I have seen the “Do I need a vacuum sealer?” FAQ, and it said to follow the link to know what all I needed to get started. That link is broken however. Would anyone mind helping me out and letting me know what all I need?
It is not required that you have a vacuum sealer to enjoy sous vide cooking. You can use ziploc freezer bags and use let the water displace the air as you immerse it. There are several advantages I have found using a vacuum sealer. First you do not have to worry about leaks and with a vacuum you get good contact with the hot water. I also like cooking things like chicken breasts in individually packed vacuum bags then after rapid cooling I freeze them for later use. Frozen items stored in a vacuum also last longer. I think you can also get ziploc bags with a vacuum attachment that would work well. https://www.amazon.com/Reynolds-00590-Handi-Vac-Vacuum-Sealing-Starter/dp/B000XY8PDW
As @john.jcb says, there are advantages to having a proper vacuum sealer outside of use with sous vide, but it need not be expensive. I got a Luvelo brand vac sealer off eBay.com.au for AU$60 delivered (in Australia) - it works very well and their support is excellent, and you can get rolls of bags from eBay too.
You can prevent your marinade (if using one) from getting sucked up into the machine by freezing it in a shallow dish first.
But the immersion method works just fine to get things started with minimal outlay.
Once you have became comfortable cooking sous-vide and decide you are going to do it on a regular basis- investing in a good vacuum sealer is the next step- They are not expensive and are great for multiple uses. I would also invest in a five gallon Cambro tub. Easy to clip the Anova onto and more room than a pot. Here is my set-up.
The larger Cambro plastic container adds versatility and allows you to easily cook for large party. I have had mine for a couple of weeks and it does a great job. It does take a while to get up to temperature but the Anova Precision Cooker holds the roughly 5 gallons at a very steady temperature. I have ordered a lid that I will modify to fit the cooker.
I compiled what I think is a pretty good list of what you need to start
What an excellent article @mamashack that’s a good job well done.
Thanks Simon! I am having so much fun with it. I just did a jerk turkey breast last night (145F for 2 hrs by the way) and find that I am using it at least twice a week and I haven’t even begun to experiment with things beyond meat/fish/poultry.
@mamashack There are other things than meat/fish/poultry? I’m intrigued, tell me more . . .
@Simon You know there are other things; didn’t you whip up a nice dish of carrots and curry powder? :))
@mamashack I need to look in my freezer to see if I have any venison left to try out. I have also had great success with vegetables. Now when planning I take a look at Google and see if what I am thinking about is suited to sous vide. I have had to adjust my timing a bit but I am getting use to not having to watch over things as they cook.