Not all sous vide rigs are created equal, and the ChefSteps Joule—an Amazon Choice favorite with 4.4 stars out of over 1,400 reviews—is a popular choice that’s competitively priced. The 1,100W unit is compact, well designed, and has an integrated app that provides functional controls, guidance for new-to-sous-vide users, as well as a host of handy recipes. Regularly priced at $199.99, its price is currently dropped to $159.99, saving you an extra $40 and leaving you with some extra budget to buy the required water tank (not to mention your first batch of food to test it out with).
Skimming the reviews for this unit, you’ll see that it has a lot of fans, however it isn’t without its quirks. Unlike some of the competition, it does not have controls on the device itself. For those who like smart tech, having controls built into a mobile app is a great feature, but if you prefer to do things manually using buttons and knobs, you may want to look elsewhere. It’s also worth noting that Bluetooth and Wifi connections are required to properly run the device, so if connection in your kitchen is spotty this is something else to keep in mind.