Get the lowdown on cooking sous vide and the basic steps to get going.
What is sous vide?
Sous vide is a French phrase that is often translated as "under vacuum." Chefs around the world use the sous vide technique to prepare food to the perfect doneness while retaining the foods’ nutrients and juices. Now, this simple technique is available for home use with the Anova.
Anova is a sous vide immersion circulation that works by circulating water at a constant temperature in a pot. It's important for the water to circulate, as this ensures a consistent temperature throughout.
To cook sous vide, you first seal your food in a plastic bag using either a vacuum sealer or a Ziploc bag. Then, submerge the bag into the heated water bath for a period of time. Some people like to finish their food by searing it.
Sous vide allows home chefs to consistently prepare food to the perfect level of doneness. Home chefs simply set the temperature of the water bath, submerge the food, and then walk away. Since the temperature of the bath will never get above the desired temperature, the food will never exceed the desired doneness. It can literally be a “set it and forget it” meal.
|The benefits of sous vide||Why Anova|
|Effortless meal preparation||Turn on Anova, set the temperature and time and walk away|
|Consistent results||Anova’s circulator ensures consistent results by eliminating hot and cold spots. The pump output can be also turned to direct water away from delicate foods or for increased circulation.|
|Healthier cooking technique||Anova's sous vide cooking locks in food's nutrients and moisture. Enjoy delicious food without the need of butter or other dressings.|
Check out this video on cooking sous vide with Anova:
What you'll need
Having proper sous vide cooking equipment is invaluable when you cook sous vide. Until now, buying a sous vide machine required a substantial investment and a bulky piece of equipment.
|What we recommend||Why|
|Anova's sous vide immersion circulator||At $199, Anova's professional-grade sous vide immersion circulator is affordable for the home chef|
|A vacuum sealer and/or plastic bags||There are several options for vacuum sealing the bags, but a commercial vacuum sealer is most effective|
|A pot, bin, cooler, or fish tank with a depth of greater than 8"||An 8" depth ensures enough water coverage for proper circulation and safety|
|Lean cuts of meats, vegetables or fruit||Sous vide methods do not sublimate the fat of meats so all the fat is retained during cooking, so leaner cuts are best. Vegetables and fruit are delicious when sous vided.|
|A good book or dumbbells||Sous vide is a "set it and forget it" method of cooking. You'll have time to read, exercise, take a nap - really anything - while making amazing food.|
Food should be fresh or defrosted before placing it in the plastic bag. Then, prepare the food with any of your favorite aromatic herbs, like rosemary or thyme. Unlike with other cooking methods, butter and marinades are not necessary because the moisture of the food will be retained. Adding broth or milk to the bag would create a poached effect. For most meats and fish, salt and pepper are all you need.
Add your seasoned food to plastic bags and remove all surrounding air to create a vacuum seal. This can be achieved in one of three ways:
- With a vacuum food sealer and its plastic bags;
- By sealing ziplock bags until almost closed and then sucking the air out with a straw; or
- By submerging the bag in a bowl of water and then sealing it up. The pressure of the water will push out the air and mold the bag around the food.
Cooking Time and Temperature
One of the most important questions when cooking sous vide is: At what temperature should I cook this food? The answer depends on your desired doneness of the food and safety concerns.
The other key question for sous vide cooking is: How long should the food cook for at the temperature I have selected? The answers to both questions are discussed below in our guide.
Precision by design
Anova was designed to create a precision cooking experience.
- Set the temperature and time with a touch of the screen
- Circulating water delivers consistent heat to the food
- Leave your Anova on for up to 99 hours - it has an automatic shut off.
Here's our recommended guide for preparing your next delicious meal:
|Tender Beef, Lamb||1" / 25mm||134F / 56.5C||1 - 4 hrs|
|Tender Beef, Lamb||2" / 50mm||134F / 56.5C||2 - 4 hrs|
|Bison, Game||1" / 25mm||134F / 56.5C||8 - 24 hrs|
|Roast, Leg of Lamb||2.75" / 70mm||134F / 56.5C||10 - 48 hrs|
|Spare Ribs||2" / 50mm||176F / 80C||24 - 72 hrs|
|Flank Steak, Brisket||1" / 25mm||134F / 56.5C||8 - 30 hrs|
|Tenderloin||1.5" / 38mm||134F / 56.5C||1.5 - 8 hrs|
|Baby Back Ribs||NA||165F / 74C||4 - 36 hrs|
|Pork Chops||1" / 25mm||134F / 56.5C||2 - 24 hrs|
|Pork Chops||2" / 50mm||134F / 56.5C||2 - 10 hrs|
|Pork Roast||2.75" / 70mm||160-176F / 71-80C||12 - 30 hrs|
|Spare Ribs||2.75" / 70mm||160-176F / 71-80C||12 - 48 hrs|
|Chicken Breast (Bone in)||2" / 50mm||146F / 63.5C||2.5 - 6 hrs|
|Chicken Breast (Boneless)||1" / 25mm||146F / 63.5C||1 - 4 hrs|
|Chicken Leg/Thigh||NA||160F / 71C||4 - 8 hrs|
|Split Game Hen||2.75" / 70mm||160F / 71C||6 - 8 hrs|
|Turkey/Duck Leg||NA||176F / 80C||8 - 10 hrs|
|Confit||2.75" / 70mm||134F / 56.5C||24 - 48 hrs|
|Duck Breast||1" / 25mm||134F / 56.5C||2 - 4 hrs|
|Fish||.5 - 1" / 1.25 - 2.5cm||126F / 52C||20 - 30 mins|
|Fish||1 - 2" / 2.5 5cm||126F / 52C||30 - 40 mins|
|Lobster||1" / 25mm||134F / 56.5C||8 - 24 hrs|
|Scallops (Diver)||1 - 1.25" / 2.5cm||140F / 56.5C||40 - 60 mins|
|Shrimp||jumbo||140F / 60C||30- 40 mins|
|Root Vegetables*||1" / 25mm||183F / 84C||1 - 4 hrs|
|Tender Vegetables**||2" / 50mm||183F / 84C||30 - 75 mins|
**Asparagus, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Corn, Eggplant, Fennel, Green Beans, Onions, Peas, Squashes
|Firm Fruits*||1" / 25mm||134F / 56.5C||1 - 4 hrs|
|Soft Fruits**||2" / 50mm||134F / 56.5C||2 - 4 hrs|
**Peach, Apricot, Plum, Mango, Papaya, Nectarine, Strawberry
|Soft Cooked in Shell (quick)||167F / 75C||1 hr|
|Soft Cooked in Shell (slow)||147F / 64C||1 hr|
|Hard Cooked in Shell||160F / 71C||1 hr|
|Scrambled||167F / 75C||1 hr|
|Pasteurized in Shell||135F / 57C||1 hr|
For information on safe cooking temperatures, please refer to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Service's food safety chart.
Once your food has been cooked sous vide, the final step is finishing. This may be quickly searing your steak in a hot pan with oil, or popping your chicken breast under the broiler to crisp up the skin. Most sous vide recipes will include a finishing tip.
Clean up after preparing a sous vide meal is yet another bonus of this cooking technique. No tools or heavy lifting required. Simply drain the water out of your pot and give it a quick wash, throw away the sous vide bag, and approach the cleaning of your Anova like you would the rest of your dishes.
Anova's unique circulator allows access to every nook and cranny through a simple removal of the steel skirt. The stainless steel skirt and pump cover can be washed with your other dishes or placed into a dishwasher.