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It's a must-have appliance for the food lover's kitchen!
Watch our recipe videos featuring Chef Jason Wilson.
Sous Vide Gourmet Videos
Delicious sous vide recipes including beef tenderloin, barbecue ribs, rack of lamb and more.
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SOUS VIDE COOKING
Times and Temperatures
Health and Food Safety
Beef, Pork, Lamb, Game
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All kinds! Any type of meat—such as beef, pork, lamb, game, or poultry—is ideal for sous vide cooking. It works especially well with fish and seafood, ensuring that these delicate foods are not overcooked. Almost any vegetable can also be cooked sous vide with delicious results, as can eggs and many fruits. You can even use it to make custard-style ice cream base, béarnaise sauce, crème anglaise, custards, cheese, yogurt, beer, and even some cakes. Just about anything that requires a precise temperature to cook properly can be a candidate for sous vide cooking.
The sous vide process locks in a food’s natural flavors and prevents their loss into the pan or air, meaning seasoning can be lighter than with other methods. When applying seasonings, start with a light hand and work your way up. You can use just salt and pepper or your favorite dried spices and dried or fresh herbs. Just season the food, pop it into the pouch, vacuum seal, and cook.
For the most part, but because the temperatures of some sous vide cooked dishes are low, certain raw seasonings may not develop flavors in the same way that they do at higher temperatures. A good example is raw garlic, which will remain raw at temperatures used to cook steak, lamb, pork, game, fish, shellfish, or chicken. Thus garlic, added to the sous vide cooking pouch, works better as a powdered spice or already sautéed or roasted.
Another example is alcohol in wine, beer, liqueurs, or distilled spirits. Though often added to marinades for meats, fish, seafood, or poultry, or used to flavor sauces, the alcohol in beer, wine, liqueurs, or distilled spirits will not evaporate in sous vide cooking as it does on the stovetop or in the oven and can develop a harsh, sometimes metallic flavor. If you wish to use alcohol-based liquids to flavor food to be cooked sous vide, heat the wine or spirits first to evaporate the alcohol, use it to marinate the food, then pour off the marinade, pat the food dry, and vacuum seal prior to cooking.
The amount of food that will fit comfortably into the water oven depends on the food in question. The general requirement is that the food in the pouches should be completely submerged in the water and the pouches themselves should not completely cover the perforated grill on the bottom of the unit or lie atop one another. Circulation of water through the grill holes and between pouches is important to maintaining constant temperature throughout the bath.
The key is to make certain that the water can flow freely around the pouches to ensure even cooking. The pouch rack solves this problem by keeping the pouches up off the perforated grill and apart from each other, as well as allowing you to cook a surprisingly large quantity of food. Insert the rack horizontally to hold up to four large (gallon) cooking pouches, suitable for wider items, such items as large porterhouse steaks or large turkey legs. Insert the rack vertically to accommodate up to five large (gallon/4 liter) cooking pouches for longer items, such as rib racks, lamb racks, or pork tenderloin or as many as 10 small (quart/liter) pouches or 20 to 24 single serving pouches. The rack can also be removed entirely to accommodate large food items, such as a 6-pound leg of lamb, beef or pork roast, or beef tenderloin.
There are some one-pot meals and rice and pasta dishes that work in the SousVide Supreme and we’re working to develop more. However, because vegetables require a higher temperature to soften and become tender than the ideal temperature needed for proteins (fish, poultry, or meat) to cook perfectly, cooking them at the same time will result in somewhat overcooked proteins, as would be the case in a slow-cooker. To cook them together, however, and still have juicy proteins, you can quickly sauté the vegetables in the skillet and then add them to the meat, fish, or poultry and cook in the SousVide Supreme water oven at the lower temperature required by the proteins.
Yes you can. If you don’t object to meat that’s well done, you can simply put all the ingredients into a food-grade pouch, vacuum seal (if not using liquid) or use a SousVide Supreme Zip Pouch and the displacement method to remove the air and seal. Then submerge to cook in the water oven at 175 to 185F (80 to 85C) for the times suggested in a slow-cooker recipe, depending on whether the recipe suggests you cook on ‘low’ or ‘high’.
If you prefer your meat cooked to a lower temperature (medium rare or medium) you can lightly steam or saute the vegetables first, add them to the meat and spices, and cook in the sous vide water oven at the meat’s preferred temperature. In fact, any slow-cooker recipe will work in a sous vide water oven, set at 175 to 185F (80 to 85C), and it will come out essentially the same. It is important to note that many slow cooker recipes generally liquid in amounts that would evaporate in the slow cooker, so you will need to use less liquid than recommended when cooking in the sealed pouch and this can take a bit of trial and error. Best of all, clean up is a breeze -- just toss the pouch or rinse and recycle according to your community’s standards.
We are always developing and adding new recipes, so check back to our website often for updates. If you have successfully created a stew you would like to share, be sure to to submit your recipe and you will be entered into our monthly drawing (and, rest assured, we'll give you the credit you deserve!)
The sous vide technique of efficiently transferring the heat of the water to the food being cooked depends on their being nothing but the thin plastic pouch between the food and the water. Air in the pouch means that the heat of the water must cross the air to get to the food, which is not as efficient and which can result in unevenly cooked spots in the food in the pouch.
Vegetables are the worst offenders at causing pouches to float in the water oven. In particular, the cabbage family (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli) tend to outgas as they cook and cause the pouch to puff and float. We recommend that you check vegetable pouches about 10 to 15 minutes into the cooking period and if they are floating, remove them, slit open the pouch, dry the leading edges with a paper towel, and vacuum seal again or transfer to a clean, dry pouch and reseal. Another alternative is to use SousVide Supreme Zip Cooking Pouches, which you can easily open and reseal. Use the displacement method to remove the air and zip the seal.
The short answer is because there is air or gas trapped in the pouch and air is lighter than water. The longer answer is that incompletely vacuum sealing a pouch can leave air trapped between the tiny leaflets of certain foods, such as cauliflower and broccoli, that can cause the pouch to float during cooking. Some foods, especially those in the cabbage family but other vegetables as well, outgas during cooking and the accumulation of the gas will cause the pouch to float to the top. Air or gas trapped in the pouch can result in uneven cooking and food above the water’s surface will not cook properly. One solution is to use the universal pouch rack, included with the machine, to hold the pouch in place under the water’s surface. Another is to remove a floating ouch, open it, dry the edges, and reseal the pouch (or transfer the food to another pouch and vacuum seal. Another possibility is to vacuum seal several heavy butter knives in the pouch along with the vegetables and using their added heft to weigh down the pouch and keep it submerged.
It should take under 15 minutes for the water bath to heat up to most cooking temperatures. The Demi, with a smaller heating element, can take slightly longer. It helps to fill the machine with hot water from the tap, which greatly reduces the preheating time.
Pan gravy or pan sauce is most commonly served with meat, fish, and poultry dishes cooked in a metal pan on the stovetop, with the flavor base made from scraping up the browned bits that adhere to the pan during searing. In sous vide cooking, these flavors wind up in the concentrated pouch juices that you can easily use to make deeply flavorful pan sauce. For most proteins, to get the typical caramelized exterior (think steak, chops, chicken, scallops) you will want to finish your cooked food with a quick sear in a hot skillet for crispy texture, added color and flavor. Simply sear the meat and set aside to keep warm while you add a bit of fat and a few aromatics to the pan, cook a few minutes, strain the delicious juices from the pouch into the pan, and reduce!
It is normal to see the temperature read-out on the display panel make minor adjustments up and down during the cooking time, cycling within one-half degree up or down of the set point. SousVide Supreme water ovens will tightly control the temperature to within 1 degree Fahrenheit or 0.5 degrees Celsius. The read-out senses in 0.1 degree increments, so you may well see a temperature set for 134F fluctuate between 133.5F and 134.5F, up and down as the PID controls delivery of heat to the water bath. If you see larger fluctuations than this amount, please contact Customer Service!
Vacuum sealing foods air-tight in a cooking pouch preserves and even enhances or amplifies the natural flavors of the food within. Carrots taste carrotier and beets beetier when cooked sous vide and in general this amplification benefits the final result. It also means that you can use less seasoning or added flavors than in traditional cooking, however, certain ingredients don’t work well when their flavor is magnified. Bay leaf and lavender come to mind, which can overpower sometimes and alcohol, which can’t evaporate from the pouch and if not volatilized first on the stove top to drive off the alcohol can give food a harsh, drunken flavor.
Cooking times can range from as little as 20 to 30 minutes (thin fillets of fish, foie gras, scrambled eggs, quick poached eggs) to as long as 72 hours (short ribs, very tough meats).
How long it takes a given portion of food to come to temperature from edge to edge depends on the thickness of the portion, not the total weight. Tables for time and temperature are available in the Time and Temperature Chart that comes with each SousVide Supreme water oven and also on our Cooking Times / Temperatures Reference Guide online. The time a given food must cook to reach the desired target temperature throughout depends on its thickness, but how long it can or should cook depends on its tenderness. Temperature cooks; time tenderizes!
Tender or delicate foods (fish, shellfish, foie gras, chicken breast, beef or pork tenderloin, lamb chops) need only to be brought to the desired serving temperature to be delicious and ready to eat. Leaving tender foods in the water bath after they’ve cooked through (beyond perhaps an additional half hour for fish or a few hours for tender meats) can result in a loss of textural quality; they can become too tender. They’re still not overcooked, still juicy and flavorful, but too tender.
Chicken breasts and tender steaks (of about 1-inch/2.5 cm thickness) take a minimum of 45 minutes to cook through. Thicker portions will take longer. One of the great benefits of the sous vide method is that, unlike aggressive cooking methods on the stovetop, oven, or grill, where timing is critical, sous vide is forgiving. In most cases, food can be left at the serving temperature in the water oven for much longer than the minimum time (steaks and chicken breast for as long as 4 hours) and remain perfectly cooked until the moment they are served.
Tougher foods (roasts, grass fed cuts, game, ribs, octopus, tongue) will also be brought to temperature--ie, cooked edge to edge--in a time that’s based on the thickness of the portion, but then will benefit from slow low cooking for hours more to make them meltingly tender.
Using the sous vide method, a food is cooked precisely and gently at its desired serving temperature. Sous vide cooking temperatures are generally in the range of 115-190F/ 47-88C, and always below boiling. See the Time and Temperature Chart that comes with your SousVide Supreme water oven or our Sous Vide Cooking Reference Guide/ Recommended Cooking Times and Temperatures Chart online.
The key to successful sous vide cooking is maintaining a consistent water temperature throughout the cooking period. A difference of as little as one degree can change appearance, flavor, and texture of some foods--eggs are a prime example! This requirement for precise temperature control is why equipment designed specifically for sous vide cooking is desirable in order to obtain optimal results. This is also why foodies love experimenting with the method—a small shift can make a big difference to the final dish! Best of all, the perfection can be dialed in – once you discover exactly how you like your steak, chicken, scallops, or eggs, you can repeat it at the push of a button again and again.
(Time depends on thickness for proteins, but generally 30 minutes to an hour for 1-inch thick portions.)
You will find recommended times and temperatures for a wide variety of foods in the SousVide Supreme User’s Guide and on our Cooking Times / Temperatures Reference Chart.
Food cooked sous vide retains important nutrients—such as flavonoids and carotenoids in vegetables—rather than their being lost in the cooking liquid or into the air. The delicate fats in meats and fish, which can be easily damaged at high temperatures in the presence of oxygen, remain un-oxidized, intact, and more healthful.
The chief concerns raised about cooking in plastic cooking pouches or bags involve the leaching of potentially harmful plastic components, chemicals, such as BPA (bisphenol-A) and phthalates, or toxic metals, such as lead, from the bag into the food. Food grade plastic bags, certified as suitable for cooking by their manufacturer, are safe to use. All SousVide Supreme Vacuum Seal Cooking Pouches and Zip Cooking Pouches have been third-party tested and are certified free of BPA, phalates and lead. Our pouches are also quality tested to ensure that they remain stable at extreme cooking temperatures (boiling) and that there is no breakdown of plastic components or migration into the food.
Clean up couldn’t be easier with the SousVide Supreme. Since the food is sealed in cooking pouches, the water and bath stay clean. Simply toss out the cooking pouch or rinse and recycle in accordance with your communities’ standards. As to cleaning the machine itself, once cooking is complete, turn off and unplug the unit, allow the water bath to cool for safety, then simply empty the water from the bath into the sink, and wipe with a dry soft cloth.
Occasionally, a cooking pouch may leak if not properly sealed. If this happens, simply remove the cooking pouches, turn off the machine and unplug it. Allow the water to cool, then empty the water and wipe out the interior with mild soap and water. Fill the bath with clean water and empty again. Dry with a clean soft cloth. Do not immerse the machine in water or other liquid.
Reducing the risk of food-borne illness by cooking food depends not just on temperature, but also on time. The lower the temperature, the longer the time. For instance, Salmonella, a common type of food-borne bacteria, will be killed in 30 seconds at 150F/65.5C but it will take 15 minutes to do so at 130F/54.5C.
Almost all potentially harmful organisms will be killed at 130F/54.5C given sufficient time to heat the food completely to that temperature. Since most sous vide cooking is done between 130F/54.5C and 195F/95C, the food will be safe. The most common exception is fish, which some people prefer to eat rare or medium rare (116F/46.5C to 126F/52C). In this case, it is important to only buy fish you would be wiling to eat raw—in other words, sushi grade ocean fish.
Important warning: Individuals who are immuno-compromised for any reason should not eat rare or raw food; they should only eat food cooked at or above 140F/60C for a sufficient amount of time to ensure the food is pasteurized.
When handling food, whether cooking sous vide or using more traditional techniques, all cooks should familiarize themselves with basic food safety practices:
For additional food safety and handling tips, we recommend visiting an approved food safety site such as www.foodsafety.gov, www.foodsafety.org or www.fda.gov
Food cooked sous vide can be safely kept in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. To be kept longer, the food should be quick chilled in its pouch and can then be frozen for up to a year.
To safely refrigerate or freeze food cooked sous vide and not intended for immediate consumption, it should be quick chilled in its cooking pouch, completely submerged in an ice water bath to allow the temperature to drop quickly through the danger zone (40F/4C to 130F/54C). How long the food should stay submerged in the ice water should mirror the minimum cooking time for that food, in most cases 30 minutes to 1 hour. The ice water bath should contain enough ice to bring the water temperature close to 32F/0C. Half ice and half water is usually sufficient, adding more ice over time if needed.
Not at the same time in the bath, however, there are a couple of ways to accomplish this goal. If, for example, one person wants a medium steak and another wants a medium rare one, you have two options. You can cook both steaks in the water bath to medium rare, then, when finishing the steaks in the skillet or on the grill, simply leave the medium steak on for a bit longer. Or, you can cook the two steaks sequentially – the medium rare steak in a 134F/56C water bath as much as a day or two beforehand, then quick chill it in its pouch, and refrigerate until needed. Crank up the temperature of the water oven to 140F/60C and cook the medium steak to perfection. Then rewarm them both to the medium rare temperature and sear them quickly for flavor and appearance in a hot skillet, using a kitchen torch, or on the grill. A time saving tip is to cook multiple steaks at once at each temperature and freeze them in their pouches for reheating when ready to eat.
There is, but it’s usually unnecessary, since physics dictates that vacuum sealed food left in the water bath at the desired temperature for the recommended amount of time for its thickness should become the temperature of the water bath from edge to edge. There are slender ‘needle’ temperature probes that can be inserted through special foam pads that can be affixed to the cooking pouch in such a way as to preserve the vacuum and prevent water from entering the pouch. This kind of specialized equipment is chiefly used for testing purposes.
But there is really no need to remove the foods to take an internal temperature. For example: To prepare a perfect medium-rare 1-inch/2.5 cm thick steak at 134F/56.5C, simply set the SousVide Supreme for that temperature and cook the steak in a vacuum sealed pouch for one hour. You can find Time and Temperature tables for a wide variety of foods in the SousVide Supreme Time and Temperature Chart that came with the machine and on our Cooking Time / Temperature Reference Chart online.
You will find recommended times and temperatures online in our Cooking Time / Temperature Reference Guide , but to explain more fully, read on.
All fresh foods--including grass-fed meats and organ meats, such as liver, kidney, heart, or thymus (sweetbread)--are chiefly composed of water. When vacuum sealed and submerged in a preheated water bath, the laws of physics will ensure that heat will efficiently transfer from the water to the water-rich food.
Given sufficient time (based on the thickness of the portion) the food will reach the same temperature as the water. Intricate mathematical calculations have been made to determine how long it takes the interior of the meat (or any food) of a given type and a given thickness to reach a particular temperature. However, some unusual cuts (tongue, grass-fed steaks) are tough and others (liver) are tender. Simply remember this maxim: temperature cooks and time tenderizes. If you have a tough cut, it will need more time to become tender than just the length of time needed to heat it through. See the Cooking Time / Temperature Reference Guide online.
Absolutely. Although the cooking times in the Time and Temperature Chart (included with the SousVide Supreme water ovens and found in our online Cooking Times / Temperatures Reference Guide) refer to meat put into the water oven from the refrigerator, it is also possible to cook frozen meats. The key is in how long it takes the meat to thaw from frozen in the water bath, which like cooking it, is a function of how thick the pouch of food is. Because of the superior efficiency of water over air to conduct or transfer heat, a given portion of meat will thaw in the water bath quickly. (In fact, the water oven is a good way to thaw food, securely sealed in plastic, even if you aren’t going to cook it sous vide!) We usually recommend adding about 15 to 30 minutes to the minimum cooking times given in the tables for fish, poultry, and tender meat of about 1-inch (2.5 cm) in thickness. It will take longer for thicker cuts.
Yes, just not whole, unless you have a chamber vacuum sealer. Air trapped in the cavity of a whole bird will not be effectively removed by a suction vacuum sealer and will cause the bag to float, resulting in uneven cooking. Spatchcocking whole small hens or game birds (removing the backbone and flattening the carcass) will allow you to cook the whole bird at once, but large birds, such as turkeys, will not fit into the water oven. Half chickens or ducks, spatchcocked or halved game hens, or individual breasts, legs, or thighs work best in the SousVide Supreme.
For larger birds, such as chicken, duck, or turkey, since the optimal temperatures for cooking white meat and dark are quite different, the old standard ‘cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165F/74C’ will ensure that the breast will be overcooked and the legs and thighs potentially undercooked. By cooking the white meat and dark meat separately at their optimal temperatures, you can ensure the most delicious result for your meal.
Because it is delicate and will rapidly become mushy, fish should not be left in the SousVide Supreme for extended periods. Most fish portions will be brought to serving temperature within 30 minutes, depending on thickness, and leaving the fish in the water oven up to an hour is feasible, but longer will result in a too-soft texture.
Generally speaking, yes. To soften, the fiber and burst the starch granules present in many vegetables requires cooking at a temperature higher than 175F/80C. Most vegetables cook just fine anywhere in the range of 183 to 185F (83 to 85C) in about 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the toughness of the vegetable and the thickness of the pieces. Thus they can easily be cooked at the same time, either in separate pouches or in one pouch. Root vegetables (beets, carrots, potatoes, turnips, parsnips) take a bit longer than tender vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, squash) but they all coexist in the water oven together nicely.
Not unless you like your meat very well done. Vegetables require a much higher temperature to soften and become tender than almost any type of meat, fish, or poultry would optimally ever cook--e.g., above 175F/80C. However the process can be done sequentially. For instance, you could, begin by cooking a selection of root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, and onions) at 183F/82C for one hour, then cool the water bath to 146F/63C, insert pouches of chicken breasts and continue to cook for an additional 2 hours, so that they all come out together ready to eat. (Recommended cooking time and temperature chart can be found in the SousVide Supreme User’s Guide and in our Cooking Times / Temperatures Reference Guide online.) The root vegetable may be slightly more tender crisp than it would be had it been cooked for the full 2 hours at the higher temperature, but will still be delicious.
Unbelievable, but true! In fact, you can turn out some of the moistest cakes, brownies, and quick breads imaginable. Here's how:
Yes, but not with the VS3000 Vacuum Sealer. Suction sealers, such as the VS3000 will easily handle moist foods or those with under 1 ½ tablespoons (22 ml) liquid in them, but larger volumes of liquid can be pulled into the vacuum chamber and into the suction portals and damage the motor. There are three ways to easily and safely package liquids and liquid-rich foods for sous vide cooking: