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The holidays are just around the corner, and you're on the hunt for the perfect gift for the culinary enthusiast in your life. If they love experimenting in the kitchen and trying new cooking techniques, then a sous vide gift might just be the ideal choice.
Sous vide is a cooking method that has gained immense popularity over the years, thanks to its precision and ability to deliver restaurant-quality results at home. You can read more about the benefits of sous vide cooking and also more about sous vide cooking in general to learn more about this technique.
In this sous vide gift guide, we provide a range of gift ideas for both beginners and experienced sous vide enthusiasts, as well as some fun gifts for lovers of gourmet cooking!
The Basics: Sous Vide Cookers
Sous Vide Precision Cooker: The heart of sous vide cooking, a precision cooker ensures that your food is cooked to perfection every single time. You put the food in a bag, and the machine cooks it at a set temperature until it's cooked through - providing amazing restaurant quality results.
Below are a couple of my favorites for gifts, but head over and read about the best sous vide machines for even more info.
Anova Precision Cooker Pro
Joule by Chefsteps
Breville Polyscience Creative Series
Sous Vide Accessories
Vacuum Sealer: A vacuum sealer is crucial for removing air from food bags, creating an airtight seal, and preventing water from entering. Look for a vacuum sealer with adjustable settings and compatibility with sous vide bags.
Sous Vide Bags and Rolls: High-quality, food-safe sous vide bags and rolls are essential. Consider brands like FoodSaver and Anova for reliable options. Reusable silicone bags are also eco-friendly. Read more about the best sous vide bags.
FoodSaver Vacuum Seal Bags: FoodSaver offers a variety of vacuum seal bags great for sous vide cooking. They come in different sizes and thicknesses and are designed to be puncture-resistant and airtight to provide the best results.
Ziploc Freezer Bags: Ziploc offers freezer bags that are suitable for sous vide cooking when using the water displacement method. Look for the freezer bags specifically labeled as "Freezer" as they are thicker and more resistant to punctures and leaks.
Stasher Bags: Stasher bags are made from food-grade silicone and have a patented airtight pinch-loc seal. They come in various sizes and shapes, are dishwasher safe, and can be used for sous vide cooking.
Container with Lid: A dedicated sous vide container with a fitted lid helps maintain water temperature and prevents water evaporation.
Below are some top picks, but head over to read about the best sous vide containers for even more in-depth information.
I use a 12 Liter Everie Sous Vide Container. It comes with a lid and is compatible with all current Anova devices. It is a little more expensive than the others, but I've had it for many years and I love it.
Sous Vide Rack: A sous vide rack keeps food pouches submerged and ensures even cooking. It's a helpful accessory for cooking multiple items at once.
Weights or Clips: To prevent bags from floating, consider adding sous vide weights or clips. They help keep food submerged and promote even cooking. **Read more about the best sous vide weights.
Sous Vide Magnets: Magnetic weights are designed to attach to the bottom or sides of sous vide containers. They are often equipped with magnets that hold onto the container's metal surface, preventing them from moving around.
Food-Grade Silicone Weights: Silicone weights are pliable and flexible, making them ideal for conforming to the shape of vacuum-sealed bags.
Mesh Sous Vide Sinker Weights: This weight, often made of food-grade mesh material, is placed inside the bag and holds the ingredients down while allowing water to circulate freely for precise and even cooking.
Insulating Sleeve: An insulating sleeve can improve energy efficiency and reduce water temperature fluctuations, making your sous vide setup more efficient.
More Sous Vide Accessories
Cast Iron Skillet: Searing is a crucial step after sous vide cooking. A good cast-iron skillet is the perfect tool for achieving that beautiful crust on your steak or other proteins.
I personally use a Lodge cast iron skillet, but the below are some other great options as well:
Blow Torch: Precision searing can be taken to the next level with a culinary blow torch. It's an exciting tool for finishing dishes with a perfectly caramelized crust. This is different than a kitchen torch that we use to make creme brulee.
Vacuum Chamber Sealer: For serious sous vide enthusiasts, a vacuum chamber sealer provides the most robust and efficient way to remove air from bags and ensure a perfect seal.
Books and Learning Materials
Sous Vide Cookbooks: There are many excellent sous vide cookbooks available that provide inspiration and detailed instructions for cooking a wide range of dishes. I will toot my own horn and recommend my basic sous vide cookbook - The Sous Vide Cookbook: A Beginner's Guide to Gourmet Cooking Made Easy.
Online Classes or Subscriptions: Consider gifting a subscription to an online cooking class platform like MasterClass or America's Test Kitchen. They often include sous vide cooking lessons.
Honestly, this site has a plethora of information on it for those looking to get started with sous vide. Just let them know to head on over here, sign up for the email list and start learning about sous vide!
Safety and Maintenance
Heat-Resistant Gloves: High-temperature gloves are essential for safely handling hot sous vide bags and equipment. While not a requirement, they can make some tasks easier (like taking jars of sous vide cheesecake out of the water bath).
Cleaning Supplies: Keeping sous vide equipment clean is important. Gift a set of brushes, scrubbers, and food-safe cleaning solutions to make the task easier. I am a huge proponent of using vinegar as a cleaning solution for your sous vide equipment.
Presentation and Serving
Plating Tools: A set of professional plating tools, including tweezers and brushes, can help create restaurant-worthy presentations if this is what you're looking for.
Customized Apron or Chef's Hat: For a personal touch, consider getting a chef's apron or hat customized with their name or a fun sous vide-related message.
Cooking Classes or Workshops: Enroll them in a local cooking class or workshop focusing on sous vide techniques. It's an opportunity to learn, experiment, and enjoy together.
Gourmet Ingredients: Curate a selection of gourmet ingredients such as truffle oil, exotic spices, or specialty salts that can enhance sous vide dishes. Here are some of my favorite gourmet ingredients to elevate dishes:
- Truffle Oil
- Parmigianino Reggiano
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Gourmet salts
- Snake River Farms Meat Sampler
Sous Vide-themed Art or Décor: Find sous vide-themed art or kitchen décor items like posters, prints, or utensil holders to add a touch of personality to their kitchen. Here are some fun options:
Remember to consider the experience and skill level of the person you're buying for. Whether they're a beginner or a seasoned pro, there's a sous vide gift that will help elevate their culinary adventures!
Happy gift buying!!