Can I Can Vegetables Using Sous-Vide?
Sous-vide is a method of cooking that is designed to cook your food evenly.
To sous-vide, you fill a pot with water, rather than boiling it on the stovetop, you attach a precision cooker and set the desired temperature.
You then put whatever meat or vegetables that you’d like to cook into a vacuum-sealed bag and drop it into the water.
When compared to other methods of cooking, it is easier to get your food to the temperature that you desire.
Can I Can Vegetables Using Sous-Vide?
Canning vegetables using sous-vide is possible, but not all vegetables. You can make acidic foods, such as pickled vegetables, but other types are not safe. Due to the slow cooking method at a low temperature, it is harder to kill off bacteria that can lead to food-borne illnesses. Acidic vegetables are safe because the use of liquids with high acidities, such as vinegar, kills off microorganisms.
Why Pickled Vegetables are the Safest with This Method
When canning vegetables, the process involves getting the vegetables very hot, relatively quickly.
This is done because you want to kill off any microorganisms.
While microorganisms are never something that you want present in your food, they can become particularly dangerous with canned vegetables.
The whole purpose of canning is to store vegetables for long periods of time.
If not properly prepared, microorganisms will continue to grow and if you eat the canned vegetables you’re putting yourself at risk for serious food-borne illnesses.
Vinegar is a preservative. Not only does it prevent microorganisms from growing, but it also allows them to last longer.
While vinegar is one of the most popular methods, it is also possible to pickle vegetables without it. You can ferment them.
Because of the way that sous-vide heats, prepping vegetables for fermentation is easy.
How to Can Vegetables Using Sous-Vide
To can vegetables using the sous-vide method you need a heat-safe container.
When it comes to your mason jars, you can double stack them.
You just need to have a container that is deep enough that you fill the water to cover the mason jars.
After filling and closing your jars, transfer them to your container and cover them with water.
Set your precision cooker to 180° Fahrenheit (82° Celsius).
For the best result, you should leave your jars in the water for around three hours.
This way you’ve given your pickled vegetables enough time to heat evenly.
What to Look Out for When Canning Vegetables Using Sous-Vide
When canning using sous-vide there are a few things that you need to look out for to ensure that your vegetables will be safe to eat.
The first step is to properly clean your jars. If there is any dust or dirt, your seal will potentially not take and your vegetables will spoil.
It is also a good idea to always use new lids and lid rings.
Because of not only the heat but the fact that they get opened, reusing them can also affect how well your jars will seal.
What you’re looking for to know that it’s sealed is for the jar lid to ‘pop’.
Rather than being flat or dimpled, you should be able to feel the pressure when you touch the top of the jar. If it doesn’t pop, you need to reseal it.
When filling your jars, make sure that there is minimal room at the top. While it might seem tempting, underfilling jars will result in too much oxygen.
The trapped oxygen then becomes a way for microorganisms to reproduce.
As a result, your canned vegetables will be more prone to spoilage.
While you can stack your jars during the sous-vide process, once they’re out of the water they should not touch them.
If your jars touch, the uneven heat can affect how the canning process works.
One of the easiest methods of storage for your canned vegetables is to put the jars back into the boxes they came in.
This way, the cardboard divider will prevent them from touching, all while keeping them secure and upright.
Frequently Asked Questions About Can I Can Vegetables Using Sous-Vide?
What is a disadvantage of sous-vide canning?
While sous-vide is an easy method of cooking, it does come with some disadvantages when canning is concerned. It takes longer to cook with sous-vide rather than your typical method, due to the slow but even heating process. You are also limited in what you are able to do. For many vegetables and fruits, using the sous-vide method will not allow you to reach temperatures that can kill off microorganisms.
Does sous-vide take out the flavor of foods?
Because of the process behind sous-vide, rather than leaching out flavors, the process makes flavors more prominent. This is not only because your food is sealed while cooking, but also due to the slow method of even heating. Some people find that flavors, especially with pickling, come out crisper, more prominent, and sharp.
Can you seal canning jars with sous-vide?
As long as you properly prepare your jars, by ensuring that they are clean and the lids are new, you can seal canning jars through sous-vide. A good rule of thumb is if your jars drop beneath the water level and nothing seeps in, you have sealed your jars correctly.
When it comes to canning vegetables, you can use the sous-vide method. However, you can only do this with vegetables that are pickled.
Otherwise, the result will be unsafe to eat.
Because sous-vide cooking is at a lower temperature for longer, it does not successfully kill many of the microorganisms that could grow on your canned vegetables.
Vinegar works as a preservative and kills off those microorganisms.