How do You Pin Down Floating Sous Vide Items? - Ask Jason

I get a lot of great questions from my readers. In order to help out everyone else I'm answering some of the most popular ones here on the blog. Have something you need help with? You can ask me on Facebook, contact me directly, or view all of the Ask Jason questions!

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.

Sous vide magnets red outside

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.

Sous vide asparagus tuscan 44

Note: For more information you can read our comprehensive article on Disc Neodymium Magnets for Sous Vide.

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.

Sous vide cherry tomatoes 3

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!

If you like this you can get more than 85 inspiring recipes to get you on your way to sous vide success. It's all in my best selling book Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Sous Vide - Get Your Copy Today!

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All tags for this article: Ask Jason, Equipment, Sous Vide, Sous Vide Equipment

Jason logsdon headshot This article is by me, Jason Logsdon. I'm an adventurous home cook and professional blogger who loves to try new things, especially when it comes to cooking. I've explored everything from sous vide and whipping siphons to pressure cookers and blow torches; created foams, gels and spheres; made barrel aged cocktails and brewed beer. I have also written 10 cookbooks on modernist cooking and sous vide and I run the website.
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