Review: Anova Pro

In the realm of Sous Vide Immersion Circulators Anova has frequently been on the forefront of luxury.

With the Anova Pro this streak remains unbroken. The Pro is easily the Rolls Royce of Immersion Circulators – from build quality, to functionality, to price.

Let’s get into it.

Specifications

Despite its list of features the Anova Pro is actually one of the lighter full-sized immersion circulators we’ve reviewed. Check out some of the technical specifications below:

  • 88mm D x 60mm W x 350mm H
  • 1.29 kg
  • 1,200W heater
  • Fits up to 60L, or 15 gallon, water bath
  • Flow rate of 12L per minute
  • Up to 10,000 hours of continuous running time
  • Accurate temperature reading +/- 0.05 degrees C
  • Raised Impeller

Even better, the Anova Pro heats fast. In my test recipe it took less than 15 minutes to heat my water bath to 134F from the default setting of about 61F. There was also absolutely no fluctuation in water temperature during cooking as far as I could tell.

Build Quality

The Anova Pro is built halfway between a tank and an Aston Martin – just without the noise. The Anova Pro is built almost entirely from a combination of stainless-steel and teflon coated aluminum (for the electrical components). There isn’t a rough edge on this thing. Its LED interface joins seamlessly with aluminum via a soft rubber seal.

Its stainless-steel skirt is also fully detachable for servicing the internal coils. There are no screws or panels to remove here. The skirt comes away in one, smooth twist. Servicing the coils and plastic components, based on testing, is pain-free.

I haven’t had any mineral build-up during my short time with the Anova Pro. If you do develop green, black or white deposits on your circulator Anova recommends a gentle mixture of 50/50 water to white vinegar, circulated at 140C for 30 minutes. Interior components (see below) are well-spaced and easy to clean via a small tooth brush or by using a small dish cloth to ‘floss’ between the coils.  For these all important internal components Anova recommends a less acidic solution like a mild dish soap.

All of these little touches add up for a proud addition to any kitchen, professional or otherwise.

Form

There’s a surprising amount that you can get wrong with an immersion circulator. Everything from vent placement, to the impeller, water jets, and sealing between metal and casing is critical.

The Anova Pro surprises and delights on many, many fronts.

It features a raised impeller set above a beveled base. This means that, regardless of what kind of water bath you’re using, it will sit comfortably without vent blockage. The raised impeller really underscores the simple brilliance of this design choice.

Even better, the clamp at the rear is adjustable through a two-pin system. One dial tightens the clamp to the side of the pot. The other adjusts the height. This is an elegant solution to a problem that many mid-range sous vide immersion circulators stumble into. The vast majority of immersion circulators only feature one way of adjusting the clamp. Having two options for adjustment allows for the Anova Pro, unlike more affordable units to fit in almost literally any medium to large sized water bath.

More importantly the two-axis clamp system is secure and easy-to-use. The immersion Circulator’s stability was top notch during both preheating and cooking. After a couple of twists I knew that the Anova Pro was absolutely not going anywhere.

Functionality

The Anova Pro has all the bells and whistles of a great immersion circulator.

Its LED display is responsive when used manually and doesn’t skip intervals or degrees easily. If, like me, you don’t always use wi-fi or bluetooth you’ll find the Anova Pro a fast friend to the luddite.

The more technologically inclined will no doubt be pleased by Anova’s extensive recipe selection via their Anova Culinary app. According to Anova’s website they will also be releasing a unit-specific app for Android and Apple. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this app was not available in the App Store or on Google Play.

As such, let’s talk about Anova’s app and how the Pro’s wi-fi plus bluetooth functionality panned out. During testing I had no issue connecting my Android phone to the Anova Pro.

With that said, Anova’s bullet-proof way of connecting your phone to the Pro isn’t quite as simple as just connecting to wi-fi. If you’ve owned an Anova previously make sure to disconnect from this device from within the Anova App before doing the following.

  1. Turn on wi-fi
  2. Turn on bluetooth
  3. Connect to the Anova Pro through the Anova App

If you follow these steps in exactly this order you shouldn’t have any problems. With that said, if you’re having issues connecting Anova does offer 24/hr customer support. There have been plenty of recent reports of wi-fi connectivity, so make sure to follow these steps exactly. If you’re still having trouble I would recommend just using the Anova Pro in manual mode until its specific app comes out.

Privacy and the Anova Culinary App

While we’re discussing the Anova Pro app, let’s take a moment to talk about privacy.

Some sous vide apps have absolutely bizarre access requests. There isn’t a good reason, at least in my mind, for a cooking app to need your GPS activated to connect to wif-fi. Unfortunately, if you’re using an Android device many bluetooth enabled apps require location data to function as of 2017. The Anova Pro, through the Culinary app, needs access to your wi-fi network, device bluetooth, and location data.

If you’re interested in learning more I would recommend looking at Anova’s detailed privacy policy.

Steak Your Claim

What better way to test out the Anova Pro than with a family favourite? Steak has been the quintessential celebration meal in my family for a long time. Busting out the Anova Pro to see how it would stack up was a lot of fun. And the results? They speak for themselves.

 

One of the trickiest things about serving steak is the balance of tenderness and chew. We’ve almost all had a piece of steak slip off or tortilla or out of a sandwich because it wasn’t, to cop an expression from Italian cuisine, ‘to the tooth.’ After only an hour in the water bath plus searing, this $14 cut was a beautiful medium rare and came apart with each bite.

 

Since my family is big on tortillas, I decided to make a few with my press and garnish the steak with an extremely simple guacamole. I didn’t even add salt and pepper, allowing the acidity of the lime and the creaminess of the avocado to sit underneath my already seasoned cut of steak.

In total, I don’t think the meal lasted more than 20-minutes. There were a lot of clean plates.

The Verdict

It’s no exaggeration to say that the Anova Pro is easily one of the best immersion circulators we’ve had the chance to work with. Despite this, there are absolutely several considerations before you make a purchase. Like I mentioned about, it’s a Rolls Royce – from cost to form and functionality. It also doesn’t yet have a dedicated app, something that I’m sure Anova will be remedying in the coming weeks. It’s also not as counter-friendly, at least not without a stand, as the Chefsteps Joule we reviewed not too long ago.

With that said, quality speaks for itself. If you can afford the Anova Pro and you like to cook we would highly recommend giving it a chance.

If you have any doubts at all, the Anova Pro also comes with a 2-year limited warranty and free returns for up to 100 days after purchase.

  • 10/10
    Performance - 10/10
  • 9.5/10
    Ease of Use - 9.5/10
  • 9.2/10
    Design - 9.2/10
  • 10/10
    Features - 10/10
9.7/10

9.68/10

With the Anova Pro this streak remains unbroken. The Pro is easily the Rolls Royce of Immersion Circulators – from build quality, to functionality, to price.

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