Can heat from 0 to 92 degrees Celsius and provides 0.1-degree accuracy. Offers Bluetooth connectivity to control the cooker via your smartphone from up to 10 metres away.
Can take a while to heat a large pot of water. Some find the temperature controls can be spotty.
Heats water from 40 to 90°C. Accurate within 1 degree. Easy-to-read display and touchscreen controls. Durable design features stainless steel and a comfortable rubber handle. Can be used with or without an Instant Pot.
Some users find it doesn’t heat the water uniformly so there may be cold spots.
Made from food-grade stainless steel. Temperature range is from 25 to 100°C. One-hand operation. Well-built and sturdy. Has a low-water automatic shut-off feature. 850 watts of power. Very quiet.
Manual is a little vague. Erratic scroll wheel. Some reports of units failing after a few months.
Features adjustable clamp, and a 360 degree directional pump. Accurate temperature. Display is easy to read. Downloadable app contains recipes, temperature guides, and tips.1,100 watts.
The machine's alert beep is very low. Some buyers received defective units.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
In the past, sous vide cooking was a technique used mainly by trained chefs. But you no longer have to be a professional to give sous vide cooking a try — not when there are so many effective sous vide machines that allow you to achieve perfect results in your own kitchen. If you’re new to the technique, you don’t even have to break the bank to start. Plenty of high-quality sous vide machines come in under $100.
Sous vide cooking is a process in which you place food in a vacuum-sealed or zipper-locked plastic bag and drop it in a pot of water heated to a specific temperature below boiling. You can add herbs, spices, marinades, and other seasonings to the bag with the food, and there’s no flame or smoke, which makes overcooking almost impossible.
But it’s important to find the right sous vide machine, particularly if your budget is under $100. To get the best results, you’ll need to make sure you select the machine with the right wattage, temperature accuracy, and temperature range for your needs. Our handy shopping guide has all the information you need to choose the perfect budget-priced sous vide machine, as well as some specific product recommendations for our favorites.
There are two types of at-home sous vide machines: immersion circulators and water ovens.
Immersion circulators are easy to use. You fill a pot (nearly any pot in your kitchen will do) with water and attach the circulator for sous vide cooking. The immersion circulator sits in the water, heating it and circulating it through the pot so the temperature stays constant. The small, compact nature of an immersion circulator is nice if you want to take your sous vide with you to another location, and storing it is a breeze.
Water ovens come with a container, so you don’t have to furnish a pot. A water oven heats and circulates water much like an immersion circulator does, but it’s a much larger appliance, so it may be harder to store in your kitchen.
Nearly all sous vide machines that cost less than $100 are immersion circulators.
Wattage affects how powerful a sous vide machine is and how quickly it can reach your desired temperature. Machines with a higher wattage heat up faster, so the cooking process doesn’t take as long.
In our target price range of under $100, you can find sous vide machines with between 800 and 1,100 watts. If you buy a sous vide with less than 800 watts, be aware that you’ll have to wait quite some time for the water to reach the proper temperature.
It’s important that a sous vide machine is accurate in terms of water temperature because, if the temperature is off by just a few degrees, it can affect how your food turns out and could even lead to overcooking.
When you’re shopping, pay attention to the increments at which you’re able to adjust the temperature. Some low-end machines may only allow you to adjust in one-degree increments. Other sous vides are precise to 0.1 degrees. The smaller the increments a machine offers, the more accurate you can expect it to be.
Most sous vide machines under $100 are immersion circulators, and they’re roughly the same size as a hand blender. That makes them easy to store in most kitchens. However, there is some variation among immersion circulators in terms of height; they range from approximately 12 to 15 inches. The smaller the circulator, the easier it will be to stash in a drawer or kitchen cabinet.
The temperature range of a sous vide machine is an important feature: the wider the temperature range, the more versatility you have when it comes to cooking different types of protein and other foods. Some machines have a minimum temperature as low as 32°F, while others have a low temperature closer to 75°F. Most sous vide machines have a maximum temperature between 194°F and 197°F. However, there are a few you models under $100 that heat up to over 200°F.
A sous vide machine should have a clear, easy-to-read display, but some are better than others. A lot of the entry-level machines in the lower price range have simple LCD displays that are easy to read but not very bright. Higher-end sous vide machines often have backlit LED displays that are sharp and clear.
Many sous vide machines under $100 have simple button controls, but a few have touchscreen controls.
When you’re using a sous vide machine, it’s normal for the water to produce some steam. Some models have a built-in steam shield, which keeps the steam from seeping into the machine’s electronic components. Because moisture can damage electronics, this feature can help your sous vide machine last longer.
Some sous vide machines under $100 offer Bluetooth connectivity and a machine-connected app. This allows you to monitor, control, or adjust your machine from your iPhone or Android device. You can also receive cooking notifications when you’re not in the kitchen that allow you to track your food’s progress.
Sous vide machines under $100 vary in price based on wattage, temperature range, accuracy, and other features. Most cost between $39 and $99.
The most affordable sous vide machines under $100 usually offer approximately 800 watts, a smaller temperature range, and an accuracy of +/- 1 degree. The typical cost is between $39 and $59.
Mid-range sous vide machines under $100 usually offer 800 to 1,000 watts, a good-size temperature range, and an accuracy of +/- .5 degree. They may have some special features, like an LED display and touchscreen controls. Price ranges from $59 to $79.
The most expensive sous vide machines under $100 usually offer 1,000 or more watts, a large temperature range, and an accuracy of +/- .1 degree. Special features may include an LED display, touchscreen controls, Bluetooth connectivity, and an adjustable clamp. Price runs between $79 and $99.
The OMorc Sous Vide Cooker is an excellent option if you’re looking for a basic model with a few extras, such as full touchscreen controls and an auto-off feature that activates when the water level in the pot gets too low. It also offers extremely quiet operation and is accurate within 0.1 degree.
If you’re looking for a powerful sous vide machine that can heat water quickly, consider the 1,100-watt KitchenBoss Sous Vide Immersion Circulator. It comes with 10 vacuum sealer bags, so you’re ready to start cooking as soon as you get the machine out of the box.
Q. What foods can I prepare with a sous vide machine?
A. A wide range of proteins, including steak, pork, chicken, and fish, are all suitable for cooking in a sous vide machine. Eggs, shrimp, and lobster are good candidates, too. You can even sous vide vegetables like carrots, potatoes, beets, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, green beans, and eggplant.
Q. How should I prepare my food for sous vide cooking?
A. For a flavorful meal, season your protein with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and/or other spices when it’s in the bag, taking care to coat both sides of the meat. To impart as much flavor as possible, you could also add a liquid marinade, sauce, or aromatics like onions and fresh herbs to the bag.
Q. Do I have to have a vacuum sealer to cook with a sous vide machine?
A. No. While a vacuum sealer is the easiest way to create an airtight bag for cooking sous vide, you don’t necessarily need one. A simple plastic zippered bag can work well as long as you get all the air out of the bag before adding it to the water.