You can use ziploc if you get the little ziploc pump to take all the air out. http://seattlefoodgeek...
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
I'm skeptical about sous vide without the immersion circulator. Of course I'm a skeptic of sous vide period. Personally I wouldn't trust my internal organs to a Ziploc bag. There are risks involved with meat that is insufficiently cooked. At best you could end up with something that tastes terrible. At worst, well...
Some people use a dishwasher ....
Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.
Following on from Pierino, sous vide is actually a very dangerous cooking method without the proper equipment - not only throughout the cooking process (getting it to the right temp and maintaining that temp) but in cooling it within the appropriate timeframe. I'm not an alarmist but proceed with extreme caution.
(And, as a digression, I'll be quite happy when the world is over 63 degree eggs.)
Sous vide is not any more dangerous than any other cooking method. Of course it depends on the kind of meat used. For pork/beef/fish you should be fine, even without proper equipment.
Don't worry about cooling if you eat the food immediatly. Furthermore, I don't even think cooling would be a big issue in ziploc-bag, there's hardly no vacuum there.
As for the original question, I'ev used ziplocs in water baths up to 150 F without problems.
Having produced sous vide on a commercial basis, we always had a sacrificial bag of food being sous vide with a thermometer inserted to check temperature, because of the greater danger of not processing the sous vide food properly, compared to other cooking methods. There is a reason it is illegal in some cities/regions to cook foo sous vide and serve to the public, because it is tricky to get it right. Time and temperature is very important in the process. . . if not followed correctly, you have the danger of sickening people.
As an aside, is anyone else unimpressed with the texture of sous vide meats? I just find the texture to be a bit boring, at least with the sous vide things I have eaten. This is apart from the fact that I can't stand being told that there's yet another appliance I MUST have in my kitchen because it's what EVERYONE will be using in the FUTURE.
I didn't like the beef myself. Pork was the same. Couldn't really say that the beets prepared sous vide- were special. But, the banana dessert...that was divine.
Some of the biggest crash and burn failures on Top Chef have involved sous vide.
You could do a sous vide dessert. (no food safety issues) I've done a banana vanilla caramel sauce....it was heavenly. Oh! And I hate bananas. So this says something. It was rich and infused.....
We have had wonderful sous vide halibut ... delicious. Easy to check the water temperature with your thermometer and just keep swishing the bags by hand.
There is an immersion circulator for quite cheap nowadays - SideKIC sells for $170
I know people do use ziplocks. Personally, I do worry about water getting in the bag.
I've cooked sous vide at home regularly for over 5 years now without incident. I've used the ziploc vacuum pouches and food saver bags. I've used temp to 165 degrees, and never had the bags fail.
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