The Best Sous-Vide Machines in Canada

For this article, we’ve selected the best sous-vide machines in Canada, as well as listed their pros and cons, main specs, and what to look for in one, regardless if you’re looking for top-rated or budget options. 

Our top picks

What to look for in a sous-vide machine

Once confined to gourmet eateries, sous vide cooking is now available to anyone, thanks to the growing market and improvements in household sous vide units. Now, steaks cooked precisely to your favourite temperature, tender and juicy chicken breast, perfectly cooked salmon, and shrimp, and even vegetables like you have never had them can be cooked effortlessly in your kitchen.  

What is sous vide cooking, you may ask? It is using precisely heated water to cook food to the exact temperature it needs. You put food – be it a strip loin, filet of fish, or carrots – into a vacuum-sealed bag or even a Ziploc bag with the air sucked out and submerge it into the sous vide bath. The water cooks from every angle to the temperature you programmed into the sous vide, precision cooking food to its optimal temperature, while simultaneously sealing in the juices for an unbelievable cooking and eating experience.  

Accuracy and stability – Two factors that really will define the cooking process of your sous vide is the accuracy and stability of the temperature it keeps. Cooking sous vide is attractive for many due to the precision it provides, being able to cook a steak to the exact temperature you prefer before you searing it is one such application of this precision. But for a sous vide to be this precise, it’s internal thermometer needs to be accurate so you can set it to the appropriate temperature, and the temperature and the water circulation needs to stay consistent with no hot or cool spots in the water. We prioritized sous vide units that had a minimal temperature variation.  

Speed – The more heating power, the faster your sous vide bath should reach temperature. While sous vide is a cooking method ideal for those with patience, you still probably do not want to wait too long for the sous vide bath to come to temperature. 

Controls – Reading reviews for different models, some users find how they machine is controlled can be a make-it-or-break-it factor. One of the top-rated machines, The Breville Joule, can only be controlled by your device, where others only have controls on the unit. Both have advantages and disadvantages: the former can be highly controllable, intuitive and provide images and recipes, but relies on the connectivity of the device; the latter is simple and dependable, but generally more limited in scope. Some units have the best of both worlds too.  

Attachment – Sous vide machines typically need to connect to the pot or container that you wish to cook in. It is worth thinking about what type of container you plan to cook in, and consider the sides and height, so you can choose a sous vide machine with a clip or other way of attachment that will be compatible.  

Price – There are $100 sous-vide units, and there are $500 sous-vide units. Often, the difference between these units is less than you think. There are certainly benefits that a more expensive unit can provide, but the internet’s favourite two units – the Breville Joule and the Anova Nano – are in the middle of this price range and outperform sous vide units that cost more than they do.  


Breville Joule

The Breville Joule is one of, if not the top choice by chefs everywhere when it comes to sous vide machines. This smaller, sleeker unit is a powerhouse, with excellent performance and a host of modern features that will certainly impress new and long-time users of sous vide machines.  

The Breville Joule is on the smaller side of sous vide machines, so you can find a home for it in even the most packed kitchens. The Joule features a clip to attach to the side of containers, as well as a magnetic base, so attaching the Joule to whichever container you are planning to sous vide in is a breeze. While you only need about an inch and a half of water in a container to use this unit, the water is output through a hole above the base that does not need to be submerged. While using less water is ultimately better (especially if you do not mind the gentle sound of a water fountain this unit produces), it is recommended that you use enough water to completely submerge whatever you wish to cook.  

With a heater with 1100 watts of power, the Breville Joule is a fast-heating machine, with some users having their water up to temp as quick as 15 minutes. The Joule has a range between 3.6°F and 208℉ (2℃- 98℃).  

The Breville Joule connects quickly via either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to your smart phone of choice, which allow you to control the unit by the ChefSteps app. This app has a Visual Doneness feature, which shows you what you should be looking for in the finished result. The app also has a number of recipes included, with tips to improve your cooking, and the ability to alter variables, like if you are cooking from fresh or frozen.  

One thing that might be a downside to users is that there are no physical controls to this unit, meaning using your phone to control this device is 100% necessary. Some users found issues with the Joule disconnecting from their phone, which will stop the Joule from operating. While this issue is not super prevalent and so not a flaw per se, the Joule does not work on 5 GHz networks so ensure your 2.4 GHz is up and running before trying to cook dinner with this unit.   

Pros
  • Fast and consistent heating, for an easy and delicious cooking experience.  
  • App is packed with recipes, images, and tips to improve your sous vide cooking experience.  
  • Magnetic base and adjustable clip allows for using your sous vide with all types of containers.  
Cons
  • No physical controls, which means you have to use a phone or other device to control it. 
  • Expensive.  

The Anova Culinary Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker

The Anova Nano is not only the smallest of their product line, but the most successful of their sous vide machines too. The Anova Nano is one of the best rated sous vide units available, due to its strong performance, intuitive controls, and solidly affordable price.  

The Anova Nano is smaller than other Anova sous vide units, and the majority of other sous vide machines out there, being just over a foot long and slim. On the back of the unit is a grip that you can tighten by screw, allowing you to securely fasten this unit to the side of the pot or containers you want to use. This clip might be one of the unit’s biggest detractions, due to the fact it cannot slide vertically, limiting you to certain types of containers and a certain amount of water.  

The 750-watt heating element is fast, but not the fastest on the market. The circulator of this unit is strong, with a typical variation of around 0.2℉. The Anova Nano has a temperature range between 32℉ and 197℉ (0℃ and 92℃). This range is a little bit on the lower side of things, but will still suffice. 

On the top of the unit, is 3 on-screen buttons that can adjust the target temperature, view the current temperature, set, and display a timer. Just before reaching the temperature that had been input, the unit will emit an audible alert, so you can get your vacuum-sealed bag ready just as the water comes up to temperature. However, there is Bluetooth compatibility accessed through the Anova app for both iOS and Android. Through this app, you can set factors like the temperature and the timer, access recipes and cooking guides that are provided, change settings for different parameters, like if your steak was frozen or fresh before cooking.   

Overall, it is easy to see why the Anova Nano is far and away considered one of the best sous vide units available for home chefs. It is powerful and consistent while also being easy to use, and the results are consistently mind blowing. Whether using the physical controls on the unit, or the Bluetooth controls, you are not locked into using the Nano one specific way, making this a machine that everyone would likely enjoy using.  

Pros
  • Strong and decently fast heating with a low temperature variation. 
  • Easy and intuitive controls on the top of the unit.  
  • Anova app helps cooks immensely, identifying what chefs are looking for in the finished results and providing excellent recipes.  
Cons
  • Clip is not compatible with all containers, with no vertical adjustment, so specific water level is required.   

Monoprice Strata Home Sous Vide Immersion Cooker

A strong budget contender, the Monoprice Strata Home Sous Vide is a strong option for those who want to try out sous vide cooking.  

The Monoprice Strata is long and slim, coming in at a length of around 40 cm long. The Monoprice Strata features an adjustable clamp that allows you to attach this device to larger pots, however this unit does not slide up or down, limiting you to containers between 2.25 and 4.0 gallons. 

With 800-watt heating element, the Monoprice Strata sous vide has solid performance and decent temperature range, with 1% temperature stability and a cooking range between 41 and 212 ℉ (5 and 100℃). However, some users found that the temperature gauge came out of the box inaccurate, but you can calibrate the unit if the readings are inaccurate. If results are not what you expect, we recommend using a thermometer to double check the temperature your sous vide reads.  

While many of the sous vide machines available these days incorporate Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, so you have a variety of control options, the Monoprice forgoes these features entirely, utilizing only on-unit controls on this machine. The controls feature only 3 buttons, and a LED touch screen for even easier controls. The unit alerts you when it reaches correct temperature and when the timer is up, so you can set-it-and-forget-it, as long as you do not go very far.  

Users seem to find the Monoprice Strata sous vide a decent choice for their kitchen. Users have reported loving the simplicity of programming and setting the machine. While the consensus is it is not as powerful a unit at heating or circulating water like some more expensive models, many users have no issues getting delicious results. With a helpful support team and a 1-year replacement warranty, if the reason you have not tried sous vide cooking in your home is the cost, this is the sous vide for you.  

Pros
  • Strong heat range and accuracy. 
  • Simple, intuitive controls. 
  • Budget price makes the Monoprice Strata a good choice for new users or as a gift. 
Cons
  • Some users have found that this unit’s thermometer can be inaccurate.  
  • No Bluetooth or Wi-Fi options.  

Inkbird Wi-Fi Sous Vide Cooker ISV-100W

Another budget Sous Vide with a strong performance, the Inkbird ISV-100W is a strong choice to check out sous vide cooking.  

The unit is large, over 40 cm long, with a bulky plastic body. Some users find the plastic construction feels cheap, but that can be expected with a unit of this price. One negative worth talking about is the clip, which does not slide vertically, and is limited in how it clips onto the container, with a bulky construction that cannot extend open too much. Noted on the device is both a min and max water fill line, which you need to fill the water somewhere between. Due to the size of this unit, you will need to use a deep container for this sous vide.  

With 1000 watts of power, the Inkbird is designed to heat water faster. Many cheaper units might not have a strong consistent temperature or circulator, but the Inkbird stands up decently well to some of the more expensive market leaders in these regards, being solidly consistent with a variation of approximately 1℉. The Inkbird sous vide has a range of 77 and 210℉ Fahrenheit (25 and 99 ℃). Despite this strong heat element, the unit is extremely quiet.   

With Wi-Fi controls, you can remotely monitor the sous vide and adjust over a 2.4 GHz network. The app takes out the guesswork, recommending the optimal temperature and time for different foods you can cook with this device. The device monitors if there is not enough water in the container. However, the sous vide will emit an alert when the timer finishes – the app does not alert you. This means you should keep an eye out on the time if you leave the kitchen to work on any other tasks. Using the manual controls on the unit is just as easy, with an LCD display and four buttons for changing settings and controls of each unit.  

Some users are very happy with this model; however, others are not as enthralled. While the features seem to have what you would want from a sous vide unit, people have noted that the unit does feel on the cheaper side. However, for a unit of this price, this is not just understandable, but can almost be expected. Inkbird has a warranty of one year service after purchasing, as well as everything else you could need for your sous vide experience, including different packages including an instant thermometer, vacuum sealer, or sous vide bags.  

Pros
  • Solid controllability between both Wi-Fi and physical controls.  
  • Powerful, fast, and solidly consistent performance.  
  • Budget price great for beginners and gifts.  
Cons
  • The worst clip setup among sous vides on this list.  
  • Large and bulky.  

Vesta Precision Perfecta Sous Vide

While for many, the traditional, elongated sous vide will cover most of your purposes, some might want to check out alternative types of these units. The Vesta Precision Perfecta “water oven” combines the technology of a sous vide with the container itself for an entirely self-contained unit.  

This is a large unit, comparable to a toaster oven, with a footprint of 40cm x 40 cm, meaning storage and counterspace is a big consideration. With its considerable size, the Perfecta can circulate 10 litres of water to a precise temperature, making it large enough for larger sous vide jobs, like pork shoulder roasts or hams.  

When talking about the power of a sous vide, the factor that is most affected by the power is how fast the sous vide will heat up. The Vesta Precision Perfecta features a heating element with a power of only 650 watts. This is considerably less than many of the selected sous vides on this list and leads to one of the bigger criticisms regarding this unit, that being how long that this unit can come up to temperature.  

On the front of the unit is the digital touch display, with the timer, a thermometer, and a control panel of six buttons. However, this smart Wi-Fi sous vide allows you to control the unit remotely using the Vesta app.  

Users overall find using this unit easy, although the slower heating of this unit can be frustrating. Strong and consistent circulation makes up for this downside for many users though. While most of the time, we would not recommend this unit over smaller, more powerful, and cheaper sous vide circulators, if the typically clip-on sous vides do not interest you for whatever reason, this is a decent alternative.  

Pros
  • Strong controls, with intuitive control panel and Wi-Fi controls.  
  • Large enough built-in container to handle larger jobs, like shoulder roasts.  
Cons
  • Very expensive.  
  • Unit is disproportionately large in comparison to how powerful it is. 

Our methodology

A sous vide machine needs to heat water to a precise temperature and circulate it. This is a basic requirement, and we felt that all of the units on this list performed this task admirably. There are other things we considered in the development of this list, including the temperature range, heating element output, and the intuitiveness of the unit’s controls were heavily considered. Other factors, like price, size, and how they attach to the container they will cook with were considered and we touched on in this review but were secondary to the unit’s functionality.  

In writing and researching this review, we scoured over the specs of many different sous vides, read countless user reviews, and conferred with a range of professional tests to determine which sous vides worked best. We put over 20 hours researching this topic. We only considered products with an average user review of 4 stars or higher.  

Frequently Asked Questions on Sous Vide Machines

How does a sous vide machine work? 

A sous vide machine cooks food, that is often vacuum sealed or in a bag specifically for sous-vide cooking, through water that is heated up to a precise temperature. A sous vide machine, or an immersion circulator, attaches to the side of a pan or container and heats up the water to a precise constant temperature and current. This allows for precision cooking of whatever food you are cooking as you time it correctly. While you will never get a medium steak if you dial in your sous vide to 130 degree Fahrenheit, if you let the sous vide run too long, your steak will become mushier and less appetizing.  To see a sous vide in action, check this video out from Bon Appetit.

What’s precision cooking?  

Precision cooking means that the chef (that’s you!) has absolute control. In terms of a sous vide unit, the sous vide maintains a constant temperature, that prevents overcooking. Because the water remains at a certain temperature, when your food comes up to temperature, there is virtually no chance that the food becomes overcooked if the sous vide is programmed right, no matter how long it stays in the unit. 

What does sous vide mean?  

“Sous vide” translates into “under vacuum,” or “under pressure,” although the sous vide machine does not vacuum seal the bags that sous vide cooking is known for. Sous vide just means gently cooking food in a bag of some sort at a precise temperature.  

What’s the benefit of sous vide cooking?  

Sous vide cooking has a few serious benefits. Since the cooking process is so gentle, it is hard to mess up or overcook food, it does not need as much oil so food can be significantly healthier, and you can do things that would be extremely difficult with other cooking methods, like getting a consistent, thorough temperature throughout a cut of meat or fish.  

What are the sous vide disadvantages?  

So, despite all these benefits, there are some significant disadvantages to sous vide cooking too. First, it is expensive, since you will also likely need a vacuum sealer, although Ziploc bags can work if they are prepared right by removing all the air out of them. Secondly, these units take a long time to cook with, yet cannot be left all day realistically like a slow cooker can.  

How to use a sous vide machine?  

First, whatever you are cooking needs to be sealed in an airtight bag – a vacuum sealer is not necessary, but you need to try to get as much air out of the bag as possible. Then, take a large pot or a heat-proof storage container and fill it with water. Set up your sous vide machine and program it for the temperature it requires and place it in the pot (some will clip onto the side, and some will have magnets). Place your bags into the heated water, and make sure the food inside is submerged. Finally, set a timer and wait! 

Can you sous vide without a sous vide machine?  

Technically, yes and no. You can hold a consistent temperature if you put a pot on the stovetop, and gently poach your food in the water – but you are losing the precision and ease that a sous vide machine provides. Since sous vide circulators keep the temperature more constant than a stovetop boil ever could, you can get similar results without a sous vide unit, but with a much higher risk of error and a more labor-intensive process.  

What are the best sous vide machine recipes for beginners?  

Sous vide is pretty easy to get the hang of, so if you want to try a recipe in the sous vide, we urge you to go for it! But for a first-time user nervous about placing an expensive NY striploin or filet of salmon into the sous vide’s warm bath, there are some easy, foolproof recipes you can look to that will be easy and cheap to try out. Perfect poached eggs, quick and delicious asparagus, or delicious glazed carrots.  

What’s the average sous vide machine price in Canada?  

You can buy a sous vide machine for upwards of $100 dollars, with many units coming in around the $150-$200-dollar range, and higher end units hovering around the $300 dollar range.  

Where to buy a sous vide machine in Canada?  

Likely, you will be able to find a sous vide machine anywhere that sells kitchen appliances. Walmart, Canadian Tire, and Bed Bath & Beyond are all stores that should carry a few sous vide machines. Amazon also has a wide range of Sous Vide units that can be delivered to your doorstep.  

Read more

Content trail

Updated date

April 8th, 2022

About the author

Sam Beetham

Sam Beetham is a writer who has accomplished his childhood dream of rating things professionally. When not gazing deeply into the LCD display, he can be found cooking, designing DND dungeons or working on music with his band.
Other author posts

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.