Resources and Guides

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Sous vide cooking is actually quite simple. You really only need three things to get started:

 

Anova Precision Cooker: At just $179, the Anova Precision Cooker is the perfect sous vide device for the home cook.
Heavy-duty zipper lock bags: Gallon-sized Ziplocks are the most versatile option, and they can withstand water temperatures up to 195F/90.5C.
A pot, plastic bin, or cooler to hold water: A stock pot or plastic “Cambro” food storage bucket are both great choices. You’ll want your cooking vessel to be at least 8 inches deep to ensure proper circulation.

 

That’s it.

If you want up the ante, you can purchase a vacuum sealer and vacuum seal bags. Foodsaver is a common brand, and is pretty affordable.

Several different types of foods can also be cooked in glass canning jars. Beans and grains both work well in jars, as do desserts such as cakes and custards. Take a look at our guide to precision cooking in canning jars here.

You can also explore creating a dedicated sous vide cooking vessel. Our community members have created some crafty cooler and cambro hacks. Take a look at what they’ve made here.

Home sous vide cooking is in its infancy, so we’re discovering new tips and tricks every day.

Our robust community is full of great ideas, and we rely on them for sharing new ways to use the Anova at home.

Need a solution to keep floating bags submerged?
Concerned about wasting water?
Unsure of the best vacuum sealer to purchase?
Want to figure out the best hack for covering your cooking vessel?
… Or are you just getting started and want to chat?

Our community forum has answers.

And while we think our product is pretty great, we know we’re not the only game in town. There are other online communities and publications that are sharing some great knowledge about sous vide cooking. Here are some of our go-to’s:

ChefSteps
Douglas Baldwin
Dave Arnold
Under Pressure by Thomas Keller
Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold

Cooking time and temperature are the two most important factors in any sous vide recipe. In fact, once you get a handle on how long and at what temperature you like your food cooked, the sous vide world is your oyster! Experiment away!

To that end, we’ve developed a few time and temperature guides for commonly cooked proteins along with our friends at Serious Eats.

 

Strip, Ribeye, and Porterhouse Steaks
Highly marbled cuts like a grain-finished Prime-grade ribeye and strip should be cooked a few degrees higher than leaner steaks like tenderloin as their copious intramuscular fat helps keep them moist while delivering plenty of flavor. Fattier steaks also have natural insulation which means they’ll take slightly longer to reach the correct internal temperature.

Very Rare to Rare: 120°F (49°C) to 128°F (53°C), 1 to 2 1/2 hours.
Medium-rare: 129°F (54°C) to 134°F (57°C), 1 to 4 hours (2 1/2 hours for temperatures under 130°F/57°C).
Medium: 135°F (57°C) to 144°F (62°C), 1 to 4 hours.
Medium-well: 145°F (63°C) to 155°F (68°C), 1 to 3 1/2 hours.
Well done: 156°F (69°C) and up, 1 to 3 hours.

 

Tenderloin Steaks
Lean tenderloin is easily overcooked and without intramuscular fat, will become dry. We cook our tenderloin steaks several degrees lower than fattier cuts like ribeye or strip. We like our tenderloins in the very rare to rare range, between 120°F (49°C) and 128°F (53°C) for optimal tenderness and moistness.

Very Rare to Rare: 120°F (49°C) to 128°F (53°C), 45 minutes to 2 1/2 hours
Medium-rare: 129°F (54°C) to 134°F (57°C), 45 minutes to 4 hours (2 1/2 hours for temperatures under 130°F/57°C)
Medium:  135°F (57°C) to 144°F (62°C), 45 minutes to 4 hours
Medium-well: 145°F (63°C) to 155°F (68°C), 45 minutes to 3 1/2 hours
Well done: 156°F (69°C) and up, 1 to 3 hours

You can find a more detailed guide to sous vide steaks on Serious Eats.

 

Hamburgers
With traditionally cooked burgers, it is very difficult to gauge doneness. Low density means rapid overcooking and a relatively thin profile means that it’s difficult to judge where to stick a thermometer. With precision cooking, you can nail that perfect pink interior time after time.

Very Rare to Rare: 115°F (46°C) to 123°F (51°C), 40 minutes to 2 1/2 hours
Medium-Rare: 124°F (51°C) to 129°F (54°C), 40 minutes to 2 1/2 hours
Medium: 130°F (54°C) to 137°F (58°C), 40 minutes to 4 hours (2 1/2 hours for temperatures under 130°F/57°C)
Medium-Well: 138°F (59°C) to 144°F (62°C), 40 minutes to 4 hours
Well-Done: 145°F (63°C) to 155°F (68°C), 40 minutes to 3 1/2 hours

You can find a more detailed guide to sous vide hamburgers on Serious Eats.

 

Chicken Breasts
Unlike roasted or pan-seared chicken, sous vide chicken breasts are moist and tender every time. Depending on your preferred final texture and serving temperature, there is a range of suggested cooking temperatures and times. Between 140 and 145°F is our preferred temperature range for chicken served hot. Chicken cooked to 140°F (60°C) has a very tender, extremely juicy and smooth texture that is firm and completely opaque and shows no signs of stringiness. Once it gets above 150°F (66°C), the chicken will still be plenty moist and tender, but it will have some of its signature stringiness. This is our preferred temperature for chicken that’s destined to be served cold as a salad. When it gets to around 160°F (71°C), it is now well-done. If you are a lover of traditional roast chicken but have always wished it was moister, then this may be the temperature range for you.

Tender and juicy for cold chicken salad: 150°F (66°C), 1 to 4 hours
Very soft and juicy, served hot: 140°F (60°C), 1 1/2 to 4 hours
Juicy, tender, and slightly stringy, served hot: 150°F (66°C), 1 to 4 hours
Traditional, juicy, firm, and slightly stringy, served hot: 160°F (71°C), 1 to 4 hours

You can find a more detailed guide to sous vide chicken breasts on Serious Eats.

 

Chicken Thighs
Unlike chicken breasts, chicken thighs and drumsticks are high in connective tissue with a more robust flavor and a texture that can withstand a bit more cooking. Cooked to a temperature lower than 150°F (66°C), they are nearly inedibly chewy and tough. At 150°F (66°C), juices just begin to run clear but tougher connective tissue like large tendons will still be a little chewy. This is a good range if you like a very robust, meaty texture. Once you get to 165°F (74°C), timing comes into play. With shorter cook times, you end up with chicken that is more tender than chicken cooked to 150°F and just slightly more dry. With extended cook times, the chicken begins to fall apart much more readily. Expelled chicken juices and broken down connective tissues start to collect in the bag, forming a gel which can be subsequently used to form a flavorful pan sauce.

Firm, very juicy, slightly tough: 150°F (66°C), 1 to 4 hours
Tender and very juicy: 165°F (74°C), 1 to 4 hours
Fall-off-the-bone tender: 165°F (74°C), 4 to 8 hours

You can find a more detailed guide to sous vide chicken thighs on Serious Eats.

 

Pork Ribs
Ribs are traditionally slow-cooked in a smoker in order to get their copious amounts of connective tissue to convert to gelatin, turning the tough ribs tender. The rate at which this conversion takes place is a function of temperature and time; the lower the temperature, the longer it takes. At the same time, the lower the temperature, the more internal moisture the ribs will retain as they cook. So while ribs cooked at 145°F (63°C) will take about three times longer to tenderize than those cooked at 165°F (74°C), they will end up with a more succulent, meaty texture that eats almost like an extra-tender steak. Ribs cooked at a higher temperature will have a more traditional bbq rib texture with well-rendered fat and meat that shreds as you eat it.

Extra meaty, succulent, and tender: 145°F (62.8°C), 36 hours
Traditional BBQ, tender with a little resistance: 165°F (73.9°C), 12 hours