Best 10 Sous Vide Cookers
As Of July 2022
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Take Your Meals To The Next Level With The Best Sous Vide
We are no longer living in an age where you’d have to part with a fat cheque for a well-done meal at a high-end restaurant. You might be no pro-chef but with the new kitchen appliances like pressure cookers and slow cookers, making these five-start hotel meals at your kitchen is getting easier. Today, we are here to recommend one kitchen machine that has only found its way from commercial kitchens to your home space, not so long ago. The sous vide machine is the kitchen machine you need to cook meals like steak and eggs with precision.
New as these kitchen appliances are to the home kitchens, the market is not short of recommended appliances. Since the introduction of Anova precision cooker, the first home sous vide machine, other manufacturers have joined in to provide a wide array of choices. We are not complaining, at least it gives home cooks a chance to be self-made sous vide cooks. But how do you know which appliance from the wide selection of products in the market is the best sous vide cooker? What do you have to keep in mind when you start shopping for one?
Let’s get to work, because we are here to answer all these queries, and get your cooking skills to a whole new level this year!
What is Sous Vide?
Sous vide, pronounced as “sue-veed” is a French word with a literal meaning of “under vacuum.” Sous vide cooking means cooking food for a long time under low temperatures in a vacuum. The technique is all about incorporating precision in your cooking to achieve your level of alacrity. It also means having the patience to wait for your food to cook because, with the low cooking temperature, the food will be cooking longer than the traditional cooking practices.
How Does Sous Vide Work?
While the name sounds intimidating, the cooking technique is quite simple and easy to follow, even for an amateur cook. All you have to do is attach the machine to a cooking pot filled with water. You will set your preferred cooking time and temperature, and the machine will warm the water to the precise temperature you indicate.
The machine has a metal coil, which heats the water with circulation. Unlike traditional cooking where the raw food goes into the pot, sous vide involves packaging the food in a jar or zip-lock bag and inserting it into the pot. The tight packaging traps all the nutrients of the food you are cooking, while the slow cooking ensures your food is cooked evenly.
What are the benefits of cooking with sous vide?
Here is a list of how you will be benefited by cooking with sous vide.
1. Precise Cooking
Perhaps the most significant benefit to get from this machine is the precise cooking, especially when dealing with meals like steaks. Compared to a traditional pot, sous vide device provides a smooth, warm and consistent vacuum heat, which traditional pots do not offer.
The low temperature and a longer cooking time ensure that the food cooks through and through without overcooking or burning. To beat the inconsistent cooking of meat, sous vide will do the job, delivering evenly cooked meals as you enjoy at your favourite restaurant.
Sous vide cooking ensures the food you make retains its nutritional value. With the traditional cooking practice, like boiling and steaming where the temperatures are high, food loses its nutritious value. On the other end, this cooking technique uses moderate temperatures with foods trapped in a tightly sealed plastic bag or jar. This ensures bacteria are killed, but a lot of heat is not applied so that your food loses its nutritious value.
3. Retaining Food Flavour
Speaking of vacuum cooking, by cooking food in a sealed jar or bag, you end up trapping the juices and the flavours of the food and your marinations. These do not get lost through evaporation like it would when grilling your marinated steak. In fact, with sous vide, you do not have to marinate your food for hours or days to absorb all the flavours.
4. Food Durability
Compared to foods you make using high temperatures, any food you make using a sous vide cooker lasts longer. The sous vide cooking method ensures food uses less oxidation, which leads to a longer shelf life up to 10 days. If you cook food in the usual method and package it in a sealed container, it will mostly last for about 48 hours to less than a week.
5. Spend Less Time In The Kitchen
Do you enjoy spending hours in the kitchen to make the perfect meal? Or, like us, you are ready to trade those long hours of marinating food and checking over the cooking pot every passing second to ensure your food cooks through or does not burn? Because sous vide saves you from all this hassle.
Just set the device, choose the cooking temperature and time, insert the bag or jar with your food and off you go.
When you are searching for the perfect sous vide for your kitchen, there are a few features that you need to bear in mind. Here is our list to help you decide.
Speed and Power Wattage
Sous vide cookers have a power wattage between 800W and 1200W, where those with higher wattage cost more. High wattage means the sous vide heats up the water faster, with the 800W and 1200W heating water at room temperature to 135°Fahrenheit in about 20 and 15 minutes simultaneously.
Although this does not really impact how long your food cooks, it affects how fast the water heats back up when you insert your food into the hot water.
Many manufacturer’s are now incorporating digital controls on sous vide cookers, like Bluetooth and WiFi comparability for effortless control from your mobile phone. Others include a digital control or an app, saving you from getting up anytime you need to change any cooking settings.
A timer is an essential feature to have in sous vide, allowing you to track the cooking time and always know how much longer you have to wait. It also lets you know when you have the right water temperature, between 4°C and 60°C that kills bacteria. If you have no idea how much time you have before the water starts cooling, bacteria can begin regrowing if the water cools with your food still in the water.
While precision in cooking is the primary goal of this machine, there is probably no device that offers 100% accuracy. But what is the degree of accuracy or the margin of error? The closer the device is to 100% accuracy, or the lower the margin of error, the higher the food's cooking consistency. The preferred margin is ± 0.3°C (± 0.5°F). Anything within a margin of ± 0.6°C (± 1.0°F) will not give you the cooking accuracy you are going for and will have a significant impact on your food.
Specifically, flexibility with the cooking container you can use. This applies when buying an immersion circulator. Immersion circulators are affordable and work with a wide range of cooking pots and containers, but you need to confirm what container the immersion circulator you want is compatible with. You will also need to check the recommended container size and whether the circulator heats the water in large containers to sufficient temperatures.
What are the types of sous vides?
When shopping for a sous vide device, you need to keep in mind the two available types. While both types use vacuum sealers and food sealed in bags, you can see a difference between the vacuum cooking process and the build.
Sous Vide Immersion Circulator
The first type is the sous vide immersion circulator, a standalone circulator you immerse in a cooking pot with water. The immersion circulator will heat the water, then circulate it around the pot to ensure even heating and cooking of the food.
The advantage of getting this is not just its affordability compared to the other type but its ability to work with most cooking pots. This way, you do not have to purchase extra equipment. Just fill your cooking pot with water and lamp the immersion circulator and you are good to go. These are also small and compact, making it quite easy for one to pack it when travelling. It also uses less storage space in your drawers.
Sous Vide Water Oven
The second type is the water oven, referred to as a countertop water bath or a bathtub. Unlike the previous type you can immerse in your regular cooking pot, this one comes with its own inbuilt water bath. It also does not circulate the heated water, which can lead to inconsistencies in the cooking. A water bath is larger, usually the size of a microwave. These are also on the higher end of the price band, with water baths going for £400.00 or more.
What Foods Can I Make With Sous Vides?
Healthy and delicious as sous vide cooked meals are, you can not use this kitchen machine in all types of food. The best foods to cook using sous vide machine include tough cuts of meat, pork, lamb, eggs, and some veggies like carrots. Soft foods, like fish fillets, steak fillets, liver and hollandaise, are difficult to cook in sous vide. Most often, these foods become more delicate in texture and can dissolve.
Sometimes, what you can cook or cannot cook in sous vide narrows down to personal preferences. However, it is great to follow the manufacturer's instructions or other professionals on what to cook in the sous vide. Luckily, the internet is not short of recipes, so you can be as creative as you want.
Do Sous vide cookers Cook Faster?
As much as sous vide device makes it possible for you to cook foods to your ideal alacrity using hot water, it does not mean that the food cooks faster. In reality, sous vide cooking is slower than traditional cooking methods. If you are in a hurry to fix a meal, an instant pot is what you probably need to use. But for amazing lunches and dinners on weekend or holidays, the sous vide will help you enchant everyone with your dishes.
Always keep in mind...
Are you ready to be the sous vide connoisseur of your household? All you need is sous vide cooker, which is quite affordable than one would expect, and you are on the way to making the most flavourful dishes. And with our buying guide, you will know exactly what you want: from the type of sous vide cooker that meets your needs to the ideal budget and the features to look for.
This is the kitchen machine that’s been missing from your kitchen so don’t wait any longer to make it yours. Find the best sous vide cookers here and happy cooking!