In Pretty Colors, Sous Vide Invades The Home Kitchen

Looking at a new breed of gadgets that are giving controlled-temperature cooking a stylish domesticity.

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

We are creeping closer to the inevitable time when sous vide will be a mainstream technique in home kitchens. Sous vide, for those who need a refresher, is the increasingly popular method of cooking food enclosed in a plastic bag for a long time in a water bath at a precise temperature. Vacuum-sealing the bag is optional, but gives the technique its popular name (sous vide is French for “under vacuum”). The precise cooking produces unprecedentedly tender and flavorful meats, like a perfectly medium-rare steak or soft poached egg, with no risk of over- or undercooking.

Over the last few years, it’s spread from experimenters repurposing laboratory equipment, to innovative restaurant kitchens, to regular restaurant kitchens, to adventurous home cooks, and now seems poised to break into the conservative counter space of typical home cooks.

Accordingly, the technology has evolved to become more counter-friendly, with some very promising designs that I can’t wait to get my mitts on.

Here’s a look at how the tech is growing from the first generation of tools to a second wave that’s coming soon; and how to decide which sort of sous vide gadget you may want to invest in.