How To Cook Sous Vide In an Instant Pot

Sous vide means cooking a meal under vacuum in French. You will require a sous vide machine mostly to use the sous vide cooking technique.

But even an Instant Pot kitchen appliance allows you to prepare a meal using the sous vide cooking method.

Usually, you will place your favorite meal with ingredients in a sous vide-quality and vacuum-sealed plastic bag.

Then you will place the plastic bag in a temperature-controlled water bath where your meal will cook slowly for hours. The cooking time varies, but it takes hours. 

You can cook food in an Instant Pot as it features the sous vide cooking function. That means you don’t need an expensive sous vide machine to do sous vide cooking.

But you will need a guide to take you through the steps of using the sous vide program. And that’s what we’re delving into in this post. So, be sure to read on for more information.

Equipment to Have for Sous Vide Cooking

First, you want to look for an Instant Pot with the sous vide cooking program. Since many Instant Pot models include this cooking program, you can find plenty of them for sous vide cooking.

A few exceptional models with the sous vide cooking include Instant Pot Duo Crisp, Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus, and Instant Pot Max.

Once you’ve bought your preferred Instant Pot, you want to source a freezer bag, digital thermometer, silicone oven mitts, and silicone tongs.

You will also require a sous vide recipe to cook your meal excellently. There are many sous vide recipes, and finding one with your favorite flavors is easy.

Doing Sous Vide Cooking with An Instant Pot

You will follow the steps below to cook your favorite meal using the sous vide cooking method with your instant pot:

Add Water to Your Instant Pot

You will add water to your Instant Pot until the water level reaches the ½-full mark. Or even better, you want to ensure the water bath is deep enough for your sous vide plastic bag with ingredients to submerge.

Once you’ve added sufficient water, you will close the lid of the Instant Pot. 

But sous vide cooking is usually slow; that’s why you want to switch the steam release mechanism on the lid to the Vent position.

Select The Sous Vide Program

You will press the sous vide button on your Instant Pot. Then you will turn the knob to select the sous vide program. After which, you will press the knob to confirm your selection. 

Now, you can select the cooking temperature. You will still use the knob in this step.

So, you will turn the knob to select the correct cooking temperature (according to the sous vide recipe) and press the knob to confirm your selection.

You will then select the cooking time, but this depends on your sous vide recipe. Again, you will turn the knob to the specified cooking time and press the knob to confirm the selection.

After selecting the temperature and time, you will press the start button.

Your Instant Pot will have the screen turn on, and it will begin heating the water bath. Of course, the water bath will reach the set temperature, and the Instant Pot will beep.

And the screen will start the countdown (according to the set sous vide cooking time).

Add The ingredients in a Sous Vide Bag

You can prepare the ingredients as the Instant Pot raises the water temperature to the selected level. You will most likely put the ingredients in a resealable freezer bag. But a sous vide-quality plastic bag works just as fine. 

If you’re using a plastic bag, you will place the meal and ingredients in it. Then you will use a vacuum sealer to seal the bag with the ingredients inside. You will leave a 1-inch opening. 

Place The Sealed Bag in The Water Bath

You will gently lower the vacuum sealed sous vide plastic bag in the water bath once the water bath reaches the desired temperature. You can use the silicone tongs to lower the ingredients into the Instant pot water bath.

Some air will escape from the plastic bag through the 1-inch opening through the displacement method. You want to keep the opening of the sous vide bag above the water bath until all air escapes.

That’s when you will seal the opening all the way. Then you will close the lid of the Instant Pot.

Remove Your Cooked Meal After the Beep

The cooking time will always vary since sous vide recipes specify the amount of time to cook, and this duration depends on what you’re cooking.

So, you want to follow the guidelines of a sous vide recipe to cook for a given duration.

You will then cook for the specified duration and remove the meal once the cooking time is up. The Instant Pot will beep once the time is up.

You will press the Cancel button, open the lid, and use the tongs to remove the cooked meal.

You can then transfer your cooked meal to a cutting board or plate that you’ve nicely lined with paper towels.

And this ensures the paper towels absorb excess water from the meal. You will leave the cooked meal to rest for 10 minutes.

That’s all the steps you need to follow to cook food with an Instant Pot using the sous vide method. 

What’s The Difference Between Sous Vide and Pressure Cooking?

Your Instant Pot does sous vide cook decently. Also, it does pressure cooking excellently. Therefore, you can use it as a pressure cooker.

But you will get different cooking results if you use the two cooking programs: sous vide and pressure cooking.

One major difference is the cooking time. While sous vide cooking takes hours, pressure cooking, on the other hand, takes minutes, usually under 10 minutes.

That means sous vide cooking is a slow cooking method. Another difference lies in the cooking temperature.

Pressure cooking achieves as much as 400°F temperature. On the other hand, sous vide cooking achieves up to 135°F. The cooking results are also different, especially if you look at the texture of the doneness level.

Pressure cooking releases the juice contained in the meal. And this results in a signature stringy texture resulting from the food breakdown.

Sous vide cooking also makes the meal tender, but it locks the juices and flavors within the meal. 

Sous vide meals are not stringy like pressure cooked meals. Therefore, sous vide and pressure cooking yield different cooking results. 

Final Thoughts

An Instant Pot cooker has multiple cooking programs, and the sous vide is one of the programs. This makes it a versatile cooker. Whether you’re looking to use a pressure cooking function or sous vide, an Instant pot has you covered. 

Using the sous vide program is easy if you have a guide to take you through the steps. Fortunately, we have provided all the steps you will follow to do sous vide cooking with an Instant Pot cooker.

Instant Pot cookers with sous vide programs are in plenty on the market. And they follow similar steps when programming them. This makes using the sous vide function easy, no matter your model.

So, you don’t have to buy an expensive sous vide machine to enjoy professional-grade sous vide meals.

And that’s because an Instant Pot achieves impressive cooking results. Therefore, you can invest in an Instant Pot to enjoy sous vide meals.

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