Solve Floating Sous Vide Food Bags with Sous Vide Weights
Every sous vider has surely had this experience. You put your ingredients in a vacuum sealed bag or a zip lock bag. Your water bath is at your desired temperature and you put your food pouch into the sous vide water bath. But, your sous vide bags float. How frustrating. Never fear. We have a solution for you. Sous Vide Weights.
Related article: We have written before about popular hacks to keeping your sous vide food pouches submerged. Check that article out here.
The Benefits of Sous Vide Weights
Sous vide weights ensure your food pouches remain completely submerged for the duration for your sous vide cook.
Whether you use a saucepan, a larger plastic water container, DIY esky set up, or all in one sous vide machine, sous vide weights do a great job of weighing down your food pouches. They often allow you to add more food pouches to your water bath too.
Obviously, you add weights into the same water bath as your food pouches. That means that whatever you use needs to be completely food safe, non-corrosive and chemical free. No one enjoys a sous vide meal where sous vide weights have leached dangerous chemicals into your food pouch.
Sous vide weights, specifically designed for holding your food pouches under water, might be just the solution you have been looking for.
Using sous vide weights instead of a sous vide rack
Depending on the water bath you are using, sous vide weights are often a more economical solution than a sous vide rack.
Sous vide racks are commonly used in larger water bath containers and are often not ideal for use in smaller water baths, like saucepans. Ready made weights offer you flexibility to use in whatever container you use for your water bath.
What you need to consider when you buy sous vide weights
Given sous vide weights are in the same water bath as your food pouches, there are a few factors that are really important to consider when choosing sous vide weights:
Made with food safe materials
High quality sous vide weights are made with food safe materials. The weights should be able to hold down heavy food pouches. Especially if you like cooking for a crowd or regularly cook large, heavy meats like steaks or brisket.
The best weights are made with stainless steel and are acid, fat, salt and corrosion resistant. Where other materials such as silicone are used, they MUST be made with food safe silicone.
Remember – you are cooking with plastic cooking bags. Plastic bags are permeable. You don’t want to take any risks with sous vide weights that could contaminate your food in any way.
Obviously, sous vide weights sit in your water bath for a very long period of time. This means your sous vide weights must be corrosion resistant.
Easy to clean between sous vide cooks
Cleaning up after sous vide cooking is easy. So, you want your weights to be easy to clean too. Look out for dishwasher safe sous vide weights if you are after a super convenient option.
Not able to puncture your food pouch
Punctured sous vide food pouches equal say goodbye to your sous vide cook. Look for sous vide weights with smooth edges. You don’t want to puncture your food pouches.
You will notice that some sous vide weights sit on top of your food pouches. Even water flow is very important for a sous vide cook. Choose weights that don’t interfere with the water flow during your sous vide cook.
Able to withstand temperature changes
Look for sous vide weights that can cope with water temperature changes. Low quality materials can splinter or crack with temperature variability.
Do you put sous vide weights directly into the water bath or in the food pouches themselves?
Some sous vide weight manufacturers have designed their weights to be added into your food pouch with your ingredients. You MUST understand the exact materials used to make the weights before you consider this technique. If the weights are going to be in with food, you do not want to risk your food being exposed to any chemicals or contamination.
As an alternative approach, we suggest that you prepare your food pouch and then use another pouch with either a vacuum sealer or a zip lock bag to hold your weights.
Just be careful to monitor your sous vide cook to make sure the weights don’t fall off your food pouches during the cooking process.
Conclusion – Sous Vide Weights are a winner
Yes, that’s right. We think that sous vide weights offer an effective solution to keeping your floating food pouches immersed in your sous vide water bath. As we have outlined in this article, you MUST have a very good look at the materials used in any sous vide weights you buy. You don’t want to use weights that could leach into your sous vide water bath or food pouches which can cause food contamination.
Further Resources and Reading
Over to you. Have you used sous vide weights? How would you rate your experience with them? We would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below.
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