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Sous Vide Machine vs. Slow Cooker: What to Buy?



Sous Vide Machine vs. Slow Cooker What to Buy


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If you are a cooking enthusiast who loves to try different cooking methods, you might have heard about sous vide machines and slow cookers. While both devices use long cook-time methods to produce perfect and tender foods, there are some notable differences between the two.

Sous vide and slow cooking aren’t the same, and neither are these cookers. If you are wondering what makes a slow cooker different from sous vide machine, then you are at the right place.

In this article, I have compared both cookers in detail to help you choose the right one. Read this sous vide machine vs. slow cooker comparison to know more about the differences and which one to choose for your cooking preferences.

Sous Vide Machine vs. Slow Cooker: A Quick Comparison

If you are in a rush and just want a brief comparison between the two, check out this comparison table below. After extensive research, I have curated several parameters to compare both machines.

SpecsSous Vide MachineSlow Cooker
CompactnessMore CompactAverage Compactness
Temperature PrecisionBetterAverage
Cooking CapabilitiesMoreLess
Easy to UseYesYes
Nutrient LossLessMore
Ease of CleaningHighModerate
Extra FeaturesWi-Fi and Bluetooth ConnectivityNo such extra features

What is a Sous Vide Machine?

The first thing you should know about a sous vide machine is that it is pronounced as “soo veed.” Sous vide cookers aren’t new and are perfect for slow cooking. The sleek and compact cooker lets you cook almost anything, such as meat or eggs, with ultimate temperature precision.

With these machines, you can expect the cooking results to be precise most of the time because the temperature control is just right.

Also, you don’t need any extra equipment when doing sous vide cooking, making it a good choice for using in the RV or while camping, provided you have a good generator.

Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide - fast and precise
Image Source: Wayfair

Sous vide cookers are extremely safe, and anyone without any prior knowledge can use these machines for cooking purposes. The biggest perk of sous vide machines is that one size fits all. 

You just need a bigger container to prepare a bigger batch, so it’s a versatile slow cooker type you can rely on. 

The Pros and Cons of Sous Vide Machines 

Just like any other cooking appliance, sous vide machines are also not perfect. Below is a compilation of the advantages and disadvantages of these stylish cookers. 

The Pros 

Precise Temperature Control 

Proper temperature control is essential during slow cooking, or it can result in overcooking. Sous vide machines offer better temperature control as you can easily set the right temperature using the mobile app.

Also, you can set the timer to ensure that the food items don’t get overcooked and are perfectly tendered to your requirements. 

Easy to Set Up and Use 

Most sous vide machines, like the one from Breville, do not require you to set them up. All you need to do is turn the machine on, connect it to your smartphone, and you can start cooking with it. Next, you need to select the timer and temperature to cook your preferred foods.

Quick Cleaning 

Cleaning sous vide machines are easy, and you can make your cooker spick and span within minutes.

Typically, these cookers have a polycarbonate body, and you can remove all stains just by rinsing them.

Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide - overall
Image Source: Wayfair


One of the biggest advantages of sous vide cookers is the compact design. These cookers are light in weight, making them easy to travel with. Also, you can store the sous vide cookers in a kitchen drawer, which saves space.

Quantity Flexibility

Another significant advantage of sous vide cookers is the flexibility of adjusting the quantity. Since you can use these cookers with containers of any size, you can adjust the quantity to your needs. So, if some extra guests show up at the party, you can cook more using a sous vide cooker.

Waste Reduction 

Slow-cooking foods like steak can result in a loss of 40% of its volume. However, this is not the case with sous vide cookers. There is a loss of volume, but it is significantly less compared to traditional cooking methods.

The Cons  

Some Foods Float at the Top 

When cooking with sous vide machines, you may see some food items floating at the top. This is because cooking with these machines requires submerging the food into the water.

However, upon heating, the floating food items settle down, and you can cook them evenly. Struggling with a floating meatball might take some time.

The Low Heat Doesn’t Kill Pathogens 

Heating is the best way to exterminate pathogens from food. However, the slow cooking capabilities of sous vide machines might not kill all pathogens. Therefore, you should avoid cooking pathogen-containing foods with these cookers.

What is a Slow Cooker?

A slow cooker or commonly known as a Crockpot, lets you simmer dishes at low temperatures. The electric heating element beneath the pan heats the cooking plate to cook the food evenly.

The enclosed environment provided by the lid reduces the overall cooking time while maintaining humidity.

Since the design does not allow evaporation, the cooking time gets reduced. 

Slow cookers are popular for retaining heat well and making those bigger cuts of meats tender and juicy.

You can also use these cookers for making soups, sauces, and stews for longer periods of time.

Slow Cooker
Image Source: Wayfair

Modern slow cookers come equipped with plenty of features, such as a timer and temperature control. In addition, they have got more compact and stylish, making them a perfect choice for every modern kitchen out there.

The Pros and Cons of Slow Cookers 

The Pros 

Less Cooking Time 

Slow cookers require less cooking time as compared to other traditional cooking methods. The lid helps retain the heat, while the enclosed environment ensures your food gets prepared quickly. 

Convenience in Cooking 

Cooking with a slow cooker is convenient, as you get multiple modes to choose from.

Also, the design is similar to other cookers, so you don’t need to learn anything before cooking with these devices. 

Even Cooking Every Time 

Another benefit of the enclosed environment created by a slow cooker is even cooking.

The steam gets locked inside the container and revolves around the food for even cooking.

Slow Cooker - Options
Image Source: Wayfair

Slow cookers can even cook veggies and other hard foods properly, making them tender.

Easy to Clean and Use 

Using and cleaning a slow cooker is an easy affair, and you can do it within minutes. Slow cookers are perfect for people who have no experience in using cooking appliances. They can easily use a slow cooker and cook their favorite foods without any hassles.

The Cons 

There is No One-size Fits All 

Slow cookers come in different sizes, and choosing one can be difficult. Also, these cooking appliances have limited capacity, so you need to cook multiple batches in the event of a party.

Sous Vide Vs. Slow Cooker: A Detailed Comparison 

Here are some of the most significant differences between sous vide machines and slow cookers. I have explained every difference in detail so you can easily choose the right appliance for your needs.

Temperature Precision 

Slow cooking is all about temperature control because you’ll be cooking the food for longer durations. While most slow cookers have three modes, “warm, low, and high,” sous vide machines offer better precision.

You can control the temperature using the mobile app, which prevents the food from overcooking and reduces wastage.

Also, if you are new to the phenomenon of slow cooking, sous vide machines are a better option for you.

These machines have thermostats, so the temperature remains consistent throughout. As a result, you can make more dishes with sous vide machines. 

Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide - durable
Image Source: Wayfair

Nutrient Loss 

Slow cooking is particularly destructive to minerals, vitamins, and micronutrients in veggies (source). The longer periods at low temperatures allow the internal enzymes in vegetables to degrade quickly, resulting in the loss of essential nutrients.

This is especially the case with slow cookers. However, when cooking with sous vide machines, the nutrient loss is less compared to slow cookers. The reason is precise temperature control, which helps you prevent overcooking food.

Cooking Time 

When it comes to cooking time, the slow cooker is a clear winner but by a minute margin. The reason why sous vide takes more time to cook is the open container. Unlike a slow cooker, it cannot retain the heat and moisture inside, which leads to an increased cooking time.

However, the lesser cooking time with a slow cooker brings along the risk of overcooking. In a sous vide machine, you can check the food by having a glance over it, which is not the case with slow cookers.

Advance Preparation

Cooking meals with a slow cooker does not call for advanced preparation, whereas you need to do it when cooking with sous vide machines. When it comes to quicker cooking, slow cookers are a better option.

Extra Features 

Slow cookers have also got smart and come equipped with several features such as timers and temperature control.

However, in terms of advanced features, sous vide machines are the winner. For example, the Breville Joule Sous Vide CS20001 comes with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Also, you can pair it with Alexa for hands-free cooking.


Both slow cookers and sous vide machines score almost the same points in terms of durability. If you are a frequent traveler or camper, you’ll find slow cookers to be a more durable option. 

Sous Vide Machine vs. Slow Cooker: Which is Better?

Both sous vide machines, and slow cookers are perfect for slow cooking. However, choosing one depends on personal preferences. If you need a stylish cooker that offers full control and is sleek, a sous vide machine should be your choice.

On the other hand, if you need one for faster and complete cooking, a slow cooker is the right fit. Make sure to choose a branded appliance that’s durable and easy to use. 

Final Thoughts 

I hope this detailed sous vide machine vs. slow cooker comparison article has helped you pick the right product. Remember, slow cooking is a bit different, and you need the best cooker to make it happen. 

Do you prefer sous vide machines or slow cookers? Drop your answers in the comments section, I’d love to hear from you!

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