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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 or contact me directly!

Ask Jason Recipes and Articles

Do You Need a Circulator for Sous Vide - Ask Jason

Placeholder Do You Need a Circulator to Sous Vide? The short answer is, I don't think so. If it works for you, then great. Circulators are really nice to have though. There are many reliable brands at low cost.

What Should You Not Sous Vide - Ask Jason

Placeholder This is a really great question! We get in this kind of echo chamber when discussing the use of sous vide cooking. I feel there's two opposite groups of people. There's the one side who thinks sous vide is completely overrated; it can't do anything that you can't do with traditional cooking. Then there's the camp who thinks you should sous vide everything. You've probably seen the extreme of that in the once or twice a year joke post about "my popcorn is going in the sous vide machine".

How Do You Pasteurize Fish with Sous Vide - Ask Jason

Placeholder A lot of people are disappointed cooking fish with sous vide and I think that's because there's several ways to prepare fish. Two of the main ones are more gently cooked methods like poached or steamed fish, and higher heat methods like grilled or pan-fried fish. I believe sous vide works great for some but not all fish preparations.

Sous Vide Pre-sear vs Post-sear – Ask Jason

Placeholder There is a lot of talk about whether you should sear your meat before sous viding it. There are two main reasons to do it. First, pre-sear before sous vide to sterilize the meat, and second is to add flavor and help out your post-sear.

How Do You Reheat Sous Vided Food - Ask Jason

Placeholder How do you reheat sous vide food? I have some sous vide time and temperature charts that talk about heating your food or pasteurizing your food; it all applies to tender foods. If you've cooked something ahead of time, it's now considered a tender food.

Sous Vide Searing Tips - Ask Jason


Searing is one of those things that some people have no problem with it and other people really struggle with it all the time. There's a lot of things you can do to help increase your success and there's many different searing methods to choose from.

Do You Need to Use an Ice Bath After Sous Vide?

Placeholder One confusing aspect is whether you need to use an ice bath after the sous vide process. Here's is an explanation of when and why you need to, and when you do not.

Should You Put Butter in the Sous Vide Bag?

Placeholder There is a lot of discussion about whether or not you should add butter, oil, or other fats to your sous vide bag. Here's a look at some of the issues so you'll know how to maximize your flavor. The butter argument depends on what type of protein you are cooking, so I'll address meat and fish separately.

Is It Safe to Use Raw Garlic in Sous Vide?

Placeholder There has been a lot of talk lately about whether or not it is safe to use raw garlic in sous vide. I figured I would address the concerns and go into a little more detail about the issue.

Why is the Sous Vide Pulled Pork Temperature Different Than Smoking?

Placeholder An Ask Jason question answering why the temperatures used to cook pulled pork in sous vide are different than the recommended temperatures used when smoking it.

Which Sous Vide Machine Should I Buy - Ask Jason

Placeholder Trying to figure out which sous vide machine to buy can be hard because there's so many good options. Here's my quick look at the top 4 circulators and why they are great options.

Can You Reuse the Water From Sous Vide? - Ask Jason


I feel like there is so much water wasted with sous vide cooking, do I really need to change it every time I cook? How clean is the water once I'm done, can I do anything with it? - Joshua H

Should You Sear Before Sous Vide? - Ask Jason

Placeholder I take a deep look at the question of whether or not to sear your food before you sous vide it. The answer isn't simple, but you can make your own conclusion.

Should You Brine Sous Vide Food? - Ask Jason

Placeholder People often wonder if you should brine food before sous vide. It depends on the food and the reason for the brine, but often you do not need to.

Do I Need A Sous Vide Machine With WiFi?

Placeholder With WiFi becoming available on the latest version of many sous vide machines, the question is: Do I need to have WiFi on my sous vide machine? This article will help you answer that question!

Can You Sous Vide in Store Packaging - Ask Jason


Both Costco and my butcher regularly sell meat that is prepackaged in cryovac packages, is it safe to sous vide these store bought packages? Or do I need to repackaged them before cooking? It seems like it would work fine but I wasn't sure. - Jonathan

Out of all of the questions I'm asked, this is probably the most common one! It makes sense because the allure of buying some pre-sealed meat, placing it directly in the sous vide machine, and having a great meal is so enticing. Unfortunately, as with most common questions, the answer really is "It Depends".

How to Keep Sous Vide Food Hot? - Ask Jason

Placeholder It's definitely harder to keep sous vide food hot for as long as traditionally cooked food. This is in large part due to the temperature differences inside the meat that result from the different cooking methods.

How Do I Sous Vide Steaks to Two Different Temperatures - Ask Jason

Placeholder This Ask Jason article answers how to sous vide two steaks to different temperatures with only one sous vide machine.

How Much Food Can I Put Into a Sous Vide Bag? - Ask Jason

Placeholder The latest Ask Jason articles answers "How does the amount of food I add to sous vide affect the cook time?" and "How many chicken breasts can I put in one sous vide bag?". Click through to find out the answers!

Why Do You Boil Meat Before Sous Viding It? - Ask Jason

Placeholder Many recipes say to you need to boil meat before you sous vide it. The reason why is to prevent growth of lactobacillus bacteria that can grow at lower temperatures and smells bad.

Locust Bean Gum Substitute - Ask Jason

Placeholder Trying to find a good substitute for locust bean gum can be tricky, especially when it is called for with agar, but there are some other combinations that might work.

Why Sous Vide Fish? - Ask Jason

Placeholder There are several advantages to using sous vide to cook fish but to me the biggest advantage to sous vide is the convenience and the total control of sous vide.

Ask Jason: What Should I Sous Vide First?

Placeholder There are so many different things you can do with a sous vide machine that it can be hard to figure out what you want to try first. I think there's two categories of sous vide foods, things you can use sous vide to cook better, and things you can only do with sous vide. Here's some of my favorite things to do sous vide.

Ask Jason: How to Use Ziploc Bags for Sous Vide

Placeholder While a chambered vacuum sealer is the best way to do sous vide, they are several hundred dollars and overkill for many home kitchens. Many people turn to FoodSaver-type sealers, which can be convenient but they are expensive to buy bags for and can't really be used with liquids. So what is a home cook to do?

Ask Jason: Guide to Vegetable Foams

Placeholder There's a few different ways to make vegetable bubbles and foams but there are basically two components to master: extracting the flavor from the vegetables and creating the foam itself.

Ask Jason: How to Store Modernist Ingredients

Placeholder In the latest Ask Jason, Leif asks "I am interested to know the shelf-life after opening these products, and how best to store them" so I take a look at it with help from Modernist Pantry.

Ask Jason: What Type of Whipping Siphon Should I Buy


Based on my testing while I was writing my book, I answer the following questions:

Hey Jason, which size of whipping siphon should I get? I'm looking at either the .5 liter or the 1 liter, what do you think is best? Do I need to get the iSi Thermo siphon? I'll normally be cooking for 4-10 people, if that matters.

Why the Range? Sous Vide Times Explained

Placeholder One of the most common questions we get asked about our sous vide recipes is some variation of "the recipe says to cook it for 3 to 6 hours, but when is it actually done".

The short answer is that anytime within the given range the food is "done". As long as the food has been in the waterbath for more than the minimum time and less than the maximum time, then it is done. There isn't a specific magical moment of true doneness that can be generalized.

For those that want more information, here's the explanation why.

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