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Sous Vide FAQs
1) How much time does the equipment need to heat up?
The heating time of your bath depends on what your bath is made of and what the initial water temperature was. An insulated vessel (such as our stainless steel tanks) is your best bet for combating temperature loss and increasing the speed at which your tank gets hot. Based on the assumption that the initial temperature of the water is 64.5 °F (18 °C), the heat-up times of the water for the Diamond M, L and XL immersion circulators are as follows:
2) What is the cooking time for tender cuts of meat?
The following graph shows the rise in both water bath temperature (using the 7 gallon Diamond M immersion circulator) and rise in the core temperature of a 1.5” thick tender cut of meat (pork) as cooking time progresses. The laws of thermodynamics can make answering this question tricky; therefore, we have removed the guesswork by integrating a real-time internal temperature probe into our diamond model. It will not only log your data for HACCP, but can also be set to alert you when your product is up to temp.
3) How much shrinkage is expected with sous vide cooking?
The sous vide method results in significantly less moisture loss and shrinkage in all forms of food products. With tender proteins, the difference is clear: 5% shrinkage (sous vide) versus 40% shrinkage (conventional cooking methods).
The following graph compares the shrinkage of beef filet (price per lbs of beef: $13.00):
4) How much food can be cooked in the different water bath sizes?
To ensure that the bath maintains a uniform temperature and that the water is able to circulate properly, never pack it completely with food. Reference the following chart to compare water bath volumes with their acceptable filling quantities.
XS Bath Tank: 3.4 gal
up to about 13.2 lbs
(up to 6 kg)
S Bath Tank: 5 gal
up to about 19.8 lbs
(up to 9 kg)
M Bath Tank: 7.1 gal
up to about 28.7 lbs
(up to 13 kg)
L Bath Tank: 11.6 gal
up to about 46.3 lbs
(up to 21 kg)
XL Bath Tank: 15.3
up to about 63.9 lbs
(up to 29 kg)
5) How can foods with different cooking temperatures be cooked simultaneously?
Our chef recommends using three fusionchef™ units when working with different cooking temperatures (e.g., meat, fish and vegetables) for ultimate efficiency.
Another option is to use the core temperature sensor available with the Diamond Immersion Circulator. You can heat up the unit to the desired temperature for one food item, and then monitor another food with a lower cooking temperature via the core temperature sensor and the core temperature alarm. When this secondary food with the lower cooking temperature (the one you’re monitoring with the core temperature sensor) has reached its target temperature, take it out of the water bath and continue cooking the higher-temp food.
6) What role does the integrated pump play?
The integrated pump installed in all fusionchef™ by JULABO immersion circulators has a capacity of 3.7 gal/min. This guarantees proper circulation of water for a temperature stability of ± 0.01°F (± 0.01°C) in the entire water bath or cooking vessel.
fusionchef™’s powerful 3.7 gallon a minute pump guarantees fast heat-up time, and even faster kick-back time after you load it up with the product you plan on cooking. Our pumps will also allow you to circulate larger volumes of water only using one circulator!
7) Which vacuum machine is suitable for sous vide cooking?
- For professional use in restaurants and catering, we highly recommend a chamber vacuum machine because it is a tool like no other. The applications are endless and include vacuum smoking, product compression, deaeration, speed tenderization, and vacuum marination. *Using a vacuum machine in a professional setting requires a HACCP plan.
- For sous vide cooking at home, a vacuum machine without a chamber is perfectly suitable. It saves space, it’s effective and it’s less expensive than a chamber machine.
8) What kind of vacuum bags do you need?
In general, there are three commercial types of vacuum bags used for cooking sous vide. They include channeled bags: for freezing and preservation, smooth: for cooking (not preservation), and a channeled/smooth combination: best option for preservation and cooking.
Sealed-edge bags (also called 3-side sealed bags) are sealed on three sides. These bags are perfectly suitable for sous vide cooking.
Pay close attention to the temperature resistance of your bags! It should comply with your cooking temperature (104°F – 212°F / 40°C – 100°C) and should not be compromised by cooling or shock-freezing. Cooking sous vide requires the use of BPA-free bags to avoid the possibility of contaminating your product with carcinogens.
9) Is maintenance necessary?
fusionchef™ by JULABO engineers lab-grade equipment for ultimate durability, flexibility and precision in the kitchen. These products are designed for continuous operation and frequent use. While a specific maintenance service is not necessary, our experts recommend that you follow a few basic instructions:
I. Change the water of your water bath or cooking vessel regularly.
II. Clean the entire sous vide unit regularly, including heating coils and air intake.
III. Use only cleaning products specialized for stainless steel.
IV. Descale your sous vide equipment with the fusionchef™ by JULABO descaling agent at least once a month. This is especially critical if you’re using hard water.
10) Are there any risks associated with the sous vide method?
All food product and cooking techniques comes with a modicum of associated risk if handled improperly. Sous vide is no different. Proper food safety precautions and procedures must be followed to prevent serious health hazards. Pay close attention to time and temperature abuse when preparing your product for the tank. Keep in mind that most microbes are killed at a temperature of 131°F (55°C) and that bacterial growth can be reduced by consuming immediately or by cooling the cooked food to 37.4°F (3°C).
There is no specific, scientific proof correlating serious dangers with the sous vide method. Just make sure that you’re always using fresh ingredients and complying with applicable hygienic requirements and food safety standards during food preparation.
Additional questions or concerns?
The chefs, engineers and scientists at fusionchef™ by JULABO will be happy to answer additional questions or alleviate any concerns you may have. Contact us or call our customer service department at +1-610-231-0250 or +1-800-458-5226 anytime between 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM EST, Monday through Friday.