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Living in a tiny New York City apartment makes cooking every meal an Olympic competition of strength, resilience and flexibility. Maneuvering around a kitchen the size of a pea just isn’t conducive to creative cooking.
To me, anything that makes cooking less of a hassle is worth trying, which is why I was delighted when my dad sent me an Anova Sous Vide.
After Googling what exactly a sous vide was, I discovered it‘s a device that attaches to the side of a pot filled with water to precisely and gently cook food in an everyday ziplock bag. The device heats the water to whatever temperature you set it at, for juicy meat that you really can’t overcook.
At first, I was a bit intimidated by the long device — especially since the most advanced appliance in my kitchen is a CrockPot. But it’s really simple to use.
The Anova Sous Vide comes with all kinds of recipes and a guide that tells you how long to cook different foods (for example, a 1-inch steak should be cooked at 130° F for one hour).
After finding a pot deep enough to clamp the device to (the sous vide is a little taller than a roll of paper towels), all I had to do was season my chicken, seal it up in a bag and place it in the already heated water.
It’s easy to know if you’re doing everything right. When you plug in the Anova, a simple sound tells you it’s on. You use the touchscreen to set the temperature and timer — and that’s about it.
The device won’t begin heating unless it’s placed in water; a slight buzzing and movement in the water tells you it’s starting up (plus you can see the temperature increase on the screen).
Once the timer goes off, your food is done. But I chose to sear my chicken in a pan for a few minutes afterwards. It was delicious!
One of my favorite things about using a sous vide is the ability to step away from the stovetop. I have two roommates and when we’re all home during dinnertime, the kitchen feels like a heated “Top Chef” competition — minus the space to run around.
It also helps me worry less about cooking meat to the appropriate temperature. (After a bout of food poisoning from undercooked chicken, I appreciate reliability.)
You can download the Anova app to send cooking notifications to your phone, allowing you to monitor the process from different rooms (so long as you’re in range).
Wondering if you should get the device? I say go for it. The Anova Sous Vide gives you the freedom to prep other elements of a meal, without having to worry about the main dish.
Plus, it’s not just for meat. The device also precisely prepares veggies and soft-boiled eggs, which I made and finished eating in the time it took to write this article.
Shop it: Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker, $89 (was $130), walmart.com
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