10 things you didn't know you could do with a sous vide cooker
This little gadget does a lot more than cook meat!
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If you’re anything like me, you’re probably both intrigued and intimidated by sous vide cookers. These fancy gadgets are a favorite of many professional chefs, but they’re also a genuinely versatile and useful appliance to have in your home kitchen.
You might think sous vide cookers are just useful for cooking meat and veggies, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You can do a whole lot with your sous vide immersion circulator—everything from infusing booze to cooking the perfect cheesecake. Who knew, right?
The following are 10 surprising recipes you can make with a sous vide cooker, all of which look simply delicious. If this finally convinces you to splurge on your own gadget, be sure to check out our round-up of the best sous vide immersion circulators. Spoiler alert: the Anova Culinary Bluetooth Sous Vide Precision Cooker ($111.99 on Amazon) is well worth the investment!
1. Make creme brûlée
Let me tell you this: I absolutely LOVE creme brûlée, but I know from personal experience that it’s tricky to make the traditional way. However, a sous vide cooker can take the fuss out of cooking the custard and getting your creme brûlée set evenly. Seriously, this recipe from The Seaside Baker makes creme brûlée easier than I ever thought possible.
2. Infuse alcohol faster
If you’re into the craft cocktail scene, you may have experimented with infusing your own alcohol. When you do it the traditional way, it can take several weeks for the flavors to seep into the booze, but lo' and behold, you can speed up the process with your handy sous vide cooker! Sous Vide Supreme has a recipe for Bacon-Infused Bourbon that looks amazing and only takes 30 minutes—how’s that for efficient?
3. Enjoy perfect overnight oats
Yes, you can even make breakfast with your sous vide cooker. Explorers Kitchen has a recipe for Sous Vide Overnight Oats, and they write that the end result is significantly less mushy than a slow cooker version. Plus, they provide some unique suggestions for mix-ins to inspire you!
4. Make homemade melting cheese
This recipe is definitely for more adventurous home chefs, but c’mon, doesn’t it sound so good?! ChefSteps explains how you can use a sous vide cooker to make your own super-melty cheese (kind of like Velveeta) using your favorite variety, be it cheddar, swiss, pepper jack or something fancier like Gruyère. You’ll need to find some weird ingredients to make this recipe, but we think the end result is worth it.
*ChefSteps is the maker of Joule($199 on Amazon, our pick for the best WiFi-enabled sous vide cooker, and also the smallest and sleekest option out there.
5. Cook perfect French fries
Cooking French fries in water? It seems a little backwards, but that’s exactly what you do in this recipe from Food For Net. The premise is that if you cook the potatoes a bit before you fry them, the insides will be perfectly mushy and delicious, while the outside will be crispy and golden—YUM.
6. Copy Starbucks’ egg bites
Do you live for the Egg Bites from Starbucks? It’s easier than you might think to recreate these delicious grab-and-go breakfast snacks. ChefSteps provides instructions on how to make your own egg bites with a sous vide cooker, and the whole process takes just 30 minutes. Think of how much money you’d save making this snack yourself!
7. Perfectly temper chocolate
As a moderately adventurous amateur baker, I know the struggle of tempering chocolate. If you’re not familiar, tempering chocolate is basically when you melt it down for dipping or drizzling. It sounds easy, but the process can be really tricky, as you have to get the temperature just right or else it all goes to hell.
Well, wouldn’t you know that your sous vide cooker is basically the perfect solution here. Since these gadgets precisely control temperature, they’re perfect for tempering chocolate. Bakers, rejoice!
8. Whip up delectable squash soup
Yes, you read that right! You can even make soup with your sous vide cooker. This recipe for Butternut Squash and Apple Soup has just five ingredients, and it’s incredibly easy to make. Just cook the produce with your sous vide cooker, then blend it all up.
9. Make an army of mini cheesecakes
Cheesecake baths are my arch nemesis. Seriously, mine always leak and I end up with a soggy crust—gross.
For that reason, the prospect of sous vide cheesecake is very appealing. With this recipe from Use Real Butter, you make mini cheesecakes in mason jars, so not only do they cook evenly, but the crust won’t get soggy. Win-win.
10. Mix up some spiced eggnog
I know eggnog is a holiday drink, but why can’t we have it year 'round? With this recipe for Sous Vide Spiced Eggnog, you can enjoy this delectable drink any time you want, which, for me, would be always.
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