Technique: cooking sous vide

Below you can find essential information about cooking sous vide.

Sous vide is French for ‘under pressure’. In this cooking technique, food is pulled vacuum in a vacuum sealer bag and cooked in a water bath at a precisely controlled temperature. The constant low temperature ensures an evenly prepared product. Sous vide cooking can be used for all types of products, including meat, fish, vegetables, and even fruit. 

One of the main advantages of cooking sous vide is that flavours, juices, vitamins, and minerals are preserved. The product remains tasty, soft, and juicy with a minimal loss of volume. In addition, the product is cooked evenly and has a better shelf life due to the airtight packaging. 

Equipment required

  • Sous vide bath
  • Vacuum-sealer machine
  • Vacuum sealer bag
  • Blast chiller/ice water

Please note: Working hygienically is incredibly important for cooking sous vide. This is because the low temperature does not kill the microorganisms. Working unhygienically would mean that the product could spoil more quickly.

Step by step

1.     Fill the sous vide bath with plenty of water and set it to the desired temperature to warm up.
2.     Prepare the product that you are going to cook.
3.     Place the product in a vacuum sealer bag, making sure that the bag stays clean.
4.     Pull vacuum (add additional flavour enhancers to the bag if desired).
5.     Place the pulled-vacuum product inside the sous vide bath. Close the lid.
6.     Set the minimum time and temperature. Cook the product using the temperature table.
7.     Once the food is cooked, allow the steam to escape first.
8.     If not using the product immediately: quickly cool the product in a blast chiller or in ice water. If using the product immediately: open the vacuum sealer bag and catch the juices.
9.     If desired, finish the product just before serving or keep for further preparation.

Tips

  • The product always has to be vacuum-sealed, so that the heated water has all-round contact with the product to be cooked. 
  • Spices and marinades must be added before cooking, so that these can infuse the product and so that the juices and flavours are not lost.
  • Fill the bath to the maximum indication and ensure that there is sufficient water in the bath in proportion to the quantity of products to be cooked. Otherwise the temperature of the water will fluctuate too much and the cooking process will be disrupted.
  • To be able to place the lid properly on the bath, you first have to open the vent valve. Close the vent valve as soon as the lid closes properly.
  • Open the vent valve before opening the lid. If you don't do this, the lid is vacuum-sealed and you can't remove it. Warning: steam can escape!
  • Do not over-season the products. Aromatic substances such as herbs and spices have a strengthening effect due to the vacuum, the small amount of liquid, and the long preparation time.
  • If you want to store vacuum-sealed products for longer, it is important that you cool them back as soon as possible to prevent bacterial growth.  

The sous-vide cooking technique can be used for many different products. In the table below we give you the most important guidelines for common products. The times are always minimum times, where the thickness of the product strongly influences the minimum cooking time.

 


Weight

Water temp

Core temp

Time

Further processing

Fish 

 

 

 

 

 

Hake

150 g

60°C

50°C

15 min

flame-roast

Pike perch

140 g

52°C

45°C

15 min

serve/sear

Salmon 

150 g

50°C

38°C

13 min

serve

Monkfish

140 g

60°C

48°C

12 min

serve/sear

Skate

100 g

55°C

50°C

10 min

serve

Sea bass

160 g

50°C

45°C

15 min

flame-roast/sear

Mackerel

100 g

61°C

 

12 min 

 

Tuna

150 g

59.5°C

 

13 min

sear

Squid

100 g

65°C

 

10 min

flame-roast

Octopus (tentacle)

100 g

77°C

 

5 hours

 

Pork

 

 

 

 

 

Shoulder

1500 g

70°C

70°C

12 hours

sear

Cheeks

150 g

70°C

70°C

17 hours

sear

Neck

1000 g

62°C

62°C

6.5 hours

sear

Deboned pork neck

400 g

70°C

70°C

10 hours

sear

Pork belly

1000 g

68°C

68°C

24 hours

 

Rack

200 g

60.5°C

 

20 min

sear

Loin

200 g

60.5°C

 

20 min

sear

Beef/veal

 

 

 

 

 

Filet mignon

300 g

65°C

50°C

15 min

sear

Rib-eye steak

200 g

65°C

50°C

15 min

sear

Loin

200 g

59.5°C

 

45 min

sear

Veal (loin)

200 g

61°C

 

30 min

sear

Beef tongue

500 g

70°C

 

24 hours

peel

Poultry:

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken breast

200 g

63.5°C

 

1 hour

sear

Duck breast

200 g

65°C

62°C

25 min

render fat 

Duck leg

200 g

82.2°C

82.2°C

8 hours

 

Pigeon, whole

600 g

62°C

62°C

2 hours

warm up/sear

Goose liver

500 g

65°C

60°C

20 min

flame-roast/fry

Quail

400 g

64°C

 

1 hour

sear

Pigeon fillet

 

60°C

 

20 min

sear

Lamb

 

 

 

 

 

Leg

600 g

63°C

63

24 min

sear

Shoulder

 1.5 kg

70°C

 

17 hours

 

Fillet

150 g

65°C

60°C

18 min

sear

Game

 

 

 

 

 

Hare

 

63°C

63°C

30 hours

sear

Rabbit (carcass)

 

74°C

 

12 hours

 

Rabbit loin

 

64°C

 

12 min

sear

Rabbit fillet

 

64°C

 

12 min

sear

Rabbit leg

 

74°C

 

12 hours

 

Hare fillet

 

52°C

 

40 min

sear

Fillet of venison

 

59°C

 

40 min

sear

Shellfish and crustaceans

 

 

 

 

 

Lobster (confit)

 

52°C

 

30 min

 

Lobster (tail)

 

59.5°C

 

15 min 

 

Fruit:

 

 

 

 

 

Apple

100 g

90°C

 

45 min

serve

Apple (sauce)

150 g

85°C

 

25 min

sauce

Cherries 

100 g

90°C

 

45-60 min

serve 

Pineapple 

250 g

83°C

 

45-60 min 

serve 

Plums

100 g

75°C

 

15-20 min

serve

Banana

200 g

65°C

 

20 min

serve

Peaches

200 g

65°C

 

10 min

serve

Rhubarb

500 g

72°C

 

17 min

serve 

Vegetables

 

 

 

 

 

Artichoke

200 g

90°C

 

45 min

warm up/serve

Mushrooms

200 g

65°C

 

2 hours

 

Broccoli

200 g

90°C

 

20 min

 

Potato slices, 5mm

 

85°C

 

25 min

fry

Asparagus, white

200 g

85°C

 

30 min

serve

Carrots

200 g

85°C

 

35 min

 

Cauliflower

200 g

85°C

 

15 min

 

Celeriac (purée)

200 g

85°C

 

1.5 hours

 

Sweetcorn

200 g

85°C

 

30 min

 

Fennel

200 g

85°C

 

40 min

 

Cocktail onions

200 g

85°C

 

30 min

 

Pumpkin

200 g

85°C

 

20 min

 

Radish (brine)

100 g

85°C

 

20 min

 

Turnip

100 g

85°C

 

30 min

 

Jerusalem artichoke

200 g

85°C

 

40-60 min

 

Other

 

 

 

 

 

Ice cream basis

 

>85°C

 

20 min

 

Herb oil

 

80°C

 

1 hour