The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator


Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower
Best of LifehackerBest of LifehackerWhether we’ve made a complicated recipe absurdly simple, illustrated how to survive a natural disaster, or explained a political crisis in terms even your great-grandma would understand, these are some of our favorite stories from the past year.

The immersion circulator is no longer the “it girl” she once was. Her status as the most buzzed-about and sought-after appliance has faltered, and some might say she’s been replaced by the Instant Pot and air fryer (even though they do completely different things). But I’d bet more than a few foodies (sorry) received some sort of sous-vide contraption as a gift this holiday season, and those people are looking for recipes.

Given that sous-vide cooking has been mainstream for quite some time now, there is no shortage of (very good) recipes for this type of cooking, especially if you are looking to cook meat. But big hunks of animal flesh with lots of connective tissue aren’t the only thing that benefit from this low-temperature, super moist cooking method. I have been sous-vide-ing for a few years now, which means I have quite the catalog of unexpected, slightly unconventional recipes that benefit from this particular cooking method.

Claire is the Senior Food Editor for Lifehacker and a noted duck fat enthusiast. She lives in Portland, Oregon with a slightly hostile cat.

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower

If—like me—you appreciate a good tuna sandwich, you should make some sous-vide tuna confit. All you need is tuna, salt, and top-quality olive oil. The tuna is gently poached in olive oil until it firms up ever so slightly, resulting in a tender, moist piece of fish. If all you’ve ever had is the canned stuff, this sous-vide tuna will completely change your life.

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Lesley Kinzel

If you love homemade pickles, but would rather not stand in front of a big pot of boiling water for an hour each time you make them, give these FDA-approved sous-vide pickles a try. Sous-vide canning not only lets you enjoy a more comfortable pickling experience, but pickles canned this way come out crisper than they do with boiling water, without any need for Pickle Crisp.

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower

While this is by no means a true Japanese grilled omelet, it’s a good, lazy approximation, with a texture that lives in between an omelet and chawanmushi. If you can beat some eggs and pour them in a bag, you can make this. (I like mine chilled, served over a bed of rice with some soy sauce.)

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower

The benefits to making cheese with your immersion circulator are three-fold: You have precise control over the temperature, you don’t have to stir a dang thing, and you can add all of your ingredients—dairy and acid—all at once, rather than waiting for the dairy to reach a certain target temperature first. Let curds form, strain, and chill. Boom. You made cheese.

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower

Alligator, as a food, is more than a punchline about Florida, particularly when it’s rubbed with garlic and cumin and sous vided in butter. It’s like a more flavorful, slightly gamier chicken, but with the toothsome texture of a steak. Look for it in the freezer aisle, or ask your butcher to order some for you.

This is a visceral experience and full-on project, but it’s a fun, ultimately delicious one. Once the pig’s face has been (carefully) removed from its skull, you pack it with herbs and seasonings, roll it up, and sous vide it for a long time, before chilling it fully and slicing it thin. Eat it like you would any charcuterie (with mustard), then clean the skull up and display it proudly in your home.

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower

Sous vide-ing root vegetables in a complementary juice infuses them with fruity flavor without overwhelming their own. Bright, acidic orange juice complements the sweetness of a carrot, and apple juice matches up exceedingly well with the parsnip’s autumnal, spicy flavors. Finish with browned butter, and you have one sexy vegetable.

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower

A bag of hot dogs and diluted vinegar can be an off-putting sight, but the juicy, flavor-infused wieners make the mild visual trauma worth it. They come out plump and juicy, with just the right amount of snap, and they can be held at temperature in the bath for a few hours, meaning your guests can serve themselves a hot hot dog whenever they desire one without any help from you, the host, who is busy hosting.

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower

I didn’t think DIY cold cuts were something I needed in my life until I made these, but a little Quick Cure and a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar is all it takes to make a tender and flavorful cold cut with all of the flavor—but none of the rubbery texture—of store-bought sliced and packaged ham.

Claire is the Senior Food Editor for Lifehacker and a noted duck fat enthusiast. She lives in Portland, Oregon with a slightly hostile cat.


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Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower
Best of LifehackerBest of LifehackerWhether we’ve made a complicated recipe absurdly simple, illustrated how to survive a natural disaster, or explained a political crisis in terms even your great-grandma would understand, these are some of our favorite stories from the past year.

The immersion circulator is no longer the “it girl” she once was. Her status as the most buzzed-about and sought-after appliance has faltered, and some might say she’s been replaced by the Instant Pot and air fryer (even though they do completely different things). But I’d bet more than a few foodies (sorry) received some sort of sous-vide contraption as a gift this holiday season, and those people are looking for recipes.

Given that sous-vide cooking has been mainstream for quite some time now, there is no shortage of (very good) recipes for this type of cooking, especially if you are looking to cook meat. But big hunks of animal flesh with lots of connective tissue aren’t the only thing that benefit from this low-temperature, super moist cooking method. I have been sous-vide-ing for a few years now, which means I have quite the catalog of unexpected, slightly unconventional recipes that benefit from this particular cooking method.

Claire is the Senior Food Editor for Lifehacker and a noted duck fat enthusiast. She lives in Portland, Oregon with a slightly hostile cat.

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower

If—like me—you appreciate a good tuna sandwich, you should make some sous-vide tuna confit. All you need is tuna, salt, and top-quality olive oil. The tuna is gently poached in olive oil until it firms up ever so slightly, resulting in a tender, moist piece of fish. If all you’ve ever had is the canned stuff, this sous-vide tuna will completely change your life.

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Lesley Kinzel

If you love homemade pickles, but would rather not stand in front of a big pot of boiling water for an hour each time you make them, give these FDA-approved sous-vide pickles a try. Sous-vide canning not only lets you enjoy a more comfortable pickling experience, but pickles canned this way come out crisper than they do with boiling water, without any need for Pickle Crisp.

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower

While this is by no means a true Japanese grilled omelet, it’s a good, lazy approximation, with a texture that lives in between an omelet and chawanmushi. If you can beat some eggs and pour them in a bag, you can make this. (I like mine chilled, served over a bed of rice with some soy sauce.)

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower

The benefits to making cheese with your immersion circulator are three-fold: You have precise control over the temperature, you don’t have to stir a dang thing, and you can add all of your ingredients—dairy and acid—all at once, rather than waiting for the dairy to reach a certain target temperature first. Let curds form, strain, and chill. Boom. You made cheese.

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower

Alligator, as a food, is more than a punchline about Florida, particularly when it’s rubbed with garlic and cumin and sous vided in butter. It’s like a more flavorful, slightly gamier chicken, but with the toothsome texture of a steak. Look for it in the freezer aisle, or ask your butcher to order some for you.

This is a visceral experience and full-on project, but it’s a fun, ultimately delicious one. Once the pig’s face has been (carefully) removed from its skull, you pack it with herbs and seasonings, roll it up, and sous vide it for a long time, before chilling it fully and slicing it thin. Eat it like you would any charcuterie (with mustard), then clean the skull up and display it proudly in your home.

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower

Sous vide-ing root vegetables in a complementary juice infuses them with fruity flavor without overwhelming their own. Bright, acidic orange juice complements the sweetness of a carrot, and apple juice matches up exceedingly well with the parsnip’s autumnal, spicy flavors. Finish with browned butter, and you have one sexy vegetable.

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower

A bag of hot dogs and diluted vinegar can be an off-putting sight, but the juicy, flavor-infused wieners make the mild visual trauma worth it. They come out plump and juicy, with just the right amount of snap, and they can be held at temperature in the bath for a few hours, meaning your guests can serve themselves a hot hot dog whenever they desire one without any help from you, the host, who is busy hosting.

Illustration for article titled The First 9 Unexpected Things to Make With Your New Sous-Vide Circulator
Photo: Claire Lower

I didn’t think DIY cold cuts were something I needed in my life until I made these, but a little Quick Cure and a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar is all it takes to make a tender and flavorful cold cut with all of the flavor—but none of the rubbery texture—of store-bought sliced and packaged ham.

Claire is the Senior Food Editor for Lifehacker and a noted duck fat enthusiast. She lives in Portland, Oregon with a slightly hostile cat.