Best Practices for Making Your Own Sous Vide

Are you ready to make your own sous vide? Do you know the right step to take now? Even if you are very sure you can make your own food without a guide, you may be surprise learning the best practices will help you in a lot of ways.

With best practices, you can reduce the time you spend on cooking, buy the right equipment, and cook your food the right way.

Now that you are convinced, follow these steps to get ahead:

Determine the Sous Vide Temperature

Being able to select precise temperature is a very important skill for anyone who wants to cook with this method.

For most cut of meat, you may only need a medium temperature to get them cooked properly. Medium temperature ranges from 1300 F to 1390 F. If you want to cook a medium-rare steak, setting your machine in this range will give you a good result. However, the key is to try a few times with a variation in this temperature range until you find what works best for you. While there are specific recommendations for different types of meat, the standard ones are listed here:

  • Traditional Fish: 1220 F to 1320 F
  • Mid-cuit Fish: 1040 F
  • Traditional Chicken Breast: 1400 F to 1500 F
  • Extra-rare Chicken Breast: 1360 F to 1390 F
  • Medium-rare Beef: 1300 F to 1390 F
  • Medium Beef: 1400 F to 1450 F
  • Traditional Slow-cooked Beef: 1560 F to 1750 F

As you can see from the above, it is as simple as knowing the kind of meat you want to cook and selecting the right temperature range for it. With this, you have a direct way of measuring and setting a definite temperature for the specific meat you are cooking. Compared to food dehydrators where there are no standard temperature ranges to follow. And you need to monitor how the food does throughout the process.

Heat Up Some Water

There are many ways you can heat up water. If you like, you can use your old stovetop to heat water or use an expensive laboratory calculator. If you hate using a stovetop to heat, you can use immersion calculators and the best sous vide machine.

Immersion calculators are low-cost options, you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune to make sous vide.​

Seal the Food in a Bag

With this step, you will be able to retain the flavors in your food and also prevent the food from getting into the sous vide machine. There are many ways of sealing food and the most popular and effective is the use of clambered vacuum sealer. If you are going to be using this at home (which you are), it can become quite expensive. So you need a low-cost option. For that, you can go for a freezer bag since it works so well for most food. However, if you are looking to do longer cooking or you want higher temperature, you should use a vacuum sealer.

Keep Your Eyes on Safety

Many potential safety hazards abound when you sous vide. This is mostly in the form of bacteria-ridden foods. Although sous vide gives you lots of added benefits, the long period of cooking under low temperature has a high chance of leading to development of bacteria in the food. In order to eliminate occurrence of bacterial in your food, it is essential that you follow the prescribed cooking times and temperature setting precisely. This should come with your sous vide machine. Another option is to ensure that your vegetables and meats are thoroughly thawed before you cook them. It is a good practice to thaw meat and keep it in refrigerator temperature as opposed to room temperature. In addition, if you have cold meat, don’t let it sit for more than two hours at room temperature. Following these steps should solve most of the safety hazards you might encounter.

Sear the Food

Naturally, a cooked food gives you a crispy, flavorful outside layer. Unfortunately, if you are sous viding, you food will be devoid of these two, unless you sear the food after the process. The best way of doing this is to quickly sear the food after you finish sous viding. You can do this with a hot grill, pan, and a cooking torch or even deep fry it if you have a deep fryer. This may mean more work (especially if you are the busy type), but it also gives you something to really enjoy.

About the Author Catherine Wheeler

Hey, I'm Cath :) Iv'e got two beautiful young girls who mean the world to me. I used to be a head chef over at my local restaurant but I gave that up to look after my girls. I decided to put my culinary experience to use here by bringing that wealth of kitchen related knowledge and sharing it with you guys.