Top Sous Vide Machines - 2018 & 2019
SousVide - /ˌso͞o ˈvēd/ (Adjective, Adverb)
Definition:  The Technique of cooking ingredients in a vacuum-sealed plastic pouch, usually for a long time at a low temperature.

In the French language ‘Sous Vide’ translates to ‘Under Vacuum’.  Which as we stated, is a cooking method involving a bag & a hot water bath.  Used by master chefs and restaurants around the world, Sous Vide produces some of the most beautifully cooked steaks, chickens, fish, and even vegetables, not including the countless of other culinary techniques that can be used with a circulator.

Types of Sous Vide Machines

Sous Vide Circulators on amazon

Circulators are by far the more common type of sous vide machine you will find people purchase. This is because of a few reasons, ranging largely by price, but also provide exactly with a S.V. Oven offers, in a smaller & more portable option.

Sous Vide Ovens on Amazon

Perhaps you have more counter space, or just prefer the All-in-one convenience in your products. Sous vide ovens are just that, they contain the circulator & water bath as a packaged unit. Generally they can carry a larger price tag too, but maintain their temperatures just as well if not slightly better.

For the absolute beginner –

I’d suggest that as this is your first attempts at dabbling into sous vide cookery, it may be helpful to first take a step back. Please use www.GetSousVide.com to better build your understanding of this cooking method in the home kitchen as well as the safety concerns behind it. I’ve done my best in writing these posts to help cater to the beginner sous vide cook.

A Step By Step Guide to Your First Sous Vide Cook

Check Out Our Blog Posts:
Update - 2019.04.18Check out my circulator reviews!  Click on the title of the product to read our full reviews.

Sous Vide Comparison Chart

Image: DescriptionWattsReview ScoreUser Reviews Show Now
Editors Pick
An In-Depth Review of the Anova Precision Cooker (Gen 2) Bluetooth & WIFI enabled | 900W

An In-Depth Review of the Anova Precision Cooker (Gen 2) Bluetooth & WIFI enabled | 900W

The Anova Culinary Gen 2 Circulator is great for anyone looking to start in sous vide! 2015 was the year that ...

900 W
User Rating: 5 (1 votes)
$220.17 Buy It Now
2 A Review of the ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide Review

A Review of the ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide Review

Want a breakdown of how we scored our review? Keep reading below.The Joule circulator is one of my popular go to ...

1000 W
User Rating: 5 (1 votes)
$159.95 $249.95 Buy It Now
3 An In-Depth Review of the Sansaire Sous Vide Immersion Circulator – 1100 Watts

An In-Depth Review of the Sansaire Sous Vide Immersion Circulator – 1100 Watts

Want a breakdown of how we scored our review? Keep reading below.The Sansaire sous vide immersion circulator is ...

1100 W
User Rating: 5 (1 votes)
$149.00 $199.00 Buy It Now
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The Best Sous Vide Machines

</p>
<h1>Editors Pick:</h1>
<p>Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker

Editors Pick:

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker

Anova is one of the best-selling sous vide machines, and it’s to no one’s surprise. Their new Bluetooth and WiFi compatible sous vide immersion circulator can send notifications to your mobile phone, keeping you updated on cooking temperatures and status. One of the most impressive features of this gadget is the ability to set up the Anova cooker before you leave for work, and let it do its magic while you’re away. This way, you’ll be coming home to a perfectly cooked steak, just waiting for you to finish it off with a sear.

</p>
<h1>Runner Up:</h1>
<p>ChefSteps Joule

Runner Up:

ChefSteps Joule

Not benounced to the sous vide community, ChefSteps has become our runner up in the goal towards finding a great immersion circulator. They have been the frontrunner in smart kitchen tools, and aim to please their customers with their sleek but small design. Not only is it going to fit comfortably in any kitchen, its going to look good and its not going to break the bank! We wanted to give this editors choice, but with our preference being circulators with hardware controls, well the joule become our #2! Never the less, the ease of use, performance, and features all designed to fit within a simple to use app make it simple to use for the home chef too!

</p>
<h1>On a Budge:</h1>
<p>Gourmia GSV 140 Immersion Circulator

On a Budge:

Gourmia GSV 140 Immersion Circulator

Originally, we thought the GSV138 was going to be our budget buy, however looking at specs alone we think anyone on a budget should probably splurge for the newer better model. With only a 5$ difference, the GSV140 can heat up to 10 gallons, compared to its predecessors 5 gallons. Gourmia has increased the water flow efficiency by 71%, and it still has a wonderful and easy to access UI built onto the top of the machine!

PolyScience CHEF Series Sous Vide Immersion Circulator
PolyScience CHEF Series Sous Vide Immersion Circulator

This circulator, although quite an expensive one, has got to be my favorite. In every kitchen i've worked for, and at school as well, this was our go to sous vide machine. Its accurate, it provides immense power along with its easy computer system for setting it up. This wont be your best option for home use, but its certainly going to please you if you need to go the extra mile and get a bad ass sous vide tool!

</p>
<h1>Bonus Pick:</h1>
<p>Sansaire Sous Vide Circulator

Bonus Pick:

Sansaire Sous Vide Circulator

This circulator began on kickstarter, and within a short 13 hours they achieved their full funding goal. We had to include it because well, its just that good for the price tag it carries. When shopping for a new toy, errr, I mean kitchen gadget one thing I search for is a high power output. The Sansaire achieves a desirable 1,100 watts, great for heating water very quickly. In comparison to other models on this list, we love the Sansaire! Its performance is extremely accurate in the way it can heat water efficiently, quickly, and quite accurately. Down to the 0.1°C, plus its no larger than a bottle of your favorite champagne.

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Our Sous Vide Buying Guide

This guide is my attempt and development towards the pov of someone shopping, who may be new to the cooking technique.  Sous vide is quite fun and easy to enter.  The barrier to entry lands behind the knowledge of the science in cooking.  Which more often than not, can be bypassed with tested & tasty recipes.  Please, use this guide to begin your knowledge.  Then open up to some of our recipes within this site and begin making some dam good food.

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Make note of the foods you will want to cook the most.

  • Knowing this will be a great way to build an understanding of the equipment you need to buy.  If for instance, you only want to make the perfectly cooked, single cuts of food, then an oven-style cooker won’t be the best option.  Instead, the Joule could be fantastic for you as it can fit into any large pot you already own and do so very easily.  However, if you want to sous vide many larger cuts of protein you would want to look into purchasing a water bath specific Cambro Storage Container or something similar like a Cooler.  The larger cuts need more room. I.e. you will need more water.

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Identify the type of Sous Vide Machine you want in your home: Circulator vs. Sous Vide oven.

  • So sous vide ovens are great for smaller cooks, and generally, they look nice on a countertop with their more advanced & sleek designs.  But don’t expect to fit a two-foot-long beef tenderloin for the next Christmas party in them.  These water baths are fixed to their heating element. Meaning you can not adjust the size of the water bath.
  • As for the sous vide circulator, they work in a range of containers and of course are interchangeable.  Making them the better choice in our home.  Not only that, they don’t need counter space when not in use, rather, they are easily stored in the pantry.  They are cheaper too, and in my personal opinion, better for a beginner simply because of the low cost of entry.  And if you’re pressed for cash, don’t worry about the water bath either, you can start off by using a large saucepan you already own.

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What will hold the water?

  • What do soup pots, stock pots, coolers, and cambros all have in common?  That they can be used as the 2nd part to a circulator.  If you decided on going the route of buying a circulator rather than an oven then the next step is buying your water container.  My personal favorite is the plastic kitchen cambro, available on Amazon.  You could also opt. to ‘hack your beer and food coolers’ with a bit of DIY knowledge and use it for sous vide.  Among other options available.

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To Vacuum seal or to ziplock? That is the question.

You could always just put your raw meat in the water, but we would look at you funny and your water baths will start to smell.  So lets now look into how you will create a barrier from the water for your food while it is cooking.

  • Option 1 is to use a vacuum sealing machine.  They are great versatile tools, of which I personally love.  You can not only use it for cooking, but storage, and freezing of your foods.  They range in prices and capabilities, however, the cheaper FoodSaver’s vacuum packer will work wonders for you.  Click here to find out where I got my vacuum machine for $6.99!
  • Option 2 is to use regular zip lock bags.  It’s not as glamorous, but for a beginner, it is not a bad idea either.  Using a method widely known as “The Water Displacement Method”, all you need to do is place your protein into a ziplock bag, then slowly lower it into the water.  The water fills in the empty spaces outside of the bag, forcing the air upwards and out of the bag.  Then simply zip and lock then attach the bag to your container with a clip or tape so that it can not fall in. Voilà, you are cooking!

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How do you plan to sear your food?

Assuming you like at least a little texture to your food (we hope you do). You will need to sear off your proteins.  This is going to be done before or after the cook, sometimes its done both before and after.  However, to do it, let us dive into the few methods you want to consider having available.

  • An outdoor grill is a great option to cover a variety of meats.  One that can get insanely hot is going to be even better.  The goal is to quickly get our marks, so with high heat, we can get the marks without overcooking.  I love using my Kamado Joe smoker/ grill for this exact reason.
  • Cast iron pans are another amazing searing opportunity, and you may already have one sitting at home.  To use them, you want to reach a light smoking point of the metal, then add oil. Once that has begun to smoke adding your meat presentation side down for about a minute should do just the trick. If your pan is season properly and kept in good condition you won’t have a problem marking off some of the best chicken breasts you’ve ever eaten!
  • High heat ovens, these are my favorite way to sear large cuts of meat.  Loins, ribs, briskets, and shoulders are all quite big. They may pose issues in marking them off other ways.  However our home has an oven that offers a convection option, and when set to 500F can make a beautiful and crispy sear around the entirety of an item in just about 10-15 minutes without impacting our beautiful interior cooking temperature.

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Additional Equipment!

The items listed below I feel are semi option, as if you’ve purchased the items above then you have what you need to cook SV style.  But you may also want to consider adding some of these to your arsenal of tools anyways, as they will help improve workflow:

  • Plates – Not only for eating on, but they will give you better plating and respect to your finished foods.
  • Cutting boards – Always cut on a cutting board, they greatly extend the length of time your knife’s edge will last.  In addition to also being a barrier method against cross contamination.
  • Resting Racks – Although you don’t need to rest a protein that has been vacuum packed and cooked in a circulator.  If you seared it, it is not a terrible idea.  The reason being is the high heat excites the molecules.  They start to move again, and that movement can make some juice leave the meat or become unevenly distributed.  A quick 1-3 minute rest after searing or basting will give you a better result.
  • Tongs – Food is hot, your fingers don’t like being hot. To stay safe, having tongs will do just that.
  • Knives – These are going to be your best kitchen tool, they are extremely versatile.  I suggest picking up a small knife block that holds the essentials for your home cooking needs!
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The Benefits of Sous Vide Cooking

The Benefits of Sous Vide Cooking
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Consistency-

  • If you love steak like me then at some point you probably grilled one.  However, if you’re anything like my mother, there is a chance today you grill a beautiful medium rare steak.  Tomorrow, you grill the meat equivalent of hockey pucks.  This consistency is common when cooking at home or without prior experience.  And its a frustration.  Not only with human error in the ways of cooking, however.  If you open up a steak cooked traditionally, you will notice the very inner area is what is cooked the least, that’s because the heat needs to transfer all the way through.  So.. a rare steak could very easily be 75% medium or well, and 25% rare (the center).  With sous vide, the consistency is always going to be accurate to what you’ve set it up to do.  It is quite impeccable actually, the degree of accuracy you can achieve.  The reason being, as the outside temperature within the water completely surrounds the proteins entire surface area in a bag, the meat slowly takes on that heat.  An equilibrium is reached when the entire portion of meat(s) have obtained the temperature of the water.  And it is not possible to overcook!  If you want a 128F steak, the steak from edge to edge after cooking will be just that temperature not a degree higher.
  • In comparing a traditionally grilled steak to a un-seared S.V. steak, you will notice a difference.  The cross-section alone will show you that in sous vide, 100% of the steak is going to be cooked rare, and even after a sear, you can expect about 95%-98% of the protein to still have remained rare.  A perfectly cooked steak, chicken, pork, etc.  But perfect every time!
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Tender proteins-

  • If your cooking is anything close to my mothers (sorry mom) then maybe you are just acclimated to the dry, hockey puck type burgers.  The Tough pork cuts, and the bland fish.  But when food is cooked in a circulator, under the proper time and temperature guidelines you are guaranteed to be satisfied with your meal.  Dinner will always be tender!
  • The reason being is while cooking under vacuum in a circulator setup, the temperature cant exceeds the temperature of the water.  So as you wait for your meal to finish cooking, you can expect to open up that beautiful bag and pull out the most tender’ous of meets.
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Better Flavor-

  • The reason we cook food is to develop flavor, admittedly a skill hard to obtain for most.  However to abandon some of the stress following the goal of building flavor with sous vide you can achieve great results by just adding a few items to any bag ready for cooking.  I highly suggest if your goal is to improve flavor to read a book by chef Samin Nostrat “Salt Fat Acid Heat”.  What she calls the elements of cooking!  Looking at the three first elements, these are the essentials to the flavor.  To boost it in your cooking, consider adding herbs, vinegar, and seasoning your meats more with salt!  Its bound to amaze.
  • Oh, and where does the flavor go when its sealed into a plastic bag?  That’s right. There is no air for it to escape into, and no exit for it to evaporate into.  Forcing flavor into your meats is a wonderful method to build more character into your cooking!
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Ease of Use-

  • Have you ever been commuting home from work, then said to yourself “Gahh, I don’t want to make dinner when I get home!”.  Great, well you don’t have to anymore!
  • Instead, you have options!  Option 1, prepare the food in advance, flavorings and all in the bag.  Vacuum pack it and freeze.  When you arrive home or feel like eating at some point in the day begin your cook but add 1 hour to it for defrosting time.  Option 2, prepare the food for a week and leave them in the refrigerator.  Again just like option 1, place it in the water and cook.
  • Option 3, assuming your circulator has wifi capabilities you can set it up before you leave for work.  Do so by filling with cold water, your meal for the night. And then maxing the bath out with water, being careful so that it won’t overflow.  The ice will keep the food at a safe temperature while you’re gone all day.  If you plan to eat at 6:30 pm, but you’re leaving at 5 pm from work I would suggest starting the circulator up via wifi around 4:30.  Assuming the cook only needs 1 hour to be finished at 6:30.  Basically, add 1 to 1.5 hours onto the cook time.
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Made for everyone-

  • When we mean made for everyone, well, it truly is.  It is a safe way to cook, with little chance of causing permanent damage to anyone or anything.  That being said we don’t suggest cooking with the machine completely unsupervised.
  • Busy parents, College Students, Meal planners, Health Conscious people, and even retirees will all find great use of sous vide cooking.  Why?  Because of every reason provided here.  It is consistent and accurate, you will achieve the best flavors with minimal effort, and its super easy to use!

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What food can I cook Sous Vide

Food can be cooked in a plethora of ways, obviously.  But sous vide is one way, can it cook a plethora of foods?

Yes! One of the better things about sous vide cooking is its versatile use in the culinary world.  Proteins such as chicken, beef, pork, fish, seafood, and lamb are all useable.  In addition, you can even cook non-meat items such as sauces, marinades, even vegetables!  There are very few boundaries to Sous Vide Cooking.  Making it fun and safe!  See what you can create at home!

Involve the kids even! Photograph it and show us what you made by contacting us here contact@getsousvide.com!  We love to showcase your recipes!

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The Features of Sous Vide

The Features of Sous Vide

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Water Capacity-

This is the amount of water that your container can hold.  It is also important to note when making a purchase that the circulator wand can efficiently heat this quantity of water if a reasonable manner of time.  Generally, this timing to heat calculation is noted within the specs of the circulator, and or could be estimated by power output in wattage.

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Heating Elements & Circulation

The heating elements of a circulator or S.V./ water oven are what heats the water.  In conjunction with a pump or fan, the water is sucked into the heating element (generally looks like a metal coil). As the water passes through the coil and out it takes with it some of the eat.  While the pump and or fan is constantly moving, water will constantly build in temperature.  The temperature is controlled and dialed in via the onboard computer.

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Temperature Range-

Temperature is controlled very carefully in sous vide.  The temperature can range from each machine you use, however generally they won’t exceed 212F (105C).  The reason being is that this is the temperature that water boils, and in which the water will begin reducing to quickly to properly cook.

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Precision-

The precision of any circulator is done using the onboard computers in conjunction with the settings you have made.  When you turn on your circulator, the power is increased and the water is run through the heating coils.  The temperature increases rapidly at this point.  To control the temperature, and keep water from overheating, the computer calculates when to disable and enable the heating coils.  In doing so it can very precisely keep the temperature at the exact point you the user have set for your cook.

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Safety-

Safety in a kitchen is going to be your number one concern, you don’t want to get cut, burned, hurt.  However, you also don’t want to damage your home in any way.  Because you don’t ever achieve a boil of the water, you have a lesser risk of burns in the event of a spill.  However, I would not suggest you put your arm into the water bath as its still going to hurt and leave you with some form of a lower degree burn depending on the heat.  In addition, most if not all machines will have safety controls to disable its heating elements when the water has decreased below a specific point.  This way if your container empties dramatically, or you evaporate the entire contents of your water bath, you won’t need to worry that the element may spontaneously combust.

Lastly, in heating plastics around food.  Most containers rated for sous vide like Cambro containers (my personal water bath favorite) and the plastic vacuum bags will be safety rated for high heat.  Meaning they won’t be leaching any harmful chemicals into your food, and later into your body.  So you can rest easy knowing you will be safe and eating delicious once you get started cooking!

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Get cooking!

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