is not enforceable. Personally, I think even 1500 birds per hectare is a tad excessive. My tiny and admittedly non commercial flock comes in at about 50 birds per hectare (2.5 acres). Though I have neither that many birds nor that much land.June 9, 2015 at 9:02 pm #22940
i take such scares with a huge shaker of salt. usually when people are trying to scare you, they are trying to manipulate you and/or prices.
/guyJune 10, 2015 at 10:06 pm #22946
the puzzle pieces are falling into place for moving forward with the apc. i received the 6qt container and a lid and it fits nicely in-between the 4qt and 8qt and would have room to spread out.
a chore i have been dreading since i got the apc was modifying one of the lids as i am a threat to myself with any sort of cutting tools–especially razor knives. so i got the cheapest lids available thinking they’d be made of cheaper, thinner material.
turns out, i worried for nothing. i measured and determined that i needed to take exactly one quarter of the lid off to accommodate the apc and i scored it off with a razor knife and then used some fiskars package opening shears to do the actual cut. easy peasy! and the cut turned out nearly perfect only leaving less than 1/2″ gap around the apc. i’m not sure how much insulating power is in the thin lid plastic, but i don’t see why i couldn’t put a layer of bubble wrap on top or bottom if necessary.
i also got some bag clips to hold the bags to the side of the container.
picked up 2 gallons of distilled water at the little local store today and looked for grade AA eggs, but the owner had never heard of them or had never noticed the grade. i’ll check the large store hopefully tomorrow.
btw, i haunted the thermoworks site for a week and picked up some items. but i still should have done more research before making some choices. for example, i thought the thermopen was their best product, but the temptest1 is far superior for my taste. it’s just a few dollars more but it has the same accuracy certificate, an auto backlight, and buttons for on/off, hold, and min/max. the huge attraction is that you can activate and use it with one hand. you might could with the thermopen, but it would be very awkward. it also comes with a nice belt holster and a wall mount. i just can’t think of a single advantage the thermopen has over the temptest1, but i ended up with one of each.
i also re-jiggered my outlets and with just a little work and a manual a/c switch along with a wifi a/c switch i can turn the instantpot or the apc or both on and off from the internet if i wish to.
here’s a couple of shots i took after i got everything set up. the other devices are my masha and the cheap vacuum pump i got to try out.
hope you guys are doing well. me and one cat have been way under the weather for a couple of days but he’s back to bouncing off the walls and eating the wallpaper and i got saltines, diet ginger ale, and pepto-bismol at the store today, so i’m set up for tonight–i slept like one hour last night–i won’t regale you with the horror story of having to clean up after a sick cat in-between bathroom visits. [g]
/guyJune 12, 2015 at 9:07 pm #22950
@greg! cooking rice and maybe potatoes this evening in the new smart pot and i intend to either cook my 1/2 chicken in it tomorrow or one of my tbone steaks in the sous vide.
if you will give me a set of steps and parameters for the steak i swear this time i’ll put blinders on and follow your instructions exactly this time and also set everything up manually as you described!
the steaks are currently frozen and there are 3 of them adding up to 2.11 lbs which means each one will be, what?, about 7oz each, right. and they are maybe 3/4″ thick. i plan to only do one for the initial cook. the smart pc is the only device i have capable of browning them so i’ll have to bone up on that procedure in this new pot.
/guyJune 13, 2015 at 12:09 am #22953
I usually cook my steak with some additives but as yours are frozen, there’s not a lot of point in putting extra stuff in
Also I cook mine rare. I doubt you would be happy with that so let’s split the difference and go medium (FDA recommendation) or just a little under.
Thickness matters not weight. So 3/4 inch. That’s around 20mm in my money…
Water bath to 62°C. Displacement bag the steak. I.e use a ziplock bag. Put the steak in and lower it into the water carefully until the zip is JUST out of the water. Close the seal. This will remove pretty much all the air. Make sure that seal is completely closed fully immerse the steak then come back in about an hour if the steak was defrosted. Or about an hour and a half if it is still frozen. Take the steak out. Pat it dry and sear it briefly ( remember you are just browning it, not cooking it) in the ip in braise mode. Eat and hopefully enjoy.
Remember those are minimum times. You can leave it in longer. And as you have used a re sealable bag, if you don’t like it, you can reveal it, crank up the temperature to say 65° drop it back in for another half an hour or so to
ruinCook it some moreJune 13, 2015 at 12:15 am #22954
What I do is Add some olive oil, soy, fish, Worcester and Tabasco sauce (a bit less than a teaspoon of each. The technical term is a slurp) and a small crank of pepper before I seal and freeze it.
Then I cook @55° for about an hour, take it out and dry it then sear it with a blowtorch, taking care not to set fire to the kitchen.
You could try adding the mix to the already frozen meat, but I suspect it won’t make any difference.June 13, 2015 at 12:18 am #22955
thanks! i will do it tomorrow or over the weekend exactly as you specify. i like the bit about me being able to have a second try at it if it’s too rare! i actually can’t remember the last time i had a steak anything but medium-well or well done, but i might eat steak once every five years since i don’t dine out and never cooked. there was a steak dinner delivery service and they were fast and convenient, but you had to desperately want a steak to order from them–i usually got double potato and double salad.
right now i’m full as a tick, as we say here in texas–maybe you do too–i’m sure you have full ticks there too–with a small meal of just-cooked brown rice, potato, and chicken.
tks again! /guyJune 13, 2015 at 12:23 am #22956
since it won’t be frozen when i take it out (hopefully!) to brown it, i can add some stuff into the browning process, right? i don’t spice much at all and will probably be happy with salt and pepper. but what do you think of angosta bitters in place of tabasco or worcester? or for next time before i freeze them? i have it around for some types of drinks and sometimes i even put it on eggs.
/guyJune 13, 2015 at 12:39 am #22959
The problem with adding things at the browning stage is that they interfere with the browning. The liquid boils off and stews the meat rather than searing it. You could add a little something after searing though. Just a trickle. I would use just Worcester here.
I can’t say I have ever tried angostura bitters in cooking. I don’t think it would make a good sustitute for Tabasco, but you may well be on to something. It’s worth a try. Just a couple of drops after searing perhaps.
We tend to say “full as a goog”. A goog being an egg. But I have heard full as a tick here.June 13, 2015 at 3:10 pm #22961
well, i should have learned one thing if nothing else–the app is total crap and actively interferes with the goal of getting something cooked.
i decided that one of the best things to go with my leftover brown rice would be an egg and knowing your tastes in doneness (!) i figured your formula would yield a nice juicy one to flood the brown rice.
using my 4qt container i filled 1/2 of it with the distilled water. i got a dozen grade AA eggs yesterday and i weighed one at 61g which is a little lighter than you referenced, but i’m not going to try to adjust anything. i’m going to stick my neck out and just drop them into the container. i very nearly decided to put them in a tiny snack bag and flood it with water, but then i worried whether they would get proper water/temperature circulation that way. i did check that they both sank this time!
so i set the apc (using the wheel) at 167/75 and laid the lid on top. i then came back to my desk and was going to open the app just so i could check the status of the temperature, but instead the app set a temperature when i opened it. horrible programming there. so i had to kill the app from foreground and background and restart the apc. the app will not be opened again although it means i’ll have to keep running back and forth until i get up to temp.
when we get up to temp i will set 13 minutes on a timer and come back and report the results when the cook is completed.June 13, 2015 at 3:26 pm #22962
progress report. burned my fingers when i warmed up some brown rice in a bamboo bowl. bamboo gets hot–who knew?
anyway, temp came up to 166.9 and hung there for several minutes until i got impatient and put the eggs in (loose). the temp dropped 1º but since i had put the eggs in, i started the 13:00 timer. it took 4 minutes of my time to get back up to 167º so i hope +/- 1º won’t hurt the process.
i don’t think you mentioned how to treat them right out of the hot water but i usually put eggs into a container of ice water for at least a couple of minutes else you can’t handle them. if i do nothing they are going to continue to cook, right?
fortuitously i found i had a 5-6″ set of silicon tongs which were just perfect for this size egg and the tips are grippy enough to hold them even wet.
i’m used to cooking poached eggs out of the shell, but i don’t really know how to peel an in-the-shell poached egg. i’ll just have to wing that part. it all depends on whether they are runnier than a soft, hard-boiled egg which i can usually manage to extract from the shell intact. worst case i can just pour them out of the shell into the rice, it just won’t look as pretty.June 13, 2015 at 3:55 pm #22963
ok–we have results. procede to analysis and troubleshooting if needed.
i left these in cold water for 2-3 minutes and then, as carefully as i was capable, peeled them trying to keep them intact if possible. i’d say 30-40% of the white adhered so closely to the shell that it was lost in the shell fragments, but i did manage to get both out with the yolk still inside.
so, the positive first. the yolks are just about perfect to my taste–not too runny yet not cooked too hard. pretty well ideal for putting over toast or rice.
the whites however, are a disaster. they are slimy and slide off the fork. hopefully there will be a slight tweak in time or temperature i can make to keep the yolks the same and cook the whites much more than they are now.
i’m not sure the upgrade from A to AA bought me anything. and dang if i didn’t eat 3/4 of the bowl before i realized i hadn’t put on salt/pepper.June 13, 2015 at 7:48 pm #22964
not used to the extended cooking times of the suos vide process yet and i meant to cook the steak to be ready soon but i just realized we’re looking at 90 minutes here not counting warm-up time.
following the instructions closely and hit one snag right away. i was going to put one into a quart bag but they were bigger than i expected and i had to go to a gallon bag. they aren’t 3/4″ but somewhere in-between 1/2″ and 3/4″ (13-19mm) and i hope that won’t throw things off.
next snag came when i went to do the water displacement thing with the ziploc. now that i think about it, i might have worked around it differently but the 4qt container wasn’t deep enough to allow me to submerge the bag up to the zipper. i realize now i might have been able to turn the steak horizontal and bent the bag 90º. what i did do was the straw trick. i practiced it first to see if i trusted it and it actually worked better than i expected. i zipped the bag close with only room to insert the straw, then sucked the air out of the bag using the straw, then quickquickquicklike a bunny sealed the last 1/4″ of zipper. there might be a very small pocket of air in there, i hope that doesn’t cause problems either.
i set the temperature at 144/62. actually i mis-converted and set it for 155, so now i’m having to wait until it comes down. i can put some ice cubes in i just realized! and i think that is a great workaround for the annoyance of waiting for it to get to that last 0.1º degree. simply set it to one degree higher than desired and when it passed your target temperature, dial it down, throw a couple of ice cubes in there, and wait a short time instead of a long time. we’ll see if that works.
well, that worked even better than expected and i’m putting the steak in at an indicated temp of 145º since the steak is frozen and i project it will drop the temp considerably when it hits the water. the temp is set at 144º so it will climb back up to the proper temp if i’m thinking this thing through clearly.
and we’re off! 90 minutes set on three timers just for insurance although i realize the time’s not critical once past the minimum.
i’ll report back. hope you guys actually have something to do on a saturday night although it’s only saturday night here and coming up on it where helen is. btw, i added ‘whitehorse, yukon’ to my international clock and i see it’s the same time zone as los angeles which sort of surprised me. for some reason i was thinking more anchorage.June 13, 2015 at 9:14 pm #22965
One common technique is to set the bath temperature one or two degrees higher than your target temperature for the food. This dramatically brings down the cooking time. Often by half or more. But it closes up that window of perfect doneness.
It is also a well documented technique to add ice to rapidly cool the water bath. I plan on doing just that later today as I am going to have another go at tempering chocolate in the SV. My first attempt was less than stellar. Good snap but dull not glossy. I just used the fail to make a chocolate Soufflé. Delicious. And the temper didn’t matter.
In case you are interested, chocolate has a number of different crystal forms. Each has different properties. Just one has a glossy shine, snap and the ability to melt in your mouth but not in your hand. To ensure you get your chocolate in that state you need to jump through hoops. First melt your chocolate @115—122°F. Then cool it to 81°F and finally reheat it to 90°F. If you don’t follow these steps precisely you don’t get that gloss. And you need to go through the process again. If you get any water in it, the chocolate seizes and you have to throw it out (I.e. Make more soufflé. ) the traditional method involves long careful stirring over a pot of water, then spreading on a marble slab to cool just enough then using quickly before it sets. An SV in theory makes it a breeze to manage these different stages. And you can hold the final temp for hours so it remains usable for a long time.
That egg looked pretty good to me. Just a little overcooked for my taste. Yes sticking to the shell can be an issue. I just eat the white out of the shell. Or treat it like a traditional boiled egg and just crack the top and eat it all that way. Maybe take yours up to 80°C next time and shorten the time a little.June 13, 2015 at 10:22 pm #22966
tks! i am currently eating my steak and potatoes and onions (the latter two from yesterday). as far as i know, i haven’t had a medium steak before and i don’t know what the texture should be. it’s hard to cut with a sharp serrated knife and is ‘chewy’. but i’ll bet some of that is because every time i’ve cooked meat in the pressure cooker it was melt-in-the-mouth tender and i’ve never needed a knife for anything.
but i will admit that it’s juicy and tasty and full of flavor. i actually found a bottle of worcester sauce and i put some of that and salt and pepper on it.
but here’s the big surprise (i’ll have pictures to follow) — it came out of the bag as brown as i’d ever need it and when i cut it i expected pink inside and it only had a tinge of pink in a few places around the outside. it actually looked like the medium well steaks i’m used to.
all of which was a very good thing because i couldn’t get the saute function on the new smart pot to work. i read three sets of instructions and thought i’d followed them to the letter but i’m going to post in the relevant forum to ask laura what is going on with that. you’re welcome to look at it too and add any thoughts on the process failure.
i tried my best to get the color right, but i’m not that good at digital editing. in the 2nd photo i had cut a chunk off and placed it at top with the cut part facing you, so hopefully you can make some sort of judgement.
i just finished about 3oz and i have to admit it was juicy and flavorful and the fat is just delicious! but i could wish i could cut it with a fork. that might be sacrilege in the steak crowd along with ‘well done’. [g]June 14, 2015 at 12:31 am #22968
that chocolate still seems like too many moving parts for me. and how do you improve on chocolate in the first place? i mean, it’s already pretty tasty if you can afford the better stuff. or are you just rendering it so you can use it in foods that wouldn’t take it in other forms.June 14, 2015 at 12:59 am #22969
Yes. Chocolate right out of the packet is already tempered and doesn’t need any further treatment. But if it old or has been left sitting on the dashboard in the sun will have turned horrible. By tempering it you bring it back to that glossy snappy state we all love.
But the main reason is to change its form for some reason. That can be as simple as making your own Easter eggs or as complex as creating your own candy motorbike featuring chocolate coiled springs.
Glad you liked that steak but it looks way overcooked to me. Try dialing back the temperature a little next time.
Yes there is more to cooking than just getting everything fork tender. If that’s what you’re after then stick to the pressure cooker or mince everything. You can get it from SV but it takes a long time to render the collagen at the low temperatures it uses. I have cooked superb fall apart tender and juicy short ribs, but it was a three day cook.June 14, 2015 at 1:16 am #22970
i am amazed at the quality of the steak, tell the truth. not sure i could take it any rarer though–i dislike my food introducing itself! but if you can imagine how badly i would have mangled it if i’d tried to grill it, then it’s even more of a miracle. i think maybe the chewyness or stringyness might have been because it wasn’t prime tbone, it was the onsale stuff.June 14, 2015 at 1:36 am #22972
The beauty of SV is that it is consistent. If that is the way you like your steak (Shudder!!!) then every time it will be the same. No risk of dry scorched exteriors or raw bloody interiors. Sometimes on the same steak.
But do try dialing back the temp a little next time. You may be pleasantly surprised. And you can always pop it back in and crank the heat up a little.
There is a sweet spot for steak where tenderness and juiciness are maximized. I think you are still a bit above that point.June 14, 2015 at 2:41 am #22973
i’ll try it next time. and you’re right, i can always cook it a little more if necessary.June 15, 2015 at 2:15 pm #22994
just fyi, amazon has the apc for even $10 cheaper than i paid: $119. only for prime member and it’s on a timer:June 19, 2015 at 10:15 pm #23025
I just cooked a sous vide roast yesterday, very small about 2 lbs. I cooked it 12 hours at 135 degrees for rare. Then I cut it in 1/2 and continued cooking 1/2 at 165 degrees for another hour for those who liked theirs more well done.
It was very tender but still had roast beef texture, not mushy.
It sliced nicely and could then be easily cut with the side of a fork.
Being curious I popped what was left of the rare back and cooked a further 12 hours at 135 degrees. Was IMO a smidge better. Hard to say but I will swear you don’t even need teeth to chew it but still feels and tastes like roast beef.
My thing with cooking, other than having really good food at reasonable price is experimentation. Basically when I am trying to get something right, I will just keep whacking away. Stubborn. Then I will say that was fun and on to another bizarre food fixation.
The Instant Pot is the best cooking appliance IMO because there are so many recipes that turn out equally as well or better in it with very little effort. I may have made close to 100 things in 6 months from applesauce, stews, roasts, beans, meatloaf, cheesecake, cabbage rolls, beets, squash etc. Only failure I had was with broccoli.
Sous vide is a bit hit or miss for me. Beef is great, Pork roast good, pork chops so so and the only veg I thought was better sous vide was cabbage. Chicken and eggs have sucked so far but I m perverse enough to enjoy a challenge.
It sounds to me as if you are doing pretty darn good with your Anova and boldly going where you would not have thought of going beforeJune 19, 2015 at 10:38 pm #23026
thanks for the encouragement helen! i really haven’t dropped out on you guys, i just cooked 3 huge meals in one day and i’ve been eating leftovers for a week now.
one thing i cooked was a half chicken in the pc and of course it came out great, but in the future i’m gonna stick with thighs and parts. too many bones to deal with. same on the tbone steak i sv’d–it was a pain working around the bone.
i know, right? it’s great to have these sorts of annoyances instead of cursing at the cooking devices for failing you!
i can’t even imagine 36 hours of sv’ing, even if broken into 12-hour chunks like that. that’s experimental dedication! but i too am much like you describe. change something and take notes until you can say, this is as good as i can get it given the resources i’m willing to devote to it.
i’m still unsure of the efficacy of this sv machine. granted, if you get the temperature and a few other details right, i can already see you’re going to get an item cooked as good as anyone can do. but you lose the juices generated by cooking in the pressure cooker. matter of fact, i can’t really see how the sv could come out on top on certain items that i’m sure benefit from the steam recycling the juices from the item right back into it. the tbone came out perfectly cooked (despite old hoof’n’horns and the moo too), but the only juiciness was internal. i’ll need more trials and comparisons to form any firm conclusions though.
so i guess the question is, was a roast cooked for 12-36 hours that much better than one cooked for 45 minutes?
/guyJune 19, 2015 at 11:36 pm #23030
The roast cooked for 12 to 24 hours was much better. And 100 times better than a crock pot one. My opinion only. Steaks cooked 45 minutes sous vide were just as good but not the same thing. And a 72 hour brisket or corned beef is delectable. But then so are short ribs done 45 minutes in the Instant Pot.
The thing with the sous vide is, as Greg says, the almost absolute dependability.
Once you get it right you have got it. And 36 hours even is not a great deal of time in the cooking world. My Grandmother used to cook beans in the ground in smouldering ashes for 3 days. And there are those who smoke for days or braise for a long time in the oven.
Another thing with sous vide is you can cook ahead. Buy a small roast and cut it into steaks. Cook them all and just reheat when ready. Sort of a high class TV dinner.
Totally agree about the bones. Cooked a Porterhouse which was wonderful, but way too much meat and awkward. Cooked lots of striploin because it is bizarrely about the cheapest you can buy these days, and some chuck that was totally delicious. All things being equal I would opt for the chuck or flank or brisket. Takes longer but sublime.
Off topic: I made risotto in the Instant Pot and passed some around to my various friends who had never had or even heard of risotto before. Got 3 lake trout and a salmon in return. I think they liked it:)June 19, 2015 at 11:41 pm #23031
reminds me … i got the rice you guys recommended ready and waiting. it’s another item on my short list. maybe soon though because i think i finished off the brown rice today.June 20, 2015 at 1:19 am #23032
Don’t worry about drifting off topic in these threads @Helen. They are more like conversations than Q&A. I only get antsy about it if it is someone else’s thread.
When you get to the risotto @guy, make sure you follow Laura’s recipe or one of the variants. Made properly, risotto is a joy. But it can become a gluggy mess. That is not to say oyu cannot play around with it. But do it by the book at least once. Then you will know what you are aiming for.
As it happens, I did a lamb “roast” the other day. Not sure what the cut was. Possibly a boned and rolled loin. 24Hr @ 60ºC. Absolutely sublime. Still just a blush of pink. And melt in the mouth tender.
For a change I seared it first in a frypan, then bagged it with two sprigs of rosemary, a smash of garlic and a slurp of EVOO. I was going to sear it again at the end, but I ran out of time so didn’t bother.
Served with PC’d potatoes that I subsequently roasted in EVOO to develop a crunchy crust and some PC’d broccoli and cauliflower. Still getting the timing right on them. Down to about a minute @Hi and will probably go shorter – or switch to Low pressure.
I disagree about losing the juices. Rather than lost, they stay in the meat where they belong.June 20, 2015 at 1:27 am #23033
yeah, i misspoke about the juices. what i think i meant is that they get ‘recycled’ in the pressure cooker. maybe–that’s how i envision it anyway. like percolated coffee although that’s not even a comparison worth discussing!
but i take you point about them staying in place. is there a temperature they evaporate at? or does the vacuum curtail that possibility?
/guyJune 20, 2015 at 1:33 am #23034
and i’ve gotta add lamb to my queue. i don’t think i’ve ever had any that was memorable–even in the mediterranean where they excel at lamb.
/guyJuly 9, 2015 at 8:37 pm #23552
Just got this in the mail today. It’s advertising for their courses, but worthwhile reading none the less
http://www.chefsteps.com/activities/a-complete-guide-to-sous-vide-packaging?utm_source=ChefSteps&utm_campaign=fbad5d6b17-complete_guide_to_sous_vide_packaging&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a61ebdcaa6-fbad5d6b17-130393021September 2, 2015 at 2:23 am #25000
Have you noticed Anova are bringing out a WiFi version. Not sure I can see any real advantage. Do you really want someone to hack your dinner?
I can’t see leaving an anaerobic bag of food at room temperature half the day just so I can turn it on mid afternoon from the other side of town and get a well cooked batch of botulism when I return. Still it might be handy for monitoring an ongoing cook.September 2, 2015 at 12:28 pm #25011
I have been thinking of getting one. Not that I need two. I am not too worried about anyone hacking it. I think it is marginally easy to pair with a blue tooth device if you are within distance.
And no I wouldn’t want to turn it on remotely although it probably would not cause any harm to fresh root vegetables which I store in the closet.
Might be okay to come home to cooked potatoes or turnip so you could start the steak. But I am almost always home or in the Yukon within 50 feet of home.
The big advantage to me of the wireless is the easy ability to run the app. Plus their seems to be more Windows programming types interested in developing cooking software and doing experimental type cooking. And more programmers are familiar with wifi, and have the sdks etc. So I think we would get better software quickly.September 2, 2015 at 1:41 pm #25012
beware the app folks. it’s vicious and evil. and this comes from someone who can’t do anything without computer help.
the app for the instantpot is a horrible mess (sorry laura!) and seemingly outsourced to a kindergarten class for the coding, but it’s at least useful to view the status and to manually start and stop it.
the anova app is user hostile. not only that, it will change the settings on the machine simply by starting up the app! that’s a new one on me.
i can’t think of why i’d want wi-fi unless i needed more range although it is a much better choice than bt for a number of reasons–the main one being much less battery usage on the device.
and roger roger on the better software @helen. the level of incompetence in the programming of existing apps for these devices beggars the imagination.September 2, 2015 at 8:22 pm #25018
Yeah Guy I agree. I don’t have the app(s) as I don’t have a device that will run them. I bought the Instant Pot on promises of the app doing various things including sous vide. But with the Instant Pot being so slow to deliver on their promises and the app being reportedly still buggy and unsophisticated despite the long development time I just don’t care anymore.
And I am probably more tech addicted than you. my little weeny cabin is littered with laptops I am repairing pro bono for friends because there is not a lot to do in this village.
And like yourself, it has been an introduction to a new way of cooking. But if I knew then what I know now I would probably have bought a Cuisinart.
As I said before I am am usually home when I am cooking and don’t find it cumbersome. The exception would be a long sous vide cook, which I would start from home with the Wi-Fi disabled. Not that I can see a deranged person searching the internet with the intent to screw up my dinner by raising the heat or on the minute chance (1 in several hundred million in North America) that they could poison/kill me with botulism etc. Possibly they could hack my Nexus door lock but it would probably be less trouble to chop through the door.
But…. I won’t be buying an Wi-Fi Anova till I see the software advantages and I sincerely doubt Instant Pot will be the first one to develop a Wi-Fi controlled pressure cooker.September 2, 2015 at 8:51 pm #25019
@helen: if all you need is an on/off switch you can toggle from the internet, there is a wifi power switch. there’s actually many more than one–i used a wemo because it works with the amazon echo/alexa voice control box. i put one on my power strip to the anova and the instantpot and i could start or stop a cook from anywhere as long as everything was set up beforehand.
i admit i haven’t found an opportunity to use it yet, though, so i can’t provide a review of it.
here’s the one i got. i think many might be cheaper:September 3, 2015 at 2:05 am #25020
Don’t the ip and the anova default to idle when they turn on? I know the A1, which I use most often, does. If so, a simple wifi power switch won’t get your cook started.September 3, 2015 at 2:40 am #25021
you could well be right. i think i only have the pc plugged into it right now just to avoid confusion with which one’s going to start up.September 3, 2015 at 3:43 am #25025
Greg is right on the idle. You have to press start on my Anova.
And really my only interest presently is better software and scripting.
A good recipe database with a comment section for each item would be good.
Lots of nice looking recipe database programs available but none that I actually find easy or suit my very basic needs. Of course they will get better I am sure.
I want to be able to clip and paste a recipe, define with a click whether it is metric or not, whether measurements are by volume or weight, convert easily, and convert quantities.
Comments section should have priority selection, date made, any adjustments made and of course whether it was tasty or not. GUI should be switchable between graphic/database view.
I saw a video on the upcoming Anova circulator where it seemed that an integrated screen would give more options.
But then maybe I am just typing nonsense as I usually (always?) just want to cook for a certain time and temperature and I have gotten quite comfortable with the Anova timer believe it or not.September 3, 2015 at 6:07 am #25026
Helen, I use this app for my recipes.
Sadly it is only iDevice. And it looks like there has been no work done on it since 2013 which was about when I got it. Still it covers most of your wish list. There must be something similar in the android world. A recipe database is pretty basic stuff. I could write one myself in a few hours. Well days. I’m rusty as all get out. But it would be PC based. I’ve never done any app development.September 3, 2015 at 7:44 am #25028
I could probably write one myself if I could get motivated. It was part of my job when doing Industrial Control and I did contract work for UBC and BC Hydro. But that was many years ago.
I do have an iPhone 4 which unfortunately will not run Smart Bluetooth apps. I will try your recommendation one of these days.
Unfortunately I cannot get into the cellphone/tablet thing. I like my mouse and keyboard. I have 3 tablets and used one quite a bit when I first got it, but I have yet to make a call on the iPhone. A former roommate gave me a $600 Nokia Windows phone 2 years ago, I fiddled with it for a couple of weeks and than gave it back. He was quite happy as his fiancée was wanting one.
My Surface Pro 3, technically a tablet but I have the dock and the Bluetooth mouse and keyboard etc. today decided to exhibit all the reported bugs after being problem free for a year. Wireless adapter missing was the first. Got that working, then USB and Bluetooth devices would not connect. Common problems but I must use the touchscreen interface to get them working again. Not a happy camper.
Snivel, snivel, whine, whine. Luckily I have my laptop with me as well.
Hope you are feeling better.September 3, 2015 at 11:23 am #25041
scanned the details on that app. main objection is that you have to use their ‘browser’. i have a password manager (lastpass) where, on the desktop version it plugs in my info using whatever browser you’re using. but on the idevices it evidently doesn’t have this authority and you have to use its internal browser. and this is just a non-starter and means i’m back to flipping back and forth and copying and pasting my credentials.
so what i’m saying is that if they were thinking, they would have simply created browser extensions to ‘clip’ recipes. evernote is a great example. if i’m surfing along and find a page or a portion of a page or even just a phrase i simply right-click and select ‘clip page, clip screenshot, or clip bookmark’. easy-peasy.
my eyes are getting so bad that i can barely use my iphone or even my tablet with any confidence or comfort. sadly, a 27″ screen has become my minimum standard and i would implode if i was sentenced to use even my ipad alone for 2 weeks.September 3, 2015 at 4:57 pm #25044
I can emphasize on the eye thing. Due to various health problems I have to take prednisone and am developing cataracts plus the age factor. But with the aid of bigger and better reading glasses from the dollar store I can easily read the iphone screen and tablet screens.
I am really just not into touch. It is okay for a game. No problem. I played Paradise Island for months. But the onscreen keyboard popping up and covering things and the crappy Windows touch GUI for data entry just annoys the hell out of me.
Perhaps I should try using the iPhone with a mouse and keyboard but that seems somehow wrong. I am not talking for phone usage but just for apps. The big reason I don’t use it for phone calls (yet) is I don’t really want anyone calling me here. In the winter I talk on the phone, but in the summer I don’t want to. How weird is that.September 3, 2015 at 5:00 pm #25045
PS I don’t really like Evernote. I like Pocket okay but after a certain point it loses the pictures.September 3, 2015 at 5:14 pm #25046
i need cataract surgery but they won’t let me drive home afterwards or even call a taxi.
i dislike the expense, but i have two active phones with different numbers. my ideal would be to have all calls go to google voice and get captured on voice mail but that requires using the google-assigned number and it was just too much trouble to get that number out there.
for a couple of years there was a firm that you could forward your phone numbers to and they would return a text and/or an email when you got a call. that was ideal! they went out of business though and i never found a substitute.
oh, and i’m out of luck on using off-the-shelf optics. i have astigmatism and farsightedness and lazy eye syndrome and now cataracts. and yet i’m a photographer and an astronomer and a target shooter–no way i should have gravitated to those hobbies–no accounting for crazy i guess. [g]September 3, 2015 at 5:47 pm #25047
Good grief. I seem to be the healthiest here. I am colour blind but apart from that just have age related farsightedness. I can even still see in the dark. Though acuity is shot to hell these days
I know what you mean about the in app browser Guy. What I do is use my normal browser then cut’n paste the address to the app and go from there. Once the recipe is in the app it does everything I want.September 3, 2015 at 6:01 pm #25050
I seem to be the healthiest here
good grief, what a sad sad depressing thought!September 3, 2015 at 6:06 pm #25051
Well I am often caught between a rock and a crazy place.
For the necessary driver for cataract surgery if you cannot find one, and probably you could, my advice is to lie. Not ethical perhaps, but when your imaginary driver doesn’t show up someone will drive you home or call a taxi. What else can they do.
There seems to be a dearth of services for the visually challenged these days which is odd as a few years ago the US government was imposing strict regulations on ebook readers in this area. I am a big fan of ebook readers and have 6 but I think a usable and convenient method of communication is more important for most people.
My boss who has fine vision has a big chunky phablet phone which is practically welded to her hand. Big letters/numbers kid of like a kid’s play phone. If I squint my eyes I can read it without glasses.September 4, 2015 at 12:28 pm #25062SuzanneParticipant
Helen, sorry to backtrack, but just to clarify — were you saying that if you could do it over you would buy a Cuisinart electric pressure cooker or sou vide thingy (I forget the term for them)?September 4, 2015 at 5:40 pm #25064
No. I was saying I would buy the Cuisinart instead of the Instant Pot IF I knew then what I know now.
But since I didn’t know anything much about pressure cookers the possibility to do sous vide was one of it’s biggest attractions.
I was thinking to get a pressure cooker but might have ended up with a dreadfully cheap aluminum one and used it once or twice.
The reasons I would probably buy Cuisinart (or cheaper Instant Pot or similar) is that it seems to be well thought of by owners/reviewers at 1/3 to 1/2 the price and has a couple of things I admire that the Instant Pot doesn’t. Vice versa of course as it does not have any app at all and eventually Instant Pot will probably have a useful one. One can do limited sous vide in most electric pressure cookers as well as pressure cook.
I bought the Anova circulator after the Instant Pot. Greg helped me out with my sous vide experiments and the price went to what I was comfortable with. I like it a lot but do not use it nearly as often as my pressure cookers. It requires quite a bit of patience as many things take a long time, and a lot of experimentation at the beginning for me anyway. And while 90+% of things I have made in the Instant Pot turn out excellent the first time, they don’t always with sous vide. Or I just don’t care for them as there are often textural differences. For me sous vide beef, lamb, fish and cabbage are all excellent. The chicken, asparagus, brussel sprouts, and eggs that others rave about I don’t care for. I am 99% certain this is personal preference as they fit the pictures and descriptions.
I am not sorry I bought the Instant Pot. I do love it and the Anova too.September 6, 2015 at 5:49 pm #25066SuzanneParticipant
Thanks for clarifying that, Helen. I’m interested because a friend of mine is looking to start pressure cooking, and is hung up on the electric or stovetop question at present. Knowing knowing he is not one to hang around in the kitchen, I suggested an Instant Pot Smart to him.
Like you, this unit really got my attention when I realized I could probably sous vide cook in it, if I got the Smart. I didn’t jump on it when the price came down because my smartphone (Android) did not meet the requirements, and it seemed silly to replace an otherwise acceptable phone in order to run a pot. I confess as time has passed since “Modernist Cooking at Home” fired me up for both pressure cooking and sous vide, I’m less inclined to invest in sous vide because (1) I can’t seem to get over not wanting to cook in plastic, (2) I’m a more pragmatic cook than an experimental one, and, as a pescatarian 99% of the time, I wouldn’t use it for much other than fish, and (3) I don’t want to wait more than 10 minutes for my fish to cook. It doesn’t help that the fish I eat here in the Midwest comes frozen, and there are limits to how exciting it gets from there.
So I don’t foresee dedicated sous vide equipment in my kitchen, but I’d probably play with sous vide if I got an IP Smart. I’d like to see the Instant Pot company iron out either their Keep Warm function issue or get the app working well. And even then, I question whether I want to have using my PC contingent on having the right Android phone. I wish they would just put some of the simpler programming capability into the pot itself, and not have these functions dependent on a phone.
For the present, I’m cooling my jets, but it’s a different picture for my friend who has a current Android phone and wants fast beans and grains. I see the Keep Warm function as a problem, so I’m not recommending the Duo, but he could be a good fit for the Smart. That’s why I was curious if the Cuisinart you mentioned might be an even better choice.
While at present I’m not a very experimental cook (being plant-based takes up a lot of kitchen time on just basic food preparation), my cooking continues to evolve. So far, about half of the vegetarian PC recipes I’ve tried this summer are keepers. The need for a smaller pot feels less pressing than it did earlier in the summer, because most of the purely vegetable recipes that I tried which I would have used in a smaller pot are not compelling as leftovers and will not be repeated. So my petal steamer in an ordinary pot is getting more use again for the veg. The ability to lift the lid to test if this or that veg is cooked enough seems more important than speed, and I don’t believe I saved that much time on summer veg in the PC. Winter veg will probably be a different story. And of course the beans, stews, and grains still go into the PC. Like you, Helen, I absolutely adore my PC. I will probably get a smaller stovetop PC in the next year to make my Sunday mornings, when I do 90% of my cooking for the week, more efficient.
Thanks again for explaining your thinking. I do enjoy reading your cooking adventures.September 6, 2015 at 8:05 pm #25072
Well if he is not one to hang around in the kitchen the electric is the way to go.
And if he is into technology the Instant Pot Smart would probably be the one he would like best. he would be pretty happy though with a cheaper one as well. I foresee the app getting worked out by Instant Pot as two days before Armageddon and the keep warm function fixed as the week after as they do not seem to see it as important enough to hire a real programmer. I base this seemingly harsh opinion in the slowness of development for something that is not really rocket science and the numerous simplistic bugs that are still there. And they make snide comments about not developing a Windows app because mobile being the way of the future and then stall on the android app as well. And zero replies/comments from programming or engineering staff. Still while it is poorly programmed in both the app and the panel, the wiring inside is some of the best I have encountered in a kitchen appliance.
I actually don’t think the keep warm function is a big problem in general unless you are very absent minded and easily side tracked like me. It has overcooked 2 of my meals when I went to bed without emptying it or turning it off. As Laura explained it doesn’t actually kick in till after pressure has dropped.
And of course, if buying an Instant Pot or similar check for coupons everywhere. I got a very good discount and paid $209 CAD IIRC.
Also many people seem to be buying sous vide and not using them. And Instant Pots. Or getting them as gifts. I have seen many on craigslist still in box at a very good price.
As I said before, fish and cabbage are my biggest successes in the sous vide non meat area. Have not tried either in the Instant Pot.
I can cook fish just fine in many ways, but the sous vide fish is excellent so far and totally dependable. Even the store bought frozen salmon/cod/sole from Wal-Mart et. al. turns out with that slightly glassy texture which I admire even when cooked from frozen.
The cabbage which I have made twice is definitely the best cabbage I have ever eaten.
I understand about the plastic and agree but I have probably ingested a lot of plastic molecules in my life and seem to have survived. And the newer products are safer supposedly. Likewise aluminum, smog, mold, Teflon etc. Plus a lot of sous vide can be done in mason jars and there are silicone (pricey) pouches available.
Not trying to talk you into it, but if you see a good bargain on Craig’s list:)
My two favorite veg in the pressure cooker are beets and spaghetti squash. Cannot see doing either sous vide as being any better and far more trouble. Also beans.
My reason for wanting a smaller pressure cooker is convenience. Easier to store, wash etc. But they are hard to find in Canada and seem very expensive.
For your Sunday morning cooks (I was big into OAMC for a bit) an electric could be a godsend if you have a space to put it on. Just one thing you can set and forget till it beeps. When I do beets, I do the beets for 18 minutes, then put them into the sink to skin with paper towel method and put the greens on for 2 minutes while I sknin the beets. Take out the greens and put the cooking liquid in a jar or glass which I will probably drink or use for Asian Pho type soup. No watching for it to come to pressure etc.
One less pot to juggle or watch.
And I enjoy your posts as well.September 6, 2015 at 8:46 pm #25073
helen i amplify your comments on the app by 1000%. hate to say that as laura doesn’t have any control over it, but there it is.
and remember i got into _this_whole_mess_ (!) by shopping for a crock pot and noticing that i could get an electric ‘multi’ cooker for just a few dollars more. i started with the stainless steel version of the 4qt gowise–the cheapest model in amazon with prime shipping. well, not the cheapest–they had a non-stick model for $5 less. i can’t believe i chose wisely even knowing nothing–sometimes dumb luck does help. or my karma kicked in–who knows.
don’t get me wrong–there were some major flaws and aggravations with the gowise. i ended up here because their (laughably called) documentation was useless for a pc newbie. but the results were jaw-droppingly good and immediate. my very first pc dish was frozen salmon and it came out pefect. a feat i hesitate to try today so many have problems with fish.
i’d still have this one except i put the inner pot down on a pad which adhered to the bottom without me noticing and i put it into the shell that way where it proceeded to melt everything together. i salvaged the 4qt stainless inner pot, but the rest had to be trashed.
i guess the bottom line to this post is that you can get spectacular results for a low cost of entry if you don’t need the bells and whistles and bluetooth. bear in mind i’m not speaking to longevity here as i didn’t own that first one (rip gowise!) long enough to gather any data.
and i still wish that i could have gotten a 4qt model. 6qts is just overkill for one person.
/guySeptember 6, 2015 at 9:04 pm #25075
Hey Guy if the Gowise was as cheap in Canada as the US I would probably buy one:). Just because it was 4 litre. Of course I am the ultimate appliance junkie.
But unless it is something I really like, and really like as a leftover I cook smaller amounts in the 6 liter PC. The upside is variety, the downside is having to wash the inner pot more often.
Here I thought your first dish was chicken and dumplings:). Kudos on the fish.September 6, 2015 at 9:13 pm #25076
You don’t qualify as an appliance junky until you have spent $2000 or so on a glorified blender (AU price – I can’t find a US or CA one)September 6, 2015 at 9:17 pm #25077
that was the first one you taught me and i’m still grateful. i would have cooked them again long before now but you guys expanded my horizons so wide i’m overwhelmed with options and new things i want to try.
/guySeptember 6, 2015 at 9:19 pm #25078
oh, i think a 700aus volume of cookbooks puts you very solidly in that category mate!September 6, 2015 at 9:34 pm #25079
Well Greg I guess you have me far outclassed in the appliance spending category. I am a lot more low rent:).
So give me your opinion. Is it $2000 AUD well spent?
I am doing (hopefully if my courage doesn’t fail) condo renovations in the next few months. Flooring, walls, ceiling lights and electrical (not necessarily in that order) Then on to the kitchen and built in storage. How big is this thing really and how many other appliances does it replace better than adequately.
Call me awed and impressed.September 6, 2015 at 9:53 pm #25080
Guy I don’t think I taught you much except for the intended advice to Keep It Simple xxxxxx and it is all easy. As to the gratitude I am still waiting for the picture of the perfect or imperfect fried egg. But no gratitude necessary at all.
Bizarrely enough I am eating more eggs these days after a post by Greg. I have one egg one bacon and one toast several times a week.
A friend who is diabetic and in excellent health otherwise has brought me in some samples of the gluten free low carb low glycemic index commercially available food she has bought and eats. I was amazed to find it very good (delicious) as I have tried many that weren’t even close to good from others.
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