How to Sous Vide in Instant Pot Ultra

Have you already had a love affair with your instant pot pressure cooker? They are one of the latest kitchen crazes. With the most recent upgrades, nothing is off the table when it comes to cooking. This includes sous vide. The term “sous vide” is French for “under vacuum.” It’s not a new cooking technique, but it’s grown in popularity just in the last few years. It is now used by professional chefs and home cooks.

To sous vide in the instant pot ultra, just add the right amount of water. Place the food in a sealed bag and put it in the water. Then, press the “sous vide” function. The instant pot doesn’t circulate water like an immersion circulator however, the sous vide function works well and it is a great alternative.

What is sous vide cooking?

When preparing any foods through cooking, there are two huge influencing factors – temperature and time. Generally, to cook for a shorter time, you’ll use a higher temperature. This is how pressure cooking works. If you are cooking foods at lower temperatures, it takes more time. This is how a slow cooker works.

Sous Vide cooking is usually done using a vacuum sealer to seal the plastic bag to contain the food. The vacuum-sealed bag of food is placed in a high heat hot water bath and cooked for a specified amount of time. The water’s temperature is carefully controlled and the food in the sealed bag eventually reaches the same temperature as the water it is in. The cooking process is controlled and gradual since there are no fluctuations in temperature. It’s a slow cooking method in essence. But the reason it’s so loved is it creates perfectly tender eggs, potatoes, vegetables, and meats. The food won’t accidentally overcook.

What are the benefits of sous vide cooking?

Here are some of the biggest reasons chefs and ordinary cooks love about sous vide:

  • Taste and Texture – Since the foods cook in juices, they provide they have optimum taste and perfect texture.
  • Less Contamination – If family members or guests have food sensitivities or allergies, foods can be cooked in separate bags to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Consistent Temperature – Because the food reaches and stays at a single temperature, there is less risk of it becoming overcooked.
  • Ease of Preparation – You don’t have to constantly watch your food with sous vide cooking.
  • Ease of Cleanup – Since the food is cooked in a sealed cooking bag, there is not a lot of cleanup after cooking it.

How to set the sous vide function on the instant pot?

Add water to the instant pot. You want your food to be totally submerged. Most of the time, you only need to fill the pot half full. Once you’ve added enough water, close the lid and set the steam release valve to “vent” or venting position.

Select the sous vide program. The IP Ultra has a button marked “sous vide.” Press the appropriate button and then turn the knob to select the right program for the meat you are cooking. Set it to beef or poultry. Or select custom if you are combining meats. Press the knob to confirm the selection. Turn the knob to select the desired temperature and press the knob to confirm it. Then, turn the knob to choose the sous vide cooking time.

Press the sous vide button. When you press start, the display will indicate the process has started and it will change to “on.” When the instant pot contents reach the selected temperature, the pot will beep. You’ll notice the clock will start counting down until it reaches 0.

How to prepare the food for sous vide cooking.

It’s best to get the instant pot set, then you can prepare your food while it’s warming up. Place your food in a resealable freezer bag. You can put it in two freezer bags if you want extra strength. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as you can. Then seal the bag but leave about an inch open. This opening will need to be kept above the water level while it is cooking.

Once the instant pot has reached the desired temperature, slowly lower the bag into the water making sure the opening stays above the top of the water. Once the air is forced out while the bag lowers into the water, close the bag the rest of the way making sure it is securely sealed. Then, close the lid on the instant pot. Check the temp, especially if you are using your Ip ultra for sous vide cooking for the first time. You may need to adjust the temperature.

When the sous vide cooking time is done, the timer will beep. Press the “cancel” button and then carefully open the lid. Use tongs to remove the bag from the pot. Transfer the food from the bag to a plate or cutting board. Let it rest for about 10 minutes.

Sous Vide Cook Times for the Instant Pot

The temperature you set the IP to determines how well-done your food will become. Selecting higher temperatures will make the food more well-done. The actual cooking time varies based on the size and cut of the meat and how well-done you prefer. Most sous vide recipes will have the cooking times and temperatures included. Here are a few rough cooking guidelines.

  •         Chicken breast – 145 to 150 degrees for 1.5 to 4 hours
  •         Chicken thigh – 148 to 165 degrees for 2 to 4 hours
  •         Turkey breast – 145 to 151 degrees for 3.5 to 5 hours
  •         Steak – 130 to 140 degrees for 1.5 to 3 hours
  •         Salmon (firm fish) – 125 to 130 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes
  •         Trout (delicate fish) – 120 to 130 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes
  •         Pork chops – 135 to 150 degrees for 1 to 3 hours
  •         Pork tenderloin – 140 to 150 degrees for 1.5 to 3 hours
  •         Scallops – 140 degrees for 30 minutes
  •         Shrimp 135 to 140 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes

Final Thoughts

Making instant pot sous vide is a super easy way to cook foods to perfection. The Instant Pot Ultra has a sous vide function, if you are buying a new IP, check to make sure it has this feature. You are not likely to overcook your food using the instant pot, but it can be undercooked. Make sure to keep a good watch on the temperature until you’ve tried it a few times. Then, have fun!

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