10 Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Cook Sous Vide

Flourless Carrot Cake ChefSteps

Thinking about investing in sous vide equipment for your kitchen? Here at ChefSteps, we’re unabashed fans—we love the way sous vide requires little micromanagement, and predictably cooks all sorts of food. Sous vide recipes you find online tend to focus on steak and fish—two excellent options—but when it comes to cooking in a water bath, proteins are just the beginning. Read on for 10 of our favorite unexpected uses for sous vide. Got faves of your own? Go ahead and share them in the comments

1. Custards

Yup, you can prepare crème brûlée and other custardy desserts sous vide. We use it to create the carrot custard for our Flourless Carrot Cake—a sous vide recipe that’s gluten-free and about as modernist as they come.

Get the recipe: Flourless Carrot Cake

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2. Purées

We like making purées well in advance—cooking them in a circulator is often the simplest way to do so. When it comes time to reheat them, it’s much easier to warm them in a sous vide bath than on the stovetop, where uneven heating sometimes means the purée near the heat is getting scorched while the portion near the surface is barely warm.

Get the recipe: Celery Root Purée

Celery-root-puree-ChefSteps

3. Burgers

Think we’re crazy for publishing a sous vide burger recipe? Don’t knock it ’til you’ve served a bunch of perfect patties to a large group, no grill-manning required.

Get the recipe: Beef Burger Patties

Sous-vide-burgers-ChefSteps

4. Flavored oils 

Got a recipe that calls for a flavored oil, but don’t want to pony up the cash for something you’ll probably only use once or twice? Make it at home instead. We cook flavored oil for three hours in a sous vide bath—yes, that’s far longer than most stovetop infusions call for, but the precise low temperature results in a flavorful oil that will keep for months.

Get the recipe: Thyme Oil

Thyme-Oil-ChefSteps

5. Cheese curds

Super-geeky, yet also super-great: using a SousVide Supreme to make your own squeaky cheese curds. You’ll need some funny ingredients, but how cool is it to be crafting curds like a pro in your own kitchen? And teachers, this would make an awesome classroom activity.

Get the recipe: Squeaky Cheese Curds

Poutine-ChefSteps

6. French fries

For these crispy-soft fries, we use a triple-cooking process made famous by British chef Heston Blumenthal. Once you recreate them at home, you’ll see why the method has set a new standard by which the world’s greatest French fries are judged.

Get the recipe: Thin-Cut French Fries

Thin-cut-French-fries-ChefSteps

7. Mashed potatoes

Think cooking sous vide means waiting a long time for your food? Well, er, often it does. But here’s an exception—you can make these rich, creamy mashed potatoes (or pomme purée, as chefs and French people call them) in 45 minutes flat.

Get the recipe: Pomme Purée

Mashed-potatoes-ChefSteps

8. Oysters

Weird but true: You can use sous vide to help you shuck oysters! Blanching oysters in a water bath at 140 °F / 60 °C for just a few minutes makes them easy to open. Time it right, and the oyster won’t cook but will wind up with a gorgeous plump appearance and an appealing firm texture that heightens their freshness. And because this technique makes it easy to pop the oyster open, you’re less likely to end up with shell debris floating in the salty brine surrounding the oyster.

Get the technique: Firming oysters

firming-oysters-ChefSteps

9. Stock

Using sous vide equipment to make stocks gives us the ultimate temperature control—for the richest, flavor-forward broth, we like to cook ours for a full day when time allows.

Get the recipe: Beef Stock

Beef-Stock-ChefSteps

10. Eggnog

Yup, not even this most traditional of holiday libations is safe from our relentless need to sous vide everything. But seriously, that time of year has enough stresses—instead of slaving over your egg-and-booze beverage, drop it in the bath and occupy yourself with the million other tasks at hand.

Get the recipe: Eggnog

Eggnog-ChefSteps
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Many thanks and credit to Alan Gastelum, Matthew Lightner, David Muñoz, and everyone else involved in the making of this video. Please share the Midnight Snack with your friends and start cooking!

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We hope you enjoyed watching this as much as we enjoyed making it. Please share the Midnight Snack with your friends and start cooking!

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Many thanks and credit to The Perennial Plate, Edible Feast, Donald Link, Daniel Klein, Mirra Fine, and everyone else involved in the making of this video. Please share the Midnight Snack with your friends and start cooking!

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Many thanks and credit to Ali Khan and everyone else involved in the making of this video. Please share the Midnight Snack with your friends and start cooking!

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Thanks and credit to Fine Dining Lovers, Giancarlo Morelli and everyone else involved in the making of this video. Please share the Midnight Snack with your friends and start cooking!

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Many thanks and credit to Peaceful Cuisine ☆ Ryoya and everyone else involved in the making of this video. Please share the Midnight Snack with your friends and start cooking!

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Thanks and credit to Peter Gilmore, Quay Restaurant, and everyone else involved in the making of this video. Please share the Midnight Snack with your friends and start cooking!

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Many thanks and credit to Erik Shirai, Cebu Osani, the workers at the Tedorigawa brewery, and everyone else involved in the making of this video. We can’t wait to see the entire film! Please share the Midnight Snack with your friends and start cooking!

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Many thanks and credit to HandPicked Nation, Dan Barber, and everyone else involved in the making of this video. Please share the Midnight Snack with your friends and start cooking!