Anova Culinary Precision Cooker AN500-US00 Review
Pros: Incredible circulating skills, extremely easy to use
Cons: Pricey, mediocre results in our stability test
Manufacturer: Anova Culinary
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The AN500-US00 even has a companion smartphone app that can be used to browse recipes and send them directly to the machine or even start or stop it remotely. Anova has been one of the leading companies when it comes to bringing sous vide to the masses and provides tons of helpful information and is a great resource overall if you are just starting out, further increasing our opinion of this machine.
Our series of temperature evaluations are the most significant of our entire testing process, with this metric responsible for 40% of the final score for each kitchen appliance. We evaluated and scored how well the AN500-US00 recovered the temperature once food was added, how stable it held the set temperature, its accuracy, and how long it took to heat up water initially. It overall did well, earning a 7 out of 10.
While the AN500-US00 isn't the fastest to heat up, it did fairly well in the recovery test. This sous vide machine took just under an hour — 55 minutes — to warm up our test container of cold tap water to 147°F. However, it only took around three minutes to heat the water back up to 135°F after we dropped in three frozen hamburger patties in a bag.
This immersion circulator also proved to be one of the more accurate models in our tests. The AN500-US00 only had an average error of 0.12°F when the temperature was set to 135°F and 0.06°F when it was set to 147°F.
Unfortunately, this model did show some temperature fluctuations in our stability test, spending 18% of the hour off of its steady-state temperature. However, it never wavered too far, only having an average error of 0.16°F throughout the 60 minutes.
Next, we moved on to comparing how well each sous vide moved water throughout the container, which helps ensure everything is cooked to the desired temperature and there aren't any hot or cold spots. We scored performance by introducing a concentrated amount of food coloring into the container, then timed how long it took each product to mix the dye and water until an even temperature was achieved, which accounts for 30% of the final score. The AN500-US00 earned a 9 out of 10 for its super results.
The Anova only took around 15 seconds to completely disperse the dye, which is one of the fastest times we have seen to date. The slowest machines took over three minutes to complete this task.
Ease of Use
Finally, we ranked and compared the overall ease of use and user-friendliness of each immersion circulator, which accounts for the residual 30% of the total score. We awarded points based on the interface and features of each sous vide, as well as how easily it can be attached to different vessels. The AN500-US00 again delivered top results, earning a 9 out of 10.
The Anova AN500-US00 can be controlled both through its companion smartphone app or through the controls right on the device. The interface through the phone and from the device itself is very easy to use, though it can occasionally be a little glitchy through the app. This was never really a problem, simply forcing us to close the app and restart it to regain the connections.
The touch buttons on the Anova are also very responsive and are paired with an easy to read digital screen, making the interface on the device itself just as easy — if not easier to use than the companion app. The app does also give you the option to browse recipes and send the prescribed cooking time and temperature directly to the machine, as well as create custom profiles to reproduce your favorite recipes once you have them dialed in.
The AN500-US00 has a clamp that makes it quick and easy to attach to the sides of most containers as long as the walls aren't too thick, with a screw action that rotates freely without resistance.
While the AN500-US00 is an excellent sous vide machine overall, it is a little on the more expensive side. It's the best of the best in our opinion but we did get comparably tasty results from machines that cost quite a bit less.
It you are looking for a top-notch sous vide machine, it's hard to go wrong with the Anova AN500-US00. It's easy to use, accurate, and circulates water well, making it one of our all-time favorite products in this category.
— Michelle Powell and David Wise