FAQs: Sous Vide

Do you have questions about sous vide cooking in general, sous vide cooking times, the Enfinigy sous vide stick, or our vacuum food storage products? We’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions and answers here. If you don’t see answers to your questions, you can contact ZWILLING customer service at any time.

General Questions

What is "sous vide"?

The term sous vide is a French term that means "under vacuum." It refers to the cooking method in which food is vacuum sealed in a plastic bag and then gently cooked in a water bath. In this process, the water temperature is set very precisely on a sous vide stick based on the type of food to be cooked and the desired temperature at which you’d like it cooked. The sous vide stick heats the water and keeps the temperature constant.


What are the advantages of sous vide cooking?

  • Everything is cooked evenly, from the edge to the core.
  • You can't overcook food, just set the temperature at which you want it cooked and let the sous vide stick do the rest.
  • More intense taste experience: cooking sous vide locks in flavors as they are enclosed in the vacuum-sealed bag and do not dissipate into the air or the cooking water. You cook your food in its own juices.
  • Healthier and more enjoyable food: without direct water contact and due to low temperatures, nutrients, vitamins, and flavors are locked in.
  • Not only do you cook better, but it's also easier.
  • You can keep your food at the same cooking temperature in warm water over a long period of time – freeing you up to prep ahead.
  • Less stressful cooking: The sous vide stick cooks your food automatically. So you have more time for other tasks or to spend with guests.
  • Offers an alternative cooking location: saves space on the stovetop for other dishes.
  • Optionally, you can finish your food after sous vide cooking by searing in a pan. For this you need a heat-resistant pan or grill.

Is sous vide cooking safe?

Sous vide cooking is safe if you observe the following points:

  • Always use fresh and cleaned food and make sure that the work surface and kitchen utensils are clean during preparation.
  • Wash and dry your food thoroughly beforehand.
  • Only use completely clean vacuum bags.
  • Heat food to the target temperature as quickly as possible.
  • Do not leave poultry in the water bath for too long after you have reached the minimum cooking time.

What equipment do I need for sous vide?

The basic equipment for sous vide cooking consists of a sous vide device (e.g. the Enfinigy Sous Vide Stick), heat-resistant vacuum bags, a vacuum pump, and a large pot or container filled with water.

Questions about Cooking Sous Vide

How do I determine the right temperature for sous vide?

You can find cooking temperatures for different foods in our cooking tables. Cooking temperatures are determined by type of food - for example, fish has a much lower cooking temperature than vegetables – as well as the desired doneness. That is to say, a medium-rare steak has a lower temperature than a medium-well steak.

How do I determine the correct cooking time?

With sous vide, cooking time plays a less important role than with other cooking methods, as you can leave your food in the water after the cooking time has elapsed without it continuing to cook. So all you need to do is set the time and temperature recommended for your food based on what type of food it is (steak, fish, vegetable) and how thick it is. For instance, a thin sliced steak will cook faster than a whole roast.

Can you overcook with sous vide? 

Overcooking isn’t possible with sous vide because the water only reaches the exact temperature that you have set for the food on your sous vide stick. 

Which foods should I be sure not to cook over the minimum cooking time?

To avoid bacteria growth, especially at low sous vide temperatures, it is recommended that you remove your food as soon as possible from the water bath. This is especially true for poultry, which should be removed as near to the set cooking time as possible. 

How do I get that beautiful brown crust on meat and fish after sous vide cooking?

You can achieve a beautifully seared crust by quickly cooking your meat or fish in a very hot cast iron or stainless-steel pan after removing it from the sous vide water bath. Be sure the pan is very hot and that you cook only a minute or so on both sides, depending on the thickness of the protein.

Can I sear my meat or fish before sous vide cooking?

We strongly recommend that you don’t sear your food before placing it in the sous vide water bath as the crust will become soft again in the bag. Only sear when your food is fresh from the sous vide water bath.

Should I add salt before or after sous vide cooking?

There is no clear rule here, however, we recommend salting before cooking sous vide, as salt can help enhance the tenderness of your food.

How can I use sous vide to prepare food in advance?

Sous vide is especially useful when you want to prepare food in advance. Simply pre-cook dishes and then store them in a vacuum bag. Place the bags in ice-cold water to cool them down quickly, vacuum seal, and place them in the fridge for storage. You can then reheat the dishes briefly with sous vide, without sacrificing flavor or moistness.

Questions about the ENFINGY Sous Vide Stick

What do I need to consider when buying a sous vide stick?

Some details to consider include:

  • Water protection according to IPX7 certification: without this assurance, there is a risk of electric shock if the appliance falls completely into the water. All Enfinigy Sous Vide Sticks are IPX7 certified. Sufficient power (wattage): The more watts a stick has, the faster it can heat the water bath. At 1200 watts, the Enfinigy Sous Vide Stick is extremely powerful.
  • High temperature precision of the device: We recommend a high temperature stability of +/- 0.1 - 0.3 F°. This way you can be sure that the water temperature fully corresponds to the temperature displayed. The Enfinigy Sous Vide Stick is highly temperature precise.
  • Dimensions: A sous vide stick is much more space-saving than a sous vide appliance with an integrated basin. The Enfinigy Sous Vide Stick is compact and will fit in a drawer.

Is the Enfinigy Sous Vide Stick also suitable for keeping soups warm?

No, the appliance is only suitable for heating and keeping water warm and not for direct food contact.

How do I clean the Enfinigy Sous Vide Stick?

  • Clean surfaces: You can use a damp, lint-free cloth to clean the exterior of the unit. It is best not to use microfiber cloths, as these can cause fine scratches on the surface. Before cleaning, unplug the appliance and let it cool down completely. Never completely immerse the unit in water.
  • Clean the stainless-steel housing: To remove the stainless-steel housing, turn it until the arrow points to the open lock symbol. Then slide the stainless-steel housing over the heating elements, taking care not to damage the circulator. The stainless-steel housing is dishwasher safe. After cleaning and completely drying, slide the housing back onto the appliance and turn it until the arrow points to the closed lock symbol. The appliance is now locked.

EE1 appears on the display and an alarm signal sounds. What should I do?

There is either no water in the pot or the water level is too low. The Enfinigy Sous Vide Stick requires a minimum water level. Add water to the pot to clear the alarm.

A “slurping” sound can be heard. What should I do?

The circulator in the unit has created a swirl of water. Add more water or interrupt the turbulence by inserting a spoon or other utensil into the water.

A gurgling sound is heard. What should I do?

The circulator is drawing in air. Add more water to resolve.

Questions about the Vacuum Bags

What bags are suitable for sous vide cooking?

Be sure to use bags that are designed for sous vide cooking. The bags should be heat-resistant and free from harmful substances such as BPA. Never use standard kitchen or freezer bags, as these are generally not designed for higher temperatures. Harmful substances such as softeners can be transferred to the food when they are used. All ZWILLING Fresh & Save vacuum bags are free from harmful substances and uniquely suited to sous vide cooking.


Is cooking in plastic bags harmful to my health?

Cooking with ZWILLING Fresh & Save vacuum bags is not harmful to your health, as they have been specially developed for sous vide and have undergone numerous cooking safety tests.


Can I put olive oil or butter in the vacuum bag?

Yes, you can add butter, olive oil, or herbs to the bag depending on the recipe or your taste preference.


How can I prevent bag tears?

Bag tears can be caused by vacuuming sharp objects such as bones. For best results, remove pointy ends before vacuuming. Bags can also be damaged during storage, for example if they are stored in the cutlery drawer next to other sharp objects. Avoid storing next to sharp objects.


How do I prevent liquids from being sucked into the pump during vacuuming?

Liquids will naturally move toward the bag valve during vacuuming. Be careful not to let them exit the valve and enter the vacuum pump. This can cause damage to the pump. To help prevent this from happening, we have developed the liquid barrier. The liquid barrier delays the suction of liquids and gives you a longer reaction time to stop the pump manually, helping to prevent liquids from being absorbed by the pump during vacuum sealing.

How to keep liquids out