Anova Culinary WiFi Precision Cooker

Photo credit: Anova Culinary

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker – Do you want WiFi with that?

The Anova Culinary sous vide precision cookers are one of the most popular sous vide machines on the market. There are two models:

  1. Anova Culinary Sous Vide Bluetooth Precision Cooker (800 watts)
  2. Anova Culinary Sous Vide Bluetooth and WiFi Precision Cooker (900 watts)

When it comes to kitchen gadgets, new technology often replaces old technology. This is usually done to improve your experience with the gadget – whatever it may be. In the sous vide cooking world, some manufacturers have embraced new technology. Some immersion circulators and precision cookers can now be controlled from your smart phone using Bluetooth or WiFi technology.  Unfortunately many sous viders are still on the fence about whether Bluetooth or WiFi enabled sous vide machines are worth the cost…or the frustration they can sometimes cause.

In this article we focus on WiFi technology offered by Anova Culinary in their WiFi and Bluetooth enabled precision cooker.

Photo credit: Anova Culinary

To WiFi or not to WiFi? That is the question

We have reviewed the Anova Culinary Bluetooth Precision Cooker including its Bluetooth capability separately. So we have already explored the pros and cons of using Bluetooth technology there. Click here to see that review.

Here we are going to focus on the WiFi capability of the Anova Culinary Sous Vide Bluetooth and WiFi Precision Cooker (900 watts). The vast majority of users LOVE the Anova Precision Cooker. When it is used without any additional technology, (ie WiFi operated), it is consistently praised for its accuracy, ease of use and the sensationally succulent ingredients it produces. Sous viders have no doubt that the Anova produces restaurant quality meals that you’d be happy to eat every night of the week.

We should say that many sous viders really LOVE the WiFi functionality of the Anova. However, for many sous viders, there is still room for improvement. Here are some of the major WiFi gripes that reviewers have with the Anova Culinary Sous Vide Bluetooth and WiFi Precision Cooker (900 watts).

 Anova Precision Cooker WiFi related sticking points:

  • It’s not compatible with some routers (eg 5Ghz). You need to be using a 2.4Ghz network
  • At times you may experience a flaky connection – sometimes it connects and then drops out. Sometimes you cannot connect at all. This is not a problem that is unique to the Anova Precision Cooker of course. Nevertheless it is a major frustration for some Anova users
  • You are limited to connecting the precision cooker with just one (1) device. So that means if there are two or more of you who cook meals, you cannot access the app at the same time from different phones. To resolve this, when you would like to switch from one smart phone to another, you actually have to complete the Wi-Fi connection setup from scratch…every time. This is the case regardless of whether or not that phone and app have connected to Anova sometime in the past

  • Your WiFi password cannot include special characters, symbols or spaces. You need to have a very simple password to create WiFi connection between your smart phone and the Anova precision cooker.

Photo credit: Anova Culinary

The problem with this is that simple passwords can jeopardize your network security. It also means you need to change the password on all the other applications in your household after changing the router password. If you are a multi person household that can feel like a seemingly endless line of changes for cellphones, computers, Xboxes, Google Chromes, tablets and more, to update with a new WiFi password.

  • When pairing you are asked to get the Anova Precision Cooker within 5 feet of the router which may be tricky for some people to arrange. You don’t often store our routers that close to the kitchen!
  • The mobile app (at least for Android) is prone to glitches. If you happen to do the “wrong thing” your cook may stop altogether. As an example, if you browse other recipes whilst your cook is underway it may change the temperature of your current cook without you even selecting it.

Potential work around: Whilst you could apply the “don’t touch your phone at all whilst you have a sous vide cook underway” approach, this is not an ideal work around.

  • As a side note if you are using Google WiFi you might struggle to set up a connection with the Anova Precision Cooker. Google Wi-Fi creates a single network that uses both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. It does not provide the option to set up a separate 2.4 GHz band and for this reason the Anova Precision Cooker might not connect to it.

Potential work around: You may be able to connect the Anova to one of your iPhones when using the phone to set up a private hotspot, which is 2.4 GHz. Of course manually activating your mobile phone hot spot every time you want to connect the Anova to Wi-Fi is not very practical.

Quick fixes to try

Mmmmm, we know that the list of limitations above may have you reaching for the Anova Culinary Sous Vide Bluetooth (800 watts). And we get that. But if you are still ready to jump on board with the WiFi powered Anova Precision Cooker, here are some commons fixes to try:

Initial connection to your WiFi

Anova technical support have communicated the following process for connecting to your WiFi:

  • Disable your 5.0 network during the setup process. Do that, reboot your router, then try the app again.
  • Checked for router firmware updates?
  • Check your average ping (ms). head to your command prompt then type ping -t
  • Try a different type of security key. WEP, WPS TKIP, WPS AES. Reboot your router then try the app again.
  • Try switching the network to mixed mode and to different channels.
  • Remove special characters or spaces on your SSID.

Setting the timer on the Anova Culinary app

Here are the instructions directly from Anova technical support in relation to setting the timer accurately on the device itself:

  1. Hold down the play button for 6 seconds (the temperature will then switch from F to C or vice versa). Keep holding the play button for 4 more seconds.
  2. Then, you will see a timer icon appear on the screen. At this point you can move your finger from the play button to the timer icon, press and hold for 3 more seconds.
  3. Next, a series of zeroes will appear on the screen.
  4. Set the time by scrolling the wheel up or down.
  5. After you have reached your desired time, press the timer button again and time will automatically start counting down.

Photo credit: Anova Culinary

Improvements on the horizon?

For so many reviewers, all it would take for this product to go from “good” to “great” is for Anova to expend some serious effort on the software. With some focus on the user experience and focus group discussions, Anova would see that there are some common threads of frustration for those using their WiFi enabled Precision Cooker.

If you are up for a little trouble shooting and you are not prone to serious frustration working through technology issues with a bit of trial and error, we would still recommend this product. However we would say that the reviewer community is certainly not convinced that Anova have “got it right” just yet.

If you are looking for a more user friendly option, consider buying the slightly cheaper Anova Culinary Sous Vide Bluetooth Precision Cooker (800 watts). We suggest this because you don’t have to use the Bluetooth capability if you don’t want to. You can manually operate the Precision Cooker.

There are also other immersion circulators and precision cookers that you can consider. This includes the Joule by ChefSteps which many feel has a better mobile app and better integration with other technologies such as Amazon Echo.

Other immersion circulators and precision cookers that are WiFi enabled

Joule by ChefSteps

Mellow Sous Vide Precision Cooker

Gourmia GSV150 WiFi Sous Vide Precision Cooker 

Related posts

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Bluetooth Immersion Circulator (800 watts) Review

Do I need a WiFi or Bluetooth enabled Sous Vide Machine?

Related resources

Anova Precision Cooker + WiFi Product Overview



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *