A Quick Look at the Equipment Needed to Get Started with Sous-Vide

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By JeffreyThurber

Sous-vide cooking is a must-try method for any foodie, especially if you love trying out some of the more ‘scientific’ methods of cooking.

Sous-vide refers to food which is cooked in a precisely heated water bath, usually vacuum sealed.

We love it because of the extreme amount of control it gives you over the texture of your food and makes it impossible to overcook things, as well as being very versatile and not just limited to meat.

However, it can be a little daunting and unclear what sort of equipment you need to get started, so we’ve put together this brief guide to everything that you’ll need to get going with this fantastic cooking method.

Immersion Circulator

This device sits in a tub or pot of water (some people even use beer coolers!) and essentially withdraws it, heats it to precisely the temperature you’ve determined, and circulates it around the container, keeping everything at exactly the right temperature.

They can usually nail the temperature down to within a single degree, which is essential to the sous-vide method.

Circulators are also very easy to use, and some can even be controlled via an app on your smartphone.

They’re probably the cheapest way to get into sous-vide as they don’t require you to shell out on an actual water bath.

Water Oven

These units are all-in-one sous-vide machines which you can purchase as an alternative to an immersion circulator.

They’re more expensive than immersion circulators but they’re also understandably a lot bulkier.

They’re probably a better option if you think you’re going to be cooking sous-vide quite a lot (and why wouldn’t you!?), but for beginners, we’d probably recommend going with the cheaper, more compact, and easier to use circulators.

Vacuum Sealer

You need to place your ingredients within a vacuum sealed bag to stop the juices from getting lost into the water.

It also makes the heat transfer to the ingredients from the water a lot easier. While you may be able to use a simple zip-lock bag, but you’d be better off opting for an actual vacuum sealer.

These machines will fully extract all the air from your bags and there are options available which use both disposable and reusable bags.

Frying pan

While not strictly a ‘sous-vide’ piece of equipment, you will want to keep a frying pan handy.

This is because once your meat comes out, it’ll look a little bit undercooked. But don’t panic!

This is just because of the way the meat is evenly cooked through, and simply throwing it in a pan for a couple of minutes will give it that deep brown crust.

Another option is to go all-out and purchase handheld blowtorch and get the job done in seconds (while looking twice as cool).

As for where you can pick all of this up, a lot of sous-vide retailer only cater for professional chefs, however, there are a couple, such as Sous-Vide Tools who also cater to the average foodie.

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