The Best Budget Sous Vide Gear
We tested the Anova alongside 3 other well-reviewed and popular circulators and found it to be easy to use, quick to heat up, tolerant of widely varying water levels and extremely accurate and stable when it comes to holding temperatures steady. Others performed better in particular tests, but the Anova performed consistently well and had a lack of flaws.
On the cheaper end, you could get the DorkFood DSV for $100, but you will need to provide your own heat source and circulator.
Over the last 12 months, the sous vide market has exploded with a number of excellent and precise devices that will cook your food for long periods at fixed temperatures without costing a huge amount of money. It’s the first time we’ve seen sous vide cookers that are simple enough for everyday home use. They have all the features that we think are important and the performance to back it up at a price that’s reasonable.
What is sous vide?
Sous vide cooking intrigues me, an amateur home cook with a love for science and technology. On one hand, it packs the simplicity of low-and-slow cooking as with a crock pot; on the other, the exceptional temperature control means you can do all sorts of fun things that almost get you in the neighborhood of molecular gastronomy. However, like most home cooks, the prospect of dropping more than $1,000 on a cooking appliance seems excessive to me—hell, even $500 is more than I’d pay for anything in my kitchen but the oven. Yet over the last couple of years we’ve seen some of these cookers drop into the price range of mere mortals.
The standard sous vide procedure for meat goes something like this: seal it with some herbs and spices using a vacuum sealer (or just a Ziploc bag with all the air displaced). Get your water to temperature. Throw the meat in the water for a couple of hours (or as long as you want; it won’t overcook). Then remove the meat and sear it to get a nice crust. Since the meat heats through to an exact temperature, you can get some wonderful effects that you can’t get with standard-issue kitchen gear. You can make beef exactly as done as you like, all the way through. Or you can have a roast that’s set exactly to the temperature at which fat breaks down, giving you the tenderness of hours of braising but the pink flesh of a medium-rare roast.
Since sous vide cooking in the home has been so heavily driven by innovative people putting things together piecemeal and experimenting in their kitchens, there are a lot of fantastic recipes available online. It’s worth checking out Serious Eats’ Sous-Vide 101 series, SVKitchen, the recipe series from the people behind SousVide Supreme (which are just as applicable to other machines), or—if you’re into the no-carbs thing—the Nom Nom Paleo sous vide recipe sets.
However, there are some problems with sous vide cooking. For one, you can’t get a sear on your food, as the Maillard reaction never happens. (The reaction requires direct heat.) It’s also on the slow side. (Some roasts can take up to a couple of days to cook.) As we mentioned above, the other big problem is price. It’s only really in the last 12 months that home sous vide cookers have dropped well below $400-500 and to a point that’s more on par with other cooking gadgets.
Who’s it for?
A home sous vide cooker is mostly for food lovers and experimental cookers. It’s for people who love cooking and playing around with new recipes and techniques. Ever made tea-cured gravlax because you found a recipe online? Willing to wait 72 hours for a great set of ribs? Then you’re on board.
What to look for
There are four primary things to look for in a sous vide cooker.
Accuracy – With some food, eggs in particular, a temperature variance of just one degree Fahrenheit can mean a radically different final product. So you need a sous vide cooker that is accurate enough to do what you want—and all of the water has to be at that same temperature. No hot or cold spots.
Stability – If you’re doing a long cook (like 72 hours) you need to know that it’ll keep it as close as possible to the best temperature for that entire time period with as little variance as you can manage.
Speed – You don’t want to be waiting for hours for it to bring a container of water up to temperature. You need a nice, big heating element that can rapidly warm a large volume of water.
Price – Since these are enthusiast gadgets right now, we’re a bit less exacting on the price front, but there are $200 options that are just as good as $500 ones, so save money where you can.
There are a bunch of other factors we took into account. How does it attach? How precise does the water level have to be? Does it have a timer? How big is it? How big of a container does it need? How loud is it? Is it easy to use?
There are a couple of features that are debatable as to how useful they are; there’s a split of opinions among users as to which way to go and why. We’re going to lay out the arguments below.
Alternatively, some count up from when you hit go (like the SideKIC), or just set off an alarm when the time is up, like the PolyScience Creative. Others, like the Sansaire and Nomiku, simply don’t have a timer at all, for claims of simplicity and safety—but it means that you have to use another gadget if you do want to time something even vaguely accurately.
In a similar vein, there’s discussion about what happens if your power supply is interrupted. If, for whatever reason, you lose power in the middle of the night during a long cook, should your sous vide cooker keep going when the power comes back? If it doesn’t then you lose a night of cooking. But if it does, you probably don’t know how long the power was out for — and you don’t know if your food was kept at a safe temperature for the entire time. The Nomiku splits the difference by popping up a little icon informing you the power was stopped, so you can make the judgment call on your own.
There’s a chance that the internal temperature in your sous vide circulator is off by a little bit, which could significantly change how your food cooks, especially for very touchy foods like eggs. Some sous vide circulators allow you to alter this by calibrating the circulator yourself. Of the ones we tested, only the PolyScience doesn’t. But the problem: how do you know you’re calibrating it right? I have a calibrated and regularly tested thermometer, which I can rely on the accuracy of. But for most folks, it’s dangerous thing to calibrate unless you’re sure of accuracy. Most of the circulators just let you tweak the calibration by a small amount in either direction; the Nomiku, however, goes a step further by giving you two-point calibration (one for cold temps, then again at hot). This allows for more accurate calibration.
The different types
There are primarily three different types of sous vide cooker: the immersion circulator that can simultaneously heat and circulate water; the all-in-one but less precise water bath; and the bring-your-own-heat controller. All have their respective strengths and weaknesses.
For most home cooks, an immersion circulator is the perfect sous vide cooker. These are gadgets that latch onto the side of a vessel—be it a stock pot, a plastic tub, or even a cooler—and not only heat the water but also use an impeller to circulate it around the container. Since they actively push the water around, that means the temperature is more even throughout the entire vessel. They also tend to be smaller than some of the alternatives, priced generally decently and easy to use. For most people in most situations, we think they’re the way to go.
A water bath is more like an all-in-one appliance; think something around the size of a breadmaker that you fill with water before it heats itself. These have the advantage of being all-in-one, the most like a traditional appliance. But they’re heavy, bulky, expensive and tend not to circulate the water, which can lead to internal temperature variances.
Finally, there are the sous vide controllers. These sit in-between a basic heating appliance (like a rice cooker), and switch the power on and off to keep water at a fixed temperature. They’re very affordable, but require you to have another appliance floating around that will handle frequent power interruptions. They can’t circulate water either.
(There’s also a whole world of homemade and modified systems, ranging from just pouring boiling water into insulated containers on up to permanently modding appliances.)
How we tested
The testing for this piece is based on two rounds. One in the original version of this article early in 20131, and then again in late 2013 when we tested a number of newly available circulators.
In order to choose which of the circulators was the best for most people, we took the Nomiku, the PolySci Creative, the Sansaire, the SideKIC, and the Anova and put them through three primary tests.
The first was pure speed. Using identical vessels, we found a volume of water that all the circulators could handle, and we tested how long it took those 3.8L to hit a temperature of 135°F (aka, a medium rare steak). All of them, aside from the SideKIC, were on par, taking with a range of 20 minutes to 26 minutes. The SideKIC took a whopping two hours to come to temperature, thanks to its comparatively low power heating element.
We also ran stability tests: a 24-hour marathon to see how well the circulator performed at keeping at a specific temperature over longer periods of time with as little wobbling or variance as possible. All of the units we tested stayed stable within 1°F, and the SideKIC and PolyScience Creative both managed to stay at exactly the same temperature for the entire period.
Finally, we did a relatively low precision sound testing, where the volumes of each circulator were measured at various distances in a quiet room using an iPhone app. With an ambient sound level of 50 dB, we found the SideKIC to be the quietest, with +12 dB right against the circulator, and it being essentially silent by the time you’re 12 inches away. The Nomiku added +19 dB, which fell to +3 dB at 12 inches, the PolySci added +17 dB close by and +2 dB at 12 inches and the Anova was the loudest, with +25 dB falling to +7 dB.
We say get the Anova, for $200. It’s a low price for a gadget that has pinpoint accuracy, is incredibly easy to use, heats up water fast, and is very quiet. It’s made by a lab equipment manufacturer with a reputation for accurate and long-lasting gear. There aren’t many reviews of these types of things, but the ones that do exist speak highly of the Anova.
The Anova, like the rest of these circulators, clips onto the side of a vessel you already own, like a stockpot. To use it, you simply hit a switch on the back to turn it on. Then you’re into a simple touchscreen interface. You can set a target temperature of between 32° and 210°F in 1°F increments (or 0° and 99°C in 0.1°C increments, if you’re metrically inclined) with a timer that runs from five minutes to 99 hours in five-minute increments.
Unlike the other sous vide cookers, it can be set up to use its timer one of two ways—to either set off an alarm when the time runs out or to shut down entirely.
In our testing, we used a standardized container of 3.8 L (an amount that all the sous vide circulators could agree on with regards to water levels and volume), and the Anova was able to heat up that volume of water from 69°F to 135°F in a little under 27 minutes—which is within a couple of minutes of the competition. We also kept it at temperature for 24 hours, and found that it only fluctuated by less than 1°F over the entire course of the day. That’s more than precise enough to keep your roast medium rare. If you’re more than a foot away, the noise produced by the circulator was low enough that it didn’t even register in our testing.
It can heat up to six gallons of water at temperatures up to just below boiling. The pump moves around 3.2 gallons of water per minute, which is more than enough to keep temperatures evenly distributed. Officially, it can handle 5-6 gallon containers, though with most of these, you can push that number quite a bit without any real problem.
When it comes down to accuracy, it was within 1°F of our lab-calibrated thermometer, which is within the bounds of accuracy we’re looking for.
It attaches to your container of choice by a screw tightening system, which works well enough but isn’t quite as elegant as the silicone clamp that the Nomiku uses (more on that later).
In a nice touch, you can rotate the pump cover to pump the water in a different direction if it’s not working too well with your current vessel.
It’s also easy to clean. There’s a stainless steel skirt that protects the heater and impeller. You simply take that off and easily access and clean all the bits and pieces of the Anova.
The Anova also features a low water sensor so that it won’t overheat if your water levels drop down during a long cook (though you can avoid that by covering your cooking vessel). We’re also impressed by the range of water levels that the Anova can handle. With a full 3.5 inches of play between the minimum and maximum water line, it means you’re a lot less likely to trip that sensor, even if you do leave things uncovered.
We’re also keenly aware of the fact that the Anova is made by a lab gear company, which means experience in manufacturing, and a track record in actually producing and maintaining devices. With so many sous vide machines being made by new and starting companies, having a group that is experienced with water-accurate temperature baths seems like a good mark in its favor.
The screen also turns off after a brief time of running, which means that you can’t read it from across the room—but this doubtless saves power and prevents burn in.
Safety not quite certified
The one other thing we’re a bit hesitant on with the Anova is that fact that it hasn’t received either UL or ETL certification to make sure it stands up to rigorous third-party safety testing. (This is not required by law, but peace of mind is an added layer that is nice to have when it comes to things that involve heating elements.)
The folks behind the Anova have assured us that they’re in the midst of getting ETL approval, and are expecting it by January 1st (we will update when this does happen). We talked to Intertek, the company behind the ETL testing, who confirmed with Anova that Anova is working with a company in China to receive certification. However, they are currently self-certified to carry the CE marking for sale in Europe.
This was not an issue for us last year when the category was just emerging and options were few and limited, but now there are competitors available that do have certification, such as the also great (albeit pricier) Nomiku, which has both ETL and UL certifications. We aren’t overly concerned about the Anova’s reliability given the fact that it is made by an established lab-grade water bath manufacturer, but if the lack of current certification is problematic for you (and we could see why it might be, since the vast majority of kitchen appliances have either the UL or ETL stamp) and you are willing to pay extra for it, you should get the Nomiku.
What everyone else thinks
When J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats reviewed the Anova, he complimented its performance, saying “As for how the machine actually functions in terms of circulation and temperature-holding ability, I have no complaints. As a manufacturer of precision laboratory-grade equipment with a longstanding reputation in the field, you can bet your butt that it’s accurate.” He also liked that you can adjust the direction of the water flow and praised the attachment mechanism.
In a review on the Black Peppercorn, the Anova was praised for being able to clamp onto any container, for having a display that’s “clear simple and responsive” and for its speed to bring water to temperature. The review concluded “The Anova product is handy for people wanting to get into sous vide cooking but who do not have the counter space for one of the larger countertop units. This particular product is nice and small and can be packed away until needed. At $199 I am very impressed with the product as it is comparable to some of the more expensive immersion circulation units out the the market.”
TechCrunch did a hands on with the Anova, saying “The fact that this thing is only $199…makes it quite compelling and it made some excellent food in only a few hours.” and “ However, if you’re a foodie and you want to try sous vide, this is probably the best device out there. There are other water ovens online but those are brushing past the $400 mark and higher. This is the first “standalone” model – you do need other equipment to make it work, but not much – and it is surprisingly easy to use and elegantly designed.”
A review at Happy Valley Chow praised how even with the low cost, the Anova feels like a high-quality, high-price unit, saying “While it is one of the cheapest, it definitely feels like one of the most expensive ones, so you feel like you purchased a quality product.“ They are also fans of the big, easy to use input.
If you want to do a bit more reading, there’s a 19 page thread on eGullet of people playing with the thing, the majority of whom seem very pleased with it.
Finally, the folks at Studio Kitchen may have summed it up best, saying “It is not intended purely as a domestic product but rather an excellent value in a professional quality product that makes proper sous-vide cooking viable for chefs with low budgets and ambitious home enthusiasts. After several days of use, it works perfectly and basically eliminates any justification for buying a static bath. Great Product. Ridiculously good price.”
At the end of the day, there were other competitors that outperformed the Anova in particular aspects, but none came close to touching the Anova’s combination of features, performance and value.
Also, unlike the other models, the Nomiku’s heater physically can’t overheat. Almost all of the other units have failsafes (the SideKIC lacks it), so that if the water levels drop below a certain level the heating units will automatically power down to prevent them from being damaged, but the Nomiku avoids this by using a PTC heater, which physically can’t go over a set temp. The Nomiku also pops up with a warning when the water level drops too low and will tell you if the power supply was interrupted while cooking. It’s just overall dead-simple to use.
On the flip side, it has a smaller water level tolerance than the competition, and it’s very easy to knock the main dial and accidentally slightly change the temperature. And, most annoyingly, it has a power brick that’s separate from the main unit, which means that though the bit that attaches to your pot is a bit smaller, but then you have something extra on your countertop. And the power brick has a constant, slight, high-pitched whine.
You may be familiar with the Sansaire because it’s gotten more positive media coverage than any other sous vide device this year. Sansaire is a new company birthed from Kickstarter and just started shipping the product earlier this year (and it is frequently sold out.) It hasn’t had a chance to establish a record for reliability, but the fact that it’s only $200 and reportedly does everything the Anova does with an easier-to-use interface bodes well. We’ve read some great reviews — for Serious Eats, Sansaire was just narrowly bested by Anova — but we can’t recommend it just yet. We’re trying to get our hands on one to test it out.
PolyScience is a company that spearheaded much of the first generation of sous vide circulators. The Creative is their most affordable unit at $400; it’s built like a tank and extremely accurate. However, it’s unintuitive to use, huge and heavy. It can’t calibrate the temperature and doesn’t really do anything that you can’t get from a unit that’s half its price. The company has just announced an upcoming model called the Sous Vide Discovery, but it won’t be out until later this year, it’s still $300, seems saddled with the same interface, and doesn’t seem to do anything that our $200 pick won’t.
The SideKIC was our previous choice for this review, but since then, new models have come out that are much more effective for a minimal price difference. The things we disliked about the SideKIC (its slow heater and ultra-precise water level requirements) aren’t a problem on the Anova or Sansaire, which cost just $30 more. The one thing we still like about the SideKIC, though, was just how easy it was to attach to the side of a very small container. The rest of these really need large vessels like stockpots or the like.
A note for international readers
This year’s crop of sous vide circulators marks the first wide availability of 240 V alongside 120 V models. Anova claims they have a 240 V version in the works. Sansaire and Nomiku also both offer higher voltage versions, suitable for cooking in other nations. So for our readers in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and parts unknown, all three major picks should work in your country without blowing the hell up.
The step down
The way these switches work is pretty straightforward. You hook them up to the appliance, which must be very basic; it essentially has to be just on/off, with no digital settings or timers. Low-end rice cookers, crock-pots or coffee urns all work really well. Based on the water temperature, the switch simply turns the power on-and-off to keep it at the optimal temperature. If you pick up a direct heating element, you can even just put that directly into a cooler and fill it with water for larger projects. The manufacturers tell me they’ve even used it with a 150-quart ice chest, which is pretty damned impressive. And DorkFood will offer lifetime replacements for the unit itself.
The advantage to this type of cooker is pretty self explanatory: it’s dirt cheap, and it works well. Once the DSV settled down to the proper temperature, it varied minimally and was simple enough that’s it’s almost impossible to screw up. However, there’s a frustrating downside, too. These units rely on convection currents to maintain a uniform water temperature: the hot water rises and distributes, and the cool water sinks. Unfortunately, that’s not a very efficient system, and it’s very easy to get temperature variance within the cooking. The whole system relies on the temperature being uneven to create that flow. Now, that won’t matter for some things; a steak won’t freak out by a degree or two. But some food, like eggs, can change their results massively on just a minute temperature change. As Serious Eats’ J. Kenji López-Alt told me, eggs were the one thing he couldn’t get to work properly on a convection machine.
Now, you could add a circulator of some sort to the setup, essentially looping in an aquarium bubbler or something similar. But you’d need to make sure it’s rated for high enough temperatures to work in heated water, and it means yet another set of wires and power cords being run all over the damned place.
The DorkFood DSV also has the most basic control mechanism available. It just displays the current temperature, allowing you to set the target. No cook times, nothing fancy. But if you’re only dropping $100 on a device, the fact that it’s simple and it works should be enough.
The folks at DorkFood sent me this Oster rice cooker for use with the DSV, which worked just fine for all of my tests. Oster isn’t exactly known for quality cookware, but just about any basic rice cooker will do the job. People on Amazon also seem to like this Aroma model and this one from Panasonic, both of which are simple enough to work. I have seen some other places recommend using a coffee urn for sous vide cooking, but I’d be a bit wary of exposing your sealed food directly against a heating element.
The other sort of sous vide cooker you see offered is the water bath. This is a large all-in-one appliance that’s about the size of a bread maker. Rather than clipping onto the side of a pot like a circulator does, it has the pot built in. As such, you fill this enormous appliance up with water, and then it heats it all for you.
However, in our testing, these tend to be less accurate than the circulators; since they don’t push the water around at all, you get pockets of varying temperatures. And since they’re large appliances, filling and emptying them can be heavy and cumbersome. Frankly, you’re better off getting an Anova and a stockpot and just going from there.
The SousVide Supreme and its siblings are the most widely reviewed of the available sous vide machines, thanks to their early arrival on the scene. For instance, America’s Test Kitchen recommends the SousVide Supreme [subscription required], but it’s also the only device they tested.
The SousVide Supreme looks much like any other appliance you would find in your home and is pretty straightforward to use. It holds an impressive volume of water—even the smaller Demi model—and gains heat very quickly. However, the one thing that I did find frustrating about the SousVide Demi was the difficulty filling and emptying it. Lugging the entire thing over to the sink to load it up or pour it is less than ideal. And it’s not light. Okay, sure, you can fill it up with water from another container, but that’s not going to help when you need to get everything out of it. In my testing, it also seemed to run a couple of degrees cool; though not by a huge amount, the thermometer seemed 1-3°F off.
One significant point in its favor is lifespan. According to the manufacturer, the Demi has been tested for 6,000 cycles, or more than 16 years of daily use. Now, what a machine gets tested for and how it actually does in the kitchen are very different things, but that’s a pretty impressive number.
The SousVide Supreme Demi, though a very cool looking and professional device, didn’t cook my food any better or more accurately than either of the aforementioned products, so I don’t see it being worth the significant extra outlay. It’s nice that it’s a simple, all-in-one solution, but it’s double the price of the SideKIC, and I don’t see it as having double the utility.
However, the biggest issue is the AquaChef’s inability to maintain a consistent temperature. Even with my relatively basic thermometer setup, I noticed some extreme temperature changes between areas of the AquaChef, which at times reached unacceptably high 5˚F variations. Similarly, this guy noticed a 2.5°F variance, which can make a major difference in how some foods turns out. The whole point about sous vide is temperature reliability, and this cheapo, modified deep fryer doesn’t have that.
There’s a recently announced water bath called the Caso, which fixes a number of problems with the likes of the Sous Vide Supreme Demi. It has a circulator as well as drainage for easy emptying. There’s even a vacuum sealer, though it looks that works like a handheld electric model, so it will require special bags to use. But with a steep price of $500, the fact that it’s more than a cubic foot in size, and a timer that only runs for 12 hours, we just don’t see the point in getting this over the Anova.
On the opposite side of things, if you really want to give this type of cooking a try but don’t feel like dropping any cash, there are a multitude of homebrew ways to get something similar (but not quite as exact) at home. All you need is an accurate thermometer, a stove with fairly precise controls, and then ice and hot water on hand to fluctuate if needed. Just nose around the web a bit, and you’ll find dozens of DIY ways to play with sous vide. (Here are a few good ones from Serious Eats and Instructables.)
The vacuum sealer
As mentioned above, in order to cook with a sous vide machine, you need to put your food in a bag and get out all the air from around it. Some people swear that you need a vacuum sealer to do this (and on occasion it is useful for quick marinades and such) but there’s a free way of doing it with a simple ziplock bag that’ll work just as well in most situations.
Here’s how it works: put the food in the pouch, and almost completely seal it with just a small section remaining open. Immerse the pouch in a bucket of water, leaving the opening just above the water line. Allow the air to escape, slowly pushing the entire thing under, and then seal it just before you submerge the opening. You can see some more discussion of how to this here and here. In some cases, it’s even preferable to vacuum sealing. For example, the vacuum sealer can compress the meat in your burger, leaving you with less of a burger and more of a meat brick.
If you’re dead-set on buying a sealer, Cook’s Illustrated reviewed a handful a few years ago, looking at how they performed over long periods in the freezer. Their primary pick was a $400 high-end vacuum sealer, but to put it bluntly, that’s an obscene amount to pay unless you’re freezing almost all your food. For the comparatively short time periods that you’re looking at with sous vide (a few days at most), their runner-up was the FoodSaver V2240. Unfortunately, that model’s not in production any more, but either the $124 Foodsaver V2450 or the $80 Foodsaver V2244 seem like solid alternatives. The more expensive version seems to primarily benefit from having separate moist and dry settings and a place to store the plastic roll.
Things to look forward to
In August 2014, Nomiku announced a followup model to its original sous vide cooker in a Kickstarter campaign. Fully funded in just hours, the new cooker features a major hardware redesign that’s notably shorter and more rectangular than the original. It requires just 1.5 inches of water and can now be controlled over Wi-Fi with an app. It’s not expected out until March 2015 (with the usual Kickstarter caveats that that might be pushed back), and will retail for $250. When it’s available, we’ll definitely be sure to try and test it.
The Codlo is much like the DorkFood’s temperature controller, but in a much nicer looking package. Set to go for £100 (around $150), it’ll work in a similar way to the DSV, functioning as a barrier between a simple appliance and the wall. But again, it’s barely cheaper than a Sansaire or Anova, so why bother?
Anova is also planning regular updates, and their Senior Engineer Jeff Wu told me that “the updates and optimization schedules are always going on and will add a features on a 6 or 12 month schedule kinda like phone models every year.” It’s not clear if these will be hardware or software-based, and if the latter, if there will be a way of upgrading a model you already have.
The Mellow looks like an attempt to combine smart appliances with sous vide, as well as a few other neat features. Controlled by your smartphone (and smartphone only), it’ll actually chill the water to keep food safely refrigerated until the ideal time to bring it to a cooking temperature so that it’s perfectly done at exactly the time you want it. However, that’s a little bizarre, as one of the advantages to sous vide is that you can leave something cooking nearly indefinitely, as it won’t overcook in a correctly controlled water bath, so it’s arguable how useful that actually is as a feature. The Mellow isn’t set to ship until 2015, but is available for $400 as a pre-order; it will be $500 when it finally ships.
In May, Anova started a Kickstarter for a new sous vide unit, the Anova Precision Cooker. With limited numbers available at prices from $99-$159, it’s a notably more affordable version. Anova demoed a prototype of the new unit for us, and it has a much simpler on-unit interface and slightly reduced power draw (apparently, it flipped a lot of breakers before). But it also features some significant design improvements, like a Bluetooth chip that allows you to control the cooking from your smartphone, and a redesigned adjustable clamp system that lets you fit it in a much wider array of vessels. Serious Eats has a hands-on, and shows off some of the new features. It’s due to be available for purchase in October, but the usual Kickstarter caveats apply. As soon as we can get a model on hand for testing, we will update the piece with what we learn.
Wrapping it up
If you want to get into sous vide, we recommend grabbing an Anova for $200. For that price, you simply clip it onto the side of a pot, set the temperature and you’re in business. It’s simple, affordable, accurate and doesn’t take up much space.
If you’re trying to save money, the DSV is dead simple and great if you want an effective option at the lowest possible price point. Pair it with a $20 cooking appliance and it’ll do most of what you need. If you’re planning on much larger cooking projects, it can also be used for huge volumes of water, assuming you have a heating element that’ll heat a lot of water. Not bad for $100.
SideKIC: Sous Vide Review (Accuracy/Stability), February 23, 2012,"The initial heatup can be time consuming, but the accuracy and stability is totally fine for most home use. You might want to be careful about adding too much frozen product, because I assume if you lower the temperature of the water bath too low you are going to experience a fairly significant stabilization time as the heater will be working overtime to get back up to temperature."
SideKIC: Sous Vide on a Budget, SVKitchen, February 20, 2012,"As I write this, I’m still waiting for the chuck roast to finish its 24-hour cooking time, but I’m already convinced that the SideKIC is a winner."
Sous Vide Machine, America's Test Kitchen"Wondering if this machine was as good as its restaurant counterparts or just another overpriced toy, we followed the simple setup instructions and cooked fish, chicken, and steaks—all with perfect results. We had only one gripe: A vacuum sealer—another pricey investment—is necessary but not included. That said, the machine would make a great splurge gift."
Equipment: We Test the $199 Sous-Vide Circulator From Anova, Serious Eats, September 24, 2013,
Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator Product Review, The Black Peppercorn, October 2013
Hands On With The Anova Automatic Sous Vide System, Tech Crunch, September 9, 2013,
Sous Vide Fajitas, Happy Valley Chow, October 29, 2013,
Anova Sous Vide Circulator Available: anyone try it?, eGullet Forums, July 28, 2013
Anova Immersion Circulator, Studio Kitchen