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While perhaps not for those of the prick-it-and-ping-it school of cookery, for anyone who considers themselves a bit of a foodie, likes a gadget or just wants to be able to enjoy restaurant-quality food at home, sous vide machines are a real winner.
There are two types of sous vide machine (read more about this in our buyer’s guide below): baths and immersion circulators. We’ve only chosen immersion circulators for this review as they’re so much easier to use and store, and tend to be more popular.
Here are the best sous vide machines on the market right now.
1. Best overall sous vide machine: Gourmia Sous Vide Precision Cooker
This precision-cooker element for sous vide cooking works with most standard pots of up to 10 gallons, clamping onto the edge and then circulating 2.1 gallons per minute.
It allows you to monitor time and temperature up to 59 hours and 110℃ via a slanted, easy-to-read LCD display, and to alter cooking time and temperature using a rotating wheel.
It’s a second generation device that uses more advanced technology, which means greater accuracy in all of its measurements. Despite its small size, it packs a punch with 1200 watts of power. All very impressive for just under £40.
- Highly accurate measurements
- Works with any pot
- Can’t place a lid on the pot while using this device
2. Best budget sous vide machine: YISSVIC Sous Vide Precision Cooker
This sleek and attractive stainless-steel sous vide cooker clamps to the side of any pot with a 360-degree clip so you can turn it whichever way you like for easier reading.
The mist-free digital display clearly shows the temperature and time set (5 to 95°C and 10 minutes to 99 hours and 59 minutes), and the unit includes overheating and low-water protection so you can’t boil it dry.
- Super-accurate time and temperature control
- Good price
- More complex to programme than others
3. Best sous vide machine with circulator: Wancle Sous Vide Precision Cooker
Precision is the name of the game with this sous vide machine with a digital control panel precise to 0.1°C. It heats from 25 to 99.9°C and the time can be set all the way up to 99 hours and 59 minutes should you want to do some serious slow-cooking.
The machine has a digital display that's really easy to use (and clear to read) and has a carved design which prevents it from misting up. Its circulator function helps to improve the distribution of heat in your pot, and overheat-prevention and low-water-level-protection mechanisms give you peace of mind.
We like that the circulator clips to the side of any pot and has a stainless-steel sleeve which makes cleaning much easier.
- Immerses into water
- Digital display for easy readings
- Base does not extend
4. Best sous vide machine for beginners: Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Nano
Sweet, neat and very precise, the Anova offers professional-style precision (to 0.1°C) at a very affordable price.
It’s nice and small – smaller than most on the market – so it won’t take up half a cupboard in your kitchen, and it can be used with most cooking pots so you shouldn’t need any extra equipment.
It connects to your mobile via Bluetooth so you can control it from anywhere in the house and also connects you to the Anova app, which offers loads of recipes and ideas to get you started.
The Bluetooth pairing means you can search for any recipe on the app and the Nano then cooks to that time and temperature for you, without the need for manual setting. The touchscreen is really intuitive and easy to use with just two simple toggles and a ‘cook’ button.
- Alerts you when water is at temperature
- Very quiet in use
- Takes longer to heat up than some other models
5. Best smart sous vide machine: ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide
The ChefSteps Joule immersion circulator works slightly differently to others in that, rather than clipping to the side of the pot, it has a magnetic base and pump system and sits in the water at the bottom. This means that you don’t have to use quite so much water to cook your food and it heats up in double quick time.
There's no display or controls on the machine – it’s all works via the app. This is pretty nifty and saves the occasional scald, but do make sure your phone is charged. The Joule is also a bit smaller than many similar designs so is really easy to store away.
- Small and easy to store
- Can only be used with the app
6. Best luxury sous vide machine: Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Pro
A smart, professional-style sous vide cooker, the Anova Culinary Pro comes with built-in wifi and Bluetooth technology, which connects to your mobile device to give you remote access.
You can then check on your food via the Anova app from another room and get notifications so that you know when your food is ready. It will even keep the water circulating at the right temperature until you’re ready for it.
It can be used with most standard-sized cooking pots and has a really clear touchscreen control panel that’s simple to use.
- Smart technology
- Timer can send notifications to your smartphone
- Timer alarm could be louder
What is a sous vide machine?
Sous vide is a method of slow cooking in which food is sealed and submerged into heated water to cook at a controlled temperature.
A sous vide machine is a precision cooker that warms the water to this constant temperature. It helps to keep more of a food’s vitamins and minerals intact, and is also meant to produce meals that are much tastier.
Generally speaking, you cook for 30 minutes per half inch of thickness.
What's the difference between a sous vide machine and an immersion circulator?
Both sous vide baths and immersion circulators keep the water at a precise, steady temperature. The baths have a lid and are insulated – more like a slow cooker, which makes them more energy efficient. Immersion circulators sit on the edge of a large pot and pump the heated water around the pot, which ensures the water has no hot or cold spots.
How do I choose a sous vide machine?
Think about whether you want a bath or an immersion circulator. We’ve looked only at immersion circulators here as they tend to be more popular for home sous vide cooking, and take up a lot less space.
Things to consider when buying a sous vide machine include:
- Water capacity
- Display and the number of controls
- Minimum and maximum temperature
- Flow rate (GPM)
- Attachment clip
- Extras like Bluetooth, wifi and app connectivity
If you’re getting an immersion circulator, make sure you have (or have factored into your budget) a large stock pot to act as your bath and a proprietary lid, a blowtorch to give a good finish, and a supply of reusable food bags to cook in. You can also buy vacuum sealers, but you really don’t need them. You can simply immerse the food in the plastic bag, let the water force the air out and then carefully seal the bag at the top.
How much does a sous vide machine cost?
A sous vide machine typically costs between £50 to £500. For £100, you’ll get a high-quality model (not necessarily professional level though) without dropping hundreds on something you might not use all the time. If you’re unsure how much you’ll use your sous vide machine, go for a cheaper model to begin with.
Which is the best sous vide machine?
We think the best sous vide machine on the market is the Gourmia Sous Vide Precision Cooker. Providing excellent accuracy, an easy-to-read display and handy features, it does everything you’d expect a sous vide machine to do at a very reasonable price.
How we chose our recommendations
We looked first at which sous vide machines professional chefs and experts were recommending for home use. We also drew up a longlist of best products from bestsellers on Amazon, and products that had won awards or accolades on other websites and in the media.
Then we also headed to the Mumsnet forums to see which of those products Mumsnetters were recommending to each other and whether there were any on our longlist that hadn’t impressed.
Having put all this information together, we came up with a final shortlist that we think represent the best on the market, as well as something in every price range.
Why you should trust us
Mumsnet has been helping parents make their lives easier since 2000 and, in those years, we’ve seen, tried and reviewed thousands of products.
Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.
Prices correct at time of publication. Main image credit: Anova Culinary