Is a Sous Vide the new Instant Pot?

A friend’s recommendation on the speediest way to get dinner on the table: a sous vide

photos via Williams-Sonoma

The other weekend, I visited my good friend Jodie in Beaufort, SC. She’s the type of person who just adds at least one extra detail to everything. For example, when I arrived, she had an artichoke dip with sliced bread laid out on a plate. Extra detail: the bread had a salty spice sprinkled on top. (It was Montreal steak spice and fantastic.) For breakfast, she made deviled eggs and bacon. Extra details: served on a pretty deviled egg platter with coarse sea salt and pepper sprinkled on top. An after dinner drink: a key lime pie cocktail with brown sugar on the rim. (Seriously. Better than a key lime pie.)

She went to culinary school after college so the girl knows her way around the kitchen. I asked her, “Do you have an Instant Pot?” because that seems to be the thing on the internet and instagram everyone is obsessing over to put dinner on the table. “No, but I do have this.” And she retrieved a chrome contraption that looked like an oversized thermometer from her pantry. “It’s a sous vide, and I could not live without it.”

How the Sous Vide works

A sous vide is a hands-off cooking kitchen gadget, sort of like an Instapot or slow cooker, but holds a precise temperature for a long period of time. “Chefs have used these in catering for years, because you can cook meat to the perfect temperature hours, even a day, in advance,” she explained. “I cooked flank steak for a dinner party in the Sous Vide, and we just threw it on the grill to sear it. Dinner is served in just a few minutes without a big hassle.” Simply add the meat in a glass or a bag with a marinade or spices, and the Sous Vide cooks the meat to the perfect temperature and then holds it at that temperature for the next 36 hours (not that you’d really want to cook something three days in advance, but it is an odd option.) It sounds so easy, right!?


Curious, I kept asking questions.

  • So you could put chicken in the night before and eat it the next day for dinner? Yes, yes you can. So her main course is already cooked when she comes home from work and then she just preps a few sides for dinner with her kids.
  • What kind of container do you use? You can use any pot you already have.
  • What about vegetables? Yes, you can cook veggies too.
  • Does it cook in water? No, you put the meat or vegetables in a sealed bag or glass container, and submerge in the water to cook – the water does not touch the food.
  • Where did you get this thing? “You can get it on Amazon, and I would only get the brand Anova.”

Search the internet, and you’ll find lots of articles pop up about sous vide cooking, with recommendations, recipes, and tips. notes, “If you’re cooking for a range of food preferences or allergies, sous vide cooking can make life easier. For example, you can cook chicken marinated in a lot of spices as well as chicken just sprinkled with salt and pepper at the same time so both parents and kids are happy.”

Which Sous Vide to buy

Here’s the one my friend recommends: Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker on Amazon or the Anova Precision Sous Vide Cooker with Wifi on Williams-Sonoma.

In the morning, sometimes even a dump and go recipe in a crockpot is too much to manage. My husband is concerned an Instant Pot will blow up our house, but I like the idea of dinner ready in 30 minutes. Perhaps a sous vide is a compromise!

I love kitchen gadgets. What are your favorites to get dinner on the table during the week?

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  1. 5.31.19
    Jodie said:

    Hat-you’re the cutest. I do LOVE my sous vide. And I’ll always sprinkle on the Extra for you 🤣❤️🥂