While they both work in completely different ways – Instant Pots cook very quickly using pressure, and sous vide slowly cooks vacuum-sealed food in hot water – both provide evenly cooked results.
Let’s get into some of the more fine-grained differences between the two, so you can decide which one suits your needs the best.
Sous vide means “under vacuum” and this is how sous vide appliance works. You place the food in a vacuum-sealed bag in a temperature-controlled hot water bath.
The appliance maintains the temperature to slowly cook food to retain all of its flavor, juices, and nutrients, resulting in very tender and flavorful meats. You can also use it for vegetables, eggs, seafood, poultry, and fruits.
Sous vide cooking gives you a lot of control, so you can alter the temperature and cooking time to suit personal tastes. By adjusting these factors, you can cook steak or vegetables to a precise level of doneness for perfect results.
The Instant Pot AccuSlim Sous Vide Immersion Circulator lets you choose from a temperature range between 68 and 203 degrees F, and the timer has a default setting of 4 hours that’s adjustable from 1 minute up to 72 hours.
This particular sous vide appliance costs around $75, but others run as low as $50 up to $200, depending on the brand and type.
The Instant Pot is a multi-cooker that mainly functions as a pressure cooker, but it also allows for slow cooking and sautéing.
The Instant Pot’s multiple preset cooking options like meat/stew, rice/grains, beans/chili, egg, soup, cake, and more take a lot of guesswork out of cooking.
One of its main draws is the speed and convenience it provides, especially when it comes to preparing larger cuts of meat that usually require longer cooking times, like roast or ribs.
The Instant Pot isn‘t as hands-on as a sous vide appliance since you just choose the setting that you want and it will cook until the time is up, then automatically switch to a keep warm setting until you’re ready to eat.
Pricewise, the Instant Pot ranges from about $50 to $200, depending on the model and size.
The Instant Pot and sous vide are two totally different appliances, but they can both give you great results. If you’re not sure which one to buy, consider what type of cooking you want to do.
A sous vide appliance can give you the most professional results. It’s most ideal for meats that benefit from precise or low and very slow cooking, and it produces excellent steaks.
The Instant Pot is a more versatile option, since you can do so many different types of cooking in it. It’s also great for quick dinners, since you can cook a whole meal in the pot at once in much less time than it would take in the oven or on the stove.
Both appliances have their place in the kitchen, but if you’re looking for something that gives you a lot of options and saves time, the Instant Pot can’t be beat.
Writer and Product Researcher
Spending the last 10 years researching and writing about various home, garden and electronics topics, Shelley is more than qualified to write for Meccano Home. Her work has been featured on eBay, Pottery Barn, SFGate, TheKnot, Williams-Sonoma and various other blogs and websites.