Looking to up your kitchen game? After conducting a detailed analysis, where we compared dozens of products, we bought the 11 best sous vide machines and tested them head-to-head to determine which sous vide reigns supreme in the kitchen appliance world. We measured their temperature accuracy using lab-grade equipment and compared these products' circulation and cooking performance head-to-head. We also looked at how intuitive and easy they are to use and highlighted any smart feature functions. Check out our complete review to see which product came out on top, which is the most user-friendly, and which is your best bet when shopping on a budget.
The KitchenBoss G320 is not only competent and versatile, but it performs exceptionally well for such a budget-friendly device. It circulates the contents of a 9.5-quart container in a remarkable 12 seconds flat. This, paired with an efficient heating element, achieves an extremely fast heat time of 37 minutes and the ability to hold a very stable temperature over the course of your cooking. The dial-button combination interface is easy to use, complete with 20 recipes with pre-programmed times and temperatures. With a smoothly spinning screw clamp, it is easy to securely fasten to any container, and the IPX7 waterproof rating ensures that the delicate interior machinery is safe from moisture — even if it becomes completely submerged.
Our only issue with the KitchenBoss is the magnetic dial. The dial is attached to the sous vide through magnetics, which is done to achieve the IPX7 waterproof rating. The magnets tend to get a little sticky, which makes it difficult to control the temperature. This inconvenience is a small price to pay for the performance of the KitchenBoss, as well as its amazing waterproof rating. Whether you are a seasoned sous vide chef or you're looking to break into this amazingly convenient way of cooking your proteins and veggies, the KitchenBoss is an excellent purchase. While it not only offers up the highest level of performance, it is also one of the better-priced models in our fleet.
The Keylitos Sous Vide Cooker is one of the least expensive options in our test suite. It heats up quickly — from 48° to 147° in 38 minutes — and is one of the fastest in our test suite. It also heats back up after dropping frozen food in it within 35 seconds, while lower-performing models take two to 12 minutes. Like some of the more expensive models, the Keylitos is protected by a waterproof rating of IXP7, protecting it even when completely submerged.
Adjusting the time and temperature entails pressing a series of touch buttons. A long press will adjust the time by three degrees and the temperature by 30 minutes. Meanwhile, a short press changes the time by one minute and the temperature by 0.1 degrees. Needless to say, there's a learning curve to the process. Adjusting the temperature by such small increments can also take a while. Luckily, it doesn't take long to catch on, and we feel it is a small price to pay for this low-cost sous vide unit. It is also worth noting that the attachment style is a large plastic clip. It has steps to ensure you have some control over the submergence level, but we prefer a screw clamp. If you are looking to start your sous vide cooking journey and still want enough money to buy a quality cut of meat after, the Keylitos is the perfect option.
If you don't need a full-sized sous vide machine, consider a smaller device like the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker Nano. This sous vide can keep temperatures super-stable for look cooking times. It is simple, intuitive, and features outstanding temperature control. Though it doesn't circulate as fast as some models, it still circulates quite well, and we love the smart features available through the Anova Culinary app. You can find a number of recipes to make from pre-programmed instructions or create your own in this app and save them to use for future meals.
The heating unit of the Anova Nano is smaller and less powerful than some larger models, so it takes longer to heat up initially. It can also take a bit of time to overcome the addition of food and return to temperature. If you're shopping on a slightly tighter budget and still want a premium sous vide that excels at holding temperatures, then you'll find this unit is a great choice. Bear in mind, it requires some patience and willingness to preheat your water beforehand.
The Greater Goods Precision Cooker is a very user-friendly option, also at a steal of a price. It has a large LCD screen that is easy to read, even from across the room. The large dial, which controls the cook time and temperature, spins without a hitch, which makes it easy to adjust. The circulation is efficient, resulting in a fast heat and decent recovery time. The large screw clamp is sturdy and reliable, making it easy to clip to any tub, Tupperware, or pot, and the sleek design is a crowd-pleaser. As the name suggests, this sous vide is also extremely quiet, so those especially affected by noise will appreciate this appliance.
Compared to our other top performers, the Greater Goods has a slightly less accurate temperature. That said, the margin of error is still less than one degree, which is pretty insignificant regarding the overall quality of the experience. Additionally, the unit must be running to set the time and temperature, which is somewhat inconvenient. However, it does not affect the outcome of the food you're making. If you want a super quiet, budget-friendly sous vide, the Greater Goods is a prime choice.
Sous vide machines were subjected to more than 16 individual tests to assess their performance. We split our testing process into three weighted metrics — Temperature, Circulation, and Ease of Use — each composed of different side-by-side tests. We used calibrated lab-grade thermometers and temperature loggers for our thermal accuracy tests. The most important rating is the temperature, which corresponds to 40% of the overall score. We used lab-grade equipment to measure and compare the temperature accuracy of each product. This rating is informed by four specific tests comprised of time to heat (10% of the rating), recovery time (30%), temperature stability (30%), and temperature accuracy (30%). This review also utilizes research and observations from multiple testers to round out our information and compare each competitor's performance.
Our testing of sous vides is divided across three rating metrics:
Temperature tests (40% of overall score weighting)
Circulation tests (30% weighting)
Ease of use tests (30% weighting)
We've purchased and tested 11 sous vide machines. Our extensive testing put each option through a multi-point performance analysis to rate temperature, circulation, and ease of use. We spent dozens of hours making all sorts of things under vacuum, pushing the limits of what you can cook in a hot water bath in our side-by-side cooking tests. We also used dye to visually assess how well each immersion circulator circulates. Finally, we examined the convenience and ease of use for each appliance, looking for the one that provided the most user-friendly and intuitive experience while trying out any connected smart features that a few of these machines have. To rank and compare each product's circulation capabilities, we designed a custom dye injecting apparatus so we could watch the fluid move. We also convened a panel of judges to try out each machine to decide the easiest and most intuitive to use.
Our sous vide testing team is led by Michelle Powell and David Wise. Michelle has over ten years of professional culinary experience, ranging from managing an artisanal bakery to competing in latte art competitions. Most importantly, she brings a no-nonsense attitude towards kitchen appliances that don't work as they should. David has formal training as a mechanical engineer and has been an avid home cook and baker for the past five years. He is particularly passionate about mixing science and cooking — the foundation of cooking sous vide. His thermal fluids and heat transfer education came in handy when designing our temperature accuracy and circulation tests. Hayley is the daughter of a chef and a full-time van lifer. Living on the road means less space for big kitchen appliances, but that doesn't stop her from eating gourmet. Devices like the sous vide are the perfect road trip companion.
Analysis and Test Results
We tested each product to help provide the details you need to find the right product for your needs and budget. We tested temperature, circulation, and ease of use.
While price often reflects quality with kitchen supplies, we are happy to report that you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to get a really great sous vide machine. The KitchenBoss is an absolute steal. Price-wise, it falls somewhere in the middle and offers top-notch performance. This sous vide will easily complete all your cooking needs without breaking the bank.
If you have a smaller budget but don't want to give up cook time and accuracy, the Keylitos is another fantastic deal. This one is on the friendlier side of budget-friendly, and the only room for improvement this sous vide has is in the ease of use category. Once you get the hang of it, the LCD screen and buttons are easy to navigate, but there is a bit of a learning curve.
If you like the idea of extra features, then the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker Nano is a good option. It costs just a bit less than the top-tier models but a smidge more than the Keylitos but worth it if you prefer your sous vide to have an app.
Since heating water is easily the most important function of a sous vide machine, our temperature metric accounts for 40% of the final score for each product. In this metric, we looked at the temperature accuracy of each product, the time they take to heat, the recovery time after adding cold food items, and the ability to hold a constant temperature over long periods.
The Keylitos and Kitchen Boss G320 are by far the best performers in our temperature category. Both offer a sub-40-minute initial heat time and speedy recovery times. The Keylitos recovers from three frozen burger patties in 35 seconds, while the KitchenBoss only takes 10. They hold pretty stable and accurate temperatures over the course of an hour, ensuring that your food is cooked the same every time.
The Breville, All-Clad, and Greater Goods are also top performers in temperature. These models offer quick heat time, recovery time, and stability but struggle with temperature accuracy. Still, none of them deviate more than one degree, so your food should not be heavily affected.
Another honorable mention is the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker Nano, which scored exceptionally well in our stability test, where we vacuum-sealed iButton temperature loggers inside sous vide bags to assess performance. It holds a stable temperature within 0.1°F for 60 minutes, with the loggers failing to detect any temperature variation whatsoever. However, there is a slight temperature inaccuracy. The Anova Culinary Precision Cooker Nano averages about 0.29°F above the set temperature. It also does pretty well in temperature recovery, taking roughly three minutes to climb back up to 135°F after we dropped in three vacuum-sealed frozen hamburger patties.
The Anova Culinary Precision Cooker AN500-US00 displayed good accuracy, with an average discrepancy of 0.09°F from our measurements with a control thermometer at various temperature set points. It also recovers after only three minutes when we drop the frozen burgers in, but it doesn't have the fastest initial heat time. It took 55 minutes to reach the target temperature when filled with cold water. Our stability test showed some temperature oscillation, spending 11 minutes of the hour-long test a little off from its steady-state temperature, though it was only off by an average of 0.16°F.
The Breville Joule 1100W has an average error of 0.39°F above its set temperatures. However, it is pretty fast at heating water, requiring only 36 minutes to raise the temperature from 48°F to 147°F. The Breville Joule also recovers pretty quickly, taking two minutes to regain the set temperature after the frozen food is introduced. It is also good at holding a steady-state temperature. In our hour-long test, it spent 10% of the time off of its baseline temperature by an average of 0.09°F.
The Sousvide Art 850W Immersional Circulator is a little more accurate than the Breville Joule 1100W but showed more error than the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker AN500-US00. The Sousvide Art averaged about 0.14°F under the set temperatures in our test. It performed exceptionally well in maintaining a temperature — our loggers picked up no fluctuations whatsoever. However, it is a bit slow at heating.
Next, we compare and score how well each machine circulates water, which is responsible for 30% of the total score for each product. The more circulation there is in the water bath, the more homogeneous the temperature will be, and the less likely it is for any cold or hot spots. To measure this, we inject 10 mL of diluted food dye into the same spot in the bath for each machine, and then time how long it takes for the color to become uniform. We used the same container and water amounts for each product and ensured the water was at the same temperature to ensure the dispersion rate was the same.
The All-Clad and Greater Goods both take 10 seconds or less to completely circulate all the water in the tank. This is a very impressive feat. The Kitchen Boss follows closely with a 12-second blend time.
The Anova Culinary Precision Cooker AN500-US00, the VPCOK Sous Vide Cooker, and the Wancle Thermal Immersion Circulator also deliver top results in this metric. The Wancle and the VPCOK tie at 14 seconds to disperse the dye to achieve a uniform color. The Anova AN500-US00 was just behind, taking only a second longer than the other two.
The Breville Joule 1100W was the next fastest, requiring 21 seconds to achieve a complete mix. There was a bit of a jump in time for the next product, with the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker Nano taking 48 seconds to disperse the dye completely.
There is an even larger jump in time for the Sousvide Art, which needs over two minutes to fully incorporate the dye, earning it a below-average score. The Instant Accu Slim finished at the back of the group for this metric, earning the lowest score for taking more than three minutes to mix in the dye thoroughly.
Ease of Use
Our last round of tests dealt with how convenient and easy to operate these products are. This also accounts for 30% of the total score. Primarily, we looked at each product's interface, how it attaches to the sous vide bath, and how easy it is to use the smartphone companion app if there is one.
Overall, the Anova models, the Culinary Precision Cooker AN500-US00 and the Culinary Precision Cooker Nano are the easiest and most intuitive to use in the entire bunch. Both machines offer a companion smartphone app and controls on the device itself. We like that the app is simple and easy to understand, allowing you to select a specific recipe or enter a custom time and temperature. You can also save custom recipes, mark your favorite ones, and start or stop either Anova remotely.
The controls on these machines are very similar, with a simple display and a few touchscreen buttons to manually set the time and temperature. We find this helpful if we didn't feel like pulling out our phones or if someone else was using it who hadn't set up the app. Both models have a screw-on clamp to attach them to the side of the sous vide vessel with a smooth action that allows you to install or remove them quickly.
The Breville Joule 1100W can only be controlled through its smartphone app, which we found to be inconvenient at times. However, the app is straightforward to use, with an entire history of the recipes you made with the Breville Joule 1100W and an extensive library of preconfigured options from which to choose. Offering both a clip for the side of a vessel or a magnetic base to stand it up in a metal pan, the Breville Joule 1100W is one of the easiest models to attach to a wide variety of containers. It also requires much less water than other models to operate, so you don't need to fill a giant container if you're only sous vide-ing a small item.
The Greater Goods and Kitchen Boss G320 both rock a dial-button combination, although the Greater Goods dial is the button, which gives this machine a sleek look. Both dials glide smoothly, and the screw clamps are versatile and stable. The Kitchen Boss offers pre-programmed recipes, which are very convenient, but the magnetic dial takes some getting used to.
The All-Clad and Keylitos are also worth mentioning. The All-Clad offers a button-dial system for adjusting time and temperature but requires a slow and steady hand to ensure that you do not jump from adjusting by the minute to adjusting by the hour. The Keylitos uses touch buttons and a series of long and short presses to adjust the time and temperature by various increments. We also prefer a screw clamp to a plastic clip, which the Keylitos has. Fortunately, the Keylitos has three steps that make the level of submersion somewhat adjustable.
We hope this review will help you pick the perfect sous vide machine for your kitchen and feel ready to try this cooking method. All of these machines will heat water, and we could cook delicious meals in all of them. Some were just more consistent and easier to use in our tests. Additionally, we always recommend that you pay close attention to food safety standards with this type of cooking and leave yourself a safety margin since your machine might be a few degrees colder than it claims.
Hayley Thomas, Matt Spencer, Michelle Powell, & David Wise
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.