If like me you watch Master Chef on TV, then you may have seen a special type of cooking known as “Sous-vide.” This is where chefs will place food inside an airtight bag, and then into a water bath. These baths are temperature controlled and are used by the leading top Michelin type chefs.
The purpose behind this is to cook very slowly, at temperatures that are lower than normal, and also to retain all of the moisture and flavours, and cook right the way through. It is of course a special type of cooking. In many ways it is a more sophisticated form of poaching food.
You will find this style of cooking done in the higher end restaurants and by chefs like, Heston Blumenthal or Thomas Keller. Well that used to be the case anyway, but now more and more professionals are turning to this method.
Now if you are here on this page, you probably know a lot about this style of cooking. However for those that are not familiar, I have included a video below from the British Michelin star chef Tom Aikens. In this he shows how to cook a lamb fillet, using the Sous Vide method.
Sous Vide Water Bath Ovens
Now of course to be able to do this, you will need a water bath. These range in price from between £60-400, so affordable enough at the lower end, especially if you want to try out this particular method of specialised cooking.
We think if you are new to this, that it is better to start at the lower price point, and if it is something you then enjoy and can master, you can always upgrade later.
Below we have reviewed the top rated Sous Vide baths that are currently available in the UK. We have placed these in order of the highest rated first so as you get an indication of what is actually out there.
Andrew James Ultimate Sous Vide Package
If you want to get started with this type of cooking, then this is the package that I would recommend. This is not only a great starter kit, but is also a very good bath that will last you for a long time to come.
Not only do you get the important bath but you also get a vacuum sealer, the pouches and the recipe ideas. When not used as a sous vide machine it can also be used as a slow cooker. That will ensure that you get plenty of use from this machine.
For the money I don’t think there is anything better out there at the moment. If you want to try this style of cooking in your own kitchen, then this is what I would recommend. To cook like this you need a sealed package which you can do with the vacuum sealer and the pouches. Then you lower that into the water bath, for the most amazing fully retained flavours.
By the way you can also use the vacuum sealer on its own as well for storing items that you may want to keep in the freezer.
The above product is also available in black, and you can see that by clicking here.
Vonshef Premium 8L Digital Display Sous Vide Cooking Bath
This is an 800 watt bath that again can double up as a slow cooker. Like any of these products his one can be used to cook meats, fish and vegetables and get the maximum flavours from those.
This one has a timer that you can program and is large enough to be able to cook for even the largest of families. This one costs under £100 and that makes it affordable for most people wanted to try out this style of cooking.
It can hold up to 6 pouches for cooking. Please note this is for the bath only unlike the package you are getting with the one above from Andrew James.
Burton Sous Vide Water Bath Oven
This one is more expensive at around £250. There are only 7 buyer reviews right now on Amazon, but have to say all of them are a full “5 stars.” That should tell you that this is a top notch product. I am guessing the only thing putting people off buying this one is the higher price.
I have used the first one on my list and I have also used the second one on the list in my friend’s house. This one I have not used but I wanted to include it because of the high review rating. So according to the manufacturer, this is the best looking, the most efficient, the most costs effective to run and also has the most accurate temperature control in the market.
Those are big claims for sure, and the fact that this was the actual model of machine used by all three Masterchef finalists, certainly would support that claim. The other 7 reviews on Amazon all say this one is an amazing product. Here is a short sample review:
Only had it a short time but I am amazed its capabilities
By S. E. Wilkinson on 22 Feb. 2015
After much research into these appliances I finally settled on this model. Only had it a short time but I am amazed its capabilities, Everything I have cooked in it has come out superb
Sous Vide Cookery Books
If you are going to try out this type of cooking then you will probably need a few cooking books as well. Below we have listed a few of the best cookery books on the subject of Sous Vide cooking ideas.