What equipment do you need to cook with the sous vide procedure?
In addition to the sous vide cooker from fusionchef, the only other thing that you definitely need is a vacuum sealer and the matching vacuum bags. Then you can already get started. In the gastronomy sector there is often already a vacuum sealer available, as it is used to keep food fresh for longer or maintain its quality better. If this is the case, then the only thing that needs to be ensured in connection with the sous vide cooker is that the vacuum bags used are suitable for the sous vide procedure. In other words, the vacuum bags need to be temperature resistant and must not release any harmful or odorous substances when exposed to the temperatures being used.
Important tip: A good quality vacuum sealer is essential for successfully working with sous vide. Please refrain from questionable practices such as sucking out air by mouth, using so-called ZipLoc bags instead of vacuum bags or using domestic vacuum cleaners for deep freezing purposes. These do not create a true vacuum, instead merely removing a certain amount of air from the bag. These and similar makeshift solutions, which can unfortunately be seen from time to time in various media, should be avoided on the basis of hygiene alone. It’s not possible to work reasonably with these methods.
Incidentally, purchasing a vacuum sealer is unlikely to be something that you regret as it is also very useful for the purposes of preserving food, pre-portioning and optimizing quality. Freezer burn, which is practically inevitable after only a short time when freezing in standard freezer bags and containers, is a thing of the past when you use high-quality vacuum bags and a vacuum sealer. After a short time you will no longer want to do without your vacuum sealer, because it also significantly reduces the quantity of food that needs to be thrown away – saving you money day after day.
More information and comprehensive purchase advice for selecting the right vacuum sealer and fusionchef sous vide cooker can be found in the section “Additional information”
A blast freezer, sometimes known as a blast chiller or quick cooler, is also highly recommended. This device makes it possible to quickly cool or freeze already prepared dishes. Much faster cool-down of the food compared to standard refrigerators or freezers means that food spends as little time as possible in the “dangerous” temperature range of + 10 °C to + 60 °C, where bacteria are particularly comfortable, and therefore greatly reduces the reproduction of harmful microorganisms. This not only leads to more product safety and better quality, it also increases the shelf life of the food as a whole.
Another advantage of blast freezing is that the freezing process only allows growth of very small ice crystals and therefore, when compared to standard freezing, the food largely retains its original consistency. This is why blast freezing is also used in industrial food production. You can naturally also use a blast freezer to freeze freshly purchased food and then store it in the deep freezer for future use.
For home use, or if you only rarely cool and store prepared food, you can also use an ice water bath to place the vacuum packed food portions in until the critical temperature range has been passed.
More information about professional handling of already cooked food and the topic of blast freezing can be found in the section “Additional information”
Any required roast aromas or browning are in general only possible to a limited degree with the sous vide procedure. Temperatures above around 140 °C are required to achieve this. As an alternative to short, fast searing in a pan, another suitable option is a high-temperature grill such as the Beefer, or naturally also the well-known flambé burner.
fusionchef by Julabo also offers a wide selection of useful accessories that make working with sous vide even more convenient, simple and effective: Overview page for sous vide cooker accessories.