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 dozens of 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 best 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 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 best sous vide machines that are designed specifically for home use.
Key Features of the Best 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.
- ANOVA PRECISION COOKER WI-FI - Perfect to cook from anywhere with WI-FI. Serves up to 12. Fits on any pot. Adjustable clamp
- COOK LIKE A PRO - The Anova Precision Cooker allows anyone to cook a restaurant-quality meal at home. Our sous vide Circulator is the perfect kitchen appliance for hands-off cooking of vegetables, meat and much more with consistent control and precision. We're so confident in our product Anova backs it with a 2-year warranty
- PERFECT RESULTS, EVERY TIME - Precision Cooking enables you to produce results that are impossible to achieve through any other cooking method. No dry edges and no rare centers. Juices and flavors don't escape. Food comes out perfectly moist and tender. Continuous temperature control provides reliable and consistent results, every time. Perfect for vegetables, meat, fruit, cheese and much more
- SMART DEVICE CONTROL & COOKING NOTIFICATIONS - The Precision Cooker can be controlled remotely with smart devices, allowing you to escape from the kitchen while you cook. Simply download the Anova app to easily monitor, adjust or control the device from your iPhone and Android or other smart devices. The Precision Cooker also provides you cooking notifications while you're out of the kitchen so you'll know when your food is ready. The Precision Cooker's WI-FI connection allows you to control the device from anywhere
- EASY TO USE - Simply attach the Precision Cooker to any pot, add water, drop in desired food in a sealed bag or glass jar. Start cooking with the touch of a button. The sous vide cooker's timer and precise temperature control allow you to step away and relax while your food cooks perfectly. No additional equipment needed
Water Oven 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.
- Provides an easy way to prepare gourmet meals
- Silent operation and push-button convenience
- Temperature control keeps water within one degree of its ideal setting
- Temperature can be held for hours or days
- Holds 8.7 Liters of water
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 give away that old Crock Pot if you want to save some space.
(Here’s a pretty sweet mulit-functional unit that we like: Instant Pot Sous Vide Machine: 8 Qt Aura Pro Multi-Use.)
By keeping features in mind, you can find the best sous vide machines to consider for your home. 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!