Quick Tips for Sous Vide Cooking
Here are a few quick tips I’ve discovered along the way that I hope will help you in your sous vide cooking.
- Use the best freezer bags possible. Good-quality freezer bags generally have better zipper locks and have less chance of tearing or leaking.
- Re-use bags, but not for sous vide cooking. You can re-use the bags after you’ve finished cooking, but I find they are a little weaker after one use and are better used for general use in your kitchen, like storage.
- Fill your sous vide water bath with hot tap water. Starting with warm water will help the sous vide circulator bring the water to the right temperature more quickly.
- Try a square vessel. Square is a much more space efficient shape than a circle. So with a square container, you’ll have an easier time fitting both the circulator and the food.
- Use a trivet. While the water in a sous vide water bath doesn’t get extremely hot, it can still be quite warm. Use a trivet or hot pad under your vessel to protect your countertop.
- Cover up the water bath. It’s not advisable to add water to the sous vide water bath once it has been cooking your food because it is next to impossible to add the same temperature water. Adding hotter or colder water will interfere with the cooking process. So, if you are cooking for a long period of time where more evaporation is likely to occur, cover the water bath with aluminum foil, plastic wrap or a lid to minimize water evaporation.
- Use weights to make sure it sinks. With some foods (vegetables especially), it’s difficult to get all the air out of the bag and have it weigh enough to sink in the water bath. In these instances, try putting a heavy spoon in the bag with the food to help weigh it down.
- Finish stew-like meals with heat. Sometimes the sous vide temperature is not as hot as some people would like their food to be for serving at the table. For meals like stew or chili, finish by heating the food in a saucepan just to a slight simmer and then serve.