Sous vide comes from the French language, meaning under vacuum. The concept is not new for those working in the cooking industry. However, the trend of sous vide is starting to increase now at home. The process of sous vide includes cooking at low temperatures but for a very long time. The idea behind this is to cook the food to perfection. Your hassle and tension of under or overcooking your steak will end if you use sous vide cooking. Food canning has been done for ages. Food is preserved within airtight jars so that they can be used for more extended periods. Sous vide canning is a relatively new idea. The research in this field is almost equal to none.
Why Is Sous Vide Canning Not Popular?
Acidic food can be canned at home with ease using a hot water bath at home. The processed food is then placed in a jar, and a lid is set to make it airtight. People who regularly can pickle mostly fear that overheating will ruin the overall texture of the pickles. Sous vide cooking is performed at low temperatures, so avoiding this fear. Those interested in canning wonder whether sous vide canning is safer and effective than traditional boiling canning. Traditionally, canning has been done at home for ages. This concept is new, and thus some people are reluctant to use it. Sous vide canning is safe for acidic food like pickles and not jams. Why and how? Let’s discuss it.
Pickles and sous vide canning:
An acidic brine is used for sous vide canning of pickles. Cooking the pickles will not allow pathogens to grow, as the environment is 4.6 pH or less. The acidic brine consists of 30-40% of white vinegar, which is highly acidic. 5% of distilled vinegar has a pH of around 2.5. As this blend in with the constituents of pickles, the pH of pickles become less than 4. No pathogen can grow in a very acidic or a highly basic environment. Although vinegar is the main acidic ingredient, the spices used in pickles aid in a pathogen-free environment. Therefore, pickles and sous vide canning go hand in hand. However, care must be taken. The procedure can go wrong and result in spoiled pickles.
Busting the Myth:
The notion is that Sous vide cooking does not warm the food enough to kill pathogens. It leads to the growth of food pathogens like botulism. Even if the food is not heated sufficiently, acidic brine will lower the pH to less than 4. This environment is not friendly for the growth of the pathogens. Hence, you should feel safe and confident in following this procedure. Can your favorite pickles, sell them or use them for a long time.
In the end, we can conclude that sous vide canning is safe and effective for pickles only. It cannot be used for sweet, delicious jams. Research in this field can change the course of canning. National Center for Home Food Preservation should work on this and review their guidelines to facilitate the public.