Sous vide is a method of cooking used by chefs in commercial kitchens to achieve professional cooking results. And while early sous vide machines are heavy and expensive, more compact immersion circulators now allow home cooks to prepare restaurant-quality meals.
If you’re just as keen as I am to achieve cooking perfection with ease, then read on this review and buying guide. I’ve picked out some of the best sous vide machines in Australia to help you decide which device is right for your culinary goals!
Top 5 Sous Vide Machines in Australia for 2023
How do sous vide machines work? These innovative devices cook your vacuum-sealed food in a water-filled pot in precise temperature control. The outcome would be perfect doneness and consistent results without the guesswork. Food stays moist and flavourful, too. And the best part is, chances of overcooking is close to none.
To do this style of cooking, you have to clip your sous vide cooker onto a pot with enough water. Next, you need to put your food items in vacuum sealer bags before placing them in the water bath to cook.
Then set the timer and temperature control of your device to start cooking. Once done, you can broil, grill or sear your food to get a flavourful crust. With this simplified technique, sous vide is no longer for the pros and techies!
Ready for sous vide? These best sous vide machines in Australia will have you serving perfectly cooked steaks and eggs at home!
|Image||Model||Height & Weight||Power||Temperature Range||Best Features||Where to Buy|
|750W||0 to 92C with ±0.10C accuracy||Affordable and beginner-friendly smart cooker||Check on Amazon AU|
|1200W||0 to 92C with ±0.05C accuracy||Ultra-precise unit that suits chefs and pros||Check on Amazon AU|
|1000W||0 to 92C with ±0.10C accuracy||Compact yet powerful device for all types of cooks||Check on Amazon AU|
|1100W||Up to 99C with ±0.07C accuracy||Durable for discerning home cooks and culinary students||Check on Amazon AU|
|1000W||25 to 99C with 0.10C accuracy||Stable and precise unit at a reasonable price point||Check on Amazon AU|
Anova Precision Cooker Nano
If you’re a sous vide beginner and want to get a feel of this cooking method, then the Anova Precision Cooker Nano is for you. First-timers will surely appreciate the clear visuals of the manual and the magnetic cooking guide included for quick reference.
Compared with similar machines, this one is lighter, smaller and more affordable. Being a product of a trusted brand and sous vide expert is a big plus, too. And while it’s a cheaper Anova model, it doesn’t fall short in terms of construction, performance and features.
The wand, for instance, feels robust, even with a polycarbonate plastic exterior. You cannot disassemble it for a thorough cleaning, though. But this material contributes to the machine’s weight and water resistance.
The all-black, sleek design of the Anova Precision Cooker Nano also makes it look less industrial. And thanks to its shorter tube with smaller diameter, this compact device can stay alongside your whisk and spatula in the kitchen drawer.
When it comes to ease of use, the Anova Precision Cooker Nano is just as exceptional. You’ll have no problem operating it using the built-in touchscreen interface. You can easily set the temperature and timer using the + and – buttons.
Large digital figures are displayed clearly on its lighted screen as well. And while at work, the Nano emits a hardly distracting noise level.
Alternatively, you can use its Bluetooth connection to operate it via its matching Anova app, which works in both Android and iOs devices. With this feature, you can monitor the water temperature, get notifications on your cooking status and turn the machine off using your mobile phone.
Aside from allowing remote operation and monitoring, the Anova app is a growing database of recipes, videos and cooking tips. You can even use it to create and share your masterpiece!
I especially like the indicators or alerts the Nano has to make cooking easier, particularly among multitaskers. For example, the strip of light right below the control panel guides you when the water is warming up or has hit temperature.
Also, instead of shutting off after cooking, the Nano will keep the water bath within the target temperature. The Anova app will even show you how long the machine has been on keep warm mode. This handy feature is crucial when cooking foods near the danger zone (54.4C).
Despite its top-notch design and performance, the Nano has a few problem areas. Its clamp, for example, is not adjustable like the other Anova machines. For this reason, you need to have a pot with a suitable height or depth to make it work.
The clamp doesn’t open wide either, so it’s not ideal for thick water bath containers. I do like the big threads on the screw, though, as these make the clamp quick to tighten up.
Heating power is also less with the Nano. Its 750W motor needs several minutes before you can cook with your heated water. It may not be an issue for some, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a fast immersion circulator.
One last thing to note is that it lacks a Wi-Fi feature. You probably won’t find this problematic if you use the app while standing next to the unit. However, the timers of the wand and the app can fall out of sync when you walk too far away.
Anova Precision Cooker Pro
For absolute sous vide enthusiasts, seasoned home cooks and chefs, you’ll need a professional-grade machine that’s heavy-duty, ultra-precise and ready for serious cooking. The Anova Precision Cooker Pro is your perfect match. Its construction alone suggests expert engineering.
This well-made kitchen appliance has a stainless steel and Teflon-coated aluminium body, with a removable skirt covering the heater for thorough cleaning. It has gone through drop tests, too, so it suits even the clumsiest of cooks!
Another excellent feature of this unit is its IPX-7 rating, which makes the machine submersible in water up to 1-metre deep for 30 minutes. So, no need to panic if you accidentally dropped it in your water-filled container.
Even its large and clear touchscreen display is waterproof. Here, you can manually set the timer and temperature setting with ease. It also emits a high-quality sound every time you press.
Similar to the Nano version, you can connect your Anova Pro to your Wi-Fi and pair it with a matching app for remote control and monitoring. Now, you can be a sous vide pro while in your garden or at the office!
One of the best features of the Anova Pro is its detachable and adjustable clamp. I like the idea that you can slide it up or down to match the height of your container or cooking pot. You can also twist or swivel its mount to get a better view of the screen.
Instead of a clip-on attachment, Anova uses a screw-on clamp design. This way, your sous vide circulator stays in place while cooking, no matter the size of your cooking vessel.
Power and precision are the features that make Anova Pro a sous vide star. With a whopping 1200W power, this unit can maintain a set temperature of up to 100L of water and cook for 10,000 hours without stopping.
It also has a flow rate of 12L per minute, allowing you to hit temperature at a faster pace. Kitchen perfectionists will find its 0.05C temperature accuracy very impressive, too. With these features combined, home cooks can entertain a crowd with restaurant-quality meals every time.
The only issue with this sous vide machine is probably its price. Well, Anova made this high-end machine to meet the needs of the most active and demanding users. But will home cooks find it a worthy investment?
If you do a lot of sous vide cooking, then yes, a commercial-grade Anova Pro is a must buy. If not, you might want to consider budget-friendly options that can deliver nearly the same cooking results.
Anova Precision Cooker with Wi-Fi
The Anova Precision Cooker with Wi-Fi is among the first immersion circulators available, making it also Anova’s best-selling machine. What’s more, its remodelled version now boasts a more lightweight and compact design, similar to its Nano brother.
But what makes this Precision Cooker better is its 1000W motor. With this level of power, your water bath can hit temperature faster and work with larger containers. And like any Anova sous vide machines, this one is just as durable and long-lasting.
Sporting the typical industrial look with metal and polycarbonate plastic parts, it may not look as sleek as other well-designed options. However, I do like its well-built look and feel. It’s water-resistant with an IPX-7 rating, so you don’t have to worry about splashes or moisture damage.
Plus, its removable cap and skirt, which cover the heating element, are both dishwasher safe – perfect for stress-free cleaning. The detachable clamp also ensures a secure fit to most cooking vessels or containers.
Its Wi-Fi connectivity and large touchscreen display make it one versatile machine. With the device connected to your home network, you can control the machine using the Anova app and monitor it while doing something else.
Pairing the device with your home network may take a few tries, though, as indicated in some customer reviews. The connection would have been better if its upgrade included a Bluetooth feature.
If your region has signal issues or you don’t want to cook with an app, you can always operate the unit manually. You might encounter some response delay on the controls when setting the timer or temperature, though. But, overall, it an easy-to-use control panel with a clear display.
Performance-wise, it’s an excellent and accurate cooker. Compared with other models, its buzzing sound seems louder and more noticeable. But what I do like is its delay-start ability.
With this feature, you can put ice in your container to keep the sealed food cold. Once water temperature hits 4C, the Precision Cooker will start working to keep food away from the danger zone.
The revamped Anova Precision Cooker is more affordable than its predecessor. But it’s still a mid-priced unit that may not appeal to first-timers with a limited budget. Semi-frequent sous vide cooks and professionals will, however, appreciate its power and performance that are relatively at par with more expensive models.
PolyScience Creative Series Sous Vide Immersion Circulator
PolyScience is the professionals’ go-to brand when it comes to sous vide cooking. However, its products can be expensive, particularly the PolyScience Chef items. But the company knows that not all pros have to be in commercial kitchens.
And so, enter the PolyScience Creative Series – a more affordable immersion circulator designed for home cooks and culinary students.
But even if it’s for home use, it still costs significantly more than similar machines. So, why spend a lot on this sous vide machine? Well, there are two reasons: durability and performance. Right out of the box, you’ll see and feel that the PolyScience circulator mean business.
It’s a piece of robust equipment in thick plastic that looks more fitting for factory production rather than home cooking. When placed right next to its counterparts with slim designs, its rugged exterior does stick out.
And it weighs a hefty 2.5kg to boot. PolyScience manufactures lab equipment, after all. But if you’re looking for a heavy-duty device, then you wouldn’t mind having this chunky unit in your kitchen.
Despite its size, the Creative Series circulator gives off minimal noise while heating your water bath. Operating it is a breeze, too. It may lack Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other smart features, but its large control panel makes monitoring easy.
The buttons may need some getting used to at first as you may overshoot a few times. And the timer and temperature values switch back and forth, which others may find distracting. But when it comes to actual cooking, this circulator is exceptional, especially in retaining consistent temperature.
Also, thanks to its powerful 1100W motor, your water bath is ready in a few short minutes. With this power, you can easily prepare impressive dishes for up to 12 people, too.
Another noteworthy feature of the PolyScience circulator is its safety mechanism. For example, it can send alerts to indicate high temperatures and low-liquid levels.
It also comes with fault indicators to let you know if something is not right with your set-up. This way, you get to cook your food to perfection and protect your machine from damage.
PolyScience combined science and engineering when designing this machine so that even inexperienced cooks can effortlessly achieve five-star results. However, as it is for home use, this unit is not ideal for cooking beyond 20L of water.
More experienced cooks and professionals may find its pumping capacity too limited for high-volume cooking.
Inkbird ISV-100W Wi-Fi Sous Vide Cooker
Inkbird is an established brand best known for its smart sensors, outlet thermostats and wireless thermometers. And so, you can expect the same high standards on the Inkbird ISV-100W, its first immersion circulator. Testing it proved our expectations correct.
After hitting the target temperature, the unit remained stable without overshooting. There were only minimal temperature fluctuations throughout the cooking time. It’s also reliable when it comes to sending out alerts for low water level.
The machine is super quiet, too. With such a precise and stable unit, both beginners and experienced cooks can effortlessly achieve consistent results.
Design-wise, the Inkbird circulator could use some work. The plastic top, for example, is not very smooth and feels a bit flimsy. It’s not the most compact and lightweight option around, so you may need to consider your storage space.
Also, instead of a screw clamp, it has a large clip at the back. At times, this can be an issue as the device tends to tilt to one side when moving your container around or removing its lid. You have to be extra careful, too, since the unit is not waterproof.
Its control panel is small and difficult to read. Also, some users find it frustrating to operate as you would have to press its Set button multiple times to set the temperature. Connecting it to your Wi-Fi and mobile device is a better option for control and monitoring.
But do take note that Inkbird’s recipes are not as extensive as other sous vide apps. And its manual can be a little tricky to follow due to lack of visual guides.
It may have several areas that need improvement, but Inkbird is an excellent choice, especially for users who are after a straightforward operation and reliable performance.
It’s one of the most precise sous vide machines available that home cooks can get at a relatively affordable price.
Things to Consider When Buying a Sous Vide Machine
Although sous vide machines work using the same technology, some have distinct features to suit varying users and needs. So, make sure to study the product details first.
Here are some essential factors you need to make the right buying decision.
Sous vide machines come in two types: the sous vide oven and the immersion circulators. Both of which deliver the same slow and precise cooking results. However, they are very different in several aspects.
1. Sous vide oven.
The “tank-style” sous vide machine has a large cooking container and a built-in heater. The water bath container also includes a specially made lid to keep the heat inside.
It is considerably larger than an immersion circulator, making it difficult to move and store. But it’s ideal for beginners as well as users who often cook in large batches.
2. Immersion circulator.
The “stick-style” sous vide machine is a more portable, space-efficient and versatile device. You can attach this onto most cooking vessels, or you can pair it with an optional sous vide container.
It may not suit batch cooking, though. And as the heater is in direct contact with the water, you need to disassemble it for thorough cleaning.
The choice between these types of sous vide machine mainly depends on the amount of food you usually prepare and your storage space. Sous vide ovens are also more expensive than immersion circulators, so you would have to consider your budget as well.
Sous vide ovens generally have larger water capacities than immersion circulators. While an extensive water capacity gives you more cooking flexibility, it’s not always the better choice. If you’ll be cooking for a small family and doesn’t prepare food for guests often, then a compact sous vide device should do.
When assessing water capacity, make sure to take note of the minimum and maximum water levels as well. This point is crucial, especially if you’re using an immersion circulator with your existing cooking pots. Without the appropriate container height and capacity, your sous vide machine might not work and shut down.
Wattage is the unit that represents the power of your immersion circulator. Depending on the unit model, wattage can be between 700W to 1000W or more. When buying your sous vide machine, it’s best to choose one with a higher wattage. It’s more energy-efficient as it can bring your water bath to temperature much faster.
There are a few things to note if you’re using power as a deciding factor. One is that the wattage should match the water capacity of your selected container. A water bath that’s too big for the device will only mean longer waiting or heating time.
Another thing is that cookers with higher wattage need more constant monitoring as water tends to evaporate faster.
Temperature and time
Immersion circulators have varying time and temperature ranges. But in general, a unit with a more extensive range allows better cooking flexibility. What you need to take note is the temperature accuracy. Most devices are accurate at 0.10C, while others can go as high as 0.05C.
The impact of this technical feature may not matter if you’ll be using your device for cooking meat or fish. However, if you often use the sous vide method for eggs, you need an extremely temperature-stable device for more consistent results. It’s because a mere 1-degree fluctuation in temperature can result in under or overcooked eggs.
Immersion circulators usually have a LED or digital display for setting the cooking time and temperature. But more modern devices come with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity. This feature allows you to monitor your cooking progress via a mobile device.
It’s a practical add-on, considering that sous vide cooking can take long hours. However, for home cooks who can keep track of their cooking on their own, remote control may not be as essential.
A vital feature of your control panel, though, is a built-in timer. With this feature, you can easily see the remaining cooking time and get a notification when cooking is over.
But keep in mind that some models have an automated shut-off function, which can bring the temperature down and cause bacterial growth.
Ease of use and safety
The main selling point of a sous vide cooker would have to be its set-and-forget system. Unlike multi-cookers, for example, this cooking device only has a few buttons to master: the temperature and timer. Also, compared to large sous vide water ovens, the sleek stick-style units would fit any kitchen size or drawer.
But if it’s your first time to get an immersion circulator, I suggest watching demo videos online or reading instruction manuals before making a purchase. This extra step will help you learn other essential features that you need, especially those related to safety.
For instance, some models have a low-water warning mode, which automatically shuts the device off to prevent burning. A power outage warning is also a useful feature that protects you from risks of food spoilage.
Devices by big brands with extra features can be impressive but also expensive. So, make sure to keep things balanced. Choose a unit that suits your needs and cooking preferences. For occasional sous vide cooking, a mid-priced model is ideal. Frequent users, on the other hand, can spend on more expensive but heavy-duty options.
FAQs About Sous Vide Machines
Without a doubt, sous vide machines can take your home cooking to the next level. It’s innovative yet simple to use. Plus, they deliver restaurant-worthy results. But is it necessary to own one? This FAQ section should help you decide whether this wonder device is for you.
Do I need a sous vide machine?
Sous vide cooking is not an entirely new method. Its ability is somewhat similar to a slow cooker or an oven on low heat. But if you love a low and slow cooking process, then you will like having an immersion circulator in your arsenal.
It’s a space-efficient alternative if your kitchen is too small for bulky cooking appliances. Compared with slow cookers, you can go beyond soups and stews with a sous vide machine as well.
If you’re a kitchen beginner, then you’ll find the sous vide method more forgiving as it gives more room for error, adjustments and multitasking. Also, if you often entertain a crowd, live in a big household or do meal prepping, sous vide machines make batch cooking a breeze. I recommend getting one if you like replicating restaurant dishes at home to impress family and friends, too!
Can I sous vide for 24 hours?
Food items have recommended time and temperature setting for sous vide cooking. You can go beyond these requirements, but the texture will be affected. Sous vide is more forgiving, though. It will take way longer to overcook a steak, for example, with this method than when cooking it on the stovetop or grill.
Still, who would want to eat an expensive cut of meat with a chewy texture? I suggest following your sous vide manual instead. Set your unit at the right time and temperature to avoid health risks.
And if you’re cooking with the sous vide machine for several hours, make sure to keep an eye on the water level. Better yet, pair your sous vide machine with a covered container to limit evaporation during long cooking times.
Is it safe to sous vide in Ziploc bags? How about Mason jars?
Yes, it’s safe as long as you buy resealable plastic bags that are BPA-free. Make sure to read the product labels when buying, and go for food-grade, heavy-duty, freezer-type bags.
If you’re looking for reusable options, you can also sous vide with resealable silicone bags. They are quite expensive, though. Another option would be canning or glass jars, which are best for sous vide pickles, sauces and desserts. This article from Anova can guide you on how to sous vide with canning jars.
What can you not cook with a sous vide machine?
You can practically cook any food type by sous vide. But some items are better off with a pan, oven or grill. For example, finfishes like cod and halibut develop an unpalatable, strange texture when cooked sous vide. The low and slow process is probably not suitable for their already delicate flesh.
Lean cuts like liver and chicken breast are also not the best foods for sous vide cooking. The lack of fat in these meats leads to a mushy, rubbery texture that’s edible but not enjoyable. Sous vide chicken breast can even result in a cooked but pink centre that is unsettling for some.
The best sous vide machines in Australia should be simple to use, considering that not all home cooks know how to use them. And for that, I think the Anova Precision Cooker Nano tops the list. It has a balance of features for precise cooking and safety. Plus, it’s a user-friendly machine that suits most levels of sous vide cooking skill.
It’s a great entry-level device, whether you want to buy a low-cost option or own a compact cooker for your small kitchen. Even experienced cooks will find the Nano a suitable complementary tool when cooking for a crowd or meal prepping. It may have its share of flaws, but it certainly has the basics covered to discover and experience the joy of sous vide cooking!