Shopping & Reviews

Test Kitchen Product Spotlight: Sous Vide Double Feature

Don’t be intimidated by sous vide—these two techy gadgets make mastering the precise restaurant technique easy

By Arianne Jones

Published on November 21, 2018

At SAVEUR, we’re all about trying out new kitchen gadgets, but we want them to be a practical addition to our lives. Many of us have smaller home kitchens, so the toys we have at work may not always be the most space-efficient. However, there are 2 products that we’ll be clearing room for at home: a sous vide circulator and vacuum sealer.

Sous vide is a technique that professional chefs and restaurants have been using for decades, but has recently gained popularity with home cooks. It involves sealing food in an airtight container (usually a vacuum-sealed bag) and immersing it in temperature controlled water. It makes perfect sense that the French term "sous vide" translates to "under vacuum". When cooking with water instead of the traditional superheated air or metal, you can raise the temperature precisely to achieve the exact doneness you're looking for.

While the sous vide technique is typically used to cook meat, it can also be used to make vegetable purees and flavour infused oils; serious cocktail enthusiasts can even use it with spirits to turn vodka into gin. Check out our favorite sous vide circulator and vacuum sealer for the home cook.

VacuVita is a countertop vacuum food storage gadget that comes with its own special vacuum seal containers. Air-sealed containers are a sustainable way to save food and money; the main unit removes air from the containers using a hose, which minimizes spoilage. In the SAVEUR test kitchen, we use this technology to store cereals and crackers to keep them fresh and crisp; you can also use the containers for refrigerated leftovers, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

The act of vacuum sealing comes with a surprising amount of culinary uses; one technique were over the moon about is the ability to quick pickle vegetables. The VacuVita also comes with reusable vacuum bags that can be used for quick meat marinating, reducing the marinate time from overnight to as little as 15–30 minutes. Now that your fridge is full of fresh produce and pickled vegetables, you've got time to take that marinated meat and learn to sous vide it with the Joule.

Joule is a great sous vide circulator for novices as well as professionals. Its metallic base holds steady in most home cook pots without the use of a clip, and it features a lightweight and minimal size without compromising power, and functions through its personal app that guides you through the entire process with step-by-step videos, visual cues, and helpful recipe tips. You simply indicate what you're cooking, pick your preferred doneness from the in-app photos, and Joule will take care of the rest by setting the ideal temperature and cook time. Additionally, Joule will let you know how much longer your food can stay in the water without overcooking, allowing you to breathe easy when your dinner guests run late. These features have ensured that the process is seamless, so it's a worthy addition and investment in your kitchen repertoire.

Are you looking for a new home cooking project this winter? Get started with the Joule and VacuVita gadgets, and in no time you'll be inviting your friends over for a sous vide dinner with cocktails to match.

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