What Interesting Sous Vide Tips Do You Have?

In the General Sous Vide Questions Forum
The more I cook sous vide the more little tips and tricks I'm learning. I was wondering what your favorite tips and tricks are that we could all learn from?


8 Replies So Far

Without a doubt using air circulation has been the most useful thing I've picked up. I'm fairly typical in that I use either a slow cooker or a 29L boiling vessel paired to a SVM. In either, adding cheapo aquarium pump with a length of silicon tubing that I have perforated and crimped the end of makes temperature equalisation and maintenance miles better.

This is a lot cheaper than buying all sorts of fancy air curtains and pumps. I used a corn on the cob holder to perforate along the length of the tubing and a metal clip to crimp the end shut (otherwise all the bubbles come out of the end only, reducing the circulation effect). The tubing needs to be weighted to prevent it floating or otherwise anchored. Stainless steel washers do the trick nicely.

When I first started I wondered why the meats were a little variable and undoubtedly this was due to temperature differences, however slight, across the baths. This is now fixed and for a total cost of £8. Bargain.
That's a great (and cheap) solution!
One tip I have is to keep a 2 gallon square Cambro on the bottom shelf of your fridge for rapidly chilling sv cooked bags. Left in the bottom where it's the coldest this water is about 1-2 degrees above freezing. If you drop a couple bags of cooked food into 17 lbs of ice water, the temp of the water is hardly affected at all (my probe showed about 1 degree of rise, then a rapid fall). This will cool the food much faster than ice water in a bin on the counter as the ambient air is very cold. And it doesn't stress the refridgerator at all.

One last bonus is that you don't need to use up a whole bag of ice; if you like you can add a little. But I find if I add ice I end up freezing the liquid on the top.
There was an interesting set of experiments that the chefs at the Ideas in Food blog (ideasinfood.com) performed.

They felt that their red meats cooked via sous vide were always tender, but not as juicy and moist as meats cooked properly by other methods. They did a short investigation and concluded that meats cooked sous vide without salting them first came out much more moist and juicy than meats that were first salted and then cooked sous vide. They also were able to get tender juicy meats if they first brined them. (and they give an interesting brine recipe for red meats). They had an interesting observation about why this might be.

Here is the link to their blog post.

I saw that! I'm hoping to test it out sometime this week and see what results I come up with. Definitely something worth getting to the bottom of.
great point about red meat and an interesting read. Been wondering for a while if it was just me that had noticed that.
Hello- I am new to Sous Vide cooking. I have cooked both dark and white meat chicken with great success. After the chicken is cooked, I dry the chicken with paper towels. Then I quickly broil the chicken to crisp the skin. I marinated the chicken overnite in Mojo Criollo which is a marinade by the Goya Co. Some years back my wife purchased a cooks essential 8 quart electric pot with a variable temperature control knob. I use an external thermometer for accuracy. This pot holds temp. real well. I also cooked a chuck roast to make the Sous Vide Beef Goulash that I found on this site. It came out great. Look to see if you mite have one of these pots kicking around, they really work great for a inexpensive way to cook Sous Vide. Ray
Great suggestions Ray and I'm glad you're liking the sous vide goulash!

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