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What Would You Like to Sous Vide?
How to Sous Vide Infused Water
From tea and coffee to dashi and soups, using sous vide to infuse water results in flavorful "micro-stocks" and unique beverages. Most sous vide infused water is cooked at 130°F to 160°F (55°C to 71°C) for 1 to 3 hours, then chilled and strained.
Sous Vide infused waters are becoming more and more popular as people look to replace sugary soda with something a little more flavorful than plain water and more exciting than the standard iced tea. Various herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables can be steeped in water, lending their flavors to the infusion. Most infused waters can follow the general guidelines for sous vide infusions.
Hot infusions, or infusions using the whipping siphon or sous vide are the most common way to work with water because flavoring agents soaking in water on the counter for days or weeks usually isn't very safe. Using the heat reduces that time down to minutes or hours.
Types of Infused Water
Many flavored waters simply use boiling water, like most teas, but using sous vide for water infusions allows precision control over the process for an extended time. I've used this to make mock "cold brew" sous vide coffee (ground beans soaked at 130°F to 150°F (54°C to 65°C) for 1 to 3 hours), chaga mushroom tea, and low-temp brewed iced green teas.
Broth and dashi are very common water infusions. They normally use meat, chicken, seaweed, or vegetables to impart delicate flavors into the water. The water is then usually used as a base for sauces or soups.
More flavorful sous vide broth and stocks can also be made through the infusion process. However, the traditional chicken or beef stock is usually made in such large quantities that the whipping siphon or sous vide machine tends to be less efficient, and less flavorful, than the stovetop or pressure cooker. Micro-stocks, small amounts of highly flavored stocks, can be made with the whipping siphon or sous vide.
Light, chilled soups can be made by infusing fruits, vegetables or berries into water. These can be served with garnishes as soups, or as the base for light sauces. Fruity infusions can also be used as a base for drinks or kid friendly “cocktails”.
All of these infused waters can also be used in modernist ways. From foams and froths to gels and spheres, they can make wonderful additions to a variety of modernist dishes.
Most water and juice infusions will only last for a week or two and should be stored in the refrigerator.
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What is the Best Sous Vide Infused Water Temperatures and Times?
From tea and coffee to dashi and soups, using sous vide to infuse water results in flavorful "micro-stocks" and unique beverages. Most are cooked at 130°F to 160°F (55°C to 71°C) for 1 to 3 hours, then chilled and strained.
Mild, Uncooked Flavors:
130°F for 1 to 3 hours (54.4ºC)
Medium, Stronger Flavors:
145°F for 1 to 3 hours (62.8ºC)
Cooked, Strong Flavors:
160°F for 1 to 3 hours (71.1ºC)
Do you have experience cooking infused water? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Homemade pressure cooked turkey stock is a great way to add flavor and body to many different dishes. Now that I almost always sous vide my turkey instead of roasting it, making a turkey stock ahead of time and using it for gravy is really important.
Dried mushrooms are full of concentrated flavors. Infusing them into water creates a rich, flavorful broth that is a wonderful base for building savory dishes. You can alter the spices or herbs used in the infusion to further complement the final dish you are creating.
The smoky, rich flavor of bacon can be extracted into a water infusion to create a flavorful broth. I add some peppercorns and rosemary to round out the flavors. I serve it as a soup base with steamed vegetables and roasted pork pieces as garnish.
Sous Vide Infused Water Comments
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