One of the best things about sous vide is the simplicity of the process, but a few key tools can make your workflow and your results that much better. These are them.
Those who want an all-in-one solution can step up to Mellow.
If you don’t keep it Mellow, you’re going to need some kind of container to heat water inside of. Yes, you can use whatever large pot you already own, and the machine you choose will have guidance on recommended volume. However, the lid of your pot will not be compatible with your sous vide machine, and depending on the type of pot, it may not be a great insulator in general.
Update 5/15/18: If you want to use your own pot, check out Joule’s excellent new silicone Flip Top.
If you sous vide on the regular, you should invest in a plastic container with a sous vide-compatible lid, that’s BPA-free, heat resistant, and dishwasher safe. LIPAVI has you covered (get it?), with containers, lids, and racks.
Those racks, which I’ve never personally used, will keep whatever you’re cooking from floating to the surface, though there are other ways to accomplish that.
Nothing in life is ever easy, so hey, it turns out you really shouldn’t allow extended, concentrated, high heat on your stone countertops. The trivet market is limitless, but we’re big fans of Brooklyn Slate, which also makes a great gift, especially when engraved.
Update 5/15/18: For a great, adorable, silicone option, grab Joule’s new Flex Mat.
You’ll also need some electricity for this, and as luck would have it, we’ll be digging into outdoor power solutions shortly.
Unfortunately, you can’t just throw unwrapped meat in to your hot water bath. I was definitely someone who immediately bought a vacuum sealer when I got into sous vide, but it’s not necessary: just buy some freezer bags on Subscribe and Save. Once you put your food in your Ziploc, leave it slightly unzipped and slowly submerge until the air is pushed out, then seal.
You can also pick up some reusable silicone food bags, which we haven’t tested enough to make a recommendation on yet.
Or you could pull the bags out with your hands, like a bear at a river.
Update 2/28/18: Sansaire is shutting down.
Sure, you can sear in a pan, but where’s the fun in that? The Sansaire is awesome and expensive, though it does come with its own searing tray, which you’ll have to acquire elsewhere if you go a different route.
For a more affordable option, the “Amazon’s Choice” Bernzomatic TS8000 has a fat stack of positive reviews.