How to Sous Vide Without a Machine?

If you love the concept of sous vide cooking, but can’t afford a machine or don’t want to use one of the commercial options, here’s an easy DIY guide to get you started.

The Sous Vide is very simple to use, even if you do not have a machine.

You can easily use a regular water bath for your chicken or beef, because the low temperature of the water will keep it safe to eat.

If you do not want to use the bath, you can still cook your food sous vide.

The Sous Vide method is one of the most popular methods for cooking food.

However, there are several people out there who are unsure how to get started with the method.

It requires a special machine, which is fairly expensive. If you don’t have access to a machine, you can still learn the basics of how to sous vide without using a machine.

But before getting into the topic first let us know what is sous vide and what are its benefits.

What is sous vide?

Sous vide cooking is a method of preparing food in a water-tight bag immersed in a container of water at a lower than boiling temperature for a long time.

It’s one of the hottest trends in modern food preparation right now and for good reason! When food is cooked in a water bath at a very low temperature for a very long time, it can become incredibly tender.

It’s often a lot more tender than the same piece of meat cooked conventionally because there is no “frying” involved. Sous vide cooking is ideal for preparing protein-rich cuts of meat.

It helps retain moisture, making meats naturally juicy. It also keeps food fresher longer, so you don’t need to cook it any longer than you would normally.

Sous vide” (pronounced sue veed) means “under vacuum” or “under pressure.”

The method involves sealing ingredients in food- and temperature-safe resealable plastic bags, pushing out as much air as possible (no vacuum sealer required), and then submerging the ingredients in a pot of heated water to cook.

There are several different sous vide machines on the market. Some are better than others, but the basic idea is the same: a large plastic bag with an immersion circulator inside.

The bag is then placed in a larger container of water that has been preheated to the desired temperature. The water circulates throughout the bag, and the food cooks gently over many hours.

Sous vide cooking is best done at a low temperature. At higher temperatures, meat may become dry and chewy.

For this reason, many sous vide recipes call for a minimum cooking time of 30 minutes and a maximum of 48 hours. 

what is sous vide 2

Benefits of sous vide

A lot of people don’t realize how convenient sous vide cooking can be until they try it for themselves.

This is because it’s not all that hard to get into. It’s simply the process of cooking food in the water at a precise temperature for a certain amount of time, and you can set up to do that as often as you want.

What makes it convenient is that it’s also extremely easy to control the temperature precisely.

The advantages of sous vide cooking are numerous, from time savings and ease of preparation to more flavorful results.

The basic premise behind sous vide is that foods cooked at lower temperatures in water or other liquids retain more of the flavor and nutrients of the original ingredients than those cooked at higher temperatures.

Sous vide, which means “under vacuum,” is a process of slow cooking where food is cooked and sealed in vacuum-sealed bags, in a water bath or another temperature-controlled vessel.

Now let’s start cooking sous vide.

See Also: How Long Should I Sous Vide My Flank Steak?

Steps to follow

  • Make sure your pot is filled with water. It’s a good idea to leave enough room at the top so that the water won’t overflow when you add food.
  • If you want to check the temperature of the pot, you can either use a skewer or a heavy-duty clip clamp to mount the digital thermometer to the side of the pot, or you can just stick the thermometer in the water.
  • If you don’t want to set it and forget it, it’s a good idea to use the clamp.
  • Turn your burner to medium-low and heat the water according to your desired temperature.
  • You can use Time and Temperature Guides that are available online to choose a well-tested time and temperature combination that will work for the food you are cooking and the doneness you desire.
  • The burner needs to be adjusted to maintain a steady cooking temp. It can take a little bit of time to get it right. It is possible to speed things along by stirring the water more frequently.
  • Place your food in a zip lock bag. If you want, you can add some butter and herbs.
  • The bag should be put into the water with the top open to let the air out. Attach the bag over the edge of the pot with a binder clip or clothespin.
  • The water needs to be brought back to the desired temperature after you put the food in the pot. It can take some time if you have a lot of water or a large piece of food.
  • Start your timer once the temperature gets back up. For a medium-rare 1-inch-thick steak, cook at 136 degrees F for 1 to 3 hours.
  • Remove the steak from the bag with tongs and sear for a few seconds on each side once the pan is super hot. It’s a good idea to add butter or aromatics to a pan.
  • Once done take out the steak and sprinkle some pepper and salt. You are now ready to eat.
how to sous vide without a machine


Is it Possible to Sous Vide in the Oven?

Yes! It is possible to sous vide in the oven if you have a programmable slow cooker. Follow the same steps as with normal sous vide cooker, but add three minutes to your cooking time.

Is Cooking Sous Vide Without A Machine Safe?

Yes! This is one of the easiest ways to cook with sous vide without owning a machine. If you are just getting started, I recommend that you do not use an immersion circulator.

For one thing, it is quite expensive, but if you want to invest in your home food preparation, there are plenty of good options.

A convection oven is inexpensive, can be used to cook at different temperatures, and work great for cooking sous vide.

Are ziploc bags safe to use in the oven?

The food industry has spent the past few decades figuring out how to deal with the threat of microbes on foods, whether from nature or the handling and preparation of the food.

Over the last decade or so, the emphasis has been on cooking at the lowest possible temperatures to avoid the risk of microorganisms (germs) multiplying, as that is what kills them.

See Also: Best Ziploc Bags For Sous Vide


Sous vide machine is an amazing piece of equipment that makes cooking so easy. If you don’t have a sous video machine with you don’t worry.

You can even do it without using sous vide machine if you have the right knowledge. So follow the steps mentioned in this blog to sous vide without using the machine.

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