Do you have to use water to sous vide


I've been using the beer cooler hack instead of a sous vide machine and I was wondering if water is the only medium I can use to cook in it. I was thinking that I could fill it with oil for a high thermal mass that would use less energy since I'm using a plastic bag to prevent any contact with the food anyway. Also, how important is that plastic bag? Could I use a broth to sous vide in with something pourous holding my meat and seasoning together?

Best Answer

You could use oil, but I don't think it's worth it; realize that you're going to be using additional energy for obtaining, cleaning, and disposal of it.

Regarding using a broth with a porous bag, well, that isn't sous vide. That's more akin to a slow-cooker. The whole point of sous vide is the airtight barrier between food and heat.


Oil does not have a higher thermal mass than water. Ammonia does, but I'd suggest avoiding that. ;)