Ping pong balls help sous vide in a way that you can’t do with a pressure cooker.
They don’t need to be perfectly spherical, as the only thing you’re going to be filling with is liquid, and so the shape of the ball is of less importance.
Ping pong balls are used as a substitute for a vacuum seal in sous vide cooking because they absorb most of the water used to cook food in a vacuum-sealed pouch.
You can still cook with them even if you don’t have a vacuum sealer, but they won’t be as effective as a vacuum seal.
This is the ideal shape for a sous vide ball because you can use a larger ball of food, and as long as the food doesn’t stick to the ball, it’s fine.
Why You Should Add Ping-Pong Balls to Your Sous Vide Bath?
If you’ve cooked sous vide as much as I have, you’ve probably run into this scenario: you set up your sous vide cooker for some smoky pulled pork — a recipe that requires a full 24 hours cook — turn the water bath on, and then leave it unattended while you go about your business.
You return home from work to find that the water in the container has evaporated so much that the sous vide cooker has shut itself off for who knows how long.
The cooker can be safely turned back on as long as you don’t boil any water in it.
If your sous vide is cooking in an open pot, then you could be wasting a lot of energy. It’s also a bad idea. That’s why I use one of these coolers or these eight-quart Cambro containers.
Plastic is a lot more resilient than metal, which means it can take a beating from environmental stress. Metal is always subject to corrosion. It can be hard to maintain a good seal over time.
To keep condensation and excess heat out of your coffee or tea, make a hole in the lid of the cup and add Ping-Pong balls.
This way, there’s no need to wrap the lid with plastic or aluminum foil, which may lead to the formation of a skin on top of the container.
The Advantages of Using Sous Vide Water Balls
We recently purchased a bag of sous vide water balls and love them.
They are used to help keep the heat in the container when using the sous vide cooking technique to cook steaks, poultry, seafood and vegetables.
I’ve read that they’re not as great at keeping the heat in the container as a ceramic or glass ball but I think that’s mostly because the water is so hot that it boils and vaporizes and takes the heat with it rather than staying in the water ball.
See Also: How to Keep Sous Vide Bags Submerged?
Do You Need Sous Vide Water Balls?
I’ve got a confession to make; I haven’t cooked in my Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker since I bought it and only ever used it once or twice.
I had no idea how much better cooking sous vide is than boiling or microwaving food.
It’s just so easy, especially with recipes that require long cooking times like steaks, chicken breasts and other cuts of meat.