How to Sous Vide (Sous Vide for Dummies)

Sous Vide for Dummies - How to Sous Vide - Learn about Sous Vide -

 It looks like there's a lot here.  Well, actually I guess there is.  But if you're simply looking for the Sous Vide for Dummies' instructions, skip right down to How to Sous Vide.

Sous Vide for Dummies

  1. What is Sous Vide?
  2. Why Use Sous Vide?
  3. How to Sous Vide
  4. Sous Vide Accessories and Additional Info
  5. Instant Pot ACCU SV800 Sous Vide
  6. Recipes
  7. ACCU SV800 Sous Vide ***GIVEAWAY***

What is Sous Vide?

Sous vide (soo-veed) is a French term that means “under vacuum”.  The cooking technique involves vacuum-sealing food in a plastic pouch and cooking it within a water bath.  The water temperature is precisely controlled by the sous vide machinery.

The desired temperature of the food is set in the sous vide unit.  For example, the perfect medium rare steak would measure an internal temperature between 130-140°F.  After a few hours in the sous vide, the steak will be the perfect doneness.  ***Cooking temperatures and approximate minimum cook times can be found online or from other resources (learn how to make perfect eggs here).

So, why is it vacuum sealed?  The air is removed from the bag because air pockets can lead to uneven cooking.  Actual vacuum sealing is not usually necessary, but do remove as much air ass possible.

Sous vide is a cooking technique commonly used in high-quality restaurant kitchens to achieve some perfectly cooked dishes.  This simple technology is now available for home use – for the price of only a couple fancy meals out.

Why Use Sous Vide?

This method of cooking allows for even cooking throughout the food while avoiding moisture loss.  When the steak or other ingredients are finished, you can then sear or grill the outside to get that desired browned outer crispy crust.

Certain types of foods benefit more from sous vide cooking than others.  Things that require a precise temperature to achieve the desired outcome such as steaks, lamb, and other meats with a specific doneness; eggs (no bag required for boiled eggs in shell!); and other foods that are to be cooked in their own juices without losing their nutritional value.

How is cooking with a sous vide different?  Unlike with other forms of high-heat cooking, once the center of the food reaches the set temperature, it does not continue to over-cook.  No need to stop prior to reaching the perfect temperature and letting the meat rest as it continues to cook after being removed from heat, the way that you would while BBQing, etc.

This is also a healthy form of cooking.  For one thing, since it's a low heat cooking method, there is no burning or over charing – no cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)!  Also, with natural flavors, vitamins and juices retained in the vacuum bag, little to no salt is required.  Be sure to use BPA-free plastic or food-grade silicone bags.

How to Sous Vide

This could not be easier …unless you have someone else do it for you.  “Sous Vide for Dummies” really isn't even needed!

  1. Season uncooked food as desired.
  2. Seal food in a sealed bag that the air has been pressed or sucked out of (see below).
  3. Place the bag in a pot (clipped to the side) and fill with enough water to cover the bag (being sure that the water level is between the Min and Max levels for the sous vide).
  4. Set the sous vide immersion circulator to the desired temperature and then for the appropriate amount of time (Google the appropriate time and temperature for the food you are cooking).
  5. Remove from water when finished and, if desired, brown the outsides of the food using a cast iron pan, BBQ, or broiler with high heat (after removing from the bag).

Serve, photograph, share on Instagram, and enjoy!

Sous Vide Accessories & Additional Info

You can totally get away with the basics above, but here are some extra sous vide extras to make things a little easier, or in case you really get into it.

Sous Vide Bags- From zip-lock bags or reusable silicone bags to reusable vacuum bags or a vacuum sealer, here are some options:

Zip-lock bag

Reusable silicone bags

Reusable vacuum bags

Vacuum sealer

Wire Rack- Using a rack at the bottom of the container can help hold the bad so that the water can circulate around the bag and evenly heat the food.

Metal Rack

Water Container- You are free to use a large pot if you have one large enough, or an Instant Pot liner if you have one (although I find that I always want to make potatoes or something in the Instant Pot while I'm cooking the meat in the sous vide.  Truly I should buy a second liner…), but you may want to purchase a water container with more space.  Maybe you need room for more food.  Try this out:

Sous Vide Container

Sous Vide Balls- Why do you want your balls in hot water?  This isn't necessary, per se, but the reason for these little ping-pong-like guys can be used to insulate the water from the air, meaning that you don't waste as much energy.  They also prevent the water from evaporating.

Sous Vide Balls

Instant Pot ACCU SV800 Sous Vide

The Instant Pot ACCU SV800 Sous Vide Immersion Circulator is an affordable sous vide option which does not result in another large piece of kitchen equipment:  you can use it in an existing pot (or Instant Pot liner).

The display and design are attractive, clean and easy use.

Here's one of the best parts:  if used correctly, no cleaning is required!  Just let it air dry after use!

What else, what else… well, you know that we have really enjoyed our Instant Pot pressure cookers, but we are actually big fans of the company itself.  They really stand behind their products and if you ever have ANY problems, they are terrific at looking after their customers.


You can expect to see more sous vide recipes from us in the future which you can find here.  For now, I can not emphasize enough how good this lamb recipe is: Paleo Lamb Popsicles with Fenugreek Cream Curry.

Paleo Lamb Popsicles with Fenugreek Cream Curry -


Thank you to everyone who entered.  The contest is now closed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Instant Pot provided us with an ACCU SV800 Sous Vide to review, but all thoughts and opinions are our own.  And I really needed a How to Sous Vide (Sous Vide for Dummies) manual myself, so I thought it would be selfish not to share what I learned.

Instant Pot Accu Sv800 sous vide GIVEAWAY. Learn about how to sous vide and enter to WIN -
Sous Vide for Dummies - How to Sous Vide - Learn about Sous Vide -
Sous Vide for Dummies - How to Sous Vide - Learn about Sous Vide -
Sous Vide giveaway - Vide for Dummies - How to Sous Vide - Learn about Sous Vide -

About the Author:

I’m trained as a pharmacist, but my passion lies in changing people’s mental and physical health through amazing food… and laughter. I’ll laugh at my own jokes even if you don’t. I love food. Lust may be a more appropriate word. Prepare to get your Paleo-induced drool-on!


  1. Sarah C March 24, 2017 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    I am not sure what recipe I would try first, but I am fascinated by sous vide cooking!

    • Raj March 24, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Sarah, have you tried it before?

  2. M Neal March 24, 2017 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    Intesting cooking concept.

  3. Karam March 25, 2017 at 5:28 am - Reply

    How long would it take to cook a 5 pound roast using the Sous Vide?

  4. Brenda H March 25, 2017 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    I would like to roast a chicken

  5. Alexandra Robertson March 25, 2017 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    I would love to do steaks and chops in sous vide!

  6. Dawn McKinney March 25, 2017 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    I have seen this kind of thing done on cooking show, and it’s intriguing! My husband loves to cook, and this would be a great thing for us to try! We raise all of our own meats (chicken, turkey, goat, pork,duck), and we are putting in raise beds this year for our veggies.. this would be a perfect way to bring it all up to the next level. 🙂

    • Raj March 25, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Dawn! Thanks for your comment. Your own meats! That’s awesome. AND RABBIT you tell me? (thanks for the quick Facebook conversation). A sous vide in your hands could be verrry educational trying all those different meats!

  7. Lushka Smith March 25, 2017 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    I would love to try out a steak.

  8. Becky F March 25, 2017 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    Since I have no clue how to use a BBQ I want to learn to Sous Vide some tender yummy steaks!

  9. Laura Hartman March 25, 2017 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Creamy green chile.

  10. Rachel March 25, 2017 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    I would like to try making lobster.

  11. Nikki Bou March 25, 2017 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    I do love my ip & new cooking methods

  12. aaron reck March 25, 2017 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    I like a really good roast and think that carrots, onions and potatoes are best in my roast.

  13. Becky March 25, 2017 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    I’d like to try steak for a perfect mid rare!

  14. John Adams March 26, 2017 at 5:53 am - Reply

    I’d love to try steaks with this method.

  15. Kim March 26, 2017 at 9:41 am - Reply

    My husband and I were just reading about sous vide and really want to try it. We just got an Instant Pot. We really want to try steak cooked sous vide as we have read how delicious it is! Sounds like it would be great to make for a dinner party!

  16. DJ March 26, 2017 at 10:59 am - Reply

    I would like to roast a chicken.

  17. DJ March 26, 2017 at 11:00 am - Reply

    I would like to roast a chicken

  18. Chrissy March 26, 2017 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    I would really like to try to make my own yogurt! We spend a small fortune each week on yogurt and homemade yogurt is so much yummier and cheaper!

    • Holley March 27, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      Yogurt in the sous vide? I can’t wait to try it!

  19. Rachel March 27, 2017 at 9:09 am - Reply

    I need help with fish dishes so I would want to try this on that and other meat as well!

  20. Kelly @ The Nourishing Home March 27, 2017 at 11:31 am - Reply

    This looks awesome! Thank you so much for this awesome info and chance to win! 🙂

  21. Renee Kohley March 27, 2017 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    Wow! I have never heard of this before! Ever! It looks like something I really need too!

  22. Laura C. March 27, 2017 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    I have used it for NY strip streak, pork tenderloin, pork chops, flank steak, hamburgers, garlic confit, & egg bites. It is the best method for cooking streaks.

    • Raj March 28, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      Burgers? Tell me about the egg bites?

  23. carol clark March 27, 2017 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    like a really good chicken

  24. Lillian March 28, 2017 at 8:27 am - Reply

    I would like to sous vide a nice lamb chop OR nice scallops! Would that work with the sous vide?

  25. Daniel Tse March 28, 2017 at 8:36 am - Reply

    I would love to sous vide ribs! I’ve heard how tender and fall off the bone it can be.

  26. Cody Pfoh (@CodyPfoh) March 28, 2017 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    I would like to try a steak

  27. Patricia Quillman (@patquillman) March 28, 2017 at 12:38 pm - Reply

    I would like to try ribs

  28. Jo-Anne Pfoh (@jopfoh) March 28, 2017 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    I am always messing up ribs so I would love to try those

    • Raj March 28, 2017 at 8:40 pm


  29. Ron Walsh (@ronwalsh34) March 28, 2017 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    I think i would like to try a steak or lamb

  30. eighty20nutrition March 28, 2017 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    I have seen this being used on Master Chef but was always a huge machine. Glad to see there is a home version made by my favourite Instant Pot! I’d love to give this a go at home

  31. flabstofitness March 28, 2017 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    I never would’ve known any of this without your post – thank you!

  32. michelespring2014 March 28, 2017 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    I LOVE to sous vide things – they come out so freakin tender and flavorful! We have an Anova, but that’s awesome that Instant Pot is making one now too. It sounds so fancy and gourmet but it really is one of the easiest ways to cook.

    • Raj March 28, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      What’s your favorite dish Michele?

    • Raj March 31, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      Do you have any sous vide recipes on Thriving on Paleo?

  33. Samantha March 28, 2017 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    I’ve always wanted to try cooking a steak with Sous Vide. I’ve heard that they come out perfect and that a lot of restaurants use them.

  34. Katja March 28, 2017 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    I would love to learn to do a good steak. Thanks for the good info. Fingers crossed that I win!!

    • Raj March 31, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      The Savory Lotus needs to start playing with one!

  35. Anya@Prepare+Nourish March 29, 2017 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    What an interesting cooking technique. I can just imagine how tender the steak comes out.

  36. Emily @ Recipes to Nourish March 30, 2017 at 8:34 pm - Reply

    Wow! I had no idea about this Instant Pot sous vide! That’s so cool. I’ve heard how tender a sous vide can make meat.

    • Raj March 31, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      That team at Instant Pot… clever bunch!

  37. kt3us March 31, 2017 at 4:39 am - Reply

    I would try this in a nice steak. kelly tupick

  38. Kari Peters March 31, 2017 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    I’ve always wanted to try cooking steak sous vide, especially since it’s so expensive you don’t want to ruin it on the grill by overcooking and sous vide just seems to take the stress out of exact timing!

  39. mclanek March 31, 2017 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    I’ve tried a few sous vide recipes. I’d like to experiment more with eggs, steak, and seafood.

    • Raj March 31, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      Any favorites so far Kristen? Any sous vide recipes on

  40. Stacey Crawford April 1, 2017 at 10:44 am - Reply

    This is awesome! I have always wanted to try sous vide! Thanks for breaking it down in simple steps.

    • Raj April 2, 2017 at 6:04 pm

      I hope you get a chance to play with one!

  41. Steve Weber April 2, 2017 at 9:40 am - Reply

    I’d love to do steaks and chops!

  42. thecastawaykitchen April 2, 2017 at 11:25 am - Reply

    GAH! I’ve wanted a sous vide forever! Instant Pot is so brilliant! Thanks for the giveaway.

    • Raj April 2, 2017 at 6:13 pm

      Hey Cristina,

      The sure are!

      I’m not sure that I’ve ever been over to The Castaway Kitchen before, but holy cow! I just looked and I am dying for dinner now! Beautiful recipes! Those fluffy banana bread pancakes and green casserole look amazing!

  43. Mark April 2, 2017 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this great guide Raj! I definitely need to start playing around with one of these. Like you said, it’s a great option for gentler cooking. Had heard about this but really didn’t know much about it, so I learned a lot!

    • Raj April 2, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks for the comment Mark. BTW, I can’t remember what it was that I was checking out over at the Paleo Castle last week, but I do remember it being very helpful, so thanks!

  44. chihyusmith April 2, 2017 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Sous vide is such an amazing tool for any home cooks and professional chef. I’ve seen a friend of mine used them once in a new year party. The meal was so scrumptious !

    • Raj April 2, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      What did they make?

  45. Vanessa Woozley April 2, 2017 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    This is the first time I have heard about this cooking method, thanks for sharing, I’m intrigued..

  46. So cool! I had no idea there was a sous vide gadget made specifically for the Instant Pot. I’ve been wanting to try sous vide steak!

    • Raj April 2, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      My roommate has played with it a bit, but I need to get on that!

  47. Jessica April 2, 2017 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    I’ve always watched people sous vide on the food network, but I didn’t think it was something I could actually do. How cool that in can be done in the Instant Pot! Those lamb popsicles sound so good!

    • Raj April 2, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      That was pretty much what I’d thought as well until my roommate brought it up.

  48. Holley April 2, 2017 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    I don’t know if I can win, but I need one at my house!!

  49. Hannah Healy April 2, 2017 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    This is really interesting, thanks for the great information.

  50. Carrie Forrest April 2, 2017 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    I learned so much in this post. Thanks!

    • Raj April 2, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      Oh, the A Girl Worth Saving team is here! Thanks Carrie!

  51. Kelly Bejelly April 2, 2017 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    I learned so much in this post, I had no idea about. Thanks!

    • Raj April 2, 2017 at 6:25 pm

      HEY! Kelly, thanks for the visit! You haven’t got your hands on one of these yet?

  52. amyrains1 April 2, 2017 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    I’ve been dying to try this! My girlfriend swears by it, and with the IP, I can totally do it!!

  53. Georgie April 3, 2017 at 6:45 am - Reply

    I’ve been meaning to get into Sous Vide cooking for a while but it seems so expensive for the upfront investment. I’d love to try making desserts. Great and informative post thank you 🙂

    • Raj April 3, 2017 at 8:32 am

      Hey Georgie,

      Compared to the full machines, this IP version looks way more affordable. Hopefully you’ll win this one!

  54. realfoodwithdana April 3, 2017 at 7:57 am - Reply

    This is awesome! thanks so much for the tips – I’ve learned so much!!

  55. pham duong April 5, 2017 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    I would first make poach eggs. Those are amazing with avocado toasts.

  56. Oren Noah April 7, 2017 at 8:55 am - Reply

    It’s important the people understand how to process the bag juices (aka the”purge”) into sauces, so as to avoid the ugly, liver-like coagulates.

    • Raj April 7, 2017 at 9:10 am


      Would you believe I grew up with 2 Orens and that you’re the only other one I’ve ever heard of?

      Good heads-up sir. I think that’s more of a Sous Vide for Dummies volume 2 topic. What other key tips would you like to point out?

  57. Anne-Marie Modery April 7, 2017 at 9:04 am - Reply

    SV in my Instant Pot? Sounds good to me!!!

  58. Chris April 8, 2017 at 3:57 am - Reply

    I would try all the things!

  59. Rachel April 8, 2017 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    Love that you mention the lack of HCAs and PAHs… I think many folks forget the health benefits of sous vide.

    • Raj April 9, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks Rachel. Isn’t it interesting that marinating with rosemary helps to reduce their formation?

  60. Georgie C. April 11, 2017 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    I’d like to make stuffed cabbage rolls with this would be interesting.

  61. ABIGAIL HAMILTON April 12, 2017 at 3:29 pm - Reply

    I’d like to cook lobster sous vide

  62. Lisa April 14, 2017 at 7:46 am - Reply

    I have just started finding out about sous vide cooking and just haven’t pulled the trigger on purchasing one. Doing a lot of research. Right now I am looking at recipes.

  63. Karrie Millheim April 15, 2017 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    I would cook a soup

  64. sarah mayer April 16, 2017 at 8:44 am - Reply

    I would poach some eggs and serve it for one of my many brunches throughout the year.

    • Raj April 17, 2017 at 1:53 pm


      Is there somewhere I can sign up for your brunches?

  65. Danielle Nichole Howell April 16, 2017 at 10:41 am - Reply

    This looks like something fun to try.

  66. Amy Main April 16, 2017 at 10:42 am - Reply

    I want to make a steak!

  67. Elizabeth April 16, 2017 at 10:43 am - Reply

    I want the Starbucks’ eggs so bad!! It’d save me so much money on buying them every day!

    • Raj April 17, 2017 at 1:51 pm

      I, unlike Holley, am not a fan of Starbucks – mostly I’m just not a coffee drinker to start. Can you tell me more about what these Starbucks eggs are? Because the image of coffee grounds in the eggs that I have in my head probably isn’t it…

  68. Jenn m. April 16, 2017 at 10:44 am - Reply

    This looks like it would be fun to try out!

  69. Denise Pare-Watson April 16, 2017 at 10:44 am - Reply

    I would like to try a buttery pork tenderloin dish.

  70. Food Meanderings April 16, 2017 at 10:54 am - Reply

    I really want one of these! I don’t even know what I’d try first- maybe pork – it’s one of my staples. Or maybe steak….

  71. Allie April 16, 2017 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Oooo I’ve been wanting to try to sous vide for a while now!

  72. I’ve used sous vide quite a bit at work (as a cook in fine dining restaurants), and I must say even I learned a thing or two here! Great guide!

    • Raj April 17, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      Thanks Markus!

      (Saw your comment on facebook too.) So do you have any tips? What was the dish that you miss most from your time using a sous vide?

  73. Emily Bousquet April 16, 2017 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Would love to try making steaks using the sous vide. This would be a great tool to have when wanting to cook for a large group.

  74. Bill Bolin April 16, 2017 at 11:08 am - Reply

    I would like to try this with steaks then sear then afterwords

  75. cat April 16, 2017 at 11:38 am - Reply

    I’m just learning about sous vide.

    • Raj April 17, 2017 at 1:48 pm

      Do you have one, or are you thinking about getting one?

  76. Lee Anne April 16, 2017 at 11:39 am - Reply

    I’d like to cook steak with it.

  77. Cheryl Nelson April 16, 2017 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Interesting concept when one has the time to devote to this unique process. Would love to try and passed along learning experience.

    • Raj April 17, 2017 at 1:47 pm


      One of the great things about it is that your hands-on time is greatly reduced! But yeah, you do need to have things figured out further in advance than “I’m hungry. What am I going to make?” (which is my style…)

  78. Stacy Vaillancourt April 16, 2017 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    This looks cool!

  79. Bryant LeGrand Caruthers April 16, 2017 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    I would love to try this type of cooking!

  80. Sunshine April 16, 2017 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    I adore sous vide cooking! It’s SO good!!!

    • Raj April 17, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      You’ve got one Sunshine? What’s your favorite thing to make?

  81. Jennifer April 16, 2017 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    Would love to try egg bites

  82. Rajee April 16, 2017 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    Love to cook Indian curry

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