Cooking sous vide without a vacuum sealer (or vacuum sealing bags with liquids in them)
If you want to cook sous vide at home but either don’t have or can’t afford a vacuum sealer, you can still get near identical results in most cases by using ziploc bags and the Archimedes principle. This principle states:”……the upward buoyant force that is exerted on a body immersed in a fluid
If you want to cook sous vide at home but either don’t have or can’t afford a vacuum sealer, you can still get near identical results in most cases by using ziploc bags and the Archimedes principle. This principle states:
“……the upward buoyant force that is exerted on a body immersed in a fluid, whether fully or partially submerged, is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces.”
In layman’s terms, this just means that as you submerge a bag under water, the pressure will force the air out of the bag. This is also commonly referred to as the “water displacement method”
So with careful manipulation of the bag, you can get a very good seal nearly equivalent to vacuum sealing for the purposes of sous vide
This technique not only comes in handy if you don’t have a vacuum sealer, but also if you’re trying to get a good seal on a bag with liquids in them. I hate trying to vacuum seal a bag with liquids as it can get really messy (and potentially ruin your vacuum sealer), so I prefer this technique whenever liquids are involved
Best demonstration of this is from the following product video which goes over the technique. Please ignore the very clear product pushing in the beginning 🙂
After trying a variety of ziploc bags, the best are these gallon sized ones. They have a double seal on the bags and I’ve yet to have any fail on me even with 72 hour cook times. Don’t bother with trying to buy quart and gallon sizes ones. While it’s cheaper to mix and match to customize for your cooking job, it’s far easier just dealing with one size
2 thoughts on “Cooking sous vide without a vacuum sealer (or vacuum sealing bags with liquids in them)”
Is freezer safe ziploc ( as shown) safe for food to be cooked in rather than just stored in?
Thanks for stopping by! We’ve done a bunch of reading on this and the latest research indicates that the safest plastics to use with food are high and low-density polyethylene as well as polypropylene. Stick to <em>brand-name</em> food storage bags and plastic wraps since they are nearly all made from polyethylene. When in doubt, look at the manufacturer’s website.
However, if you are still squeamish, you can look at using silicone bags like <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0049EU670/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0049EU670&linkCode=as2&tag=sousvidelife-20″ rel=”nofollow”>this one</a> made by Lekue. It’s probably going to be too small to be versatile enough in your kitchen for all sous vide cooking, but could be worth it for your peace of mind to use it when you can.