No, Sous Vide is NOT the Same as Boiling in a Bag

One of the most common misconceptions about sous vide cooking is that it is similar to boiling in a bag. Rather than just making the statement that nothing could be further from the truth, let’s compare the two methods to understand how they are worlds apart.

When it comes to any meat, poultry, fish, vegetable and a variety of other food dishes and ingredients, the sous vide method yields results that are nearly impossible to achieve by traditional cooking methods. Unlike boiling food in a bag, in sous vide cooking, the food is placed in a special vacuum sealed bag. In fact, the literal translation of sous vide is ‘under vacuum.’ In a great many dishes, main course meats and vegetables can be put into these special bags and utilizing a sous vide vacuum sealer, sealed in with minimal spices for an incomparable burst of natural flavors and succulence.

That being said, the most important part of sous vide cooking is not the packaging or the vacuum sealing; it is the precise temperature control that is made possible by a specialized sous vide machine. This computer-controlled heater can warm a water bath to any low temperature you set, and it can keep it there for hours or even days, if needed.

With the sous vide method, cooks have an unprecedented level of control over temperature where dishes are done throughout while providing infinitely repeatable results. A final important benefit is that the closed bag creates a fully humid environment that effectively braises the food while keeping them noticeably juicier and tenderer. Since sous vide meals are prepared without boiling, only a minimum amount of fat is necessary for cooking. Vacuum packing blocks oxidation, thus preserving original flavors, and enhancing the food’s quality.

While boiling often removes both the natural flavors and the nutrients of food, sous vide is both healthy and highly flavorful. Since the food is cooked in an airtight, oxygen-free environment at a low temperature, less salt and spices are needed while the food retains a much higher vitamin and mineral content.

Texture is another way in which sous vide cooking differs from merely boiling in a bag as sous vide recipes emerge with fresh textures. Although food cooked sous vide doesn’t brown, a quick sear in instances where caramelized skin is desired provides the added presentation look.

Ultimately, sous vide is superior to boiling in a bag in every way as well as being superior in every way to other traditional cooking methods. What could be better than perfect taste, texture, and nutritional content while being freed from endlessly watching the clock to prepare both simple and gourmet meals. If you’d like to learn more please view our selection of sous vide videos.

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