Sous vide is a relatively new cooking technique (at least, new in the timespan of the culinary sciences) that has become particularly popular in the last few years, so it’s only appropriate that multiple connected sous vide devices have popped up lately.
Cooking sous vide involves vacuum sealing food (though a carefully pressed freezer bag will do in a pinch) and immersing it in a water bath kept at a very precise temperature. The sealing process ensures that no moisture is lost, and the water temperature ensures the food can’t overcook. The result is tender, perfectly cooked food, often then quickly seared on a pan to provide a crisp outer texture.
You can cook sous vide using a big sous vide machine with its own water bath, or you can simply put an immersion circulator on the side of a stock pot or large plastic box. We’ve tested several immersion circulators, all available for $200 or less. Their designs and controls are different, but they all do exactly what they have to: heat the water to your desired temperature, down to the degree.