What is Sous Vide Cooking?

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The ultimate guide to Sous Vide Cooking! After many, many meals cooked using different cooking techniques, I have come to a very simple realization: There are few things in life more delicious than sous vide cooked foods. It’s a low-and-slow water bath cooking method with very precise temperature. The result is amazing and success is guaranteed for the perfect doneness each time! 

The ultimate guide to Sous Vide Cooking! After many, many meals cooked using different cooking techniques, I have come to a very simple realization: There are few things in life more delicious than a good piece of Sous Vide meat
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If you are new to Sous Vide, you’ve come to the right place. This post will show you everything you need to know about sous vide and how to use sous vide cooker to cook an amazing meal!

What is Sous Vide?

Sous vide is a French term (pronunciation: soo veed) which translates to “under vacuum”. It’s a “low temperature long time “ (LTLT) cooking method by sealing food in a bag, then cooking for a long time to a very precise temperature in a water bath. This technique produces results that are impossible to be achieved by other methods, and is incredibly EASY to use!

Sous vide used to be employed only by professional chefs by restaurants, but thanks to new technology, affordable sous vide machines are now accessible for home cooks for less than $100 dollars. It has become very poplar in recent years, and you can cook pretty much everything from vegetables to fish and meat

The ultimate guide to Sous Vide Cooking! After many, many meals cooked using different cooking techniques, I have come to a very simple realization: There are few things in life more delicious than a good piece of Sous Vide meat

Benefits of Sous Vide Cooking

  • Even doneness: this technique cooks the food evenly all the way through, no more dry bottoms and rare centers.
  • Juicer and more tender texture: since natural juices remain trapped in the bag, which creates a humid environment acting as a marinade, the food tastes better using this method. It also retains more nutrients and vitamins.
  • Never overcooked: the sous vide machine (immersion circulators) controls the temperature of the water and produces even and consistent cooking every time, so it’s virtually impossible to overcook the food.
  • Stress free cooking: this method gives you the freedom to prepare your food and walk away while it’s cooing. Simply add all ingredients in a plastic bag, seal it and place them in a water bath. You are free for other tasks.

The food cooked with sous vide doesn’t brown like the traditional method, you can simply sear it quickly before serving so that you can have the best of both worlds.

This Sous Vide Skirt Steakis super tender, flavorful and evenly cooked edge to edge. The sous vide cooking technique allows you to cook a better steak dinner than the best steakhouse. The skirt steak is precisely cooked to the temperature you set with your desired doneness!

Sous Vide Temperatures for Different Types of Foods

For your convenience, here is a quick guide to common sous vide cooking temperatures (cooking times varies by different food and types of the cut):

For beef, lamb and veal

Rare125°F or 52°C
Medium Rare135°F or 57°C
Medium145°F or 63°C
Medium Well150°F or 66°C
Well Done160°F or 71°C

For Pork

Medium Rare134°F or 56°C
Medium140°F or 60°C
Well Done160°F or 71°C

For Chicken

Light Meat Juicy & Tender149°F or 65°C
Dark Meat Juicy & Tender167°F or 75°C

For Fish and Seafood

Rare116°F or 47°C
Medium126°F or 52°C
Well Done140°F or 60°C

For Eggs

Pasteurized135°F or 57°C
Soft Cooked147°F or 64°C
Hard Cooked160°F or 71°C
Scrambled167°F or 75°C

Sous Vide Tips and Tricks

  • Select the Right Temperature: Sous vide relies on precise temperature control. Different foods require different temperatures, so follow the recipe carefully.
  • Seal Bags Properly: Make sure your bags are vacuum-sealed to prevent water from entering during cooking.
  • Submerge the Foods Completely: Make sure the food is completely submerged. Use Sous Vide weights if necessary.
  • Finish with a Sear: While sous vide results in perfectly cooked food, a quick sear will give your food an extra flavor. Finish your sous vide-cooked meats by searing them in a hot pan or using a culinary torch for a delightful outer texture.

How Long to Sous Vide Steak

  • Rare Steak (120°F / 49°C): Cook for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Medium-Rare Steak (130°F / 54°C): Cook for 1 to 4 hours.
  • Medium Steak (140°F / 60°C): Cook for 1 to 4 hours.
  • Medium-Well Steak (150°F / 66°C): Cook for 1 to 3 hours.

Note that these are approximate times, and variations may occur based on steak thickness and personal preferences.

Here is a complete guide with video showing you how to vacuum seal food at home without a vacuum sealer. Whether you need to vacuum seal your food for better storage or prepare it for sous vide cooking, this DIY technique called water displacement method is an easy and inexpensive option. All you need is a zip-top bag and a pot of water!

How to Vacuum Seal Bags without a Vacuum Sealer

If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can still sous vide cook your food. There are alternative methods to vacuum seal your sous vide bags using the water displacement method.

Place your food in a sealable plastic bag, leaving a small opening. Slowly submerge the bag in a container of water, allowing the water pressure to push air out. Seal the bag once most of the air is removed.

Sous Vide Basics and Essentials

Before you embark on your sous vide cooking adventure, you’ll need a few equipment and tools:

Different Types of Sous Vide Machines

There are two types of sous vide machines: Immersion Circulators and Water Ovens. Immersion circulators are stick-like units and more convenient. Based on my experience with sous vide cooking, here are some of my favorites:

Sous Vide Bags

Specialized sous vide bags are designed to withstand the cooking process. You can also use zip-loc bags.

Sous Vide Weights

These weights prevent sous vide bags from floating in the water bath, ensuring even cooking.

Sous Vide cooking using a zip-lock bag

Vacuum Sealer

it’s important to have the food sealed completely in the bag for sous vide cooking. For easy vacuum sealing, this Vacuum Sealer is a great option that will effectively seal your food properly. You can also use the “water displacement” method with ziplock bags.

Sous Vide Containers and Lids

Sous Vide containers help maintain a consistent water temperature and provide stability for your sous vide setup. You can use a container or pot you already have, or you can get a clear plastic sous vide container. A lid is also recommended for reducing evaporation and maintaining the temperature.

Best Sous Vide Recipes

Sous Vide Steak

Sous Vide Chicken Breast

Best Sous Vide Pork Chops – 5 Ways

Sous Vide Egg Bites (12 Recipes)

Easy and Healthy Sous Vide Salmon

Sous Vide Brisket

Sous Vide Chicken Thighs

Sous Vide Chuck Roast and Gravy

Sous Vide Corned Beef

Sous Vide Filet Mignon

Sous Vide Ribeye

Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin

Sous Vide Flank Steak

Sous Vide Pork Belly

Sous Vide London Broil

Sous Vide Shrimp

Sous Vide Potatoes

Sous Vide Asparagus

Sous Vide Frozen Steak

Sous Vide Vegetables

Sous Vide Dessert Crème Brulee

Sous Vide Frozen Shrimp


Is it safe to cook food in plastic bags?

Yes, bags made for cooking sous vide are perfectly safe. Popular brands or zip-top bags are great as well. 

Is it safe to cook meat at low temperatures?

According to USDA, food held in the “danger zone” (between 40°F and 140°F) for more than 2 hours presents a risk of bacteria growing. But due to the built-in buffer zone, 130°F is a more accurate cutoff point, and harmful bacteria cannot grow above 130°F. The lengthy cook time actually eliminates the risk of contamination as the water essentially pasteurizes your food. As long as you set the temperature above this level, sous vide method is safe. 

How is sous vide different from boiling?

  • Precision: Sous vide cooking relies on precise temperature control, resulting in consistently cooked food. Boiling uses high heat, which can lead to overcooking or uneven cooking.
  • Texture: Sous vide produces tender and juicy results, while boiling can sometimes result in tougher textures, especially for meat.
  • Flavor Retention: Sous vide preserves the flavors and juices within the food, while boiling can lead to flavor loss, which may end up in the cooking water.
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Sous Vide Steak (Temperature and Time Guide)

By: Izzy
Selecting the right temperature and doneness is the most important step to sous vide cook a steak. Whether you like a super juicy and rare steak, medium, or a well-done steak, sous vide machine provides the precise temperature control. Here is a complete guide to cooking the best steak ever!
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 2 servings


  • 1 pound steak, sirloin, ribeye, strip, t-bone or porterhouse
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt , or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper , or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil , divided
  • 2 cloves garlic minced, 2 teaspoons
  • fresh herbs such as thyme or rosemary, optional


  • Season the Steak: Rub the steak with 1/2 tablespoon oil on all sides.
  • Season both sides with salt, pepper, minced garlic and optional herbs.
  • Sous Vide Steak: Add water to the sous vide container or a large pot, set the Sous Vide Precision Cooker to (135°F/56°C) for medium doneness. If you’d like to cook it more or less, see the charts in the post.
  • Add the seasoned steak to a zip-lock bag.
  • Vacuum-seal the bag using "water displacement" technique: Seal all but one corner of the bag, and slowly place it into a container with water. Make sure everything below the zip-line is covered by water. Then seal the rest of the bag.
  • Place the bag into the water bath in the sous vide container. Make sure it is fully submerged.
  • Cook for 1 hour for a 1-inch steak. (It takes 1.5 hours for 1.5 inches, and 2 hours for 2 inches.)
  • Sear the steak: When your steak is cooked in the sous vide machine, remove the bag from the water bath and transfer it to the fridge or an ice bath. Let it chill for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the steak from the ziploc bag and wipe off the moisture with paper towels.
  • Season with more salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Place the cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat. Add the remaining olive oil. Once hot, add the steak and sear about 1 minute per side until nicely browned.
  • Slice against the grain and serve with potatoes and veggies.


  • Follow the charts in the post if you’d like to cook your steak to other doneness.

Nutrition information provided is an estimate only and will vary based on ingredient brands and cooking methods used.

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About Izzy

I'm Izzy, a food lover and photographer. Here you’ll find a collection of simple recipes that are perfect for busy people. My blog aims to help you make and enjoy delicious and healthy food at home.

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