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Not too long ago, I was about to give up on getting delicious meals at home. It was a night where I had tried to cook up a pair of delicious steaks in hopes of getting some world-class flavor at a lower price point. Unfortunately, things didn't work out that way.
I stared at the pathetic grey mess I had made for dinner with frustration. My husband looked at his meat cut, equally disappointed. I just didn't know what went wrong!
I did everything that was supposed to make the steak look great. I bought cuts of meat from the expensive part of town, I seasoned it with all the right herbs, and I placed it on the pan, frying it up the way mom told me to.
Instead of getting the restaurant quality goods that I was expecting, I ended up with a small, grey, slab of overcooked meat. My husband and I were not happy with all the money and time we spent.
After the last grey steak I made, I was about to give up. Cooking just didn't seem like it'd ever be my forte. However, a special birthday present changed all that.
My friend, Fred, is a professional chef who knew my culinary struggles.
Fred was the type of cook I wished I was. He could make a thick, juicy steak in no time flat. Every time he made something, it was cooked to perfection. There were no burn marks in his meats, nor was his food ever dry.
When you told Fred you wanted rare steak, it'd always be rare. I yearned to be him. I wanted to cook a steak to absolute perfection. He knew this, which is why he gave me the Anova Sous Vide tool as a birthday gift.
He explained that sous vide is a new type of cooking method that is designed for precision cooking.
Technology has improved significantly these past couple of decades, and with the tech improvements we have seen come better ways to cook. One of the newest methods to be created is sous vide.
Sous vide, which translates into "under vacuum" in French, is a specialized cooking method that uses precision temperature control to get better results.
With sous vide, food is placed in a container (ideally, vacuum-sealed) and then placed in boiling water set at a specific temperature so that it cooks. By removing exposure to uneven heating from pans and pots, sous vide gives you a more reliable recipe every time.
Since the food in sous vide cooking is sealed in, you also get juicier meats.
For decades, sous vide was a professionals-only cooking method.
Did you ever wonder why restaurant steaks taste different than the steaks you cook at home? I did too. That's why I was so obsessed with getting a delicious steak dinner done perfectly at home. I wanted to know the chef secret.
As it ends up, the reason why steaks are so much better at restaurants is because they all used sous vide. Up until recently, the equipment that was used for sous vide was too bulky and too complicated to bring home.
Anova was one of the first companies to make sous vide an attainable cooking method at home. They did this by making a smart sous vide that works with the gear you already have at home.
Using the Anova Sous Vide is amazingly easy.
Considering that sous vide is usually relegated to restaurants, it's impressive that companies have found a way to make it useful in a typical home kitchen. Anova did it by creating a smart sous vide.
When you're ready to try using the tool, all you need to do is connect your sous vide to a large pot. Fill the pot with water up to the minimum water line, and place it on the stove.
To preheat your cooking area, hit up the the Anova Sous Vide app.
To get preheated, you will need to access your Anova Sous Vide app through your phone. The app allows you to set your preheat temperature. Choose the temperature that you want to preheat to, and then press the "Play" button.
When your sous vide tool has reached your set temperature, it will let out a beep. Now, you're ready to cook.
Cooking your food is as simple as placing your food in a plastic bag and clipping it to your pot.
Having an in-house sous vide system means that cooking just became very simple. Anova comes with an app filled with sous vide recipes that you can follow, each of which can be instantly programmed into your sous vide with the push of a button.
To get cooking, grab a plastic bag and follow the recipe. When you place your food in the bag, use a straw to suck out the air. Then, seal the bag and clip it to the side of the pot.
Let's talk a little bit more about the app, shall we?
I really enjoyed the Anova Sous Vide app—and not just because it makes controlling my sous vide a cinch. It was very easy to navigate, came with all the instructions you need to become a sous vide guru, and had a massive library of recipes that you can use.
Everything about the app was geared towards taking out the guesswork in cooking. It even automates cooking times for you using those recipes.
The recipes really opened my eyes to how useful sous vide really is. You can cook fish, steak, vegetables, and even certain types of desserts using this thing!
The moment I tried my own sous vide steak, I fell in love.
For the first time in my life, I could honestly say that I was proud of the steak that I made. It tasted exactly like the steaks I'd have at high-end restaurants, and I ended up paying a fraction of the cost.
The steaks were moist, juicy, and best of all, kept their beefy flavor. This was what I was hoping for. Ever since then, I started using the sous vide almost daily.
Since all the food is cooked in baggies, cleanup is always easy.
You'd think that cooking using restaurant techniques would mean that you'd end up with a giant pile of plates. All I ever have to do during my cleanup time is to throw out the baggy, rinse out the water pot, and maybe wipe down my sous vide.
Needless to say, for someone who hates doing dishes, the Anova Sous Vide was an amazing discovery.
Next time I see a friend in need of a cooking lesson, I know what I'm gifting them.
Being able to use a smart sous vide tool is the gift that keeps on giving. That's why I'm convinced that giving people the gift of Anova is a great way to help them live a healthier, more gourmet-friendly life—and why I'm picking one up for my friend's next birthday.