Sous vide cookery is a big culinary trend right now. It involves vacuum-sealing food in plastic bags, then immersing it in gently circulating water which gently heats the food. This process gives you tender, juice proteins and vitamin-rich, crunchy veggies. To do this, you need a container, and a sous vide wand. We're comparing two popular wand models, the top-of-line Joule from ChefSteps and Instant Pot's Accu Slim SSV800.
The Instant Pot Accu Slim can be used with 6- or 8-quart Instant Pots, securely clamping to the side. Alternatively, you can use an ordinary pan or buy a specialist plastic sous vide container. With this tool, you can sous vide cook from 1 minute and 72 hours at temperatures from 68°F to 203°F in increments of 1°.
The Accu Slim measures in at 2.5 x 4.6 x 12.9 inches, so it's not as slimline as the Joule. It boasts a clean, easy-to-read display with touchscreen controls. The display shows the current temperature which you adjust by tapping the plus and minus icons.
The sleeker Joule can do all this but has some additional tricks up its sleeve thanks to its clever connectivity. You pair the Joule with your iPhone or Android device, and you can then control wirelessly via the companion app using your phone's Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connection. The app is straightforward and intuitive to use. It literally holds your hands through the cooking process once you've told it what type of food you want to cook.
Other ways in which the Joule beats the Accu Slim is the more simple spring-loaded clip (compared to the Accu Slim's screw clamp) and the magnetic base. If you have a metallic cooking pot, the Joule can stick the base to stay upright. The Joule can also be voice-controlled via an Amazon Echo or Actions on Google. It's a super neat trick if you're working in the kitchen and your hands aren't clean enough to use a touchscreen.
|Joule||Instant Pot Accu Slim|
|Size||11 x 1.9 x 1.9 inches||2.5 x 4.6 x 12.9 inches|
|Weight||1.28 pounds||1.65 pounds|
|Max cooking time||100 hours||72 hours|
Joule in the crown
There's nothing wrong with Instant Pot's Accu Slim sous vide; it's just simply that the Joule sous vide wand is a better, more advanced tool. This is reflected in the price, though. The Joule is arguably a considerable investment for the average home chef, but it's an investment we'd recommend making though. The Joule's good looks, skinny dimensions, and incredible wireless control take it to the absolute pinnacle of the sous vide marketplace.
Sous vide chic
If you can stretch to the high price, we thoroughly recommend the Joule as a sous vide solution that is both more than competent at cooking and incredibly connected.
Sous vide cheap
It doesn't match the Joule's connectivity options, but the Instant Pot Accu Slim SSV800 is a good choice for home cooks that want to sous vide without breaking the budget.
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