I know what you are saying, “But Rachel, you already have the Sansaire Sous Vide Immersion Circulator, why would you need another one?” I’m so glad you asked! It is true, I love my Sansaire, but I found myself cooking one dish and wanting to cook a side dish at another temperature at the same time. A little planning ahead and there are ways to deal with only having one, but in true Rachel the Riveter form, when my very sweet husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, there was no hesitation – I wanted another sous vide. And I wanted Joule.
And I had fallen in love with Chef Steps not long after I got the Sansaire. Their approach to cooking (not to mention their sense of humor) matches mine and my little heart would be set a flutter by their recipes and videos. I adore them and when they introduced their own immersion circulator – my curiosity was peaked. The small and sleek design was beautiful and I’m a technology nerd, so I loved that it is bluetooth & wifi compatible. What settled me on this as my Christmas present was the graphic ad on Facebook that showed the size comparison of the Joule vs the Anova Immersion Circulator and the Sansaire.
But how does it compare? Well, let’s take a look.
The Joule Sous Vide Immersion Circulator Review
|Weight||1.28 lbs (580 g)|
|Dimensions||11.0 x 1.85 inches|
|Communication and Control||Bluetooth Smart 4.0 wireless technology
IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi compatible
|System Requirements||iOS 8.0 or later
Android 4.4 or later
Internet access required for some features
|Maximum water temperature||208 °F (98 °C)|
|Temp. Accuracy||0.2 °F / 0.1 °C|
|Minimum Water Depth||1.5 inch (38mm)|
|Maximum Water Depth||8 inch (203mm)|
|Bath Size||10+ gallons (40+ liters)|
|Safety & Security||Secure data transfer over WiFi and Bluetooth Smart
Thermal cutoff protection
High current protection
Because the Joule is controlled 100% from a smartphone or tablet, there is some set-up. But, I was happily surprised how easy the set-up was. First you download the Joule app on either an Apple or Android device. Then, place the Joule in a pot of water and plug her in. Open up the app on your smartphone and follow the instructions to get cooking.
There is an introductory video from one of the owners of the company, who in my opinion is one of the best parts of Chef Steps. I could watch his videos for hours every day, over and over and never get bored. Follow Grant Crilly on Instagram. You get to name your Joule (mine is named Eve after the female robot in Wall-E) and they take you through a few short tutorials.
Joule is light and feels very sturdy. At her base, she has a powerful magnet that will keep her upright in a stainless steel pot. She is water resistant and has a button at her top with a small led light on the front. The cord does not detach. The clip has very little give and is my least favorite feature of the Joule. The brushless DC motor is highly reliable and very quiet.
The biggest criticism I hear about the Joule is that it relies entirely on another device to control it. And yeah, that can be a pain in the butt. The other night I needed to use an immersion circulator to help me proof my bread (blog post to come) and my phone was in my room where my husband was sleeping and I didn’t want to walk all the way across the house to get it. So, I used my Sansaire instead.
But the app is slick. And Chef Steps is constantly updating the software (firmware on the Joule AND the app itself), increasing functionality and adding new recipes and features. You can set a custom temperature, or follow one of Chef Steps preset recipes.
The best description I’ve heard is that the Joule is like Apple products – slick and high tech and pretty whereas Sansaire and Anova are more like PC – workhorses without all the bells and whistles. But the truth is, they both get the job done.
There is no temperature display on the actual Joule. That sucks. But, it is what it is. You sacrifice that for how small it is. And it really is THAT small.
Speed & Accuracy
Just like the Sansaire did, Joule heats up four gallons of water from 73 degrees to 150 degrees in about twenty minutes. It is accurate within 2/10ths of a degree and the water is maintained at that temperature across the entire bath. The Joule does have a larger capacity, listed as 10+ gallons in comparison to Sansaire’s 6 gallon limit and Anova’s 5 gallon limit.
Bluetooth and Wifi Activation
I adore the bluetooth and wifi feature. I’ve started the sous vide (which was already in a water bath and plugged in, but not running) while purchasing meat at the grocery store for dinner! By the time I got home the water bath was ready and in just a couple of minutes my carne asada was cooking to perfection.
Just today, I was about to get in the shower and I realized I needed to get dinner started soon. With a flick of my phone, I started the Joule for dinner all the way across the house. This is a feature I didn’t think would be that big a deal, but it really is. It is just a simple convenience.
In Conclusion: 3 Months Later
I use my Joule constantly. Joule is in use at least 3-4 times a week, if not more. My Sansaire going 2-3 times a week on other projects. You aren’t going to go wrong with either device – you just gotta ask yourself – what matters to you display and onboard temperature control or size and cutting-edge technology.
ChefSteps CS10001 Joule Sous Vide, White/Stainless199.00
- 10+ gallon heating capacity
- Constantly being updated by dedicated developers
- Magnetic base
- Small, compact size
- No onboard timer or temperature control
- Must use app to operate
- Clip is very limiting on what it will clip to