What was once regarded as a coveted cooking technique reserved for Food Network pros and Michelin-starred chefs has quickly become a mainstream method embraced by home cooks everywhere.
We’re of course referring to sous vide. It sounds sophisticated (it’s French for “under vacuum”), but it’s really just simple science: The process involves sealing food in a plastic bag and submerging it in a temperature-controlled water bath, thus cooking it to perfection.
Most the traditional sous vide systems cost a small fortune, however — upwards of a couple thousand bucks. Luckily, there’s been an onslaught of newcomers to the market, lending to the technique’s recent rise in popularity.
Amongst the myriad contenders, one that has won our hearts (by way of our wallets, as well as our stomachs) is the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker. Long story short, it’s the most effective, stylish, and easy-to-operate sous vide contraption out there. Plus, with a price point starting at $199, it’s totally affordable.
So, what exactly makes this particular model so great? For starters, it’s stupid-easy to use. It utilizes precise temperature control to deliver flawless results every time, no matter what you’re cooking. Steaks, chicken, chops, legs of lamb, lobster — it’s all fair game. Just clamp the device to the side of a pot of water, set the temp, and let it do its thing. No additional equipment necessary. The Anova heats the water to the set temperature and keeps it there, cooking your food to your precise specifications.
There’s no need to worry about overcooking, since the food physically cannot get hotter than the water. And because it’s Wi-Fi-enabled, you can connect it to your smartphone to receive alerts when your feast is complete and control commands like automatic shut-off.
We know what you’re thinking: What’s the catch? There really aren’t many. For one, sous vide is slightly more time-consuming than other cooking methods, but we think it’s a small price to pay. Second, you’re also not going to achieve that mouth-watering char by cooking steak in a temperature-controlled bath, but that can be remedied with a quick sizzle in a searing-hot skillet.
Let’s face it; a perfectly cooked steak at home is cause to celebrate — but if it happens, most of us have to chalk it up to luck (or lie about our skills). It’s just really hard to do. Not anymore. The Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker effortlessly delivers a perfectly cooked steak, every damn time. To us, that’s worth it.For more than 25 years, Men’s Journal has been the expert in all things gear — from mountain bikes to fitness trackers, blenders to watches, and drones to cars. Every product featured on this site is handpicked by our editorial team, which means we test or trust everything. We also include affiliate links; if you choose to buy something, we may receive a commission.