There are also a ton of physical attributes that make the Joule a superior sous vide machine. Because there are no buttons or screens or other interfaces, the Joule is small. Like, throw-it-in-your-drawer-and-forget-about-it small. A lot of Joule’s competitors are clunky and bulky, and do you really want to have to clear off shelf space for a new piece of kitchen equipment? The Joule is also totally waterproof (some sous vide machines aren’t, which is stupid) and has a magnetic bottom, so it sticks right to the bottom of your metal pot. With most other sous vide cookers, you have to attach them to the side of the pot with a clamp. One more thing to lose.
But more important, the Joule heats a pot of water—even a big one—quickly, and it keeps the temperature consistent. That’s what you need from a sous vide machine.
So, set it and forget it?
Clearly, I like to spend time in the kitchen, but I got other things going on too. I’m a man of many interests. With the Breville Joule Sous Vide, I just plug it in, drop it into a pot of water along with a bagged pork chop, and get on with my life. The app does all the monitoring for me. You don’t even need to be in the kitchen. As long as there’s an outlet, you can sous vide on a bookshelf, on your desk, on your nightstand. Hell, you can cook in the bathroom, if that’s your thing.
What about the bags?
Any sturdy freezer bag will do the trick (don’t forget to pop in some aromatics to infuse your protein with flavor), just be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing it up. While a vacuum sealer isn’t completely necessary, let me say for the record that it will give you the best results. I’m partial to the FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer. Your vacuum-sealed food will keep in the fridge for about a month once cooked. Just bring it to room temp and give it a sear when you’re ready to serve.
The Breville Joule Sous Vide is an impressive tool for anyone who likes perfectly cooked food (everyone) or is curious about exploring a new way to cook proteins or vegetables in the kitchen. And I wasn’t kidding when I said you can make just about anything (sous vide potatoes are great in potato salad; ditto shrimp for shrimp cocktail) with the Joule.
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Editor’s note: This article was originally published July 16, 2018.