I Bought Second Anova, and I Shouldn’t Have

Sous vide is an amazing panacea for broken home cooking. You can practically cook everything, including peas and carrots of a dish wish sous vide. Not that I would recommend it, of course.

Now if you start digging into sous vide, the first thing that will hit you hard the most is the price tag on these water boilers. The whole point of sous vide cooking is about placing the ingredient in vacuum, (the word comes from “under vacuum” in french) so technically pricey water heater shouldn’t be necessary. Anova is one such company that tackled this problem hard.

If somehow you think I will be easy on Anova cause their price, go look up another review. The whole point of this post, as any other TMTP reviews are, will not be solely on performance and price. So I will start with the obvious.

A sous vide cooker with the water tank

Anova Precision Cooker (WiFi) is small. It’s awfully small, compared to what I had in mind at the time. Take Sousvant for example. It comes with a giant water tank much like a slow cooker. (FYI, slow cooker can be used to do sous vide) Cheaper models like Gourmia also has a tank. So when I first found a small enough to be mobile, yet cheap enough for me to try sous vide cooking, I had a belief Anova must have had multi-voltage support in mind, for travelers like myself. Hell, they even sell these damn units in Europe!

Turns out Anova is like Xbox 360. It has bulky yet fancy outlook with no preparation for the future. The moment I plugged in the cooker, everything seemed fine. The app was communicating normally with the machine, the machine wasn’t overheating or burning. It was not until I started cooking and received a low water level warning on my phone that I realized what I had done. This modern-looking gadget was a cooking appliance not another smart-things.

When I googled up Anova, Anova was holding a sale for father’s day, which isn’t celebrated in South Korea. (FYI, I am on vacation in South Korea) Allow me to express how odd and how bizarre it was for me to find out Anova accepting KRW as currency with father’s day discounts on it. And allow me the express the irony coming afterwards. Customer representative, as much as I would have loved to have more “support” offered $25 off, which turns out to be meaningless.

Here’s a thing. First off I needed answer on circuitry behind this gadget. To what extent have I damaged the unit? Is it completely burnt, burnt to a point where I can’t recycle it as broken electronics? Need I remind you, recycling regulations are quite strict in South Korea. I wasn’t just talking about fire safety, but as in overall using an Anova product in South Korea. That being said, another problem that struck me with the new machine (yes I ordered another one like a sole loser) was the tariff. I paid about 35k KRW (about $32) at the customs. You can’t just knock the money off of credit card bills. That will take at least a good week to kick in, and customs office in South Korea doesn’t take the whole week to process a single item.

So here’s the kicker. After spending 24k KRW (about $21) on international shipping from Hong Kong, in total I spent about 59k (about $53) KRW on just getting my hands on European version of Anova gadget in South Korea. The discount hardly covered the logistics, and I have a hunch Anova is completely unaware of customs process in South Korea. You don’t just order items from different countries in South Korea, like we do in United States. You have to have your own customs report ID number, and if you don’t have one, one will be provided for you by the shipping company (in which case you must pay the shipping company electronically, which can only be done by wire transfer). It’s a complete illusion they are playing against the customers, thinking America ist über alles, if you get the joke.

So if you are wondering should you purchase Anova product overseas, double check the customs, because you are nowhere near covered under Anova’s support. They can also be a complete jerk by sending a promo email a week after your second purchase about a new updated product they are launching. Thanks, uhm, Trump?

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