What do you recommend to pin down items that float?
- Ben Allen
Note: The following article is an edited transcription from the video.
This is a big issue for a lot of people. Originally, it was something I didn't encounter much so I wasn't in a hurry to look into it. However, I thought I should do some testing and write an article on my blog about the various ways to prevent bags from floating. But as I started testing these things, I realized that using them makes sous viding so much easier. I went from not having a problem necessarily, to now I hate cooking without using something to hold the bag down.
There's lots of different options, but what I stuck with after testing 5 or 6 different things is the silicone coated red magnets from Sous Vide Homewares. They're on Amazon for about $8 to $10 for 8 of them. They're nice big thick ones that you can easily clamp on either side of the container to hold the sous vide bag under water during the cook.
I originally started with cheaper uncoated metal ones. They're about the same price for twice as many magnets. They were also a little bit stronger than the coated ones, but this turned out to just make them hard to pull apart.
That Christmas I gave a set of these to my Dad. When my father-in-law was checking them out, they snapped back together so forcefully that the non-coated magnets hit him in the face. That's kind of what you're dealing with when you're trying to use these. Where the Sous Vide Homewares coated magnets are easy for anyone to handle and separate.
Note: For more information you can read our comprehensive article on Disc Neodymium Magnets for Sous Vide.
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Another important difference comes when sous viding things like vegetables, which is one of the foods that tends to float. Vegetables are cooked at higher temperatures, normally about 185°F (85°C) which is really hot.
When it's time to remove the sous vide bag from the water, the uncoated metal magnets are now also 185°F (85°C). So when you try to take them off you can burn yourself. Whereas the coated ones are warm but will not burn you.
Note: For more information you can read my detailed review on these red Sous Vide Homewares Magnets.
I use the coated red magnets all the time now, even with foods that don't float. They are so easy to stick on the sides, and I don't ever have to check on the bags to be sure everything's underwater. I've used these magnets on steaks and chicken, particularly frozen steak and chicken which tends to float. They're a necessity with carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, which are like trying to hold a raft underwater.
What do I recommend to combat floating sous vide bags? The silicone coated red magnets from Sous Vide Homewares - they work great!
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