Breville immersion circulator review

Whether you’re an experienced chef or you’re just getting started in the kitchen, the quality of your meals matters. No one wants to cut into an expensive steak and hope it’s not overcooked or continuously peek at their roast in the oven to ensure it’s not dry.

Breville claims that you’ll never overcook food ever again with the Joule Sous Vide. This immersion circulator has 1100 watts of power to heat water faster, so you get to cooking and eating sooner. As a bonus, since it’s the smallest sous vide tool on the market, it’ll fit into any drawer or cupboard.

We wanted to see if the Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide lived up to its promises, so we used it in several ways to determine the results. Here’s what we found.

Testing the Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide

Our tester has worked with several sous vide machines in the past, both high-end and inexpensive models. As a home cook, our tester uses a sous vide at least once a week, and on many occasions, operates more than one at a time for larger dinner parties. 

A few of the meals prepared with the Breville Joule Sous Vide include steaks for a group of people, a low-quality cut of meat cooked low and slow, and meal prep chicken breast and hard-boiled eggs for the week.

Overview of the Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide

Sous vide is a cooking technique in which food is prepared using a precise and controlled temperature. The sous vide machine is named after a French term for “under vacuum,” aptly chosen since all food must be vacuum-sealed to achieve the best results.

While sous vide sounds like a fancy cooking method, it’s a relatively simple technique to learn and execute, as the results should be consistent time after time. When cooking sous vide, you’ll place your vacuum-sealed food in water heated to the exact temperature by the Breville Joule Sous Vide. With this immersion circulator, you’ll no longer need to peek at your food, poke it with a thermometer or hope it’s cooked to your desired doneness.

How to use the Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide

In addition to taking the guesswork out of cooking, the Breville Joule Sous Vide is also extremely user-friendly. When you take this tool out of the box, you’ll notice a few things, like it’s small, there is no manual and there are no controls or a display, except for a single button at the top of the cylindrical device. 

The Joule Sous Vide is operated entirely with your phone using their app, which pairs to the device using the sole button. After downloading the app and creating a free account, the app will take you step-by-step through the setup process while on WiFi. Whether you want to set the temperature, check how much time is left on your food or look up sous vide recipes, everything is controlled with the app. Since you can use the preset cooking options or input your own custom cooking temperature and time, it’s ideal for beginners and experienced cooks.

One of the convenient aspects of using a sous vide is that you don’t need to take up oven space or a stovetop burner. Plus, you can choose from various containers, including a pot, polycarbonate container or even a cooler if you’re cooking something large like a turkey. After filling your container with the appropriate amount of water, put in your Breville Joule Sous Vide and move over to the app to start the cooking process.

If you want to cook chicken, you’ll access the app and choose your protein. Then, you’ll customize your options to get the most accurate cook, specifying the cut of chicken, thickness, your preferred doneness and whether it’s fresh or frozen. The app will let you know the cooking time, and the sous vide will start preheating the water. 

Preheating is accomplished by circulating water through the base of the Joule Sous Vide and out the hole in the front. When the water is heated to the correct temperature, the app will send a notification, and the green indicator light on the device will turn green. You’ll also receive another notification on your phone when the cooking is finished.

Key features of the Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide

The Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide distinguishes itself from competitors with various impressive features. In addition to using WiFi, this tool also comes with Bluetooth compatibility, allowing users to cook food without WiFi. It also works with Amazon Alexa, so you can ask Alexa to heat your water without ever touching your phone. 

Beginner cooks will especially appreciate Breville’s exclusive Visual Doneness feature. This feature shows pictures when you’re choosing your desired temperature, so you can achieve a perfect steak, even if you’re unaware of the exact sous vide steak temp.

In addition to being the smallest sous vide machine on the market, it also requires much less water than other sous vide tools. Plus, Breville promises temperature accuracy within 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why your food will turn out perfect every time. To keep the Joule Sous Vide upright at all times, it comes with a side clip for pots or containers and a magnetic foot.

Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide price

The Breville Joule Sous Vide retails for $249. You can purchase it on Amazon.

Should you get the Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide?

Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide

Overall, we think the Joule Sous Vide lives up to all its claims and more. If you don’t mind using a sous vide controlled entirely by the app, this tool is ideal for preparing food ahead of time, cooking for a large party or freeing up stovetop space. Whether you’re a novice or professional cook, we recommend the Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide to anyone who wants to take the guesswork out of cooking.

Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide benefits

After using an abundance of sous vide machines, our tester can confidently say that the Breville Joule Sous Vide performs at the same level, if not better than any other sous vide tool on the market. In addition, we were impressed that Breville’s temperature accuracy claims were valid and never dropped the temperature, even when cooking a 36-hour duck confit. The water also heated quickly. 

Cleanup is straightforward and quick, which is another reason why we use a sous vide at least once a week. We also appreciated controlling every aspect of the temperature, from the start to checking it midway to stopping the temperature.

Breville CS20001 Joule Sous Vide drawbacks

If there is a drawback to the Breville Joule Sous Vide, you can only operate it using the app. While some may love that feature, others want the option of manually working the sous vide without ever reaching for their phone. On the slight chance there are connectivity issues or the app is down, you wouldn’t be able to use the Joule Sous Vide at all, which could prove inconvenient.

Other top products

Anova Culinary 1200 Watt Sous Vide Precision Cooker Pro

Anova Culinary 1200 Watt Sous Vide Precision Cooker Pro

Since it’s 1200 watts and can run for 10,000 hours without shutting down, this sous vide cooker is ideal for long cooks. It is operated with their app.

Sold by Amazon

Instant Accu Slim Sous Vide Precision Cooker

Instant Accu Slim Sous Vide Precision Cooker

This 800-watt sous vide cooker features an easy-to-read display and a rubber clamp that attaches to your pot with one hand. It’s also slim, lightweight and quiet.

Sold by Amazon

Inkbird Sous Vide Precision Cooker

Inkbird Sous Vide Precision Cooker

In addition to its touch screen controls, this sous vide can also be controlled using Wi-Fi. The max timer is 99 hours, and it will alarm you when the water level is too low.

Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Bre Richey writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.