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Old 05-19-2019, 12:34 PM   #1
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Ziploc brand bags for sous vide

I haven't seriously considered a sous vide circulator, as I understood that a vacuum sealer is required. As I freeze very little, I don't have the need for one, and those bags are expensive.

I just received an email from ATK promoting their new sous vide cookbook, and they say that Ziploc brand freezer bags work just fine and you don't need a vacuum sealer. Does anybody use these in place of a vacuum sealer? Are there any issues with the bag floating? ATK is usually pretty reliable in their recommendations, so I'm inclined to trust them.

We eat a lot of chicken and seafood, and I can't remember the last time I had a steak. I've heard some good comments about cooking poultry sous vide, and I may give it a try if I don't need to incur the additional expense of a vacuum sealer.

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Old 05-19-2019, 12:46 PM   #2
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Ziploc brand bags for sous vide

The trick with ziplock bags is to get as much air out of the bag as possible so it won’t float. Place the food in the bag and slowly lower the bag into the water. Water pressure pushes the air out of the bag. Seal the bag while it’s in the water and you’re done. If the bag floats, use a bull clip on the bottom and slide a spoon into it to act as a weight to hold it down.

I recommend seriouseats.com for sous vide info. They’re a reliable site and have done a lot of research and testing.
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Old 05-19-2019, 01:15 PM   #3
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I don't have or want a vacuum sealer either TS. Using the method Andy described, Ziplock bags work just fine for what I sous vide. I've never had a floating problem. The way I understand it, they are all you'll need.

I use mine mainly for beef or pork and love the method.
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Old 05-19-2019, 01:33 PM   #4
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I would love to play around with sous-vide cooking. But, does it make cooking easier? Will it take me less (personal) energy? Realistically, if it doesn't, I'll just end up with another gadget that doesn't get used much, if at all.
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:38 PM   #5
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Interesting question Taxi. For me, I didn't know I needed sous vide until I almost reluctantly started using it. I'm not big on unattended food like crockpots for example.
Sous vide cooks food to the ideal internal temperature, and holds it there. That's unique the way I see it. I don't use it often but many people do. I'm glad I have it.

Searing the meat is something to think about. I know I wouldn't want to do that in a CI skillet and dirty up a pan I could have cooked the steak in. Casey has some kind of gadget to sear it, and I throw the meat on my searing burner on the side of my gas grill. That's ideal for me as there's nothing to clean up.
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
The trick with ziplock bags is to get as much air out of the bag as possible so it won’t float...I recommend seriouseats.com for sous vide info. They’re a reliable site and have done a lot of research and testing.
Tada, a Serious Eats video showing how to express air from a ziplock bag:

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Old 05-19-2019, 02:49 PM   #7
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Ziploc brand bags for sous vide

When cooking beef or chicken you can put it in the water and walk away until it’s ready. You can even cook from frozen with the same result. If you’re running late you can just leave it in the water until you are ready. I use a CI skillet to sear and it’s fairly easy to clean. Just a simple rinse out with a sponge and dry it on a burner.
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:53 PM   #8
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Also, once you’ve had sous vide chicken breasts, you won’t want to go back to what you were doing before.
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:01 PM   #9
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I'm doing a monster Rib Eye in it for dinner tonight. As you can see, I clip the Ziplock bag to the edge of the pot.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:24 PM   #10
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I am a big time sous vide fan. I use a Foodsaver vacuum sealer. BUT, you really don't need one. You can absolutely use a ziplock bag.

The two things are related, but not joined at the hip. Vacuum sealing has its own benefits, and sous vide has its own benefits.

But, bottom line, you CAN use a ziplock bag for sous vide. You just need to get the air out so the bag doesn't float. There are many YouTube videos that will show you how to do that. Watching a video is better than any written description I can give you.

Cd
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