Best Sous Vide Machines
When you’re starting out shopping for a sous vide machine, it can be a bit daunting to figure out which model to get, which type to get, and how many of the bells and whistles you want or don’t want.
We’ve put together a quick guide that covers the basics for you so you know what you’re looking at when it comes to finding the best sous vide machine that fits into your budget and meets your needs.
Types of Sous Vide Machines
Sous vide machines come in two types: immersion circulator and water oven.
With an immersion circulator, you’re using a wand-like device that you submerge into an appropriate container that will contain your water bath and the food you’re cooking.
Here are some of the pros of using an immersion circulator:
- Since you provide your own container, you have flexibility in the amount of space you have for cooking. In other words, you can vary the size of container to suit what you’re cooking.
- Immersion circulators can be more affordable.
- Since they’re smaller, they’re easier to find storage space for in your kitchen.
When you use a water oven sous vide machine, you have a self-contained unit.
Here are some benefits of the water oven:
- It already contains the cooking area, so you don’t have to provide your own container to use.
- You may find them easier to use because there is nothing to set up. With an immersion circulator, you have to make sure the circulator is properly placed in the water bath. This isn’t a big issue but it may be a minor advantage if you want a more “plug and play” experience.
- Water oven sous vide machines are available in a range of sizes so you can make sure you purchase on with the capacity that will work best for you.
Top-Rated Immersion Circulators
Here are the top immersion circulator sous vide machines in a range of price points.
800 Watts, with a temperature range of up to 212 degrees F. This is the most affordable unit with the best ratings on Amazon right now.
They are very upfront about having a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. This unit won’t give you the wifi capability that other units have, which allow you to monitor your cook from your smartphone, but if you don’t need that feature then this is a good, solid choice for getting started with sous vide cooking.
This Anova model has been the go-to in this price range for quite some time. The highlights are the wifi/Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to connect to your smartphone, ease of use, as well as the capacity of up to 5 gallons.
It has over 4,000 reviews on Amazon as of this writing, so if you want to read in depth customer feedback you could spend some time learning all about this model.
There are a number of one star reviews, but the majority of users have had very positive experiences with the Anova. This is where Amazon’s excellent customer service comes into play: if you don’t like it, send it back. Bad reviews seem to center on user connectivity issues for the most part. some customers had trouble with temperature inconsistency.
PolyScience Culinary makes higher end units that may be ideal for home chefs who sous vide often, or even for commercial kitchens. This model does have some mixed reviews.
This unit has a sleek and durable body and can circulate up to 5 gallons.
You might want to take a look at the range of models from PolyScience Culinary. They also make a higher end unit that’s more durable since it’s made specifically for commercial use.
Top Rated Water Ovens
Here are the top water oven sous vide machines in a range of price points.
6.5 quart capacity, this unit can also be used as a slow cooker. It actually has 11 cooking functions so you may find this versatile model takes the place of other appliances you use. The downside is that it’s capability for sous vide is not quite as highly rated as the mid-range and top shelf units. In the case of water ovens, spending some extra money will make a noticeable difference in your results.
This beauty is the one that I personally would want in my kitchen, out of all of the models on this list. Check out the video featuring Top Chef star Richard Blais showing off some delicious-looking chicken made in the Sous Vide Supreme. This unit has a capacity of 8.7 L, easy operation, a timer you can set to up to 99 hours, and a compact size of about 11 x 11 x 13 inches.
This unit is made by the same company as our mid-range pick. It’s the same high quality sous vide machine but with a larger capacity at 11.2 L. exterior dimensions are 11.4 x 11.4 x 14.2 inches.
64% of users gave this model a 5-star review, while 7% gave this one a 1-star review. Check out the customer feedback.