How to Seal Liquids: Using the Archimedes principle to seal liquids for sous vide cooking

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If you want to vacuum seal liquids or liquid-rich foods for sous vide cooking, such as stews, soups, scrambled eggs or risotto, the SousVide Supreme zip pouches are the perfect solution. Watch this video to see how to do it!

To remove the air and seal the zip pouches, you can use the Archimedes principle to get the job done. The Archimedes principle tells us that any object completely or partially submerged in a fluid is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object.

This means that the air above the liquid in a cooking pouch will be forced out as the pouch submerges into the water.

Here are the easy steps to sealing liquids with SousVide Supreme zip pouches:

  1. Fill SousVide Supreme zip pouch with food and/or fluid.
  2. Slowly and carefully lower the filled pouch, with the zip closure still open, into the water bath (or into a large pot of cooler water, if you prefer.)
  3. The weight of the water in the bath or pot will press against the sides of the pouch and force the air out of it as you lower the zip closure to the surface of the water.
  4. Once the zip closure is at the water’s surface and most of the air has been evacuated from the pouch, zip it closed. The zip-sealed pouch should now stay submerged. Simple as that! No muss. No fuss. No fail.

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Using the Archimedes principle to seal liquids for sous vide cooking

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  1. Martin Halliday says:

    That is an excellent idea save for the problem of where to buy zip-closure cooking bags in the UK

    SousVide Supreme responds: We have cooking-safe, zip-closure pouches coming soon! We hope by May 2011.

  2. more methods and useful info available under the technology -> sous-vide section of this website:
    Gourmet Pantry

  3. When marinading/cooking meats simultaneously in the SousVide, and I always had a bit of trouble getting all the air out of the bag without sucking out some of the the marinade. Why didn’t I think of this?

  4. What is that green bag holder/opener called? And where can I get one?

    SousVide Supreme responds: Cool, isn’t it? And very handy. It’s called a Baggy Rack and we will have them available on our site within a week or so.

  5. Where did you get the neat bag holder?

    SousVide Supreme redonda: it’s called a Baggy Rack and we will have it available on our site in a week or so.

  6. SousVide Supreme Author says:

    The Baggy Racks are now available! Click here to see them

  7. When will zip-closure cooking bags be available in Germany?

    In response: The SousVide Supreme Zip Pouches are currently available at amazon.co.uk.

  8. … excuse me, but you’re cooking food – LOCKED IN PLASTIC –?????

    Seems pretty daffy and kinda toxic to me.

    Might be kind of interesting to your curious public if you provided a component description of same as a direct link on your website …

    Thanks.

    In response: Our cooking pouches are independently tested to be sure that they remain stable at cooking temperatures and that no components leach into food. That can’t be said for all plastics, but is the case for our pouches. Additionally the pouches are made of food-grade plastic that contains no BPA, phthalates, or lead and can be recycled within individual communities standards.

  9. Moi wrote: … excuse me, but you’re cooking food – LOCKED IN PLASTIC –????? Seems pretty daffy and kinda toxic to me.

    Well, Moi, I don’t own a SousVide Supreme (yet), don’t have any stock in the company, etc., so here is my unbiased response:

    Astronauts have been eating meals cooked in plastic bags since the 1960s, airlines have been serving food cooked this way since the ’70s, and I’ve been eating this way since the first Daisy Seal-a-Meal came out in the -70s.

    Undercooking foods can be toxic (bactria and spores), and overcooking foods, especally meat, on a hot grill can be toxic (burned fats can become carcinogenic/mutagenic), so there is no perfect solution. Cooking sous-vide, though, by cooking the food at less than 212F/100C over a long time is probably one of the LEAST toxic methods. Plus the foods are almost always perfectly done and delicious.

    Don’t knock it ’til you try it, as the saying goes.

  10. When will zip-closure cooking bags be available in the Netherlands?

    SousVide Supreme Responds: The zip pouches are currently available in UK and Europe through our website here.

  11. Whilst acknowledging that our hosts stock ziplock bags, by far the most accessible in the UK are from Lakeland Ltd.

  12. When I tried to “lower the bag into the water,” the bag just floated, I had to force it under water and hold it there, which was very hard to do while also trying to seal the bag using both hands. I’m wondering if I did something wrong like not enough liquid in the bag or if anyone has any advice on this. Thanks

    SousVide Supreme responds: What you describe does sometimes happen sometimes and you have to hold the zip with one hand and sort of push the pouch under water a bit with the other, particularly if there is a lot of air in the pouch (or as you put it, not enough liquid). It helps to force as much out with your hands and be sure that the zip closure is fully open leaving plenty of space for the air to escape. Practice it with a pouch about half full of pure liquid (just water will be fine) and you’ll see the technique in action more easily that way.

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