As you become more advanced in cooking you will no doubt want to try and learn new methods.
One method of cooking that was once limited to professional chefs at high end restaurants is the sous vide method.
What exactly is sous vide?
Sous vide is a method of cooking that used temperature control to yield perfect results. It involves placing your ingredients in a vacuum-sealed plastic pouch and cooking it in a water bath.
You typically cook the food for longer periods of time at lower temperatures. The goal with this method is to cook the food perfectly even.
The water bath is set at the desired final temperature you want your item cooked at so there is no way for it to be over cooked. The trick to sous vide cooking is maintaining a precise temperature during the entire cooking process.
Can you sous vide with an instant pot?
Yes! But only on specific models.
What Instant Pot Models can cook Sous Vide?
1. Instant Pot Max
This pot designed with a function for sous vide cooking. This is your best option if you are looking to cook using Instant Pot.
It’s the only model that have an official Sous Vide Program.
Using this pot you can make dishes just like in your favorite restaurant. The accurate temperature control is within +/- 1°C or 1.8 °F , so you can get perfect cooking results and keep the vitamins and the minerals. Tastier and healthier food – who needs more?
2. Instant Pot Ultra
You can use this one for a pseudo-Sous Vide cooking. Just use the settings to choose the exact temperature inside the pot and that way cook Sous Vide.
Please note it still won’t have the accuracy of a dedicated sous vide cooker, or immersion circulator.
This model comes in 3 different sizes and is very popular with amazing reviews. So if you don’t want to take chances, this is the model for you.
3. Instant Pot Smart Bluetooth \ Wifi
This model used for sous-vide cooking in a limited capacity.
To do so you must use the Smart Cooker app to calibrate the temperature so that it is consistent with your desired recipe.
This is necessary because the thermometer is at the bottom of the pot. So the temperature reading you get may not accurately reflect the temperature throughout the entire pot.
To calibrate your IP-Smart you have to set the pot to maintain a given temperature for whatever volume of water you will be cooking with then run the program.
After running the program use a thermometer to take the temperature reading of the water. Finally use the difference to offset your desired temperature.
What if you don’t have any of these models?
If you can’t precisely regulate the temperature of your electric pressure cooker, there are other options you can consider.
Instant Pot sells an accessory designed to allow you to use only the removable inner pot for sous vide cooking. It’s the Instant Pot Accu SSV800 Slim Sous Vide Immersion Circulator.
This device can be clamped to either 6 quart or 8 quart inner pots to convert the pot into precisely temperature controlled environment.
It has a digital touch screen for programming, and can cook between 104°F and 194° F, for up to 72 hours. It also maintains your desire temperature within 1° F throughout the duration of the cooking cycle.
This device is light weight, and the portion that extends into the water bath is stainless steel and easy to clean. The upper portion is an easy to grip plastic. It is also very quiet so you won’t be disturbed or annoyed especially if your recipe calls for extended cooking times.
Your food will come out much more flavorful because it will be cooking in its own juices inside the bag. Also because none of the juices are allowed to escape your food will retain the nutrients.
You will not need any Instant Pot specific recipes for this device. Any sous vide recipe is compatible with the SSV800.
Just like with the yogurt making function it is likely that eventually sous vide will become a common feature in electric pressure cookers.
Things to remember when Sous Vide cooking
- Because you will be cooking at lower temperatures it is important to cook your food for longer periods of time to ensure that any harmful bacteria is killed. Most harmful bacteria is killed at 130° F.
- Bags should be vacuum sealed before cooking your food, with the exception of eggs still in the shell.
- Make sure the bags you are using are BPA free. Most Ziploc brand bags will be suitable for sous vide cooking.
- You can find a Sous Vide time table for meats
What is your best option?
So if you are interested in trying out cooking with the sous vide method you have a few choices:
If you already have an Instant Pot IP-Smart your best bet is to attempt to do sous vide cooking with your current pressure cooker.
If you already have an Instant Pot Ultra, your best bet is to attempt to do sous vide cooking with your current pot.
If you already have an Instant Pot Max – you probably won’t read this article, since you know you have the sous-vide feature…
If you are looking for an Instant Pot you can use the Sous-Vide Method with from time to time, go for the Instant Pot Ultra.
If the Sous Vide is the main function you are looking for in your Instant Pot, then go for the Instant Pot Max.
If you are not interested in investing in a new pressure cooker , the SSV800 immersion circulator will be the best choice for a precise sous vide cooking.