Equipment Reviews

Joule Sous Vide Review

Featuring one of the sleekest and definitely the tiniest designs on the market, the Joule immersion circulator is a chart topper in many categories.

Crafted by the experts at ChefSteps, this device hails in a new generation of sous vide cooking appliances. While most other similar devices are based on the same technology, the Joule model is a reengineered version and incorporates advanced technologies while being more compact, efficient and durable.

The manufacturers claim that their product is good for daily use and that it will help cook your food to perfection every single time. The claims are supported by the features of this immersion circulator and the technology that comes with it.

Features

The Joule sous vide immersion circulator has some extraordinary features that puts it in a league of its own. Some of the features that set it apart from other products of the same sort include the following:

Size

One of the first things that you notice about the Joule is the size of this gadget. Normally circulators are quite bulky and you have to make extra space for them in your kitchen. This one, however, is only 11 inches tall and a mere 2 inches wide. It is also about half the size of its many contemporaries.

This joule model makes for easy and compact storage. Below is the Anova vs Joule:

Anova vs Joule Sous Vide, Courtesy CNET

Design

This model features a minimalist design that is simple yet elegant. If anything, the Joule looks like a white cylinder with an opening at the bottom end and a button with a small LED at the top.

Another first for the Joule sous vide immersion circulator is a magnetic base. Where all other similar products rely on a clamp or clip of some sort to secure them in place, the Joule is attachable with its magnetic foot. Simply stick it to any steel, cast iron or induction ready container and it clamps down with a force of 6 pounds.

If you are one to use polycarbonate containers instead, then just place your cooking container on top of a cookie sheet and you are good to go. The device also comes with a stylish secondary clip that you can use to attach to your preferred cooking pot.

Visual Doneness

This circulator has a “visual doneness” feature that is unique and the first of its kind. This feature shows on your phone when you connect it to the gadget.

As the name suggests, this feature shows you how your food will turn out. As such, you can see what the final product will look like even before you start cooking. This gives you an idea of what to expect from your vegetables and steaks.

Fast and Precise

The circulator is very fast and will use up less energy than many other models. It features 1100 Watts of power which raises water temperatures quickly. Also, the temperature can be set to the nearest 0.1 degrees.

This level of precision makes sure that your food gets cooked to perfection. There is an option of choosing either Fahrenheit or Celsius so both standards work with this device.

The heater runs really quiet which should be a given especially where long cooking times are involved.

Circulator Performance

The circulator can effectively circulate over 10 gallons of water. This is very impressive when it comes to preparing larger portions but the Joule can perform equally well when used to cook smaller amounts of food.

Another unique design feature of this model allows the circulator to pull in water from the device’s base and launch it out the hole in the front of the device.

Recipes

The circulator comes with over a hundred sous vide recipes. These recipes have been tested and tried by the in-house chefs at the company.

Alexa Control

The Joule has connectivity features that are Bluetooth and WiFi compatible. But that’s not all.

The unit can also be controlled by Amazon Alexa. You can use your voice to control the immersion circulator. This is a feature that comes in handy when you are multitasking. You can do other chores while cooking easily with this feature.

Guarantee

The Joule sous vide immersion circulator comes with a guarantee of 90 days. So if you are not satisfied with the immersion circulator, you can return it within three months and get a refund.

If you have any questions or queries, the customer service team is always available. ChefSteps has taken special care in ensuring that they keep the customers’ needs in consideration and are always there to solve any issues regarding their products.

No display panel

The Joule has no display panel!

Another unique design feature of this immersion circulator is the lack of a display panel or screen on the unit itself. However, this feature may easily become a deciding factor for many.

Other than the single glowing LED, there are no on board control features apart from the “off” button on top. In other words, this unit needs to be controlled by an app running on a separate device.

This way it becomes somewhat of a hassle as you need to not only own another device, but also download the app. Then you need to sign up for a service and give out some personal specifics such as your email and other info simply to turn it on.

To many home cooks this can become a handful especially if they are looking to keep their cooking simple. So from the point of view of convenience, this could be a hard thing to get used to. Many people don’t like to keep their phone on hand while they cook and this could easily be the Joule’s biggest limiting factor as well as its best strength. That’s for you to decide.

The Joule Sous Vide App

However, regardless of the onetime setup effort, the app is full of fantastic features. It is available for free on Google Store and the iOS app store. You can get the app and control your immersion circulator using the features on this application. It’s pretty simple as the app makes your job much easier and saves a lot of hassle.

Say you want to cook a steak. All you have to do is connect your phone with the gadget and select the recipe of your choice. The app will automatically set the timer and the temperature conditions on your immersion circulator for the steak. It will then notify you when your steak is ready. It also sends you notification to let you know how long your food can stay in the water after cooking.

The app also comes with many recipes from top chefs. These recipes get updated every so often and new ones are added. To make things easier for the user, the company has added video tutorials on the app as well. These short tutorials will teach you everything from cooking the perfect salmon to making the best dessert.

Here is where the visual doneness feature comes in handy giving you a preview of what your food will look once it is cooked. If you want to cook manually, you can search the recipes on this app and read the temperature and time from the recipe. Then, just manually set the conditions on your immersion circulator.

Whether you are a veteran or a novice, the app has a lot of interesting offerings for everyone.

Pros

To determine how efficient a product is in its functions, you need to compare the pros and cons of that product. The Joule sous vide immersion circulator has many pros as it comes from a company that excels in making kitchen appliance for users’ convenience.

  • Noiseless: The motor on the Joule sous vide immersion circulator is very soft and noiseless. This is good for families with kids and pets. It can be quite a nuisance if there is a constant noise coming from your kitchen.
  • Size: The size of this immersion circulator is just 11 inches. Despite its small size, this sous vide device packs in a ton of unique features.
  • Weight: The Joule weighs only 1.1 pounds making it very portable. You can take it on a trip as it will fit easily in your bag. Given its compact size, it won’t even add to your weight.
  • Power: Even though the size is small, the power on this thing is amazing. It makes a formidable competitor for its larger and bulkier counterparts.
  • Connectivity: Even if you turn off the Bluetooth to save your phone’s battery, the circulator will still carry on cooking. As long as there is a WiFi connection in the house that is connected to your circulator, the cooking will continue. If you go out of range, the gadget will stop and continue again once you are within range. It has an automatic restart feature so you don’t have to connect it again and again.

Cons

The Joule sous vide immersion circulator is a very impressive unit with a few drawbacks. However, you may find a few of its features bothersome in some ways.

  • Tech: The connectivity feature is a plus point for some people but for most people, it is just an added hassle. Many users like to keep things simple. They want to have a machine that makes cooking easier so they do not want to get into the hassle of learning how to control or calibrate it using their phone or app.
  • Voltage: The immersion circulator only works with outlets of 120 Volts. It has a precise heating technology system with the possibility of damage when exposed to convertors or voltage transformers. Also, it is suitable only for use in North America. If you use it outside this region, it has to be at your own risk because the guarantee is void outside this area.
  • No display: The absence of a display panel is perhaps one of the biggest concerns of this otherwise phenomenal unit. Many cooks like to glance over and read the temperature settings of their machine but for the Joule, you need to look at your phone instead.
  • One Joule per device: If you need to use more than one immersion circulator at a time, such as around the holidays, only one Joule can be connected to one device. If you want to use more, you need to install the app on a second device.

Customer Reviews

4.4 Average Star Rating on 1,160 Reviews… Not too shabby

Many customers have claimed that they got perfect results with this gadget. Newbies and seasoned cooks both have complemented the Joule on taking their cooking up a notch.

Customers also like how little cleanup was involved once the cooking was done.

The app, however, was not for everyone. Some felt it needed polishing while others reported problems with connectivity.

Overall, many customers called the Joule a game changer and felt that this was a much better way than conventional methods for cooking dishes like steaks, dish and even vegetables.

Cost

The Joule sous vide immersion circulator is available for purchase on Amazon around the $200 mark. It is also available on the official website of ChefSteps. You can also get used models starting from around $170. The product enjoys a high rating of 4.4 and is on the list of Amazon Choice products. Some customers get the container with this circulator. If you already have a suitable container at home, you do not need to invest in a new one.

When you buy from official sellers, you also get a 90 day money-back warranty on the product.

Final Verdict

Sous Vide cooking has brought the taste of restaurant food at home. In this regard, the Joule sous vide immersion circulator is a good choice. Equipped with many other features like connectivity, the visual doneness feature and a responsive app filled with recipes, this gadget can make your time in the kitchen enjoyable and get you lots of compliments on your cooking skills.

Sous Vide Reviews:

Anova

Joule

Wancle

PolyScience

Sansaire

Gourmia

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