Sous vide cookers (also known as circulators), were once high-priced appliances used primarily in professional kitchens. Today, it’s relatively easy to find sous vide cookers for the home chef that provide the same kind of precision this approach is celebrated for, at a much more affordable price point. So if you’re in the market for this revolutionary gadget, here are a few things to consider when shopping for the
best budget sous vide cookers.
The science of sous vide cooking is relatively straightforward. Food is placed in an airtight container or bag and submerged in a circulating water bath where it cooks to a preset temperature. Sous vide cookers provide the gentle heat and water flow to ensure consistent cooking conditions. This allows for precise cooking of anything from delicate seafood to large cuts of meats and vegetables.
When choosing a cooker, make sure it has a stable assembly, as it will attach directly to the side of your cooking vessel. You can use a straight-sided pot or purchase a
container to sit on your countertop. Manufacturers have started making smaller cookers that are easy to handle and store, but if you’re short on space, check the dimensions before you buy.
Some cookers are smarter than others, with apps and Wi-Fi capabilities. Cookers that let you manually choose from a wide range of temperatures offer the most control and versatility.
Keep scrolling, the
best budget sous vide cookers are gathered up below, all under $100 on Amazon.
The Best Budget Sous Vide Cooker: Anova Culinary Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker
Nano sous vide cooker from Anova Culinary offers hands-free monitoring of your cooking via an app, which seamlessly connects to your device via Bluetooth, but can also be operated manually. Sous vide cooking takes considerably longer than cooking over high heat, so it’s nice to have the ability to check on things like water temperature and elapsed time from a distance, and the Anova app will even tell you when your food is finished cooking. Another bonus of the app? It contains thousands of free recipes so you can sous vide with confidence. The compact design of the Nano is smaller than Anova’s classic circulator, but it can still heat enough water to prepare food to feed four people. If you really want to upgrade your sous vide setup, consider getting one of these Cellar Made lids (designed specifically for the Nano) to prevent evaporation during long cooks. What fans say: "I'm not a good cook. At all. But I can make absolutely amazing steaks with this thing. Thick-cut ribeyes vacuum-packed with my food sealer and cooked until the app says they're done. Sear them in an iron skillet with some butter and garlic and voilà. Perfect every time."
The Runner-Up: Inkbird Wi-Fi Sous Vide Cooker
sous vide cooker from Inkbird attaches securely to pots and other cooking vessels with a large, sturdy clip. The large readout and touch-screen controls allow you to easily program and monitor the cooker. At a glance, you can see the set temperature, current temperature, time left, and set time. But since the Inkbird is Wi-Fi enabled, you don’t have to babysit your food while it cooks or worry about over-cooking it — simply control the cooking via the connected app. The app allows for multiple users, so more than one person can monitor things like recipe progress and water level. This sous vide may not have as many rave Amazon reviews as the Nano above, but you'll save a bit of money and get many of the same features with this budget sous vide cooker. What fans say: "I love it. I'm new to this type cooking and very impressed how simple it was to set up and use. Just put my steaks in a freezer bag set temp and time. Threw them on my infrared grill for 2 minutes on each side. Perfect med tender juicy steaks. Very well made too. You can see and feel the quality of this. I have all the INKBIRD products and they have never let me down."
The Best Value: Yedi Housewares Total Package Sous Vide Cooker & Accessory Kit
If you’re new to sous vide cooking, this
kit from Yedi Houseware has everything you need to get started (minus the food and your favorite stockpot, of course). Not only do you get a cooker, but it also includes a hand pump, 20 reusable BPA-free vacuum sealing bags, sealing clips, and container clips to keep bags of food submerged. Bought separately, these items can add up, so it’s a great deal to get it all for less than $90. The kit also includes a recipe book and cooking time cheat sheet for foolproof sous vide results. A digital readout clearly displays temperature and time, and an LED light on the front of the unit lets you know when it’s in operation. If you run into any issues with your Yedi cooker, it comes with an impressive two-year warranty. What fans say: "I don’t have the biggest experience using this kind of cooking-ware but this was sooo easy to use. It comes with everything you could possibly need to start using it as soon as you get it. The packaging and instructions were great and it arrived sooner than expected. The best-tasting steak you can imagine - cooked with such a small and easy machine."
The Most Compact: RODONI Ultra Slim Sous Vide Machine
sleek sous vide cooker from Rodoni doesn’t have a bulbous top like many traditional cookers, and its slim, lightweight design stores easily for anyone with limited space. The cooker attaches with a simple spring-loaded clip, and offers the advantage of taking up less space in your pot or cooking vessel compared to other sous vides leaving plenty of room for food. Unlike the other cookers featured here, the Rodoni’s display is placed squarely atop the body of the cooker, rather than angled, but still shows the most relevant data, time and temperature, to make sure you can track your recipes. Best of all, this is the most affordable sous vide cooker on this list. What fans say: "I’ve been doing research on vacuum cooking and Sous Vide cookers for a while - this is a new way to cook, so there is no tons of info. There are also a lot of Sous Vide cookers on the market. As a proof of concept, I wanted a Sous Vide which is not too expensive and yet has all the features. This cooker has all the right balance between price and quality I need. I cooked Salmon and Sirloin steak and they came out great. It did take some time to cook but since you don’t need oven or range, you can set it for timer and come back after it’s done – no need to wait and monitor." Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently of Bustle's editorial and sales departments.