- 1 Five Reasons Why You Should Try Sous Vide
- 2 How To Choose Your Perfect Sous Vide
- 3 Sous Vide Accessories
- 4 Reviews of the Best Sous Vide In 2019
- 4.1 Here are our picks for Best Sous Vide in 2019:
- 4.2 1. Anova Precision Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 900 Watts – Best Sous Vide To Buy In 2019
- 4.3 2. Chefsteps Joule 1,100 Watts Sous Vide – Runner Up, Best Immersion Circulator
- 4.4 3. Anova Nano Bluetooth Sous Vide – Best Small Immersion Circulator
- 4.5 4. Gramercy Kitchen Sous Vide – Best Delay Start Immersion Circulator
- 4.6 5. Instant Pot Accu Slim Sous Vide – Best Budget Immersion Circulator
- 4.7 6. Yedi Total Package Sous Vide – Best All Inclusive Sous VidePackage
- 4.8 7. Dash Chef Series Sous Vide – Best Small Sous Vide Oven
- 5 Top-rated Sous Vide Comparison Chart
There was a time when sous vide cooking belonged to the world of haute cuisine. The low temperature cooking method was tough to repeat at home, limiting it to professional kitchens. But these days sous vide is more of a mainstream fad—thanks to the slew of innovative home sous vide cookers now available to amateur cooks. If you’re ready to get in on the trend, which promises precise, perfect results, we’re ready to help you choose the best sous vide machine for your kitchen.
What Is Sous Vide?
Sous vide is a cooking method in which food is vacuum sealed into a plastic bag and immersed in water that’s heated to a low, sustained temperature for an extended period of time. A sous vide circulator is what you need to heat and circulate the water for an even, accurate temperature. Some devices clip onto the side of a pot, while others are self-contained water ovens. Some even connect to an app on your phone so you can monitor the progress of your food remotely.
The origin of sous vide can be traced back to French scientist Henry DePoix’s invention of shrink-wrapping food. Scientific observations were made into how this vacuum technique not only preserved food, but also concentrated flavor and improved texture.
Another Frenchman, Bruno Goussault, started using this vacuum technique to pre-cook meats in massive water baths for commercial food production. He was a food engineer who had researched the effects of time and temperature on different foods as well as non-chemicalized food preservation.
Simultaneously, yet another Frenchman, a restaurant chef named George Pralus, had gained fame for his technique of cooking foie gras in a water bag, which saved almost a quarter of the foie gras volume. These two cuisiniers later collaborated in advancing the use of sous vide techniques in restaurants, hospitality, and catering. The word “sous vide” itself simply means “under vacuum”.
Five Reasons Why You Should Try Sous Vide
- More precise cooking
- More flavorful
- More Nutritious
- Longer lasting
- Much less time in the kitchen
As sous vide emerged from the synthesis of scientific research and discoveries in the commercial food sector, its safety, efficacy, and application are very well documented. So, if you are undecided about giving it a try, take some time to look into it for yourself.
1. More Precise Cooking
With sous vides, the transfer of heat between the water and your food is more gradual and evenly distributed than with an oven or stovetop. Because the food is evenly cooked, this low-temperature method is perfectly safe for cooking meats and avoiding pathogens, as long as you don’t go below the recommended temperatures or cook for a shorter time than recommended.
Your food will never get hotter than the temperature of your water bath, thus limiting over cooking. With the sous vide technique, the difference between done and ruined is measured more in hours than minutes, which gives you a lot more room for error when it comes to cook time.
2. More Flavorful
When you cook food under high heat, flavor, nutrition, and juices are literally pouring out. Sous vide, on the other hand, traps all natural juices and flavors, practically marinating your food in the process. The pressure created in the bag actually promotes osmosis, and whatever flavors or seasonings you add beforehand penetrate deep into the food. This technique is essentially the gourmand’s gourmet because it can even turn lower quality meats into something worth eating.
3. More Nutritious
It is a well-researched fact that high temperatures ravage nutritional content. As the great Goussault explained, “Higher temperatures do irreparable damage to food. The cell walls in the food burst, making it impossible for the food to reabsorb the liquid it loses.” Sous vide cooks food at low temperatures, which makes it less likely to lose nutrients and moisture during the cooking process.
4. Longer Lasting
Vacuum-sealing food keeps oxidation to a minimum which means it lasts longer. The amount of time that you can safely store or refrigerate the food depends on a number of factors, including how long you’ve cooked it. Food that has been cooked at slightly higher temperatures can often be refrigerated for anywhere between 48 hours and up to a week before you’ll have to trash it or toss it in the freezer.
5. Much Less Time In The Kitchen
This is a fairly hands-off, set-it-and-forget-it technique, which means far less time watching over the fry-pan or stirring pots. Cooking dinner is a simple matter of setting up your sous vide, placing the vacuum-sealed bag in the water, and coming back when it’s done. Afterwards, a quick sear and cooking up a tasty sauce is often all that’s left to do.
How To Choose Your Perfect Sous Vide
The key is to keep a constant temperature, usually around 140°F / 60°C (although temperature varies based on the type of food, the time of your cook, and your own preferences), coupled with a minimum of a few hours of consistent water circulation. When picking the best device, you should consider temperature accuracy, ease of use, power costs, and the noise of the motor and water circulator.
Types of Sous Vide Machines
There are basically two major types available to the home chef. The popular immersion circulator is a rod-shaped device that clips onto the side of a pot or water container. This gives you some choice over volume and capacity. Another option is a water oven, which comes in a more typical box-shaped design or a cheaper jug-shaped model. Both of the latter types have fixed capacities and are a bit less compact.
Sous Vide Power Consumption
Because sous vides can run for an average of four hours, but can also go up to 24 or even 72 hours, the biggest concern for many is the power bill. Based on 24 hours of continuous running, the cost somewhere in a range of $0.17 to $1.10 at $0.15 / kWh.
This summarized data table comes from a test run on the popular Anova immersion circulator, as well as a high-end oven type, the Oliso Smart Top, using 2.64 gal / 10 L of water. The Anova was placed in three different environments: a lidless container, then a container with a lid, and a lidded container wrapped in bath towels for better insulation.
As a self-contained water oven, the Oliso has only one set of results. The Anova also used two start-up temperatures, one with room temperature tap water (75°F / 23.89°C), then again with hot tap water (125°F / 51.67°C) to speed things up.
|Room temp. Startup||32.10 min||29.20 min||28.400 min||21 min|
|Hot tap startup||10.20 min||8.30 min||8.20 min||5.30 min|
|12hr consumption||3.84 kWh $0.58||2.09 kWh$0.31||1.38 kWh$0.21||0.81 kWh$0.12|
|24hr consumption||7.30 kWh$1.10||3.77 kWh$0.57||2.30 kWh$0.35||1.16 kWh$0.17|
Obviously, the conclusion is that running costs are very affordable, but can vary significantly with the degree of insulation you choose. Oven-type models, although fixed in capacity, limited in choice, and priced differently, tend to be more cost effective.
For immersion calculators, using a proper lid and extra insulation will help cut running costs. If you choose to go lidless, evaporation will usually allow 14hrs of cooking for 10 liters of water, which is quite within the range of average cook times.
Sous Vide Cooking Times
Red meat generally takes the longest to cook, with cook times running from two to 72 hours! Poultry usually takes a little less time on average, though tougher game might require a little longer, and seafood often cooks in less than an hour. Veggies and fruit can vary between 30 minutes and two hours.
Parameters vary widely between different groups of food, so you should cook each separately. Other time factors include the size and thickness and how well you’d like the food done. Most models will come with a comprehensive temperature and cooking guide. If your device has WiFi or bluetooth connectivity, you can use the app to select the food type and how you like it cooked, while the time and temperature are automatically calculated.
Sous Vide Water Bath
Make sure whichever container you use is large enough for the proper circulation of water between the food bags, taking care not to overcrowd the vessel. Placing weights in the vacuumed pack can help stop bags moving around or floating to the top. Check manufacturer’s instructions carefully for minimum water levels and the maximum volume of water that the device can handle.
Sous Vide Noise Levels
Most sous vides are fairly quiet to run.That said, any noise created by the machine will be going on for a few hours or even up to two days, so make sure your device has a noise level you can live with.
Noise types and levels can vary somewhat between different models. Immersion circulators tend to emit a low, continuous buzzing or humming sound. Some devices are almost silent except for the gentle whoosh of water, while others are on the noisier side. Water ovens, on the other hand, are usually completely silent. Models that produce a low pitch buzz are generally a lot more tolerable than those with a high-pitched sound.
Sous Vide Accessories
Buying an immersion circulator or water oven is a necessary first step, but be aware that there may be additional costs involved in cooking with sous vide.
- While a few bags might be included with your purchase, you will need to buy more. You can make do with BPA-free Ziplock freezer bags, however, there are also numerous reusable BPA-free sous-vide bags.
- A plastic hand vacuum pump is useful too if you don’t want to use the water displacement method to get air out of bags. Alternatively, you can just use a straw!
- A vacuum sealer leaves the least room for error and is also handy for general food storage.
- It’s more economical to have a container with a lid and insulated sides. You can make your own, but there are many custom ones available, as well as pot lids and pot insulators.
- To prevent bags moving and clumping up, you can purchase various cheap sous-vide weights, including some magnetic options. Bags should stay fully submerged for an even cook with good food safety standards.
- Finally, you may want to invest in a quality flame searer or a good, solid searing pan. Searing adds additional flavor and color. Meat cooked sous vide style can look a bit greyish or dull, and may lack in flavor before the post-sear.
Reviews of the Best Sous Vide In 2019
Now that you are ready to try sous vide for the first time—or perhaps just upgrade your gear—here is our selection of the 7 best sous vide machines in 2019.
Here are our picks for Best Sous Vide in 2019:
- Anova Wi-Fi Bluetooth Sous Vide – Best To Buy In 2019
- Chefsteps Wi-Fi Sous Vide – Runner Up Best Immersion Circulator
- Anova Nano Bluetooth Sous Vide – Best Small Immersion Circulator
- Gramercy Kitchen Sous Vide – Best Delay Start Immersion Circulator
- Instant Pot Accu Slim Sous Vide – Best Budget Immersion Circulator
- Yedi Total Package Sous Vide – Best All Inclusive Package
- Dash Chef Series Sous Vide – Best Water Oven
1. Anova Precision Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 900 Watts – Best Sous Vide To Buy In 2019
The Anova precision cooker is a well designed machine, made from stainless steel and polycarbonate—a very safe and durable material which adds a professional touch. It maintains a very accurate temperature and is easy to use. While not absolutely perfect in all regards, you can expect a trouble free experience. For peace of mind, you get a two year warranty, and their customer service is very good.
Features that really matter for a sous vide cooker are durability and even temperature control. The sturdiness of Anova’s stainless steel and polycarbonate body also protects the working parts from knocks. People are genuinely pleased with the even temperature and the results they get, but for many, the device is more bulky that they expected it to be.
The motor does a good job and the noise is fairly minimal. It produces a low humming noise, with a slightly audible swoosh of water. The pitch of the noise is a little high, and some people might find this annoying for a background noise.
Although this second generation 900 watt motor is more powerful, the heating time is still slower compared to competitive products. If you fill up your pot with warm water, this is not such a crucial issue.
Sous vide circulators must be attached to the side of a pot or container, and clamps are often an issue with sous vide machines. Anova uses a screw clamp and not a clip. The screw clamp holds well enough, and although some people feel it’s not so strong, there are no major reported issues. The clamp is adjustable, so it can be fitted to most pot sizes, except it sits a little high, so for cooking sessions over 14 hours you may have to check on water levels.
By design limitation, sous vide controls have to go on the small head, and for some people this is uncomfortable. WIth the Anova this isn’t an issue because it uses a convenient scroll wheel for adjusting temperature and time settings. An app makes this easier too, but It’s just as easy to use this device without the app interface.
Moving the scrollbar up or down will adjust the temperature, and then you just push start. For the timer, you hold down the play/start button for a few seconds until the time logo appears, press that for three seconds, scroll in your cook time, press the time logo again, and then play. The timer works in 5 minute increments, and it counts down.
Usefulness of Wi-FI and Bluetooth
If your machine is trustworthy, then remote monitoring is not really necessary, and the Anova has a timer anyway. Remote start through Wifi does have its advantages if you need to delay your start somewhat. For meat, the key to a longer delayed start is to set your food up in an ice bath. The Anova does not have a delay start timer, if you really need one, see our review of the Gramercy Kitchen Sous Vide.
There are few reported connectivity problems with WiFi, however, it doesn’t work with a 5ghz network. Bluetooth can be temperamental, and some people report issues with longer distances. Bluetooth can operate through one barrier such as a wall. If you’re paying a premium for smart connectivity, of course you want it to work, but there’s nothing the device cannot do without the app.
As of the time of publication, multiple users cannot access the Wi-Fi Anova at the same time. However, Annova’s community manager has commented in forums that they are working on multi-cook functionality for the near future.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi operature through the Anova custom app—free for download from the App Store or Google Play. Through the app you can select your food time and cook settings, start your device and monitor your cooking status. You can enter any cook time and temperature manually if you prefer.
Things have changed somewhat with the app since its earliest release. The main Cooking Guides is now under development and partnership with the leading culinary website SeriousEats.
The layout is clear enough, and it’s easy to follow the step by step instructions, but the main guide still lacks content. Even so, it’s easy to select your type of meat, and there’s a doneness pic guide for temperature and time.
Other contributors are various professionals in the sous vide community as well as anonymous users, so the additional recipes are actually quite plentiful. However, the organization is not as good as it could be, and it’s difficult to tell one level of contributor from the next. There’s also no video content, which would put it in a different class.
Instead of the app, you can also use the mobile web browser site with easier tag searching and printing options. Browsing recipes doesn’t require an account, but if you do open a free account, you can participate in the forums, contribute recipes, like, star, favorite and earn different kinds of community badges. Anova leads the way in this kind of sous vide community support and development.
Support and Assurances
Anova has a reputation for excellent customer service and is one of only a few manufacturers that offers a full two-year warranty. Make sure that you only purchase Anova products through a certified vendor, otherwise your warranty may not be valid.
The Anova is a well designed and reliable product. It’s performance is top notch with durability and temperature control. It’s not too noisy, easy to use, and there are minimal connectivity issues. This is a great device if you intend to do some serious cooking for more than four people.
Anova have just released a new generation model – AN500-US00 Precision Cooker.The key design changes are it’s two inches smaller with a 1 000 watt motor, and there’s no scrolling wheel. The new version is still not compatible with 5ghz Wi-Fi networks.
2. Chefsteps Joule 1,100 Watts Sous Vide – Runner Up, Best Immersion Circulator
The ChefSteps Joule is unique in that it doesn’t have controls on the device itself and operates via an app. It also doesn’t have a clamp, but stands on a magnetic bottom. While everything is top class for performance, size, weight and durability, the major drawback is that the Joule is wholly dependent on the app and Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity, both of which don’t always offer the best, trouble free experience.
Key Features and Performance
For its compact size, the Joule can heat six quarts (5 L) of water from 60 °F to 140 °F in around 15-20 minutes. That’s what you would expect from a 1 100 watt motor, but more importantly, it does an excellent job with temperature control. In popular tests, in tends to be noisier than the Anova and slightly less energy efficient, but does the job just as well.
This is one of the most versatile sous vide cookers for container size because it’s powerful enough to heat 10 gallons (40 liters) of water, and because it stands on its base, the minimum water depth is only 1.5 inches. You can forego the metal pot for a customized plastic container, and there’s even a specialized storage rack you can get too.
Many immersion circulators are quite clunky. The Chef Steps Joule is the opposite of clunky because the controls are incorporated solely in the app. The concept isn’t necessarily flawed, but without strong connectivity and quality software, it falls short in practice.
Even very recent user reviews report issues with app speed, dicey connectivity, frequent crashes, and inability to start the device. With this kind of technology, it’s difficult to know where the issues lie—with the app, the machine, or the user?
User reviews in both Google Play and Apple App Store gave the app an average rating of only three stars, with many users rating the app an extreme of one or five stars. Hopefully, ChefSteps is working to improve known issues, as the device is full of potential.
The cooking guides on the app are really well done. The recipes are plentiful, beautifully photographed, and laid out with step-by-step visual instructions. You can select the thickness and doneness of the meat, pre-programmed settings appear, and then you press start. Each recipe includes a video which also shows a slice-through of the cooked meat, but these can be disabled to save data.
The ChefSteps Joule is a quality sous vide machine and unique in many ways. Most users are happy with it, although it doesn’t offer the most trouble free experience for everyone. If a compact, high-tech device is what you need, then this is a good choice. The warranty is only one year, but the customer service is good.
3. Anova Nano Bluetooth Sous Vide – Best Small Immersion Circulator
The Anova Nano has a 750-watt motor, Bluetooth connectivity, and operates off the same app as higher-spec models. The overall quality, endurance, and performance of the Anova Nano is fairly similar to that of the bigger Anova Precision Cooker.
This Nano model has an all back, plastic coating which looks quite smart and trendy. The size is somewhere between the Anova Precision Cooker and the ChefSteps Joule.
Our biggest beef is with the clamp, which is fixed and cannot be moved up or down. This means that you are limited to using it in a fairly large pot.
Other differences between the Nano and the original Precision Cooker include noise, circulation, and temperature range.
While the Nano is a little noisier, it has a less irritating pitch one could describe as a comfortable white noise. With its smaller motor, the Nano also tends to have slower circulation. Its 32°F to 197°F (0°C – 91°C ) temperature range makes it good at very low-heat tasks such as yogurt-making, while its bigger counterpart’s 77°F to 210°F (25°C to 98°C) range runs hotter.
Overall, this is a very good starter model. It’s a perfect fit for those in a compact living environment who usually cook for just one or two people. It is also a very good choice for more serious sous viders who need an extra device to do smaller (or lower temperature) cooks on the side.
4. Gramercy Kitchen Sous Vide – Best Delay Start Immersion Circulator
The sous videmarket is becoming really crowded and there are a lot of manufacturers in it for a quick buck or those producing generic knock-offs. Gramercy is one of the more reputable companies in the sous vide sphere, as they’re a dedicated company with a limited range of products and excellent customer service.
The Gramercy immersion circulator is one of the only sous vide devices with a delayed start-up function. If you want your eggs cooked and ready the moment you wake up, this gadget will do it. With delayed start-up, especially if you’re cooking meat, it’s best to put your bags in a container with half water and half ice in order to keep the meat cool and preserved prior to cooking.
Choosing settings on this device can be a bit confusing and counterintuitive, because you have to set the delay time first, then the temperature, and then come back to the same time button to set the cooking time. But once you figure it out, everything else is easy enough.
The Gramercy also has a convenient adjustable clamp, which users report is strong and secure, if a little limited in range.
There have been reported malfunctions with some units, but users are quick to praise Gramercy’s excellent customer service and speedy replacements of malfunctioning products.
The Gramercy seems to work just as well as most of the top tier immersion circulators out there. Although the price tag is a little on the higher side, we feel that the adjustable clamp, delayed start option, and great customer service make it a good deal.
5. Instant Pot Accu Slim Sous Vide – Best Budget Immersion Circulator
If you’re looking for a budget model around $50 or less, there are a few available, but in the final analysis scraping the bottom of the market isn’t really worth it. Sous vides undergo many hours of wear and tear, and low-priced models may not last very long. If you can afford an extra $20, you can get something well worth having.
Our pick for this category is from the Canadian company Instant Pot: the Accu Slim Sous Vide Circulator. There is no Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and this model has some added features for its price range.
One key feature is its incremental settings. Temperature can be increased by increments of 0.1 or 1°F, while the timer works with 1-minute increments up to 72 hours. Incremental time is kind of meaningless for sous vide cooking, but a distinguishing point nonetheless. The temperature range is from 68°F to 203°F (20-95°C)..
The Accu Slim is also very quiet, and Instant Pot attributes this to its unique use of a 12V DC motor, which is more durable than an AC.
Users have reported a few issues with the Accu Slim. While it has an automatic default setting of 113°F (56°C) / 4 hrs, some people find this annoying because if you try to pause your heating, the settings go back to default. Some users complain that the beep emitted to signal start-up and completion of a cook cycle is too quiet, but since the device shuts down at the end of the set time and also switches off automatically if taken out of water, this is a minor quibble.
Users have also complained that the Accu Slim has a flimsy clamp, but even pricier models seem to garner their fair share of user reviews describing clamps as small and weak.
With a comfortable size and powerful 800W DC motor, this well made Instant Pot Accu Slim should give you a no-hassle, quality experience at an affordable price.
6. Yedi Total Package Sous Vide – Best All Inclusive Sous VidePackage
Yedi is another quality small manufacturer of kitchen appliances, and their immersion circulator comes as well-reviewed as all their other products.
The package includes all the necessities to get you started, including one hand pump, 10 reusable FDA-certified, BPA-free, gallon-size, vacuum-sealed bags, four sous vide container clips, and one sous vide vacuum bag-sealing clip.
Many customers who reviewed the product stated that they really appreciated these extras, and many more said that they had actually received the sous vide as a gift. Because the gadget comes with all the basics included, not to mention a two year warranty, it’s a great choice for gifting.
As for general specs, it has a powerful 1,000 watt motor which heats the water up fast, but its flow rate is quite high and evaporation can be a problem. If you’re cooking for a long time, however, it has an added feature of a low-level water alarm that notifies you when the water level is getting low so that you can add water before the device automatically shuts down.The Yedi can’t connect to your phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, but Yedi still offers a phone app that features sous vide recipes with regular updates. That said, sous vide recipes are few and far between on the app, and recipes aren’t properly categorized or searchable, leaving a lot of room for improvement.
If you’re doing sous vide for the first time or looking for a unique gift, then this Yedi Total Package, with its added extras and two year warranty, is our recommended choice.
7. Dash Chef Series Sous Vide – Best Small Sous Vide Oven
There are a few contenders in this small oven category, but the Dash Chef Series offers better quality and consistency than its competitors. Models like the Hamilton Beach and the VonShef water ovens may be cheaper, but the Hamilton Beach has had quite a few reported temperature issues, while the VonShef has had a number of reported manufacturing bloops.
The Dash is about the size of a regular cake box, although a little taller, and holds 2 gallons (8 liters) of water. It comes with a four-slot rack, so it is limited to four bags. However, if you get a flat rack replacement with legs to stand above the magnetic circulator, you can fit in a little more without compromising the circulation. This magnetic circulator is actually far more reliable and innovative than the typical convection type.
User reviews seem to indicate customers are consistently happy with this product, though it can take a little time to stabilize temperatures and can be somewhat noisy when starting off. The temperature range is a basic 104-194°F (40-90°C), with a timer that can be set for anywhere from 10 minutes to 72 hours.
At the end of the day, if you don’t want the fuss of containers, lids, clips, weights, and insulators, and just want to shut the lid until your food is done, then this one’s for you. It can cook steaks for a family of four, and it gives you carefree prep time over the weekend if you want to refrigerate for the week days ahead.
Top-rated Sous Vide Comparison Chart
|Model||Size inches||Powerwatts||Temp℉ (℃)||Volume||Smart Tech|
|Anova Precision Cooker||14.75 x 2.75||900||77 - 210(25 - 98)||5 gal (20 L)||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, App|
|ChefSteps Joule||11 x 1.85||1100||68 -208(20 - 97)||10 gal (40 L)||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, App|
|Anova Nano||12.8 x 2.2||750||32 - 197(0 - 91)||5 gal (20 L)||Bluetooth, App|
|Gramercy Kitchen||16.5 x 4.3||800||68 - 212(20 - 100)||4 gal(15 L)||No|
|Instant Pot Accu Slim||12.9 x 2.6||800||68 - 203(20 - 95)||2 gal(7.5 L)||No|
|Yedi Total Package||16 x 3.2||1000||77 - 20 (25 - 95)||5 gal (20 L)||No|
|Dash Water Oven||14W x 11D x 9.4H||700||104 -194(40 - 90)||2.1 gal(8 L)||No|
Our selection of the best sous vide machines in 2019 inlcude popular favorites as well as the best budget sous vide, the best sous vide package, and a sous vide with a delay timer. If you have anything to add, or wish to ask a question, use the comment feature below. We are always here for you.