The 5 Best Sous Vide Cookers for Precision in the Kitchen

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The Best Sous Vide Machines for Precision in the Kitchen

Food & Wine / Russell Kilgore

Sous vide cookers used to be something you only saw on Top Chef, but they are now commonplace in many home kitchens. The best sous vide machines do a simple task: bring water to a set temperature and keep it there while circulating it. This method ensures food is cooked evenly and to the correct temperature. Even though you’ll need some gear to start using an immersion circulator, it is pretty easy once you become more familiar with the process–just like any cooking method. 

We gathered 16 immersion circulators to find our favorites by evaluating each model for ease of use, cooking performance, and temperature moderation efficiency. The best sous vide machines produced flavorful chicken breasts and were a breeze to set up and run for both novices and experienced chefs. Read on for why we love these excellent sous vide cookers.

Best Overall

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker


Pros: The compact model is incredibly accurate, easy to set up, and had great results in our tests.

Cons: The unit can be noisy, and the Wi-Fi features can be spotty. 

Though we like a few Anova models, the Anova Culinary Wi-Fi Immersion Circulator is our favorite from the San Francisco brand and the best model we tested. The sous vide machine comes with onboard controls, so you don't have to use an app for cooking with the product. However, this Wi-Fi-enabled model allows you to connect to an app that can guide you through recipes and product tutorials. While the manufacturer doesn't list usable containers, testers figured out it would fit a variety of vessels. It comes with a low water alarm which will sound and shut off the unit should the water level get too low to operate safely. Setup is easy for beginners and advanced users alike.

Price at time of publish: $219

  • Height: 12.8 inches
  • Weight: 3.32 pounds
  • Maximum water temperature: 197°F

Best Upgrade

Breville Joule Sous Vide

 Breville Joule Sous Vide (CS10001)


Pros: The app provides step-by-step instructions to guide you while cooking.

Cons: If you stray too far, the Bluetooth will disconnect, and there are no manual controls.

Controlling the Breville Joule Sous Vide requires an Android or iOS device to pair with your phone through a Joule App. If the technology is not a deterrent, what you get in return from this tool is tenfold. The Joule performs precisely and accurately and is among the lightest immersion circulators we tried. While there are no buttons to control the unit, the sous vide machine is minimalist, sleek, and quiet. In keeping with its forward-thinking design, the Joule also has the added security of an "industrial strength magnet" to help adhere to most magnetic, steel-plated containers that hold up to 10 gallons of water. It works fast and keeps your food at the exact temperature you select.

Price at time of publish: $250

  • Height: 13 inches
  • Weight: 1.28 Pounds
  • Maximum water temperature: 208°F

Best Value

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Nano

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Nano


Pros: It is easy to clean and set up and operates quietly.

Cons: The clamp is not adjustable, which limits the container size you can use. 

The Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Nano is among the smallest models we tested. Stick sous vide machines are already small, but the Nano even more so, hence the name. It has all the connectivity you would expect, like controlling the unit via an app connected to your phone on Bluetooth. The manufacturer's instructions were straightforward to understand. “As a beginner, I felt confident using this device after one pass through the instructions,” said our tester. The Anova Nano immersion circulator has a digital display that will notify you if the water level is low or the fan on the bottom becomes stuck. Blais says he uses one while doing a live presentation or traveling for work. "I like it because it's small and easier to cart around when it's just me, a suitcase, and a couple of ingredients."

Price at time of publish: $149

  • Height: 12.8 inches
  • Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Maximum water temperature: 197°F

Best LCD (no Wi-Fi)

All-Clad Sous Vide Professional Circulator

All-Clad Sous Vide


Pros: It lets you know when the water level is low, and keeps a steady temperature. 

Cons: Testers found it wasn’t as intuitive to use as other models, and took more time to set up. 

The All-Clad Sous Vide came up to temp quickly, and users should know that this sous vide has no smartphone, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi capabilities. It does have a backlit digital display, which we found easy to view, and we liked how it swivels for added viewing options. The circulator's performance was accurate, and the water bath temperature didn't drop after adding the chicken during testing. There was also no variation in temperature, making this one of the most accurate models in our testing. While it’s not as intuitive to use as other models we tested, it is incredibly precise once you get the hang of the gadget. 

Price at time of publish: $210

  • Height: 17.4 inches
  • Weight: 3.75 Pounds
  • Maximum water temperature: 194°F

Best Under $100

Inkbird Sous Vide Precision Cooker ISV-100W

Inkbird Sous Vide Precision Cooker


Pros: The manufacturer's instructions are straightforward, and it performed well for the price. 

Cons: It does not specify the water bath and container dimensions.

The Inkbird Sous Vide Precision Cooker (ISV-100W) Is an excellent choice for someone who is not fully committed to the sous vide lifestyle but still wants to try it out. The setup requires registering the device beforehand, which is a little tedious. However, after reading the instructions and starting it up, we found the unit easy to use. While it took the Inkbird a few more minutes to come to temperature than its competitors, it managed to hold the temperature even after we dropped the chicken in. Beginner and experienced sous vide users will be pleased with this device's performance, different features, and accessible price point. 

Price at time of publish: $88

  • Height: 16.14 inches
  • Weight: 3.91 pounds
  • Maximum water temperature: 210°F

Our Favorite

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker

Food and Wine / Russell Kilgore

The Anova Culinary Wi-Fi Immersion Circulator was our favorite and won best overall because our testers loved its accuracy and ease of use. It's the right combination of performance and price to deserve a spot in any cook's kitchen.

The Tests

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Nano

Food and Wine / Russell Kilgore

Our testers cooked chicken breasts with butter, salt, and pepper in vacuum-sealed bags to evaluate temperature consistency while using the sous vide machines. We also conducted a cold water bath test where we tool the temperature after 1 1/2 hours to test each immersion circulator's ability to reach and maintain the temperature to cook food properly.

Factors to Consider

All-Clad Sous Vide Test

Food & Wine / Russell Killgore

Tank vs. Stick

Some tank-style sous vide machines have everything you need built-in, making it easier for those craving an all-in-one solution, but also quite large. The tank styles can be limited if you need to tailor a cooking vessel to you're cooking, and stick styles allow you to customize the vessel based on what you're cooking. 


Each sous vide cooker has different temperature limits. Check the range and capacity to cook something to a higher temperature. Some units need help maintaining temperatures when cooking many items. "There are some units that might have trouble holding or even getting to the temperature you want with larger portions," says Blais. "I think the capacity of how much water it can heat is another thing to be mindful of. If you want to cook 24 steaks, ensure the machine maintains that temperature."


Many sous vide cookers are all about their technology and boast many features, from Bluetooth connectivity to apps that take you step-by-step through recipes. Other models have features that keep you in check, like low water alarms and more. Check the tech specifications if you are someone who wants to check on your short rib from 20 miles away.

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker

Food and Wine / Russell Kilgore

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What does “sous vide” mean?

    Sous vide (pronounced "sue-veed") is a French culinary term that means "vacuum." It refers to the cooking style where food is submerged in a vacuum-sealed plastic bag, and water is brought to a temperature, kept there, and circulated for even cooking.

  • How do you use a sous vide cooker?

    It depends on which style. Tank-style machines will have everything, including a vessel for cooking. Stick styles (dominate the market and our top picks) necessitate some containers for cooking. Both require food to be vacuum sealed in food-safe plastic bags so everything is contained, including the juices and any additional marinades, herbs, and spices.

  • What are the benefits of sous vide cooking?

    By using a sous vide machine, you can bring your food to the exact temperature and avoid overcooking quality proteins or produce. It also allows you time savings by enabling you to prepare items before entertaining, such as slow-cooking steaks that you need to sear off for color at the last moment, so you have more time to spend with your guests.

    Chef Richard Blais, who won the inaugural season of Top Chef All-Stars, might have been the first person you ever saw use a sous vide cooker on television. The chef, restaurateur, and co-host of FOX's Next Level Chef loves sous vide cooking for many reasons. "It's precise and convenient whether you're at home or professional," says Blais. "Professional chefs turn to it because half a degree Celsius can make a big difference. For the home cook, it’s the precision of knowing the chicken breast is not going to be overcooked is as important as that half degree on a rib roast." 

    Convenience might sound weird since you have to prep by vacuum sealing your food in food-safe bags and get the water and unit situated correctly. However, the "on" time is primarily hands-off cooking. The convenience takes a little time to get used to, says Blais. "You do a lot of work beforehand, and the convenience is that I cooked my steaks before the party started so I can have a glass of wine with my guests. Now I have to pop those steaks on the grill for two minutes instead of being at the grill the whole cocktail reception. You can get the work done in the afternoon and be more of an entertainer." 

  • What can you sous vide?

    You can sous vide any ingredient you want to bring to an exact temperature, from carrots to New York strip steak. You can also use it to do less known things like render fat, proof bread dough, make yogurt, and even do non-culinary purposes like warming baby bottles.

  • What equipment do I need for sous vide cooking? Do you need a vacuum sealer to sous vide?

    You'll need a vacuum sealer and a vessel that fits whatever you're cooking and that your machine can handle. Check the specs of your immersion circulator to see if there's a container maximum, so you don't lose any efficacy or power. You can use freezer bags in a pinch, but check the manufacturer's specifications on the package to ensure the bag is both food-safe and can heat to the desired temperature.

  • Which cous vide cookers do chefs use?

    Although he doesn't cook with sous vide at home all the time, Blais still employs it as a tool at the restaurant and in his personal life. When on the road, he uses an Anova Immersion Circulator, and his restaurants, such as Ember and Rye and the upcoming California English, use Breville's Polyscience.

Other Sous Vide Cookers We Tested

Strong Contenders 

Breville PolyScience HydroPro Sous Vide ($500 at Amazon)

Though this tool performed well, the price is prohibitive for many budgets, and there are great sous vide options that are half the price. If you are happy to splurge, it's a great option.

Monoprice Strata Sous Vide Immersion Cooker ($100 at Amazon)

The Monoprice is a good option for the price and would be fine for beginners but isn't ideal for home cooks that intend to use the sous vide frequently. It worked well but not as efficiently as other top picks at a similar price.

SOUSVIDE ART Precision Cooker Kit ($105 at Amazon)

This Sousvide Art model also performed well and has an affordable price point, and might be worth it for a beginner if it's on sale.

Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Pro ($400 at Amazon)

This Anova model performed well in our tests, but similarly to the Breville, it's a steep price for a sous vide machine. It would be worth it if there is a discount, but at full price, our other top picks produced great results for a less costly investment.

What Didn't Make the List

There are several immersion circulators that we wouldn't recommend based on our tests, including models from Wancle, Bosenkitchen, KitchenBoss, Chefman, and Gourmia. The sous vide cookers that didn't make the grade in our tests often had troubles regulating temperature (the one essential job of the sous vide machine). Other issues included complicated setup processes or confusing instructions, inaccurate temperature displays, or sub-standard results for the cooked chicken in flavor or consistency.

Our Expertise

Jennifer Zyman is a Senior Commerce Writer for Food & Wine and a former restaurant critic with a culinary school degree and over 15 years of food writing experience. Her work has appeared in Atlanta Magazine, Bon Appetit, Eater Atlanta, The Kitchn, Local Palate, National Geographic, Simply Recipes, Southern Living, and Thrillist. She wrote this story using testing data, research, and culinary expertise from chef Richard Blais, cookbook author, restaurateur, and television personality.

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