What Is Sous Vide?

Sous Vide Explained in 5 Easy Steps

Prepare

Prepare

Prepare your ingredients ready for cooking.
Seal & Vacuum

Seal & Vacuum

Seal your ingredients in a vacuum pouch or resealable bag.
Set

Set

Set the time and temperature on your sous vide water bath.
Cook

Cook

Place the sealed vacuum pouch or bag into your sous vide water bath to cook.
Serve

Serve

Once your food is cooked, remove from the vacuum pouch or bag. Dinner is served!

Benefits of Sous Vide Cooking

Healthy, tasty eating made possible

Sealing ingredients in a vacuum pouch or resealable bag means no natural flavours and nutrients are lost.

Gourmet cooking at an affordable price

Sous vide cooking transforms cheaper cuts of meat and fish into premium results effortlessly.

Simple, effortless excellence

Set your time and temperature and leave your water bath to do the rest.

Cooking, without the clean-up

Simply cook your dishes, then pour away the water in your water bath when done, it’s that simple.

Consistently cooked throughout

Evenly cooked, juicy and tender results every time.

Innovative cooking

Create all manner of dishes, desserts, cocktails, soups and stews all from the same product.

Sous Vide Cooking Guides

Whether you're cooking, meats, fish, fruit, vegetables or anything in between, our selection of free sous vide cooking guides are here to help you every step of the way. In each guide you'll find details on different ingredients, their optimum cooking times and temperatures and other useful information to help you master the sous vide technique in no time. You'll also find a selection of short guides on which equipment to use, health and safety matters and guidance on food storage. Simply click on any of the sous vide cooking guides below to explore for yourself.

Sous Vide Videos

A collection of short sous vide how to videos for you to browse at your leisure. These include a step by step guide to using your Uno Sous Vide Controller or Primo Sous Vide Water bath for the first time. Other videos include how to cook a range of different ingredients using the sous vide technique, including meats, fish, fruit and vegetables. Alternatively we also have a collection of free cooking guides for all manner of different ingredients detailed above.

Sous Vide FAQ

Developed in France in the 1970s, sous vide, meaning under vacuum, is a culinary technique in which food is vacuum-sealed and cooked in a low-temperature water bath at a consistent temperature for an extended period of time. The result is perfectly cooked foods with enhanced flavour, texture and nutritional benefits P

Perfect for busy families and health-conscious home cooks looking for an easy and delicious solution to the dinner time dilemma, sous vide cooking is one of the fastest growing culinary segments and quickly moving beyond “just gourmet.”

For further information on the sous vide technique, visit our Sous Vide Explained pages.

There are a number of benefits to cooking using the sous vide technique. Here are just a few:

Forgiving:

Once ingredients reach the desired cooking temperature, they will never go above or below this. Bar a few very delicate ingredients, this means no more overcooking, and no loss of quality even if the ingredients have been in the sous vide water bath up to four hours longer than the original set time.

Cost Savings:

Sous vide can enhance all manner of proteins, allowing you to deliver premium quality dishes with lower cost cuts of meat. Equipment consumes a significant amount less electricity compared to other cooking equipment, with sous vide also helping save costs in cooking preparations and personnel costs - All adding to additional revenues.

Flexibility:

The sous vide technique is predominantly seen as a way of cooking meats evenly. However, sous vide is much more than that, with home cooks and professional chefs alike cooking all manner of ingredients including meats, fish, vegetables and fruits.
The sous vide technique is also an excellent way to infuse alcohols and spirits together and so is becoming more and more popular in public houses and cocktail bars.

Time Savings:

The sous vide technique allows you to prepare ingredients well in advance of service, helping you to cook and serve ingredients quickly and efficiently when needed. Any ingredients not used in that service, can be refrigerated and used again later with no loss in quality.

Simplicity:

Whether you’re cooking meat, fish, fruit or vegetables, simply add your ingredients to a vacuum pouch or resealable bag, seal the bag and then just place the bag into the sous vide water bath to cook at the desired temperature and time - It really couldn’t be easier.

Healthier:

As all nutrients and minerals are captured in a vacuum sealed pouch, they cannot escape - meaning healthier fruits & vegetables together with more succulent, juicier meats and fish.

It is important to note that not all plastic bags are suitable for sous vide cooking and so it is essential users cook with food safe resealable bags or vacuum pouches. These are traditionally made from Polyethylene, but you should always check the bags / vacuum pouches you intend to cook with are food safe before using them.

Another important consideration is correct serving and storage of sous vide food. If serving immediately, simply remove the ingredients from the bag once cooked, sear if desired and serve.

If serving later, place the bags into an ice bath to cool before refrigerating. The quick chill method ensures food remains safe for eating later. To reheat - simply place the food back into the sous vide water bath, once the food has reached its original cooking temperature, it is ready to serve.

A third consideration is to ensure bags are fully submerged in the water so that ingredients are cooked thoroughly.

 

This depends upon the size of the sous vide equipment you are cooking with. To separate bags from one another and to ensure consistent cooking, we suggest using a rack. Using a rack will also allow you to cook larger quantities of foods.

Typically portions would be as follows:

A 10 - 15 litre sous vide water bath should be able to cook between 12 and 16, 6oz (170g) portions.

A 20 - 30 litre sous vide water bath should be able to cook between 24 and 32, 6oz (170g) portions.

 
 

In a word, Yes! A number of meals can be prepared entirely using the sous vide technique such as soups and stews. Simply add all ingredients to a bag, cook and serve.

Alternatively, if some ingredients have been cooked previously, to complete a meal, simply bring all ingredients to the lowest temperatures of the set, before serving. The only thing to bear in mind is that cooking times and temperatures vary from one ingredient to another.

Sous vide is traditionally seen as an alternative method for cooking meats. However, the technique is extremely versatile, meaning all manner of ingredients can be cooked such as:

Meat:

Pork, Lamb, Beef, Chicken, Duck, Turkey, Quail

Fish:

Salmon, Cod, Haddock, Hake, Turbot, Trout, Tuna, Monkfish, Sea Bass

Shellfish:

Lobster, Shrimp, Prawns, Mussels, Scallops, Clams, Langoustines

Vegetables:

Carrots, Peas, Sweetcorn, Spinach, Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Cauliflower

Fruits:

Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Oranges, Apples, Pears, Tomatoes, Rhubarb, Kiwi, Damson

Other Ingredients:

Eggs, Rice, Pasta, Beans

Yes, so long as the ingredients are cooked in food-grade Polyethylene, BPA free bags.

Most recognised food storage bags are made from Polyethylene and so should be safe for sous vide cooking. Vacuum pouches specifically designed for sous vide cooking are also safe and are used more commonly in a professional setting.

 
 

Typical cooking temperatures vary depending on the ingredients used:

  • Meats and fish range from 50°C (131°F) to 70°C (158°F).
  • Fruits and Vegetables are normally between 83°C (181.5°F) and 85°C (185°F) as this is the temperature at which pectin, the molecular 'glue' that holds cells together begins to break down.
  • Eggs typically cook at between 60°C (140°F) and 70°C (158°F) depending on your cooking preference.

 

This depends entirely on the extent to which you will be cooking sous vide.

At Home: You would need a sous vide water bath or immersion circulator and tank together with some resealable bags or a domestic vacuum sealer.

In a Professional Kitchen: Depending on the size of the establishment, the kitchen would require at least two circulators or water baths, together with two good quality vacuum or chamber sealers (one for raw and one for cooked foods to comply with HACCP regulations) and a good quantity of sous vide bags. Other items such as date labels would also be useful if ingredients are being cooked in advance of service.

The quantity of equipment could easily increase depending on how prominently

As long as your cooked ingredients are chilled quickly in an ice bath before refrigerating, they can typically be stored for anything from 48 hours to 10 days. To serve these ingredients later, they just need to be brought to their original cooking temperatures in the sous vide water bath before serving.

This can vary of course, depending on the ingredients, and can be longer if you choose to freeze foods after chilling them.

Put simply, yes. When cooking raw, frozen ingredients, the cooking time should be extended by at least an hour to allow the ingredients to thaw and reach the desired temperature throughout.

For previously refrigerated, cooked foods, the cooking time should be extended by between 30 minutes and an hour.

Times will of course vary from ingredient to ingredient depending on the desired temperature and thickness of that ingredient.

 
 

Very little and that's another benefit of the sous vide technique. All the cooking is done within the sous vide bags, so there's little washing up or mess.

What's more, when you're done, simply pour away the water, wipe the water bath and store.

 
 

Compared to traditional cooking equipment, typical energy consumption is incredibly low. For example, the Grant Creative Cuisine Primo 10 sous vide water bath uses 700W of power when heating up, but once it has reached the set temperature it uses less energy than a light bulb (60W) to cook a rare steak at 50°C (122°F) and less than 200W to cook vegetables at 84°C (183°F).

For the Home:

For those looking to cook sous vide for the first time, we would recommend a sous vide water bath such as the Primo 10, a 10 litre sous vide water bath built by hand in the UK, which comes complete with rack, based tray, lid, 60 recipe cookbook and a 2 year warranty.

For those with limited space, Grant Creative Cuisine do offer an alternative. The Uno Sous Vide Controller is extremely compact and can be connected to any existing analogue rice or slow cooker that you may already have in your home, converting it into an accurate sous vide water bath. The Compagno is simply the Uno offered with a compatible rice cooker to make a great starter sous vide package.

For the Professional:

For the professional chef, this depends entirely on the nature of the business. If space is not an issue and the kitchen in question cooks set quantities, then a set of tabletop sous vide water baths such as the Pasto range would be perfect.

If chefs are limited by space, then a set of sous vide water baths that are built into the countertop or a set of immersion circulators are more suitable. This allows better flexibility in the kitchen. Grant Creative Cuisine offer both solutions through the Vortice and Pasto Drop in ranges.

A third alternative for a small commercial kitchen (i.e. a Cafe or coffee shop) looking to introduce sous vide for the first time would be to invest in a small sous vide water bath and then scale up the as the requirements of the business increase. A perfect product in this instance would be the Primo 10.

No it’s really easy:

  1. Seal your food in an airtight bag. This is easily done just with a re-sealable food bag, vacuum sealers are optional.
  2. Immerse the food pouch in your water once it reaches the right temperature. You’ll find all the right time and temperature settings in our free sous-vide cooking guides
  3. Your chosen Grant product does the rest and you only attend to it once it’s done!

Your meal is fully cooked after a minimum cooking time. For items like steak, you can sear it for just a few seconds each side to brown it. Dinner is ready, enjoy!

No! No more overcooking, ever!

Sous-vide cooks everything at exactly the perfect temperature so that it's just right. Instead of having the usual layers of burnt to raw in your steak, enjoy top-restaurant quality right at home – juicy, tender and evenly cooked from edge-to-edge; even if you leave it for longer than you planned – even the odd hour longer it will still be perfect.

Yes! Sous-vide brings out the best natural flavours in food, retaining maximum nutrition with minimal addition of fats.

With juicy proteins and tender vegetables at your fingertips, sous-vide is the ideal complement to your active lifestyle.
 

Absolutely!

Not everyone can cook, but anyone can sous-vide.

We’ll let you know the best time and temperature settings – so it’s truly set-and-forget - With mind blowing results, every single time!

No! Rediscover your entire home cooking repertoire.

Food cooked just right tastes amazing. You can enhance everything you've ever cooked with new exciting textures.

Fancy some buttery salmon, moist chicken breasts and gooey lava-like egg yolks?

See how we've taken a simple spaghetti carbonara to new heights by simply incorporating the sous-vide technique.

Recipe: Foolproof Spaghetti Carbonara

NO! Quite the opposite in fact - You can produce gourmet tasting meals that save you money.

Sous-vide cooking transforms tough, lean and often cheap cuts into mouth-wateringly tender results.

Soft succulent beef short ribs cooked at 55°C (131°F) are just like the prime cuts, but about 6 times cheaper – what’s not to like?

No - Lightning-fast clean-up!

All you need to do is pour away the water in your cooker. Done.

Really, it’s that simple. Are you ready to try sous-vide?

Not necessarily.

If you cook sous-vide for immediate serving (cook-serve), a vacuum sealer is not needed. Using good quality re-sealable freezer bags with the water displacement method works well for sous-vide cooking temperatures. Some use this method for home use.

A vacuum sealer is recommended if you tend to store food cooked sous-vide for consumption at a later date (cook-chill), require compression of certain food or use other techniques such as flash-pickling. We recommend exploring cook-chill at a later stage once you become more familiar with the cook-serve method.

The main purpose of the vacuum (or just an airtight bag) is to ensure an efficient heat distribution from the water bath to food for even cooking, because air is a poor conductor of heat.

Any food-grade sealable bag will work – if you want really great results then look at our Vuoto

Absolutely. A common misconception about low temperature cooking is that it is unsafe as it involves cooking in lower temperatures that are in the bacterial "danger zone" of 10°C-55°C (50°F-131°F).

In fact, food safety is a function of both time and temperature; a low cooking temperature would be perfectly safe if maintained for long enough to achieve pasteurization.

Generally, food that is heated and served within 4 hours is considered safe (including unpasteurized food), but meat that is cooked for longer to tenderize must reach a temperature of at least 55°C (131°F) within 4 hours and then be kept there, in order to pasteurize the meat.

Unpasteurized food is not dangerous if fresh, high quality ingredients are used with proper hygienic practice. Or else we wouldn't have sushi, rare steak or carpaccio. However, it’s advisable to not serve unpasteurized food to highly susceptible, pregnant or immuno-compromised people.

Sous-vide cooking is safe with good food hygiene practices, purchase of fresh food and adherence to the time-temperature guidelines. Sous-vide cooking is not more dangerous, as these precautions apply to other conventional cooking methods too!

OK – You need to plan ahead for this one a bit, but the results are worth it!
 
Brine it overnight:
Put it in the bag with some salt, brown sugar and a little of your favourite smokey BBQ sauce
 
Cook It:
Sous vide for 24 hours at 65°C (149°F).
Take it out and dry it off, put a sugary-salty-peppery dry rub on it and place it in a 150°C (300°F) oven / sear it in a hot pan to form a crust
 
Rest, slice and serve.
 
Finally, given the choice, buy the second-cut half, sometimes known as the deckle – it’s tastier!

Sous vide makes good home cooking great and effortless.

Great cooking and sous vide go hand in hand, with precise temperature control key to creating amazing dishes. Sous vide is simple and with times and temperatures clearly defined for all ingredients, all you’ve got to do is set your time and temperature and you’re ready to cook sous vide!