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10 sous vide accessories to help enhance your cooking

Sous vide machines are known for their ease of use and delicious results. They let you cook food to the perfect temperature, and many can be controlled with your smartphone. Still, the right accessories can be the difference between good food and great food. Whether you're a seasoned sous vide chef or new to the method, it's a good idea to know which accessories are best.

In this article: FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer MachineImpresa Sous Vide Magnets and Booker & Dax Searzall Torch Attachment.

How do sous vide machines work?

Sous vide machines use an immersion circulator to heat water evenly and maintain its temperature. These circulators can be attached to a stock pot or sous vide container filled with water. Food is placed in a vacuum-sealed bag, which is then placed in the water to be cooked.

Some immersion circulators can be controlled with your smartphone, but others have built-in controls and displays.

Types of sous vide accessories

  • Vacuum sealers: These are used to suck the air out of your food storage bags before you cook. Often, they also seal the bag's opening to ensure the air stays out. Although these are typically used for sous vide cooking, you can also use them to store food in your fridge or freezer.
  • Vacuum sealer bags: You'll need special bags to use a vacuum sealer. These are typically made with commercial-grade plastic that withstands punctures and tears better than zip-close bags.
  • Sous vide containers: These ensure consistent results each time you use your sous vide machine. Often, they have lids that keep water from evaporating while you cook.
  • Cast-iron skillets: Food cooked with a sous vide machine can look unappetizing. You can use a cast-iron skillet to sear meat, making it look much tastier.
  • Torches: These provide a quicker way to sear meats after cooking them.
  • Clips and magnets: These can be used to keep your bags in place while you cook. If your sous vide container has a lid, you may want to use magnets instead of clips.

Sous vide FAQ

Q. How do you finish a sous vide steak with a torch?

A. When you're done cooking your steak, remove it from the bag and pat it dry. Place it on a wire rack over a nonstick baking sheet. Turn your torch on and move it over your steak in a sweeping motion, ensuring you don't get the torch too close to the meat. Patiently continue searing the steak with a slow sweeping motion until the steak is seared and caramelized.

Q. Are plastic sous vide containers safe?

A. Yes, your food will be sealed in a plastic bag that doesn't contain potentially harmful bisphenol A, so that it won't come into contact with the actual sous vide container. Still, most sous-vide containers are also BPA-free.

Q. How long should you sear meat in a cast-iron skillet after using a sous vide machine?

A. Your food will be completely cooked, so you don't want to put it in a skillet for long. In most cases, you'll pan-sear it for around two to three minutes, flipping it every 20 to 30 seconds.

Q. What foods can you make with a sous vide machine?

A. You can sous vide a variety of foods, including broccoli, cauliflower, eggs, steak, chicken and shrimp. Still, most people primarily use their sous vide cookers for meat.

Best sous vide accessories

Repinsta Sous Vide Bags and Hand Pump

This set comes with 20 bags, a hand pump and four sealing clips. Many reviewers said the bags are top-notch, though the manual hand pump can feel tedious. Still, it's a great starter pump for those without an electric vacuum sealer. 

Sold by Amazon

FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer Machine

This detects bags and moisture automatically and has a built-in retractable hand-held sealer. The drip tray is dishwasher-safe. The sealer is stylishly designed and backed by a five-year limited warranty.

Sold by Amazon

Everie Sous Vide Container

This comes with a universal silicone lid and a stainless steel rack. It features a stylish black and green design. The insulated container keeps the water temperature stable, and the lid keeps it from evaporating.

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Syntus Vacuum Sealer Bags

These have a dotted pattern that helps tightly seal the bags. They're compatible with all vacuum-sealer machines.

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Victoria Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet

This 13-inch skillet is pre-seasoned with flaxseed oil. It has two curved handles and a pouring spout for grease. Many users said they were impressed with its smooth cooking surface.

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Anova Culinary Precision Vacuum Sealer

This affordable vacuum sealer doesn't have as much suction power as larger, more expensive models, but it's a great value for the money. Many said it was easy to use. It's compact, making it an excellent choice for those with small counters.

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Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet

While testing this skillet, BestReviews testers were pleasantly surprised with its even heat distribution. The heavy-duty cast-iron material is built to last, and it's surprisingly affordable.

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Impresa Sous Vide Magnets

These magnets ensure your bags stay submerged and in place. The four powerful magnets work with nearly any container. They're easy to use and clean.

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Bernzomatic TS8000 Trigger-Start Torch

This is an excellent way to sear your foods after cooking them with a sous vide machine. It's pressure-regulated and has an adjustable flame-control knob.

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Booker & Dax Searzall Torch Attachment

This attachment can be secured to the top of your torch to enhance its searing capabilities. Most reviewers were impressed with how quickly it worked.

Sold by Amazon

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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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