We tested the top 4 sous vide machines.

Sous vide is a method of precise cooking in which you enclose food in plastic bags (certain items can be cooked in glass containers) and immerse it in a water bath set to a low temperature, usually your desired ultimate cooking temperature. The meal gradually warms up to the same temperature as the water as it sits in the bath.

While it may sound futuristic, sous vide cooking has several advantages: the long, slow cook time can make tough cuts of meat very tender; the sealed atmosphere helps keep moisture so food doesn’t dry out; and there’s almost no chance of overcooking because the temperature is so low. Sous vide cooking may be safe and simple with the correct equipment, and it can help you make some of the most delicious meals you’ve ever tasted.

Since 2014, I’ve been testing and blogging about sous vide machines. My sous vide reviews and research have appeared in Cook’s Illustrated, on “America’s Test Kitchen,” and in the book “Sous Vide for Everyone.” I put seven common sous vide machines to the test for this tutorial, putting them through a series of time, temperature, and cooking tests. More information about how we tested may be found here.

Here are the best sous vide machines we recommend:

We tested the top 4 sous vide machines.

Anova Precision Cooker Nano

Best sous vide machine overall
Pros: Accurate, easy-to-use onboard controls; compact for easy storage; may be coupled with an app through Bluetooth; fits a variety of vessel types and depths.
Cons: Preheating takes time, and the software might be glitchy.
  • 750 watts of power
  • 3.46′′ x 2.6′′ x 13.78′′ Dimensions
  • Minimum 2.4″ and maximum 6.7″ of water depth are required.
  • Yes, there are onboard controls.
  • Yes, iOS and Android apps are compatible.
  • Temperatures range from 32 to 197 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • 2 year warranty

The Anova Precision Cooker Nano is a sous vide machine that combines precision and convenience of use at a price that is unsurpassed by other sous vide equipment.

After years of evaluating sous vide devices, I’ve discovered that ease of use is the most important factor to consider when choosing a machine you’ll want to cook with. The Anova Nano is the simplest, most user-friendly product we evaluated, and there is no better sous vide machine at this price.

The Anova Nano isn’t the fastest or most powerful machine we tested; heating four quarts of water to 130 F took nearly 20 minutes. However, we believe that the $100+ savings over more powerful equipment is more than worth the extra 10 minutes spent pre-heating the bath for most home cooks (a process that is totally hands off).

It makes up for its lack of power and speed with ease of use, precision, and usability. To get the Nano set up and cooking, I didn’t even need to read the instruction handbook. The onboard controls are simple to use, and it may be connected to the Anova app via Bluetooth. I found the Bluetooth connection to be far more robust and reliable than the Wi-Fi connections used by Anova’s other sous vide devices, which seemed to lose connection regularly. All of the Anova machines, however, use the same app, which I found to be somewhat buggy. The onboard controls will be easier to use for the majority of people.

Overall, this slim, low-cost machine comes with everything you’ll want or need to get started with sous vide cooking, and it’s the best option for most amateur cooks.

We tested the top 4 sous vide machines.

Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide

Best sous vide machine with an app
Pros: Accurate, quick, compact for convenient storage, app-connected, fits a wide range of vessel types and depths, has a magnetic bottom for standing in pots
Cons: No onboard controls; requires use of an app.
  • 1100 watts of power
  • 4.1″ x 13″ x 4″ Dimensions
  • Minimum 1.5″ and maximum 8″ of water depth are required.
  • No onboard controls
  • Yes, iOS and Android apps are compatible.
  • Temperatures range from 68 to 208 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • 1 year warranty

This nimble, small equipment boils water quickly, works in a variety of vessels, and is completely controlled by an app.

I’ll be honest: the Joule is my personal favorite sous vide machine, and it’s a close second. The only reason it lost to the Anova is that it lacks onboard controllers and relies solely on an app for all functions. The Joule could be a better alternative for you if you don’t mind being tethered to your phone or smart device while cooking.

The Joule is distinguished from the Anova by a number of factors. For starters, it’s lightning fast. It heated four quarts of water to 130 degrees Fahrenheit in seven minutes in my tests, which was faster than any other gadget in this book. Second, it’s the tiniest of all the machines we tested, but it’s also one of the most adaptable. It can function with as little as 1.5 inches of water and as much as 8 inches, so it can be used in anything from a coffee mug to a cooler. I enjoy that I don’t have to use the enormous Dutch oven every time I want to cook a few of eggs sous vide. For increased stability, it has a magnetic bottom that allows it to stand in smaller metal pots.

The Joule app is one of my favorites. It’s the only app I tested during this testing that didn’t cause me any problems. It always linked to the device with ease, provided clear and accurate notifications, and came with a large number of recipes to get you started.

We tested the top 4 sous vide machines.

Breville Polyscience HydroPro Sous Vide

Best sous vide machine for restaurants and pros
Pros: Extremely accurate, heats quickly, takes apart for easy cleaning, has a built-in collection of recipes, can program to recall commonly used settings, adjustable flow rate.
Cons: Lacks mobile app, is larger, and requires multiple steps to switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit settings.
  • 1,450 watts of power
  • 3.7″ x 4.9″ x 14.5″ Dimensions
  • Minimum and maximum water depths are required: 2.4″ and 5.2″ respectively.
  • Yes, there are onboard controls.
  • No, the app is not compatible.
  • Temperatures range from 32 to 194 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • 1 year warranty

Sous vide is a popular restaurant cooking technique because it allows chefs to keep huge quantities of food warm without risking overcooking. For example, a steakhouse may keep steaks at 125 degrees F in a sous vide bath while orders come in, sear them quickly, and serve perfectly cooked steaks to diners in record time. It’s a strategy that’s utilized in Michelin-starred restaurants as well as fast-food franchises like Starbucks and Chipotle.

However, if you own or work in a restaurant, or are otherwise familiar with sous vide cooking, I’m probably not telling you anything new. I definitely recommend the HydroPro to restaurant owners and professionals searching for a machine with more commercial functions than the sous vide units sold to amateur cooks.

Precision and repeatability are prioritized in the machine’s design. A touch screen allows you to manage time, temperature, and flow rate (three speeds), as well as a large number of built-in time and temperature algorithms for cooking and pasteurizing cereals, custards, and a variety of meat cuts. Any settings can be saved in “my presets” on the device, allowing you to quickly repeat recipes night after night. The machine is extremely precise and quick, reaching a temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit in just eight minutes.

When it came to boiling eggs, the customizable flow settings were crucial. I was able to reduce the flow rate and angle the outport away from the eggs, ensuring that none of them cracked during the cooking process. When the bath is covered, the clamp is entirely adjustable, the body disassembles for easy cleaning, and the machine can supposedly heat nearly 12 gallons of water. Overall, for more experienced users or those working in a professional context, this is a powerful and intelligently built option.

We tested the top 4 sous vide machines.

Instant Pot Duo Crisp

Best multitasking sous vide machine
Pros: Versatile equipment that sous vides, pressure cooks, slow cooks, sears, and air fries; simple to operate.
Cons: Takes longer to heat up and has a smaller capacity than immersion circulators.
  • 1500 watts of power
  • 13.6″ x 13.6″ x 13″ Dimensions: 13.6″ x 13.6″ x 13″
  • Minimum 1.5 cup, maximum 6 quarts of water depth is required.
  • Yes, there are onboard controls.
  • No, the app is not compatible.
  • Temperatures range from 70 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • 1 year warranty

The Instant Pot Duo Crisp combines a pressure cooker, slow cooker, air fryer, and sous vide machine into one compact unit, making it one of the most versatile and cost-effective small appliances we tested.

Sous vide is still a rather uncommon cooking technique, and few people use it on a regular basis. We propose the InstantPot Duo Crisp + Air Fryer, which contains a sous vide mode, for those who want to test sous vide but don’t want to invest in a dedicated equipment.

I’m normally wary of items that tack on sous vide settings to a whole separate product since I’ve found that they often lack the precision temperature control required for proper sous vide, but the InstantPot Duo Crisp pleasantly surprised me. The equipment reminds me of classic water ovens, which are essentially large heated boxes of water and were the first sous vide machines before circulators became popular. Of course, the Duo Crisp offers multicooker features including pressure cooking, slow cooking, searing, and even air frying. While I’ve experimented with all of these settings over the last few months, I concentrated on how well it could sous vide for this article.

In independent testing, the machine took nearly half an hour to heat four quarts of room temperature water to 130 and 190 degrees, which was longer than previous units. The temperature, on the other hand, was pretty accurate — barely 1 or 2 degrees off goal at most — and not enough to affect the cook on most dishes.

Aside from the slow heating and restricted capacity compared to more versatile immersion circulators, I really enjoyed sous-viding with the InstantPot. It was simple and obvious to operate, and it reduces the number of appliances I have in my home. The InstantPot Duo Crisp is a wonderful first step if you’re interested in sous vide but don’t want to invest in a dedicated machine.

What else did we try?

What else do we suggest, and why:

  • Anova Precision Cooker ($139): This circulator is Anova’s mid-priced choice, with both onboard and app controls. In terms of functionality and usability, I found it to be nearly equal to the Nano. The only difference for most home cooks is that this type warms somewhat faster and has an adjustable clamp. However, these improvements do not, in my opinion, justify the $100 price increase over the Nano.
  • Anova Precision Cooker Pro ($199): This model is even more expensive than the Anova Precision Cooker. It’s advertised as Anova’s fastest and most precise machine, but we found Anova’s other models to be just as precise. It features the same app and onboard controls as the other Anova models in terms of use, but it’s built to survive accidental water immersion, has an adjustable clamp, and comes apart for cleaning. Again, we don’t believe these features warrant the significant price increase for most home cooks. Although it may be a suitable choice for restaurant chefs or professionals, we believe the Breville | Polyscience Hydro Pro provides greater power, speed, and functionality for advanced users.

What we don’t recommend and why we don’t recommend it:

  • Tribest Sousvant Complete Sous Vide Circulator: This desktop water oven resembles a fish tank in appearance and sound. It heated up quickly and was simple to operate, but it lacked many of the features we need for in a good sous vide machine for a unitasking equipment that takes up a lot of space. For starters, it makes no sound when the water reaches the desired temperature so you can begin cooking, and its timer functions more like a stopwatch; you can’t set it for a specific time, and it begins counting down the second the water reaches the desired temperature, regardless of whether you’ve added the food or not. The handbook advises against stacking separate pieces of food vertically on top of each other in the bath, but because the machine is much higher than it is wide or deep, there’s no other option if you wish to cook many pieces. We believe that a smaller, less expensive machine will provide far more versatility.

Our sous vide testing procedure

For the past seven years, I’ve been testing and reviewing sous vide machines. During that time, I’ve interviewed sous vide pioneers like Dave Arnold, Scott Heimendinger, and Tony Maws, as well as following the progress of many of the brands featured in this book since their early prototypes. “Sous Vide for Everybody” and Cook’s Illustrated magazine have published my sous vide machine reviews and studies on the history and safety of sous vide cooking. I’ve discovered that the greatest sous vide devices excel at speed, precision, and, most importantly, ease of use over the years.
We put seven sous vide machines to the test for this guide, putting them through a number of time and temperature tests, testing fit in a range of containers, and evaluating setup, use, and cleaning. With each machine, we cooked 63 C runny “onsen” eggs and 130 F steaks. Here are the criteria we considered:
I timed how long each machine took to heat four quarts of room temperature water to 130 and 190 degrees Fahrenheit. The fastest machines completed the task in less than 10 minutes and under 25 minutes, respectively. (It’s worth mentioning that you can speed up this process by covering the bath in plastic wrap, which we didn’t do for this experiment.)
Versatility: To meet your demands, a decent sous vide machine may be utilized in a number of vessels. In this region, models with a wide range between minimum and maximum fill lines provided the most versatility.
Precision: Because sous vide is a precision cooking technique, accuracy is essential. We used a lab-calibrated thermometer on a regular basis to ensure that the actual temperature of the bath matched the temperature we set with the controls. Ease of use: Because sous vide is a relatively niche cooking technique, if you find it frustrating or difficult to use, your sous vide equipment is likely to end up in the donation pile. The best sous vide machines include large, easy-to-read displays, are simple to use, and are simple to set up, clean, and store. App connectivity was also considered for smart sous vide machines, but we eventually chose models with onboard controls because they are the most user-friendly and adaptable.
Cooking: We looked at how well the machines cooked the meal, of course. In general, if a sous vide machine is accurate, it will cook perfectly. However, we also cooked eggs and steak with each machine to check whether any had difficulties that affected the cooking process. The most significant issue we discovered was that machines with adjustable flow rates and outports were softer on eggs, whereas machines without this feature frequently jostled eggs during cooking to the point of cracking them.

FAQs on the spot

So, what exactly is sous vide?

Sous vide is a cooking method in which the components are sealed in plastic (though glass jars can be used in some cases) and submerged in a water bath heated to (usually) the food’s final cooking temperature. There’s no risk of overcooking because the sealed food progressively warms up in the bath to the proper internal temperature.

What foods can be cooked sous vide?

Meat, veggies, and eggs are the greatest candidates for sous vide cooking. It’s especially good for making difficult cuts of meat juicy and tender because the low and moderate temperatures allow tough collagen and fat to gently render over many hours. Pasteurization of items such as eggs or homemade mayonnaise can also be done sous vide.

Is a vacuum sealer required for sous vide?

No. If you remove the air beforehand, you may sous vide in any zipper-lock bag. Place the food in the zipper-lock bag, press out as much air as possible, and then use the zipper-lock to close the bag except for a small corner. Slowly submerge the partially sealed bag in the water bath until it is completely submerged except for the unsealed corner. Almost all of the air will be pushed out by the water. Seal the final corner and drop the bag into the bath to cook after the food appears taut against the bag.

If you sous vide large or irregularly sized portions of meat on a frequent basis, you might wish to invest in a vacuum sealer, which removes air more thoroughly.

What are some of the benefits of sous vide cooking?

Sous vide cooking allows you to raise your food to a desired cooking temperature gradually and securely while preventing it from drying out. It takes some time, but it is nearly infallible. In the case of a piece of beef, all you have to do at the end is pull it out, give it a short sear, and you’ll have a perfectly cooked steak right in your own kitchen.

What are some of the drawbacks to sous vide cooking?

Sous vide cooking takes time (between 20 and 30 minutes for a steak), and it’s another clumsy (though still small) device to have in your kitchen. You’re also cooking in a plastic bag, which could pose a health risk depending on its quality.

Should I buy a sous vide on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

You might find sous vide deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, and since both shopping holidays are so close together, it’s best to wait and see.

This article will help you find the greatest bargains on sous vide machines.

Sous vide machines, also known as immersion circulators, are useful kitchen tools that you may not realize you needed until you use one. We don’t currently suggest any sous vide cookers under $100, however they are frequently discounted. The Anova Precision Cooker Nano, our best overall recommendation, is frequently discounted to around $100 for days at a time during the year.

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KeWiki is an affiliate-based website that tests and reviews the best tech, appliances, gear, and more. You can trust our veteran reviewers and experts to find the best stuff just for you. KeWiki strives to be probably the most trusted product suggestion and service on the web. We obsessively test and report on thousands of things annually to suggest one of the best of all the things. We aim to save lots of you time and get rid of the stress of buying, whether or not you’re on the lookout for on a regular basis gear or items for family members. We work with complete editorial independence. Meaning nothing seems on the location as a suggestion until our writers and editors have deemed it one of the best by our rigorous reporting and testing.


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