The Kitchen Item to Buy This Holiday Season, According to Our Culinary Expert

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It's OK to treat yourself to a new kitchen tool—our culinary expert says so.

If there’s one must-buy kitchen item this holiday season, it’s the Breville Joule Sous Vide. But don’t just take my word for it—it’s on the personal wish list of Taste of Home’s Culinary Deputy Editor, James Schend.

“I’ve been wanting to purchase a sous vide machine for a while but have had troubles finding the perfect one,” Schend says. “Many are large and the last thing I want is another large gadget taking space in my kitchen. The Breville CS10001 Joule Sous Vide is compact; small enough to tuck into a drawer or pantry without taking up a lot of space.”

Unlike other sous vides, the Breville option offers the ability to precisely adjust temperature, too. “Temperature control is another feature I was attracted to with this one. Being able to dial in a temperature to within a half a degree and hold it there is very appealing,” Schend says. “And I’ll admit, controlling it through my phone appealed to the tech geek in me. All in all, this one looks like the perfect one for me.”

What is the Breville Joule Sous Vide?

The Breville Joule Sous Vide is a compact, sleek kitchen device that cooks foods using a specialized sous vide method. The sous vide cooking technique involves placing a vacuum-sealed bag of food (typically meat) into a water bath. From there, the sous vide device heats the water, cooking the food to a precise degree. Its main selling point is that you’ll never wind up with overcooked steak or rubbery chicken.

The Breville Joule Sous Vide, specifically, is sought-after for its compact (read: drawer-friendly) size, fast heating system and precise temperature control. It even offers an app to easily control the cooking, find new recipes and learn tips and tricks.

Pros

  • Thin design fits easily into kitchen drawers
  • Weighs just 1.3 pounds
  • 1100 watts of power allow it to heat up quickly
  • Offers precise temperature control
  • Connects to your phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi
  • Corresponding Joule app makes choosing and adjusting temperature easy
  • Ability to sync Alexa device with Joule app for voice commands

Cons

  • Sous vide cooking can be more time-consuming than traditional methods
  • You’ll still need to sear meat after sous vide cooking
  • Some Amazon reviewers report connectivity issues

How to Use the Breville Joule Sous Vide

Unlike other sous vide tools, the Breville Joule is a smart kitchen gadget that can be controlled via your phone using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Download the Joule app to see photo examples of how the meat will cook at each temperature, and adjust from there. You can even create a custom Joule skill for your Alexa advice to control the device using just your voice.

To cook your food using the Breville Joule Sous Vide, start by seasoning your food and placing it into a vacuum-sealed bag. Then, fill a pot with water, add your food bag and set the sous vide upright in the water. Activate the device using the app, and let it cook until finished. Finally, since sous vide cooking doesn’t give meat the crust it gets from other cooking methods, you’ll need to sear the meat in a pan before it’s ready to serve.

Best Amazon User Reviews

“After 40 years of gourmet cooking, and an extensive knowledge of food chemistry and techniques, literally thousands spent on training, all manner of gadgets to major high-end appliances, I have found something that I am really excited about,” verified Amazon purchaser Kevin Doyle writes in a review. “I can legitimately say that cooking a protein by any other method will probably not be as good, and absolutely not as reliably consistent.”

The Joule Sous Vide is good for more than just meat, too. “We have had Joule for three months now and the [possibilities] of this tool are endless! We made creme brulee as well as chocolate pot de creme in the last month,” verified purchaser JFei writes. “OMG guys. I felt so fancy eating restaurant quality creme brulee at home. I couldn’t believe how perfect and delicious it was. And the Joule app keeps coming out with more guides. Definitely worth the money for how much the app provides.”

Where to Buy the Breville Joule Sous Vide

Breville Cs10001 Joule Sous Videvia amazon.com

The Breville Joule Sous Vide is available at Amazon, Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table and Crate & Barrel. Its price hovers around $250 at each retailer, though Amazon does slightly edge out the competition with a $245 price tag. Keep an eye out for the tool during the holiday shopping season, as it may make an appearance as one of the many Black Friday deals for home cooks. Here’s hoping!

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Originally Published in Taste of Home

Megan Mowery
As Senior Shopping Editor, Megan is an expert at helping Taste of Home readers find products that will improve their lives. She covers anything from must-buy Amazon products to tried-and-tested product reviews. You can usually find her online shopping, learning a new craft, or caring for her jungle of plants.