Sous Vide Cooking: What Is It And What Do You Need?

After a relaxed Christmas morning, you quietly step into the kitchen to prepare a delicious steak for your in-laws whom you have invited for a festive evening.

The ingredients are already in the fridge, you grab your favorite cookbook and get to work.

After an hour in the kitchen, your steak is on the table. Medium cooked, just the way your father-in-law likes it.

Your in-laws have arrived and you sit down to celebrate Christmas together. After the first bite you can feel the tension, your steak is completely cooked through. Tough even.

How could this happen? You followed the recipe exactly, right?

After a dinner in which everyone has worked their way through a tough steak, you decide that things have to change. But how?

The answer? Ous S-vide.

Sous-vide: perfectly cooked picanha

Picanha, prepared with sous vide. Click on the photo for full view.

What is sous vide cooking?

"A sous vide device keeps a water bath accurately at a certain temperature, so that your dish reaches an exact cooking level without burning." Sous-vide is stress-free, simple and repeatable.

You may have heard of it at a fancy dinner party or read about it in a cooking magazine; sous-vide is a cooking technique that is rapidly gaining popularity. And with so many advantages, that's not surprising!

Sous-vide actually comes from French and means 'under vacuum'. The products you want to prepare are first vacuum packed and then cooked in a water bath at a constant temperature.

This preparation ensures a perfect (and predictable!) result and also offers countless possibilities for tasty dishes.

In this blog we tell you everything about sous-vide cooking. From the devices you need to the pros and cons and frequently asked questions. In addition, we have created a simple step-by-step plan for you with which you can put the tastiest sous-vide dishes on the table in no time. Includes some easy recipes to get you started!

What is the advantage of sous vide?

Sous vide actually has many advantages. Although sous-vide, or vacuum cooking, can be traced back to various sources, the cooking technique only really gained prominence after two chefs, Chef Goussault and Chef Pralus, independently discovered in the 1970s that vacuum cooking in plastic made meat more tender. They eventually teamed up to refine the technique.

Sous vide first became popular in restaurants in France, from where it spread to the rest of the world. In the past 10 years, cooking technology has also conquered the kitchens of hobby chefs and normal households. And with good reason!

Let's explore what makes sous vide so popular.

You don't have to constantly stand in front of the stove

As much as you love to cook, sometimes life can get in the way. Whether you need to finish a work project or help your kids with their homework, cooking yourself can sometimes be impossible. Instead of ordering a meal at Thuisbezorgd, sous-vide offers the solution.

With this cooking method you don't have to stand near the stove. You can simply prepare everything and let the dish cook itself. You don't have to worry about anything sticking or boiling over.

Dishes are tastier

Cooking or frying food makes it lose texture, color, flavor or nutritional value. The goal of sous vide cooking is to preserve the natural flavors of each dish. With this slow cooking method you can put tender pork, steak, chicken, ribs or even vegetables with an improved taste on the table in no time. Even if you prepare the dish in advance, don't worry that it will taste bland or not crispy.

It is almost impossible to overcook food

Because the food in the sous-vide bag is brought to the exact temperature of the water, it is almost impossible to overcook food. The lower temperatures also help to prevent this. You will learn more about this later in this article.

Dishes are healthier

Cooking at a high temperature results in fewer nutrients in meat and vegetables. This is avoided with sous-vide cooking! In this method, the food is placed in a water bath at a lower temperature for a long time. It is also notIt is necessary to use oils or butters that can oxidize at high temperatures and be harmful, as well as add unnecessary fat to your meal.

When food is prepared with sous vide, it retains its nutrients and vitamins and contains no added fat (unless you add it yourself later). This cooking method is a much healthier option compared to other techniques.

Food is cooked evenly

Pans often create uneven heat, causing your steak to be cooked on one side and undercooked on the other. Because with sous-vide the temperature has to be constant, you don't have to worry about this.

Vegetables keep their color

Almost every cooking technique results in vegetables losing their color. Hardly anyone wants to eat colorless broccoli. Sous-vide helps vegetables retain their natural, vibrant colors without losing nutrients and vitamins. After all, we eat with our eyes first!

An affordable cooking technique

Also worth mentioning: sous-vide cooking is economical! Professionals can already get a sous-vide water oven for less than 200 euros. Hobby chefs can get started with a sous-vide stick for less than 100 euros, or an affordable sous-vide bundle for only 175 euros. Impressing your family and friends has never been easier.

What is the difference between sous vide and traditional cooking?

With sous-vide, the product is thoroughly cooked, possibly including herbs or marinade. After the vacuum cooking, you only need to bake and finish your dish for a while.

Traditional cooking in the pan

You heat a pan or oven and then the product is prepared by means of contact heat with a large difference in temperature and relatively high insulation of heat due to the presence of (still) air.

The trick is to stop the heat transfer at the right time. If you stop the heat transfer too early, the food is not (sufficiently) cooked, and if you stop too late, your food will boil over. Moreover, a relatively large amount of moisture, and therefore taste and nutrients, evaporates during this process.

It is not for nothing that chefs usually have many years of experience before they are able to prepare their dishes perfectly cooked and tasteful every time. Chefs sometimes say you are only as good as your last result.

Sous vide cooking

Sous-vide makes it significantly easier to deliver consistent quality. The principle is actually very simple: a vacuum-packed item is cooked for a longer period of time in a water bath that is kept at exactly the right temperature to achieve exactly the right cooking. Due to the low temperatures, the product is cooked evenly.

In many cases there is a minimum time, but it does not matter whether the sous-vide preparation has taken a little longer, as long as the desired temperature has not been exceeded, the product will not continue cooking. So there is no stress at all and you can easily do (much) longer than the minimum cooking time.

If you're new to the world of sous vide cooking, it's easy to be intimidated by this unique cooking method. A water bath filled with pieces of meat and fish sounds more like a science experiment or an avant-garde art installation than a simple way to cook Sunday evening.

Still, sous vide isn't more complicated than roasting or braising - in fact, the process is much more gentle than most traditional cooking methods, making it more forgiving for inexperienced cooks who don't want to ruin a meal by overcooking or undercooking their main course. You put the food in a container and submerge it in a temperature-controlled bath of circulating water, which produces incredibly tender meat and flavorful vegetables.

What does sous vide do?

A sous vide device keeps a water bath accurately at a certain temperature, so that your dish achieves optimal cooking without further cooking or burning. Stress-free, simple and repeatable.

What do you need to cook sous vide?

To help you on your way, we've listed everything you need to use this versatile and fun technique perfectly at home. Don't worry - all you need is a few kitchen aids, and just one special appliance (although we strongly recommend using a vacuum sealer for best results).

1. A sous-vide stick or sous-vide water oven

Sous vide cooking requires a good sous vide stick, a device that simultaneously heats water to an accurate temperature and circulates it through the container it is placed in. This sous vide machine provides the perfect environment for gently and evenly cooking all kinds of dishes.Here we explained the difference between a sous-vide stick and a sous-vide water oven .

We've tested the best sous-vide devices on the market and offer them at an affordable price. From beginner to pro, you'll find the best sous vide sticks here .

Are you a professional chef or hobby chef with a passion for sous-vide, then a sous-vide water oven is the perfect choice for you . This all-in-one solution is even easier and more efficient to use than the stick, and it is also not expensive! Discover our tested water oven for less than 200 euros here!

2. A vacuum sealer

While you don't really need more than plastic freezer bags, a good vacuum sealer is great to have for cooking vegetables and other foods that require higher temperatures. They are also extremely useful for keeping food - sous-vide or not - in the freezer for months.

Discover here our personally tested sealers for every need - and every budget!

2. Sous-vide vacuum bags

Although sous vide literally means "under vacuum" in French, you don't always need vacuum-sealed bags to get the best results. For cooking most meat and fish, classic freezer bags with a strong seal are sufficient. And no, you don't have to worry about the plastic degrading - proteins are prepared sous-vide at low temperatures that won't cause any structural damage to the plastic.

So you don't always need vacuum-sealed bags to get the best results, but they are useful for cooking vegetables and other foods that require higher temperatures. That's not to say that the plastic of traditional freezer bags will degrade below these temperatures, but the seams aren't always strong enough to handle the pressure, making vacuum bags the best choice.

A long search for the best sous-vide bags is not necessary, we have personally tested the best sous-vide vacuum bags and included them in our range.

3. A large pan or water bowl

Professional chefs usually use large plastic tubs to make their sous vide baths, but any pan deep enough to hold water and hold your sous vide stick is fine. A large saucepan is certainly suitable, but if it is already in use for other dishes, you will find our favorite sous-vide containers here .

4. Insulating Balls

This is an ingenious trick! If you are cooking sous vide for a long period of time, cover the top of the water with small insulating balls to prevent evaporation and regulate the temperature. Without these balls you run the risk that the food bags will end up in the open air or that the waterline will become so low that the stick will stall.

Because insulating balls are light and take the shape of the package, it is also very easy to put the bags in or take out the sous vide bath with the ping pong balls already inside. Ziva sous-vide insulation balls are our favorite!

5. A vacuum sealer

While you don't really need more than plastic freezer bags, a good vacuum sealer is great to have for cooking vegetables and other foods that require higher temperatures. They are also extremely useful for keeping food - sous-vide or not - in the freezer for months.

Discoverto have for cooking vegetables and other foods that require higher temperatures. They are also extremely useful for keeping food - sous-vide or not - in the freezer for months. Discover here our personally tested sealers for every need - and every budget!" target="_blank">our personally tested vacuum sealers for every need - and every budget!

6. A casserole or chef's burner

After the sous-vide process is complete and you've cooked your meat or veggies perfectly, all you'll likely miss is that crispy crust that you can achieve with searing and roasting. Create a beautiful crust with a high-quality casserole and viola! The feast can begin. Do you really want to impress with a perfect finish? Then consider a chef's burner .

Sous vide stick or water oven?

As you saw above, you can use both a stick and a water oven for the sous-vide process. But what is the difference?

The sous vide stick

A sous vide stick is basically a thermometer, water pump and heating element, combined in a compact device that you can insert into a water bath. You set the device to the desired temperature and immerse it in the water bath. As soon as you switch on the stick, the thermometer will compare the actual temperature of the water with the desired value and switch the heating element on or off.

A pump ensures a constant flow of water past the heating element and turbulence in the reservoir, so that the heat is evenly distributed. More expensive sticks have more advanced controls that make them more accurate and stable in temperature.

When using a stick you still need a reservoir, and although a pan can certainly serve, especially the (double insulated) basins are on the pricey side. In addition, you sometimes need insulating balls that act as a lid so that considerably less steam and heat escape.

The sous vide water oven

A sous-vide water oven is basically a stick with an integrated reservoir, and works much the same. A disadvantage of this is that the device is somewhat larger, if you ignore the separate reservoir for a regulator.

The big advantage of water furnaces, however, is the (much) greater efficiency, especially due to the insulation of the reservoir. As a result, the water heats up faster and the temperature is more stable. If you have the space, you are ready in one go: you no longer need an (insulated) reservoir, nor do you need insulating balls or lids.

What is a good sous vide?

Today there is a huge range of sous-vide appliances. But what should you pay attention to and which is the best? In this article we have listed for you what a good sous vide is , with the recommendations of our experts!

Sous vide - step by step

Are you ready to get started with sous vide cooking? Here we provide an overview of the process, divided into four steps. We start by preparing the food, then we move on to packaging it. We then determine the best temperature and cooking time to achieve the desired results. When the food is cooked, we prepare it for use - often by frying it until golden brown - or we store it safely for later use.

1. The preparation

We prepare food for sous vide in the same way as with any other cooking method, but there are some important tips and tricks that make cooking easier. For example, you can choose to grease the food with oil and to wait until after cooking before cutting. If you are a novice sous-vide cook, it is useful to first follow simple recipes to become familiar with this cooking method in practice.

2. Packing the Food

You can put most ingredients in plastic bags for sous-vide and remove the air with a vacuum press if necessary. Sometimes you can even prepare the food without packaging at all. Eggs, for example, are already conveniently packed in their own shell. The more luxurious dishes, such as custards and pâtés, can be placed in sealable glass jars and then placed in the sous-vide trays.

3. Select the desired time and temperature

The first question to ask yourself before starting your cooking session is, how cooked should the food be? Then you can choose the right time and temperature to achieve this.

Below you will find a usefulThe sous-vide checklist with times and temperatures for a variety of ingredients. Determine the exact settings for your appliance, whether it is a stick or sous-vide water oven, and place the food in the chosen container. Once you've done sous-vide cooking a few times, you'll start to develop preferences for doneness and convenience, and it just gets easier - and more fun!

4. The finish

Once the food has reached the desired doneness, remove it from the container and proceed to the last step; the finish. Sometimes this means portioning, repacking and storing for later use. If you serve it immediately, you can choose to quickly fry meat or fish in a little oil or butter until golden brown. This is entirely according to your wishes and depends on the food you are preparing.

That's it! Sous vide cooking is that simple. In 4 steps you can put delicious dishes on the table, with ease and with more nutrients. A child can do the laundry!

Sous-vide temperatures and preparation times

Don't feel like reading for a long time and prefer to get started right away? Here's our quick checklist for sous vide times and temperatures .
So you can get started right away with your favorite dish!

We now also offer a laminated table with cooking times and temperatures for your fridge (or anywhere else in your kitchen!), so that you have all the information directly at hand. You also receive this table for free with sous-vide orders from €49. With the compliments of the sous-vide connoisseurs!

The many possibilities of sous-vide cooking

Sous vide is unrivaled when it comes to cooking meat and seafood, but that's not all you can cook with sous vide. Below you will find a brief overview of all options.

Meat and poultry

Sous vide is by far the best choice for cooking meat and poultry. Due to the even distribution of heat, your dish will be perfectly prepared. You can cook just about anything sous-vide in this category, from steak to whole pork roulades.


Ok, here the sous vide is unbeatable. From a delicious salmon to tuna steaks and even an entire mackerel, sous vide prepares them with impeccable taste and texture.


Did you know that you can also prepare whole eggs with the sous-vide technique? In fact, only sous-vide always ensures the perfect egg.

Fruits and vegetables

There is so much emphasis on meat that you might overlook the fact that sous vide is also perfect for fruits and vegetables. Cooking vegetables in a water bath at a lower temperature weakens the cell walls of the plants, resulting in deliciously crunchy vegetables.


From rice to bulgur and from black beans to lentils, you can easily put them all on the table with sous-vide. A little preparation is all you need for this, with your sous-vide machine of course!


With your sous-vide machine, your struggle with lumpy or separated sauces is a thing of the past. From hollandaise and aioli to gravy and mash, these are just a few of the ways you can effortlessly bring restaurant-quality dishes to the table.


Sous-vide enhances the flavors in all kinds of soups and stews, so you can put a hearty winter meal on the table. More of a curry fan? That is no problem with sous-vide cooking.


Have you ever made a rich, satiny pudding? Give it a try in your sous vide and you'll never buy that stuff from the store again. Or how about poached pears in red wine? Custard and lemon curd have never been easier and the base for ice cream is also ideal for sous vide!

Drinks & cocktails

Yes, of course! You can even infuse drinks with your sous-vide machine! The possibilities are endless - only your inspiration counts!

Sous vide workshop and online video course

Would you like to become a real sous-vide connoisseur yourself? Then take a look at this sous-vide workshop !
Don't feel like getting out of your couch to learn more about sous-vide? Then you can consider this online sous-vide video course (temporarily with 25% introductory discount)!

What are the disadvantages of sous vide?

Sous-vide is a fantastic cooking technique that we strongly support. However, it is not suitable for everything and there are also (modest) drawbacks.

The first disadvantage is, of course, that you need special equipment, such as a sous-vide stick or sous-vide water oven, and a vacuum machine with vacuum bags.

In addition, the preparation times are (much) longer than usual, which means that you should not expect to have a dish on the table within 30 minutes after a long day at work. Preparation pays off and it's a cooking technique that may be more appropriate for weekends and special occasions. But then you also put something special on the table!

Also, you can only cook one type of product (fish, meat, vegetables, etc.) at a time sous-vide because you can only work with one temperature at a time, unless you use multiple sous-vide machines. Of course you can choose to cook a nice steak sous-vide while you opt for the more traditional cooking techniques for the side dishes.

Finally, you will have to roast the meat for a short while or finish it with a chef's burner to get that delicious brown crust.

Sous vide - frequently asked questions

Didn't the above information answer all your questions yet? We have answered the most pressing questions for you below

Is sous vide safe?

Yes, sous vide is completely safe. Read the comprehensive answer about the safety of sous-vide cooking here .

Is sous‌vide‌healthy‌?

Yes, sous vide is a healthy cooking technique. Because you cook food at a lower temperature, nutrients are better preserved. Plus, you don't need any fat for the sous-vide technique (just for finishing, if desired), making sous-vide a great option for weight control.

Can ‌je‌ ‌sousvide‌ ‌te‌ ‌long‌ ‌yarn‌?

You can hardly cook sous-vide for too long. Even if you leave the foods in the water bath longer than recommended in your recipe, you can't just boil them over. If you cook them too long, your food may become dry.

What‌ ‌is‌ ‌vacuum cooking‌?

Sous-vide is the process in which vacuum-packed food is heated in a water bath at a relatively low and constant temperature so that it is cooked gradually and evenly. Sous-vide is suitable for the preparation of meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, desserts and even cocktails.

Is‌ ‌there‌ ‌a‌ ‌faster‌ way‌ ‌to‌ ‌sousvide‌ ‌to‌ cook?‌ ‌

Yes, there are! Click here for the possibilities .

Sous‌-‌vide‌ ‌in‌ ‌steam oven?‌

Some steam ovens are ideally suited for sous-vide cooking. But not all! It is important to note that the steam oven can be set to a very accurate temperature. For sous-vide in a steam oven with a vacuum drawer, you may need special sous-vide vacuum bags .

What‌ ‌consume ‌a‌ ‌sous‌-vide?‌

An average sous-vide device has a power of 1300w. If you would use the device non-stop for 10 hours, you would have lost about 3 euros. Of course this is only an average and the true consumption depends on your device and the duration of use. The sous vide device only uses full power when it's heating up, but once it's up to temperature, it only needs to heat up every now and then. By using an insulated sous-vide water container and lid , you save up to 80% on energy costs, and your sous-vide appliance also lasts longer because it has to work less.

How ‌long‌ ‌can‌ ‌I‌ ‌products‌ ‌store ‌after‌ ‌the‌ ‌sous-vide‌ ‌cooking?‌

After sous-vide cooking, you can store products just as long as after using traditional cooking methods. For example, you can store your products in the fridge, but also freeze them - depending on the product itself.

How‌ ‌can‌ ‌I‌ ‌products‌ ‌re heating?‌

We have listed for you how you can warm up your dishes in the best way after sous-vide yarn .

How‌ ‌can‌ ‌I‌ ‌products‌ ‌after‌ ‌finishthe‌sous-vide‌?‌

In general, you will not serve your dishes immediately after sous-vide cooking. For example, if you have prepared meat, you would also like a brown crust - not only for the taste, but also for the eye. Discover here the different ways in which you can finish sous-vide dishes .

Should‌ ‌I ‌salt‌ ‌add‌ ‌before‌ ‌or‌ ‌after ‌the‌ ‌cooking?‌

View our comprehensive answer here .

Should‌ ‌I‌ products‌ ‌different‌ ‌flavor‌ ‌make‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌sousvide‌ ‌preparation?‌

Sous-vide retains flavors better, so you'll often find that you need fewer herbs and other seasonings to flavor dishes. This is entirely up to your own preference of course!

What are good sous vide cookbooks?

Are you looking for inspiration for delicious sous-vide recipes? There are not many cookbooks with a sous-vide focus yet, simply because this technique has only recently started to gain popularity in normal kitchens. Nevertheless, we have a few recommendations, such as the beautiful book Sous vide at home, by Lisa Q. Fetterman . For entry-level recipes for home cooks, we recommend Bas Robben's book Sous-vide .

Curious about more? Find all of our favorite sous vide cookbooks here .

Would you like to know even more about sous-vide and read all frequently asked questions?

Then read our extensive FAQ about sous-vide .

Easy sous vide recipes to start with

You have your sous-vide machine at the ready and ready to prepare your first sous-vide dish. But where to start? With these simple recipes of course!

Sous vide meat and fish

Sous vide vegetables

Sous vide dessert

Sous vide cocktails

Craving even more sous-vide recipes?

Discover all our sous-vide recipes here .

Sousvide Expert - The sous-vide specialist in the Netherlands and Belgium has a wide range of sous-vide sticks , sous-vide water ovens , sous-vide water containers and associated vacuum machines , vacuum bags , vacuum foils and vacuum accessories . Many products are available from stock, and ordered today is often delivered tomorrow. And that too at very competitive prices!

Are you not yet sure what you want or are looking for?t? Please feel free to contact us for a personal consultation.

Convinced of sous vide?
Then immediately discover affordable and complete sous-vide with our most popular sous-vide discount bundles . These bundles have been carefully put together by our sous-vide experts and offer everything you need to get started with sous-vide, such as a sous-vide stick, a good vacuum machine, a sous-vide water container, enough vacuum bags to move forward for a while.
With the compliments of real connoisseurs!

View our full selection of sous vide discount bundles here .

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