Here are my recommendations for what sous vide equipment you need to get started. It just takes a circulator, and the rest you probably already have. But if you want to get a really slick set-up, there are a couple more things worth checking out:
Sous Vide Circulators
Most circulators provide the same functionality. What you buy depends on your budget, and what you’re looking for.
Nomiku is the original home circulator, and you can get it here for a special price of only $179, using code SOUSVIDELY20. It’s small and compact, with just one knob and one screen to set the temperature.
Their new wi-fi enabled model links directly to their app, and can be controlled remotely. It’s currently selling for $199 and due to ship this summer.
The Anova’s newest model also uses wifi and can be controlled from your smartphone. It comes with a removable adjustable clamp, also uses a proprietary app.
Sansaire is the first model I ever used, and has been a steady workhorse. There haven’t been any updates to the Sansaire, unlike other manufacturers, but it still works well. There’s a push button on top to turn it on, another to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius, and a large dial to tune in the right temperature.
You’ll also want something to seal your food in. You can start with Ziploc freezer bags, or dive right in to the world of vacuum sealing. I love my vacuum sealer, because I can also use it to portion out meals for the future and store them in the freezer for a lot longer than they’d last in a Ziploc. But if you just want to try it out first, the baggies are a cheaper entry point. (If you’re concerned about cooking in these, check out my articles on Ziplocs and the Safety of Plastics.)
I recommend this unit because it comes with a moist/dry food setting, which I find to be extremely helpful for sous vide cooking. It also comes as a starter kit with different sized bags to try out, so it’s your one-stop shop to get started! It’s larger than some units because it has a roll holder and cutter in the space above the sealer. Very convenient.
Here’s what I use:
This is great because it’s a multi-use tool. You probably already have one in your kitchen, but if not, now’s a great time to get one.
Also known as a “Polycarbonate Camwear Box.” Perfect for cooking larger items like ribs, or cooking for a party. I initially bought one just because I wanted to see what was cooking!
Here are some things I’ve found to be extra handy to have around:
These are great to hold your bags to the side of the container. I love these clips from OXO because they’re so cute (sure), but they’re also magnetic and can just live on your stock pot! They aren’t normally necessary, but they ensure the food stays under the water line, and doesn’t crawl too close to the circulator.
Essential for long cooking times. Wrap the top of your cooking vessel to help prevent water loss from evaporation. You could use aluminum foil, but I’ve found it’s not as effective and acts as a conductor, which could lead to heat loss.