Sous Vide Vs. Instant Pot: Which One Should You Use?

Cooking is the number one passion of American’s. We spend upwards of two-thirds of our food dollars on it.

Cooking with high-quality equipment is a hobby of many, but cooking a delicious, healthful meal can be a chore. Many people have an interest in creating their own meals at home but don’t know where to begin.

What makes the Sous Vide so great is that it allows you to create a variety of unique dishes by changing your water bath temperature. The Instant Pot, on the other hand, allows you to make a variety of dishes with a few simple switches.

This article will compare the two devices to show you why they’re a great fit for the beginner or experienced cook.

Sous Vide vs Instant Pot: Differences, Advantages and Disadvantages


Sous Vide and Instant Pot Similarities

Both sous vide and instant pot uses steam to cook food from heat and water. In Instant Pot, steam is a form of pressurized water that is introduced into the food and cooks at a lower temperature than the boiling point.

As far as sous vide, the food is sealed in an airtight container and the steam is forced into the food through a hose. In the instant pot, the steam is trapped in the lid and the lid is screwed on to cook the food.

Sous Vide and Instant Pot Differences

The biggest difference is that sous vide is a method of cooking food in water heated to a specific temperature for a specified period of time.

The most common cooking device used with this method is an immersion circulator or water bath, which heats water and circulates it throughout the container holding the food being cooked.

An immersion circulator works by immersing a stainless steel cooking pot in a large container of hot water. In most cases a fan at the bottom of the cooking pot circulates the warm water, keeping the food submerged in the hot water.

Since all water stays in contact with the food, there’s no need to stir the food as you cook it. Another important difference between sous vide and instant pot cooking is the use of a sealing device.

A traditional sous vide cooker has a small window through which the user can observe the food being cooked and check on it occasionally.

Instant pots, on the other hand, have an automatic sealing device that makes it much more difficult to see what’s going on inside the cooker.

Advantages of Using the Instant Pot

The instant pot is a useful tool for cooking healthy meals quickly because it’s a pressure cooker. This means that you cook your food with minimal energy input, so you can prepare a large amount of food in a small space of time.

The instant pot also has other advantages. It helps you save time by allowing you to cook all your ingredients in one pot.

It’s easy to use, clean, and safe to use because you don’t have to be concerned about chemicals and harmful fumes. It can also help you save money because you don’t need to spend extra money on buying a slow cooker.

Disadvantages of using the Instant Pot

I am using it right now, and I can say that it is a nice kitchen appliance for slow cooking, but for some people, it may be too heavy to use and might be difficult to clean.

Advantages of Sous Vide

Sous vide is a great way to prepare food. Here are some of the pros: It saves time. There is no need to turn on the oven or wait for it to heat up. 

Just place your food in the water bath and set the temperature.

It will do the rest! You don’t have to worry about overcooking. You can use a higher temperature and still get perfectly cooked meat. It makes for very consistent results.

You can’t mess up an entire batch of food. You just have to worry about overcooking one piece of meat. The food is safe from bacteria growth.

There are no microorganisms that cause food poisoning. You can cook for several days without worrying about the food spoiling.

You can store food for weeks, if not months, and reheat it with no problems. It keeps the food moist and flavorful.  

Disadvantages of Sous Vide

In our opinion, the most difficult part of home cooking is that it requires some level of specialized skill to operate rightly. It takes a little longer to cook. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Sous Vide Vs. Instant Pot

Why is the Sous Vide so Popular?

It’s much easier to cook and store sous vide than traditional cooking methods. The results are amazing, and it takes up a fraction of the space that normal cookers take up.

You can control the exact temperature using the sous vide method, so it’s easy to maintain the desired internal temperature, and the food is always perfectly cooked. This results in more even cooking every time.

How to Make the Best Sous Vide Meals?

It is very easy to make sous vide meals using a vacuum sealer. To do so, first put some meat or fish in the bag, close it, and then vacuum seal it.

If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can place the meat or fish in the bags with a food processor. Next, put the meat or fish in the water bath and cook it for the amount of time that you want the meal to be cooked.

You can cook the meat or fish for as long as you want, but you can usually only cook them for 3-5 hours. When the meal is done cooking, put it in the refrigerator. That’s all there is to it!

How Does the Instant Pot Differ from Sous Vide?

Sous vide is a technique used to cook food slowly in water at a constant temperature. It works by heating the water bath that the food is placed at a high temperature then lowering the temperature until the food cooks properly.

It is done with a vacuum seal to prevent any leaks. This can be time-consuming.

The Instant Pot is not actually a sous vide machine but it does function similarly. It uses the heat of the steam pressure cooker to cook food.

It is faster than a sous vide machine because it cooks food by adding water and letting it steam in a sealed container.

What is the Temperature Range and Accuracy of Sous Vide?

Most immersion circulators run at 130 degrees Fahrenheit +/- 2 degrees F. Most water bath circulators run around 140 degrees F. The temperature accuracy is within 1-2 degrees.

Foods You Didn’t Know You Can Sous Vide

Avocados, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, kiwi fruit, okra, olives, peppers, and radishes are just a few of the foods that can be cooked sous vide.

Best recipes to cook in sous vide

Sous vide cooking is an innovative technique that allows you to cook foods quickly and safely in a water bath at precise temperatures. Here are five dishes that are perfect for this method:

Steak au Poivre – 

Place steak in a vacuum bag with half butter, a tablespoon each of black pepper, garlic powder and paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Cook in an oven at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Remove the steak from the bag, then pat dry. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. When hot, add steak and sear on both sides.

Turn down the heat to medium, then pour all the juices in the pan into the bag. Put the bag in the water bath (water bath is also called “circulator”) and set the temperature to 140 degrees F.

Cook for three hours. Remove from the water bath, let cool for 15 minutes, then serve.

Chicken Cacciatore – 

Pour 4 cups of water into the container. Add 1/2 cup of oil and 1/4 cup of salt to the water.

Cut 4 chicken breasts into 8 pieces. Place each piece of chicken breast in a bag and seal.

Fill the bag with the water-salt mixture. Cover the bag tightly.

Cook for 15 minutes. Cool, then serve with a side of rice.

Lamb Osso Bucco –

This classic osso bucco dish is prepared sous vide for the best and most consistent results. It’s very easy.

You put the lamb bones in a bag with the meat, add lemon juice and cover it with salt and let it sit for 12 hours or so. You have to season it well.

Then you cook the bone in water and let it cook at 90 C for 2-3 hours. You pull out the meat and use it in whatever you like.

Crispy Chicken Wings –

The sous vide method is perfect for tender, crispy chicken wings. Mix salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, paprika and red pepper.

Rub all over chicken wings, marinate for 6 hours, cover with plastic wrap and put them into the sous vide circulator with enough water to cover the meat by 1cm (3/8″). Set temperature at 63 °C (145 °F). Cook for 3 hours.


Which One Should You Use?

These two appliances are incredibly useful and we can say with confidence that they’re worth the investment.

However, if you’re looking for a single piece of equipment that will work in all circumstances, then we recommend the Sous Vide.

The Instant Pot, on the other hand, is much better suited for fast cooking, making it an excellent choice for those who are just getting started.

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