Sous Vide vs Poaching: Which Cooking Method Is Better?

Sous vide is a French term meaning “under vacuum.” It’s a method for cooking foods that involves placing them in a sealed pouch in a water bath.

This method is ideal for cooking delicate foods like fish and vegetables because the food doesn’t come in contact with any air or oxygen during the cooking process, which can leave it raw or undercooked.

What Is Sous Vide Cooking?

Sous vide cooking is using a water bath to cook food to perfection. This method uses a small amount of very hot water to hold the food at a specific temperature.

Foods are placed in a vacuum-sealed bag or pouch and then submerged in a water bath. When it’s time to eat, the food can be pulled out, cooked, and served.

Sous vide cooking is more precise than conventional methods and produces foods with perfect texture, flavor, and color.
It also has been shown to preserve foods longer, which may make them safer for those who are on special diets.

What Is Poaching?


Poaching is a cooking technique that involves heating food submerged in a liquid, such as water, milk, stock, or wine. 

Poaching is differentiated from the other “moist heat” cooking methods, such as simmering and boiling, in that it uses a relatively lower temperature.

Similarities Between Sous Vide and Poaching

Both poaching and sous vide are methods that use heat to cook food in a sealed container without direct contact between the food and the outside temperature. 

But poaching is cooking food at lower temperatures while sous vide is cooking at higher temperatures.

Sous vide is a French term meaning “under vacuum.” In poaching, a poaching liquid (a mixture of water and acid) is poured into a pot with a sealed lid.

As the heat inside the pot builds up, it causes the poaching liquid to boil, resulting in poaching fish or meat that is partially cooked in its own juices. 

When the poaching liquid has boiled, the food is then turned out onto a plate and served.

Differences Between Sous Vide and Poaching

Sous vide is cooking meat in a bath of hot water. It is similar to poaching, except that the meat is cooked at a lower temperature.

Sous vide uses an immersion circulator, which is not always available. Also, it can be used to cook a variety of proteins, including steak, chicken, turkey, fish, and vegetables.

Poaching can also be done with an immersion circulator, but it can’t cook steaks or chicken. It can cook other proteins, but you will need a stovetop.

The two main differences are temperature control and timing. Sous vide poaching is done at a lower temperature with the food in the water bath.

This is typically done by setting the timer for the poaching to be done for 30 minutes, and then turning off the power source. 

Poaching can also be done on the stovetop or grill with a small pot of water on the bottom burner with a timer to turn it off.

Ideal Foods and Dishes for Sous Vide vs Poaching

Sous vide is a method of cooking food in vacuum-sealed bags in water. It is done at precisely controlled temperatures for a specific time period.

The idea is to cook the food as uniformly as possible and then when finished, transfer it to other containers and enjoy it. 

We have found that certain foods, such as fish, chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, pork, and vegetables work great cooked this way.

We also like to use the sous vide technique to cook grains, legumes, and rice. It is best used for whole pieces of meat, but we have seen recipes using it for individual cuts.

We like to poach our meat for less than 3 minutes in boiling water. It produces a delicious, moist texture that is not possible with the sous vide technique.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sous Vide vs Poaching

What Are the Different Methods of Poaching?

There are several methods of cooking using poaching. They include boiling, stewing, and steaming.

Boiling is the simplest method of cooking with water. It is also known as water cooking because it is done using only water.

Stewing and steaming use a liquid like broth to keep food moist while cooking. In addition to liquid, these two methods also use heat to cook food.

What Liquids Can You Use to Poach?

There are three main categories of liquids used to poach or steam vegetables or fish: plain water, acidulated water (soda-water) and stock.

What Is the Difference Between Poaching and Simmering?

When you simmer a steak, you let it cook very slowly on a low flame so that you can enjoy its flavour for a long time. 

This is a good method of preparing fish as well. You can also simmer small amounts of meat, vegetables, or sauces without letting them get burnt.

What Is the Difference Between Poaching and Blanching?

Blanching is the process of cooking food and then immersing it in cold water to stop the cooking process. 

Blanching is usually done for vegetables or for fruit. It is important to be careful when blanching fruit because it is not always easy to remove the skin after blanching.

You can use the poaching method when food is cooked on a stove or on a grill with very little water. 

Cooking using poaching is a quick cooking method and is great for fish, chicken, or other foods that are best cooked quickly.

Sous Vide vs. Pan Frying: What’s The Difference?

When using sous vide machine, you simply put raw ingredients into a water bath at a precise temperature and then wait for the food to cook. 

This way, foods are evenly cooked and taste delicious!

You may also use your pan to cook food, but this method requires constant attention and monitoring. If you leave it alone for too long, the food will overcook.

However, if you start the cooking process too early, the food won’t be cooked all the way through. 

If you want a simple, easy way to make great tasting food, then try using a sous vide machine.

Sous Vide vs. Braising: What’s The Difference?

Braise is cooking in liquid (or covered) in a covered pot on the stovetop or in the oven. Sous Vide is cooking in a water bath in an insulated bag. 

Sous vide is an immersion circulator used to heat a water bath to precise temperatures over a long period of time. This process is used for searing, tenderizing, or cooking meat.

Sous vide is not commonly used for vegetables but it can be used to steam or blanch them. The temperature is held constant throughout the cooking process.

Sous vide machines are available from $100-$3,000. Braising is cooking in liquid at a relatively low temperature. 

The liquid is usually stock and maybe wine and is cooked in a Dutch oven or other covered pot over low heat.

The method is popular in China, where it is called “slow cooking” or “dumpling cooking.” Braising gives the cook more control than sous vide and results in more tender meats. 

What is Bain Marie?

A bain-marie is a specialized piece of equipment used in science, industry, and cooking to heat materials gently or to keep materials warm over a period of time. It’s also used to melt ingredients for cooking.

The term is derived from the French verb baigner (“to bathe”) and the Latin noun maria (a basin). 

The word bain-marie can refer to the device itself, but more commonly refers to the water bath in which it is used.

What is Air Frying?

Air frying is an alternative to deep frying, and it’s more common in Asian cooking. Simply put, air frying cooks food by forcing hot air into it at a high enough velocity so that food cooks without the use of oil or fat.

Great recipes for Sous vide

Sous Vide Steak

You can use a vacuum sealer to make sure the steak is sealed. Then you put it in the sous vide and just heat it up in an oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes. 

You can also get the beef out, sear it on a grill, and then finish it in the oven.

Sous Vide Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Here’s a recipe for butternut squash and apple soup:

Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise. Cut out seeds, peel, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. (Leave skin on for texture.)

In a large stockpot, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add squash and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. 

Add onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add spices and stir to coat vegetables in spices. Add broth and simmer until squash is tender and soup is thickened slightly, about 25 minutes.

While soup is cooking, puree apples in a blender. Add pureed apple to soup and heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

Sous Vide Guinness Beef Stew

Guinness stout is served up in this hearty stew, featuring tender beef, potatoes, carrots, and savory cabbage. A flavorful soup that’s perfect for chilly nights and cold winter days.


When it comes to poaching, the best part is that you don’t need any fancy equipment or training to get started.

However, one of the things we noticed with our own efforts was that the results were inconsistent. 

Sometimes, we would get amazing results, but most of the time, the results were lackluster.

Sous Vide is a different story. It requires a bit more preparation, but the end result is much more consistent. 

We have been using sous vide for about 3 months now and it’s been working out very well for us.

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