Sous vide cooking might be all the rage now, but the technique of preparing food the sous vide way certainly isn’t. The method was pioneered in the 1960s, but first got popularized by French chefs 50 years ago. In fact, the very name sous vide is French in origin and means ‘under vacuum’, which is pretty self-explanatory once you know how this cooking method works. “Soo veed”, as the technique is pronounced, involves cooking food in vacuum-sealed containers, immersed in hot water baths to be cooked at lower temperatures for a longer period of time than usual. The result were meals with better texture, more intense flavor and perfectly preserved essential nutrients. Needless to say, sous vide became one of the best-kept secrets in the industry, with the fanciest restaurants serving their ‘under vacuum’ delicacies as the best dishes on the menu.
And this remained the case until fairly recently when this revolutionary cooking technique was adapted for home use. What used to be clunky and complicated set up for sous vide cooking was redesigned for smaller size and equally powerful performance, with a price tag suited to someone who is not cooking professionally–but wants to create restaurant-worthy meals. Now, sous vide cooking is easily done in the comfort of your home, thanks to immersion circulators and sous vide ovens. Compact, budget-friendly, and with powerful features, these gadgets make sure that the temperature of cooking is consistent and always at an optimal value. As a result, even a complete newbie can effortlessly prepare impressive dishes. The only “trick” is choosing the right recipe AND having the right equipment at hand.
To make sure your culinary journey into the world of sous vide goes without a hitch, we’ve rounded up the five best sous vide machines for 2020. From the latest that the industry has to offer to favorites with a long tradition, you’ll have no problem finding a perfect match on our list–both for your budget and other preferences.
Don’t be confused by the name change- this is still the well-known, well-loved Joule immersion circulator. Smallest in size, but powerful enough to compete with professional-grade sous vide machines, this compact gadget boasts 1100 Watts for the fastest water heating around. WiFi and Bluetooth ready, as well as compatible with Amazon Alexa, Joule works through a smartphone app that will allow you to take complete control over the cooking process- remotely. In fact, their trademark Visual Doneness feature will give you a sneak peek into the process of cooking, so you’ll be able to know what your steak looks like even from another room. As effortless as it can be! With its famed preciseness and speed, Joule is one of the most popular sous vide machines with good reason.
Budget-friendly and easy to use, Anova’s immersion circulator with 800 Watts of power is a great choice for newbies looking to get into the world of sous vide without breaking the bank. This compact device will offer plenty of horsepower even for a more experienced cook but count on the lack of bells and whistles. The only type of connectivity with this sous vide cooker is Bluetooth, but it’s more than enough to get you access to their app that’s loaded with over a thousand recipes and guides for seamless sous vide experience. You can also remotely control Anova’s sous vide cooker with your Bluetooth-connected smartphone and receive notifications while you’re out of the kitchen. Perfect if you want your dinner to be a set-it-and-forget-it affair and still get amazing results!
For an ultra-silent but powerful sous vide cooker, you can’t go wrong with Wancle. This immersion circulator is designed to focus on what’s really important- the cooking process- without the need for smartphones, WiFi, or apps to work. That’s right, Wancle sous vide cooker works the old -fashioned way: you set the time and temperature with the help of a rotating wheel button, hit start and wait for the magic to happen. Ideal for the less tech-savvy cooks and seniors who want to explore new cooking methods without being bothered with apps and complex interfaces. To boot, the “plain” non-connected design also means that the price is slashed- and you can get great value for money if you’re not interested in controlling your immersion circulator through an app.
With many companies going for the more compact and sleek design with their immersion circulators, it doesn’t surprise that Anova created their own. The Anova Nano is just 12.8 inches tall, but don’t let its petite size fool you- this immersion circulator holds up well when compared with its bigger and pricier competitors. To allow you to control the device remotely, this immersion circulator is Bluetooth connected, so your smartphone can do the work for you, even when you’re up to 30 feet away. The 800 Watts of power ensure you get perfect results every time, but might not be up to your standards if you require heavy-duty sous vide cooker. For regular use, though, Anova Nano is a great choice.
In case you want to enjoy the benefits of all the latest trends in the sous vide market, Anova’s 900 Watts, WiFi-connected immersion circulator is just the thing you need. With both Bluetooth and WiFi to help you connect to the Anova’s fantastic app, you’ll have access to over a thousand recipes, guides, and tips that will make it easy for you to get the hang of sous vide in no time. Plus, it also means you can control everything remotely- just set everything up, turn on, and you’re ready to entertain your guests. And you’ll want to bust out this immersion circulator when you’re having company, trust us. Not only that you’ll be able to prepare restaurant-worthy dishes for your loved ones, but this compact device is also strong enough to allow you to prepare enough food for 8 people in one go, so it’s ideal when you have a family gathering or friends over for dinner.