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Good, better, best: Our recommendations for sous vide machines

If you’ve not had the pleasure of sous vide cooking, please run, don’t walk, to your computer and get ready to online shop. Sous vide is a method of cooking known as “slow temperature, long time,” where food is placed in a plastic pouch or a glass jar and cooked in water longer than you’d typically cook an item, but it comes out at precisely “the right” temperature (which is whatever you want it to be).

In general, all sous vide machines are amazing in that they result in food that is evenly cooked edge to edge, so no more gray bands of overcooked steak. They also fix the timing problem as the food doesn’t overcook if you leave it in for an extra 10 minutes or even an hour, so no more cutting into what you’d hoped was a medium rare steak and finding it well done. Plus, it gives you time to concentrate on getting the side dishes ready or entertaining guests. Then, when you’re ready, pull the protein from the machine, sear it off, and enjoy.

sous vide bag in water
bigacis/Shutterstock

We’ve looked far and wide to come up with good, better, and best rankings to take the guesswork out of finding the right one for you.

Good:

Sous Vide Cooker Immersion Circulator

This is the perfect machine for people just getting into sous vide cooking. This is an all-in-one sous vide machine and starter kit that comes with 15 vacuum bags, a pump, clips, and a free cookbook. This product delivers tasty, juicy, and nutrient-packed dishes at precisely controlled low temperatures, so you get restaurant-quality meals at home. If you’re a Prime member, it ships for free.

Better:

Inkbird WIFI Sous Vide Cookers

This Wi-Fi immersion circulator will allow you to cook from anywhere. Simply set a timer, and while the cooker does its thing, you can stay up-to-date on its status without being tied to the kitchen. The timer can go to almost 100 hours and has delayed start time functionality, so you can start it anytime, from anywhere. This cooker should fit into most budgets and is quiet and compact — a winning combination.

Best:

Joule Sous Vide

Joule is the figurative crown jewel of sous vide cooking. I like that the Joule has a magnet built into its base, so you can simply drop it in a metal pot and it stands up straight without needing a clamp. The size is nice and compact as well. It is also backed by ChefSteps — a group of chefs, writers, and home cooks who know everything that has to do with cooking well. The Joule works with both iPhone or Android via a dedicated app, which can connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi when you link Joule to your home network. It’s luxury convenience in the comfort of your own kitchen, or away from home.

Sous vide emerged in water
Alexey Onegin/Shutterstock

A sous vide machine may seem like a “want” not a “need,” but given the current global health crisis and risk of spending time indoors in restaurants, it’s an ideal gift for the home cook in your life or to treat yourself for making it through this crazy year.

Editors' Recommendations