Sous Vide vs Pressure Cooker: What’s the Difference?
Many compare sous vide to pressure cooking. What’s the difference between these two methods of food preparation? Let’s find out.
What is Sous Vide?
A sous vide, or “French for ‘under vacuum,’ means heating a sealed container in a water bath to a precise temperature and then placing food in it. In order to keep the internal temperature from dropping while you’re heating up your cup of soup or macaroni and cheese, sous vide circulates warm water from the bottom of your pot through a heat-resistant tube attached to the container you’re using. A lid is usually placed on top of the container, with some sort of airtight packaging around it.
What is Pressure Cooking?
Pressure cooking involves cooking food inside a sealed vessel. In order to raise the boiling point of water, pressure is used. The pressure cooker, or autoclave, allows for food to be cooked at a very high temperature. The higher temperatures allow for food to be cooked in much less time than using other cooking methods.
Differences between Sous Vide and Pressure Cooker:
- Sous vide requires you to pre-heat the water bath (which is usually done on your stovetop).
- Sous vide has much more versatility in terms of food variety, since you can use it for virtually anything.
- Sous vide means you can bring the food to a much higher temperature before it’s cooked, which is what causes the meat to be much more tender (this also means that your food will be much hotter when you remove it from the water bath).
- Sous vide offers a very precise cooking temperature, which gives you better control over how long your food cooks for.
- Since you’re doing all the work in advance, sous vide is generally more time efficient than other methods of cooking.
- Sous vide requires no stirring, which makes it a much more convenient cooking method.
- Sous vide is a great way to cook foods that you normally wouldn’t want to eat because of texture (i.e.- leaner cuts of beef).
- Since the food is heated in a water bath, sous vide doesn’t use up any extra energy sources, such as electricity or natural gas.
*These differences between sous vide and pressure cooking are of course only a few of the many differences between them. Sous vide and pressure cooking are both similar and different, and researching them both will give you a better understanding of how they’re used, and the best ways to incorporate them into your kitchen.
The popularity of sous vide cooking has led to both manufacturers and home users developing new kinds of equipment. These include:
- Immersion circulators: Immersion circulators are the most basic sous vide tools available for home users. They work by directly heating up water in a container or pot, where the food is placed inside. Since the immersion circulators are relatively inexpensive, they’re the best choice for beginners who want to try out sous vide cooking without spending too much money.
- Sous vide water ovens: Sous vide water ovens are essentially large sous vide machines (mainly used by restaurants) that can hold multiple containers of food at once. The sous vide water oven is more expensive than immersion circulators but is more convenient for home users due to its size and flexibility in terms of how you use it. You can either cook your food in the oven or place it on top of the heating mechanism, which allows you to cook two kinds of food at once.
- Sous vide slow cookers: A specialty item, sous vide slow cookers are basically sous vide machines that have a little interior space for food to be placed. The food is cooked in water which is heated up in the sous vide machine, so you can prepare your food much faster than traditional cooking methods because the product cooks inside the machine.
What are the benefits of using a sous vide?
- Sous vide gives you access to better-quality foods at an affordable price. Because of the technology’s precision, it allows you to prepare seared or crusted meats that would otherwise be expensive because of how difficult they are to prepare.
- Sous vide gives you greater control over the quality of the food that you’re eating. Since you’re able to keep the food at a certain temperature for a certain amount of time, you can prevent any type of bacterial growth, which means fresher food with no additives.
- Sous vide allows you to avoid overcooking your meat. When meat is cooked for too long, it dries out, which results in less juiciness and flavor. Sous vide cooking can help make sure that your meat is evenly cooked throughout, so there are no parts that are undercooked or overcooked. This makes it easy to get perfectly-cooked meals every time!
- Sous vide is also great for preparing vegetables, since it keeps them fresh and crisp.
- Generally, sous vide is more affordable than conventional cooking methods like frying or boiling. This is mainly because you can get better deals on your food when you buy in bulk, since there are no extra additives added to the food. The only thing that you’ll need to pay more for is the equipment, which can of course be considered an investment instead of a cost!
- Sous vide helps save time, since it’s much easier to store your food in large containers rather than small ones that would take up more space in your kitchen. The temperature of the water can be adjusted as necessary, so you can keep your food warm for as long as you need to.
How can you decide between pressure cooking and sous vide ?
- Both pressure cooking and sous vide are relatively affordable in the long run. The only thing that you’ll really need to buy is the equipment, which can be considered an investment rather than a cost because it’ll last for years.
- They’re both convenient when it comes to storing food, since you’re able to store large containers of food in your kitchen instead of smaller ones that take up more space.
- They both allow you to cook your foods slowly or quickly, depending on how long you keep them warm for after they’ve been cooked in the machine.
- Both pressure cooking and sous vide are known to de-pulp your food (reduce the amount of fiber in your diet), which is great for people with digestive issues like IBS.
- Both pressure cooking and sous vide hold more vitamins than conventional cooking methods, since they don’t destroy them like frying or boiling does!
Which one should you use?
The truth is that there’s really no wrong choice between sous vide and pressure cooking if you’re looking to save money on your food or eat healthier! You can either buy a cheap immersion circulator or a large sous vide machine for your kitchen, depending on what you can afford at the moment.
If you’re looking to invest in sous vide equipment, check out these products for your kitchen!
The Anova precision cooker is definitely one of the best-selling sous vide machines on the market, mainly because it’s affordable and allows you to cook a variety of different foods with ease. It works with a range of different containers from 2 up to 16 quarts.
You can choose from a variety of different temperatures, from 104 degrees Fahrenheit to 210 degrees Fahrenheit, and it’s also extremely easy to use since it connects to your phone or tablet through the mobile app.
The only downside is that this product does require you to set the temperature and cook time manually. You can’t just press a button and let it cook according to its own settings, although this is ideal for people who don’t want their machine to cook anything by itself!
Here’s a list of specifications:
– Allows up to 10 hours of cooking time with the time per degree feature.
– Adjustable thermostat to heat your cooking water.
– Connects via Bluetooth to your smartphone or tablet.
– Programmable timer.
– Connects to your phone or tablet through the app.
– 4 Pre-Programmed Zones: Fish, Beef, Pork, and Vegetables.
It’s a great product. I’ve been cooking a lot of steak with it and the results have been outstanding. It seals the meat perfectly and it’s really easy to use. It comes with a bag, but you can use any bag you want as long as it fits inside the sous vide machine and that’s great as there are so many types of bags out there now on the market. You could get a sous vide machine and then get bags that you think would work for that particular machine and just use it on it, but this is a beautiful little machine and the only thing you have to figure out is what bags and coverings to use with it
It’s very compact, so I can put it away in the cabinet when I’m not using it which is outstanding. The vacuum sealers don’t leak which is also excellent. It uses standard household water pressure.
If you’re looking to buy a pressure cooker, here’s a few products that you can choose from:
The T-fal Pressure Cooker can help you save precious time by cooking up to 70 percent faster than conventional methods. This stainless steel model comes with an easy-to-read digital timer and 15-PSI settings; it also includes 6.3 quarts of space for your favorite meals.
– Description: T-fal Pressure Cooker, Stainless Steel Cookware, Dishwasher Safe, 15-PSI Settings, 6.3-Quart, Silver
– Key Features : It has a digital timer for convenient cooking. It includes 15-PSI settings for ease of use. It’s made of high quality stainless steel construction with reinforced handles. This product is dishwasher safe for convenience.
The Presto 02141 6-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker offers quick and convenient cooking by combining two functions in one. This pressure cooker is capable of cooking foods three to six times faster than traditional methods, producing flavorful dishes in less than 30 minutes.
The pressure cooker cooks food at an elevated temperature with steam that’s generated inside the pot when cooking under high pressure. The result is tender, moist foods with rich flavors and nutrients preserved in every bite.
The 6-quart capacity of the Presto 02141 Electric Pressure Cooker is large enough to make dishes for the whole family. The cooker is equipped with an automatic pressure release valve that makes it easy to use. Once the cooking cycle has ended, the cooker switches to a warming, or “keep warm” mode, ensuring that food stays at an ideal temperature until it’s ready to be served.
The Presto 02141 Electric Pressure Cooker includes a stainless steel cooking pot for even heating and easy cleaning.
Summary on the difference of sous vide and pressure cookers
If you have enough space to have both a pressure cooker and sous vide machine, then they can both be used for different types of foods. A sous vide machine will work great with smaller amounts of food, such as eggs or vegetables, but it will take longer because you’ll need to set the time and temperature manually. A pressure cooker is also great for eggs and vegetables as well as soups or other types of foods because you can cook them very quickly compared to a sous vide machine.
The main pro of the sous vide machine is that it can cook for a longer amount of time, especially if you’re planning on cooking your food for more than 4 hours. The only downside is that you need to set the temperature and time manually, so it’s not very hands-free. With a pressure cooker, you can just press a button and walk away while it cooks! The main drawback of the pressure cooker is that it doesn’t have as much power or capacity compared to a sous vide machine.
My recommendation is that you buy a sous vide machine and a pressure cooker. If the need arises for you to cook more large food items, then you can use both appliances for different foods that take longer to cook.