Vegetables – can vegetables using sous-vide


My girlfriend and I were talking about the summer produce season approaching and hit on the idea of canning sous-vide. That is, rather than sterilizing by high heat for a short amount of time, you could sterilize with low heat for a large amount of time with a sous-vide setup. Particularly in the case of vegetables, which don't start to cook much until around 170 degrees, we thought that if we could use a lower-temperature process for a day or so we could can pickles and jams without having to boil them half to death. So: why is this stupid?

Best Answer

Here is why it's stupid:

  1. Sous-vide doesn't get hot enough to kill botulism spores. Low acid foods will be very dangerous.
  2. Boiling is required for a strong seal on canning jars.
  3. All pectin jellies I have seen require boiling to set.

High acid recipes often call for processing in a water bath for a mere 10 minutes to seal the lids. Recipes that don't call for the water bath universally call for the product to be refrigerated.

Perhaps high acid foods could be vacuum sealed instead of bottled and pasteurized. It seems feasible but this is not the sort of thing you should experiment with. The failure conditions are catastrophic.