What’s the Main Difference Between Sous Vide and Slow Cooker?

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Being a newbie cook, my life is a tangled web! While cooking something new, I seek refuge from my mom or the website. But last night, while planning to cook beef, one was saying slow cooker, whereas the other suggesting sous vide. I am on the fence!

Now, I need to know whether these are similar or the difference between sous vide and slow cooker.

There are significant differences between sous vide and slow cooker. Sous vide provides more professional and intricate flavors at a higher price, while slow cookers provide more versatility at a lesser price. However, the main difference between sous vide and slow cooking depends on the user.

Let’s get into the details of the complete guide on sous vide vs. slow cooker without any further ado.

Difference between Sous Vide and Slow Cooker

difference between sous vide and slow cooker

Set it and forget it – If you ask about sous vide and slow cooker, it’s the easiest definition.

Sous vide cooking allows you to cook delicate foods such as chicken, beef, fish, and vegetables without overcooking them. It’s also the perfect way to infuse flavors into your food and combine them with the food without changing the moisture or texture.

On the other hand, the slow cooker is perfect for tough meat cuts. With the enclosed pot, sealed lid, no evaporation, and steady temperature heat the ingredients quickly and slowly to make your meat or fish tender and juicy. Moreover, the food remains hot for long periods.

But how are sous vide different from the slow cooker?

There are a few differences between slow and sous vide cookers. If you’re unsure which is better for your cooking needs, let’s compare the two.

1. Flavor

Sous vide cooking preserves your food’s juices, making it more flavorful. Because sous vide cooking preserves the natural flavors and juices of the food, the flavor of your food is maintained throughout the entire dish. 

Sous vide cooking also allows you to cook meats and poultry to your preferences, and the process also ensures VOC stability.

Both methods are great for preparing various foods, but sous vide cooking is superior for most foods. 

Unlike a slow cooker, sous vide can pasteurize and cook meats. Sous vide cooking also allows you to cook more types of foods than a slow cooker.

2. Nutrition

While cooking in a sous vide bag at a constant temperature, the nutrition remains intact of your ingredients. Especially vegetables.

In contrast, a slow cooker decreases the nutrion – vitamins, minerals, etc., of your ingredients.

3. Temperature

Sous vide cooking is an important consideration for those who want to cook food for their families but are not yet familiar with this process.

In contrast to slow cookers, sous vide cooks foods using low temperatures in a water bath. Because of this, the food retains its flavor and texture even when cooked for longer periods. 

It’s possible to cook meats with tough cuts using sous vide cooker, whereas slow cookers are typically programmed to switch on and off throughout the cooking process.

4. Pricing

When comparing the two, you should consider the price. Slow cookers are generally cheaper than sous vide machines, but their features may cost you much more than the latter. 

Sous vide cooking is healthier for you, as you don’t lose valuable vitamins and minerals when using the method. Slow cookers also don’t burn food, so you won’t lose much flavor!

A sous vide cooker will produce restaurant-quality results, but it may be more expensive. Sous vide cooking requires vacuum sealing, but you can also use a Ziploc bag. 

A water displacement method must remove air from the bag before cooking. For best results, use a heat-safe food bag. You can use a sous vide cooker for almost anything.

5. Quantity 

Despite the similarities between slow cookers and sous vide cookers; each method has advantages. Some people enjoy cooking and are not bothered by complications or lengthy cooking times. 

Others, however, prefer to use kitchen appliances. Sous vide devices allow you to cook many items at a time. But for large batches, you’ll need a larger sous vide container.

However, it’s best to slow cook your food if you’re cooking for a large batch. It’ll save you time, energy, and money!

Which Is Best – Sous vide or Slow Cooking?

Which Is Best - Sous vide or Slow Cooking

Sous-vide cooking is faster than slow cooking, but is it better for the environment? A sous-vide cooker uses water that is heated with a circulator. 

Food cooked this way has a more tender texture and lower temperature than slow-cooked meats. A sous-vide cooker uses less energy, produces less heat, and produces less vapor than a slow-cooker.

1. Which One Should You Pick?

Both methods produce perfectly cooked foods. However, slow-cooking is more convenient for large-scale cooking. Slow-cooking allows you to cook large quantities of food, while a sous-vide cooker can be attached to any pan. 

Sous-vide is more expensive, but it’s definitely worth the investment. A sous-vide machine allows you to control the temperature and cook different parts of your food in separate pouches. 

While a sous-vide machine is not for everyone, a slow cooker is perfect for busy people. You’ll have the perfect meal, and your family won’t notice a difference.

You may ask if you can you use a slow cooker as a sous vide? You can go for some hacks, but it’s better if you don’t. A slow cooker can’t maintain a precise temperature.

2. Why Pick Sous Vide?

Sous-vide cooking has several advantages, including better flavor and tastier food. It requires less attention and does not lose its juices while cooking. In fact, you can cook the same food more than once, which is the main benefit of sous-vide cooking. 

Sous Vide also makes it easier to control quality. If you’re a frequent sous-vide cook, a fixed-tub water oven will serve your needs.

According to us, the sous vide below can be the top choice for your kitchen shelf!

Sous Vide


Instant Pot 800W Accu Slim Sous Vide Precision Cooker 

  • High-quality, low-cost sous vide device perfect for home cooks
  • Easy to use and clean, so you can focus on the cooking instead of cleaning.
  • The Accu Slim features a removable water tank that makes it easy to refill.

Anova Culinary AN500-US00 Sous Vide Precision Cooker 

  • Precise temperature control
  • Fast, easy-to-use controls with automatic keep-warm feature
  • Suitable for both small and large batches

Sous Vide Cooker Ultra-Quiet: With Cookbook 

  • Most quiet and energy efficient sous vide cooker on the market
  • Its large cooking area allows you to cook larger quantities with less work
  • With its low fan noise and advanced thermal management system, this cooker works without disturbing your family

What Foods Can You Cook in a Slow Cooker?’

What Foods Can You Cook in a Slow Cooker’

One of the best things about a slow cooker is its flexibility. You can cook almost anything you want. You can cook chicken or beef in a slow cooker and serve them sliced or shredded. 

1. Meat

If you have friends over for a party, why not try cooking chicken wings in your slow cooker? If you’re wondering, “Can you sous vide steak in a slow cooker?” Yes! Even steak turns out to be delicious with a slow cooker. 

2. Pork Chops

The slow cooker makes pork chops super tender. You can easily prepare them in your slow cooker before transferring them to the oven. They can be cooked in a slow cooker for 5-8 hours and are ready to eat.

3. Dessert

The typical desserts to cook in a slow cooker includes banana bread, quiche, and cinnamon rolls. Banana bread is a healthier option than traditional banana bread; you don’t need to add oil to keep it moist.

Find more about the best slow cookers in the market which can be your top pick:

Slow Cooker


Crock-Pot 7-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker 

  • Great for cooking large meals quickly and easily
  • Easily converts to a slow cooker/oven
  • Sturdy construction with easy-to-read digital display, 7-quart size is perfect for feeding a crowd

Hamilton Beach Programmable Slow Cooker with Three Temperature Settings 

  • Allows you to cook food in a moist and flavorful way
  • The programmable feature allows to set the slow cooker to your desired cooking time and temperature
  • The wide range of temperature settings make it perfect for cooking any food, including delicate meats and vegetables.

West Bend 87905B Slow Cooker Large 

  • Has a 7-hour cook time and can hold up to 20 pounds of food
  • Durable and made from high-quality materials
  • The 87905B has a locking lid that prevents food from spilling and makes clean-up a breeze.

You can also make layered foods in a small slow cooker by separating the layers using foil. It will cut down on the cooking time. One of the benefits of slow cooking is that it can yield tasty and healthy meals in a shorter amount of time than you might expect.

Is Slow-Cooker Better Than Sous Vide?

Is Slow-Cooker Better Than Sous Vide

Whether you use a slow cooker or a sous vide cooker depends on the type of food you want to cook and the difference between sous vide and a slow cooker. 

If you want a low-cost slow cooker that requires long food simmering, a slow cooker can be your top choice. Slow cookers can reach high temperatures in four or eight hours. 

Here are the top benefits of slow cookers and sous vide, which are best for beginners.

You may also be surprised to learn that slow cookers are more energy efficient than a standard sous vide setup.

1. Temperature Control

A slow cooker is much more flexible since it uses a larger ceramic pan that sits above a heating element. But, while slow cookers can cook various foods, sous vide is better suited to meat dishes. It also cooks food much more slowly.

2. Budget

A slow cooker offers a simple, budget-friendly alternative to a sous vide machine. Its advanced capabilities allow it to pressure cook, bake, and slow cook your food. In case of versatility and being budget-friendly, slow cookers take the trophy home!

3. Juice Absorption 

Another significant benefit of a slow cooker is that it helps retain more juice from the food. In contrast, sous vide cooking helps seal natural flavors and juices while allowing for higher VOC stability.

4. Food Quantity

A slow cooker is excellent for preparing large batches of food, such as whole extra-large chickens. It’s also great for cooking a batch of stews. And the meat is falling apart, and there is virtually no risk of burning. 

Final Word

To wrap up, sous vide will provide you with more flavors if you can sacrifice a little cost from your energy bill! However, slow cookers make your food germ free and can cook for longer hours to feed larger batches better. 

If you were cooking for your answer to how are sous vide different from the slow cooker, we hope you know it well by now! Till the next time, happy feasting!