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Sous Vide Cooking Quick Reference Guide

1. How to Sous Vide Without a Vacuum Sealer

You don’t need a vacuum sealer to enjoy the incredible results of Sous Vide cooking, here’s how to achieve the same, melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and taste with a regular zip-lock bag.

  1.     1. Fill the CleverChef Pro inner pot with cold water up to the MAX 2/3 line.
  2.     2. Put your ingredients in a zip lock bag starting with the main ingredient and then the oil, aromatics, and marinades if using.
  3.     3. Close the zip almost all the way (about 80-90%), leaving about 2cm open through which the air can escape.
  4.     4. Gently lower the bag into the CleverChef Pro inner pot and as you lower it, the air should be forced out by the water pressure – this is called displacement.
  5.     5. Just before the bag goes fully under water, close the zip completely.
  6.     6. Use a rack, a small weight or a clip to make sure the bag does not move around.
  7.     7. Then start the appropriate sous vide cooking program according to your recipe.

2. Sous Vide Cooking Temperatures

This is a guide to cooking times and temperatures for common foods. If your cuts are thicker, then you may need to increase the cooking time and it is strongly recommended you test the internal temperature with a kitchen thermometer or probe, especially if you are using larger cuts of meat & fish.

 

BEEF & LAMB

Approx

Thickness

Cooking

Temperature

Cooking

Time

(Min – Max)

Tender Cuts e.g. rib-eye steak, fillet, rump 1-2cm 55°C – Medium-Rare

60°C – Medium

65°C – Medium-Well Done

1h – 4h
Tougher Cuts e.g. short ribs, brisket, flank / skirt steak 2-4cm 55°C – Medium-Rare

60°C – Medium

65°C – Medium-Well Done

24h – 72h

 

If you are cooking below 62°C then you will need to sear your meat in a hot pan afterwards to kill any bacteria on the outside of the meat, which won’t have been killed below 62°C. This can also be done in CleverChef Pro, simply empty out the water, dry the pot and use the Saute function.

Even if you like your steak very rare, we recommend that 55°C is the lowest temperature you cook your steak. This is because the whole steak will be this temperature and level of doneness not just the middle. A whole steak at 50°C, even when quickly seared on the outside, does not have a cooked texture and may be a little chewy. However, feel free to experiment at a range of temperatures to find your favourite way of cooking sous vide steak – everyone is different!

Juicy sous vide steak cooked medium rare

 

PORK

Approx

Thickness

Cooking

Temperature

Cooking

Time (Min – Max)

Tender Cuts e.g. tenderloin or smaller chops 1-2cm 71°C (see below) 1.5h – 4h
Thicker or Tougher Cuts e.g. baby back ribs, belly 2-4cm 71°C (see below) 12h – 48h

 

There is a vogue for cooking pork pink in the middle but the sous vide pork settings for the CleverChef Pro reflect current UKFSA guidelines that pork should reach an internal temperature of 71°C for 2 mins.

Sous vide pork chops

 

CHICKEN

Approx

Thickness

Cooking

Temperature

Cooking

Time (Min – Max)

Breast (White Meat) 2-3 cm 62°C – Juicy & moist

69°C – Firm

 

1h 30 – 4h

1h – 4h

Dark Meat (Thighs, Legs, Drumstick) 2-3cm 71°C – Juicy & moist

71°C – Fall-of-the-bone

1h 30 – 4h

4h – 8h

 

Like pork, chicken needs to be cooked all the way through and cannot be served pink. If you are nervous about the cooking temperature of chicken then cook everything at 71°C minimum but for white breast meat only cooking for a minimum of 1 hour 30 (for max 3cm thick breast) at 62°C will kill the bacteria associated with chicken. In fact chicken is pasteurised when cooked to 60°C and held there for 30 mins.

 

FISH

Approx

Thickness

Cooking

Temperature

Cooking

Time

Oily fish e.g. salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout 2-3cm

 

 

 

 

 

43°C – Rare

50°C – Medium-Rare

60°C – Medium

 

 

20-30mins
Lean Fish e.g. cod, 2-3cm 47-50°C Medium rare

 

20-30mins
Shellfish e.g. prawns, lobster 1-2cm 52°C 20-30mins

 

There are fewer safety concerns with fish than with meat (think sushi / sashimi) so you can experiment more at lower temperatures. The guide aboves gives what we think are the best options. With oily fish this is great cooked at a range of temperatures, depending on taste, however, with lean fish it won’t be sufficiently cooked below 47°C but much higher than 50°C and it dries out quickly so the recommended range is smaller. Note that at these temperatures you will not pasteurise the food so if this is a requirement for any reason (e.g. pregnancy) then you will need to cook at 60°C for at least 90 mins.

 

VEGETABLES

Approx

Thickness

Cooking

Temperature

Cooking

Time (Min – Max)

Green / Tender Vegetables e.g. peas, broccoli, asparagus 1-2cm 85°C 30m – 2h
Root Vegetables e.g. carrot, beetroot, potato 1-2cm 85°C 1h – 4h

 

We recommend cutting bigger vegetables into bite sized pieces for quicker, even cooking. Note the above is a general guide. Individual vegetables may benefit from a 1-2°C tweak in temperature either way – CleverChef Pro has specific programs for certain vegetables.

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