How to Sous Vide Fish?

Cooking fish is an intimidating experience. But if you’re really passionate about eating fish, then make sure that you know how to do it right.

The goal of sous vide is to cook food at a precise temperature and time for a long period of time. To cook fish like a pro, start by prepping your ingredients.

Use a scale to measure out the weight of your fish, so you can cook it just right. Then, use a kitchen thermometer to check the temperature.

And that’s where this guide comes in.

We’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to sous vide fish making it the perfect option for any type of fish, from salmon to trout, swordfish to sea bass. 

Is Sous Vide Good for Fish?

Yes, Sous Vide is a great way to cook fish. The process of cooking fish sous vide allows the fish to retain more moisture and flavor than other methods. 

Pre-Sous Vide Fish Preparation

  • Choose the Right Vessel
  • Select the Perfect Temp
  • Prepare a Customized Sous Vide Recipe
  • Cook Your Fish and Serve It on a Platter
  • Store Your Sous Vide-ed Fish in the Fridge
  • Freeze Your Sous Vide-ed Fish
  • Present Your Sous Vide-ed Fish 

Sous Vide Fish Temperatures

The lowest temperature most people use is 104°F (40°C). This just slightly heats the fish through, releasing some flavor but doesn’t really change the texture.

There are similar results at temperatures up to about 110°F (43.3°C). This fish is almost sushi-like.

From 110°F (43.3°C) to 120°F (48.9°C) the fish generally begins to have more pronounced texture changes, becoming slightly more flaky and firm, while still retaining a lot of moisture.

Above 120°F (48.9°C) the fish starts to become more and more flaky and starts to dry out.

The top temperature I usually cook any fish at is 132°F (55.5°C), though some people like it up to 140°F (60°C).

Warning: Only temperatures above 130°F (54.4°C) will pasteurize the fish, and only when held for several hours, something that is usually not done with fish.

I highly recommend only using fish you would feel comfortable eating raw, and not serving it to any immunodeficient people.

Different types of fish are best at different temperatures, so it’s usually best to look at a recipe for a specific fish, or a similar type of fish, when you are trying to determine what temperature is right for the preparation you are after.

See Also: How Long To Sous Vide Boston Butt?

sous vide fish like a pro

How long does it take to cook fish in a sous vide?

The length of time needed to heat it through depends on the thickness: 1/2″ (13mm) thick in 14 minutes. 1″ (25mm) thick in 35 minutes. 1.5″ (38mm) thick in 1 hour 25 minutes

Can you sous vide frozen fish?

Cook using your sous vide machine either defrosted or straight from frozen at the required time and temperature, adding on 60 minutes if cooking straight from frozen.

Do you season fish before sous vide?

Some recipes for sous vide halibut recommend soaking the fish in a saltwater brine before cooking, in order to season it more deeply and to give it a denser, firmer texture.

How do you defrost fish in sous vide?

The easiest way to defrost with sous vide is to set the thermostat to 38°F and allow the cold water to circulate around your food.

For fast defrosting of meat, you can also use higher temperatures for shorter periods. In the study linked above, researchers heated steaks at 102°F for 11 minutes.

How to Finish Fish

According to Preparation, decide to sear the fish or skip the searing step. For lower temperature cooks, the sear is often not needed.

This is also true for “poached” preparations where you want to keep the flavor and texture delicate.

For some preparations,  Will want to dry off the fish really well then quickly sear it. Fish can overcook quickly, so you shouldn’t go more than 30 to 60 seconds per side.

 This also helps prevent the fish from falling apart when you try to flip it multiple times.

Most fish is eaten right after you cook it, but some fish is best chilled afterwards. This is usually best done by leaving it in the sous vide pouch and Keeping it in ice water.

It can then be refrigerated until it is time to serve it. This will help the fish stay safe to eat and help prevent it from breaking apart.

See Also: How Long Does Sous Vide Chicken Last?


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I sous vide fish? Sous vide fish is very easy?

You just place the fish in a plastic bag, add a marinade, then seal the bag.

How do I know if the fish is done?

Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer.

What should I serve with the fish?

Serve with a light vinaigrette or some lemon wedges

What fish is best for sous vide?

Nearly any type of fish tastes excellent when cooked sous vide, and you have more control over the final result due to a variety of possible temperature settings.

The best fish for sous vide, including salmon, halibut, cod, grouper, and tuna.

See also: How long to sous vide salmon?


In conclusion, there are two main advantages of sous vide cooking: it produces food that is moist, tender, and flavorful, and it preserves the nutrients in the food.

The sous vide cooking method also makes it easy to cook food that is not suitable for conventional methods such as baking, grilling, and frying.

It can also be used to prepare food that is difficult to cook, such as seafood, vegetables, and eggs.

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