The Best Sous Vide Machine – Our Top Picks
The first time I ever heard about the sous vide method of cooking, I was somewhat amazed. Who would have thought that basically warming something in a plastic bag would produce such unbelievably good results. Sous vide machines and gear basically changed the way I make steak, burgers and other meats.
Already an indoor grill fanatic, I had found the perfect way to sear off my sous vide creations. Some may use a good grill pan or even a blowtorch, but I do prefer finishing off a sous vide steak or burger right on my T-fal Optigrill.
In this post, our experts researched and reviewed the best sous vide machines on the market. We took a look at everything including price, quality and of course…the results!
So let’s get started with our list of the best sous vide machines below:
Don’t want to spend 300-400 dollars on a Sous Vide cooker, but still want the ability to cook your vacuum sealed food with precise temperature and timing controls? This cooker from Ivation is a bargain.
To start off, it’s a fairly low wattage appliance, running at 520W, and provides a temperature range of 100 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, adjustable to one degree of accuracy. The timer runs in 30 minute increments, up to as long as you need to prepare that meal, even if you plan on cooking it for four days, and the whole device is light at 7.1 pounds.
Unfortunately the plug for it is less than 3 feet, which limits it strictly to countertop use, unless you want to run an extension cord, so make sure you have a spot picked out for it close to an outlet.
Don’t shy away because of the low price. This is a quality machine that does one job, and does it very well. This is not a “good enough” solution, it’s a proper Sous Vide machine that will leave your food tasting delicious, and enough money in your pocket to get a good vacuum sealer to accompany it.
If you want the best, and you plan on buying once and forgetting about the purchase forever, so that you can concentrate on cooking delicious meals, then this water oven from Sous Vide will get you where you need to be.
The layout of the controls is simple, and it will hold 11.2 liters of water, or almost 12 quarts. The pouch rack inside is designed to be used in a multitude of different ways, thanks to the cube design, so no matter how many bags you are preparing at once, you can organize them perfectly. The bottom grill is perforated for excellent circulation, keeping the water temperature consistent throughout the tank, and it fits easily on the counter.
You can control the temperature by single degree increments, or half degree on the Celsius scale. The lid even doubles as a pouch transport. Pull the rack and put it on the tray to carry it wherever it needs to go so that you can open the bags and arrange the meal for searing, or to eat right on the spot. Holds up to 20 four-ounce portions.
It does have a lot of the same drawbacks of other machines, but the biggest is cleaning. Ideally, you would never need to, but the tray isn’t removable so you have to dump it. People have complained about the lid being to thin, but the electronics control the water temperature, not the amount of insulation, so that’s really a mute point. The cord is detachable but short. At least when you are dumping it out you don’t need to fuss with it.
The Gourmia 9 quart is a good mixture of quality and price. The controls are laid out in a pleasing fashion, and the lid can be used as a drip tray. It includes a bag rack and a pair of tongs to keep you fingers safely away from hot, splashy water. I like that the lid fits inside of the tub, so condensation forming on the top isn’t as much of an issue. You can simply tilt as you lift, the same way you would with your favorite pot, it would be nice if it had some kind of handle though, for a better grip.
If you can find it on sale, this is a very good buy for the money. The lid is glass so you can see your food without opening the top during cooking, and the design has been simplified. No noisy pumps or jets. Just a very precise temperature control in the water itself. I suppose cooking larger portions, you might have to give yourself some extra cook time to account for that, but overall the product works great for cooking a few servings, and when it’s on sale, the price is very nice.