Start Cooking Sous Vide with Our 6 Favorite Machines
Sous vide isn’t as fancy as it sounds. The cooking technique involves sealing food in plastic, dropping it into a pot of water and waiting. That’s basically it. The cooker does all of the real work, bringing the water to the exact temperature that’s needed to make the food tender and flavorful. You can sous-vide lots of things, including rib eye steak, poached pears and even cocktails, making it an enticing way to cook at home.
The sous-vide market is a vast one, indeed, ranging from compact immersion circulators designed to work with almost any water vessel to all-in-one countertop models. The good news? Neither option is particularly complicated or expensive. It’s just about, uh, diving in.
① Instant Pot Accu SV800 ($89)
The same folks behind the popular Instant Pot also make one of the most affordable machines on this list. Perfect for beginners, this device has all the standard sous-vide features, including an LED screen, a temperature range of 104 to 194 degrees and the ability to cook anywhere from 10 minutes to 72 hours. Just add a pot and start cooking.
This immersion circulator has Wi-Fi support, and we love the app and its recipe database. It’s also a standout, because the 900-watt machine doesn’t require you to constantly fish out your smartphone; you can set cooking levels with the unit’s scroll wheel and monitor temperature and times right there on the touch screen.
③ ChefSteps Joule ($199)
This tiny thing heats up the sous-vide category with Wi-Fi support, voice control via Amazon Alexa and a magnet that sturdily affixes the device to any stainless-steel pot. Users can access app-based recipes, monitor cooking times and keep tabs on what the device’s 1,1000 watts of power can do—from inside and outside the house.
④ Gourmia GSV900 ($120)
This compact countertop cooker features an all-in-one design, so you never have to worry about which pot to use. With the ability to hold 10 quarts of water, this model is perfect for experimental cooks—thanks to a rack that holds up to 12 vacuum-sealed bags at one time.
Still not ready to dive into the world of sous vide? This temperature-control device lets you hack your analog slow cooker and give it the ability to control water temperature to the half degree. It's the perfect compromise for first-timers.
⑥ Tribest Sousvant SV-101 ($300)
Thanks to a carafe that looks like a giant Brita pitcher, this cooker provides a peek at the sous-vide process as it happens. Its removable container can hold up to three gallons of water; the lid keeps most of that from evaporating while the 1,000-watt circulator works its magic.
This article was originally published on 4/7/2017 and updated by Andrew Bui on 4/12/2018.
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