This is a detailed review of the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi, an inexpensive immersion circulator manufactured by Anova Culinary LLC. This circulator is essentially identical to the original Anova Precision Cooker except that the capability to communicate via WiFi has been added.
This circulator, attached to a suitable container, will provide an excellent water bath for sous vide cooking. If you are interested in getting involved with sous vide cooking, this review will give you all of the information you need to determine if the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi is the right immersion circulator for your needs.
The addition of the WiFi feature to the Anova Precision Cooker provides several benefits - the most noteworthy are the capabilities: 1) to delay the start time of your cook and 2) to provide remote communication with your sous vide machine. Depending on your lifestyle you may decide that WiFi on your sous vide machine would be a "nice to have" but you don't envision that you would use it often. Or you may determine that WiFi is a "must have" to simplify your life as a sous vide cook.
In a related post, we can help you answer the question, "Do I need a sous vide machine with WiFi?"
Since reviewing the leading Inexpensive Immersion Circulators several years ago, I have been regularly using the original Anova I recommended and have been very pleased with its performance. So have the majority of Amazon's 525 reviewers who have given the Anova an impressive rating of 4.5.
Anova Culinary, LLC then came out with a new and improved version of the immersion circulator called the Anova Precision Cooker, a name chosen to reflect more accurately its function. The original unit is now referred to as the Anova One, to differentiate it from the Precision Cooker.
Anova Culinary LLC then became the first manufacturer to provide a WiFi version of an immersion circulator with the introduction of the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi. Both versions of the Anova Precision Cooker have been very well received by more than 1360 Amazon reviewers, rating them a 4.4.
If you're not into details you can go directly to my Anova Precision Cooker WiFi Summary and catch all the highlights of my analysis.
With the continually increasing popularity of sous vide, this type of cooking has now worked its way into mainstream America. In addition to high-end restaurants, many "everyday" eating establishments also use sous vide style cooking in order to achieve consistent food quality. Today, with a little up front knowledge we can enjoy using this technique in our homes.
We understand that people new to sous vide can be intimidated by this type of cooking because some of the equipment and concepts are different than "traditional". If you are just starting out, we highly recommend you first read through the Beginners' Guide to Sous Vide which will give you a comprehensive overview.
Ready to discover even more about cooking sous vide? We would encourage you to sign up for our FREE in-depth email course, Exploring Sous Vide.
The chart below lists the basic specifications published for the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi. Please refer to this as necessary as I highlight some of the specifications.
|Parameters||Anova Precision Cooker WiFi|
|Tube Diameter||2.375" (6.03 cm)|
|Height||14.75" (36.8 cm)|
|Width||2.75" (6.98 cm)|
|Weight||2.5 lbs (1.1 kg)|
|Min Immersion Depth||2.5" (6.35 cm)|
|Max Immersion Depth||6.13" (15.37 cm)|
|Min/Max Spacing||3.63" (9.02 cm)|
|Min Pot Depth||4.25" (10.8 cm)|
|Voltage||120 & 220 VAC|
|Type of Clamp||Screw with slide adjust|
|Max Clamp Opening||1.25" (3.17 cm)|
|Wetted Part Material||SS skirt and polycarbonate cap|
|Cord Length||30" (76.2 cm)|
|Cleaning||Skirt and cap can be removed|
Since I have been using the Anova One for a while I was quite surprised with how "nimble" the Precision Cooker WiFi seemed when I pulled it from the box. There are several factors which contribute to making the Precision Cooker WiFi feel more compact and agile. One of the important ones is that the attachment bracket is not permanently connected to the unit so you can handle each of them separately which is much more convenient.
The new unit has a diameter approximately 3/8" (1 cm) smaller than the Anova One. It also has a plastic cap at the bottom rather than the stainless steel one on the original unit. These changes coupled with a few others results in a circulator that is significantly lighter weight - 2.5 lbs versus 4.5 lbs (1.1 kg vs 2.04 kg). Finally, the cord on the Precision Cooker is shorter, lighter weight and goes directly into the circulator unit rather than going into the back of the attachment bracket with a plug. This makes the new unit seem much less unwieldy than the original.
Perhaps one of the Anova WiFi circulator's greatest differentiators is its ability to work with a wide variety of water bath containers. There are several factors that enter into this capability. One of these is the way in which the unit attaches to the water bath container. The new design allows the immersion circulator to slide up and down in the attachment bracket allowing it to be used with a much wider variety of containers. For example, most circulators, including the Anova One, need to have a pot which is at least 7" (17.78 cm) deep, whereas the Precision Cooker WiFi only requires a pot 4.25" (10.79 cm) deep.
There are two other advantages of the new two-piece attachment mechanism. First it makes it a little easier to connect the immersion circulator to the water bath container. The empty bracket can be securely attached first and then the circulator slid into place and tighten down.
Second, the circulator can be rotated in the bracket in order to direct the pump output in a different direction if necessary. It's great that the designers were able to maintain the strength of the original attachment mechanism while significantly increasing its flexibility and ease-of-use.
Another factor which contributes to the flexibility of the Anova PC WiFi are the locations of the minimum and maximum water levels on the device. The minimum immersion depth is 2.5" (6.35 cm), which is the lowest of the popular circulators. Moreover, the spacing between the minimum and maximum indicators is 3.63" (9.02 cm), one of the largest available. Both of these allow it to be used in a wide variety of different sized and shaped water baths.
Finally, the maximum opening of the attachment bracket is 1.25" (3.17 cm), the largest of the immersion circulators. This makes it possible to attach the unit to thick-walled containers such as coolers. All of these factors contribute to making it possible for the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi to easily connect to a plethora of water bath containers. The only downside to the attachment mechanism is that it does take slightly longer to attach than the spring clip type used on most other circulators.
The Anova Precision Cooker WiFi has kept the "built like a tank" feel that I mentioned in my previous review of the original unit. The top of the unit is made of sturdy polycarbonate and the portion in the bath is stainless steel with a polycarbonate cap on the bottom.
Often when considering the purchase of an immersion circulator we don't give much thought to cleaning the unit. But if you have well water like I do or have experienced a sous vide bag leaking on a long cook, then you know that cleaning can be an important factor in your purchasing decision. The removable stainless steel skirt on the Anova units makes it extremely simple to get into the "working" parts of the unit and keep them clean.
Over the last few years the popularity of sous vide cooking has increased significantly. This is due in large part to the availability of low cost, high quality, immersion circulators. Fortunately for sous vide enthusiasts like us, the competition in this market has really heated up. In addition to the Anova circulators, Nomiku and Sansaire have also brought inexpensive immersion circulators to market. Taking a different approach Sous Vide Supreme and Caso provide a dedicated water bath. All of these companies are competing to obtain market share in this growing movement.
Anova Culinary LLC took a major step in capturing market share by introducing their Anova Precision Cooker immersion circulator. They accomplished the fairly challenging task of improving on the original, while at the same time, reducing the cost to the consumer.
They have now been the first to bring WiFi connectivity to the immersion circulator. This is clearly a "sexy" new feature that brings some benefits to the user. I suspect many will buy it because they want the "latest and greatest" unit available. But it will be interesting to see if in general people are willing to pay the additional price to get the WiFi feature. We have written a post which may help you decide if WiFi is for you.
The primary function of a sous vide water bath is to maintain a precise low temperature during the entire duration of the cooking cycle, which could be minutes or days. There are numerous factors that go into determining how well the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi immersion circulator can perform this function. I will cover those in this section and highlight some of the similarities and differences between the Anova PC WiFi and other immersion circulators. Please refer to the chart below as needed as you read through this section.
|Parameters||Anova Precision Cooker WiFi|
|Lowest Temperature||77°F (25°C)|
|Highest Temperature||210°F (99°C)|
|Temperature Granularity||0.5°F or 0.5°C|
|Has Circulation Pump||Yes|
|Pump Speed||8 L/min|
|Can Direct Pump Output||Yes|
|Maximum Water Capacity||4-5 gallons (19 L)|
|Heater Output||800 Watts|
|Water Level Sensors||Max shut off/Min alert|
|Amazon Review Count||1364|
The Anova PC WiFi has many characteristics that are similar to other immersion circulators.
The Anova covers a temperature range which is adequate for all sous vide cooking and the variability is comparable with other units.
The Anova Precision Cooker WiFi can handle a water bath up to 5 gallons (19 L), which is comparable with other immersion circulators. However, it is 1 gallon less than specified for the original Anova One. I believe the Anova PC WiFi would be suitable for the vast majority of noncommercial sous vide applications.
Personally, I do all of my sous vide cooking using the 12 Quart Camwear Polycarbonate Container. Therefore, I have less than 3 gallons of water in the container which is well within the capability of the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi.
The Anova PC WiFi has a pump speed of 8 L/minute. This is similar to what other immersion circulators specify their pump speed to be. However this is reduced from the Anova One, which had a pump speed of 12 L/minute. I suspect it is one of the factors that led to the reduction in water bath size mentioned above.
The Anova PC WiFi is specified at 800 Watts, which is 200 Watts less than the Anova One and the lowest of all the popular immersion circulators on the market today. Obviously, this was a critical design decision made by the Anova Culinary team. Let's take a minute to examine how this decision may impact your cooking with the Anova PC WiFi.
We've found that the most meaningful impact of the lower power when sous vide cooking is that it extends the amount of time it takes to reach the target temperature on startup. Assuming you are using the same water bath container, the two factors which impact the amount of time to reach the target temperature are: the starting temperature of the water bath and the power of the immersion circulator. Refer to the table below as needed as you read through the remainder of this section.
|Parameters||Anova Precision Cooker WiFi||Gourmia Pod GSV130|
|Heater Output||800 Watts||1200 Watts|
|Room Temp Start Time||32:40||16:10|
|Hot Tap Start Time||10:50||04:00|
Here are two scenarios taken from our Sous Vide Machine Benchmark which will clearly demonstrate the impact of these two factors. In both scenarios we will want to cook our food at a target temperature of 140°F (60°C). I will provide data on two immersion circulators: the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi and the Gourmia GSV130. The Gourmia immersion circulator pod was the fastest of all the units we tested and has a power of 1200 Watts.
In the first scenario we fill our water bath container with hot water from the tap. This is typically about 125°F (51.7°C). So if you need to get the water bath to a target temperature of 140°F (60°C), you only need to raise it 15°F (9.3°C). In our benchmark tests we refer to this as the "Hot Tap Start Time". It took the Anova PC WiFi approximately 11 minutes to reach the target temperature, the Gourmia reached it just 4 minutes.
The second scenario is modeled for cooks such as Jason who leave their water bath and circulator set up all the time and ready to go. So in this case we start with the water bath filled with water sitting at room temperature, which is typical around 75°F (23.9°C). If you want to reach the same target temperature of 140°F (60°C), you are looking at a temperature rise of 65°F (18.3°C). In our benchmark tests we refer to this as the "Room Temperature Start Time". It took the Anova PC WiFi approximately 33 minutes to reach the target temperature, the Gourmia reached it in 16 minutes.
It is simply a fact that the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi has the slowest start times of the popular immersion circulators. However, the important question is, "How will those slower times impact the way you cook sous vide?" It may have absolutely no impact on most cooks, and drive others crazy! There are a few things that you need to consider.
How do you typically start a sous vide cook? For example, when starting a sous vide meal I typically begin by filling the water bath with hot tap water. Then I start the sous vide machine running while I prep the item I am going to be sous viding. So by the time I'm ready to insert the food into the water bath, it has had plenty of time to get up to the target temperature. If you go through a similar process, then the extended start time will rarely impact you at all.
On the other hand, if you typically start your cook with a water bath that's at room temperature, you may become frustrated having to wait the additional time for the bath to get up to the target temperature.
It is also important to consider how important the start time is in the overall sous vide cooking cycle. Most sous vide cook times last hours, or sometimes days. It is unlikely that the extended start time will have any impact on the final result.
And keep in mind that unless you are doing some type of short, critically-timed cook such as eggs, there's no reason that you can't put the food into the bath before the target temperature has been reached.
The Anova Precision Cooker WiFi also has one unique feature that will allow you to work around this potential shortcoming. With its WiFi capability you can often start up the water bath remotely so that it is at the target temperature when you hit the kitchen!
The prior two sections presented the specifications for the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi. This section will demonstrate what actually happens when the "rubber hits the road". We have created the "Sous Vide Machine Benchmark" that runs the immersion circulator through a series of lifelike scenarios to see how it operates "in the real world".
|Parameters||Anova Precision Cooker WiFi|
|Room Temp Start Time||32:40|
|Hot Tap Start Time||10:50|
|Low Temperature Maximum||139.6°F|
|Low Temperature Minimum||139.5°F|
|Low Temp Variation||0.1°F|
|Temp Rise Time||26:30|
|High Temperature Maximum||183°F|
|High Temperature Minimum||182.8°F|
|High Temp Variation||0.2°F|
|First Hour Power Use||0.45 kWh|
|Total Power Use||0.93 kWh|
|Sound Adjacent||58 dB|
|Sound 12" Away||50 dB|
The results of the benchmark are shown in the table above for the Anova PC WiFi. You can learn more about the Sous Vide Machine Benchmark and see how the Anova WiFi compares with other sous vide machines we have benchmarked.
Overall the benchmark results for the Anova PC WiFi immersion circulator are quite similar to those of most other circulators. The biggest differences, as mentioned above, are the longer start times of the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi. These may, or may not, be an important factor in your purchasing decision, depending on how you use your immersion circulator.
The Anova Precision Cooker is the first to take the inevitable step of linking the immersion circulator to a smartphone via WiFi. This essentially means that there are now three user interfaces to the device; one on the device itself, one to the "Anova" app via the Bluetooth interface and the one to the "Anova WiFi" app via WiFi. I will present the user interface to the device itself first and then follow it with accessing it via the smartphone app.
The user interface to the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi (pictured on right) is a significant departure from the original Anova One (pictured on left), which had a LCD touchscreen. The Precision Cooker WiFi interface is comprised of two LCD displays and three "buttons" on the head of the circulator and a scroll wheel located on the front.
The top, and larger, LCD shows the current water temperature. The lower LCD typically shows the set temperature, but alternates with the Timer value if it is being used. The temperatures can be shown in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. One advantage over the original unit is the new constant temperature display which makes it convenient to take a quick glance from a distance to see how things are going.
Below the LCD displays is the "Play/Start" button which turns the unit on or off with a single push. It also has other functions if pressed and held. Unlike the Anova One, the Precision Cooker does not have a "real" power button that totally removes power from the unit. As long as it is plugged in, the unit is powered up. This is not an issue since the unit only draws about 1.4 watts when it's not "running".
The "WiFI" button is to the left of the lower LCD display. I have not seen anything in the instructions that indicates what this button would be used for.
The "Timer" button is to the right of the lower LCD display. Similar to the WiFi button above, I have not seen anything in the WiFi instructions for using this button. If you want to set the timer I would suggest using the WiFi app which makes it easier.
Finally, the scroll wheel on the front of the circulator is LED backlit making it glow blue. It is normally used to adjust the set temperature but can optionally set the time. The temperature can be set in half-degree increments (either Celsius or Fahrenheit).
For the most part the actual user interface to the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi is simple and intuitive. In order to start up the Precision Cooker WiFi you simply need to plug it in, scroll the wheel on the front of the device until the set temperature is what you desire, and then press the "Play/Start" button. You are off and sous viding!
It's worth highlighting another improvement that the Precision Cooker WiFi has over the original when starting a sous vide cook. The new circulator will beep to indicate when the set temperature has been obtained. This is a reassuring sound that the cook is going as planned.
To toggle between Fahrenheit and Celsius you simply need to hold down the "Play/Start" button for 3 seconds.
If you want to use the timer function I would suggest that you set it using the WiFi app.
The greatest differentiator for the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi is its connectivity to a smartphone app via WiFi. This allows the user to control and monitor a sous vide cook from a remote location. At the time of this review it is the only immersion circulator with this unique capability.
From this point forward no review of an immersion circulator will be complete without a description of how it can be controlled remotely via the associated smartphone app. Unfortunately, the review of any smartphone app will quickly become obsolete as (hopefully) additional functionality is added and shortcomings are removed.
This challenge becomes nearly untenable with the current situation with Anova Culinary apps. The Anova PC WiFi immersion circulator can currently connect to two different apps as mentioned above. The "Anova" app, which connects via Bluetooth, allows you to communicate with and control the unit and also includes general information on cooking sous vide and recipes. The "Anova WiFi" app, which connects via WiFi, primarily provides you the ability to communicate and control the unit. They have moved over some of the Time and Temperature Guide, slightly reorganized, from the "Anova" app to the WiFi app. I believe the intent of Anova Culinary is to merge these two into a single app at some point in the future.
Since this review is on the Anova PC WiFi I'm going to focus on that particular app interface in this review. If you are interested in the "Anova" app, which has additional sous vide content, please refer to my earlier review on the Anova Precision Cooker.
Since the performance of the smartphone apps will change rapidly over time I will make the summary of my experience with the Anova WiFi app relatively brief. I have been working with App Version: 1.1.7, Build: 1010705.
Hint: I didn't see any traditional way of finding out the version I was working with. However, quite by accident, I discovered a way to gather this information. If you are on the "More" screen, there is a link "Give Us Feedback" under the heading, "Feedback and Support". If you click that link you will be taken to your email client with the address field prefilled. Then after a short delay there will also be some text added in the body of the email under the heading, "Diagnostic Information" (See screen shot). There you will find the Cooker ID, App Version, App Build and information on your phone.
The Anova WiFi smartphone app does a satisfactory job of monitoring and controlling a standard sous vide cook. You can follow the basic cook cycle, moving from left to right, in the four screenshots below.
Before starting the cook it is easy to set the target temperature and optionally the time. Once you're ready to go you can press the green "Start Cooker" bar at the bottom of the screen. This turns the unit on and you enter "Preheating" mode as shown on the second screenshot. During "Preheating" the display toggles between "Current Temperature" and "Target Temperature", as shown in the second and third screenshots.
Once the water bath reaches the target temperature the unit beeps and you get a message on the phone as shown in the final screenshot. It then switches into the "Now Cooking" mode with an orange tint. As you can see from the screenshots you can stop the cook at any time by pressing the red "Stop Cooker" bar at the bottom of the screen.
Arguably the greatest benefit of having a WiFi enabled sous vide machine is the ability to delay the start time of a sous vide cook. This benefit comes into play when you are cooking a meal sous vide but are going to be away from your kitchen for longer than the cook time for that meal. Delaying the start time prevents you from overcooking the food while still ensuring the food will be fully cooked by the time you return. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing the Anova WiFi app has very little support for this important benefit.
The app has the capability to do a "Device Check - Check Ice Bath Setup". When you click this you go to a "Check Ice Bath Setup" screen. Here there's an arrow that says, "Start Check", which begins the test. The test first checks connectivity with the device, then whether there is enough water in the water bath, and finally whether the temperature of the water is less than 40°F. If it's above this you get a message recommending you add more ice, if it's below you get a message that says you're ready to go. Unfortunately, that's pretty much where they leave you.
Unlike when you are cooking, there's no easy way to track the temperature of the bath. The only way I found to do this was to manually rerun the ice bath check which records the current temperature of the bath in small letters on one of the screens - not the one you would expect it to be on. Also, there is no way to have them notify you if your water temperature goes above 40°F.
So right now if you want to do a delayed cook, you would have to go in periodically, manually rerun the test to get the temperature, and then start the cook if the temperature goes into the danger zone. Not real convenient. I am hoping that the engineers at Anova Culinary will provide additional software to simplify this important benefit.
As I mentioned earlier, the software in apps is constantly changing so be sure to check with any potential vendor to see what features they are currently supporting. It can also be extremely helpful to look at the most recent reviews on Amazon and your app store. If you're interested, you can view the benefits I would like to see in WiFi apps.
Overall my experience with the Anova WiFi iOS app has been generally negative. As I have mentioned it currently lacks much of the capability I would like to see. Moreover, the app itself has numerous bugs in it. There were several occasions where the app would get "hung up", requiring me to either unplug and replug the circulator itself or to reinstall the app in order to proceed. I'm hoping that sometime in the future the reliability of the software will match that of the hardware of this excellent device.
The factors I have discussed thus far have been primarily objective in nature. However, there are a few factors that are more subjective. I will present my view of them in this section. Since they are subjective by nature you may totally disagree with my assessment - which is fine. But these are at least factors that you may want to consider as part of your purchasing decision.
The Anova Precision Cooker WiFi looks like a piece of laboratory equipment. The critical information is displayed clearly. I believe the styling of the Precision Cooker is an improvement over the Anova One. The size is more compact and the rounded head of the cooker, with the always-on instrumentation, is a vast improvement over the original. Finally, the shiny stainless steel skirt speaks to the overall quality of the device.
The Anova unit is consistent with its heritage (see below) and is built like a tank. The build quality is outstanding and the metal and plastic parts feel like they will last forever.
Perhaps the most profound change in the design of the Precision Cooker WiFi was the rethinking of the clamping mechanism. This seemingly simple change has provided three new benefits to the circulator. First, it will allow the Anova to be used in a much wider variety of container sizes and shapes. Second, it is now possible to redirect the flow of the pump by simply turning the entire circulator in the bracket. Finally, it makes it easier to attach the device to the water bath by first attaching the bracket to the container and then easily sliding in the circulator. All of these benefits were accomplished while maintaining the strength and security of the original clamping mechanism.
As mentioned earlier, being able to remove the stainless steel sleeve in order to clean the unit is a plus. This design also provides two ways to direct the path of the pump to help facilitate water circulation. The cap on the bottom of the circulator can be mounted in one of four directions and, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, the entire unit can be rotated in the attachment bracket.
The Anova Precision Cooker WiFi is the third product from Anova Culinary, LLC, which is a subsidiary of Anova Inc. The parent company has been the biggest competitor of PolyScience in the area of precision temperature controlled water bath systems, refrigerated/heating circulators, and immersion circulators. Anova Inc.'s products are designed for laboratory, biotech, analytical equipment control, and industry processes cooling, and culinary industries. It is from this heritage of extremely reliable and accurate equipment that the Anova immersion circulator was born. Clearly the supplier of this unit has experience in designing, testing, manufacturing, and supporting equipment of this type.
When this article was written the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi was the only immersion circulator available with WiFi capability. However, there are a slew of new ones scheduled to come to market in the second half of 2016: The WiFi Nomiku in August, ChefSteps Joule in September, and the Gourmia WiFi in the fall. And don't forget the unique WiFi enabled Mellow sous vide machine, coming this fall, that also includes refrigeration. Sansaire just launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to bring their Sansaire Delta to market in June of 2017. So very soon you will have numerous product choices if you would like to have WiFi capability on your sous vide machine.
These are just a few minor issues that bug me personally. They may not impact you at all. But for completeness I thought I would mention them briefly.
As part of the redesign the power cord was shortened from 47" (119.4 cm) to only 30" (76.2 cm). This length works great if you have the circulator positioned at the back of your water bath and the bath is on a countertop close to a wall socket.
However, in my case I like to position the water bath on my island with the circulator at the rear of the bath. In this configuration the cord is not long enough to reach around the bath, over the edge of the island, and into the socket like the original Anova cord did. So I need to use an extension cord for the extra foot required. Depending on how you set up your water bath, this shorter cord may or may not be an issue for you.
I am confident that the designers of the Precision Cooker had many good reasons for selecting the angle of the display on the head of the circulator. And I presume that the majority of people have not given that particular characteristic of the device much thought. Unfortunately, I am in a fairly unique position in that I am in a wheelchair and thus my eye level is quite low. Although the display on the Anova PC is better than on the original, it is still somewhat difficult for me to see the various display items from my level. If the angle were changed to be 10-15 degrees more vertical, it would be much easier for me to view and control the circulator.
I also feel that a more vertical angle would make it easier to view the temperatures from across the room. The potential negative would be that occasionally taller people might have to bend down a little to get a straight on shot. Of course, with the WiFi version you always have the option to control and monitor the unit from your phone.
I knew the bottom cap of the circulator was removable so, as any engineer would do, I immediately tried to take it off to see what was under it. I struggled for a while without any success - I didn't want to break it the first day I had it! Finally, I took off the entire stainless steel skirt and took a look inside it. As I studied the bottom of it I realized that in order to unscrew the bottom cap you had to turn it clockwise. I had been trying to turn it counterclockwise as you normally would in unscrewing something. I'm not sure why they did it this way but it is definitely counterintuitive.
As you would suspect the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi has many similarities with its predecessor the Anova One. It is slightly smaller and lighter making it easier to manipulate and store. The redesigned attachment mechanism has several benefits, the most important of which is that the circulator can now be connected to a wider variety of water bath containers.
The Precision Cooker preserves the removable stainless steel skirt from the original Anova which makes it easy to clean the "working" parts of the circulator which are typically submerged.
Two trade-offs were made by the Anova team in the design of the Precision Cooker. The first was to reduce the heating power used by the circulator from 1,000 W to 800 W. The second was to reduce the speed of the circulator pump from approximately 12 liters per minute down to 8 liters per minute. For the vast majority of sous viders these trade-offs will have little, if any, impact on their cooking experience.
However, if you use a large, greater than 5 gallons (19 L), water bath then you need to evaluate to be sure that the Precision Cooker WiFi is powerful enough to handle your requirements. Similarly, if you often cook with your water bath crowded with numerous food pouches, further consideration regarding this circulator is warranted.
The user interface on the Precision Cooker itself has been redesigned and is more intuitive and easier to use than on the original. The current water bath temperature and set temperature are constantly being displayed.
The most important addition to the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi is the WiFi interface to a smartphone. This provides the sous vider with the capability to monitor and control the immersion circulator from anywhere that has internet access. You may want to check out Do I Need a Sous Vide Machine with WiFi? to see how important this might be to your purchasing decision. The content and capability of the current version of the Anova WiFi app is rather limited so that many of the potential benefits of the WiFi connection are not currently available to the user.
Many of the subjective factors that I liked in the Anova One have been carried over into the Precision Cooker WiFi. The circulator looks and feels like a reliable and well-designed piece of laboratory equipment, which you would expect given its Anova heritage.
It's awesome that the popularity of sous vide cooking continues to increase at a rapid rate. This growth has encouraged numerous companies to develop products for this emerging market. This competition has led to sous vide solutions with higher quality and lower cost, which greatly benefits sous vide cooking enthusiasts.
Most of the sous vide solutions available in the market will provide the capability, capacity, and accuracy most of us need to successfully cook sous vide. We are all in that enviable position that it would be hard to make a "poor" purchasing decision. At the time of this review, if you've decided you would like an immersion circulator with WiFi, the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi would be the only choice. For the majority of sous viders we feel this would be a good choice and meet your sous vide cooking needs. If you don't feel you would benefit much from the WiFi capability then the Anova Precision Cooker with the Bluetooth interface would save you some money.
As with many technology products, if you are willing to wait a few months, you will definitely have additional choices, some of which may better meet your needs. Unfortunately, there may be quite a few delicious sous vide meals that you may miss in the interim!
I hope this review of the Anova Precision Cooker WiFi has provided you with the information you need to make a well-informed purchasing decision regarding a sous vide immersion circulator. I encourage you to explore the site for reviews of other sous vide machines. If you do purchase an immersion circulator you may be interested in looking at our reviews of Sous Vide Water Bath Containers.
Happy sous viding!