Do’s and dont’s of sous vide

Working with sous vide is not at all complicated. But of course there are one or two mistakes that you can unintentionally make. Conversely, a few simple tricks can help you easily achieve even better results. That’s why we have prepared a brief and clearly structured overview of things that need to be noted and avoided.

Tips for successful use of sous vide

  • The use of high-quality and fresh food leads to the best results.
  • Consistently observe the rules of good kitchen hygiene in all processing steps. Always keep raw and cooked food separate, and never use the same cutting board or kitchen utensils for both. Always wash your hands thoroughly before switching from raw to cooked food.
  • Maintain the cooling chain. Do not leave food lying around unnecessarily at room temperature, instead return it to a “safe” temperature range as quickly as possible.
  • Always use suitable and clean auxiliary devices to remove the vacuum bag from the bath tank, for example tongs with a plastic grip. This prevents contamination of the water bath and protects against burns.
  • Change the water in the bath tank regularly, clean the sous vide cooker and descale it as required.
  • In places with very hard water and accordingly high limescale, demineralized (distilled) water can be used as an alternative to tap water.
  • Use a sufficiently large bath tank or a GN container with an appropriate volume. The guiding principle is: To ensure good water circulation and thus even heating of the food, add a maximum of half the bath volume in liters as kilograms of food (for example a maximum of 5 kg of meat in 10 liters of water)
  • Always place the device on a stable and sufficiently durable surface.The weight of the device is added to the respective water fill weight at 1 kg per liter, plus the weight of the food.
  • Lightweight food can float to the surface and is then no longer surrounded by hot water as the heat transfer medium. In this case, simply use one or two retaining grids from the fusionchef accessory range to achieve even cooking.
  • For efficiency reasons and to reduce water evaporation, always use a lid for the bath tank when possible, or alternatively use the fusionchef steam trapping balls. In terms of efficiency, this is an example comparison of the energy usage of a fusionchef Pearl or Diamond in size S and a water temperature of 65 °C:
    • 0.49 kW/h without lid
    • 0.19 kW/h with steam trapping balls
    • 0.14 kW/h with lid
    • As can be seen in the measurements, the energy consumption during cooking is reduced to less than a third if a lid is used. Alternatively, the steam trapping balls allow energy savings of over 60% and a reduction of water evaporation by 90%. Steam and heat output into the kitchen are significantly reduced, which leads to a more pleasant working environment.
  • Shorten the cooking time if required, set a somewhat higher temperature on the device and determine the end of the cooking time by using a fusionchef Diamond core temperature sensor. Alternatively, you can also use empirical values that have already been determined and noted.
  • Filling the bath vessel with warm water shortens the heating times.

The 2000 watt heater of fusionchef devices can simply be connected to a standard household power socket and does not require a 3 phase current. However, only one fusionchef sous vide cooker should be connected to each power socket. If an extension cable is used, this should be designed for 16 amps.

What not to do

  • Produce that no longer looks completely fresh or already smells strange is, of course, no longer suitable for the sous vide procedure. This particularly applies to fish and meat that is cooked at relatively low temperatures. 
  • Freezer bags, cling wrap and other common household plastic bags should never be used for sous vide cooking. Their low heat resistance can cause an undesirable transfer of taste during cooking and lead to food tasting like plastic. In addition to this, heating can lead to harmful product components such as plasticizers being released from the material.
  • Adding food directly into the water bath, i.e. without a tightly sealed vacuum bag, is not permissible. 
  • Only refilling the bath tank to compensate for water that has evaporated instead of regularly emptying and refilling completely, is problematic. It inevitably leads to an increasing concentration of undesirable components in the water (lime, minerals, dirt particles etc.) over time, as these solid substances do not evaporate. Possible consequences: Stronger calcification and increased cleaning effort.
  • All sous vide devices from fusionchef are designed for indoor use and may not be used outdoors.
  • To avoid the risk of burns, water must not be changed while hot. For bath tanks with an integrated drain tap, please use a hose that is secured to prevent slippage when emptying.
  • For safety reasons, never transport the device when full or hot.
  • As with other cooking methods, people with weakened immune systems should not eat incompletely cooked food. The required pasteurization times and temperatures can be found here