Sous vide is a relatively new innovative idea that brings you one step closer to professional cooking results resembling those coming from top chefs.
This sounds perfect in theory, seems easy enough, and you choose to look up sous vide machines.
However, once you do so, you might be mind-boggled by the price and decide not to opt-in to the sous vide machine owner gang just yet.
The good news is that you can simulate the results of sous vide machine by using your slow cooker.
To mimic the sous vide machine, place a steak in a vacuum-sealed bag, then submerge it into a slow cooker filled with water. Add an aquarium pump (optional) to circulate heated water, then set your cook temperature.
This is a cool way to try it out first before investing in a sous vide machine.
I’m going to provide you with all the steps you need to know to use your slow cooker as sous vide machine.
For you to understand just how to work your slow cooker into a sous-vide machine, you must at the very least learn how that latter machine works so as to replicate its function elsewhere.
Then you will have to learn how to turn one device into the other pricy one, using what you’ve learned.
How does a sous vide machine work?
- Heat up enough water for you to fill the crockpot. You basically want to heat the water up to the temperature you would like to cook your food at. This temperature will change from one food to another and depending on how you would like your food done. Make sure to look up the relevant information before you do this step just so you do not under or overdo it, either. Once you have that checked off, you can move to the next step.
- You then want to prepare your food, e.g., a steak, by adding to it the seasoning and spices of your liking. Once you’ve done that, you vacuum seal your steak (or use a Ziploc bag and take the air out of it the best you can).
- Following that, you’ll put this in the water. You’d likely insert something underneath it so your steak would be in contact with the water on all sides – top, bottom, left, and right. Doing this will ensure you get the best cooking results on all sides.
- Lastly, you leave your meal to cook for the appropriate amount of time and at the desired temperature. Once the time is up, you can remove your meal and dig in.
You might ask yourself about the benefits of doing this whole maneuver.
- You’d know the exact temperature you’d be using to cook your meal. This trick will make sure the heating is in the best condition for the specific food you’re trying to make.
- Doing the same experiment under the same conditions will always result in the same results. You would no longer have to guestimate just how well your food is made – does it need less or more time? The exact temperature and the same amount of time will always result in the same food condition that you desire. This would be another worry to get off your chest.
- Because you know the right temperature and time you’re used to, you can do whatever you would like to do in the meantime, knowing full well that once you return, the perfect steak will be awaiting you.
- The water and the heated combined will make sure your food tastes less like an inedible rock and more like a juicy piece of heaven that Gordon Ramsay made himself.
- As opposed to cooking your food the traditional way, sous vide cooking will guarantee the entire volume of food from every side. This will also translate into a lack of volume loss of your food, which is likely when cooked otherwise.
Add a multicooker to your arsenal
It can be challenging not to have the proper equipment for the job.
At the same time, I don’t want to fill my cupboards with 30 different pieces of equipment to achieve different things.
That’s why I invested in a multicooker, which is pretty darn close to cooking 30 different ways.
I’ve created a complete guide here on how multicookers can cook a variety of things all in one pot and will fit your budget too.
How can you circumvent the fact that you don’t own the sous vide machine?
Alright, so now you know how the process works and why you might choose to put in the work.
Basically, we’ll have to recreate the scene.
- Your slow cooker will serve for temperature production and the water holder – hence heating up the water to whatever the features allow.
- The critical factor for a sous vide is a chosen temperature you would like to use. To bypass the lack of transparency, you can use a thermocouple (using a thermometer with the cable). This will allow you to keep track of the temperature as the cooking goes, replicating the sous vide machine. Using a temperature controller, adjust the temperature as you see fit, depending on how well you want your food done and how high the temperature is indicated.
- Add an air pump into the slow cooker to make air bubbles in order to create convection, pushing the water all around your meal to cook it from all sides.
- Now you can add the sealed-up food to the slow cooker, on top of the air pump (in order to give water the route to the base of the food), and add a bowl on top of the sealed bag to keep it from floating.
- Once you make sure everything is working as planned, leave the meal cooking in the slow cooker for the right amount of time and temperature.
- Turn everything off and start digging into your delicious meal!
Of course, as mentioned, you’d need to buy a few more things to mimic the function of a sous vide machine.
Remember, you’re using inexpensive material intelligently to try to recreate the features of another device.
Also, depending on your utensils, you might not be as specific as the expensive machine would be.
However, should you do this tutorial well, you would have roughly similar results, including a lot less to pay once all is said and done.
You will have then created your own sous vide machine from a whole other device, and reap the benefits of both saving money and the delicious food you have prepared.