Sous Vide Cooking At Home

Sous vide cooking at home

getting started with sous vide cooking

Congratulations on making it this far. If you made it here, you are likely wondering how sous vide cooking can be incorporated into your daily lifestyle. For those that don’t know, sous vide cooking is a proven technique to achieve professional results in the kitchen. You can read more about what ‘sous vide’ means here. In other words, sous vide precision cookers heat up food to a controlled temperature making it impossible to overcook or undercook. Furthermore, the finished food is perfectly cooked and has incredible flavor. See what sous vide cooking can do for you!

Sous vide cooking in a nutshell

Benefits of Sous vide cookingWhat can I Sous vide?
Perfect Results – cooking at a controlled temperature leads to consistent results with each useProteins – beef, pork, chicken, lamb, and virtually any protein can be prepared to perfection every time
Enchanced flavor – meats are cooked in a vacuum sealed bag. The seasoning and juice stays with the meat while cookingEggs – eggs can be cooked any way effortlessly and do not even require a vacuum sealed bag. Just toss them in!
Spend less time in the kitchen – precision cooking heats food to a controlled temperature and maintains it. Take out the finished product when you are readyVeggies – eating healthy has never been easier. Cooking veggies in a vacuum sealed bag minimizes mineral content loss compared to traditional cooking methods
Bulk cooking - it is easy to cook large quantities all at once. Cooking additional quantities at once does not require any more timeSeafood – fish is a delicacy that is easy to overcook. Sous vide cooking will make sure your fish remains moist, flavor packed, and colorful

Equipment you will need

Precision cooker

chefsteps joule sous vide machine

The staple of sous vide cooking is the precision cooker. These cookers heat up water to a desired temperature and are required for cooking sous vide at home. We singled out a few of our favorite entry level precision cookers. These brands rank higher to us because of their user-friendly phone apps and active community of users. You can read an in-depth review of our favorite precision cookers here.

The ChefSteps CS10001 JouleEditor’s choice- ($199) is our number one option for home cooks who want the best product in the market. The sleek size, magnetic base, and user friendly app make it our number one choice for sous vide cooking at home.

The Anova Precision Cooker, WIFI 2nd Gen ($189) comes in second place and is slightly cheaper. While all precision cookers produce perfectly cooked food, the ChefSteps Joule and the Anova Precision Cooker reign supreme. There is a reason why these two brands are the most popular amongst sous vide users.

DeviceChefSteps CS10001 Joule Sous Vide ($199) - Editor's ChoiceAnova Precision Cooker, WIFI 2nd Gen, 900 Watts ($189) - Most Popular
Pros

  • Magnetic base sticks onto any metal pot, metal clip included as well

  • Best mobile app, recipes include in-app videos and is overall a better experience

  • Sleek compact design, fits in most kitchen drawers

  • 'Visual Doneness' feature on app, see pictures of finished product before cooking

  • Control settings on app via Wifi

  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa


  • Most popular entry-level precision cooker, very high ratings on amazon

  • Mobile app includes step-by-step recipes with pictures for every food

  • Easiest overall experience, compatible for all types of home cooks

  • Control settings on app via Wifi

  • Control settings on app via Bluetooth

Cons

  • Joule has no physical buttons, smart phone with mobile app is absolutely required to use


  • Adjustable clamp fits a bit awkwardly on bins and containers

  • Bluetooth range is weak

Vacuum sealer / Vacuum seal bags

Cooking sous vide involves packaging your food in a vacuum sealed bag. Vacuum sealers use special vacuum sealable bags that allow you to vacuum seal food in a matter of seconds. Food must be vacuum sealed to prevent evaporation and to ensure heat is properly transferred to the food. We suggest FoodSaver and FoodVacBags products because of their proven quality and reputation as industry leaders for their product.

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ALTERNATIVE OPTION [water-immersion]

Most restaurants and home cooks use vacuum sealers to seal their food before cooking. However, if you do not have a vacuum sealer and bags, we recommend using heavy duty Ziploc bags as a substitute.

BUY ZIPLOC FREEZER BAGS

 

Container / Pot

You will need a container that your food will cook in. The container is filled with water in which your food will cook in. The precision cooker is then attached to the container. Any container or pot will do the trick. Your food must be completely submerged in water while cooking. Pick a container accordingly. I personally own a 3 and 6.5 gallon Lipavi Ltd container that I use interchangeably when prepping food for the week. Larger containers also come in hand when making food for family gatherings or parties.

LIPAVI Ltd has a container that’s readily compatible with all major sous vide

BUY LIPAVI CONTAINERS

Pan / Skillet (optional)

Your food is ready to eat as soon as it is cooked. For proteins however, most people sear their food afterwards for added texture and flavor. Consider a hot cast iron skillet, a grill,  or any standard cooking pan for optimal results.


Start sous vide cooking at home in 4 easy steps

1. Setup your equipment

sous vide precision cooker

  1. Fill container / pot with enough water to completely submerge your vacuum sealed food.
  2. Attach precision cooker to container / pot.
  3. Using your precision cooker’s designated app, find a recipe that you wish to replicate.
  4. Turn on your precision cooker and begin preheating to desired temperature (refer to recipe guide for exact temperatures).

TIP: fill container with hot water. This will significantly reduce preheating time for your precision cooker. 


2. Prepare your food

vacuum seal food and seasonings

sous vide vacuum sealer

  1. Place food along with any seasonings into vacuum sealable bag.
  2. Add seasoning into bag as desired. Commonly used seasonings are salt, pepper, herbs, spices, etc.
  3. Use vacuum sealer and special vacuum sealable bags to seal and drain all air from food bag. If you do not have a vacuum sealer, see below.

sous vide water displacement method

water-immersion technique (alternative)

  1. Place food along with any seasonings into a zipper bag, leave bag open.
  2. Slowly lower open bag of food into a bowl of water. As the bag submerges into the water, water pressure will push air out.
  3. Continue lowering the bagged food until most of air is gone. Do not get water in the bag!
  4. Carefully seal the bag just above the water line.
  1. Water-immersion tip: After placing food in bag, pre-seal most of the bag, leaving a small opening on one corner. This makes it easier to submerge without worrying about water getting inside.

3. Let it cook!

sous vide cooking at home

  1. When the water is finished heating to the correct temperature, place your vacuum sealed food into the water bath.
  2. Make sure the food is completely submerged and is not blocking the vents on your precision cooker.
  3. Leave your food in for the allocated time (see recipe). For example, a medium-rare ribeye steak is cooked at 129 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 1 hour.

TIP: Use clips to keep food together if food is moving around too much in the water. Do NOT allow your food to completely block the vents on your cooker.


4. Finish with a sear (optional)

Your food is done and ready to eat after the proper time has elapsed. For proteins (meat/fish), we suggest finishing with a quick sear for added texture.

  1. Heat up a pan / skillet on very high heat
  2. Add a little bit of oil to avoid sticking.
  3. Cook protein for 1-2 minutes on each side to build texture. Add butter / herbs for seasoning as desired.
  4. Take food off and it rest for 3-5 minutes. Cut and serve.

Finished sous vide steak before sear

sous vide steak before sear

Finished sous vide steak after sear

sous vide steak after sear


Your journey awaits

We hope you enjoyed our all in one guide to sous vide cooking at home. We covered all the major topics and hope you leave here without any questions. Take a look at some related articles if you seek additional info.

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Best Sous Vide Tools for 2017

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