Review: The Joule is a pricey, sleek, easy-to-use entry into sous vide

Joule Sous Vide 

COST: $179-$199

PROS:

  • Slim design
  • Easy connectivity and excellent companion app
  • Voice control 
  • Powerful performance

CONS:

  • High price tag for a single-purpose product  

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Sous vide cookery used to only be for professional chefs with restaurant kitchens. Thanks to products from companies like Anova, Instant Pot, and ChefSteps, sous vide cooking at home is now within reach of the average home cook. 

Sous vide cooking is where you vacuum seal food with your choice of seasonings in a plastic bag and immerse it in water. A wand then warms and circulates the water, slowly cooking the food. The benefit is you get tender, juicier proteins with flavor locked in. You can also use the device on vegetables and they’ll be fresher and crunchier.

There is also the convenience of being able to turn on a timer and walk away while the food cooks. 

There are many sous vides on the market, including the Joule sous vide wand. It stands apart from competitors thanks to its slim design and easy-to-use connectivity. But you’ll need to be willing to part with some serious cash. 

Look and feel: 5/5 

The Joule looks like it could have been designed by Jony Ive. Available in all white, or a more expensive white and stainless steel option, the product is small compared to its competitors measuring in at just 11 inches tall and 1.3 pounds in weight. There are no excessive controls on the wand; you manage it exclusively through the companion app, which is available for both iPhone and Android. It’s a beautifully simple design. 

joule-sous-vide ChefSteps

Usability: 5/5 

To use the Joule, once you’ve vacuum-sealed the food you want to cook, you simply need to find an appropriately sized container for water. The Joule can work in as little as 1.5 inches (38mm) of water and heat as much as 10 gallons (40 liters), so you have some flexibility. A large pasta pan is most users’ starting point, and if you use a metal one, the magnet on the base of the Joule will stick to the pan. Alternatively, you can buy special plastic sous vide containers and attached the Joule to the side with its built-in clip. 

Pairing your Joule with your phone is also easy. You need to set up a ChefSteps account, download the app, and follow the easy instructions. You can then choose to follow tutorials, or just jump straight into cooking. 

Once you’re set-up, you use the app to start the water heating and manage timers, then pop your food in when the water’s ready and wait for the Joule app to tell you the cooking process is complete. Because you control Joule via the app, you can check-in and process and change settings remotely. As long as you have connectivity, you can manage your Joule when you’re out and about.

joule-sous-vide ChefSteps

You can also use the Amazon Echo or Google Home to control your Joule via voice commands. Simply hook up your smart speaker device to the Joule app and you can say things like “set the temperature to 100 degrees” as well as ask your smart speaker to update you on your meal. 

Performance and power: 5/5

For such a tiny device, the ability to heat and circulate 10 gallons of water is impressive. The Joule offers consistent and precise performance time after time. While in the beginning, you may find your sous vide experience to be based on trial and error, the Joule itself is fast, reliable, and very good at what it does.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

The Joule has tons of fans, for good reason — it’s a fantastic product that enables even the most inexperienced home chef can get into the truly exciting world of sous vide cookery. Perhaps the only drawback is that it’s a bit pricey and other products like the Instant Pot Accu Slim can offer similar cooking functionality, for less. Still, it offers market-leading functionality and if used correctly, delivers restaurant-quality results. 

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Amy-Mae Turner

Amy-Mae Turner

Amy-Mae Turner is a tech reporter who focuses on gadgets, streaming entertainment, social media, and internet lingo. She previously served as a senior features writer for Mashable.