Sous vide

What is sous vide cooking?

sous vide apparaat

Sous vide cooking is a technique in which vacuum-packed food is cooked in a water bath at a constant, relatively low temperature for a long time. Sous vide is a French concept that literally means ' under vacuum' . Sous vide equipment is ideal for preparing meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, fruit, desserts, oils and even alcoholic drinks.

In the video below we explain in detail what sous vide cooking exactly is.

History of sous vide cooking

The development of the sous vide cooking technique has been a major breakthrough in the field of cooking. As with any breakthrough, there is a beautiful history that precedes it. The technique has been in use since 1970 and has its origins in France.

In the beginning, sous vide was only used to extend the shelf life of products. Two French chefs changed that in 1974. Pierre Troisgros , a 3-star chef from Roanne, wanted to prepare his foie gras in a different way because up to 50 percent of the weight is lost during traditional preparation. He decided to come up with a solution for this together with colleague chef Georgess Pralus.

They decided to wrap the foie gras in food-safe plastic wrap, after which they cooked it at different temperatures. After a few attempts they found the right temperature, the result: a weight loss of 5 percent. From then on, Pralus went through life as “the father of sous vide” or as he himself said “the sous vide pope”.

From star cuisine to every kitchen

Pralus was the one who went to restaurants and introduced other chefs to the technique. Due to technical developments and the increase in the range of sous vide cooking technology, it is becoming increasingly accessible to purchase a sous vide device , especially for private use. A quality that was previously only achievable in a top restaurant can now also be found in your kitchen at home.

What are the benefits of sous vide cooking?

The sous vide preparation ensures that the maximum quality of each product is utilized in terms of texture, taste and nutrients ! For all the ins and outs about the benefits that sous vide cooking offers and a comparison with traditional techniques, I would like to refer you to this article , which discusses this in detail. In addition, you can cook healthier with sous vide!

How to cook sous vide step by step

In this piece I will explain to you step by step how you can prepare the perfect piece of meat, fish or poultry using the sous vide cooking technique. Fruit and vegetables are also treated. It is a standard process that must be performed every time.

Preparation for sous vide cooking

It is important to prepare the sous vide device and the sous vide container before you start preparing the food. This ensures that you can proceed directly to sous vide preparation after pre-processing your food.

Fill the sous vide container with warm water. Please note that the water must be between the minimum and maximum amounts indicated on the sous vide device. This ensures that the sous vide device can optimally circulate the water through the container at a constant temperature.

Turn on the sous vide device and set the desired cooking time and temperature. The device will heat the water until this temperature is reached and will emit an acoustic signal when this is achieved.

sous vide cooking

Preparation for sous vide cooking

Prepare the product according to the steps below. A tenderloin requires a different preparation than a salmon fillet. It is therefore important that each product type is treated correctly. To make this as clear as possible, we have created a step-by-step plan for each product type below.


  1. Boning: this involves removing any bones from the meat. This is usually only the case when purchasing large unprocessed pieces of meat.
  2. Removing membranes: remove the top membrane layer from the product by cutting away the layer with a fillet knife, if it is present.
  3. Parrying: This is the process of removing the nerves and unwanted fat from the piece of meat.
  4. Portioning: cut the meat into desired pieces. Not too small, the more it remains whole, the better the juices are retained.
  5. Drying: pat the product dry with kitchen paper.


  1. Parrying: cutting away excess meat, fat and nerve. Tip: don't throw this away, but use these parts to make a stock.
  2. Briding: this is tying up a poultry, only applicable to a whole chicken, for example. This ensures that the shape of the product is retained during preparation.
  3. Portioning: cut the meat into desired pieces.
  4. Drying: rinse briefly under cold tap and dry with kitchen paper.


  1. Scales: removing the scales. To do this, use a special scraper or the blunt side of a knife and work from the tail to the head, in a counter-balanced manner.
  2. Debearding: this is the removal of the fins. This requires fishing scissors or a sharp knife. Again contrarian due to a firmer grip.
  3. Filleting: cut the fillet from the bone with a fillet knife.
  4. Deboning: Remove the bones from the fillet with tweezers.
  5. Portioning: cut the fish into desired portions.
  6. Drying: rinse the fish under a cold tap and pat dry with kitchen paper.


  1. Washing: wash the fruit under a cold tap.
  2. Peel: Peel the fruit when desired for the recipe. NB! The outside of hard fruit quickly turns brown because it comes into contact with oxygen. You can counteract this by, for example, sprinkling the fruit with the juice of a citrus fruit.
  3. Portioning: cut the fruit as you like.
  • Soft fruit is very delicate. It is important to first wash this and then let it drain before removing the crowns and/or stems. This is because otherwise the crowns/stems will suck too much water into the fruit.
  • Citrus and exotic fruits do not require any preparation other than washing and are often used raw in sous vide recipes .


  1. Wash the vegetables under the cold tap. Do not do this for too long, because vitamin C is soluble in water and we do not want vitamins to be lost.
  2. Peel the vegetables, if necessary.
  3. Cut the vegetable. Do not do this finer than necessary to prevent the loss of precious vitamins.

sous vide cooking carrot


  1. Removing scissors: remove the scissors with a rotating movement.
  2. To remove the head: grab the head with one hand and the body with the other. Then turn in the opposite direction and remove the head.
  3. To remove shell: gently squeeze the shell and break it open. Try to keep the shellfish meat intact.
  4. Drying: rinse the crustacean under a cold tap and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Sous vide cooking langoustine

Tip: process the product quickly so that it does not become too hot, otherwise it may lose structure.

Sous vide times and temperatures

Each product has its own perfect temperature and time. For example, pulled pork should preferably be cooked for 24 hours and scallops for only 30 to 40 minutes. To make it easy for you, we have created an overview with all times and temperatures. Whether it is fish, vegetables or game, all temperatures are stated. You can find these here! The times and temperatures give you an indication, try to find out for yourself which cooking you like best, tastes differ! The times and temperatures of the most popular meat products are summarized below:

  • Spare ribs – 74 degrees for 8 hours
  • Pork tenderloin – 55 degrees for 90 minutes
  • Pulled pork – 70 degrees for 24 hours
  • Steak (medium rare) – for 50 minutes
  • Ribeye – 54 degrees for 40 minutes

Can you cook sous vide for too long?

Basically, you cannot cook sous vide for too long, as the core temperature never exceeds the setting on the sous vide device. However, it can happen that the structure of products changes, and that is not always pleasant. Therefore, always keep the time and temperature according to the schedule, otherwise you run the risk of one of these things happening:

  • Pieces of meat that lose their structure, such as a ribeye
  • Fish falling apart
  • Vegetables losing their color

Can I place vacuum-packed products directly into the water bath?

You have bought a piece of meat or fish that has already been vacuum-sealed by the butcher or fishmonger and want to cook it sous vide, is that possible? The plastic used is often cheaper than sous vide bags. We therefore always recommend removing pre-packed products from the bag and vacuum sealing them with our bags . This way you can be sure that no harmful substances are released and you prevent the bag from tearing. Proper vacuuming means that as much air as possible is removed from the bag and that a good seal strip is applied.

How much water should I use during sous vide cooking?

Most sous vide devices have an indication on the device of how much water should be in the pan or container . In addition, most devices also give a signal when the water is not at the correct level. The base must be filled at least 20 centimeters deep, but this may differ per device.

Marinades for sous vide cooking

Many people wonder whether they should marinate a product before cooking it sous vide. The answer depends on what is being cooked and what your desired result is.

In general, a marinade is used to flavor a product or to enhance its original taste. Marinades can be divided into a number of types. These are named and explained below.

Flavor marinades

  • Dry rub
    A mixture of dried herbs and spices. No liquid is added to this marinade. The salt in the rub ensures that moisture is extracted from the meat, causing the marinade to become liquid. If sugar is included in the rub, this leads to a beautiful caramelized crust when the product is finished.
  • Marinade paste
    This is basically the same as a dry rub, only a liquid product has been added. It is also called a wet rub. These marinades often contain oil.
  • Fresh herbs
    It is common to add flavor to a product by just adding some herb sprigs such as rosemary, thyme, sage or oregano.

sous vide cooking marinade

Texture marinades

These are marinades that are added with the aim of making meat even more tender. The acids and/or enzymes in these marinades start a process that changes the texture in such a way that it improves tenderness.

These marinades are almost always in the form of a wet rub, because liquid has been added. Well-known additives are: vinegar, wine, fruit juice and beer.

There are a few reasons why it is not recommended to use marinades with such an addition for sous vide preparation:

  • First of all, it's not necessary. Due to the constant preparation at a low temperature, the product is already brought to the desired doneness, which makes such a marinade unnecessary.
  • Secondly, no evaporation takes place during sous vide preparation due to the vacuum packaging. Liquid within the bag cannot evaporate, which means that the alcohol is not reduced in alcohol-containing marinades.
  • Finally, with marinades with a high acid content, as with alcohol, nothing is evaporated that bitters and negatively affects the taste of the product.

Which marinade?

I recommend using a marinade that is purely aimed at improving the taste of the product. It is important to allow the marinade to penetrate well into the product for optimal results. A vacuum device is ideal to speed up this process, where traditional withdrawal can take hours.

Make sure that the marinade is non-alcoholic and has a low acid content. If this is the case, boil the marinade first to reduce the alcohol and acids. A good example of this is this stewed pear recipe.

Vacuum packaging for sous vide cooking

Vacuum packaging of food for sous vide cooking can be done in four ways. In this blog we discuss the four options in detail. Here we discuss the two most obvious methods, namely sous vide bags and vacuum bags .

  1. Sous vide bags

    First, determine which size sous vide bag you need, depending on the size of the product and the quantity you want to prepare. The bags are available in two sizes: 20 x 30 centimeters and the rolls where you can determine the length yourself. Lay the bag flat and open it with your fingers so that the product can easily be placed in it. Then place the ingredient in the bag and add any herbs or spices. Also pay attention to hygiene.

    The herbs should be thoroughly cleaned under lukewarm tap before being added. Once everything is in the bag, it is important to make it airtight. There is a handy trick for this. Close the sous vide bag ¾ at the top, then lower the bag into the preheated sous vide container so that the water pressure squeezes the remaining air out of the bag. When the sous vide bag is almost completely submerged, press the last part of the bag closed. Sous vide cooking bags

  2. Vacuum bag

    It is also possible to vacuum pack the food using a vacuum bag and a vacuum device. Open the vacuum bag and put the marinated product in the bag, adding some oil, herbs or spices if necessary. Make sure that the food is at the bottom of the bag and that the ends of the bag at the top are free of moisture . Place the ends in the vacuum device, close it and press the button to remove the air from the vacuum bag. The bag can now be placed in the preheated water bath and the timer can be started. Sous vide cooking vacuum bag

Sous vide cooking

After you have placed the product in the sous vide container, you do not have to do anything until the timer goes off. This does not mean that nothing happens. A process takes place when a product is cooked. This process can affect the texture and structure of the product.

However, this is not the case with sous vide cooking, because it is prepared at the ideal core temperature of the product. Because the water circulates through the sous vide container at a constant temperature and the product is vacuum packed, the structure is preserved.


Take steak for example, a piece of meat that can be cooked in many ways. The steak contains muscle tissue. If you heat this above a temperature of 60ºC, this muscle tissue will solidify. This leads to a grainy structure in the meat.

To prepare a beautiful pink steak, the core temperature of the sous vide device must be below 60 degrees. The steak is now only cooked and still needs to be fried.

A Maillard reaction , creating a beautiful brown crust is only possible at temperatures around 140ºc. Because there is a lot involved in preparing the perfect steak, we have written a manual that will guide you every step of the way. This also describes how you can add this Maillard reaction to the steak.

Nutrients and flavourings

Because cooking takes place in a vacuum bag and at a low temperature, all the nutrients and flavors of the product are retained. In contrast to traditional cooking techniques, many important substances are lost. For example, the traditional cooking of vegetables ensures that these substances are 'destroyed'. Moreover, it is at the expense of the texture, making vegetables soft.

Shelf life

One of the biggest advantages of cooking your product sous vide is the extended shelf life. The vacuum ensures that the product is packed in an airless manner, which prevents the oxidation of the food. This inhibits the 'aging' of the product. The shelf life can be extended up to 5 times .

Sous vide cooking step

Post-processing for sous vide cooking

As soon as the timer goes off on your sous vide device, it is time to finish processing the product. I will name and explain the different methods of post-processing below.

  • Consume immediately

    You can choose not to post-process the product. Season with some salt and pepper and then enjoy.
    Sous vide cooking dish

  • Baking

    Put a dash of oil in a pan and place it on high heat. As soon as the oil is hot, fry the product briefly on both sides, so that a nice crispy layer is created. Make sure you don't sear it for too long to prevent the product from cooking further. Then season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

  • Burn down

    This is the ideal way to further process a product cooked sous vide. When the product comes out of the sous vide container, it is already perfectly cooked. So you want to avoid further cooking the product during post-processing. This can be done by burning it off with a kitchen burner .

    A kitchen burner can be heated to a very high temperature almost immediately, which offers the opportunity for quick post-processing of the product.

    1. Grab a kitchen burner and make sure it is set to an appropriate level, depending on what you want to burn.
    2. Place the product, for example langoustines, down and hold the kitchen burner at a distance of 10-20cm.
    3. Burn until the product has the desired color and serve immediately with the rest of the dish. The result is a perfectly cooked product with a nice burnt taste.

    sous vide cooking burn off

  • Grilling

    This is one of my favorite methods of post-processing because of the distinctive smoky flavor it creates. Make sure that the grill pan or barbecue is hot before you place the product on it. After all, the intention is only to create a golden brown crust and not to further cook the product.

  • Cool down

    Recooling is cooling a product quickly to prevent the growth of bacteria and thus extend its shelf life. You do this if you have prepared food, but do not intend to consume it immediately. It is important that this process is completed quickly .

    Fast means that the product must have cooled from 70 degrees to 3 degrees within a period of 90 minutes. This contributes to both the food safety of the product and to guaranteeing the texture, taste and nutrients.

  • Regenerate

    Regenerating or reheating products cooked sous vide can be done in various ways. Below are 2 of those ways:

  1. Method 1:
    Turn on the sous vide device and heat the vacuum-packed products in the sous vide container at a temperature of +/- 50 degrees. The product has already been prepared sous vide in advance and only needs to be heated up, so this low temperature is sufficient. It depends on the product how long it needs to regenerate. The advantage of sous vide in this case is that the product is never overcooked due to the constantly low temperature.
  2. Method 2:
    Preheat the oven to 120 degrees. Remove the products from the vacuum packaging and place them in the preheated oven. It is important that the oven does not get too hot to prevent the products from overcooking. The advantage of the oven is that the product heats up quickly, but the disadvantage remains that the product overcooks more quickly.

Do you need to clean a sous vide device?

With sous vide cooking you basically have little trouble with major cleaning. However, we recommend descaling the sous vide device occasionally. You can read all about it in this blog.

All possibilities of sous vide cooking

Now that you are familiar with the steps for sous vide cooking of meat, poultry and fish, it is time to discover what other possibilities a sous vide device has. For a clear overview of all the options, please visit our sous vide recipes. The device is ideal for perfectly melting chocolate to make the tastiest chocolate strawberries.

Speaking of fruit, it is delicious to prepare sous vide. Something you must try. See the pineapple recipe. And what about gin and tonic, the well-known drink with juniper berries. In this blog you will learn how to prepare your own gin and tonic sous vide!

Start cooking sous vide today

After all this information you can't wait to get started. We are happy to help you on your way. Get started right away with the most impressive cooking technique using the sous vide packages . Or view an extensive range of sous vide equipment here.

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Is het belangrijk om bepaalde plastic zakken te gebruiken ivm het loslaten van plastic deeltjes
Jeannet van den Berg

Hi Jeannet,

Ja zeker! Let goed op bij de aankoop of de zakken de temperatuur aankunnen. Bij onze producten weet je zeker dat alles 100% voedselveilig is.

Kan ik een sous vide apparaat ook als slow cooker gebruiken?

Hi Sonja,

Ja zeker, lage temperaturen en lange tijden wordt veel gedaan in Sous Vide. De vorm is iets ander, maar het werkt vergelijkbaar!

Er wordt op de site aangegeven dat de tijden en temperaturen richtlijnen zijn. Als vlees of vis 2 x zo dik is moet het 4 x zo lang “garen”, Als nu bijvoorbeeld tonijn geen 2,5 cm dik is maar 2 cm hoeveel korter moet het dan “garen”?

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