Make a meal with heated water and a sous vide machine
Sous Vide Machines
Sous Vide is French for under vacuum. Sous vide machines heat and maintain water temperatures to cook foods, specifically meats, that are vacuum-sealed in plastic and submerged in the water. The cooked meat comes out very tender and perfectly cooked all the way through, and it doesn’t take long to cook. It is also impossible to burn foods with a Sous vide machine. The best Sous vide is the Anova Precision Cooker because of its Bluetooth connectivity and precise temperature control.
Best overall: Anova Precision Cooker
Source: Future Publishing
The Anova Precision Cooker is excellent at preparing so many foods including meats, vegetables, and eggs. Depending on the heat of the water and the length of time your food is kept hot determines how raw or well-done it is. You can control all of this from the included mobile app. Unfortunately, this is the only way to really control this machine. There aren’t any controls on the sous vide itself. It also takes the Anova Precision a little longer to heat up water compared to others tested. You don’t need a designated sous vide container to use the Anova. It has an adjustable vise-type clip that attaches to any stockpot, bowl, or container you have already in your home.
- Bluetooth enabled
- Precise temperature control
- Adheres to most pots and bowls
- Can’t control without the app
- Take longer to heat up the water
Best budget: VPCOK Sous Vide Cooker
The VPCOK cooker is good for those just beginning to dabble in sous vide cooking. It isn’t very expensive, but you get really good results. It heats up fast and all the controls are on the machine itself, so you have to sync your phone in order to use it. It keeps water temperatures consistent and keeps it circulating so you don’t experience any cool spots that may spoil your food while cooking. It doesn’t get as hot as other machines, but 211 degrees Fahrenheit is still impressive and good enough to cook even meat to the perfect doneness. A cookbook is included with this sous vide to help you learn all about this cooking method and get to know how long you should be cooking foods, especially meats.
- Heats up fast
- Includes a cookbook
- Doesn’t get as hot as other machines
Best basic machine: Instant Pot Accu Slim Sous Vide
Source: Instant Pot
This sous vide lets you control temperature and cook times from the machine itself rather than requiring a mobile app to use. It is easy to clip on to any pot or container you have that is between 6 quarts and 8 quarts, and you can submerge foods in either a vacuum-sealed bag or a glass jar and still get amazingly delicious food. The temperatures are very accurate with precise increases that can be very minimal and yet change the overall results of your cooking. The Instant Pot immersion cooker works well with a variety of foods including beef, chicken, pork, lamb, and vegetables. You can set this machine to run continuously for up to 72 hours and it runs virtually silent. There is a user manual that is included with this sous vide, but it doesn’t have a lot of instructions or recipes to help you learn which temperatures and how long to cook a lot of foods. You’ll need to research this information on your own.
- Use with bagged or jarred foods
- Controls are on the machine
- Set timer for 72 hours
- Instructions are lacking
- Not recommended using with small containers
Best Wi-Fi enabled: Inkbird WIFI Sous Vide Cooker
This Inkbird sous vide is the best of two worlds. It has the setting and controls you need to use this machine on the sous vide itself, but you can also connect it to your mobile device using an app that also gives you control while not physically in the kitchen. The app can be shared with other family members so more than one person can set it up and keep an eye on the cooking. The app is a little tricky to set up because everything has to be manually inputted from the beginning. There is a clip on the side of this sous vide that attaches to any pot or container you’d like to cook in. This machine is good for all types of meat, including beef and fish, and for eggs and vegetables.
- Multiple controls
- App controls
- App isn’t preset
Best all in one: SousVide Art Cooker Immersion Kit
This kit is a great value because it includes everything you need for sous vide cooking, except for the pot. The machine is really simple, so it isn’t overly complicated to figure out how to use it. But there is a recipe book that is included to help take the guesswork out of it. Also included with the Sousvide Art kit are several vacuum seal bags and a hand pump to draw out the air around your food before placing it in the hot water. You also get several reusable clips to ensure your food doesn’t float free and interfere with the sous vide machine as it cooks. It takes a while for the machine to heat up the water for cooking, but once ready it is ideal for cooking meats, eggs, vegetables, and even drinks and desserts.
- Includes clips and bags
- Cooks desserts and drinks
- Comes with a cookbook
- Takes time to heat up
- Doesn’t include a container
We know the Anova Precision Cooker sous vide machine is the best because we’ve tested these kitchen appliances over the years and Anova is consistently accurate in its temperature control and the overall quality of its cooking ability. Meats and vegetables come out perfectly cooked, even when you use the app to start and control it while away from home.
You don’t need an official sous vide container – we used a Rubbermaid storage bin – because the Anova will work with any deep pot you have laying around. We especially loved that we could count on a perfectly cooked steak, as rare or a well-done as we’d like, simply by changing the amount of time this sous vide kept the cooking water heated. And the best part is there is very little clean up afterward. The Anova just needs to be wiped dry and the cooking container dumped. Since food is cooked while vacuumed sealed, the only real clean up is throwing away the bag when you’re done!
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Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Nicole Johnston writes for multiple Future Publishing brands, including TechnoBuffalo. She has over 13 years of research and writing experience in both the public and private sector, including seven years of testing and reviewing products including antivirus software, parental controls, kitchen appliances, and SAS. She draws on her experience as a mom of 10 to find the best products to recommend to consumers.
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