• High-quality sous vide machines – also known as immersion circulators – get up to temperature quickly, maintain an accurate temp, and feature an intuitive interface.
  • The Breville Joule Sous Vide is our top pick because of its high-tech features, compact size, and excellent customer service.

Sous vide machines work by preheating a water bath to a specific temperature. Food is then sealed in a container – usually a plastic bag – and lowered into the bath. It stays there until it reaches the temperature of the water. This is not a fast process, but it virtually guarantees that you will not overcook your food.

There are two main types of sous vide machines: stick-like units called “immersion circulators” and all-in-one boxes, known as water ovens. Water ovens are great because they generally come with everything you need to start cooking right away. With immersion circulators, you use your own container – a large pot should work fine.

Though any airtight bag should work just fine, you may want to consider purchasing a vacuum sealer along with your sous vide machine. The transfer of heat through water is eleven times more efficient than through air, and the vacuum sealer removes all of the air pockets and decreases the chance of uneven cooking. It also ensures that water won’t leak into the food you’re cooking.

The sous vide machines and immersion circulators featured in this guide have a track record of performance and durability and have shown that they can produce delicious steaks, vegetables, and other dishes.

Here are our picks for the best sous vide machines:

Prices and links are current as of 6/30/2020. We removed our pick for the best water oven because it was discontinued. We are currently looking into new options to test.


The best overall

If you need a compact, high-tech sous vide machine that is powerful enough to get water up to temperature quickly, look no further than the Breville Joule Sous Vide.

Aside from the ability to heat water to precise temperatures, there are a couple of features that set the Breville Joule Sous Vide – also known as the ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide, prior to Breville acquiring the company – apart from other similar machines. First, it is only 1.3 pounds and 11 inches tall so it is much smaller and easier to store than the other options available. Secondly, Breville has clearly put a lot of work into its app. Not only does it allow you to monitor your meal, but it also has a “Visual Doneness” feature that shows you how your food looks as it cooks so you can easily achieve your preferred doneness.

Insider Reviews writer Brandt Ranj tested it and was very impressed. He said it “lets me cook steaks as perfectly as a professional chef” and called it “one of my favorite kitchen tools.”

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The Joule connects with your phone via Bluetooth or the internet, and the app has more than 100 cooking guides. Plus, it works with Amazon Alexa so you can cook using your voice. Breville backs the product with a one-year limited warranty. And, if you are not completely happy with the Joule within 90 days of purchase, the company will give you a full refund.

This is a great option because it’s small enough to fit in a cooking utensil drawer, has a magnetic bottom that keeps it in place in metal receptacles, and is quiet when operating. However, keep in mind that you do need a phone and Bluetooth or Internet connection to use it.

The Sous Vide Guy tested this and was impressed with how quickly the small device could heat 6 liters of 75-degree water to 135 degrees Fahrenheit (about 12 minutes).

It’s worth noting that early reviews of the Joule had harsh criticisms of the app. Breville has addressed this, and many reviews have since updated their ratings to reflect the improvements.

Pros: Compact design, excellent customer service, ongoing app improvements

Cons: Requires a smartphone and Bluetooth/internet

Read our comparison of the Joule and the Anova sous vide immersion circulators

Read our review of the Joule Sous Vide


The best for high-tech cooking

Foto: Source: Anova

The Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker can be programmed through an app or manually on the device itself.

In the world of sous vide machines, the Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker and the Breville Joule are in a class of their own. When it comes to which of our top two picks are better, it’s really a toss-up. We gave the Joule the edge because it has a higher wattage and smaller size. But, the Anova Culinary model can be used manually without an app in case you want to put your smartphone away.

The unit attaches to your container via a ring clip. This allows you to adjust the depth of the circulator to fit the container. The Anova has a temperature range of 32 to 197 degrees Fahrenheit, a timer that runs up to 99 hours, and it can heat up to five gallons of water (that number goes up to 13 if you’re using a lid). This product is backed by a two-year warranty.

Gizmodo’s reviewer liked the compact size and easy-to-read display, and he found the resulting meals to be juicy, tender, and cooked perfectly. However, he was turned off by how hard it was to use the timer, and the app didn’t have much functionality. That being said, the review was written a few years ago, and Anova has continued to make improvements to the app.

If you can do without the Wi-Fi function and can deal with less power, Anova makes the affordable Precision Cooker Nano. This is a sleek device that connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth, but it can also be programmed on the unit – just like the non-Nano version, except smaller. In fact, this is the top pick from Wirecutter. Despite its fewer features, Insider Reviews Guides Editor Les Shu, who uses the Nano, found it very capable in cooking steaks beautifully. It just requires a bit more time to bring the water to temperature.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for an even more powerful version, Anova has the Precision Cooker Pro, which pumps out 1,200 watts. This is for those who are serious about sous vide cooking and are willing to spend a bit more.

Pros: Second smallest option on our list, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible, works with a variety of containers

Cons: Some dislike using it without a smartphone

Read our Anova Precision Cooker Nano review

Read our Anova Precision Cooker Pro review


The best on a budget

Foto: Source: Kitchen Gizmo

If you’re interested in giving sous vide cooking a try and don’t care if your cooker connects to a smartphone, then the Kitchen Gizmo Sous Vide Immersion Circulator is an excellent choice.

Unlike our top two choices, the Kitchen Gizmo Sous Vide Immersion Circulator does not have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. You simply set it up using the intuitive controls on the top of the device. This is ideal for when you want to put your phone away and avoid distracting notifications from countless apps.

The 800-watt motor heats to temperatures up to 194 degrees Fahrenheit with a margin of error of 1 degree. This circulator clips to the side of your container and can circulate up to eight liters (or a little more than two gallons) per minute.

Sous Vide Guy tested how long it took the Kitchen Gizmo Immersion Circulator to get six liters of water from 75 degrees Fahrenheit to 135 degrees. It was a somewhat sluggish 20 minutes. However, he still recommends it to buyers looking for an inexpensive sous vide machine.

Pros: Affordable, energy-efficient, quiet, easy to set up and operate

Cons: Doesn’t have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity, questionable customer service


The best for beginners

Foto: Source: Tribest

If you are new to sous vide cooking and want an easy-to-use unit, the Tribest Sousvant Complete Sous Vide Circulator is a good choice.

The Tribest Sousvant SV-101 Complete Sous Vide Circulator doesn’t have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. However, its 1000-watt built-in circulation system does what all sous vide machines should: It maintains accurate water temperatures to within 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit.

This device is all-inclusive. It does not require DIY work, containers, or any jerry-rigging. The transparent, three-gallon carafe allows you to watch your food as it cooks, and it’s removable for easy access. Tribest offers a two-year warranty with the Sousvant.

What this product lacks in high-tech features it makes up for with the performance and is a good option for those trying sous vide cooking for the first time, especially because it is lightweight and only takes a few seconds to set up.

Pros: Accurate temperature control, all-in-one design, attractive look

Cons: Loud pump, doesn’t have many high-tech features


Check out our other small appliance buying guides

Foto: Source: Breville

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