Gourmet cooking in the home has never been easier. Using the sous-vide technique to obtain a precise temperature throughout your food of choice used to be a technique reserved for professional kitchens. The methodology behind sous-vide is rather simple, however. Immerse vacuum-sealed food in a water bath and wait. Now, consumer devices are capitalizing and making this high-end approach available to anyone.
Some sous-vide machines attach to a pot or slow cooker you have around the house, while others are self-contained water-bath devices designed specifically for your vacuum-sealed favorites. Check out the comparison below of our reviewed immersion and water-bath sous-vide appliances and see if one of them can entice you to try this formerly elusive cooking style.
The Nomiku sous-vide attachment below came to market first, but the Anova One wasn't far behind, offering the same precise control over a stock pot full of water for $100 less. Attach this $200 dollar device to your pot, fill it with water, drop in your vacuum sealed food and set the temperature you want. (A 220V version is available for international buyers at the same price, which comes out to roughly AU$225, or a little over £120 in the UK.)
Its touchscreen is easy to use, and the Anova holds the most consistent temperature of the group (though the rest are no slouches). It also has the most forgiving range between minimum and maximum water levels in your pot, making it easier to cook food longer without needing a refill. In all, this is the best immersion cooker available now. Read CNET's full review of the Anova One.
Anova Precision Cooker
The second-gen Anova abandons the touchscreen in favor of a scroll wheel, and also adds Bluetooth smarts into the mix. It cooked just as well as the original in our tests, and features slight design upgrades, too, like a redesigned clamp that'll fit more pots than before.
We were underwhelmed by Anova's smart features, and the refined build is an incremental step forward at best. Still, at $179 -- less expensive than the Anova One -- this cooker gets the important things (namely steak) exactly right. International buyers can get a 220v version that'll work outside of the US for $229 (£150, AU$295).
Anova Precision Cooker Bluetooth + Wi-Fi
The newest version of the Anova adds Wi-Fi to let you sous-vide from a distance. It's nearly identical to its Bluetooth-only predecessor in appearance as well as cooking performance. The most notable difference is the availability of the app that pairs with the Wi-Fi unit. The app allows you start and stop the Anova and set the water temperature and cook time from anywhere. Unfortunately, that's all the app can do -- for now. Anova plans to merge the Wi-Fi app with the more robust Bluetooth-connected app, which includes sous-vide cooking guides and recipes. When that happens, this $199 product (about £132 or
Caso SousVide Center SV1000
This hefty gizmo costs a whopping $500 (about £466 on Amazon's UK site), but don't disparage it just yet. Unlike some water-bath-style sous-vide cookers, this model comes with a built-in vacuum sealer and a draining hose. Translation: there's no need to invest in a standalone sealer or struggle emptying the water into the sink after use.
On the other hand, the heated water regularly fell short of its target temperature, leading to noticeably undercooked salmon and pork ribs. Yes, you could just adjust the temperature up a few degrees to account for this, but there are plenty of less expensive models that won't require quite so much trial and error.
Don't let looks deceive you. The US-onlyseems like outdated '80s tech, but it keeps up well with its more expensive brethren when it comes time to cook sous-vide. Versus the Anova and the Nomiku, the Dorkfood is a bit more complex to set up -- you can't just clamp it on a pot. You'll need to put the temperature probe into an old fashioned slow cooker that you plug into the Dorkfood.
It's also not quite as precise as the competition, so if you want exact results, you'll be better off with the fancier Anova or Nomiku. That said, Dorkfood certainly wasn't far off, and if you're simply looking for an easy way to try out this fancy new way of cooking, it makes a great entry point that still consistently turns out delicious entrees. Bonus: it costs only $100.
Eades Appliance Technology SousVide Supreme
Eades Appliance Technology's SousVide Supreme will set you back $429 (£350 in the UK and AU$500 in Australia). Unlike the Caso SousVide Center SV1000, this model kept close to its target temperature and delivered predictably cooked food. But, it was missing those bonus features that made the SV1000 less cumbersome -- namely, the built-in vacuum sealer and hose. Like the Caso cooker, it just felt like a bit of a burden compared to those less expensive, mobile immersion counterparts.
Nomiku Sous Vide Cooker
Nomiku made accessible sous-vide cooking possible thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign. At $300, though, purchasing the current iteration of thedoesn't make a lot of sense. (A 240V version ships internationally from Nomiku's website at the same price, which is roughly £190 in the UK, or about AU$340 in Australia.) Its temperature control wheel moves fluidly and lets you make adjustments to a tenth of a degree, and it still works wonderfully, but so does the Anova -- for a lot less.
We also found the limited range between the Nomiku's minimum and maximum water levels more tedious over long cooks than you'll get with Anova. But don't write Nomiku off just yet. The company is set to release a Wi-Fi-enabled version of its circulator, and best of all, the company will cut the price to $200 (about £125 and AU$230).
Oliso SmartHub & Top
This sous-vide countertop system is built on versatility. The SmartHub is an induction-powered base heats the water in the SmartTop for sous vide cooking, but the hub can also be used on its own as an induction burner. The Oliso produced some great sous-vide steaks and other dishes, but the appliance couldn't keep the water bath at a steady temperature. The cumbersome top was also a burden to lift off of the base when it was filled with water -- at one point, it weighed in at 20 pounds (9kg). Oliso plans to expand its offerings to a whole line of SmartTops, but the company needs to work on maintaining steady temperatures, especially for a product that costs $500 (about £330 in the UK and AU$680 in Australia). Read CNET's full review of the Oliso SmartHub & Top.
SousVant Circulating Sous Vide Oven
An immersion circulator like Anova or Nomiku might make the most sense as a sous vide starting point, but if you're willing to invest more for an all-in-one unit, we like the SousVant best. It's a good-looking countertop appliance, it costs less than Caso or SousVide Supreme, and it delivered consistently delicious food in our tests, including the best sous vide steak any of us have had the privilege of chewing and swallowing.
As said, you'll need to be willing to spend, because the SousVant costs $400 (you'll also need to live in the US, because the SousVant isn't available outside North America, yet). And the company's website says units are currently not available. But if you do go the SousVant route, start with flank steak cooked to 131 degrees F (55 C) for 24 hours. You can thank us later. Read CNET's full review of the SousVant Circulating Sous Vide Oven.