Best Mini Sous Vide: Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Nano

Let’s talk sous vide cookers.

At a basic level, sous vide cookers do one thing: heat and circulate water around food that is vacuum sealed in a pouch.

We surveyed readers of our parenting books that were sous vide enthusiasts to get their advice and tips. Fans of these devices think foods like steak come out juicier and more flavorful. That’s because spices and marinades in the bag are infused into the food . . . and that process works better than a pan on the stovetop or in an oven.

(One clever tip we learned from sous vide fans: cook your food in a plastic container, which retains heat better than a metal pot—and hence uses less electricity).

After trying out several top brands of sous vide cookers recommended by our readers, we’d agree—these gadgets are addictive!

Another key feature: you don’t have to fire up a stove or oven to prepare a meal. If your kitchen is space-challenged, the sous vide cooker is compact and much easier to store than a series of pots and pans.

We also loved how sous vide cookers can just be left alone to do their thing—you don’t have to stand over the food like you do with a pan on a stove.

When it comes to sous vide cookers, there are two basic sizes: regular and mini. Why get a mini sous vide? Well, if you are just cooking for yourself or a small family, you don’t need the big sous vide. And smaller also means less expensive, in general!

For the best mini sous vide cooker, we recommend Anova’s Culinary Sous Video Precision Cooker Nano.

Anova is to sous vide cookers what Apple is to smartphones . . . they are the player that enjoys the best brand reputation, according to our readers. And after we did our testing, we’d agree. This is a great little sous vide cooker! Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Delicious results! This sous vide cooker is consistent and accurate. With other sous vide cookers we tried (but didn’t make the cut), some didn’t keep the temperature consistent—and that could play havoc with your meal!

• Good for up to 4 people. This sous vide cooker supports up to five gallons of water.

• Easy to use touch controls on the end of the stick.

• Clamp attaches it to the side of a pot. This worked well!

 What Needs Work

• App could be improved. Yes, in theory, this sous vide cooker is supposed to let you monitor your food on an app via Bluetooth. But in our test, the app didn’t give us any notifications that the food was done, etc. That said, this sous vide cooker has manual controls that work just fine, just in case you can’t get the app to work.

• Timer on the sous vide cooker didn’t sync well with the app. We’re not sure if this was our fault or not, but we had issues with syncing the two.

Clamp is not height adjustable. 

• Takes a bit longer to heat up water (and hence cook) than other, more powerful sous vide cookers. The Anova Nano is 750 watts—that’s fine for most everyday uses. But other cookers have more power (up to 1100 watts) and that means they can heat up water quicker . . . and cook faster.

Best Powerful Sous Vide: Breville Joule Sous Vide

Quickly heating up the water is the difference between several of the sous vide cookers we tried. At 1100 watts, we found Breville’s Joule sous vide cooker to be the fastest in our own testing. And the faster the water heats up, the less the cook time.

More power is also helpful if you are cooking for a larger family or special occasion. This cooker can cook a pot up to 10 gallons—that’s twice the capacity of the Anova Nano we recommended above. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Great performance.

• Consistent and precise.

• Works with Alexa.

• Magnetic base works well with iron or cast iron pots (but this doesn’t work with pots that are stainless steel or aluminum). Alternatively, you can use the attached clip to secure it to a pot.

• Sleek, all-white look.

• Excellent app even shows you what the food looks like when cooked.

 More compact form than other sous vide cookers. That makes it easier to store, in our opinion.

What Needs Work

• No manual controls—must use the app. This isn’t a problem if you can connect the Breville Joule Sous Vide to your home WiFi. We had no issue with the app, but we see others report issues with connecting. And since there are no manual controls, you must get the app to work!

Bottom line: we will recommend this sous vide cooker . . . but if this is a gift for your tech-challenged friend or relative, you might consider other options.

Best Connected Sous Vide: Anova Culinary AN500-US00 Sous Vide Precision Cooker

If you want to buy a sous vide cooker for a tech-obsessed friend or relative, we’d recommend Anova’s AN500-US00 model sous vide cooker. It worked best with its companion app in our opinion, compared to other sous vide cookers we tried.

What We Liked

• Very accurate! You can adjust the temperature within two-tenths of a degree. And it worked well in our tests.

• Good power at 1000 watts.

• Easy-to-use app lets you set temperature and cooking time.

• Heats water fast.

• Quiet.

• Built-in controls if you don’t want to use the app.

What Needs Work

• Time increments of 5 minutes? This seems like an odd oversight—you can’t get the timer for 13 or 17 minutes. Only in increments of 5 minutes!

• App connection issues. We didn’t have any issues with the app and connecting it via WiFi, but we know this is a pain point for some folks. Good news: if you can’t get the app to work, you can still use the manual controls.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!