Stove-Top Sous Vide Salmon Recipe

One of the big misconceptions about sous vide cooking is that you have to spend thousands of dollars to do it. While it is possible to spend that much money you can also get a very good sous vide set up for much cheaper, or even for free, as this recipe for stove-top sous vide salmon will show you.

This cheap sous vide method can be applied to many other dishes that don't require long amounts of cooking time such as many vegetables or other types fish. However, you can't use this stove-top method for most types of meat because of the constant work required to maintain the proper temperature. The cheapest method for meat is to buy a sous vide cooking controller, which normally are $100-$150, and a crock pot or rice cooker.


Seal The Salmon

If you already have a vacuum sealer such as a FoodSaver around then use it to seal the salmon. Otherwise, for the cheap sous vide method you can wrap the salmon in plastic wrap several layers thick, or even use a ziplock bag with all the air removed. I added some olive oil to the bag and some rosemary, salt, and pepper for seasoning.

Set Up the Stove-Top Water Bath

image The cheapest way to set up a water bath is to use a large pot of water on your stove. A large pot is easier to work with than a small pot since it maintains its temperature much better.

Stove-Top Sous Vide Temperature Control

Working with a thermometer it is pretty easy to maintain a temperature within a few degrees to either side of your ideal temperature. Leaving the stove on low, or turning it on and off, and adding ice cubes or cold water in small amounts allows you to keep the water temperature relatively stable. It won't stay within the .1 degree range that many devices can maintain but for cheap sous vide and small amounts of time it will do just fine.

Put Salmon in and Cook

image Once you put the salmon in, try to maintain the temperature that you are aiming for, for salmon this is normally around 113-122F, and you'll need to cook it for 10 to 20 minutes.

While this method of stove-top sous vide is more time and effort intensive than other methods it's a great place to experiment and see if you want to invest the few hundred dollars to move up to a basic "hands-off" set up with a crock pot / rice cooker and a sous vide controller.
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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