Bag sizes?

Asked by on Tuesday, August 30
What determines the size of bag to use? <br />Why do I need to use several bags rather than a single large bag for several pieces of meat or fish? <br />I notice in the recipes that if you're doing say 4 steaks, they recommend 1 or 2 steaks per pack irrespective if you have a large bag that will accommodate all 4 steaks?

2 Answers to This Question

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Good question! The size of the bag is based on 2 things. How much food you are cooking and how large your water bath is. In general, you want to make sure your food is in a single layer in the bag, and that all the food is completely submerged in the water. So for most cases the above example works well, and if I tried using 4 steaks in a line (unless they're smaller steaks) I wouldn't be able to fit them comfortable into the water bath I use (though some people have larger water baths). <br /> <br />So the rule of thumb is have them in a single layer and make sure they fit comfortably into your water bath and you'll be all set.
Answered by Jason Logsdon on Tuesday, August 30
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My own experience is with a home-made sous vide cooker with a great thermostat and a 7 qt oval CrockPot. An aquarium pump and airstones provide water circulation. The walls of the cooker are at temperature, no uneven temperatures are observed, and large pieces of meat are easily cooked in one piece. Cookers with cold walls and convection for circulation conduct heat to the meat much less effectively. Cold walls and the absence of forced circulation present a natural limitation that forces smaller package sizes to assure the meat comes up to temperature.
Answered by Leigh Jones on Sunday, June 16
You can also find a lot of sous vide information, as well as over 100 recipes, in our book Beginning Sous Vide which you can get at or as a pdf download.

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