When Getting Started with Sous Vide cooking I had a bunch of questions. Should I buy a container or just use a stock pot? Should I get a vacuum sealer, buy bags, or would ziploc bags suffice? If you’re on the fence about a sous vide immersion circulator, or you have one and you’re wondering how to get started you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to talk about the basics necessary to get up and running quickly and on your way to the best steaks, chicken and pork chops you’ve ever had at home.
The advantage of the sous vide (pronounced “sue veed”) cooking technique is that you get perfect temperature control. Whether you like your steak rare or medium you can cook it to the perfect doneness every time. The setup for the sous vide cooking is really quite simple. The Anova, shown above, comes with an app with suggested recipes (time and temperature). The Anova works great, but if you’re in the market for a newer device you should also consider the Anova Nano or the Chefsteps Joule.
You can just use a stock pot and put it on the stove top, or other heat-safe surface but I prefer a dedicated container that will work on my open counter space. I use this rubbermaid container as the size and shape give you plenty of cooking space. The container by it’s own is fine, but you’ll get more efficiency, quicker water heating times and less evaporation, with an insulated sleeve. This container sleeve from So-Vida works great.
The basic technique is to place your food in a plastic bag, remove all of the air, put the bag in the water and set the time and temperature. Pretty straightforward. If you’re just starting out you may wonder if you need some special bags or if you need a vacuum sealer to remove the air? Thankfully, niether is required. I just use freezer ziploc bags. To remove the air just use the “water displacement method”. That is, seal the food in the bag leaving the last inch of the bag unsealed. Lower the bag into the water slowly which lets the water force the air from the bag. Continue until just the top of the bag is above the water. Finally, with most of the air out, completely seal the bag and clip it to the side of the container.
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