Sous Vide On the Stove
The cheapest, and least precise, way to do sous vide cooking is directly on your stove. It only requires a thermometer, some hot water, and some cold water.
This information, as well as over 100 recipes, is available in our book Beginning Sous Vide
which you can get at Amazon.com or as a pdf download
How Cooking Sous Vide on the Stove Works
Fill a pot with luke warm water. The larger the pot is the better it will hold its temperature when the vacuum sealed sous vide packet is added and it will also be more stable while cooking.
Place a thermometer in the water, preferably a digital meat thermometer with a long cord since that way the thermometer is convenient and easy to read.
Add either hot water or cold water to bring the pot to the desired temperature. You can also briefly turn a burner on or add ice cubes if you need to move the temperature quickly.
Add the vacuum sealed sous vide packets and bring the water back up to the temperature you need.
Leave the food in the water for as long as the recipe says. Be sure to occasionally check the water temperature to make sure it is what you want.
Advantages of Sous Vide on the Stove
Well, it's very cheap and doesn't require any special equipment, that's about the only advantage of doing sous vide this way.
Disadvantages of Sous Vide on the Stove
It's very imprecise to cook sous vide this way. No matter how diligent you are about checking the water temperature and adjusting it, the water temperature will definitely fluctuate by several degrees, and most likely 5-10. This can play havoc with the texture and doneness of your sous vide food.
It also takes a lot of work to maintain a specific water temperature. You have to constantly be by the water, checking the temperature and adjusting it. This is fine for short cooking sous vide items like fish or some vegetables but for a longer term item it quickly becomes impractical.
Tips for Sous Vide on the Stove
Use a wooden spoon to regularly stir the water, making sure to go up and down as well. This will help even out the temperature of the water a little more.
As we previously said, a larger pot will hold its temperature better and have a more stable temperature.
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