The technique of vacuum-sealing food in a bag before cooking it in a water bath to a precise temperature is sous vide, a French term that translates to “under vacuum.” This cooking method produces results that any other method cannot match. It is also among the priciest meal preparation methods used in Michelin-star restaurants.
That is, at least, how things used to be. Innovation brings sous-vide into your household with a slow cooker and a little creativity. You read that right, folks: you can turn your slow cooker into a gadget that can make gourmet meals.
Even though sous vide cooking requires little upkeep, you will still need a second appliance, a sous vide bag, and any required attachments.
Compared to slow cookers, sous vide machines are more recent additions to the domestic kitchen. Have you ever considered that, given how they function, your slow cooker could act as a sous vide water oven? So, can you use a slow cooker for sous vide cooking? Yes, but you must watch out that the water in the slow cooker doesn’t get too hot. Here is an analysis that you can apply while slow cooking sous vide.
Advantages of Sous Vide
Consider how traditional cooking functions for a moment. We take a piece of food and place it in a hot pan or oven that is hot and then remove it after it has cooked but before it overcooks.
Additionally, remember that food cooks from the outside. Even the most experienced cooks aim to reduce the amount of overcooking on the outside for an ideal level of internal cooking.
With sous vide, you cook at the temperature you want the food to reach – for as long as you wish – instead of cooking in intense heat and pulling the chute before it burns, making it almost impossible to under or over-cook your food.
Here are the other advantages to consider:
- Consistency: Because you’re cooking at an exact temperature for a precise time, you’ll get consistent results, like salmon cooked through.
- Tasty: Your meal is moist, juicy, and tender because you cooked it in its juices.
- Precision: You don’t have to worry about overcooking when you prepare food to a precise temperature.
- Food doesn’t dry out or lose any volume, reducing waste.
Using a Slow Cooker for Sous Vide Cooking
The crockpot, a well-known slow cooker, can carry out this duty. The main downside is that a slow cooker requires more time to boil water to the proper temperature. Because a slow cooker can heat a rice cooker more and keep the temperature consistent throughout, some individuals choose to use one. If you prefer to prepare meals in a crockpot, go with an analog dial rather than a digital setting.
The standard is that you can sous vide food in a slow cooker if you buy a separate temperature regulation system. You need to cook your vegetables and meat and reheat them afterward.
How to Convert your Slow Cooker into a Sous Vide Pot
For this activity, you’ll need a Dremel with a cutting disk, a drum for sanding, a slow cooker, a thermostat, and a vacuum food sealer.
Create an open display to show the temperature
The instructions with your temperature controlling unit will specify how big the size hole you should drill to put on the display. Cut your card to these dimensions, then have it where you prefer to position the display. Sketch a circle around the card using a Chinagraph pencil at the designated location. With a Dremel and its cutting disk, remove the profile. To enable a flush fit, smooth the rough edges with the sanding drum on your Dremel.
Set up the gang switch
With the Chinagraph pencil, trace a circle around the Gang while it is lying on your workstation. The holes you will use for mounting are on the right side of the Gang when you spin it. Make the necessary cuts to create the space required for the Gang at levels with the box. To ensure a perfect fit, drill the holes for mounting after installing the Gang (3.5mm).
- Drill cable holes in the box, then connect the wires.
- Join the components. Mount your central controller, followed by the temperature controller. After that, attach the other parts and plug for the wire Gang.
- Start cooking. For instance, the cooking time will change depending on the thickness and type of meat you prepare.
To sous vide food in a slow cooker, you’ll need some technical know-how and extra equipment to pull it off. Continuous water circulation won’t support consistent cooking if the temperature control is off. Thus, you wouldn’t achieve the same accuracy and temperature control level as a sous vide immersion circulator. Getting one will enhance your experience.