The Sous Vide cooking method has become extremely popular and trendy recently and I will be honest. I never heard of it until recently when a co-worker raved about how fantastic his steaks tasted.
Who knew slow cooking meat in water would taste good? In this day and age of the Instant Pot (read my best slow cooker and pressure cooker review here), sous vide cooking takes the opposite approach with amazing, tasty results!
If you are curious and want more information now:
✅This specific Sous Vide Machine is very popular currently.
It is an excellent sous vide cooker and at a great price.
More information is provided further in the article as well a closer look at 3 of the most popular home sous vide machine units.
What Is Sous Vide Cooking?
Sous Vide is French for ‘under vacuum. This refers to the plastic bags into which the meat is vacuum sealed prior to being immersed in the heated water of the Sous Vide immersion circulatory for a preset time and at a preset temperature (although several temperature stages might take place).
It may surprise many people to find out that the popularity of Sous Vide cooking and the technique itself is not a new concept. In fact, the technique was first popularized, at least among professional chefs in 1974 when Frenchman Georges Pralus revolutionized fine dining by exploring the technique when preparing foi gras.
He found that the gentle nature of Sous Vide maintained the appearance of the liver and that both texture and taste were enhanced when compared to traditional cooking methods.
These attributes, maintenance of natural textures and tastes as well as ease of preparation, are still at the heart of what makes Sous Vide cooking so popular today.
Sous Vide’s popularity, however, did not occur until 2008 when professional chef, Thomas Keller, published a cookbook, Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide, exploring the advantages of the method.
Although the cookbook was geared towards professional and more experienced cooks, it revolutionized the cooking industry with its innovative approach to cooking.
Benefits Of Sous Vide
There are a number of advantages to Sous Vide cooking when compared to traditional methods of food preparation such as stewing (even when using a slow cooker) and roasting.
Relies On Extremely Exact Temperature Control
The advantages of placing vacuum sealed ingredients in a temperature controlled water bath revolve around the fact that heat is transferred evenly throughout the meat (we’ll use steak here as an example).
This avoids the common problem of a steak being seared on the outside while the inside is not cooked to perfection. A Sous Vide prepared steak will be uniformly cooked.
When it comes to vegetables Sous Vide offers a variety of advantages over traditional methods of cooking.
For instance using a slow cooker may break down tough animal protein but it may also reduce vegetables to unidentified and tasteless mush.
There’s a reason for this. Heating the cell walls in vegetables causes much of the nutritional value to be lost. For the many vegetables that contain Pectin heating can causes this material (a sort of a glue that maintains the vegetables integrity and shape) to break down. The gentle nature of Sous Vide cooking does not denature Pectin so vegetables remain fresh and flavorsome.
The vacuum packing is an essential part of the Sous Vide process. Since there will be no air circulating within the vacuum packing heat transfer is incredibly efficient.
Moisture does not escape, natural flavor is maintained and if seasonings such as herbs are added to the bag they permeate the ingredients much more efficiently.
Simple Cooking Method
Aspirant Sous Vide users and home chefs may be apprehensive about what, on the face of it may seem to be a complex cooking method. Nothing could be further from the truth. At its heart Sous Vide is a simple cooking method, in fact due to the ability to set cooking times and temperatures it can prove to be far less challenging than traditional cooking methods.
Put simply the advantages of the Sous Vide approach is that it relies on extremely exact temperature control. It is also a fact that the water in which the raw ingredients are placed is a far more efficient medium for conducting heat than air.
Considerations Tips For Cooking Sous Vide
As with other cooking methods there are a number of variables that need to be taken into account when cooking Sous Vide:
- Type of protein or vegetable is to be cooked.
- Thickness and cut of meat and how well done the final product should be
- Size and type of fish or shellfish
However any person who is contemplating the purchase of a Sous Vide immersion circulator should not be intimidated. Most units will come with a handy and easy to use guide.
If not there are numerous resources on the Internet which will provide extensive guides to cooking times. It is also important to note that the latest Sous Vide units are extremely easy to use.
Although Sous Vide started off as a technique that was used by professional chefs the situation today is very different.
Best Sous Vide Machines
After that brief introduction to some of the facts about Sous Vide cooking let’s take a look at some of the best and most popular Sous Vide machines that are currently on the market.
More affordable Sous Vide immersion units have now made it possible for home chefs to explore Sous Vide preparation in the comfort of their own kitchens. We have looked at some of the best and most popular Sous Vide units on the market today. Our top 3 picks are listed below:
|Anova Precision Nano||yes||1.6 lbs||12.8 “||750|
|ChefSteps Joule||yes||1.3 lbs||11 ”||1100|
|Kitchen Gizmo||no||2.9 lbs||15″||800|
The Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker is a terrific machine.
The new Nano model is quieter and smaller than the previous one.
At a great price point of around $100, this is a Sous Vide cooker that can transform any household chef into someone capable of producing restaurant grade meals.
Anova Culinary Nano Key Features
- Can be attached to any pot of suitable size
- Timer and temperature control are extremely easy to use
- Timer and temperature control can even be adjusted remotely through the Anova sous vide app on a remote smart device
- Comes with Bluetooth connectivity and optional WiFi
- Temperature ranges are 32-197 degrees Fahrenheit
- Anova app contains 1000+ recipes
- Comes complete with a two year warranty
Excellent value for money and the ability to use with existing pots are both big plus points.
The ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide is another unit that is suitable for use with your existing pots.
A great selling point is the sleek design and small footprint.
At only 11 inches tall this unit is perfect for smaller kitchen spaces.
ChefSteps Joule Key Features
- Magnetic base so no clips are needed
- This unit is also WiFi and Bluetooth ready.
- Small enough to fit into a standard silverware drawer
- 1100 watts to heat faster
- Comes with 100 cooking guides
- The ‘Joule App‘ helps to calculate exactly when ingredients have been done to perfection.
- Trademark Visual Doneness feature displays how food looks
It may not have the enormous range of functions of larger units, but for someone looking to familiarize themselves with the Sous Vide method of cooking and still wants a unit that will fit in the top drawer it’s perfect – worth the price of under $200.
Customer reviews are in and this is an Amazon Choice winner. This unit scores very highly in part due to the very intuitive controls which make it extremely easy to use.
It’s another unit that will fit almost any pot and boasts incredibly quiet operation. It will make short work of even the most challenging of recipes.
If you do not need the bells and whistles of BlueTooth and WiFi technology, this is neat, affordable device.
Kitchen Gizmo Immersion Circulator Key Features
- Comes in 3 colors – red, grey and blue
- ED touch display screen
- Circulates 8 litres of water per minute
- Rated to supply temperatures of up to 194 F and with extremely precise temperature control and maintenance this is a top quality unit.
- Comes with cookbook filled with top rated recipes as well as cooking chart with recommended cooking times and temperatures for a wide variety of ingredients.
- Safety feature that ensures device only works when water is above a minimum level
Consumer Reports – Sous Vide Machines
Consumer reports compared the Anova and Joule Sous Vide Cookers in this short video to determine if slower really is better.
Sous Vide Cookbook
If you are looking for the best sous vide cookbook, there are quite a few to choose from depending on your cooking abilities. From beginner to advanced, the top 3 cookbooks are listed below:
Tasty Sous vide shrimp recipes can be found in both the and The Effortless Sous Vide Cookbook
Is A Sous Vide Machine For You?
Exploring Sous Vide has never been easier – especially with immersion circulators that can attach to existing cookware. Prices are now reasonable enough for almost any home chef to explore this fascinating cooking method. Get your unit today.