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Sous Vide Perfection Guaranteed with This Gear

Sous vide cooking is a game-changing technique. It involves cooking food (tightly sealed in a plastic bag or glass jar) in a heated water bath to a precise temperature. Because there’s very little risk of overcooking, it’s ideal for delicate, temperature-sensitive, or expensive foods.

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his week, we’ve gathered everything you need to try sous vide for yourself. Once you check out the best equipment, take a look at our new cookbook, Sous Vide for Everybody. Start by reading up on sous vide tips and safety in our introduction and FAQ sections. Then put your new knowledge to use by making Coconut Rice Pudding, Shredded Chicken Tacos, or one of the other 75 inventive, foolproof new recipes.

The Easy, Foolproof Cooking Technique That's Sweeping the World

Sous Vide for Everybody

$19.99 $26.99

This slim, lightweight machine heated water almost as fast as the biggest circulators and was the most accurate in our lineup. Though it doesn’t have a display and requires a smartphone to work, its app was intuitive and simple, and its enclosed electronics meant we didn’t have to worry about getting any part of the circulator wet.  More on this test

Our longtime winner excelled, with uniform, steady heating and good visibility inside the saucepan to monitor browning. Its cup-shaped stay-cool handle was easy to grip, and a helper handle provided another grabbing point when the pan was full. Even after brutal whacking on concrete, this model emerged with only tiny dents inside and one slight dent on the bottom, and it still sat flat on the counter.  More on this test

This model costs a third of what our favorite Le Creuset Dutch oven does and performed almost as well. With a very similar design—low, straight sides and a broad, off-white cooking surface—it allowed us to easily move food, sear in fewer batches, and monitor browning. The trade-offs: The Cuisinart pot is 3 pounds heavier and has slightly smaller handles than the Le Creuset pot, and its rim chipped during abuse testing.  More on this test

We recently learned of performance and longevity issues with our winning vacuum sealer, the Weston Professional Advantage Vacuum Sealer. In light of this, we've withdrawn our recommendation. We're retesting vacuum sealers now and will update our review as soon as possible. As an alternative, we recommend using a zipper-lock plastic bag. Add the food to the plastic bag (use a small amount of olive or vegetable oil for meats and fish), remove as much air as you can, and seal the bag until just 1 inch of the lock is still open. Once the bath is up to temperature, dunk the bag into the bath until all but the unsealed corner is submerged in water, and then complete the seal. Removing air gives the food direct contact with the heated water, so it cooks more quickly and evenly.   More on this test

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.  More on this test

This ultraclingy wrap was the thickest in the lineup, making it strong, resilient, and nearly impossible to rip or puncture. At an unusual 15 inches wide, it was the only consumer-grade product that could cover our large cutting board with a single sheet, though it was great for smaller jobs as well. And we liked its durable dispenser, which came with both a serrated blade and a slide cutter. While the blade worked just fine, the slide cutter was a revelation: It takes just a second to attach and makes it a breeze to produce smooth, perfectly sized sheets.  More on this test

This bag protected food from freezer burn and ice crystals for more than two months, and it stayed intact when filled with tomato sauce and dropped. But the band of thicker plastic under the double zipper was on the short side, making the bag a bit difficult to prop open and fill. And the side seams on the zipper enclosure itself were less sturdy than those of the product’s older version, tearing more easily and allowing some water to leak into and out of the bag.  More on this test

With the thickest plastic in the lineup and a tight seal, this bag provided excellent protection. Frozen cookie dough and pork chops had virtually no ice crystals and were fresh-looking after two months. A side seam split when we dropped this bag (full of tomato sauce), and the bag let in a little moisture when we submerged it. (Order at webrestaurantstore.com.)  More on this test

This fairly thin, lightweight plastic model—a smaller version of our Best Buy full-size cutting board—was easy to hold and lift but was also stable on the counter thanks to its grippy rubber sides. It’s dishwasher-safe, and while it got a bit scratched by the end of testing, it was otherwise intact, resisting warping, cracking, or staining and retaining no odors. Testers liked cutting on its textured plastic surface and appreciated that one of its sides had a small trench for collecting juices from roasts or wet foods.   More on this test

This inexpensive stand folds up smaller than a remote control yet expands to fit everything from an iPad mini to a notebook-size tablet. Its lightweight plastic body wasn’t completely sturdy, though pounding a pork cutlet right next to it didn’t rock our tablet out of the stand. Our winning combination was pairing this tablet stand with a plastic zipper-lock storage bag.  More on this test

This light, smooth bamboo spoon was broad enough to churn bulky stews, yet small enough to rotate a single chunk of beef without disturbing surrounding pieces. Its rectangular handle was comfortable to grip; its head had the most surface area in contact with the pan, so it excelled at scraping fond. Stain-resistant, it emerged after testing looking closest to new.  More on this test