Top 5 Tips for Cooking Perfect Sous Vide Food

In a recent blog post (, Christina Wylie laid out her top 5 tips for perfect sous vide food. Here are the tips:

  1. Get the temperature and time right for that particular food
  2. Be careful not to overcook when you ‘finish’
  3. Don’t put too much juicy stuff in the bag
  4. Longer is not always better
  5. Have fun with it!

What would you recommend to someone just getting started with the technique?

Have patience Grasshopper.

  1. Invest in a very good meat thermometer and TEST that meat before serving. Every time!
  2. If your bags float at all, they will not cook properly. Open them up and fix the vacuum seal (lots of good advice on the net on how to do that).
  3. You can add more bags late in a cook cycle, so you can have sous vide vegetables.
  4. It’s possible to move your long-cooking meats to a cooler full of warm water for their rest/soak period. That frees up your circulator for a new task at a higher temperature. Check the cooler temp every 15-30 minutes and add hot water as needed.
  5. Butane torches are awesome. Dry off the meat with paper or dish towels first - it may look disgusting when you start.
  6. Be prepared for different textures than you usually get. They’re great, but they’re different.
  7. When you first start out, have a backup food nearby in case you screw up.

Thanks for the good tips

A couple more:

  1. Eggs seem to come out the best when they are as fresh as possible.
  2. Try tougher cuts of meat cooked for a longer time. The most tender cuts generally are not as flavorful as the cheaper tough ones.
  3. If 1 person likes their meat well done and the others medium rare start out at the higher temperature. When the meat is done add some cool water to lower the temperature to medium rare level and cook the rest. Leave the well done piece in the lower temperature water to stay warm. It will not continue to cook. Finish all together
  1. Dry the meat thoroughly before searing using paper towels or it won’t crust properly.
  2. Season your meat before vacuum sealing but leave the salt until after or it will extract moisture from the meat while in the bag
  3. Make a sauce from the bag juice by adding butter or thickened cream in a small saucepan and reducing
    Plus as mentioned above, chuck steak is about 1/5th the price of strip steak and tastes much better, but you have to cook it for 48+ hours