Sous vide

Slow cooker vs sous vide device

Sous vide garen

There are always new techniques to discover for real cooking enthusiasts. There is currently a lot of buzz surrounding the concept of a slow cooker , a device that is aimed at slowly cooking products. In this blog I contrast the sous vide cooking technique and the slow cooker, two progressive slow cooking techniques, so that you get a clear picture of the advantages and disadvantages of both cooking techniques.

How does a slow cooker work?

slow cooker A slow cooker, known to many of you as a Crockpot, is a machine that offers the option of slowly cooking dishes at a low temperature. This is possible due to the electric heating element that heats the inner pan of the slow cooker. If you are going to use a slow cooker, you should take the following steps:

  1. Find a “slow cooking” recipe.
  2. Prepare the ingredients.
  3. Add some liquid (depending on the recipe) in the slow cooker.
  4. Place the ingredients in the slow cooker.
  5. Set the slow cooker to the desired setting for ... hours (depending on the recipe).

How does a sous vide device work?

Anova Precision Cooker Bluetooth

A sous vide device is slightly different from the slow cooker. With sous vide preparation, it is not a pan or oven that cooks the food, but the heated water in which the food is vacuum-packed. The sous vide device can be attached to a sous vide container or pan containing x number of liters of water.

You then set the desired time and temperature for the product on the sous vide device. As soon as the core temperature has been reached, the sous vide cooker will notify you that the food can be cooked. Before this happens, it must be marinated and packaged airtight.

You can read how to package food for sous vide preparation here . When the food is in the sous vide container, start the timer and the water circulates through the container at the constant core temperature of the product. The sous vide cooker stops automatically after the timer expires. How to use a sous vide cooker:

  1. Find a sous vide recipe .
  2. Prepare the ingredients.
  3. Pack the food in an airless manner.
  4. Fill the sous vide container with water (preferably warm water).
  5. Set the desired temperature and time.
  6. Put the food in the container (time depends on the product).
  7. Process it afterwards if necessary (grilling, roasting).

Advantages of a slow cooker:

  • Healthy
    A slow cooker cooks food at a low temperature, so the food is not cooked to pieces. This means that many of the nutrients in the food are retained. In addition, little to no fat is required for preparations in a slow cooker, as a little liquid together with the juices of the food is sufficient.
  • Safe
    Of course it remains equipment, but using a slow cooker is relatively safe compared to cooking on an open fire. There can be no fire in the pan and there is no need for continuous monitoring. Of course, there is always a chance that a stop will blow or that another electronic defect will occur.
  • Durable
    The slow cooker maintains a constant temperature that is maintained by the lid on the pan. The closed environment prevents heat loss.
  • Accessible
    It's a very simple way to boost your dishes at home. Actually every hobby chef can use it and the results are often good.
  • Cleaning
    Depending on the model, a slow cooker is easy to clean. For example, some inner pans are removable and can be put in the dishwasher.

Disadvantages of slow cooker:

  • Contents
    There are different sizes of slow cookers, but if you want different sizes you have to buy multiple cookers.
  • Baking
    It is not possible to bake in a slow cooker. This can be remedied by searing the meat beforehand or afterwards. However, that does mean an extra action.
  • Humidity
    When preparing in a slow cooker, moisture is added and many juices are released from the meat and vegetables, which can cause some foods to become soft or soggy.
  • Preparation time
    There are no recipes that can be prepared quickly in a slow cooker.

Benefits of sous vide:

  • Constantly
    The sous vide device can be adjusted to the exact degree, which ensures that the product always cooks consistently at the desired temperature. Thanks to the timer on the device, the food will never cook longer than it should.
  • Quantity and quality
    Because the sous vide cooker circulates the water in the container or pan at a constant temperature, it is possible to cook large quantities at the same time with perfect results every time. When preparing large quantities, we recommend the larger sous vide container .
  • Flexibility
    Unlike a slow cooker, a sous vide device is mobile. This is due to the fact that the heating element is not integrated into a pan, as with the slow cooker. It is easy to take the sous vide cooker to a friend's house and attach it to a pan or container. In addition, it offers the option of using a smaller container or pan for a small meal and one with a larger one. contents for larger meals. This way you save water. I recommend using one of our sous vide containers as they have a lid and suitable recess for the appliance, ensuring minimal heat loss.
  • Vacuum
    Because the food is packed airtight, all vitamins and nutrients are retained. The vacuum packaging also ensures that the products have a shelf life of up to 5 times longer . Two birds with one stone!
  • Texture
    All foods retain their natural texture. This ensures that meat becomes beautifully tender during sous vide preparation, fish remains juicy and vegetables are nice and crispy.
  • Simplicity
    It is easy to use and produces high-quality results. You can get started right away with the recipes and blogs on our website.

Disadvantages of sous vide:

  • Preparation time
    Depending on the product, the preparation time can be long. This way, spare ribs can cook for up to 24 hours. Other products, such as salmon , only need to cook for 15 minutes.
  • Baking
    Just like with a slow cooker, it is not possible to bake with a sous vide device. Our recipes also recommend reprocessing the food for a nice crispy crust.

Similarities between sous vide and slow cooker

  • They are both slow cooking techniques, slow cooking leads to great results and these methods are both trend-setting.
  • When using the slow cooker and the sous vide device, the nutrients and vitamins of the products are retained. This ensures that you eat tastier and healthier.
  • Baking is a functionality that both techniques lack. You will need to use a different kitchen tool for this.
  • These techniques are really for everyone. They are very user-friendly, safe and require little to no attention once they are put into operation.

Differences between sous vide and slow cooker

  • Vacuum packaging is the biggest difference between the two slow cooking methods and also the major advantage of sous vide compared to a slow cooker. All flavors and juices of the product remain packed in the bag, whereas this is less so in the slow cooker. Extending the shelf life of the product is also a big advantage. This is especially advantageous if you prepare large quantities, as you can freeze a large portion and only have to do the finishing work on the day of use.
  • A sous vide device is more flexible to use because of the easy way to attach it to any pan, provided it has the correct depth.
  • The sous vide cooker prepares the food to the exact degree, while with a slow cooker the high and low settings are often given as an option. This means that a sous vide device always cooks consistently at the core temperature and never overcooks. With a slow cooker, a product may not cook far enough because the temperature cannot be set (depending on the model).

Cost comparison

If you decide to buy a sous vide device or a slow cooker, it is useful to know the price range of both products. There are different models of both devices with more/less functions and therefore also with differentiating prices. For that reason, I have highlighted a comparable model of both the sous vide cooker and the slow cooker. This means that both devices have an adjustable timer and temperature.

Sous vide device

Price

Specifications

Assets 1300 watts
Capacity 20 litres
Temperature 0 – 95 °C
Timer 0 – 60 hours
Brand Wartmann
Type WM-1507-SV
Weight 1.1 Kilograms
Dimensions (lbh) 41 x 10 x 5.7 cm

Consumption

Many people will say “10 hours of cooking, doesn't that use a lot of electricity?”. To clarify, I compare the energy consumption for 10 hours of sous vide cooking against 10 hours of cooking in an oven, based on the average wattage for an oven of 2000 watts.

The calculation is as follows: (power in watts * number of hours of consumption)/1000 = consumption in kWh à consumption in kWh * average price per kWh

Oven : (2000w * 10h)/1000 = 20kwh to 20kwh * €0.22 = €4.40

Sous vide device : (1300w * 10h)/1000 = 13kwh to 13kwh * €0.22 = €2.86

Slow cooker

Price

  • Crockpot Slow Cooker Next Gen – €119 | €149

Specifications

Assets 250 watts
Capacity 5.7 litres
Temperature 0 – 95 °C
Timer 0 - 20 hours
Brand Crock pot
Weight 7.4 Kilograms
Dimensions (bhd) 39 x 30 x 28 cm


Consumption

For the consumption of the slow cooker I use the same calculation as for the sous vide cooker.
Oven: (2000w * 10h)/1000 = 20kwh to 20kwh * €0.22 = €4.40
Slow cooker: (250w * 10h)/1000 = 2.5kwh to 2.5kwh * €0.22 = €0.55

Prepare


Sous vide preparation of pulled chicken

pulled chicken sous vide

Ingredients

  • 800gr chicken
  • Half a head of iceberg lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1 avocado
  • 4 ciabattas
  • 2 tbsp brown caster sugar
  • 1 onion
  • 100 ml of water
  • Tikka Masala

Instructions

  1. Prepare the pan or sous vide container filled with water, set the sous vide cooker to 64°C and heat the water.
  2. Marinate the chicken with the tikka masala and add salt and pepper to taste. Place the chicken in the sous vide bag with a knob of butter. Set the timer for at least 1 hour.
  3. Put the chopped with water, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, pepper, salt and brown sugar in a saucepan and let it boil for 20 minutes. Then add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and smoked paprika powder. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool.
  4. When the timer goes off, remove the chicken from the sous vide bag and pull it apart with 2 forks. Then mix the torn chicken strips with the cooled barbecue sauce.
  5. Cut open the baked ciabattas to make the sandwich. Top the sandwiches with thinly sliced ​​tomatoes, avocado and lettuce.
    Tip: burn the avocado with a kitchen torch to create a slightly burnt taste.
  6. Touch!

Slow cooker preparation pulled chicken

Shredded Slow Cooker Chicken with BBQ Sauce 4of4

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken fillets
  • 1½ cup tomato ketchup, preferably with as little sugar as possible
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Ground red pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and place in the slow cooker. Add the chicken and immerse it well in the sauce.
  2. Set the slow cooker to high and set the timer for 3-4 hours.
  3. After the timer goes off, remove the chicken from the cooker, grab 2 forks and pull the chicken apart.
  4. Place the torn chicken pieces back in the cooker and mix with the barbecue sauce until all chicken pieces are covered.
  5. You can leave the chicken in the cooker on the keep warm setting while you cut the sandwiches and prepare any salad.
  6. Serve the pulled chicken on a sandwich with a fresh salad on the side.

Conclusion

Slow cooking offers countless possibilities, both in a slow cooker and with a sous vide device. Both cooking techniques have pros and cons, as you have read above. There are a few points that stand out:

  • The flexibility that the sous vide cooker has compared to a slow cooker.
  • Vacuum packaging which extends the shelf life and guarantees the taste and nutrients.
  • The contents of a sous vide container of 20L compared to 5.7L of the slow cooker
  • The cost difference in energy consumption of the slow cooker compared to the sous vide device.
  • The ability to quickly prepare dishes sous vide.

One point that comes with the sous vide device is that it involves variable costs in the form of sous vide bags or vacuum bags . On the other hand, these also have added value, because they offer the opportunity to cook for the long term while maintaining the quality of the food.

I sincerely hope that you have learned more about all the advantages, disadvantages, similarities and differences of slow cookers and sous vide devices .

Reading next

sous vide verpakken
sous-vide-accessoires

2 comments

yu-givan@hotmail.com

yu-givan@hotmail.com

Hi Jan,

Sous vide kun je ook inzetten voor kortere periodes zoals bijvoorbeeld een steak. Om dingen te vergelijken houden we dezelfde tijden aan. 10 uur vergelijken met 2 uur zou dus raar zijn. Het is overigens niet de bedoeling om sous vide er sterker uit te laten komen, maar simpelweg de verschillen te laten zien. Sous vide en een oven gaan namelijk juist perfect samen!

Fijne dag gewenst!

j.c.veldhuizen@planet.nl

j.c.veldhuizen@planet.nl

Goedendag,
De vergelijking met de oven is niet geheel correct. Om in de oven te garen is de temperatuur hoger, dat klopt.
De tijd is echter veel korter! Vlees 10 uur in de oven, dan is er niet anders dan verkoolde resten over.
Hoe onwetend denken jullie dat de lezers zijn!
Informeren is goed maar doe het met de juiste argumenten. Ik verwacht wel enige correctie hierover de website.
Vriendelijke Groet

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