The Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

If you're looking for the best sous vide circulator under $100, we've got some good options for you.

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Even if you're not on a budget, you may want to consider one of these circulators. Because not only are they the best sous vide circulators under $100, they can compete head to head with many of the higher priced brands.

Just like other technology that catches on, what was once a spendy proposition is now quite affordable. Sous vide circulators have dropped from a high price hovering around $1000 to $100-200, now to their all-time low of $50-100. You can even find some circulators under $50 (though the only one we found that passed all of our tests was the Veken, reviewed below). 

What's driven prices down? Primarily competition. Just a few years ago, you had only a few options: Anova, Joule, and a few others that we reviewed here a couple of years ago. If you were willing to spend more, you had some other options as well (PolyScience, for example). 

Today, there are hundreds of immersion circulators on the market, and the prices have dropped accordingly. Even the big makers, Anova and Joule, have introduced lower-priced options. (Surprisingly, the Anova Nano did not pass our Fakespot test, so we do not review it here.) 

Are these low-priced circulators a good buy? As you might imagine, some are and some aren't. Our extensive research has weeded out the good from the not-so-good. Here, we give our recommendations, explain how we chose them, and review the important features of our picks. We also share info on some other under $100 brands and why we do or don't recommend them.

So read on for more info, or use the Table of Contents to skip to the sections you're interested in.

The Winners at a Glance

Here are the winners at a glance in the categories we thought were important. Scroll down for the detailed reviews.

Circulator

Features


Highest Rated:

Aobosi


800W

68-212F/20-100C

100 hr timer

Digital control panel

Screw clamp attachment

3lbs, 13.7x3.3in.

2 yr warranty

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Lowest Price:

Veken

1000W

32-194F/0-90C

100hr timer

Digital control panel

Clip attachment

2.56lbs, 12x1.875in.

2 yr warranty

Under $50

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Best Accessories:

Yedi

1000W

77-203F/25-95C

100hr timer

Digital control panel

Clip attachment

Includes pump, clips, and bags

4.3lbs, 15.5x2.5in.

2 yr warranty

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Smallest:

IPSSV800 Accu Slim

800W

104-195F/40-90C

72hr timer

Digital control panel

Screw clamp attachment

1.65lbs, 12.9x2.5in.

1 yr warranty

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Best User Interface:

AICOK

1000W

104-195F/40-90C

Preset/set 100hr timer

Digital panel w/scroll wheel adj.

Clip attachment

3.2lbs, 15.63x2.5in.

2 yr warranty

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Most Powerful/WiFi Enabled/Overall Best Pick:

Gourmia GSV150

1200W

32-203F/0-95C

59hr timer

Digital panel w/scroll wheel adj.

Clip attachment

3.5lbs, 14.25x2.75in.

1 yr warranty

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

About Sous Vide

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Sous vide has become hugely popular in recent years, and with good reason: it's an easy, inexpensive way to upgrade your cooking game. It makes perfectly cooked steaks easy, tough proteins a thing of the past, and creme bruleé one of the easiest desserts imaginable. Visualize perfect, crisp-tender veggies and easy homemade yogurt. Dry chicken breast is a thing of the past because the sous vide method retains 100% of the moisture. 

Sous vide is a French term that translates as "under vacuum." The original sous viders vacuum-sealed food to cook and easily keep ready at serving temperature. Sous vide was initially used in institutional settings such as hospitals and prisons because it simplified the task of serving hundreds of people at a time. 

In the 1970s, some professional chefs began to adopt the method for many of the same reasons: it was an easy way to prep food for many people at once and to hold it at serving temperature until it was needed. The method was used exclusively in professional settings until the 2010s, when Nathan Myhrvold released his Modernist Cuisine books, which began as a text on how to sous vide. Myhrvold was a layman chef (and a literal rocket scientist) who became interested in the sous vide technique. When he couldn't find helpful literature on the method, he decided to write his own. (The books became quite a bit more than just sous vide, they became a treatise on modernist cooking. But according to Myhrvold himself, their foundations are in sous vide.)

Sous vide has since grown into a hugely popular cooking method. People love the hands-offedness of it and the ease of creating delicious, foolproof, near-perfect dishes. Sous vide is not a fast method--in fact, it's been called the new "slow cooking," which is accurate--but because it requires almost no monitoring (even less than a slow cooker), you can go off and do other things without any worry of burning or drying out your dinner, even if you leave it in the sous vide cooker for hours longer than you planned.

Today, there are different schools of thought on how to sous vide. People have adapted different ways to use it, and they all work. Our particular lineage--Nathan Myhrvold's--is that sous vide "frees you from the tyranny of the clock" (a quote from this article).

For this reason, we're a little disappointed that most of the new generation of immersion circulators come with timers, and a few even require that you use a timer when setting up your cook. Apparently, sous vide has grown far beyond Myhrvold's vision of it. But the truth is that watching the clock is only necessary for a few dishes, while for the vast majority, you only have to worry about the minimum cook time, which frees you up in a lot of ways. As great as sous vide results are, we think that this is the true beauty of sous vide cooking. 

Is Sous Vide Easy to Use?

Sous vide is extremely easy to use. There are two primary tools for sous vide: the immersion circulator:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

And the water oven:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Both provide ways to heat water and hold it at a precise temperature. For example, you can heat the water to 131F for a perfectly medium rare steak, and the steak will stay at that temp no matter how long it sits in the water bath.

Immersion circulators are currently winning the technology battle, probably because they're smaller, cheaper, and easier to use--you just have to supply your own cooking vessel.

This article reviews immersion circulators only.

Sous vide immersion circulators are simple tools, and so are also pretty simple to use. All you really have to do is set the temperature, the timer if desired, drop your food into the water (bagged, of course) and let the circulator do the rest. When it's done, you finish most foods with a quick sear--done.

What Can You Use Sous Vide For?

The initial beauty of sous vide was that it made tender, juicy, perfect proteins. This is still the primary reason people buy sous vide machines, but you can use sous vide for many other things, too, including:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Creme bruleé and other creamy desserts (e.g., flan, pots de creme, etc.)
  • Cheesecake
  • Heating leftovers
  • Thawing frozen food packages
  • Pasteurization
  • Beans, legumes and rice.

As popularity grows, people find new and interesting ways to use their sous vide cookers. We've even seen recipes for cakes and cookies, believe it or not. And sous vide coffee is also a thing--we haven't tried it, but people claim it's the best cup of coffee you'll ever have (no bitterness from too-hot water).

What Are the Benefits of Sous Vide Cooking?

Sous vide has numerous benefits:

Hands Off Ease: Since you can't burn or overcook food--it will never go above the set temperature--you can drop your food in the water bath and go do other things, whether in the kitchen or out. Some foods are more delicate than others--you don't want to leave shrimp in the sous vide cooker overnight--but almost all foods have an extremely large window in which you can let them go. As long as you go the minimum time, you'll be fine. So if you get sidetracked and forget about your food for a few hours, you're almost certainly fine.

Moistness: Because there's nowhere for moisture to go, sous vide food retains moisture extremely well; probably better than any other cooking method. 

Manipulate Texture: While most foods are done within a couple of hours, you can use the water bath to manipulate texture. This is most useful for tough cuts of meat, which become soft and tender with long cooks without losing moisture or flavor. Also, since you're cooking to a specific doneness, you can achieve tenderness while keeping the cut a perfect medium rare. This is not possible with any other cooking tool. Here's an image of 72-hour sous vide short ribs (courtesy of the Oliso website):

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

High Nutritional Value: High temp cooking methods destroys some nutrients. Cooking at low temps locks in nutrients. 

Is Sous Vide a Safe Way to Cook?

Yes, sous vide is safe, as long as you follow a few simple rules that require you to keep cooking temperatures high enough to kill bacteria. For more information, see our article Is Sous Vide Cooking Safe?

What Else Do You Need for Sous Vide?

For best results, you do need a few pieces of infrastructure. These include a sous vide container, a lid for long cooks, and a way to finish/sear your food before you eat it. We also highly recommend getting a vacuum sealer, which makes sous viding infinitely more simple--as well as helping you save money and making food prep simpler.

Aside from the vacuum sealer, you probably already own everything you need.

Sous Vide Container: You can buy a dedicated sous vide container, but it isn't necessary. The easiest way to sous vide is to attach your immersion circulator to a stock pot or large Dutch oven. Or, if you own a large plastic container, that works too. (It doesn't even need to be food grade because the food is completely sealed.) 

For large cooks, some people like to use a cooler--but if you're going to do this, make sure your circulator has an clamp or clip large enough to attach to the cooler (many do not, especially those with clips).

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

If you do want to buy a dedicated sous vide container, be sure that it's designed to work with the immersion circulator you own. In most cases, this means buying a container (the lid, actually) compatible with an Anova circulator. Those compatible with Joule are too small for most other sous vide circulators.

Lid for Long Cooks: If you use a stock pot for sous vide, obviously the lid isn't going to fit with an immersion circulator sticking out of it. Again, you may think you need a dedicated container with a lid customized for sous vide, but you really don't. 

If you use a stock pot, simply cover the top with aluminum foil. That's it; problem solved.

In fact, you don't need to cover the vessel at all unless you're doing a long cook--anything more than, say, 5-6 hours. High temperature cooks, which are necessary for fruits and veggies, also evaporate water faster, so they should be covered, too, especially if you're not around to monitor the cook. 

And if you're cooking overnight, you definitely have to use a lid--it's a terrible feeling to wake up to a beeping circulator and a pot of meat in tepid water. 

Another inexpensive (and kind of fun) option is to use ping pong balls. They're useful for large containers that are hard to cover another way (like coolers). They do a surprisingly good job, and have become so popular that you can buy bags designed specifically for sous vide use (such as those at the link given here). However, they're a bit of a pain to use because you have to dry them and store them. Again, we've found that a sheet of foil is the easiest way to reduce evaporation.

The point is that if you don't want to spend the money on more sous vide infrastructure, you don't need to: a stockpot and a sheet of aluminum foil work just fine. 

Weights: Sometimes, sous vide bags fill with air during a cook--usually from gases inside the food expanding from the heat. When this happens, you need to solve the problem because a floating bag isn't going to cook evenly. You can re-bag the food, or you can weight it down so it stays completely submerged. You can buy special sous vide weights for this: 

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

However, you almost certainly already own something you can use instead: a big coffee mug, a small yet heavy pan, a cast iron trivet, an enameled cast iron Dutch oven lid; many things will work. 

Although air in a bag can result in an uneven cook, keeping the bag submerged  will often solve the problem (for those of us too lazy to re-bag). 

Searing Tools: When you take your proteins out of the water bath, they don't look very appetizing. They'll be gray and soggy looking. This is because there is no browning with sous vide. Since browning adds flavor as well as color, you will want a way to sear most of your proteins before eating. (There are some exceptions, such as salmon and shrimp, but for most meats you're going to want a sear.)

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

You can sear your proteins a number of ways: you can use a torch or Searzall (propane or MAPP gas is best), you can throw them on a screaming hot grill for a few minutes (no longer than this or you lose the perfect doneness), you can broil, bake, or pan fry, you can even deep fry (deep-fried sous vide steak is a real treat!).

The easiest way to sear is probably in a hot cast iron skillet: get that pan as hot as you can, and quickly sear the protein, turning it to brown all sides. It doesn't take but a couple of minutes.

If you don't want to wash a pan, you can use your grill--or place your protein on an outdoor grill and torch it if you don't want to go to the trouble of getting your charcoal going (though a gas grill makes searing super easy!).

Again, the point is that you almost certainly already own everything you need to finish your proteins. You can invest in more sous vide infrastructure (like the Searzall), but you don't have to. 

NOTE: One problem with searing, particularly with a fatty cut of steak like rib eye or NY strip, is that it's hard to get the fat fully rendered. To do this without further cooking the interior, you have to use the highest heat method possible. So whether it's a grill, torch, or cast iron pan, get that thing as hot as humanly possible for best results.

Vacuum Sealer: In the desire to sell a lot of immersion circulators, a lot of folks are telling you that you don't need a vacuum sealer; that the water displacement method works just fine. Even though "sous vide" literally means "under vacuum," you do not need a vacuum sealer. Against the recommendations of almost every other sous vide site on the Internet, we suggest that a vacuum sealer is the one piece of infrastructure that you do need.

Sure, you can use the water displacement method and get decent results. Reusable silicone bags will also produce decent results (and use less plastic, as well).

But what about meal prepping? What about having a freezer full of seasoned meat you can just pop in the water bath for an easy dinner? What about saving hundreds of dollars a year by being able to buy in bulk and freeze proteins with no worries about freezer burn?

There are myriad reasons you need a vacuum sealer in your kitchen: foolproof sous viding is only one of them. Check out our vacuum sealer archives for more info. 

Are There Any Disadvantages to Cooking Sous Vide?

All cooking methods have disadvantages, and sous vide is no exception. Here are a few issues with the sous vide method:

  • You have to be careful about the Danger Zone and keeping temps at safe levels.
  • You use a lot of plastic (though there are ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle sous vide plastic)
  • You have to plan ahead because sous vide is easy, but it is not fast.
  • You need to sear most proteins after cooking sous vide (an extra step).
  • You may miss the smell of roasting meat.

About Amazon Reviews (How We Chose) 

A couple of years ago, Amazon banned all incentivized reviews--those that were "given in exchange for a free or reduced price product." Through thorough research, Amazon found that there were more incentivized reviews than reviews freely given, and that they tended to be more positive, to the point that they did not accurately represent many products--incentivized reviews tended to give higher ratings than non-incentivized reviews. 

Amazon cracked down on these, and removed tens of thousands of these reviews from the site. They also added a "Verified Purchase" status to qualifying reviews to help consumers find good information. A "verified purchase" ensured shoppers that the reviewer had actually purchased the product and was freely sharing their honest opinion.

The "verified purchase" isn't required, though, and for that reason, the problem of fake reviews has not gone away. In fact, it may have gotten worse. Sellers need positive reviews to sell their products and have found ways to post dishonest, overly positive reviews. Most research indicates the number of unreliable reviews to be around 30% on average, however, this article on Forbes says that number can be as high as 70%.

Sellers have gotten smarter and more deceptive about buying positive reviews, but because they depend on them to sell products, there's no way they're going to stop this practice.

You can read more about online reviews here and here. It's fascinating stuff--and we think it's required reading for everyone who shops online.

In any case, if you're going solely by reviews on Amazon when deciding whether to buy, you could end up with a terrible product. You can't trust Amazon reviews alone. This is especially true if you're buying on the low end, where deception abounds and it's nearly impossible to know if you can trust reviews on a brand you've probably never heard of. (Such as the majority of these under $100 sous vide circulators.)

Luckily, there are a few tools our there that helped us decide which circulators to review, and can help you make a purchasing decision.

Fakespot

To help us weed out the hundreds of under $100 immersion circulators on the market, we used a neat little tool called Fakespot. You simply copy the Amazon URL and paste it into the Fakespot page, and they'll come up with a rating, A through F, to tell you how reliable the product reviews are. Fakespot uses an algorithm to analyze several aspects of the reviews, including language, grammar, dates, and more. They keep their algorithms secret, so no one knows for sure everything they measure. 

But one thing is for sure: Fakespot is a helpful tool for online consumers. You can also use Fakespot to test reviews on some other sites, too: Best Buy, WalMart, Sephora, tripadvisor, and Yelp. 

Is Fakespot Foolproof?

No, Fakespot is not foolproof. Like any software tool, there are nuances that it simply can't account for. The Joule immersion circulator is a good example: when it was first released on Amazon, it received dozens of 5 star reviews almost immediately. Since clustered dates is one of the things that Fakespot looks at to detect deception, it initially gave Joule a very low grade. As time went on, that grade changed, and Fakespot's adjusted rating on Joule is 4.5 stars--the same as Amazon's rating on Joule.

Because Fakespot is not foolproof, a low grade doesn't necessarily mean you should avoid a product. In addition to the grade, Fakespot also gives an adjusted rating, if there are enough non-deceptive reviews for it to analyze. So even if a product's reviews get, say, a "C" or "D" rating, if the adjusted review is still 4 stars or higher, it's probably a good product. (Remember, Fakespot isn't reviewing the product; it's reviewing the product reviews.)

If Fakespot gives a low grade and says there aren't enough reviews to re-rate the product, we recommend that you avoid it like the plague.

If you google Fakespot, you might find a lot of complaints about its honesty and/or effectiveness; many people claim that its results are inconsistent, and that you can't trust them. But remember: Fakespot is not reviewing the product; it's reviewing the product reviews. So you have to look at both the grade and the adjusted review.

Fakespot is not foolproof, but used in conjunction with other factors, it's one tool that can help you buy wisely.

What Else Can I Do to Trust that I'm Buying a Good Product?

Fakespot is just one tool we used to weed out the "absolutely nots" from the "maybes." We also looked at a number of factors including specs, user reviews, and manufacturer reputations to determine if we wanted to actually test a circulator. 

You can do much the same thing before deciding to buy. In addition to checking an Amazon URL on Fakespot (or some other review site like ReviewMeta), you should:

  • Read user reviews to find out what people loved and hated about the circulator. Pay more attention to long, detailed reviews and not the one sentence reviews such as "Great product! Love it!" or "Piece of junk." The shorties aren't necessarily fake reviews, but they are more likely to be fake. More importantly, they​​ don't provide much insight into the product.
  • Read specifications: does the circulator have everything you want (power, temp range, warranty, etc.)?
  • Look at external reviews of the circulator (such as on our site), paying special attention to those that are detailed and genuinely helpful--not just those encouraging you to buy the product.
  • When you use Fakespot or another review site, don't just look at the overall grade or rating: also look at their adjusted rating. This is probably even more important than the grade, because it tells you if the product is actually any good or not. (If there is no adjusted rating it's because there aren't enough non-deceptive ratings to recalculate it, this is also significant: this is a product you should not buy.)
  • Try to find information about the company (for example, click over to its Amazon page to see what else it sells--every product has a link to the seller's Amazon page directly underneath the product name). NOTE: In the case of most under $100 immersion circulators, you're going to find that these are OEM products made in China--see more on OEM products below.) 
Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100
  • You should also read some of the links we provided above, or do your own googling for how to be a smart online shopper. There's way more valuable information out there than we can include here.

Our Criteria

To determine a pass/fail grade on Fakespot, here are the specific criteria we used:

  • Had to have an adjusted rating of higher than 3.5 stars
  • Had to have 85% or higher 4 and 5 star ratings 
  • Preferably had to have less than 10% 1-star ratings.

We say "preferably" because we couldn't find a circulator under $100 with WiFi that fit these criteria. The one we recommend, the Gourmia GSV150, had the best ratings overall of the circulators under $100 with WiFi. Unfortunately, it still had a high percentage of 1 star ratings, the majority of which were related to WiFi issues. (We go into more detail in the product review below.)

Once again, Fakespot is not the only way we critiqued product reviews. But it greatly helped us decide which ones were actually worth testing.​​

Important Features (What We Looked At)

Once a model passed our Amazon/Fakespot review criteria, we looked at the features that make or break an immersion circulator's usability. They are described here, then again for each specific model in the reviews below.

The features we consider important are power, accuracy, size, controls, attachment design, and timer, plus a few other less critical features.

Power (Wattage)

Power refers to the wattage of a circulator, and it largely determines how fast a circulator will come up to temperature. Coming to temperature quickly is perhaps the most important trait of an immersion circulator.

You may think, "Who cares how fast it is? I'll use hot tap water so it doesn't matter." But if you become a frequent user of your sous vide machine--several times a week, for example, like us--you'll likely get into the habit of leaving a stock pot full of water on your counter. 

This is not only easier than refilling a pot several times a week, it also conserves water. But it means that you're often starting from room temperature, so it's going to take considerably longer for that water to reach the set point temperature than if you start with hot tap.  

You may not think there's a big difference between 800 watts and 1000 watts, but in practical terms, it can mean the difference of up to half an hour in the speed of heating from room temperature--maybe even more if you're doing veggies that require temps close to 200F. In our tests, we were not surprised to find that the Gourmia GSV150, at 1200W the most powerful circulator we tested, was about twice as fast as the 800W circulators. This held true for room temperature water heated to a cooking temp of 131F and for hot tap water heated to a temperature of 150F.

The 1000W circulators fell somewhere in the middle, as expected.

Here are our results:

Circulator

(in 8 qt stock pot)

Time to Heat

70F-130F

Time to Heat

130F-150F

Aobosi

800W

32"

12"

Veken

1000W

21"

 8"

Yedi

1000W

20"

7"

IP Accu Slim

800W​​

33"

13"

AICOK

1000W

21"

7"

Gourmia GSV150

1200W​​

16"

 5"

Keep in mind that your results may vary as there are a lot of factors that are hard to control for. These times may vary, but they clearly show the differences between low wattage and high wattage circulators.

It's not all about wattage, as different circulators are designed differently, so some heat faster than others of similar wattage. But by and large, more wattage means faster heating--and by and large, you will appreciate faster heating under most circumstances. 

One more consideration: You may want to use a dedicated outlet (i.e., nothing else plugged into it when you're using your circulator) for high-wattage circulators as you may trip power breakers if you don't. Even 800W is higher than a lot of kitchen appliances. We don't see this as a reason to go with lower wattage, unless perhaps your kitchen has old wiring. Using a dedicated outlet will greatly lessen the chances of tripping a power breaker.

Accuracy

A sous vide circulator really only has to do 2 things: 1) heat water, and 2) hold it at an accurate temperature. (Even the circulation itself isn't all that critical because liquids have natural currents that distribute temperature evenly. This is why most water ovens do not have, and do not need, a circulation pump.)

Thus, most sous vide circulators aren't going to fall short in this category, and all of the sticks we tested were able to hold water temperature within 1F. This isn't quite as impressive as it sounds, because most circulators promise accuracy 10 times better then that (i.e., +/- 0.1F).

But 1F is good enough.

Somewhat surprisingly, not all circulators can hold water to a precise temperature, especially in the under $100 category. (Just read some of the negative Amazon reviews to see what we mean.) If you don't like any of our picks, please read reviews carefully before choosing another one to make sure it can do what it's supposed to do. 

If you buy one of our recommendations and it's not able to hold the water temp within a degree, you should return it--it's a lemon. 

Temperature Range

Sous vide temperature range really only needs to be from around room temperature to around boiling point--and room temperature only if you're going to use sous vide for an unusual purpose (we can't think of any examples, but there are probably some room-temp applications for sous vide). 

Some of our recommendations have smaller ranges than this (e.g., the Accu Slim's range is 104-195F), and some have larger ranges (e.g., the Gourmia's range is 32-203F).

The thing is, a circulator can't cool water; it can only heat it. So if for some reason you want a water bath near freezing, you're going to have to use ice to get it down that low. But since this is a cooking device, you'll probably never need to do that.

A circulator also can't heat above 212F, the boiling point of water. (If you're cooking at temps above 212F, sous vide is the wrong method to use.) 

Overall, sous vide cooking temps range from a low of about 120F (for fish) to a high of about 200F (for hard veggies like carrots or potatoes). 

So it doesn't really matter that our circulator picks varied in temperature range, with lows from 32F to 104F and highs from 194F to 212F. As varied as these are, all provide adequate temps for any sous vide cooking you'll want to do. 

If you need a circulator with a particularly low temp, the Veken or the Gourmia GSV150 are good choices, as they go down to 32F. Aobosi and Yedi low end temps are both around room temperature, so may also be good options for you.

Size

For most people, a good size for a circulator is usually "small." The Joule was an innovative design because it was half the size of the other circulators on the market--small enough to fit in any drawer. And as nice as this is, the sacrifice is that the Joule can only be controlled remotely, through an app on a smart device. If you're over 35, this may not appeal to you (and maybe not even if you're younger than that). This can be problematic because it creates an unnecessary dependency: if you have connectivity problems in your home, the Joule is useless. 

Our pick for the best small circulator under $100 is the Instant Pot Accu Slim. The design isn't as sleek as Joule, but it's small enough to fit in most drawers and it still has a control panel (making it still not as small as the Joule, but pretty close). 

The sacrifice you make with choosing a small model is that it's usually not as powerful as some of the larger ones. You'll have to settle for 800W instead of 1000W or even 1200W, which can make heating water significantly slower (see our discussion above about power). 

A small circulator is nice, and we understand why people would be drawn to one. But be sure you can live with the lower power before you buy (or save up until you can afford the 1100W Joule).

Controls/User Interface

Here, we looked at which circulators were easiest to use. Now, "easiest to use" is subjective, because people differ on what kind of controls they prefer. For us, what makes a circulator easy to use is a scroll wheel (vs. a touch screen control panel).

The AICOK has a scroll wheel to change temp/time:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

This emulates the original Anova design. (Sadly, Anova has moved away from the scroll wheel and has gone touchscreen only with their new devices.)

The Aobosi has Plus/Minus keys (as do the Yedi, Veken, and Accu Slim):

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

So the question is this: Would you rather press a key repeatedly or scroll with a wheel? And which provides more tactile feedback? And which is faster?

In our testing, the scroll wheel wins hands down. 

So our pick for "best user interface" was the AICOK, which has a scroll wheel to set temperature and time.

(The Gourmia GSV150 also has a scroll wheel, but its non-intuitive control pad made it not our choice for best user interface.)

How you set the device may not be a priority for you, and if so, that's fine. In the bigger scheme, you'll be happy with whichever circulator you buy regardless of how you control it.

And as crazy as it is to us, some people actually prefer the touch screen controls. If that's you, then be sure to stay away from the AICOK and the Gourmia GSV150.

But if you are someone who prefers manual controls--because they're faster and easier to use!--the AICOK is the best pick under $100.

Attachment Design 

Here, there are two options. 

Clip:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Screw clamp:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

The screw clamp is our choice. It's more durable, and it allows use with a wider range of vessels.

Many clips have too narrow an opening to work with, say, a cooler. And because clips are primarily made of plastic, they can break.

Clips can also hold poorly, sliding down the side of a vessel. This can be a serious problem because most circulators won't work properly if they're resting on the bottom of a pot. (It's an easy fix, though: just glue some rubber or other "high-grip" material on the clip.)

So we prefer screw clamps, but a clip is not a deal breaker if the circulator you want has one. If the vast majority of your cooks are probably going to be in a thin-walled vessel (e.g., a stock pot or dedicated sous vide container), the attachment type isn't all that important.

Water Level

Water level is probably the most important operating feature that you'll have to monitor. Immersion ciruclators have a set water level range in which they can operate, indicated on the immersion shaft:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

This is important because if the water level falls below the minimum level, the circulator can't work properly, and it will shut itself off. 

If this happens in the middle of the night, while you're sleeping, your food could be spoiled by the time you discover it. 

Not good.

Circulators have a range of operation from 2 inches up to about 5 inches. The range of the circulators we review here is from 2-4 inches. A larger range is nice, especially for longer cooks, however, you can work with any range. 

Just know that if you buy a circulator with a smallish operating range, you will need to monitor it more frequently, and should consider keeping it covered to avoid evaporation--especially for long or high temperature cooks.

Timer

We are old school with sous vide, much preferring circulators with no timer at all. With the huge window of acceptable cooking time--larger than with any other cooking method--sous vide makes timing largely unnecessary.

No, not for everything: fish, for example, will degrade rather quickly if left in too long. But for most things, timing is simply not necessary, and you do not need the circulator to shut itself off when the food is "done." In fact, if the circulator shuts itself off and the food then sits in room temperature water for more than a couple of hours, you may have to toss it--this is the Danger Zone where bacteria can ruin food and make it unsafe to eat.

You're far better off--even with fish!--if the circulator runs indefinitely, keeping the food at safe-to-eat temperatures.

Yes, a timer can be helpful on the other end, with minimum times. But do you need a timer for that? Can't you use the timer on your stove or microwave? Or for that matter, your watch? 

Unfortunately, most new immersion circulators come with a timer. And some, like the Accu Slim by Instant Pot, require that you set the timer to use the device. We find this utterly ridiculous, and antithetical to the whole philosophy of sous vide. 

But we understand that some people do not. They want the security of a timer, of knowing that the circulator is watching out for you and taking care of everything. And that's fine. So if you are a person who prefers using a timer, you're in luck, because all of our under $100 recommendations have timers. Fortunately, most of them are optional.​​​​

Other Considerations

Other considerations include water flow, water circulation, and heating capacity (i.e., how large a water bath it will heat). All of these sous vide circulators have roughly equal specifications in these departments, as do other consumer grade circulators (regardless of the price). Yes, you may find some differences, but for the most part, an immersion circulator is a simple machine that heats and moves water around in a container; there aren't a lot of different ways to do either of these things.

For any significant upgrade--and frankly, it's questionable how much of an upgrade you can get in these areas--you have to jump to commercial grade. The $100-200 circulators are going to operate much like the under $100 circulators.

Water Flow and Water Circulation 

Water flow refers to how fast the circulator can pump water. Water circulation refers to which direction the circulator pumps the water.

Flow is important because a circulator has to move water at a rate fast enough to keep the temperature even throughout the water bath; uneven heating results in unevenly cooked food. A higher flow rate will also adjust to temperature changes faster. 

Flow rate is measured in liters per minute (LPM) or gallons per minute (GPM). In general, all sous vide circulators have a flow rate fast enough to maintain a temperature consistent enough to cook feed evenly. Unless you're looking for a high capacity circulator to cook large amounts of food routinely, flow rate isn't a large concern. 

Circulation refers to the direction(s) in which the pump disperses water. The vast majority of modern sous vide circulators have 360 degree circulation, which is as fully circulating as you can get. 

Heating Capacity

Heating capacity refers to how much water a sous vide circulator can efficiently heat. Like water flow and circulation, heating capacity is similar amongst consumer-grade circulators. Most circulators can heat a few gallons of water without a problem. In fact, pretty much any circulator will do an okay job even if you use it in a vessel larger than its rated capacity. (We're not telling you to do that, but if you ever have a need to, you aren't likely to have any major problems. It just may take awhile to get up to temperature.) 

If you need something with a larger heating capacity, you'll have to spend considerably more on a commercial/laboratory grade circulator like the PolyScience Classic Series circulator, which is rated to heat up to 12 gallons. 

About Internet Connectivity

Internet connectivity allows you to control your sous vide circulator remotely from a smart device. Some circulators, like this Anova Nano (which, surprisingly, fared poorly on our Fakespot test, getting a "D" and an adjusted rating of 2 stars), have Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to operate the circulator from anywhere in your home. Others have Wifi with full connectivity that allows you to control the device from anywhere there is an Internet connection. All you need to do is download an app and connect your device to it.

How Connectivity Aids Sous Vide Cooking

How would you use this connectivity? A number of ways. For one, you could put your meal and some ice in a water bath before you leave for work in the morning, start the circulator in the afternoon, and voila, you've got dinner 80% done when you get home from work; 95% done if you're not making any sides. 

You can also get alerts on your smart phone if there are errors in the cook, such as low water level or a power outage. This is convenient, and may save you the expense of having to toss out an entire meal. 

Some apps (Joule is one) can walk you through a recipe step by step, complete with pictures to show doneness levels. This is helpful if you're new to sous vide (although, let's be honest, sous vide-ing is not that hard to learn without an app--most people know what "medium rare" means).

Some sous vide circulators, like the Joule, only allow remote control. Joule has no controls on the device, so you have to use your smart device for even the most basic functions (such as powering on and setting the temperature). The Joule is compact and powerful, and the app works really well, but some people dislike having to use an app every.single.time. they want to sous vide. It can be a pain compared to just turning on the device, tossing in some food, and letting it run until you're ready to eat (which, once again, is the true beauty of sous vide cooking: no worries about scorching, burning, or overcooking, even if your sous vide window is several hours long). 

Other circulators have more limited apps. They let you turn the circulator on and off, monitor the cook, and maybeto adjust settings. Most apps also have recipes and cooking guides that may or may not be interactive. The good thing is that even if you don't care about controlling your circulator remotely, these apps can be good resources for sous vide recipes and cook times. (You can download any of these apps, even if you don't own the circulator.)

Is Internet Connectivity Worth the Extra Cost?

According to polls we've done and other research, the sous vide community is split about evenly on Internet connectivity: some people love it and use it all the time, while others have never bothered to connect their unit even if it has Internet capability.

Our opinion on connectivity is mixed, as well. We like the idea that an app can be helpful to people finding their way with new technology. However, the idea that you have to use an app is abhorrent. These devices heat water, for gosh sakes. Being required to connect to the Internet to heat water is a bit over the top.

Then there is the whole privacy thing. Most smart devices are constantly listening, and this is true whether they're on or off, whether you're actively using them or not. From your Siri to your Alexa, you probably have a number of devices in your home that are listening, listening, listening...in other words, spying on you. (Check out this article if you don't believe us.) From this standpoint, having yet another "smart" device is a bit unnerving. No, the circulator itself probably isn't constantly listening to you, but it's the principle of the listening that bothers us.

Also, you have to supply a lot of personal information to use most sous vide apps. If your privacy is important to you, you may not want to do this.

But probably the biggest problem with immersion circulator connectivity is that so many of these apps just aren't there yet. They don't work very well. Either they don't connect, or the connection is intermittent, or it doesn't do what it's supposed to do. 

Just browse the one- and two-star Amazon reviews on the Anova and Joule to get an idea of some of the connectivity nightmares people have experienced. 

So, is Internet connectivity worth the extra cost? We don't think so. If it's important to you, you should spend the extra money and get the Joule; possibly the Anova, as they continue to improve their app. Our pick for best WiFi circulator under $100, the Gourmia GSV150, is a steal at about 70 bucks. But we suggest that you buy it for its power--at 1200W, higher even than Anova or Joule--and not for its connectivity. Yes, it works, but there's a lot of room for improvement.

Are Under $100 Circulators as Good as More Expensive Circulators?

Now a whole new batch of newer, less expensive circulators has flooded the market. But are they as good as the Anova and the Joule?

The truth is, a sous vide circulator is a simple device. It heats water and holds it at a precise temperature. And most devices are fully capable of doing that. Even if you buy the cheapest circulator you can find, it will probably be able to heat water and hold a temperature. 

In that sense, these circulators are every bit as good as Joule or Anova. But still, buying in this category, you make some sacrifices. For example, a no-name brand probably isn't going to have very good customer service. And the internal parts may not be quite as durable--although we suspect that the build quality is very similar to that of Anova and Joule, both of which are also made in China. To go higher, you have to spend hundreds more on a lab grade immersion circulator like this PolyScience model. 

The difference in quality between the PolyScience circulator and the Anova or Joule is palpable. The difference between Anova or Joule and an under $100 circulator? It's often very hard to tell.

So the upshot is this: We can't tell you with total certainty that under $100 circulators are going to be as good as an Anova or a Joule, but we do believe that the ones we tested and recommend are very, vey close, and are worth the risk. 

In fact, unless you want specific features, like the Joule's superior Internet app, there's probably no reason to pay more than $100 for a sous vide circulator.

As time passes, we may change our minds. But this is how we see it today. ​​

Highest Rated: Aobosi

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

The Aobosi sous vide circulator has more than 50 reviews, 86% of which are 5-star and 5% of which are 4-star, giving it an overall 91% postive rating. It has 6% 1-star ratings and an A rating on Fakespot. This is the highest percentage of positive reviews and one of the lowest percentage of negative reviews for any of the under $100 immersion circulators on Amazon that also passes the Fakespot test. Kudos to Aobosi.

Aobosi is a home appliance company established in 1996. Its parent company is Guangzhou Aobosi and is Chinese (Guangzhou is an area in China). Their products include rice makers, juicers, vacuum sealers, air fryers, and induction hobs. They sell their products in countries around the world, primarily through Amazon.

All Aobosi products get consistently good ratings, with the Aobosi company overall having a "B" rating on Fakespot. 

Aobosi is sometimes spelled "Aaobosi" due to the rather confusing company logo: 

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

The Aobosi immersion circulator looks suspiciously like some others we found, including this one. It doesn't mean it's a bad product, but be sure to buy the cheapest iteration of it you can find, which we believe is this one, the Aobosi.

Design

The design is a pretty standard Anova copycat, with a sturdy screw clamp attachment that allows for plenty of variety in vessels, from stock pot to cooler (although it would have to be a fairly thin-walled cooler). It's angled head allows you to see it from across a room, and the display is large enough to read easily. 

The display shows all the info you need (not all circulators do):

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

With a shaft diameter of about 3 inches, you'll be able to fit the Aobosi circulator into most sous vide containers designed for compatibiity with Anova (but probably not Joule).

The screw clamp design is sturdy and allows for a wide range of vessels. The clamp height is adjustable, which is a really nice feature that not all circulators have.  It adds versatility to the type of vessel you can use, which can be especially important if you're using mason jars or other solid containers which are easiest in a shallow bath. 

The stainless housing is removable for easy cleaning. The upper body has a "soft touch" design that gives it a good grip that won't slip out of your hands.

Container: If you want a dedicated sous vide container, look for one compatible with Anova. The shaft of the Aobosi probably won't fit in a Joule-sized hole.​​

The Aobosi circulator is also ETL rated for safety--most circulators do not have a safety rating like this.

Operation

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Controls: As you can see in the image above, operation is through a digital control panel. It is easy to use: select the mode you want--Timer or Temperature--then use the Plus/Minus keys to adjust. Use the Start/Stop key run the circulator.

Most immersion circulators have all digital controls now, but a few, including the AICOK reviewed below, have a scroll wheel, which all of our testers preferred to a Plus/Minus key interface (a scroll wheel is faster and easier to use). This is largely a personal preference, though, and you may prefer the all digital controls. 

The display will also show several error codes to help you troubleshoot if something goes wrong. These are explained in the user manual.

Error Codes: The display will also show several error codes to help you troubleshoot if something goes wrong. These are explained in the user manual.

Water level: As with all immersion circulators, the most important factor for safe and proper use is making sure the water level is within the Min/Max markings on the shaft:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

This circulator has a nice min/max range of about 3 inches, which means that if you get distracted, a lot of water will have to evaporate before you have problems. A large min/max range is a great feature, and even some more expensive circulators don't have one this large.

If the water level does get to the min line, the circulator beeps, alerting you so you can add water. If you don't add water, it shuts itself off. 

Remember to cover vessels for long cooks (e.g., more than 6 hours or so), and for high temperature cooks--above 150F or so, water will evaporate much faster than at temps lower than that.

Heating Power: While your circumstances may vary (different room temp, different vessel, different tap water temp., etc.), we found that the Aobosi could heat room temperature (70f) water to 130F in just over half an hour, and could bring 130F water up to 150F in about 12 minutes. These times are close to those of other 800W circulators.

read aobosi reviews on amazon

Specifications

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Power (Wattage): 800 watts, standard 120V/60Hz US power source. 

Accuracy: +/- 0.1C (0.18F).

Temperature Range: 68-212F (20-100C).​​

Size/Weight: 3.3x13.7 inches/3.25 lbs.​​

Heating Time: 32 minutes from 70F to 130F. 12 minutes from 130F to 150F.​​

Controls/User Interface: Digital control panel.​​

Attachment Design: Adjustable screw clamp.

Timer: Up to 99 hours, 59 minutes.​​

Water Flow/Direction: 360 degrees.​​

Recommended Water Bath Size: 6-15 liters.​​

Warranty: 2 year manufacturer warranty.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Adjustable screw clamp attachment, good min/max water level, 2 yr warranty (with good customer service!), ETL certified. 

Cons: Only 800W, digital controls (no scroll wheel).

Recommendation

With a screw clamp attachment, a 2 year warranty, a price tag under $60, and glowing reviews, we really like the Aobosi sous vide circulator. It's easy to use and it's unlikely to shut off on you because of low water level, even if you forget about it (for awhile, at least--cover that thing if you're cooking overnight). At only 800 watts, it won't be the fastest circulator on our list, but it's got other features that may make up for this, depending on what you're looking for.

buy the Aobosi sous vide circulator on Amazon now:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Lowest Price: Veken

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Veken is another Chinese company that sells primarily on Amazon. They have a wide range of products, including digital thermometers, automatic pet waterers, stainless French presses, coffee grinders, and this sous vide circulator. As of this writing, the Veken circulator has only about a dozen reviews, which is just barely enough to qualify for a review on TRK. But every review is 4 or 5 star, and it also gets a Fakespot rating of 5 stars. 

At this price, you don't expect so many 5 star ratings, so we were intrigued enough to test it. We liked it, too: this circulator is quiet, powerful, and comes with a 2 year warranty. 

In our tests, the Veken performed reliably and accurately. Chinese conglomerates can have terrible customer service, so that should be in the back of your head if you decide to buy on the low end. Having said that, we did not have any problems at all with this circulator, and think it worth its price, especially if you're just getting into sous vide and want to keep your investment to a minimum.

NOTE: There is a WiFi version of this circulator by WongKuo (most likely making this an OEM product), but we cannot recommend it due to its terrible Fakespot rating. (Yes, this makes us curious about the good rating on the Veken, because it's likely to be manufactured in the same Chinese factory--so buy either one at your own risk.)

Design

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Even though the controls are on the device (not remote), the design takes after the well-known Joule immersion circulator: it's white, it has a clip attachment, and it's flat across the top--and bottom--just like Joule. It's also on the slim side, though not quite as petite as Joule. The control panel is on the top face of the unit, which means you have to be right next to the device to see the settings. We prefer an angled head so you can read the display from across a room, but it's not a deal breaker.

Container: The shaft is approximately the same diameter as Joule (less than 2 inches), so should work in any containers designed for use with Joule.

The clip attachment is not our favorite because these tend to be not as durable as the screw clamp attachment, although it's certainly easier to use. We didn't have any issues with it during our testing, but long term, you may have problems, especially when the clip is made primarily of plastic, as this one is. 

Operation

Controls: The Veken has a digital panel on the top face of the unit (so, as we mentioned, you can only see the setting when standing right next to it). 

It does, however, have an indicator light on the side which can easily be seen from across a room; in some ways, so unless you need to know the exact temperature or time left, this is just as good. When running smoothly, the light is a pretty bright blue. When there's a problem, the light is red. The circulator will also chirp to let you know if there's a problem.

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

It's easy to use: you select the Setting (the button being pressed in the image above), then you use the Plus/Minus keys to adjust both the temperature and the time (if necessary--you don't need to use the timer). 

The timer goes up to 99 hours, so the Veken works great for long cooks.

You can also set the temperature display in Fahrenheit or Celsius.

Error Codes: The display will also show several error codes to help you troubleshoot if something goes wrong. These are explained in the user manual.

Water Level: The Veken has a decent maximum/minimum water level:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Though designed to look like Joule, this min/max water level is nothing like Joule, which will keep running in less than 2 inches of water. This isn't a deal breaker by any means (what can you cook in less than 2 inches of water?), but it does mean that for cooks longer than a few hours or temperatures higher than about 150F, you should definitely cover the vessel to minimize evaporation. 

If the water level gets low, the Veken chirps 3 times and the indicator light turns red to alert you. If you don't add water, the circulator will shut itself off--something you want to avoid at all costs.

Heating Power: While your circumstances may vary (different room temp, different vessel, different tap water temp., etc.), we found that the Veken could heat room temperature (70f) water to 130F in about 20 minutes, and could bring 130F water up to 150F in about 8 minutes. These times are close to those of other 1000W circulators.

Attachment: The clip isn't our favorite because it's not as durable as a screw clamp, and also won't work as easily with a thick-walled vessel (like a cooler). Some people prefer the clip because it's easier to attach than a screw clamp, which is totally true. The Veken has a plastic clip that has kind of a cheap feel to it, but having said that, we had no problems with it in our testing. 

If you are going to use primarily a stock pot or designated sous vide container, the clip should be fine (though we suggest you handle it with care as it could break easily). If you want to use thick-walled containers like a cooler, you may want a circulator model with a screw clamp attachment.

Cleaning: The stainless steel shaft is removable for easy cleaning.​​

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

read Veken sous vide circulator reviews on amazon

Specifications

Power (Wattage): 1000W, standard 120V/60Hz US power source.

Temperature Range: 32-194F (0-90C).​​

Size: 1.875x12 in., 2.56 lbs.​​

Heating Time: 21 minutes from 70F to 130F. 8 minutes from 130F to 150F.

Controls/User Interface: Digital control panel w/indicator light (blue/red).

Attachment Design: Clip (nonadjustable).​​

Timer: Settable from 1 minute to 99 hours.​​

Water Flow/Direction: 360 degrees.

Warranty: 2 year manufacturer warranty.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Low price, 1000W, 2 yr warranty.​​

Cons: Clip attachment, not very many ratings.

Recommendation

If a rock bottom price is the most important feature for you, the Veken is the circulator for you. It's powerful, it gets surprisingly good reviews, and it passed all of our testing with flying colors. Even so, we remain a little skeptical, so buy at your own risk; you may want to shell out a bit more for a more proven (and durable) brand.

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

BUY THE Veken SOUS VIDE CIRCULATOR ON AMAZON NOW:

Best Accessories: Yedi Total Package Sous Vide Cooker

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

The Yedi sous vide circulator is sold by Yedi Housewares, another maker of small kitchen appliances including air fryers, pressure cookers, and more. Probably their greatest claim to fame is having their coffee mugs selected as one of Oprah's Favorite Things in 2018. 

This doesn't make Yedi is a solid product (a lot of less than stellar products make it onto Oprah's list), and the company overall gets a "C" rating on Fakespot. But this circulator & package gets an adjusted Fakespot rating of 4.5 stars with enough reviews to make that really mean something.

The circulator has a nice feel. It's bigger and heavier than some other sous vide circulators on this list, which is both good and bad: the size makes it harder to store, but the heft also makes it feel like it's a sturdy, well made product. 

The Yedi performed well in our tests, holding an accurate temperature for long and short cooks and producing juicy, tender cuts of beef, pork, and poultry. We had no problems with it at all. 

If you're a sous vide newbie and lacking infrastructure, you'll appreciate the "total package" that comes with the Yedi. You get a hand pump plus 10 "reusable" bags (in quotation marks because the re-usability is questionable--we suggest silicone bags for the best reusability), as well as clips (to hold bags in place in the water bath) plus a sous vide "cheat sheet" and cookbook to help you get started. 

None of these accessories are terribly impressive, in our opinion; we much prefer a vacuum sealer for sous vide (yes, these days we're in the minority about that, but it doesn't make us wrong) and the "cheat sheet" isn't terribly detailed. But if you want to use your Yedi right away, you'll have all the tools to do so (you can invest in vacuum sealer infrastructure down the road, when you're ready to take that plunge--though we strongly ggest you do).

see our sous vide time/temperature table for proteins

Design

The Yedi is bulkier than most other new-generation circulators, with a total length of almost 15 inches. The top 3 or so inches are curved--not just an angled head--which adds to the bulkiness. Thus, it requires more storage space because it's longer and wider than a lot of other circulators. (To compare, the Anova and its copycats have a completely straight shaft, with only the top face angled--a design that takes up less storage space.)

With an immersion shaft diameter of 2.25 inches, it should work with any sous vide container designed for Anova (but not for Joule).

The clip attachment isn't our favorite, but it's surprisingly sturdy. Unfortunately, it is not adjustable.

Operation

Here's a helpful 2 minute video of how to use the Yedi:

Controls: The Yedi sous vide circulator has a really nice interface. It's tilted so the panel is easy to read, and the controls couldn't be more self-explanatory. We love that it has a display for both temperature and time--no having to switch back and forth between the two.

The indicator light on the side, below the display, is just icing on the cake, but it allows you to see from across a room whether the circulator is working properly--if it is, the light is blue; if not, the light is red.​​​​

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Error Codes: The display will also show several error codes to help you troubleshoot if something goes wrong. These are explained in the user manual.

Water Level: You can see in the image below (in Specifications) that the Yedi has a decent min/max water level range (approximately 3.75 inches). This is one really good thing about a larger circulator, making it great for long cooks or high temperature cooks with less worry about evaporation--though you should always make sure the water level is near the max range no matter what you're cooking or for how long. 

If the water level gets too low for proper operation, the indicator light will turn red and the Yedi will give off a warning beep. 

Heating Power: While your circumstances may vary (different room temp, different vessel, different tap water temp., etc.), we found that the Yedi could heat room temperature (70f) water to 130F in about 20 minutes, and could bring 130F water up to 150F in about 7 minutes. These times are close to those of other 1000W circulators.

Attachment: Though we prefer a screw clamp attachment, the clip on the Yedi is sturdy and feels like it will hold up to use. We had no problems with it during testing. It will work with any stock pot or designated sous vide container. 

Cleaning: The stainless steel shaft is removable for easy cleaning.

Using the Accessories: One of the best things about the Yedi is that it comes with a hand pump, several reusable sous vide bags, and bag clips (to help keep bags immersed and situated properly in the cooking vessel). It also comes with a recipe book and "cheat sheet" to help you figure out cooking times, both of which we found less than useful (you can find this information easily online these days, though, so it's not a big deal).

The hand pump worked surprisingly well to remove air from the bags. But it's plastic, so who knows how long it will last. The bags are a great feature, but they, too, are awfully thin to be considered "reusable." You'll certainly be able to get a few uses out of them. ​​

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

The Yedi comes with a useful cooking "cheat sheet" to help you use the circulator:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

The chart could be more detailed, such as including thicknesses with cook times. But it will certainly get you started, even if you're a complete sous vide newbie.

As appealing as all of these extras are, in the long run, they aren't going to be terribly useful. We at TRK are huge advocates of the vacuum sealer, but if you want to try to save a few bucks or put off getting a vacuum sealer, go for it.

READ REVIEWS OF YEDI SOUS VIDE CIRCULATOR ON AMAZON

Specifications

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Power (Wattage): 1000W, standard 120V/60Hz US power source.

Temperature Range: 77-203F (25-95C).​​

Size: 3.5x14.375 inches/Immersion shaft: 4.3 lbs.

Heating Time: 20 minutes from 70F to 130F. 7 minutes from 130F to 150F.

Controls/User Interface: Digital control panel w/indicator light (blue/red).

Attachment Design: Clip.​​

Timer: Up to 99 hours, 59 minutes.​​

Water Flow/Direction: Adjustable with water pump cap on bottom of unit. 

Warranty: 2 year manufacturer warranty.​​

Pros and Cons

Pros: 1000w, 2 yr warranty, good min/max water level, great accessories (comes with hand pump, 10 reusable bags, bag clips, recipe book and cooking timetable sheet).

Cons: Large and heavier than other circulators, and the clip attachment isn't as durable as a screw clamp.

Recommendation

The Yedi sous vide circulator is one of the higher priced ones, but it's powerful, easy to use, and it comes with a helpful accessory package (if you don't own/don't want to buy a vacuum sealer). It gets excellent reviews, and we found it to be one of the most sturdily built of all the under $100 immersion circulators that we tested. We wish it had a screw clamp attachment and that it was a little smaller, but if those things doesn't bother you and you want the accessories that come with it, it's a lot of circulator for the money.

BUY THE YEDI SOUS VIDE CIRCULATOR ON AMAZON NOW:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Smallest: Instant Pot Accu Slim SSV800

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

The InstantPot SSV800 sous vide circulator comes from the people who brought us the Instant Pot, one of the biggest and most beloved cooking sensations of the last decade. Instant Pot is a Canadian company known for high quality products and great customer service (though most, if not all, their products are made in China). The SSV800 Accu Slim has been available on Amazon since mid-2018. The Amazon reviews got only a "C" rating from Fakespot, but the adjusted rating is still 4.5 stars. This probably means that Fakespot found some questionable reviews, but that the positive product ratings were accurate nevertheless. (Interestingly, the Instant Pot company rating is also a "C," although most Instant Pot products get consistently high ratings on Amazon and Fakespot.)

The AccuSlim is an updated version of Instant Pot's first sous vide circulator, the SV800, which was larger and had a slightly different design. 

Probably the most important thing we can say about this circulator is that, contrary to popular opinion, you do not need an Instant Pot pressure cooker to use the Accu Slim sous vide circulator. Like all immersion circulators, it will work in any vessel. The confusion probably comes from calling it a "6 or 8 quart" circulator in the Amazon listing, implying that it's an accessory for either of these Instant Pot models (it won't work in a smaller one because of the water level).

But it is not an Instant Pot accessory. It is a sous vide immersion circulator and you can use it in any vessel.

While this sous vide circulator gets good ratings from users, it was our least favorite of all the under $100 models we tested. Yes, it heated water fine (though a bit slow), and it held a temperature fine, too. And it has the feel of a well made product, and its compact size was great, too. But it had a lot of quirks that really detracted from its overall usability. Read on to find out what we disliked about the Accu Slim...

Design

The Accu Slim is small and slim, with a straight shaft and angled head for easy reading from across a room. It has a removable stainless shaft for easy cleaning and a bright LED readout. The all digital controls are easy to use.

If you want to use it with a designated sous vide container, look for one that works with the Anova Nano, which is about the same diameter.

Operation

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Controls: Operation of the Accu Slim is easy, as with most sous vide circulators (they're simple devices). The circulator comes on when you plug it in and shuts off when you unplug it.

You can start it immediately after plugging it in by touching the Start/Stop key. It defaults to 135F/4 hours. 

To adjust the default setting, press the M key to toggle between Temperature and Time. There doesn't seem to be a way to run the circulator with no Time setting, unfortunately. The only workaround we figured out was to set the Timer for 72 hours, the max running time. 

(NOTE: You may be okay with using a timer, and if that's how you like to cook with your sous vide circulator, that's fine, and you can ignore this little rant: We find it unfortunate because it's an extra step that is often unnecessary. The elegance of sous vide cooking is the freedom from worry about overcooking: for most sous vide items, you have a very large window in which "overcooking" has no dire consequences. Thus, the timer is largely unnecessary and in our opinions should not be a required setting.)

You can adjust temperature or time at any point during the cook by selecting the Mode you want and using the Plus/Minus keys to increase or decrease the setting. When it reaches the temperature setting, the Accu Slim will beep to let you know and start the timer.

When the time set has elapsed, the Accu Slim shuts itself off and the display will show "End."

Error Codes: The display will also show several error codes to help you troubleshoot if something goes wrong. These are explained in the user manual.

​​Water Level:​​ The max/min water level has a fairly small window of only 2 inches (compare to the Yedi above, with a range of almost 4 inches). This means you should probably always cover the cooking vessel to slow evaporation.

While the Accu Slim sous vide circulator will work in larger vessels, the ideal size is 2-3 gallons. The most important thing is to keep the water level between the Min and Max lines. 

NOTE: You do not need to use an Instant Pot vessel. Any vessel will work.

Heating Power: While your circumstances may vary (different room temp, different vessel, different tap water temp., etc.), we found that the Accu Slim could heat room temperature (70f) water to 130F in about 33 minutes, and could bring 130F water up to 150F in about 13 minutes. These times are close to those of other 800W circulators.

Temperature: The temperature range of the Accu Slim is 104-195​F. This is a smaller range than most sous vide circulators, but wide enough to cook all types of food. 104F is a little high, though, for defrosting frozen foods (one of our favorite uses for sous vide). You can do it, but you have to keep an eye on it; for example, at this temp, some fish can start to cook.

Attachment: Sturdy screw clamp attachment adjustable to 8 inches high. The clamp is rubberized to avoid scratching pots and also to avoid sliding around.

Cleaning: The stainless housing is removable for easy cleaning.​​

Specifications

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Power (Wattage): 800W, 120V/60Hz (standard US power).

Accuracy: +/- 0.4F/0.2C.​​

Temperature Range: 104-195F (40-90C), 1F/0.1C increments.

Size: 2.6x12.9 inches, 1.65 lbs.

Heating Time: 33 minutes from 70F to 130F. 13 minutes from 130F to 150F.

Controls/User Interface: Digital control panel.​​

Attachment Design: Adjustable screw clamp with a max opening of about 1 inch and a max height of 8 inches.

Timer: 1 minute up to 72 hours, with auto shutoff when time elapses.

Warranty: 1 year manufacturer warranty.

read the instant pot accu slim ssv800 sous vide circulator reviews on amazon

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Pros and Cons

Pros: Small, easy to store, adjustable screw clamp attachment, manual has detailed cooking times chart.

Cons: Only 800W; small min/max water zone (2 inches); smallish temperature range (104-195F); and there's no way to set it without using the timer.

Recommendation

If your primary concern is size, this is one of the smallest sous vide circulators you'll find under $100. Having to set the timer when using is frustrating, and actually a deal breaker for us (and it has a number of other drawbacks, as listed above in "Cons"). But if you're a fan of the Instant Pot brand and don't mind the drawbacks, you can buy with confidence that you're getting a quality product from a known company (that's not a common thing when you're bargain hunting).

BUY THE INSTANT POT ACCU SLIM SSV800 SOUS VIDE CIRCULATOR ON AMAZON NOW:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Best User Interface: AICOK

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

AICOK is yet another Chinese company that sells products to the North American and European markets, primarily through Amazon. They have dozens of different products, many of which we suspect are from an OEM factory. Why do we suspect this? Because of the Chefman sous vide circulator, which looks exactly like the AICOK: 

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

The control panel is slightly different, but everything else, including weight and dimensions, are identical.

Here's another circulator that looks eerily identical. Here's another one. And here's another one. And another one. (Yes, there are a lot.) 

This is common for OEM products. If you've ever noticed a similarity among different Amazon products, from cookware to induction burners, you're not imagining things; there's a good likelihood that these products are all made in the same factory, then purchased by a seller in the North American market. It's a common practice, and you'll even see it among premium brand products.

Does OEM mean it's a bad product? Not necessarily. There's a quality gradient with OEM products just as there is with products made at a company's own facility. The risk level of getting a lemon can be slightly higher than it is buying a name brand product, especially at a discount price point. But that's the reason for the lower price: the no-name brand. Some risks are worth taking (especially if the reviews indicate a solid product).

This isn't a problem with the AICOK circulator, which gets rave reviews on Amazon and an adjusted Fakespot rating of 4.5 stars. And another version of the AICOK sous vide cooker (older? newer? we're not sure) also gets decent reviews, and an "A" rating on Fakespot. (The Chefman, interestingly, gets an "F" rating on Fakespot, most likely because it's 4 star average rating on Amazon is too high given all the 1-star reviews. So do with that what you will.)

The AICOK worked well in all of our tests, heating water at about the same rate as other 1000W sous vide circulators and holding the temperature within 1 degree F. This is less accurate than the AICOK specifications of +/- 0.1F, but it's accurate enough to get good results.

A few reviewers raved about excellent customer service from AICOK--hopefully you won't need it, but if you do, you'll know it's there. 

Design

The AICOK has a sharply angled face that makes it easy to read across a room but adds to the bulk of the unit (though it is almost exactly the same size as the original Anova). There's something kind of adorable about this circulator. It was pleasant to hold and use. Maybe it was the attention to detail: the scroll wheel, the stainless ring around the control panel, the way the clip balanced out the angled face...none of these are critical design choices, but we liked them, even though they made the circulator bulkier than some others.

The display should be larger, as you can see here:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

The digital readout is too tiny to see well from across a room. But we do like that it shows all the settings at once, no toggling required.

What we love: The scroll wheel. The old Anova had a scroll wheel, and it was great: super fast and easy to adjust temperature. But so many electronic devices are moving away from manual controls. An Anova representative told us this was because testing showed them that people prefer the touch panel controls, but we don't believe that for a second. You can adjust a setting with a scroll wheel in a fraction of the time it takes to use Plus/Minus keys: who wouldn't prefer that??

We suspect the real reason is that the touch screen is cheaper to make, just like it is on washing machines, induction burners, microwaves, and every other appliance you can name. 

The only drawback to the scroll wheel is that it makes the circulator less water resistant than models with just a touchscreen. This was never a problem with the old Anova, though, and it's not much of a concern on this AICOK, either. Just don't drop it into a water bath or a full sink, and you should be good. (And frankly, models without a scroll wheel also aren't water resistant, so you shouldn't drop them in water, either.)

What we hate: Without a scroll wheel, the AICOK probably would never have made our list of recommendations. It has a confusing control panel, with two timers that took a while to figure out how to use due to the terrible user manual (one is for delaying the cook time, the other is for the cook time itself). It came with almost no guidelines for cooking, so if you're new to sous vide, you'll have to look elsewhere for education.

The AICOK also has smallish min/max water level (about 2 inches), meaning you have to really keep an eye on the water level. This is probably an unfair complaint, as so many sous vide circulators have a similar design. But a larger min/max water level is a nice feature (like on the Yedi), and this one doesn't have it. 

Container: As we said, this is almost exactly the same size as the original​​ Anova, so if you want a designated sous vide container, go with one that's compatible with the Anova (not Joule). 

Operation

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Controls: The AICOK has a scroll wheel, making setting and adjusting temperature and time faster and easier than models that have Plus/Minus keys on a touchscreen panel. 

When you plug in the circulator, it powers on (so be sure to have it in water before you plug it in). The large display shows the current water temp, and the set point temp (upper right) will flash, telling you it needs to be set. Use the scroll wheel to change the set temp as desired, then press the Set key to lock in the value.

If desired, you can set the Set Time (i.e., the delay time) and the Work Time (i.e., the cook time), but you can ignore one or both of these and just let the cooker run.

We found the display to be kind of a mixed bag. It's great in that it shows the actual temp, the set point temp, and both timers--no toggling back and forth required.  But as we said above, we wish the display was larger. There's room on the control panel for a larger display, and we wish they'd used it. As it is, it's hard to read from a distance.

We also dislike the confusing Set/Work timers. Yes, it's nice to be able to delay the start time: it's basically how you bring the circulator up to temperature before you start the cook timer. But we found the terminology confusing, and poorly explained in the user manual. We had to figure it out by trial and error.

Water Level: The AICOK has a small min/max water level, meaning you should cover it when using, and definitely cover it for long cooks or high temperature cooks:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Again, this is a common design and not really a flaw. However, we prefer a larger water range because it cuts down on low water issues (e.g., error messages, automatic shut down).​​

Heating Power: While your circumstances may vary (different room temp, different vessel, different tap water temp., etc.), we found that the AICOK could heat room temperature (70f) water to 130F in about 21 minutes, and could bring 130F water up to 150F in about 7 minutes. These times are close to those of other 1000W circulators.

Cleaning: The stainless shaft is NOT removable. ​​To clean, the user manual recommends running the circulator in a solution of food grade citric acid powder monthly. ​​​​

read AICOK sous vide circulator reviews on amazon

Specifications

Power (Wattage): 1000W, 120V/60Hz (standard US power).

Accuracy: +/- 0.1F.

Temperature Range: 32-203F (0-95C).

Size: Total length of 15.63 inches. Immersion shaft is 4.5 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter. 2.5 lbs.

Heating Time: 21 minutes from 70F to 130F. 7 minutes from 130F to 150F.

Controls/User Interface: Digital display and scroll wheel for fast adjustment.​​​​​​

Attachment Design: Nonadjustable clip.​​

Timer: Up to 99 hours, 59 minutes (e.g., 100 hrs).

Recommended Water Capacity: 3-20 liters.

Warranty: 2 year manufacturer warranty.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Scroll wheel temp adjustment, 1000W, 2 yr warranty, delay start timer.

Cons: Clip attachment (non-adjustable), angled shape takes up more space than some other circulators, confusing set/work timer, bad instruction manual. 

Recommendation

If you hate touch screen controls, buy the AICOK for its easy scroll wheel adjustment. It does what you want a circulator to do, and it's kind of cute, too.

BUY THE AICOK SOUS VIDE CIRCULATOR ON AMAZON NOW:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Most Powerful/WiFi Enabled/Overall Best Pick: Gourmia GSV150

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

The Gourmia GSV150 is one of several immersion circulators made by Gourmia, and the only model with WiFi. It is also, at 1200W, the most powerful under $100 circulator that passed all our tests. So it's a win in three categories (although we recommend buying it for its power and not necessarily for its connectivity--more on that in a minute).

The GSV150 has an average rating of 4 stars and a Fakespot adjusted rating of 4 stars. Fakespot gives this circulator's Amazon reviews a "B" rating. 

Unfortunately, it also has a much higher percentage of 1 star ratings that we like to see. The vast majority of 1 star reviews were about the WiFi--the app leaves much to be desired.

If WiFi is a main consideration for you in buying an immersion circulator, the Gourmia GSV150 may not be the best option. 

However, if you want one of the fastest, most powerful circulators on the market and a reasonable price, this is one of the best options out there.

In fact, despite its numerous shortcomings, we pick the Gourmia GSV150 as the best overall sous vide circulator under $100. It's fast, powerful, has a scroll wheel, has the WiFi option, and Gourmia is a more recognized brand than most other under $100 options.

Gourmia is a purveyor of economically priced small kitchen appliances. We like many of their products because they offer some design choices that are hard to find at the budget end of the spectrum (such as manual controls). Even with their budget product reputation, they have a tendency to put out good quality, user friendly products. They also have a reputation for decent customer service.

If you want to buy cheap, Gourmia is a decent option, particularly if the other brands are complete unknowns, and especially if you have a hard time finding detailed information about these brands. 

The GSV150 passed all of our tests, holding a constant temperature within a degree of the set point and consistently doing what it's supposed to do. The app, on the other hand, was a bit confusing to use and definitely still needs some improvement. Gourmia claims that they're going to improve the app, but it's been a couple of years now and not much has changed.

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Design

The Gourmia GSV150  is on the bulky side, but at a length of about 14 inches, it's not the largest sous vide circulator we reviewed (that would be the Yedi). Its shape is similar to the AICOK reviewed above, but unlike the AICOK (or Anova) its face is not angled, making it possible to read the settings only when standing right next to it. Definitely would prefer an angled face you can check from across a room.

It has a total diameter of less than 3 inches with an immersion shaft about 2 inches in diameter. If you're looking for a dedicated sous vide container to use with it, we recommend going with one compatible with the Anova (not the Joule, which would probably be too small). 

The clip is made of a sturdy plastic and is non-adjustable. Its max opening is about 1.5 inches, making it tricky to use on a thick-walled vessel (like a cooler).

What we love: The scroll wheel adjustment and the 1200W of power--the heating time is remarkably fast, bringing room temperature water to 140F in about 15 minutes. 

What we hate: The clip attachment, the non-angled face, the non-intuitive controls and unnecessary incessant beeping (more on this below), and the not-very-good WiFi app.

Operation

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Controls:  This circulator has some of the most confusing, non-intuitive controls  we've ever seen. This is largely because of the many different ways you are required to press the Power and Set buttons to achieve temperature and time settings. (E.g., press once, press twice, press and hold for 4 seconds to do one thing, press and hold for 5 seconds to do another, etc. None of this is intuitive, so you have to learn and remember all of these settings from reading the manual.)

To use the unit, first plug it in and make sure it is immersed close to the max water line. Press and hold the Power button to switch it on--this takes several seconds. 

Once running, set the temperature with the Variable Time & Temp Wheel wheel (i.e., scroll wheel) to get it where you want it.

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Once set, the temperature display will then flash until it reaches the set temp. It stops flashing when it reaches the set point temp. But wait, you're not done yet...

Setting the Time is optional, and the circulator will run indefinitely if you do not set a cook time (which is a good thing). To set the cooking time, first press the Set button once to set the Hour. When the Hour display flashes, use the scroll wheel to set an Hour (how long you want the circulator to run). Now press the Set button twice to set the Minutes (how long you want the circulator to run). When the Minute display flashes, use the scroll wheel to select the desired minutes (if any). 

Once you've selected your desired Temperature and Time, press the Power button to begin the cooking process. This will start the circulator running. When it reaches the temperature you set, it beeps to let you know it's reached cooking temp. To stop the beeping, you must press and hold the Set button for 2 seconds. (If you don't do this, it will continue to beep at you until you do.)

If you use the timer, the circulator will beep to let you know the cooking time is over (your food is done). Again, it will beep continuously, every 3 seconds, until you press and hold the Set button for 2 seconds to stop the alarm. 

To turn the unit off, you press and hold the Power button down for several seconds.

Change Temp Display: To c​​hange display between Fahrenheit and Celsius, press the Power and Set buttons simultaneously until the display changes. 

Argh: It's great that the display has everything you need at a glance--no toggling between screens to view settings. But why make it so complicated to set??? Having separate buttons for Time and Temp (like most other circulators) would make using this sous vide cooker a lot easier to use. And also, why have to set minutes on the timer? Why not just have it go up by 30 minute increments? There's no sous vide cook in the world that needs to be more accurate than that. Having to press the Set button three times--once for hours, then twice for minutes--is terrible design.

Having said all that, once you learn the controls, it's not difficult to use. And you can ignore the minutes and just set the hours, so that's good. So despite the non-intuitive controls, this is still a lot of circulator for the money.

Using the App: Gourmia includes instructions on downloading the app and connecting your circulator to it. (You can see them here if you're curious.) You can download the app by going to your app store and searching for "Gourmia."

Connecting is fairly easy after downloading the app. (At least, it was for us-- a lot of reviewers said they had trouble with it, but we did not.) You have to enter your email address, go through a few simple verification steps, then you can connect. Once connected, the WiFi symbol will show on your circulator's digital display (upper left corner). You know, this one:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Now you have to add your circulator to your network, all fairly routine steps, and well explained. You have to give your device a name so the network recognizes it; we called ours "Gary."

Once you've got everything set up, you can see your circulator's temperature, time, and cook setting. You just touch them to type in changes and press Start Cooking or Set to lock in changes.

It's actually easier to use than the controls on the circulator.

The app also has an extensive list of cook time guidelines (very helpful), some recipes, and a place to save favorite recipes. There is also a Chef Recipes option, but this seems to be empty. There's no way we could find to search the recipes, or to tell the app to use a recipe. It was just a long, inconvenient list that you could only access by scrolling. 

We were pleasantly surprised at some of the recipes. To experiment, we made the Honey Chipotle Glazed Country Style Ribs. The recipe was easy to follow, and they were as delicious as they sounded:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Time&Temp provides cook times for various types and cuts of meat, fruits and veggies. It's not very detailed, and you'll be able to find better sources that include thicknesses, the most important factor in sous vide times, elsewhere.

SEE OUR SOUS VIDE TIME AND TEMP TABLES FOR PROTEINS

We did like that your cook settings are shown at the top of the main page, so if you're monitoring a cook, you can see all the info without having to dial down into the app:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100


If you can get the app to work, as we did, you may be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to use. We were able to start, stop, and change the settings during a cook without a problem. We're not sure why there are so many 1 star reviews on this product related to the app. It worked fine for us; it just wasn't super easy to use.

Error Codes: As far as we can tell, the Gourmia GSV150 has two error codes. ​​Error code E05 indicates a low water level and will turn off the circulator--add water and switch the circulator back on to continue cooking. Error code E02 indicates the thermometer has malfunctioned--call Gourmia customer service.

Beeping will accompany any error display.

Water Level: The min/max fill lines are just over 2 inches apart, which is less than average. It means that you need to keep an eye on the water level especially during long cooks and high temperature cooks, and should probably cover the vessel for anything longer than a few hours (and certainly overnight).

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

Heating Power: At 1200W, the Gourmia GSV150 is the most powerful immersion circulator we tested for this article. There is a noticeable difference in heating speed over other circulators, too: in our tests, it heated a stock pot of water from room temperature to 130F in about 16 minutes, and went from 130F-150F in about 5 minutes. You may get different results, but they should be close to this. 

These results make the Gourmia GSV150 roughly twice as fast as the Anova w/Bluetooth (800W).

The GSV150 has an "exclusive ACT" system for monitoring water temp and adjusting both circulation and temperature to ensure consistency. (ACT stands for "active control thermostat.) As impressive as this sounds, we didn't notice any difference in performance from the other circulators we tested. It's just a fancy way of saying that the circulator can hold a constant temperature, which we found that it could.

Cleaning: The immersion shaft is not removable. The user manual suggests descaling by running the circulator at 158F for 20 minutes in a water bath with one ounce of citric acid powder added to it.

read reviews of the gourmia gsv150 on amazon

Specifications

Power (Wattage): 1200W, 120V/60Hz (standard US power).

Accuracy: +/- 0.01F.

Temperature Range: 32-203F (0-95C).

Size: 2.75x14.25. Immersion shaft is app. 7 inches long and 2.5 inches in diameter. 3.3 lbs.

Heating Time: 16 minutes from 70F to 130F. 5 minutes from 130F to 150F.

Controls/User Interface: Digital display and scroll wheel for fast adjustment.​​​​​​

Attachment Design: Nonadjustable clip.​​

Timer: Up to 59 hours.

Recommended Water Capacity: Up to 10 gallons.

Warranty: 1 year manufacturer warranty.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Powerful, scroll wheel adjustment, WiFi.​​

Cons: WiFi needs improvement, unnecessarily complex user interface. 

Recommendation

Buy this circulator for its power and easy-to-use scroll wheel, which are both great features. But it has a confusing, non-intuitive user interface (you can learn it, but you may not want to), and like most circulators with Internet controls, the WiFi functions still need some work. If you want a more reliable WiFi sous vide circulator, get the Joule.

buy the gourmia GSV150 on amazon now:

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100

About Some Other Under $100 Brands on Amazon

Here's a peek at some other budget brand circulators we researched but did not test. An asterisk indicates a brand we that got good reviews and is probably a good purchase.

Anova Nano w/Bluetooth: 750W, "D" rating on Fakespot with an adjusted rating of 2 stars. Surprising, but it meant we couldn't review/recommend this circulator.

Aukuyee Sous Vide Machine: 1100W, "D" rating on Fakespot with adjusted rating of 2 stars. 

Culinya Sous Vide Immersion Circulator: 1300W, few reviews, "C" rating on Fakespot with adjusted rating of 3 stars.

Dash Chef Series: 800W, "F" rating on Fakespot with insufficient reliable reviews to adjust rating.

Emeril Lagasse Sous Vide Cooker: 800W, "B" rating on Fakespot with just a few reviews (not enough for us to do a review).

ETRONIK Sous Vide Cooker: 1000W, "C" rating on Fakespot with an adjusted rating of 3 stars.

FEBOTE/CISNO Sous Vide Cooker: Black, 1000W, "F" rating on Fakespot, with an adjust rating of 1.5 stars.

FEBOTE Sous Vide Precision Cooker: White, square, 1000W, "C" rating on Fakespot with adjusted rating of 3 stars.

*Gourmia GSV115: 800W, with a "B" rating on Fakespot and an adjusted rating of 4.5 stars, making this circulator a definite "yes." We didn't review it because it didn't fit into any of our categories, but even so it's a good all-around circulator made by a good company. 

IKICH Mini Sous Vide Cooker: 1000W. With an "F" rating on Fakespot and insufficient reliable reviews to adjust the rating, we can't recommend this circulator.

Inkbird WiFi Sous Vide Cooker: 1000W, "F" rating on Fakespot with insufficient reliable reviews to adjust rating.

*Kitchen Boss Sous Vide Immersion Circulator: 1100W, waterproof, "C" rating on Fakespot with adjusted rating of 3.5 stars. We'd give this guy a chance.

Kitchen Gizmo Sous Vide Immersion Circulator: 800W, "C" rating on Fakespot but with adjusted rating of 4 stars. With 19% 1 star reviews, we can't really recommend this circulator. Also, those who tried to contact customer service were ignored--so buy at your own risk. 

KWASYO Sous Vide Precision Cooker: 1000W, WiFi. "F" rating on Fakespot without enough reviews to adjust rating.

MALAHA Sous Vide Cooker: 1000W, "F" rating on Fakespot with insufficient reviews to adjust rating.

Master Culinary Sous Vide Cooker w/WiFi: 1100W, "C" rating with adjusted 1.5 star rating, however, there aren't enough reviews to know for sure whether or not this is a good product.

Mispo Sous Vide Cooker: 1000W, "F" rating on Fakespot, insufficient number of reviews to adjust rating.

Monoprice: 1100W, B rating on Fakespot, 78% positive reviews (we like it to be higher, so we didn't review this one). 

Monoprice/Zakarian/Hampstead/Baulia/Gramercy/INORS: 800W. An OEM model sold by numerous Amazon storefronts. Overall this is probably an okay circulator. The ratings are all over the place, though, an indication of how different merchants' sales techniques more than anything. If you're interested in this circulator, don't overpay for it: the price differences among the brands was as high as $30. (The Zakarian circulator was the highest we saw, so be sure not to get that one.) 

*My Sous Vide Immersion Cooker: 800W, one of the lowest priced circulators on Amazon. "C" rating from Fakespot, with an adjusted rating of 4 stars, which makes this circulator a definite maybe if you want to go as low end as possible. 

Newkiton Sous Vide Immersion Circulator: 1000W, "C" rating on Fakespot with adjusted rating of 2 stars.

NutriChef Sous Vide Cooker: 1200W, only 74% positive reviews on Amazon, "D" rating on Fakespot with insufficient reviews to adjust the rating.

OMORC Sous Vide Cooker: 800W. At one point this product had several hundred reviews. It was either relisted or reviews were removed by Amazon. With a "C" rating on Fakespot and an adjusted rating of 2 stars (as well as possibly hundreds of deceptive reviews), we can't recommend this sous vide circulator. (This circulator also looks suspiciously like the old--we think discontinued--Instant Pot SV800 immersion circulator, which could indicate the Instant Pot is OEM'ing their sous vide circulators, or that Instant Pot sold the circulator to OMORC because it didn't perform well enough to carry the Instant Pot brand. We don't know.)

Partu Sous Vide: 850W, "C" rating on Fakespot with adjusted rating of 2.5 stars.

RODONI Ultra Slim Sous Vide Machine: "F" rating on Fakespot, with insufficient reviews to adjust rating. This despite having more than 300 reviews (!).

Secura Sous Vide Cooker: 1000W, "F" rating on Fakespot with insufficient reviews to adjust ratings. We wanted to love this one because we like this company, but the data just didn't support it. 

*Sous Vide Art Immersion Circulator: 800W, B rating on Fakespot with adjust rating of 4.5 stars. Small, Anova Nano competitor with good accessory package. This is a viable substitute for our "smallest circulator" pick, the Instant Pot Accu Slim.​​

Souvia Sous Vide Immersion Circulator: 1100W. With 1 star ratings at 26% and a Fakespot adjust rating of 1.5 stars, we can't recommend this circulator.

SUNAVO Sous Vide Cooker: 1000W, WiFi. "F" rating on Fakespot with unsufficent reviews to adjust rating.​​

Surfit Sous Vide Cooker: 1100W. With 29% 1 star ratings and insufficient reliable reviews for Fakespot to adjust the rating, we do not recommend this circulator.

Tayama ELE-01 Sous Vide Immersion Circulator: 1000W. With an astonishing 47% 1 star reviews and a Fakespot adjusted rating of 1.5 stars, we can't recommend this circulator.

*VPCOK  Sous Vide Cooker: 1000W. With a 1 star rating of only 3% and a Fakespot adjusted rating of 3.5 stars, this circulator is probably a good buy. Adjustable clip (nice), cookbook included.

Wancle Sous Vide Cooker: 850W, "D" rating on Fakespot with adjusted rating of 2 stars.

Final Thoughts

You can spend a lot more on a sous vide circulator, but you don't have to. The under $100 brands we tested all did well. They were able to hold a constant temp and turned out moist, nutritious, delicious foods. 

Thanks for reading!

Best Sous Vide Circulators Under $100
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