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Sous Vide: The Ultimate Guide | The Tool Shed

1. What Is Sous Vide?

One of the most difficult things to achieve in both domestic and professional kitchens is consistency. From slight changes in cooking temperature to a marginal difference in the length of cooking time; the smallest of things can deliver significantly different results. This, to a domestic chef is frustrating; to a professional chef, unacceptable.


What if, however, there was a solution to the problem of inconsistency in the kitchen? A cooking technique which could deliver the perfect dish each and every time? One which could cook a steak to just the right colour and texture just as consistently as vegetables, fruit or, in reality, just about anything at all.


Luckily, there is!


Say hello to sous vide (pronounced “soo veed”), a technique which has been revolutionising professional kitchens for a good number of years and which is beginning to take the home kitchen by storm! Championed by everyone from Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay through to Raymond Blanc, Thomas Keller and many more, this relatively simple method of cooking is one which every chef needs to be using.


The French word ‘sous vide’ translates as ‘under vacuum,’ outlining perfectly what the technique involves; vacuum packing food prior to cooking in a water bath to lock in flavours, nutrients and all round goodness! That is only one half of the process, however, with the other being able to heat a water bath to a precise temperature and cooking in it.


Sous vide involves heating a bath of water to the right temperature and cooking for the right length of time to achieve the desired level of doneness. The temperature that the food is cooked at depends upon what it is as well as personal tastes. In practice, there’s a little more to it than that, however, there’s no hiding that it’s the perfect way to reduce the stress in any kitchen, to improve the flavour of your favourite dishes and to achieve perfection each and every time.


So…what are the benefits of sous vide?


Sous vide isn’t just a way to achieve consistent results every time; it’s convenient and healthy too. This innovative approach to cooking boasts a whole range of benefits, with these being:

Simple & Foolproof Cooking

There’s never been a better way to achieve perfection in the kitchen. Even the home foodie can achieve results usually only associated with the professional chef when cooking sous vide and those working in a commercial kitchen can ensure consistency even when cooking for large numbers of guests. Even with only basic training, sous vide produces the results every chef strives for.


Enhanced Flavours

When vacuum packed, the natural flavour of a food intensifies. This results in dishes which taste delicious due to cooking in their own natural juices and flavours which simply cannot be replicated using any other method.



No other approach to cooking can deliver consistency in the way that sous vide can. Using this technique, a precise temperature is maintained, ensuring that the fluctuations experienced when using traditional methods are eliminated. It is this consistency which, for many home and professional chefs alike, makes sous vide such an attractive approach to cooking.


Due to the fact that temperatures are precisely maintained whilst cooking, dishes cannot be overcooked. Whereas when oven or pan cooking, distractions can mean to overcooked meals, sous vide eliminates this. Once cooked, foods will hold for a significant length of time; until you’re ready. Struggling to juggle two kitchen tasks at once? With sous vide, that’s not a problem; simply leave food in the water bath until you’re ready to finish it. Additionally, there’s no need to attend to food whilst it’s cooking like you would when cooking via other methods. Simply season and vacuum seal and walk away, returning only after the required cooking time.


Nutritional Benefits

As you can perhaps imagine, sous vide brings with it a wealth of nutritional benefits due to none of the delicate and essential fats being lost during the cooking process, something which happens when foods are cooked at high temperatures. With sous vide, water-soluble vitamins and antioxidants which would usually be lost into the cooking liquid or as steam remain in tact.

No other cooking technique offers so many benefits as sous vide does and that’s why it’s gained the popularity it holds in recent years, as well as technological advancements which have seen it become far more accessible to the home foodie.

Pro Chef Insights: Chris Holland – The Benefits Of Sous Vide


“There are many benefits to the sous vide cooking process. Consistency is the key to all good cooking processes and with sous vide consistency happens every time.


“When cooking sous vide the concentrated flavours are locked in as cooking under vacuum does not allow for any flavours to evaporate. When cooking conventionally, flavours and nutrients evaporate through dehydration but this can not occur with sous vide.

“Being able to replicate a cooking process every single time without fail is also a major benefit to the technique, as is the control of not overcooking when there is a delay in a meal or function. Other key benefits include pre –batch cooking in advance and regenerating at the point of service, extended shelf life of cooked products, easy freezing as well as little shrinkage, offering a larger yield.


In essence – control, consistency, quality and safety are the four words I would say sum up sous vide the most. In addition, there are certain things that cannot be achieved without cooking sous vide i.e. serving a tough working cut like the beef short rib pink is not achieved any other way.”

What foods can be cooked sous vide?


In short, there’s very little which can’t be cooked sous vide. Due to the way in which food is cooked, so long as the correct equipment is used, it’s possible to sous vide just about anything, however popular foods cooked using this method include:







Once you’ve mastered the art of sous vide, you’ll be cooking almost everything this way. Long gone will be the days of working over a hot stove all day to serve up a Sunday roast each week; you’ll find yourself giving all sorts a try and putting together your own delicious recipes spanning both food and drink.

2. How Does Sous Vide Work?


Regardless of the technique used, cooking involves heat penetrating food from the outside until the centre reaches the correct temperature. As an example, a rare piece of beef would need to be cooked until the centre reached 54°C. This could be achieved by cooking in an oven at 280°C, however by the time the centre reaches the correct temperature, the outside (and indeed most of the joint) would be overcooked.


If, on the other hand, the joint was roasted at 54°C, whilst none of the meat would be overcooked, it would take so long for the centre to reach the correct temperature that the rest would be dried out…certainly not the desired end result.


When using sous vide, however, you can cook at 54°C, the temperature which you want the whole joint to be and due to vacuum sealing, none of it will dry out and no nutrients or flavours are lost.


Sous vide works by cooking at the correct temperature for the right length of time and the art of the technique centres around finding the perfect core temperature to achieve the perfect end result. Of course, this is where no two chefs are alike and the beauty of the technique allows dishes to have different textures and tastes simply by altering the core temperature.


Surely there’s some science behind it?


As you’d expect, sous vide works because of the science behind it, however thankfully, it’s not too difficult to get to grips with, despite the fact that the simple act of vacuum-packing food and immersing it in hot water changes the physics of cooking more than you might think.


When cooking food by any method, heat induces chemical reactions which have different effects when at different temperatures. As an example, proteins in the albumen of eggs coagulate at specific temperatures and altering the cooking temperature by just a few degrees can have a significant impact upon how much the egg white solidifies.


Meat, as you would expect, works in exactly the same way. As a piece of meat is heated, tough connective tissues are broken down which is why cuts with a higher collagen content (pork belly, as an example) must be cooked for longer than that with little connective tissue such as fillet steak, a cut which would inevitably require a shorter cooking time.


Perhaps surprisingly to some, however, the difference between a piece of meat being perfect and being too tough or even undercooked is only a few degrees, hence the importance of understanding the right temperature to deliver perfection each and every time.


Due to these such differences, the cooking duration when using the sous vide technique varies significantly, with anything from 30 minutes to three or four days being commonplace, dependent on what is being cooked.


This is, however, the reason why sous vide can deliver such consistent results; the fact that food is cooked at the same temperature each and every time for the right length of time. With the technique, there is little room for human error and, so long as the temperature is set correctly, the results will be the same each and every time.


Of course, when cooking at lower temperatures than you would be say oven or pan cooking, these aren’t high enough to brown food, however a quick sweep with a blowtorch or a fast sear on a griddle can easily and quickly result in an appetising final colour and crust.

Pro Chef Insights: Chris Holland – The Science Behind Sous Vide


“The science behind sous vide in meats is that at 65 degrees, the protein strands in meat become tight. Most sous vide meats are cooked below this temperature which therefore means that the protein strands do not tighten and the meat is cooked in its original, relaxed form.


“As protein strands become tight and the products are exposed to hot temperatures, the meat tends to dehydrate, become tough and shrink in size.


“The Maillard reaction is very important for flavour and is the chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned meats their flavour. This caramelization is done after setting the protein strands in the sous vide cooking process.”

3. What Equipment Is Needed?

With an outline understanding as to what sous vide is and how it works, it’s time to start getting familiar with the equipment needed to use this popular technique yourself.

Sous Vide Thermometers


When cooking sous vide, ensuring that the food is served at a precise temperature is absolutely vital and, as such, this calls for a suitable thermometer. By using a specialist thermometer which has been designed for use with the sous vide method, you will be able to easily and accurately read the temperature of the contents of a vacuum bag without losing vacuum pressure, thanks to a super thin needle and sous vide tape.


The tape allows you to pierce the vacuum bag with the needle probe of the thermometer, expanding upon removal to ensure the vacuum isn’t lost.


Even more so in a commercial kitchen than for home cooking, a thermometer is a vital piece of kit and one which no chef should be without. You’ll find suitable thermometers at a range of different price points, all of which will allow you to accurately read the temperature of food in a vacuum bag.


Recommended Products:

– Sous Vide Thermapen Thermometer

– Sous Vide Thermometer & Probe Kit


Vacuum sealing on its own can extend the life of food by up to five times and for that reason alone, it’s important that you purchase the correct vacuum sealer bags. When cooking sous vide, vacuum sealer bags are an essential buy and it is this packaging that creates an airless environment which prevents food from spoiling; in other words, preventing the growth of microorganisms, removing atmospheric oxygen, limiting the growth of aerobic bacteria and preventing the evaporation of volatile components.


It’s important to understand that not all vacuum sealer bags will work with every vacuum sealer and with that in mind, it’s important to know which you need. Embossed vacuum sealer bags are suitable for use with domestic / external vacuum sealers whilst chamber vacuum sealer bags are suitable for use with commercial chamber vacuum sealers. Read on to find out a little more about the difference between the two types of vacuum sealer / packer.


Recommended Products:

– 150 x 250mm Vacuum Sealer Bags (Embossed)

– 28cm Embossed Vacuum Sealer Rolls

– 150 x 250mm Boilable Chamber Vacuum Pouches

– SousVide Supreme™ Vacuum Bags Large

– PolyScience® Large Vacuum Sealer Bags


In the home kitchen, you’ll most often see a relatively simple vacuum sealer being used. These are designed as a simple and affordable way to vacuum pack food, with the sealer sucking the air out of a vacuum bag from the exterior. You simply place the open end of the vacuum bag underneath the lid of the sealer which then draws out the air and seals with heat. Such vacuum bags are perfect either for storing meals and leftovers in the fridge or freezer or for use in sous vide cooking.


In commercial kitchens, (and some home kitchens) you’ll typically find a chamber vacuum sealer which creates a low-pressure environment in and around food pouches throughout the processes. Whilst the basic principle is the same as when using a vacuum sealer, a chamber vacuum sealer allows the use of liquids within the bag, opening up an almost endless range of possibilities from using stocks and marinades through to your very own sous vide vodka!


Recommended Products:

– Polyscience® 150 Series Vacuum Sealer

– SousVideTools® Lite Chamber Vacuum Sealer

– SousVideTools® Cucina Vacuum Packer


Having vacuum sealed your food, you’ll need to heat the water to the correct temperature and, again, there’s a number of ways in which this can be done.


The simplest way to both contain and heat water when cooking sous vide is by using what is commonly referred to as a water oven. Sold as all-in-one machines, sous vide water ovens offer the home foodie the perfect introduction to sous vide, albeit at a smaller scale. For the majority cooking at home, however, they are the perfect solution and offer an affordable way to bring sous vide away from the restaurant and into your own kitchen.


When purchasing a water oven, both the container and heating element comes as one; offering a simple solution which does as you would expect. For the most part, a water oven is the perfect solution for the those wanting to use sous vide at home and who don’t want to (or need to) purchase numerous pieces of equipment. Combined with a vacuum sealer, vacuum bags and a thermometer, you’d need little else to start using this innovative approach to cooking.


These easy to use machines allow simple control over the temperature and produce perfect results every time. However they are restricted over capacity and if you purchase a machine that will serve 6 and then the occasion arises where you have 12 around for dinner you will have to either cook in batches or rethink your menu.


As such, a more flexible preferred approach in commercial kitchens is to go down the route of using a thermal circulator and container. Thermal circulators offer chefs the opportunity to heat the water with both precision and uniform temperature control just like a water bath but also give the flexibility of capacity depending on the size of pot you fastened the goods onto so on the occasion you need more capacity you just attached the circulator to a larger pot.


Alongside a thermal circulator, some form of container is needed for cooking in, however whilst purpose-made sous vide containers are available, some of which come with custom cut lids, the beauty of this approach is that almost anything can be used in which to cook.


It’s not uncommon to see chefs in commercial kitchens using plastic boxes, pans and even cool boxes as containers. Due to the fact that food is vacuum sealed prior to being cooked in the water, there needn’t be so much of a worry about the container used as there may be with other techniques; the food will never come into contact with it.


If possible, choose a container which has a lid as this offers increased insulation and makes sure that water is not lost through evaporation. By all means source your own container or purchase one with a ready-cut lid…it’s all about finding a container which works for heating the water and cooking in at the end of the day.


Recommended Products:

Pro Chef Insights: Chris Holland – Choosing The Right Equipment


“It is very important to choose the correct equipment as there is a distinct difference between domestic and professional equipment. When looking to initiate the sous vide process, first look at the volume of product being cooked and also the sizes of products as this will define the size of the vacuum pack machine needed and the size of the bags. A busy restaurant will require an oil based vacuum pack machine which will allow the user to vacuum many more bags than a sealer or piston vacuum packer.


“Dependant upon the amount of food being cooked at any one time would be the deciding factor in the choice of cooking vessel. A circulator stirs the water and can heat up to 60 litres water, enabling the user to cook a large amount of product at once. Smaller operators will potentially only require a small water bath 14 litre – 28 litre.


“Domestic users have the option of both the domestic sealer or chamber vacuum machine, however the sealer cannot be used with liquids and this needs to be taken into consideration when looking at purchasing equipment.”

4. Sous Vide Techniques


Having understood what sous vide is, how it works and the equipment that’s needed, you’re hopefully ready to start getting to grips in a little more depth with a number of different techniques which you’ll need to master to cook the perfect dish.

Vacuum Sealing

Vacuum sealers come in two types; bar sealers and chamber sealers and you’ll generally find the latter in commercial kitchens or the home kitchen of the more enthusiastic foodie.


Bar sealers work by a simple suction technique in that you place the food inside a vacuum bag, place the bag under the bar and the sealer sucks the air out. Bar sealers can not be used with excessive liquid contents without considering one of our solutions as this type of sealer would suck out the liquid alongside the air; both drying out the contents and potentially damaging the machine.


For using liquids with a bar sealer:


1. Freeze your stock in an icecube tray and add a couple to the pouch.

2. Use a zip lock bag and the Archimedes principle.

3. Put your liquid into the bag and use the sealers seal only function, then place this bag into another pouch and vacuum seal. This keeps the liquid trapped inside the first bag.


Chamber sealers, on the other hand, work in a more advanced way which means they can be used with liquids; allowing for far more adventurous dishes to be cooked. Whilst bar sealers remove air directly from the bag, chamber sealers work by removing the air from the space around it, producing a vacuum which then compresses and seals the bag. With this in mind, chamber sealers will generally take up a lot more space in the kitchen than a sealer.


The method of vacuum sealing is a simple one, with the process being as follows:


  1. Fill a vacuum bag (or bags) with your ingredients.
  2. Fasten the bar sealer onto the open edge of the vacuum bag and turn on the machine.
  3. Remove the sealed bag which has now been vacuum packed.


To see the process in action, here’s a handy video tutorial:

Finishing Sous Vide Dishes

When it comes to finishing sous vide dishes, it’s important to understand a few simple processes.


Due to the way in which food is cooked when using the sous vide technique, when the likes of meat and fish are cooked in this way, they lack the distinct colour and aroma which it would have had it been fried or roasted. This is due to the fact that the Mallard reaction, the chemical reaction behind the flavour of browned food, does not occur when cooking sous vide. This, however, simply means that a simple technique need to be used to finish the dish and get the best of both worlds; the colour and aroma associated with a food alongside the benefits of sous vide, using either a hot frying pan or blowtorch.


In order to do so, follow the simple steps below:


1. Carefully remove your cooked meat or piece of fish from the vacuum bag and pat all over with kitchen towel in order to remove any excess moisture.


2. Once dry, place the meat or piece of fish into a hot frying pan and quickly brown over a high heat, turning frequently to ensure all sides are browned evenly. As an alternative, this same result can be achieved using a blowtorch. Often which approach is used depends on personal preference.


3. Rest the meat or fish for a couple of minutes prior to serving.







To see the process in action, here’s a handy video tutorial:

Using Brines & Marinades


As you become more accustomed to the sous vide method, you’ll want to start enhancing your dishes even further and move on from simply cooking a piece of meat, fish or vegetables to trying something a little more adventurous, often using brines and marinades within the vacuum bag.


Those just starting out with the technique often find themselves placing far more emphasis on texture and temperatures than the overall flavour, however the success of sous vide strongly rests upon adding flavour both before, during and after cooking.




When using marinades, it’s important to remember that these don’t work as well on cooked meats or meats which cook quickly; due to the fact that, when heated, surface proteins will alter and lock out marinade. A simple way to avoid this happening is to begin the marinating process before cooking.


Traditionally, marinating was used to create succulent meat as well as to add flavour, however with sous vide cooking, the process is carried out solely to add flavour as the process in itself will tenderise the meat. If using acid based marinades, be sure to remove the meat, wipe off and seal in a new vacuum bag before beginning the cooking process.


Particular care must be taken to understand that no evaporation takes place in the process, meaning that if using say a marinade containing alcohol, the alcohol will not evaporate and could overpower the flavour. A simple way around this is to cook off the marinade prior to putting into the vacuum bag. Be sure to let it cool completely before adding to the bag.


If planning ahead, marinades can be frozen alongside meat inside a vacuum bag.




Brines can also be used to flavour meat cooked using the sous vide technique, however you must always remember to use a weaker brine than you usually would. The use of lower-salt brines also achieves a better consistency as well as meaning the meat doesn’t need washing as thoroughly before being cooked.


Once brined rinse well, vacuum pack and store or cook as you usually would with the sous vide technique. If vacuum packing to seal the meat and brine together, use 50% brine to the weight of the meat.


Both marinating and brining are popular ways to add flavour when cooking sous vide and trying different recipes will see a whole host of different flavours used. In many ways, the principles of marinating and brining are similar to when using traditional cooking methods and understanding which flavours can work with which meats and dishes can help considerably.

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Sous Vide vs Conventional Cooking Methods


One of the most commonly asked questions by those getting to grips with sous vide for the first time are regarding the differences between the approach and traditional cooking methods; primarily frying and roasting.


As such, here we’ll take a look at just how different the method is compared to what you’re likely used to:


When cooking via traditional methods, you’ll be needing to implement a number of steps to cook your dish, these being:




You’ll need to carefully time each part of the dish to ensure nothing is over or under-cooked and that everything is ready at the same time. This in itself can be somewhat of a logistical nightmare and is often cited as one of the primary frustrations in both home and commercial kitchens. It can be difficult enough to get the timings of a main course right but add in a starter and dessert and it’s easy to see why so many will head out for a meal before cooking something special for themselves.


Cooking via traditional methods needs a tight time schedule to be put together.,.and of course be stuck to!




Again, in order to reduce the stress and free up time whilst cooking the meal, many prepare sides such as vegetables in advance. Unfortunately, this does nothing for the flavours and textures as the foods aren’t at their best when cooked.


Hob Hovering


If you’re trying to cook a romantic meal for your significant other, there’s nothing worse than needing to hover around the hob, however the reality is that there’s no other options in terms of avoiding food becoming overcooked. There’s a fine line between disaster and perfection and hob hovering is something which is a necessity when cooking in this way.


When cooking using the sous vide technique, however, you’ll be pleased to know that these three are things of the past.

Sous vide offers a stress free solution to cooking the perfect meal in both domestic and commercial kitchens; allowing you to replace the time schedule, extensive preparation and hob hovering with three steps:


– Vacuum pack the ingredients

– Place in a water bath and set the temperature

– Finish and serve


Never before has there been such a simple and effective way to achieve outstanding results not only in the professional kitchen but also at home.

Pro Chef Insights: Chris Holland – Vacuum Sealing / Finishing Methods / Marinating & Brining


Vacuum Sealing

“It is very important when vacuum sealing that as much air is taken out of the pouch as possible without crushing the product inside. If there is air in the pouch, the product potentially will not stay submerged. It is also very important that the seal is very strong so as not to allow any air/water to enter the pouch.”


Finishing Methods

“The finishing of the meats, fish or vegetables when cooking sous vide are all important to the final flavours. As before, the Maillard reaction is essential to create the roasted flavours we are all familiar with. When finishing, all areas can be used – it is very important to make sure the heat is very high; the quicker the better.


“The best way to finish sous vide cooked meats and fish is by using a bbq style. The intensity of heat and flavours of the smokey woods is a fabulous finishing tool for sous vide meat .


“The plancha is also an intense heat finishing tool for meats and fish. The blow torch is also a great way to add quick and deep caramelization to the meat. ”


“So in way of a re-cap – the higher the heat the better the crust and finish to the meat. If using a pan method of finishing, use intense heat as quickly as possible.”


Marinating & Brining

“Marinating and brining is an integral part of cooking sous vide and there are a few rules of thumb to be adhered to.


“1. Try not to use too much raw garlic / onion as its too strong and will heavily influence the product to be cooked.

2. When using marinades less is more – the flavours will intensify by six fold during the cooking process so be a little careful.  The flavours will really influence the end flavours.


“Brines and dry cures are widely used with sous vide as they will help season the product from within before the cooking process is started. The brines and cures will impart good flavour and draw any moisture from the meat and fish before cooking . this will lead to a firmer texture at the finish with deep umami flavours throughout.”

5. Frequently Asked Questions

Perhaps quite unsurprisingly, most foodies have a number of questions when cooking sous vide for the first time. From questions surrounding the equipment to queries on the technique, here’s answers to some of the more commonly asked questions:


Why Cook Sous Vide?

Sous vide is a simple yet effective way to cook the perfect dishes each and every time. No longer do you need to worry about overcooking a piece of meat or feel stressed in the kitchen. With sous vide, you’ll enjoy an easier process which ultimately results in far tastier meals with a whole host of nutritional benefits alongside.


What Is Needed To Start Cooking Sous Vide?

Whilst there’s no denying that you will need to invest in certain pieces of equipment to be able to cook using the sous vide method, it doesn’t need to break the bank. For the home foodie, all-in-one water ovens offer the perfect solution to get started and all that’s required alongside this is a vacuum sealer, vacuum bags and ideally a thermometer. Of course, alongside this, you’ll need access to a number of recipes and a mind full of ideas.


What Can Be Cooked Sous Vide?

Perhaps a better question would be what cannot be cooked sous vide? In theory, almost anything can be cooked using this method from the usual cuts of meat and fish and eggs through to vegetables, fruits, beverages and even a whole host of desserts. In many ways, the only limit is your imagination. There’s even a recipe to be able to make sous vide ice cream!


Is It Safe?

Definitely! Cooking with plastic can seem a little strange at first, however what must be remembered is that all of the vacuum sealer bags which we sell are food-grade and are manufactured to withstand the heat of the water bath. Other common questions surrounding safety revolve around cooking at lower-than-usual temperatures, however that in itself is the reason why cooking times are often far longer than when using traditional techniques.


Do You Need A Bar Vacuum Sealer or A Chamber Vacuum Sealer?

That all depends upon your circumstances. If you’re just starting out and are cooking for yourself, friends and family, you most likely only need a bar sealer, however be aware that this done have a few limitations particularly with liquids. If you’re running a commercial kitchen, however, you’ll need the additional benefits which a chamber sealer offers including the ability to pack larger capacities as well as, more importantly, being able to cook with liquids. It’s also worth bearing in mind that a chamber sealer will take up far more space than a bar sealer; something which can be important to consider in a home kitchen.


How Long Does It Take To Cook Sous Vide?

Again, that depends entirely upon what you’re cooking! As standard, cooking sous vide can take anywhere between 30 minutes and 3 or 4 days, however the cooking time can change significantly depending upon a number of factors including, if cooking meat as an example, the thickness and the desired end result.

See our handy sous vide cooking times calculator to see exactly how long your dish will take.


Which Big Name Chefs Are Using Sous Vide?

A whole host of big name chefs from Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay through to Thomas Keller and Raymond Blanc are known for using the sous vide technique.

6. Sous Vide Recipes


Part of the fun of sous vide is the ability to easily cook stunning dishes to perfection each and every time and there’s a whole host of recipes available for you to try out. Here at Sous Vide Tools, we’ve put together a wide range of dishes covering everything from meat and fish through to desserts and even beverages. Below you’ll find the perfect recipes for beginner, intermediate and advanced chefs alongside a range of family, dinner party and BBQ recipes.

Beginner Sous Vide Recipes

If you’re just starting out using the sous vide method to cook the perfect dish, you’ll want to be trying out a number of recipes which aren’t too demanding and are relatively easy to get to grips with. As such, here’s our favourite beginner sous vide recipes for you to try out:

Intermediate Sous Vide Recipes

Once you’ve cooked a few dishes using the sous vide technique, you’ll likely be wanting to try something a little more adventurous without going to the extreme. Try your hand at one of these intermediate level recipes and see how you get on:

Advanced Sous Vide Recipes

Once you’re confident that you’ve mastered the art of sous vide at home or are perhaps looking for some inspiration to try out on a new menu, we’re convinced that our range of advanced-level sous vide recipes offer something for everyone…so long as it’s gourmet, that is!

Family Sous Vide Recipes

Looking for a little inspiration as to how to put your sous vide skills to the test to impress the whole family? Why not try one of our recipes below which we’ve selected as ones which will be loved by every generation:

Dinner Party Sous Vide Recipes

If you’re hosting a dinner party, chances are you’ll be wanting to come up with something a little bit special. The below showcases just a few of our favourite gourmet dishes which are sure to impress your guests:

BBQ Sous Vide Recipes

When it gets to summer, we all know that nothing beats a BBQ, however why not combine sous vide and minimal grilling time to create the perfect food?

Why not have a go yourself? Whatever level you’re at, we’re continually adding new recipes so keep checking back into our sous vide recipes section of The Toolshed for something new to try.

7. Sous Vide Guides


If you need a little helping hand and advice when cooking sous vide, why not print out and use for reference one of our handy sous vide cooking guides? They’re easy and simple to follow and will help you to cook the perfect dish each and every time.

8. Video Tutorials


Sometimes, it’s easier and quicker to watch a video than to read a guide and that’s why we’ve put together a series of videos which showcase both a number of ‘how to’ tutorials and an extensive selection of recipes.


You can see our full range of videos here however we’ve included a selection of our favourites below:

9. Recommended Products


If you can’t wait to get started with sous vide and are looking for recommendations on the best equipment to buy, here’s our suggestions, looking at those for both professional chefs and home foodies.

10. Sous Vide Cooking Times & Calculator


One of the most important things when mastering the art of sous vide is getting your timings and temperatures right; that is, knowing how long is the minimum to ensure the likes of meat are properly cooked.

See below for our recommended cooking times and temperatures:



Standard cooking times (minimum – maximum):



Beef Tenderloin/Sirloin/Ribeye/T-bone: 134F/56.5C, 1 – 4 hours

Lamb Chops: 134F/56.5C, 1 – 4 hours

Lamb Leg: 134F/56.5C, 10 – 48 hours

Brisket: 134F/56.5C, 8 – 30 hours

Pork Chops: 134F/56.5C, 2 – 10 hours

Pork Roast/Ribs: 160-176F/71-80C, 12 – 30 hours

Fish & Seafood:


We only recommend one cooking time for fish and seafood to avoid an excessively soft texture:


Lean Fish: desired serving temperature, 30-40 minutes

Fatty Fish: desired serving temperature, 30-40 minutes

Lobster: 140F/60C, 45 minutes

Scallops: 140F/60C, 40-60 minutes

Shrimp: 140F/60C, 30 minutes



Standard cooking times (minimum – maximum):



– Chicken Breast, Boneless: 146F/63.5C, 1 – 4 hours

– Chicken Leg/Thigh: 160F/71C, 4 – 8 hours

– Split Game Hen: 160F/71C, 6 – 8 hours

– Turkey/Duck Leg: 176F/80C, 8 – 10 hours

– Duck Breast: 134F/56.5C, 2.30 – 8 hours

Fruit & Vegetables:


Standard cooking times (minimum – maximum):


Root Vegetables: 183F/84C, 1 – 4 hours

Tender Vegetables: 183F/84C, 45 minutes – 1.30 hours

Firm Fruits: 183F/84C, 45 minutes – 2 hours

Soft Fruits: 183F/84C, 30 minutes – 1 hour



Remember: to get the best results, we suggest using 50mm pouches.



Standard cooking times (minimum – maximum):


Soft Cooked (in shell): 167F/75C, 15 – 18 minutes

Hard Cooked (in shell): 160F/71C, 45 minutes – 1.30 hours

Scrambled: 167F/75C, 20 minutes

Pasteurized (in shell): 135F/57C, 1.15 – 2 hours


Remember: if the egg is in the shell, do not vacuum seal in sealer bags.

Pro Chef Insights: Chris Holland – Cooking Times & Temperatures


“The cooking time and temperature are very much dependant on the products and there sizes. A general rule is that meats can be cooked from 54 degrees to 64 degrees dependent on final doneness and the time dependant and the thickness of the meat. The use of a core temperature probe is essential to ensure heat transfer to the core of the product.

“Vegetables / fruit would be a much higher temperature and again dependant on the ripeness of the fruit / veg, anywhere from 60-90 degrees.

“Fish and seafood has a much less tolerance to heat and would be cooked anything from 40 – 60 degrees.|

If you want a handy printable sous vide cooking times guide, why not download ours here?


We know, however, that it’s often easier to have an easy-to-use resource to help you work out the optimal temperature and cooking time and that’s why we put together our sous vide cooking times calculator.


This simple and straightforward calculator is the perfect way to calculate the right temperature and time. Why not have a go yourself below?