Thanks for all of the suggestions! Unfortunately, I couldn't find a NESCO on sale anywhere here in the UK; however I have found a company called Andrew James who offer sous vide/slow cooker combos such as this one: https://www.andrewjamesworldwide.com...roductID=37619
--does anyone have any experience with these? most of the feedback that I've found online seems pretty positive!
Another question, while I'm delving into the world of sous vide machines; will it be the end of the world if my brother doesn't have a vacuum sealing machine? I know there are ways to vacuum seal bags without one (well, imperfect tricks, but ones such as immersing the bag in a bowl of water), but will these do for sous vide? Or should I be looking at getting him a cheapish vacuum sealer machine too? Thanks again!