The best sous vide machines for 2022 | Digital Trends

Tired of the same old, traditional cooking styles? If you’ve been thinking about adding some versatility and panache to your meals, try your hand at sous vide cooking. “Sous vide” — which translates to “under vacuum” — is a French cooking method that involves vacuum-bag-sealed foods being placed into a pot of water or a compatible water-cooking appliance. The food itself is then heated to a precise temperature using a sous vide machine, a type of small appliance that boils and evenly circulates the cooking water.

Whether you’re a first-time sous vide chef or you’ve been whipping out these French-inspired dishes for years, one of the most important parts of the process is getting your hands on a solid and reliable sous vide machine. We’ve already done the work for you. Here’s a roundup of the best sous vide machines you can buy right now.

The Breville Joule being used to measure a roasted chicken's temperature.

Breville Joule Sous Vide

The best sous vide machine overall

Pros

  • 1100 watts of power
  • Operates quietly
  • Incredibly durable
  • Magnetic base

Cons

  • Can unpair from the Joule app

Why you should buy it: You want an immersive sous vide cooking experience that leans on your smartphone or a tablet for expanded features.

Who it’s for: Those looking for the very best from their sous vide circulator.

Why we chose the Breville Joule Sous Vide:

We picked the Joule for its durability, integration, speed, and power. The Joule is made out of extruded polycarbonate and stainless steel, which gives it added strength and durability. The machine also features a magnetic base, which makes it stick to your pot without a clamp.

In terms of integration, the Joule sets trends and rises above the rest of the pack. You can connect this immersion circulator to your smartphone or tablet, and use the app’s visual tool to select how you want your steak to look when it’s done. Have raw meat on your hands? You can even connect Joule to Amazon’s Alexa, which will allow you to simply say “Joule, cook a steak” after you’ve placed the steak in the pot. You can then walk away until your food is ready. Because of Joule’s smart integration, you can cook a steak and a side of vegetables and only spend a total of six minutes in the kitchen doing prep work.

Boasting 1100 watts of power, the Joule is powerful enough to heat your water quickly. Of all the immersion circulators we tested, the Joule heated water the fastest, bringing 4 quarts of water from room temperature (78 degrees Fahrenheit) to 135 degrees Fahrenheit in less than 10 minutes. The manufacturer recommends a maximum water capacity of 2.5 gallons when you’re cooking without a cover, and 5 gallons if you’re cooking with a covered pot. This is a large enough capacity to accommodate a large family or a small dinner party. Some people worry about immersion circulators being annoyingly loud. Thankfully, the Joule is surprisingly quiet considering its speed and power. It’s about as loud as the sound of boiling water.

As with any machine, however, there is always room for improvement. The Breville Joule doesn’t have a display that indicates the time or temperature, which can make cooking more difficult for some users. The only thing you can control from the actual device is the power setting, meaning you can turn the device on and off. You must control all of the cooking settings using an external application, such as the mobile app for Android and iOS. If you’re not the type of person who wants to use a smartphone app or something like Alexa to control your kitchen appliances, the Joule may not be for you.

Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide

Breville Joule Sous Vide

The best sous vide machine overall

The Instant Pot Accu Slim Sous Vide Precision Cooker in a pot.


Instant Pot Accu Slim Sous Vide Precision Cooker

The best sous vide machine on a budget

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • LED display is easy to read
  • Wide range of cook times and temperature settings

Cons

  • Power cord is a little short
  • Clamp can be finicky

Why you should buy it: You’re eager to try sous vide recipes and you want a cooker from a reliable brand.

Who it’s for: First-time sous vide cooks and seasoned artisans alike.

Why we chose the Instant Accu Slim Sous Vide Precision Cooker:

If this is your first time breaking into the fine art of sous vide cooking, there’s no better hardware to kicks things off than the Instant Accu Slim Sous Vide Precision Cooker.

Equipped with a powerful, long-lasting 12-volt motor that automatically toggles off when it’s out of the water, the 800-watt cooker is designed for the utmost comfort and ease of use. The lightweight, stainless steel body is a breeze to handle, and the rubber-wrapped handle makes it simple to hang onto the cooker for long periods of time — not that you’ll have to, though.

After you’ve attached the quick-clamp handle to whatever pot you’ll be using, choose a cooking time (from one minute to 72 hours) and temperature (from 68 to 203 degrees Fahrenheit) and let the Slim do the rest.

Once your food is submerged, the Accu Slim’s onboard circulator ensures the water is evenly stirred around the pot, making for a final, succulent dish that is perfectly cooked and amazingly tender.

Instant Pot Accu Slim Sous Vide Precision Cooker

Instant Pot Accu Slim Sous Vide Precision Cooker

The best sous vide machine on a budget

anova precision cooker wi fi review version 1550879740 wifi

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Anova Precision Cooker (1000 watts)

The best smart sous vide machine

Pros

  • Makes great food
  • App full of recipes
  • Holds temperature well

Why you should buy it: You want Alexa or Google Assistant to aid you in your sous vide cooking process.

Who it’s for: Those looking for a tech-powered sous vide cooking experience.

Why we chose the Anova Precision Cooker:

Instead of using a magnetic base, the Anova clamps onto the side of your cooking pot. It’s secure once in place, but it does require you to fiddle with it for a few seconds to get it just right.

Flexibility is where this immersion circulator shines. It offers similar integration to the aforementioned Joule, allowing you to control the device with your smartphone, tablet, or smart home devices such as Alexa and Google Home. However, the Anova also features an LCD display and an LED-backlit scroll wheel for users who don’t want to control their device externally. If you’re the type of person who wants the flexibility to cook your meals with or without additional peripherals, the Anova is a good choice, as it offers more flexibility than most competitors.

When compared to the Joule, though, the Anova is less powerful in terms of its wattage. This doesn’t have much impact on its maximum capacity — 4 to 5 gallons, per the manufacturer’s recommendations — but it does impact how fast it heats water. For example, it took roughly 20 minutes to heat 4 quarts of water from room temperature to 135 degrees.

Anova Precision Cooker (1000 watts)

Anova Precision Cooker (1000 watts)

The best smart sous vide machine

anova precision cooker nano an400 us00 review

Erika Rawes/Digital Trends

Anova Nano Sous Vide

The best Bluetooth sous vide machine

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Touchscreen display/controls on the device
  • Sleek design
  • Durable construction
  • App control

Cons

  • Lacks Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Clamp is small
  • Tends to sit too high on the pot, requiring higher water

Why you should buy it: You want a great sous vide cooker and some additional app controls.

Who it’s for: Those looking for a reliable sous vide machine but are shopping on a budget.

Why we chose the Anova Precision Cooker Nano:

Anova, a well-known brand in the sous vide world, really hit the mark with the Nano. It’s only 12.8 inches tall, which makes it small enough to fit in a kitchen drawer, and you can attach it to virtually any pot that’s large enough to hold your ingredients and desired water capacity. Speaking of water capacity, the 750-watt Nano can heat up to five gallons of water to temperatures between 132- and 197-degrees Fahrenheit.

One issue we sometimes see with budget sous vide machines is a lack of accuracy. Maintaining the perfect temperature in that water bath is vital, as it means the difference between perfectly cooked steaks and unappetizing, dried out cuts of meat. The Nano maintains the water bath temp within 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit accuracy. Nano’s Bluetooth BLE 4.2 also allows you to use your phone to remotely control the machine, and the app has easy-to-follow recipes where you can push a button to start. You can also create your own recipes in the app.

While the Nano has a lot to offer, it’s not perfect. We felt the clamp was not designed as well as it could have been, as it doesn’t open wide enough. The Nano isn’t as powerful as other sous vide cookers, so you must be a bit more careful not to overload the water bath with too many food items. In spite of these downsides, the Anova Nano is more than worth the small investment.

Anova Nano Sous Vide

Anova Nano Sous Vide

The best Bluetooth sous vide machine

instant pot pro plus review

Simon Sage / Digital Trends

Instant Pot Pro Plus 10-in-1 Precision Cooker

The best Instant Pot for sous vide cooking

Pros

  • Incredible versatility
  • Major usability improvements
  • Remote control functions fun and useful

Cons

  • Community recipes can be hit and miss

Why you should buy it: You want a powerful sous vide machine but plan to expand your cooking style across the board.

Who it’s for: Instant Pot fans and those looking for a sous vide cooker with a bevy of other cooking options.

Why we chose the Instant Pot Pro Plus:

Instant Pot has carved out a powerful name in the world of small appliances, and the Instant Pot Pro Plus is another fantastic product to add to the brand’s pantheon of countertop savants.

When it comes to cooking versatility, the Pro Plus features 10-in-1 functionality, including options for yogurt, steaming, canning, and, you guessed it, sous vide cooking. Getting started is straightforward, thanks to the Pro Plus’ bevy of easy-to-read controls that can be accessed directly from the appliance or through the intuitive companion app.

The Instant Brands Connect app allows you to choose from hundreds of Smart Recipes that get automatically uploaded to the cooker. Once inputted, you won’t even need to adjust a setting — simply drop your food in and enjoy a totally hands-free cooking experience.

Instant Pot Pro Plus

Instant Pot Pro Plus 10-in-1 Precision Cooker

The best Instant Pot for sous vide cooking

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a sous vide machine work?

Sous vide is French for “under vacuum.” A sous vide machine maintains a water bath at a precise temperature, and it cooks foods contained within a vacuum-sealed or zip-lock bag. There are a few different types of sous vide machines. Immersion circulators use a heating element and a water pump to keep the water moving and at a consistent temperature. Sous vide water baths typically have a heating element surrounding the water that maintains the precise temperature. Because the food cooks at such a steady temperature and the water surrounds it on all sides, it cooks very evenly. Also, the fact that the food is encased in plastic helps to lock in moisture and flavor.

What can you cook in a sous vide machine?

You can technically cook almost anything in a sous vide machine and have it come out edible. However, some of the best foods to cook in a sous vide machine are steak, eggs, turkey, and (believe it or not) last night’s leftovers. Some meats, like chicken breast, may not turn out as good though.

What do I need to get started with sous vide cooking?

In addition to a good sous vide immersion circulator or sous vide water oven, it’s a good idea to have a vacuum sealing machine with vacuum seal bags. You can use zip-lock bags, but they just don’t work quite as well. Also, if you’re using an immersion circulator, you’ll need a container to hold your water bath. Any large container, like an insert from an Instant Pot, is sufficient. However, there are specialty pots like Tuxton’s Sous Vide Pot that are specifically designed for sous vide cooking. Using a specialty water bath can help improve quality and consistency.

What is the best starter sous vide machine?

The Anova Wifi is a solid starter sous vide machine because it’s easy to use, and the Anova app has a ton of recipes that let you just put the ingredients in the water bath, tap, and go. Another good starter sous vide option is the Instant Pot Accu Slim.

What is the best sous vide machine for the money?

Any of the options included in this guide are good value when you compare the price versus the features they offer.

Editors’ Recommendations




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