How to Choose the Best Sous Vide Machine
Sous vide cooking is unlike any other method and it is considered to be one of the cleanest cooking methods that one could use. There are multiple different sous vide machines on the market and the increase in popularity of the sous vide method has led to even more excellent options for the home cook.
We’ve researched the world of sous vide machines and we’ve come up with a list of features that we believe will be the best way of determining whether a particular sous vide machine is going to do what you want it to do. Some features may be more or less important to you so we have listed all of the key features and the benefits of each. More expensive doesn’t always mean better if you don’t really care about those extra bells and whistles.
With all that being said, let’s look at some of these features in the top sous vide machines:
Key Features of Sous Vide Machines
Immersion Circulators are compact devices that heat and circulate the water to keep the temperature even. They are generally less expensive and give you the benefit of being able to use a wide range of cooking containers, so if you’re cooking a small amount of food you can just set up the immersion circulator in small Cambro container (these are nice because you can see the food as it’s cooking) or for larger amounts of food you can use a larger container like a stock pot or larger plastic container or tub. This versatility is a great benefit with this type of sous vide machine. And since they’re small, it’s easy to find a spot to stash it away in between sous vide sessions. It doesn’t take much money to get into sous vide with one of these units.
Water Bath sous vide machines are self-contained units that look more or less like bread machines. These box-shaped machines have the water bath as part of the unit, as the name suggests, which is convenient and perhaps easier because you don’t have to worry about finding an appropriate cooking container, but since the amount of cooking space is predetermined, you don’t have the flexibility that you get with immersion circulators. These units are also on the more expensive side.
Heating speeds can vary quite a bit among sous vide machines, so if this is important to you make sure you check out the details for the machine you are considering purchasing. To me, this doesn’t matter so much because nothing about this process is fast to begin with. I mean sous vide is just slow so I’m not really too concerned about how long the water takes to get up to temperature.
The water capacity refers to the size of the machine and while the smaller machines are cheaper, they will not be able to cook as much food at once. The larger water capacity sous vide machines might be expensive, but they will really make life easier for you if you are cooking for a few people or plan on making elaborate meals with multiple sous vide recipes at a time.
Wifi and/or Bluetooth
Yes, you can connect your sous vide device to your phone. This may or may not be a feature that matters to you, but if you have any interest in monitoring your sous vide cooking on your phone then make sure you pay attention to this feature.
It’s always awesome when you can cook food by just leaving it and forgetting about it for a while. With the timer you’ll be able to do that, and many of these timers will allow you to cook the food for up to 72 hours. This means that there does not need to be any supervision over the food for a full three days and your food will be perfect – and that’s just crazy! (Disclaimer: We do not, however, recommend that you leave an appliance cooking your food without any supervision whatsoever for days on end.)
Why would you want to settle for only a sous vide machine if you could possibly buy a sous vide machine and slow cooker all in one? Well, some brands have now started adding more functionality to their sous vide machines; when you plan on buying a new appliance, you might find that the sous vide machine has the functionality to replace or even upgrade other appliances with one purchase. You can dump that old Crock Pot if you want to.
By keeping features in mind, you can find the sous vide machine that meets your needs. Sous vide machines are definitely a fun addition to your kitchen, especially if you like clean eating and trying new healthy recipes. Or if you’re like me and you’re into finding new ways of cooking that let you forget you’re even cooking.
Thanks for reading!