Best Sous Vide Machine 2018
Do you want to start cooking sous vide but don’t know where to begin? Well the first step would be to choose the right sous vide immersion circulator for you. Here is a detailed buying guide for the best sous vide machine to own in 2018.
If you aren’t sure what sous vide cooking is, read our introduction article what is sous vide. Basically, sous vide is French for “under vacuum”. However, sous vide equipment is becoming very popular for us home cooks. These machines cook food at a consistent temperature throughout. You do this by controlling the optimal temperature before cooking. The machine will continually maintain the water temperature while you place vacuum sealed food into your water bath. This means a perfectly cooked steak every time without any room for human error.
I’ve compiled all the latest circulators and organized it into this article. It will include research, data, pictures, explanations, etc. All you really need is a sous vide cooker to get started. You probably already have the rest of the tools required to cook sous vide lying around in your kitchen cabinets like Ziploc bags. Cooking sous vide really doesn’t require much.
This list is made for the entry level home cook. We prioritized cost, ease of use, and compatibility when making this list. We avoided listing the really expensive commercial grade sous vide machines because we feel they are unnecessary unless you are preparing food for a massive crowd in a restaurant environment. Please note that there are two types of sous vide cookers. There are sous vide ovens and immersion circulators. I’ll talk about both later on but all devices will ultimately produce the same results.
Our recommended sous vide cookers are perfect for users who want to incorporate sous vide cooking techniques to their lifestyle. All precision cookers will essentially perform the same job, but we believe these top picks rise above the competition with their convenient bonus features and user-friendliness.
|Anova Precision Cooker (Editor's Choice)||adjustable clamp||Yes||Yes||Check Price
|Tribest Sousvant SV-101 Sous Vide Circulator||standalone unit||No||No||Check Price|
|Chefsteps CS10001 Joule Sous Vide (Editor's Choice)||magnetic base / metal clip||Yes||No||Check Price|
|Sansaire Sous Vide Immersion Circulator||metal clip||No||No||Check Price|
Immersion circulators (Top 3)
Immersion circulators are fairly new and provide a new interesting way to cook food sous vide style. They are used in an ordinary cooking pot or any tub that can safely handle hot water. Most circulators have a clip that is used to stand upright in the container while some circulators have a magnetic base. All of these devices were made with storage space in mind and are desirable because of their flexibility. This means you can easily add one to your collection that will work with existing pots and tubs you own. For this reason, I recommend an immersion circulator for anyone starting out. Below are our top 3 recommended immersion circulators for cooking at home.
1. Anova Precision Cooker – Best sous vide machine to own in 2018 (Most Popular)
From my countless hours of research and testing, I’ve concluded that the Anova WIFI Precision Cooker is the best sous vide machine to own in 2017. I’ve based my conclusion on ease of use, quality, design, the mobile App, and affordability. I will go more in depth below on why I think the Anova WIFI Precision Cooker is the best sous vide immersion circulator and I will also compare the Anova with its competitors.
The Anova Precision Cooker is my top pick because it features a very sleek design and it can be clamped onto any stock pot. You won’t have to buy another special container. (Just make sure that the container or pot can hold water between 2.75 and 6.25 inches deep). The Anova is extremely precise and is also moderately priced. Currently the 2nd generation Anova can power up to 900 watts. The Anova also has a neat “auto-cook” feature which will keep your food safe if the water temperature ever rises too high while you’re away.
WiFi vs Bluetooth
The WiFi was consistent during the times I’ve tested the Anova. Bluetooth will be consistent as long as you’re in range. The only WiFi connection issue that I can think of is that the Anova will only connect to a 2.4GHz network and not a 5.0GHz one. I personally recommend the WiFi version because you can control your Anova Precision Cooker from the App on your mobile phone anytime and anywhere (as long as you’re connected to WiFi). I like to put my steaks into my pot before I head to the training in the gym and then start it an hour before coming home. A buddy of mine decided to save money and get the bluetooth one but the range of the bluetooth won’t reach his room from his kitchen. So he has to walk closer to the sous vide machine to control it. I strongly recommend the WiFi version over the bluetooth-only version.
The Anova Mobile App
Anova’s App does the job. It will alert you when the water is heated or when your food is done cooking. You have the ability to start or stop the Anova. It’s extremely easy to use and minimalistic (which is my only complaint). I do wish it had more detailed pictures like visual doneness since I’m more of a visual type of person. Like I said though, it does the trick. I’m sure Anova can and will update it in the future.
This cooker is totally safe to use. The immersion coil is inside a stainless steel skirt, where it can’t contact anything it might melt or burn. There are multiple thermocouple sensors around the coil to monitor the temperature of the coil, and the temperature of the water it’s immersed in from two separated points. In addition, there’s a powerful but tiny circulating impeller – like a small boat propeller but pointing downwards. There’s a movable cap at the bottom that redirects the flow from this little propeller, to move the hot water around in your cooking tub. It’s very quiet, but there’s still a sort of bubbling hum as it works. The Anova comes with an innovative double clamp, with one knob to clamp the clamp to your container or pot, and a second knob to secure the cooker in the clamp. It’s good looking, durable, and holds the cooker rock-steady.
- Most popular entry-level precision cooker, very high ratings on amazon
- Mobile app includes step-by-step recipes with pictures for every food
- Easiest overall experience, compatible for all types of home cooks
- Control settings on app via Wifi
- Control settings on app via Bluetooth
- Adjustable clamp fits a bit awkwardly on bins and containers
- Bluetooth range is weak
2. ChefSteps CS10001 Joule Sous Vide – Beautifully designed for the younger and trendier crowd.
Coming in second place is the Joule Sous Vide Machine by ChefSteps. The Joule has a beautiful and sleek design. It’s all white, compact, and can fit into any kitchen drawer perfectly. It can be used with any stock pot or container. Despite its size, the Joule has 1,100 watts of power and the fastest water-heating capability on the market. Another cool thing about the Joule is that it can be connected to your Amazon Alexa devices and not just your Android or iOS mobile device. I love the visual doneness guide offered in the Joule App.
Now why is the Joule in second place and not the first? Well in order to use the Joule, it must be connected to a mobile device. Currently you can’t set temperate or time on the sous vide machine itself and you must do it via their mobile app.
The ChefSteps Joule has by far the coolest features for the same price as the other entry-level cookers. Their magnet base is better than any clip/clap, they have the overall best mobile app, and there is a visual doneness feature that shows you what food looks like at different temperatures.
However, the Joule requires a smartphone with the app installed to use and cooker cannot turn on any other way. I love the Joule but would only recommend this to people who are comfortable using a smart phone.
The ChefSteps Joule sous vide machine is the only device with with a magnetic base that sticks to the bottom of any metal pot. This feature is very convenient because it allows you to use any metal pot, regardless of size. The Anova sous vide precision cooker on the other hand, clamps on to the top of a metal pot which can be annoying for taller pots. The Joule also has a metal clip for non-metal water baths such as bins or containers.
Sleek Compact Design
Another thing setting the Joule apart from other immersion circulators is the Joule’s small compact design. The Joule matches the power of the strongest entry level immersion circulator, but also is the smallest in size. ChefSteps claims the Joule can fit into any kitchen drawer. I haven’t tried this personally but my Anova does not come close to fitting in my drawers at home. The Joule is nearly half the size of some of the other cookers on this list.
ChefSteps Joule Mobile App
The Joule mobile app is beautifully designed and full of content. The recipe guides are divided into two categories: ‘basic’ and ‘ultimate’. There is no need to worry because both recipe types are easy to follow. Each step has a short and effective video that plays on a loop with text directions underneath. To top it off, the app brings you to the visual doneness scale in each recipe. This shows side by side comparisons of the finished food product cooked at different temperatures. Finally, each recipe includes the sous vide cooking times and temperatures depending on the thickness and type of meat.
- Magnetic base sticks onto any metal pot, metal clip included as well
- Best mobile app, recipes include in-app videos and is overall a better experience
- Sleek compact design, fits in most kitchen drawers
- ‘Visual Doneness’ feature on app, see pictures of finished product before cooking
- Control settings on app via Wifi
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa
- Joule has no physical buttons, smart phone with mobile app is absolutely required to use
3. Sansaire Sous Vide Immersion Circulator – Cheapest entry level precision cooker in 2018
The last in our list is Sansaire’s sous vide immersion circulator. Sansaire started as a project on Kickstarter in 2013. The idea of sous vide cooking at home spread quickly and they raised over $800,000 which surpassed their original goal of $100,000. The Sansaire precision cooker is a similar unit to that of Anova and Chefsteps. It uses a metal clip that clips onto the side of any traditional pot or container. While this isn’t my first choice recommendation when shopping for an entry level sous vide machine, please understand that the Sansaire immersion circulator will successfully apply sous vide cooking techniques just as well as any other brand in the market.
I do like the unique design of Sansaire’s cooker. It has a uniform shape with a modern looking LED display that shows the current temperature down to 0.1 degrees celsius. There is a silver ring at the top that is twisted to adjust the temperature settings. Finally, the Sansaire is currently the cheapest immersion circulator compared to it’s competitors which is why it made this list.
- Cheapest entry-level precision cooker
- Unique sleek design
- 1100w makes this the strongest entry level precision cooker
- No mobile app, cannot control via wifi/bluetooth
- Non adjustable metal clip, will only clamp to certain pots/containers
- Unit is bulkier than other precision cookers
- Metal clip lacks gripping power
Sous Vide Ovens
Sous vide ovens, on the other hand, are all-in-one systems to cook sous vide style. These cookers have an attached tub that essentially do the same thing as immersion circulators. The downside is that sous vide ovens are significantly bigger in size. You can’t go wrong with either as some people prefer sous vide ovens because they look more robust and uniform. Without further ado, here is my list for the best sous vide machines on the market.
1. Tribest Sousvant SV-101 Sous Vide Circulator – Best all-in-one system
Next up, we have the Tribest Sousvant SV-101. This sous vide machine is an all-in-one unit as opposed to the other precision cookers we listed earlier. Although all-in-one systems are generally more expensive than regular precision cookers, the price is justified with their overall convenience.
It’s hard to to compare the Sousvant SV-101 to it’s competitors. While this circulator applies sous vide cooking techniques as well as any other precision cooker, the Sousvant SV-101 could be classified as an entirely different product. The overall design is compact and will sit next to your blender or coffee machine without wasting any space. Another feature is the clear bin with removable lid. The bin lets you see your food while it cooks and the lid prevents water evaporation and will also result in a faster heating time.
There are a few benefits of opting for an all-in-one sous vide machine. The obvious benefit is the convenience of having one unit. All-in-one systems require less set up because the entire circulator consists of one unit. The clear bin attaches to the base of the circulator and acts as the water bath. This eliminates the need to find a compatible pot/container to hold your water. When not in use, the Tribest Sousvant Sv-101 can sit next to your coffee maker, blender, or knife set without causing any problems.
Which sous vide machine is right for me?
At the end of the day, all of the sous vide immersion circulators that made our list are from reputable brands known for high quality product. All products utilize sous vide cooking techniques and will create beautiful food. I suggest choosing the device that best matches your budget, kitchen space, and style of cooking. Convenience, cost, size, versatility, and mobile app availability are all things to consider when choosing your next sous vide cooker. People seeking versatility should opt for a precision cooker that can fit on different sized bins. On the other hand, someone with limited kitchen space should consider a compact all-in-one system such as the Sousvant SV-101.
- All-in-one system, no need for additional containers, unnecessary installation
- Clear bin is easy to fill and wash, no pot needed
- Eliminate water evaporation and speed preheat time with removable lid
- 1000w circulation system is strongest amongst entry level circulators
- Pricier than other entry-level immersion circulators
- No mobile app, cannot control via wifi/bluetooth
- Attached bin is big, but cannot be scaled to a larger size due to design
2. Sous Vide Supreme Demi
Similar to the Sousvant SV-101, the Sous Vide Supreme Demi is a solid choice when shopping for an all-in-one system. The Demi holds 8.7 liters of water and can cook four 12 ounce portions of food at one time. The unit itself is all one piece and there is no removable like it’s competitors. The Demi is durable and provides a convenient way to prepare gourmet meals.
- All-in-one system, compact design
- High ratings on Amazon, liked by many
- Motorless design allows it to be completely silent/li>
- Pricier than other entry-level immersion circulators
- Only 500w, heats slower than most competitors
- Harder to clean than Sousvant since water bin isn’t removable
This list above contains my four favorite sous vide machines to own in 2017. Each contender has it’s pros and cons. My advice to you is to buy based on your self interests. Some will prioritize price, while others will prioritize kitchen storage space.
I hope you’re now able to make an informed decision if you choose to add sous vide cooking to your lifestyle. Be sure to take a look at the best sous vide tools page as they each supplement the sous vide experience. When you are ready to make your first meal, head on over to our all-in-one guide to sous vide cooking at home. Enjoy!
Ultimately, you can not go wrong with any of the four choices listed here. Here is a quick recap of the four sous vide machines we covered. Versatility, size, convenience, mobile app availability, and cost are all important factors that should be considered.
- Anova Precision Cooker – Most popular, compatible, easy to use, wifi, bluetooth
- Chefsteps CS10001 Joule Sous Vide – Modern, compact, visually stunning, wifi
- Tribest Sousvant SV-101 Sous Vide Circulator – All-in-one system, save kitchen space
- Sansaire Sous Vide Immersion Circulator – Cheapest yet effective