Sous vide cookery was once the preserve of upscale restaurants, but with the advent of the best sous vide cookers, you can bring this technique home.
Sous vide – this is pronounced sue-veed – means “under vacuum” in French.
This cooking technique uses highly precise temperature control to cook vacuum-sealed foods in a water bath. It helps to have a vacuum sealer at home if you’re interested in sous vide cooking.
If you want to cook with complete precision, and if you want to achieve the exact level of doneness every time and fuss-free, there are few cooking techniques to rival sous vide.
The best part?
Sous vide cookery is much easier than you might imagine, involving just three quick steps:
- Place your sous vide cooker on the side of a pot of water. Set the time and temperature in line with your preferred level of doneness
- Put your food into a sealable or vacuum-sealed bag. Attach this to the side of the container
- If you choose to grill, sear, or broil your food, you can add a crispy and golden outside layer in no time with all the hard work already done
While sous vide cooking is simple, and the devices required are also straightforward, there are nevertheless a few points to consider before getting out your credit card.
Right, with that framework in place, you’re ideally placed to explore our curated list of the 8 best sous vide cookers in a crowded field. See if any of these makes the right fit for your home kitchen.
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The 8 Best Sous Vide Cookers
1. Our Pick Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker
Anova Culinary is the brand responsible for bringing sous vide into the home kitchen. This Californian company makes a trio of simple but highly effective sous vide cookers, and they have also created a passionate online community (#AnovaFoodNerd).
This flagship model sits in the middle of the range, between the smaller and more affordable Nano – more on that below – and the upscale Pro. What do you get for your money here, then?
Well, like with all the best sous vide cookers, simplicity is uppermost here. This all-new model has been overhauled to improve power, connectivity, and water resistance in the same great form factor.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re whipping up a quick meal for one or you need to cook for the whole family, this powerful unit delivers results fast. Rated at 1000 watts, you’ll get your water up to temperature quicker, and the appliance will hold the temperature with absolute precision.
This unit is WiFi-enabled, but it only supports 2.4GHz networks. If you exclusively use a newer 5GHz network, this cooker won’t play nicely.
Assuming you have the right WiFi network, you can take charge of the cooker remotely in-app. This is available free for both iOS and Android. You’ll also have access to thousands of free recipes when you’re using the app, so there’s no excuse not to get up and running right out the box.
While almost all user reviews for this sous vide cooker are positive, we found a handful of complaints about poor experiences with customer service. Setting this gripe aside, you’re getting one of the best sous vide cookers out there from the most dominant brand in this vertical.
2. Breville Joule Sous Vide
Breville is a well-established brand responsible for an array of hard-hitting appliances like this great sous vide cooker.
If you’re shopping on a tight budget, this is not your best bet, but for anyone with deeper pockets and exacting tastes, the Breville Joule delivers in fine style.
This is the smallest, thinnest sous vide cooker you’ll find, even more slimline than the Anova Nano we review below. The device stands just 11 inches high and weighs just 1.3 pounds. You can easily store the device in a drawer, ideal if your kitchen is already overflowing with appliances.
When you’re using the app, you get a visual doneness indicator showing you just how close to completion your food is.
Rated at 1100 watts, you won’t be standing on ceremony with this sous vide cooker. Your water will be rapidly up to temperature, and then all you need to do is pop in your sealed food and let the machine do its work.
Connectivity is robust, and you can use either WiFi or Bluetooth and the app for iOS or Android.
This unit is designed to operate in water with a minimum depth of 1.5 inches and a maximum depth of 8 inches, giving you plenty of flexibility when you’re experimenting with sous vide cookery.
Only designed to work on 120 volts, you should not use this device with a transformer, and you should not use it outside of North America, or the warranty becomes void.
For all those in the USA, this is among the very best sous vide cookers, and it also looks great.
3. Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Nano
As we hit the midpoint of our search for the best sous vide cookers, we have the dinky Nano model from Anova Culinary, giving you pocket-sized performance at a very keen price point.
Like with all Anova gear, you’re getting precision engineering married to absolute ease of use, meaning you can get started with this cooker even if you’ve never attempted sous vide before.
Take advantage of a sprawling collection of recipes in the Anova app, and harness the experience and advice of the online community members to help you get the very most out of your new device.
WiFi connectivity only extends to traditional 2.4GHz networks, so make sure your home WiFi supports this.
You can pick up multiple iterations of the Nano. This is the base model with nothing but the cooker included, but you can also opt for variants including a lid and storage container. There is even a model that includes a vacuum sealer, although that costs quite a bit more.
Consistency is outstanding and this unit maintains temperature with unerring precision.
All you need to do is attach this precision cooker to any pot or container you want to use as a water bath, and then add your food in a sealed bag. From here, choose to cook manually or use the inbuilt controls and the app for an even more seamless experience.
The only real complaints we could find in a sea of positive user testimony concerns the amount of noise this Anova model makes. If that’s likely to cause a problem, explore some of the quieter models we review today. If you’re not too noise-sensitive, this is one of the best small sous vide cookers you’ll find.
4. Breville Joule Sous-Vide
Breville make some first-class kitchen appliances that don’t break the bang. What do you get for your money with this sous vide cooker, then?
Well, if you’ve been hunting for the smallest and slenderest appliance in this class, the Breville Joule is arguably your strongest option. This unit weighs just over 1 pound and stands 11 inches high, giving you a powerhouse in the kitchen without any storage headaches.
Rated at an impressive 1100 watts, you get the power typically associated with much beefier sous vide cookers in a pocket-sized unit.
Like many of the best sous vide cookers, you’ll benefit from smart controls, and you can take advantage of the robust Joule app to monitor what’s cooking. The visual doneness graphic baked in is a lovely touch. To use this app, you’ll need an internet connection and the WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity onboard.
Note that this sous vide cooker is recommended for use in North America only due to voltage issues. You will void the warranty on this appliance if you use it outside this region, so buyer beware.
As long as you live in the USA or Canada, you’ll be getting one of the most effective sous vide cookers out there, and you won’t need to spend a fortune.
5. Instant Accu-Slim Sous Vide Precision Cooker
Next up is another small and compact sous vide cooker, this time from Instant Pot.
Rated at 800 watts, you get more than enough firepower in reserve. Although this is not the most powerful appliance, its scaled-down dimensions mean you get ample power relative to size.
The clamp is easy to use, and it fixes the appliance snugly against your cookware. The business end of this unit features an LED that’s a cinch to read, and also a digital touchscreen.
The instructions bundled for this unit are weak, so if you’re new to sous vide cooking, this might not be the best bet. For anyone already experienced cooking with this innovative technique, you’ll get a user-friendly sous vide cooker that’s also remarkably easy to store between uses.
To complement the stainless steel build, the plastic handle not only gives a great visual contrast, but is also designed not to slip out of your hand when you’re setting things up.
This appliance gets up to temperature rapidly, and then ensures your food is cooked to perfection. All you need to do is dial in the timings and you’ll be enjoying restaurant-grade food at home the easy way.
In addition to this model (the uprated 2021 version), you could opt for the original sous vide model this was based on, or a series of cartoon-inspired models. Which one is it to be?
6. Anova Culinary Sous Vide Pro
Anova is the brand that pioneered the sous vide cooking method for the home kitchen. The Pro sits at the top of their commendable line of devices, so is it worth the stiff price tag?
Well, if you act quickly, you’ll pick this model up at an aggressive discount. Sure, you will still be paying much more than you would for much of the opposition, but you’re getting an unbeatable price/performance ratio here.
You can take control of your favorite recipes in-app thanks to the smart functionality built in. Not only can you monitor your cooking remotely, but you are also treated to hundreds of tantalizing recipes to help you bring out the very best in your new sous vide cooker.
This is the most powerful sous vide cooker you’ll find for home use. Rated at 1200 watts, this thing gets up to temperature quickly, and consistency is unrivalled.
The Pro is capable of heating up to 100 liters of water, and this unit is designed to run for up to 10,000 hours without giving up the ghost.
Using this sous vide cooker couldn’t be easier, so whether you’re a total novice or an experienced chef, you can’t go wrong with Anova.
7. Breville/PolyScience Sous Vide Immersion Circulator
As we near the end of our sous vide cooker reviews, we have a joint effort from Breville and PolyScience in the form of this mid-range appliance delivering highly precise results.
Despite the fairly stiff price tag, this is a plastic appliance, so don’t expect stainless steel here. That said, the sous vide cooker is durable and should withstand plenty of use without letting you down.
The clamp is one of the key selling points on this unit. You can fix the device firmly and easily to just about any pot or container and then enjoy the simplicity and precision of sous vide cookery, as well as the lip-smacking taste. Whether you’re using a small stock pot or a much larger pan, this device will stay snugly in place throughout cooking.
You get simple digital controls with this model, but there is no WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity and no option for remote control.
From cocktails and proteins to fruits, veggies, and desserts, this super-precise appliance will add a new dimension to your cuisine.
A few users complain about various quality control issues, but most consumer reviews sing the praises of this nifty sous vide cooker. Easy to use and equally easy to store, you don’t get wireless connectivity, but you do get a highly precise device that makes sous vide cookery a cinch.
8. Greater Goods Kitchen Sous Vide
To round out our showcase of the best sous vide cookers, here comes a powerhouse from Greater Goods Kitchen.
Now, not only does this 1100-watt unit have all the power you need for quick and efficient results, but it also runs nearly whisper-quiet thanks to the brushless nature of the motor.
This model comes equipped with a class-leading temperature range, so cook all your favorite foods from 68F through 203F, giving you maximum versatility.
You can quickly and easily attach this sous vide cooker to almost any pot or container you plan to use as a water bath.
Although this model is not WiFi-enabled, you’ll find using the ergonomic dial a breeze. This allows you to adjust the temperature to suit while also selecting the cooking time. From here, the temperature will be held consistently and confidently at that temperature throughout cooking for perfectly tender and even results every time.
Not only does this sous vide perform strongly, but it also makes a striking visual statement, so wow your guests first with the device and then with the results on their plate.
While most user reviews for this sous vide cooker are positive, we found some scattered complaints about build quality and lifespan. On the plus side, this model is available at a much keener price than some of the sous vide cookers on our shortlist, so buy in line with your needs and budget.
1) What foods can I sous vide?
When you think about sous vide cookery, a steak is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Undoubtedly, cooking steaks using this technique is a great alternative to grilling steak. You can, of course, finish it off on the grill for that perfect sear. Beyond steak, though, you can also cook a wide range of other foods using this innovative method. Beef, pork, and chicken all work well. Try some fish, too, as this responds especially well to sous vide cooking. Eggs and veggies are also worth trying out, and you can even make desserts with this cooking technique. If you’re stuck for actionable ideas, we would recommend this great sous vide cookery book to get you started.
2) What are the core benefits of sous vide cooking?
When you cook using the sous vide method, you’ll get highly precise temperature control along with circulation that allows you to generate results not possible to achieve with other cooking methods. With most traditional techniques, you don’t have precise control over either the heat or the temperature. This makes it difficult to achieve great and consistent results, and also means it’s easy to undercook or overcook your food. The control offered by sous vide delivers total consistency. As the food will be cooking in its own juices, you’ll also find the results on your plate and tender and juicy. The set-and-forget nature of this method means you can free yourself up in the kitchen. When you cook a steak using a traditional method, it can lose up to 40% of its volume through drying out. When you whip up steak using the sous vide method, by contrast, you’ll slash wastage without compromising taste or texture.
3) What’s the difference between a sous vide immersion circulator and a sous vide oven?
Sous vide ovens are much more expensive than sous vide immersion circulators, also known as sous vide cookers. The standalone machines operate as water-based ovens. The main advantage of these units is the way the water is efficiently circulated. With a sous vide cooker, on the other hand, you get a device much closer to an immersion blender. You clip these devices to the side of the pan you are using as a water bath for your food.
4) Is sous vide cooking quicker than other cooking methods?
It isn’t, no. Sous vide cooking can take longer than other methods. The key selling point is the way you can leave the food to cook with confidence and the total consistency of the results. Speed is not of the essence with sous vide, but it will be well worth the wait!
5) Can I safely use Ziploc bags for sous vide cooking?
Yes. The optimum method is to use a vacuum sealer and the bags compatible with that machine. That said, using a high-quality sealable bag will still work in an emergency.
If you turned up today at Royal Tavern unsure what sous vide cooking is, you should now have a clear idea of just how easy it use to bring this innovative cooking technique into your home kitchen.
As we mentioned in our buying guide, if you have more ambitious requirements, you can also find dedicated sous vide ovens, although most home users find the sous vide cookers like we review today more than fit for purpose.
Bookmark our blog before you go today, and pop back soon for more informative content on all aspects of cooking like a pro at home. See you soon!