Sous vide cooking is a slow and much prolonged cooking method when compared to conventional techniques. You get to cook your food in a water bath at a precise temperature and for an extended period of time.
Timing is crucial with this method as it ensures cooking your food to the correct doneness. Should you leave your food in for too long, it may mess up the food’s texture or if you take it out too soon, it may leave it undercooked. Here are the timings for some very common sous vide recipes.
You can use chicken breast in a number of different ways with recipes ranging from salads to main courses and everything in between. But you will have to vary your timing and temperature based on the level of doneness. Just follow the given information to get succulent results every time.
|Cold chicken salad||66oC/ 150oF||1 to 4 hours|
|Soft, juicy chicken breast||60oC/140oF||1 ½ to 4 hours|
|Firm chicken breast||71oC/160oF||1 to 4 hours|
Cooking steak sous vide style is very popular as you are guaranteed perfect results every time. Steak doneness gets determined by the highest internal temperature it reaches during cooking.
With traditional cooking methods this can become tricky as any fluctuation in temperature or timing can cause the steak to easily become dry and overcooked. But with the sous vide technique, you can make sure that the steak, while cooking for longer, gets exposed to the same temperature during the entire cooking process.
Steak doneness varies with personal preference so use the following to get the perfect steak.
Strip, ribeye, T-bone and butcher’s cuts
|Very rare to rare||120°F (49°C) to 128°F (53°C)||1 to 1 ½ hours|
|Medium rare||129°F (54°C) to 134°F (57°C)||1 to 4 hours (2 1/2 hours max if under 130°F/54°C)|
|Medium||135°F (57°C) to 144°F (62°C)||1 to 4 hours|
|Medium well||145°F (63°C) to 155°F (68°C)||1 to 3 1/2 hours|
|Well done||156°F (69°C) and up||1 to 3 hours|
|Doneness||Temperature Range||Timing Range|
|Very rare to rare||120oF (490C) to 1280 F (530C)||45 minutes to 2 1\2 hours|
|Medium-rare||1290 F (540 C) to 1340 F (570 C)||45 minutes to 4 hours|
|Medium||1350 F (570 C)to 1440 F (620 C)||45 minutes to 4 hours|
|Medium Well||1450 F (630 C) to 1550 F (680 C)||45 minutes to 3 1\2 hours|
|Well Done||1560 F (690 C) and up||1 to 3 hours|
Salmon can be cooked sous vide style but needs a bit more attention. Given its flaky texture, it may be more prone to variations in even minor temperature changes.
Since it is made of proteins, cooking for even a slightly longer time can make a lot of difference. Salmon that’s left in a water bath for too long at low temperatures can get soft and mushy. The same can also become dry and chalky when left for too long at higher temperatures. To get firm salmon as end result, follow the chart given below:
|Like firm sashimi||1050 F (410 C)|
|Soft and buttery||1100 F (430 C)|
|Translucent and starting to flake||1150 F (460 C)|
|Very moist, tender and flakey||1200 F (490 C)|
|Firm, moist and flakey||1300 F (540 C)|
For thinner salmon fillets, cook between half an hour to 45 minutes. For thicker fillets extend the time to 45 minutes to an hour.
Eggs are made up of protein so different cooking times give very different results. Proteins present in the different parts of the egg get affected differently.
While whites tend to set first, they don’t get firm until at a fairly high temperature. The loose white part remains watery even at high temperatures and yolks fall somewhere in between.
To cook eggs perfectly with such variances in the protein content can be tricky. But here’s a quick temperature and timing guide that will take the guesswork out of your cooking. All data is based on large sized eggs:
|Soft cook in shell (quick)||1670 F (750 C)||15-18 minutes|
|Soft cook in shell (slow)||1460 F (63.50 C)||45 minutes to 1 ½ hours|
|Hard cook in shell||1600 F (710 C)||45 minutes to 1 ½ hours|
The end results of your pork chops depend on how long you cook the chops for at a certain temperature.
To get pork chops that are juicy yet firm, temperature is the most important factor.
|Rare: tender, juicy, and a little slippery||1300 F (540 C)||1 to 4 hours|
|Medium rare: tender, juicy, and meaty||1400 F (600 C)||1 to 4 hours|
|Medium well: quite firm and just starting to dry out||1500 F (660 C)||1 to 4 hours|
|Well done: firm, a little dry and tough, but still moist||1600 F (710 C)||1 to 4 hours|
Cooking brisket just right is one of the more challenging aspects of cooking. The meat is tough and dry. There isn’t a lot of connective tissue or fat to for lubrication. And it takes a lot of practice to get it right.
However, sous vide cooking has changed much of that. Now you can get moist and juicy brisket even if you are a novice cook.
|Firm and meaty, like a tender steak||1350 F||36 to 72 hours|
|Extra moist, with a traditional texture||1550 F||24 to 36 hours|
Get perfectly cooked ribs every time with sous vide basics. Bite into tender ribs that satisfy your taste buds. You can create ribs that are extra meaty, succulent and tender. Or you could go with tender, traditional ribs. All you have to do is follow the time and temperature chart below.
|Medium rare||1350 F (57.2o C)||1 to 2 days|
|Medium||1400 F (600 C)||1 to 2 days|
|Well done||1450 F (62.80 C)||1 to 2 days|
|Firm but easy to shred||1560 F (68.90 C)||18 to 24 hours|
|More fall apart||1650 F (73.90 C)||18 to 24 hours|
|Really fall apart||1760 F (800 C)||12 to 18 hours|
Once done, you can pat ribs dry and grill them over high heat to get a nice crust.
Cooking chicken thighs sous vide gives you unparalleled control over temperature. This alone is reason enough to give sous vide a try. You’ll get results that are juicy because greater connective tissue in the area.
|Very juicy but quite firm, with a few tougher spots||1500 F (660 C)||1 to 4 hours|
|Very juicy and completely tender||1650 F (740 C)||1 to 4 hours|
|Moderately juicy, pull-off-the-bone tender||165o F (740 C)||4 to 8 hours|
Tri-Tip is a traditionally tougher cut of steak and requires a longer cooking time. Once you season your steak and put it in a bag, use the following temperature guide for best results:
|Rare||1220 F – 1280 F|
|Medium rare||1290 F – 1350 F|
|Medium||1360 F – 1450 F|
|Medium well||1460 F – 1550 F|
|Well done||1560 F +|
The cooking time is about 7 hours when placed in the water bath.
Once done, you can sear it for a perfect crust.
Sous vide is not only for chicken or beef recipes. It can also be used for making vegetables such as carrots. To prepare carrots sous vide, cook them in the water bath for 1 hour at 183oF.
This technique helps cook the carrots in their own juice retaining all the flavor within.
Take them out and dry them. To get a shiny glazy and enhance the color of your end product, sear carrots in a deep bottom skillet for 1 to 2 minutes. The helps the flavor stay put and locks in the moisture.
When cooked traditionally, corned beef can end up flaky and not slice well. But with sous vide cooking you can execute temperature control to the perfect level. This lets you get the traditional taste and texture of this salt cured beef.
|Traditional style||1850 F||7 hours|
|Less flaky and tender||1750 F||8 hours|
|Smooth an perfectly sliceable||1650 F||10 ours|
Cooking prime rib sous vide gives you the same results each time so you get a consistent taste. There is some prep work involved beforehand so season rib and keep in the refrigerator between one to 12 hours.
Place in water bath and cook for 6 hours at 132oF/55.6oC.
Preheat your oven and then keep the ribs in oven and bake for 12 to 20 minutes. This timing gives a medium rare cooked prime rib which is the most popular level of doneness.
Cooking shrimp sous vide gives you much better results than cooking it in a traditional way. Not only is the taste enhanced, the doneness is also very precise.
To cook shrimp, season to taste and keep in the zip lock back. Add butter or olive oil to the bag if you want.
Jumbo shrimp can cook for between 30 -40 minutes at 140oF/60oC.
You will enjoy succulent, buttery shrimp done to perfection.
If you want to cook rare chuck roast, then the minimum time for cooking is 24 to 48 hours. At precise 36 hours, you get the juiciest chuck roast. It can be very hard to make this recipe with conventional methods so sous vide is the way to go.
Cook it for 18 to 36 hours if you want to get medium rare finish results. Searing the cooked roast will make it even better. In a skillet, heat vegetable oil and sear for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. To add flavour to roast, add seasonings like Fajita spices, paprika and Cajun spices.
The secret to a perfect turkey is the cooking time and brine. Prepare dry brine for the turkey using salt and other seasoning ingredients. Cover the turkey generously in this brine and keep in a vacuum seal bag.
|Part of Turkey||Temperature||Timing|
|Turkey breast bone||1460 F (63.50 C)||6 to 8 hours|
|Turkey breast boneless||1460 F (63.50 C)||2.5 to 6 hours|
|Turkey leg or thigh||1650 F (740 C)||8 to 10 hours|
Bacon is something most people cook on a daily basis so cooking sous vide may not make sense. And while you can get good results with conventional cooking methods but the results you get with sous vide are so much better.
Cook the bacon for 6-8 hours sous vide at 145oF/63oC, still in its original packaging.
Prepared bacon can be stored in the refrigerator for a week or you can freeze it for months. If it is in the refrigerator, take it out and separate the strips. Then heat skillet and sear the bacon for 2 minutes or until you see the color. If you have frozen it, take it out and place in the sous vide for 20 minutes at 62.8 degrees. Then, follow up with the searing.
Potatoes are one of the easiest and quickest things that you can make sous vide. And you get restaurant style results.
The potatoes you get at restaurants are so smooth and soft. They melt as soon as you put them in your mouth. You can make the same kind at home. Keep the potatoes in a zip lock bag and place in the water bath with a temperature of 90oC for an hour. Take the finished product out and serve it as you want.
Asparagus season doesn’t last for long so you should do your best to savour this food as soon as you can. For cooking sous vide, keep the asparagus in a zip lock bag and place small cubes of butter on the corners of the bag. Add garlic to the centre for taste and cook sous vide for 30 minutes at 183oF/84oC.
The goal here is to cook the stalk properly. Take out the asparagus from the bag and serve as you want. Top with Parmesan for extra taste.
With sous vide cooking, anything that you savour at restaurants can also be made at home easily. Make sure that you stick to the precise timings and temperature given on the recipe because even the slightest fluctuation can make a lot of difference. For most beef and chicken recipes, you have to sear after cooking sous vide so don’t miss that step.