Can you sous vide in a slow cooker?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you sous vide in a slow cooker” with an in-depth analysis of the ways to use a slow cooker as a sous vide cooker through the use of different accessories.

Moreover, we are going to highlight how sous vide can be done in a slow cooker, what are the similarities and dissimilarities between sous vide and slow cooking methods.

Can you sous vide in a slow cooker?

A slow cooker can be employed for the sous viding cooking method that involves the slow cooking of food to preserve its taste as well as the moisture content. This can be done by converting the slow cooker to a sous vide cooker and then food can be cooked slowly.

The most commonly used slow cooker is a crockpot that can be easily converted to sous vide cooker. The only problem with the use of sous vide cooker or slow cooker converted to a sous vide cooker is that it takes more time to heat the water as compared to other cookers.

The best way to sous vide your food in a slow cooker is to attach the appliance with an external temperature controller which is important not only for cooking the vegetables or meat but also for reheating purposes.

Lastly, care is needed while regulating the temperature of water of the foods as most slow cookers can cause overheating of water and thus damaging the texture of food. The temperature limit for water during sous vide cooking is 175 degrees Fahrenheit. You can find more information about sous vide cooking in a slow cooker here.

How to convert slow cooker into sous vide?

To convert a slow cooker into a sous vide cooker, you need some extra tools, such as a thermostatic controller, extension cord, and thermocouple. You may also do this by changing the wires setting but this may be dangerous as a normal individual is not skilled enough to deal with wires.

Sous vide versus slow cooker:

A slow cooker, also known as a crockpot, is a countertop cooking equipment that contains a cooking pot made up of ceramic, porcelain, or stainless steel and an electric heating element. The cooking under pressure that is built up due to an enclosed environment allows the food to be cooked rapidly and remains hot for a longer duration.

The slow cookers also maintain the moisture content of the food to the desired temperature as there is no evaporation during this cooking method. They also retain the heat in the food to make them cook faster than usually needs to be cooked for a longer duration and on low heating.

On the other hand, the sous vide cooking method is a specialized technique in which the food is cooked in hot water. Sous vide is commonly known as a water oven containing a device placed in a water container or immersion circulator.

This circulator heats the water to a temperature and circulates this temperature evenly throughout the container. Food, already enclosed in air-tight plastic bags, is placed in a water bath that will gently transmit heat to the food contents to cook them.

Similar features of sous vide and slow cookers:

Some of the similarities between sous vide and slow cooker include cooking times, tenderizing of the foods, temperature precision, and nutritional changes in the food.

Cooking time:

Both the cooking methods take longer to completely cook the food.

Meat softness:

As both the methods are lengthy, the meat obtained is well-tenderized and soft enough that it can easily be chewed.

Energy consumption and generation:

These cooking methods use less energy as compared to other cooking methods without producing too much heat in the kitchen.

Dissimilarities between sous vide and slow cookers:

There are also some differences in both the cooking methods.

Precise temperature:

Slow cookers can operate at only three different temperature settings, such as high, low, and warm. On the other hand, sous vide cookers have a thermostatic controller that easily adjusts the temperature for a cooking method to a wide range.

Overcooking:

The enclosed environment provided by the slow cookers sometimes makes it possible to overcook the food as there is no evaporation and heat is mostly retained inside. Whereas, sous vide method accurately cooks the food as the temperature is perfectly adjusted.

Change in nutritional content:

Slow cookers can destroy the micronutrients in vegetables due to continuous heating for a long duration. Heating may cause enzymatic damage and degrade the nutrients. In contrast, sous vide cooking retains most of the nutrients in vegetables as they are cooked in sealed bags.

Conclusion:

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you sous vide in a slow cooker” with an in-depth analysis of the possibilities of using slow cookers as sous vide cookers through attaching different tools to the slow cookers.

Moreover, we discussed what are the similarities and dissimilarities between slow cooking and sous vide cooking methods and how can slow cooker be converted to a sous vide cooker.

Citations:

https://homekitchentalk.com/can-you-sous-vide-in-a-slow-cooker/#:~:text=The%20bottom%20 line%20is%20that,get%20an%20external%20temperature%20controller.&text=The%20temperature%20the%20water%20 reaches,cook%20that%20 sous%20vide%20does.

https://applianceanalysts.com/sous-vide-vs-slow-cookers/
https://www.thekitchn.com/how-safe-is-sous-vide-cooking-229843

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.