Last Updated on February 22, 2024 by Naomi Nimu
I’m a big fan of sous vide cooking. It’s a very precise way to cook, and it makes food taste better because you’re cooking it at the perfect temperature.
I’ve been using this technique for a few years now, but recently I decided to purchase a vacuum sealer to help with sous vide cooking. It’s made a huge difference in how I prepare food, so I wanted to share why you should get one, too.
What is a Vacuum Sealer?
A vacuum sealer like this one is a device that removes air from the inside of a bag with food and securely seals it to keep food fresh.
Is A Vacuum Sealer Worth It?
Vacuum sealing preserves the freshness of vegetables and meat products like beef, pork, and poultry by removing oxygen from their packaging.
This process prevents bacteria growth and spoilage of food while ensuring that it maintains its flavor and nutritional value for up to five years.
Are Ideal for Home Cooks, Professional Chefs, Hunters, Gardeners, Fish Men and Women
Vacuum sealers are often used by people who hunt or fish as they can help preserve the game for longer periods of time. Chamber vacuum sealers are also ideal for gardeners who have excessive produce.
They are also useful for any type of home cook and professional chef who wants to store leftovers or bulk purchases in vacuum sealer bags instead of throwing them away after only one use.
Cost of Vacuum Sealer
The price of a vacuum sealer depends on its size and features and whether it comes with any accessories, such as bags or rolls of sealing strips.
They cost around $50 and $300. Small models typically cost less than $100, while large ones, such as a chamber vacuum sealer, can cost more than $300 depending on their size.
Vacuum sealers are great because they can be used on many kinds of foods: cooked meats, raw meats, cooked vegetables, nuts, raw vegetables, cheese, fruits, and even liquids
What is Sous Vide Cooking?
Sous vide is a cooking technique that involves vacuum-sealing food in bags using a vacuum sealer before immersing them in water baths at precise temperatures. The low or constant temperature allows the food to cook slowly while being submerged, making sure the food is evenly cooked.
Has Grown in Popularity
The term comes from French, meaning “under vacuum.” The technique is growing in popularity because of its ability to cook food evenly without drying it out.
Sous vide (pronounced SOO-veed) cooking has been used for years by restaurants, but recently it has become popular at home because of how easy it is to use an immersion circulator to make sous vide recipes at home. Also, sous vide cookers are now commonly found in people’s home kitchens, along with other kitchen appliances. Unlike before, when they were expensive and only a few people could afford them.
Benefits of Using a Vacuum Sealer for Sous Vide
The benefits of using a food vacuum sealer for sous vide cooking cannot be overstated. You don’t have to worry about manually squeezing the air from your bags whenever you want to cook using this method. This saves a lot of time and effort, especially when preparing large quantities of food.
This helps you cook your food faster if you want to cook sous vide style because you don’t have to wait for hours until all the air inside your bag gets sucked out.
Vacuum sealing Food with a Machine is Easy
Vacuum sealing is much easier than the water displacement method. With the water displacement method, you need to remove air using your hands and water pressure, which is time-consuming and tedious.
However, with vacuum sealing, there is no need for all this since the vacuum sealer machine itself will do this job for you by removing all air inside the bag through the sucking process before sealing it tightly.
It is Efficient
One of the main benefits of using a vacuum sealer for sous vide cooking is that it ensures that all air is removed from the bag with food, which means better heat transfer from the water bath to the food.
With the water displacement method or manual removal of air, this process is not effective since pockets of air can remain. These pockets of air will cause the vacuum sealer bag to float on the water bath during sous vide cooking, resulting in uneven cooking.
Seals Ziplock Bags Properly
If you do not seal your bags properly, there is a chance that water can enter them during sous vide cooking and ruin your food completely. A vacuum sealer ensures that this doesn’t happen by sealing your bags properly after removing air, preventing water from entering during sous vide cooking.
How do you use a vacuum sealer for sou vide?
Step 1: Get Your Ingredients and Equipment Ready
Before you get started, ensure all your ingredients and equipment are ready. You’ll need a vacuum sealer, bag, a sous vide machine or an immersion circulator, beef, and some seasonings such as salt and pepper.
Pick your cut of meat
The most common cut of meat used for sous vide cooking is ribeye, but you can also try other cuts like strip loin or tenderloin.
In this tutorial, we will use a steak (beef) 1 inch thick. The thickness of the steak is up to you, but I recommend at least 1″ thick so it will cook evenly
Cooking sous vide can be used on almost any type of food, but it’s especially helpful for cooking meat because it allows you to cook the meat slowly and evenly, resulting in meat that is more tender and juicy than what you can get from traditional methods like pan-frying or grilling.
A Sous Vide Machine (And Water Bath)
You will need a sous vide machine or an immersion circulator. The best part about this machine is that you don’t need to worry about overcooking the meat because the temperature is set exactly how you want it, so once you seal your food in a bag, it will cook perfectly every time.
You can purchase a sous vide machine such as the Anova Precision Cooker. This machine allows you to set the temperature and time, so all you have to do is drop your food into the water bath, and it’s done!
No need to keep monitoring the food or check the temperature with a thermometer.
A Vacuum Sealer Machine
If you don’t already have a vacuum sealer, check out our guide on buying one for home use. A vacuum sealer will help to completely remove air from the bag before sealing it shut. In our case, we used a vacmaster-vp112s-vacuum-sealer. It has easy-to-use controls and a vacuum chamber.
A Vacuum Sealer Bag
Ensure it is BPA-free and can withstand high temperatures (I use FoodSaver brand bags).
Seasonings Such as Salt and Pepper
While many people choose not to season their steaks before cooking them sous vide style, some recipes may call for it, so feel free to add any seasoning you want, such as salt and pepper.
Step 2: Season Your Steak
The first step is to season your steak with salt and pepper before cooking it. You want to season both sides liberally so they get nice and peppery while they cook.
If you like your steaks with more flavor than just salt and pepper, add spices like garlic powder, paprika, or cumin powder.
Step 3: Vacuum Seal the Steak
Put the steak in the bag, along with any seasonings or marinades you want. Then, remove air from the bag and seal using your vacuum sealer.
You can also use a regular zip-top freezer bag and water displacement method to remove all the air by pushing it out through one corner of the bag, but this won’t be as effective as a vacuum sealer.
Step 4: Set the Sous Vide Machine
Before you start cooking, ensure your sous vide machine is ready for action. There are a few things you need to do before placing anything in your water bath:
If you’re using a sous vide machine with a built-in water bath, fill it with water and bring it to a boil. Set temperature of the water to136°F.
Place Steak in Bath. Carefully drop the steak into the bath, ensuring it is completely submerged.
Step 5: Set the Timer and Go
Set the timer of the sous vide machine for 2 hours and step away from the kitchen. The goal here is to cook steak until it’s medium rare, around 136°F, but if you want well-done meat, increase the temperature accordingly.
Step 6: Sear The Steak
After you cook sous vide your steak, remove the bag with the steak from the water bath. Pat the steak with a towel to remove excess moisture.
Searing your steak after sous vide cooking is an easy way to get a nice crust on your meat. The technique is called “finishing” the steak.
Bring a cast iron skillet over your stovetop. Add oil to the pan and let it warm up for a minute before adding your steak.
You can also cook your steaks in a pan on the grill if you prefer this method instead of searing in a skillet.