I cook a lot, and there aren’t many different cooking methods I haven’t at least tried once or twice. But despite years of experience in the kitchen, I was a little intimidated by the idea of trying the Instant Pot Immersion Circulator and cooking Sous Vide. Sure, I had heard of it, but it seemed like a very gourmet style of cooking that didn’t quite match with my current mode of fast and easy for the family.
As it turns out, fast and easy isn’t the only way to put a meal on the table, and now that I’ve experimented with Sous Vide, I’m a huge fan of this slow and simple method of cooking. It’s practically effortless, almost 100% foolproof, and every dish you make will have gourmet flavour without you trying for that at all.
Here’s my take on the Instant Pot Immersion Circulator:
What is Sous Vide?
Everyone has heard of Instant Pot by now. The company’s pressure cooker has been a favourite appliance of mine for a few years now, and I use it for stew, soup, canning, and more. Although I head heard of Instant Pot, I had no idea they made a Sous Vide appliance and how exactly Sous Vide works.
When you cook Sous Vide, you cook your cuts of meat, vegetables, eggs, and even dessert sealed vacuum sealed in a plastic bag that’s put in a water bath. The temperature of the water bath is maintained by the Instant Pot Immersion Circulator, and you can set it to temperatures ranging from 104°F (40°C) to 195°F (90°C).
The Instant Pot Immersion Circulator fits on to any stock pot with an included stainless-steel clamp, and it has touch-pad controls so you can easily set the temperature and time. You can slow cook your food for up to 72 hours with Instant Pot Sous Vide, and the temperature is accurate to 0.4°F (0.2°C)
Why would you want to cook your food Sous Vide?
There are a lot of reasons why you’d want to Sous Vide your food, but I think the most important is that food is healthier when prepared this way. Unlike other cooking methods, sealing your food in a vacuum bag and immersing it in a water bath means that your food retains most of its vitamins and minerals.
The flavour of the food is also intensified, so if you Sous Vide a steak and add spices, you’ll really retain the flavour of those spices. Your food is also juicier, and it’s cooked precisely at a set temperature so you really can’t overcook it.
Testing out the Instant Pot Immersion Circulator
Once I started using the Instant Pot Immersion Circulator, I couldn’t stop experimenting with different food. It’s really easy to use and it’s fun.
I started by making a thick cut of steak. After doing a little research for the perfect temperature for a medium rare steak, I set the Instant Pot Sous Vide for 133°F and put the cook time for 2 hours. While the water was heating up I added salt, pepper, and garlic to my steak, then sealed it in a vacuum bag using my food sealer. Keep in mind that you don’t have to seal your food in a vacuum bag. A zip lock works as well.
Once the steak was in the water, I didn’t give it another thought. That’s the beauty of Sous Vide. You can leave the house, run some errands, and forget about it. If you go back after the timer has gone off it’s OK; because Sous Vide keeps your food at that exact temperature, you can’t overcook it.
I did follow an online recipe where I quickly browned my steak in my cast iron pan for a few minutes on each side, but as you can see, it turned out perfectly medium rare.
Next up? I had to try Sous Vide hard boiled eggs. I have a surplus of eggs on my farm because I have so many chickens, and I like to boil a bunch every week to add to recipes or just eat on the go. I normally cook them in my Instant Pot pressure cooker, but I decided to try to boil eggs in the Instant Pot Immersion Circulator.
I read online that hard boiled eggs should be Sous Vide for one hour at 170 degrees, so that’s what I tried first. I placed the eggs in a zip lock bag so they didn’t roll around the pot and crack, and I put them in the water bath when it was heated up.
The eggs boiled at 170 degrees were just slightly overdone. I could see a light grey ring around the yoke which indicates they are overcooked, and it was because I had set the temperature too high. I took another batch of eggs and tried again, and this time I set the temperature to 160 degrees and let them cook for another hour.
The result was the perfect hard boiled egg, and you aren’t limited to hard boiled with this cooking method. You can make the poached eggs much easier than you can in a pot, and although it takes a little longer to cook them, they taste so amazing when they’re done.
Clean-up of the Instant Pot Immersion Circulator
The Instant Pot Immersion Circulator is a simple looking appliance that’s easy to store and clean. I recommend giving the wand a wipe down after each use so you don’t have leave a water line or scaly water spots on it. It’s small enough to store in a drawer when it’s not in use.
Overall thoughts on the Instant Pot Sous Vide
Sous Vide is such a fun, experimental way of cooking. Yes, I was intimidated by the thought of it at first, but it’s really so easy. Once I started playing around with the Instant Pot Immersion Circulator, I wanted to keep trying new dishes.
I love that you can turn it on and forget about it, because I’ve burnt many a meal when I forget about what was cooking on the stove or oven. I also love the flavour of the food, because you can add so many different spices and try so many different combinations you always come up with something that tastes amazing.
You can find your own Instant Pot Immersion Circulator to cook Sous Vide right now on Bestbuy.ca.