‘Sous vide’ is French for ‘under vacuum’. Sous vide cooking refers to the process of sealing food into air-tight pouches and immersing them in a precisely controlled water bath for an extended period of time. This cooking method allows you to achieve amazing and accurate results each and every time.
Why is Sous Vide cooking a healthy way to prepare food?
Sealing food in air-tight pouches permits it to cook in its own juices. This means food retains its vitamins and minerals and natural flavors are intensified, so food is healthy, delicious, juicy and tender.
Does the Accu Slim only work in conjunction with the Instant Pot® electric pressure cookers?
No, the immersion circulator will work within any cooking container (plastic, metal or glass) where you can secure the clamp to the side and maintain the water level between “MIN” and “MAX” lines. The Instant Pot Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker provides insulation that will help to maintain temperature.
What tools do I require to get started?
Getting started is easy as most materials are available in your home: air-tight pouches, sealing machine (optional) and a water bath container. The Instant Pot inner pot is an ideal water bath container.
Is it safe to cook in plastic bags?
Bags made of polyethylene and polypropylene, that are labeled BPA-free, are perfectly safe for sous vide cooking. Always check the packaging, and avoid using bags that do not indicate BPA-free.
Note: Eggs are one of the few foods you do not have to vacuum before cooking Sous Vide as they are in their own watertight shell. For scrambled eggs, they will need to be sealed in a vacuum pouch
Where can I purchase the plastic bags?
You can find food-safe sealable plastic bags in any grocery store.
What is the minimum and maximum water depth used during cooking?
Use the “MAX” and “MIN” water level marks indicated on the Accu Slim as a guide. Secure the immersion circulator and fill the cooking container with water. Ensure water level is maintained above the “MIN” water level mark and below the “MAX” water level mark.
Will the immersion circulator work properly if the base touches the bottom of the cooking container?
Yes, the water flow channels located at the bottom of the immersion circulator allow water to flow through, so it will not impact the cooking process if the base touches the bottom of the cooking container.
Can the Accu be on an angle?
No, ensure the immersion circulator is perpendicular to the water level in order to properly circulate the water.
Do I need to cover the sous vide?
No, the immersion circulator maintains the water temperature with a high enough degree of accuracy that a lid is not required to hold the heat.
Once everything has been set up and the cooking process has begun, do I need to watch over it?
No, once cooking has begun, feel free to attend to something else until the process is complete and you are ready for the final stage— a quick sear to complete the dish.
Note: If the cooking time is set over 6:00 hours – you will need to maintain the water level above the “MIN” level and below the “MAX” level as indicated on the immersion circulator.
Is cooking at low temperature safe?
Almost all potentially harmful organisms will be eliminated at 130°F/54.5°C. With the majority of sous vide cooking being done between 130°F/54.5°C and 195°F/95°C, the food will be safe.
Cooking food to reduce the risk of food-borne illness is dependent on both temperature and time; the lower the temperature, the longer the cooking time. Refer to the Sous Vide Cooking Timetable.
Is the sous vide easy to clean?
Yes, the immersion circulator requires minimal cleaning. Simply remove the element cover and air dry the heating coils underneath
What kind of foods can be cooked with a sous vide?
The options are endless. The product can be used on meat (beef, lamb, pork), poultry (chicken, turkey, duck), seafood (fish, lobster tails, scallops), eggs, root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips) tender vegetables (peas, asparagus, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, onions, squash), and fruits (apples, pears, mangoes, plums, apricots, peaches, nectarines, papayas, strawberries).
How does one season food to be cooked?
Seasoning options are endless. The Accu Sous Vide Immersion Circulator seals in foods’ natural flavors, so seasoning can be lighter than traditional methods.
Note: Certain raw seasonings may not develop flavors in the same way as they do at higher temperatures. For instance, garlic will remain raw at temperatures used to cook steak, lamb, pork game, fish, shellfish, or chicken. Garlic works better as a powdered spice or already sautéed or roasted.
The alcohol often used in marinades such as wine, beer, liqueurs, and spirits will not evaporate in sous vide cooking as it does in traditional cooking methods. If you wish to use alcohol-based liquids to flavor food, first it should be dealcoholized. To do so, heat it to evaporate the alcohol prior to cooking. Once dealcoholized, use as a marinade base. Remove food from marinade before placing it in the pouch.
Can I cook different food types in the same water bath?
Yes, as long as the food types are all to be cooked at the same temperature and are each sealed in air-tight pouches. The flavors and aromas will not transfer.
Note: There must be enough room in the cooking container for water to circulate between pouches.
Is there a way to speed up the cooking process?
Yes, to speed up the cooking process, heat the water first, then pour it into your cooking container. When cooking foods for longer than 6 hours, or if the room is especially cool, we recommend you use your Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker inner pot (6 or 8 Quart) placed within the cooker base, to add insulation and reduce heat loss
Should I flavor the cooking bath water?
No, it is not necessary to flavor the cooking bath water as the liquid does not penetrate the bag during the cooking process. To add spices or marinades, place the contents with the food inside the bag.
Do I require to sear / brown or is this step optional?
To achieve gourmet results, do not skip this step. We recommend searing with a cast iron pan, barbeque, or browning torch.
Why might a pouch float?
There is too much air or gas trapped in the pouch.
Does it matter if a pouch floats?
Yes. Air or gas trapped in the pouch can lead to uneven cooking. If this occurs, remove the floating pouch, open it, dry the edges, and reseal.
What do I do if the seal of my freezer bag goes underwater?
Carefully remove the air-tight pouch from the water and verify that no water has entered. If water has entered the pouch, pour it out and adjust seasoning as required. Seal and submerge the pouch, and continue the cooking process.