Skip to main content

The best sous vide: Anova vs. Joule

Anova vs. Joule: Find the right sous vide for your home

Sous vide is a pleasantly simple yet sophisticated cooking method: You heat up water with a specialized device, and use that water to cook food sealed in a bag. That same simple process is ideal when it comes to even the most ambitious cooking projects, such as getting prime cuts of meat to the perfect temperature without danger of burning them. It’s not surprising that people are starting experimenting more with sous vide in their homes — and there are home-friendly sous vide machines to help out.

Two of the most popular models are the Joule and the Anova cookers. Both operate on the same principle: You hook them to the side of your pot, and they cycle water past a heater to ensure precise water heating for you so you can get the best results. Let’s break down the details of each machine to find out which is a better buy for your kitchen.

Design and models

Right upfront, we come across one of the most important differences between these sous vide devices. Joule only has one primary device, a small, lightweight model, only around 11 inches tall and a bit over a pound. You have a choice between stainless steel and white polycarbonate, but that’s really the only option here.

Anova, meanwhile, offers three different models with varying specs. In the middle is the basic Precision Cooker with Wi-Fi (currently out of stock on Avida’s website, but still available for sale elsewhere…for now). It’s significantly larger than the Joule at about 15 inches high and over two pounds. On the lighter side, there’s the Anova Nano, a smaller model for smaller projects at 13 inches higher and around 1.5 pounds. It’s a cheaper, Bluetooth-only model. Then there’s the larger Pro model, really aimed at professional kitchens, measuring almost 14 inches high and weighing around 2.8 pounds, and with a lot more power than the smaller devices.

There’s no easy winner here, but it is nice that Anova gives you several different options to work with, while you only have one choice with Joule.


Anova Nano review
Erika Rawes/Digital Trends

The Joule can reach up to 208 degrees Fahrenheit, with a maximum container (or “bath”) size of around 10 gallons.

Anova, meanwhile, has power and temperature ranges based on its models:

  • The Nano version can reach up to 197 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 5 gallons.
  • The standard version can reach 210 degrees Fahrenheit with a tank capacity of 4 to 5 gallons.
  • The Pro version can reach 197 degrees Fahrenheit for up to around 26 gallons — and the Pro model is the only one designed for around-the-clock work.


Woman using ChefSteps CS10001 Joule Sous Vide 

Sous vide cookers can only heat as fast as their wattage allows. A higher wattage means that you don’t have to wait as long for your water to come to the right temperature. This may not be the most important aspect of cooking for everyone, but saving time is usually an important goal — so looking at wattage can tell us a lot.

The Joule comes with an impressive 1100 watts of power, and is precise to 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit. That leads to excellent heating speed and accuracy, which in turn leads to great results in the kitchen.

Anova, by contrast, has trouble reaching these numbers. The standard model is only 800 watts, so it will take considerably longer to heat water. The Nano version only has 750 watts. It’s not until the Pro version, which has 1200 watts of power, where the Anova becomes competitive compared to Joule’s performance.

This is one area where the Joule is clearly the superior option, unless you want to splurge for the expensive Anova Pro model.

App features

best sous vide machines joule

Both cookers come with accompanying apps for controls, and in many ways these apps are similar. They both offer hundreds of different recipes for you to try with step-by-step instructions. They both guide you through cooking processes you may not be familiar with, allowing you to set very specific temperatures and get alerts via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

However, the Joule app pulls ahead in a couple different ways. While Anova’s app includes some video tutorials, Joule goes a step further and gives you a “visual doneness” option, where you can see how done the meat will look if you choose a certain setting, ideal for first getting started with sous vide. Joule also has voice control options via voice assistants like Amazon Alexa that you can use if your hands are full.


Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker Wi-Fi (2nd Generation) on a kitchen counter

The Joule cooker is available for $200 with stainless steel, and $180 for the white polycarbonate version.

The Anova cooker starts at $100 for the Nano version, at $130 the midrange model, and at $400 for the Pro version.

As you can see, it’s easier to save money by choosing Anova options, making these better choices for a very strict budget. However, you do give up power and heating speed by choosing these lower priced options.


For home use, the Joule is the ideal mixture of power and pricing, and its small size is another significant bonus, making it our top recommendation. If you are planning for only intermittent sous vide sessions on a budget, the Anova Nano model may be a better option for you — and likewise, the Anova Pro is designed specifically for pro kitchens or food carts, and really shines if you plan on making larger batches.

Editors' Recommendations

Tyler Lacoma
If it can be streamed, voice-activated, made better with an app, or beaten by mashing buttons, Tyler's into it. When he's not…
HelloFresh vs. Blue Apron

To save time at the stove, some busy people use devices like slow cookers and pressure cookers, while others try home delivery meal services.

With so many options now available, factors like price, delivery schedules, dietary needs, and taste all come into play when deciding on a meal delivery service. To help you choose which meal kit is right for you, we compared two of the most popular options: HelloFresh and Blue Apron. Which meal service should you choose? The side-by-side breakdown below provides an in-depth explanation of each service in terms of price, diet options, food quality, shipping, and taste. Let’s find out which meal service attains culinary dominance.

Read more
Google Home (Nest Audio) vs. Amazon Echo
Echo 4th Gen

If you're thinking about buying a smart speaker, you might be undecided on what to get. We hear you. With all the news and info you hear about the two most popular voice assistants, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, it's hard to know which one to choose. Given their usefulness from playing music to some other stuff you probably didn't know they could do, it's no wonder they're so invaluable.

While the original Google Home speaker has long been discontinued (the name lives in the all-purpose Google Home app), Google's line of smart Nest speakers, like the Nest Mini and Nest Audio, carry on the tradition with updated features.

Read more
The best rechargeable batteries: AA, AAA, and 9V
AmazonsBasics AA batteries being inserted into a game controller.

We've all been through the hassle of needing to swap out batteries on a TV remote, only to realize that the "replacements" we've dug out of the everything drawer in the kitchen are more dead than the dying AAs we're trying to replace. Rinse, repeat, and relive the frustration. Or we could calm down and think of a good alternative to constantly cycling through low-tier batteries that say goodnight after a month of use. That's where rechargeable batteries come in.

Yes, the upfront cost of rechargeable batteries is a bit steep, but the charger and any batteries you purchase will usually pay for themselves in the long run. The batteries below feature impressive recharge capacities and the ability to retain the bulk of their energy during prolonged storage, starting with the highly-affordable Panasonic Eneloop Pro batteries.

Read more