14 Awesome Sous Vide Products I Use in My Cooking Class
POSTED BY Kim Pawell ON March 5, 2018 WITH NO COMMENTS
CATEGORIES: Gift ideas, Products we love
The first two sessions of our new sous vide cooking class sold out overnight. Wow! We were overwhelmed by the interest and plan to offer more dates soon. If you are interested in a future class, please drop me an email and I will let you know when we announce the next dates.
What You Need to Sous VideI get a lot of questions regarding what equipment you need to begin cooking with sous vide. Here is a list of sous vide products I will be using in the upcoming classes.
Note: I am not sponsored by any of the companies that make the products below. I mention them because I love them and find them useful. I am an Amazon affiliate and I may make a small commision when you purchase an item through one of our links. We provide these links as a courtesy to our readers and the revenue we make helps to cover the cost of running our website.
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A Sous Vide CirculatorThe one thing you need for sous vide is a circulator. Everything else you can hack by using items you likely already own. I use the Anova Sous Vide Circulator. I started with this circulator because my son Mikey gave it to me for Christmas. I like it so much that I bought a second one for my classes and for when I am cooking multiple sous vide dishes for the same meal. The Anova has a four-star rating on Amazon from over 3,400 reviews. There are two models: an 800 watt model with bluetooth and a 900 watt model with bluetooth and wifi. I own the 800 watt models, which are slightly less expensive than the 900 watt. At the time I wrote this post the 800 watt was selling for $123.51 and the 900 watt for $154.78. The advantage of the 900 watt is that it is a little more powerful, so it should bring your sous vide bath to temperature faster, and you can control it remotely via wifi. You can control the 800 watt model using an app if you are in bluetooth vicinity. There are other sous vide products on the market. I just read an article on Epicurious that reviewed a variety of sous vide circulators. They recommended two products: the ChefSteps Joule and the Anova. For beginning sous vide cooks they recommended ChefSteps Joule and praised its smaller size, higher wattage (which means faster heating) and sophisticated app. The downside is the app is required to control the Joule circulator as there are no controls on the device. On the plus side, the app gives you times and temperatures for just about whatever you want to cook. Epicurious also noted that the Joule's clip for attaching to the sous vide pot is flimsy. The Joule is more expensive at $179 on Amazon at the time of this writing. For more experienced cooks Epicurious recommended the Anova and lists its advantages as precise temperature control, sturdy design and ease of use out of the box. The main disadvantage was larger size, lower wattage and inferior app. They noted that the Chef'Step's app is free and can be used by anyone. I've downloaded it and will begin experimenting with it soon.
12 Quart Rubbermaid Storage ContainerI started out using a large soup pot for my sous vide cooking. A pot works fine, but a metal pot will get hot and the round shape will not hold as much as a square shape. I like Rubbermaid's 12-quart containers because they are light, roomy, easy to store and the outside of the container does not heat up like a metal pan. They also can be fitted with a lid that helps hold in the heat, reduces preheating time and keeps the water from evaporating. This container is not a necessity, but if you are doing a lot of sous vide I think you will appreciate its benefits. The Rubbermaid container sells on Amazon for $19 at the time of this writing. They also offer a taller 18-quart option.
Everie Sous Vide Container Hinged LidI love this lid. It holds in the heat and minimizes evaporation, which is particularly important for multi-day sous vide dishes like short ribs. And yes, you are definitely going to want to make short ribs! You can hack a lid with foil or saran wrap, but it won't be as elegant, effective or reusable as this lid. With the amount of sous vide I do, the $9.99 cost of this lid is worthwhile. It is designed to work with the 12-qt Rubbermaid storage containers and the Anova circulator.
So-Vida Container SleeveThe first time I used my sous vide machine I set the pot on a beautiful (and expensive) Boos chopping board to protect my counters from the heat. My steak turned out perfectly, but my chopping board warped. Aghhhh! Live and learn. I now take care to protect my surfaces from sous vide heat by using a Rubbermaid storage container instead of a metal pot and I slide the container into this neoprene sleeve, which is really a beer koozie for your sous vide. In addition to protecting your surfaces, the sleeve functions to contain the heat so your circulator doesn't have to work so hard, which is supposed to translate to reduced energy consumption and lower electrical bills. I have not verified this benefit. Your sous vide bath should heat up more quickly when wearing this sous vide wetsuit. I definitely use this sleeve for prolonged sous vide cooking. I also set it on top of a plastic cutting board as extra insurance to protect my counters. The So-Vida sleeve sold for $28.74 at the time of this writing and was rated 5-stars based on 182 reviews on Amazon so I'm not the only one who likes it. For more helpful sous vide products check out the So-Vida website. Their president tells me they have more helpful products coming. Alternatively, you can hack sous vide insulation by wrapping your container in a thick towel. It is not as elegant, but it will help hold in the heat.
Foodsaver FM2345 Vacuum Sealing SystemTo get started with sous vide you can use gallon-size Ziploc freezer bags and the displacement method to remove air from the bags. The displacement method works fine and many sous vide cooks use Ziploc bags exclusively. If you are doing a lot of sous vide with long sous vide times, you may want to consider a vacuum sealing system. The Foodsaver system is easy to use and does a great job. The advantages of using a vacuum sealing system include:
- It really gets the air out, which means your food will cook more evenly, will be easier to fully submerge in the sous vide bath and you won't have leakers
- Vacuum packed food typically lasts up to five times longer as the food is not exposed to oxidation
- Longer lasting food means you can meal prep for work day and entertaining meals days in advance and store sous vide cooked food in the fridge or freezer
So-Vida Sous Vide WeightsWhen you start sous vide cooking, one of the challenges is getting your bags to fully submerge in the sous vide bath. Attaining full submersion is particularly challenging with lighter foods such as vegetables and some fish. I fooled around with a lot of techniques, including clipping heavy serving spoons to the outside of the bag, adding a serving spoon to the inside of a bag, using tongs to clip the bag in place and throwing a heavy dish towel over the top of the bag to sink it. I even bought a sous vide rack that works, but requires an 18-quart Rubbermaid container to get full submersion of taller bags. Then I found these silicon-covered steel weights. They are genius! At about the size of a roll of pennies, they are small enough to not get in the way. They are made of food-grade silicon and do not impart any flavor to the food. And they assure your sous vide bags will sink and stay sunk.
North Mountain Mason JarsI use these North Mountain mason jars for sous vide desserts like Sous Vide Salted Chocolate Pot de Creme with Espresso and Bourbon. I have a Butterscotch Pot de Creme coming soon and I'm planning on adding to my dessert recipes with individual bread puddings as my next endeavor. You can use any mason jar with a secure lid. I like the simplicity of these. Their straight sides allow you to spoon out every last bit of goodness in the jar. They come with different color caps. I personally like the white ones.
Additional Non Sous Vide Products I Use During My Cooking ClassesI start my sous vide classes out with my signature Aperol Gin and Tonic. It is a gorgeous and refreshing cocktail and I think everyone enjoys cooking just a little bit more with a glass of wine or a beautiful cocktail. Here are the products I use to make these cocktails:
G & T GlassesI discovered these oversized glasses for Gin and Tonic in Spain. The Spanish takes their G & T's, or as they say, gintonics, very seriously. They make delicious drinks and present them beautifully. These were the glasses our G & T's were served to us in at La Ginotoneria in San Sebastian. You can read more about Spanish-style Gin & Tonics here.
Oversized Ice Cube MoldsOversized ice cubes are essential to a great G & T to keep it chilled without diluting the drink. I use these silicone ice cube molds. I keep a bag of the large ice cubes in the freezer at all times in case we have drop in guests that NEED a gin and tonic. These sphere ice cube molds are also nice, but not as convenient as the square molds.
Ice Pop MoldsIf I want to take my G & T presentation up a notch I add Grapefruit and Aperol Boozy Pops made with these ice pop molds. What could be more celebratory than a cocktail and a popsicle!
Grapefruit BittersBitters are the spice rack of the cocktail bar and are used to make a good cocktail great. There are many different flavors of bitters to choose from. I use these Grapefruit Bitters along with some angostura bitters in my Aperol Gin & Tonics.
Juniper BerriesJuniper is the primary flavoring in gin and adding a half dozen of dried juniper berries to your G & T makes for a nice presentation and enhances the flavor of the drink.
Finishing SaltThe thing about cooking sous vide is your your food will be cooked perfectly every time. No need to guess when it is done. This frees up your time to focus on creatively finishing your dish. One of the products I like to use on my sous vide dishes is finishing salts.
Jacobsen Black Garlic SaltI recently discovered a product I particularly love for finishing meats, mushrooms, eggs and avocado toast. From the cult Oregon salt company, this black garlic salt provides an umami-rich flavor bomb for finishing meats, chicken, mushrooms, eggs and more. Don't think about the price per ounce, just buy a jar and you will never be sorry. $14.11 selling price at the time this article was written.
Maldon Sea SaltMaldon sea salt is my go to finishing salt for both savory and sweet dishes. It is always welcome on a steak, but incredible on a sweet chocolate pot de creme.
Happy Sous Vide CookingI hope I didn't overwhelm you with all these products. All you really need to start your sous vide adventure is a circulator. The rest is all finesse and fun. Do you cook sous vide? If so, what is your favorite sous vide dish? We would love to know!