9 Disadvantages of Sous Vide You Need to Know! (Explained)

If there’s one thing you need to know about sous vide, it’s that this method isn’t fit for everyone. While it’s true that sous vide comes with many potential and benefits, it’s also not a perfect cooking method. Thus, you need to know that it also comes with several downsides. Thus, if you plan on cooking your dish in sous vide, you may find these disadvantages as a warning or a helpful tip.

Below is a list of 9 disadvantages we think you should know before cooking sous vide. By learning these 9 things, you can gist of what issues you may encounter and prepare for them. Also, it can be a warning so you can stop if you think it will not fit your preference.

Without further ado, let’s dive into each one of these disadvantages.

Disadvantages of Sous VidePin

You’ll need container lids.

When cooking sous vide, a container lid is not actually included. However, you may find it necessary as you go on with your preparation. Even though every sous vide machine should keep the temperature stable, it will shift if the container is not covered.

As a result, purchasing a lid or utilizing alternate techniques to cover the sous vide is a wise option. Lids not only keep the temperature stable, but they also keep water from evaporating out of the water bath, which might disrupt the cooking process.

The flavors can be too much.

If you’re cooking sous vide, you may find the flavors overpowering, especially if you add aromatics or spices in the bag.

Because food is cooked in airtight, vacuum-sealed bags, sous vide cooking accentuates the inherent tastes of the meal. Unfortunately, these flavors may be overpowering for some people.

The unique garlic flavor, for example, becomes much more intense, bordering on overbearing. Furthermore, bay leaves may provide a harsh metallic flavor to the meal.

Though it isn’t true for all dishes, you would need to study how sous vide affects the scents of the components you use.

Sous vide doesn’t give additional flavors.

Now, if you want to avoid the overpowering flavors, you can remove the aromatics. However, it may result in a bland taste since sous vide doesn’t give additional flavor.

In general, sous vide isolates the meat, preventing it from generating flavor in any recipe. Thus, you may find it bland or less exciting than you would with a traditional pan, oven, or grill cooking.

Of course, it’s excellent if you’re presenting your meat as a stand-alone item, like a steak or a chop. However, it’s worthless for any recipes.

You’ll get no browning or caramelization.

When cooking sous vide, you won’t enjoy that browning or caramelization of your dish. Thus, you’ll end up in the pan or grill after the water bath. 

The extreme heat of browning, especially in a cast-iron skillet, creates natural sugars and caramelization, providing concentrated tastes throughout the cooking process. While cooking sous vide, this step is skipped, removing the char-grilled flavor from the meal. 

Of course, the meat may be completed in a pan to make a crust. Still, natural sugars and caramelization are best achieved with raw ingredients.

Sous vide is prone to safety issues.

Sous vide, while safe when done correctly, is still prone to safety issues.

Cooking sous vide may be a health infraction in the eyes of a safety officer. It is because bacteria flourish at temperatures ranging from 42 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, sous vide cooking of meats is advised at temperatures ranging from 130 to 137 degrees Fahrenheit. 

To counteract this, the absence of oxygen while cooking at those temperatures reduces the likelihood of germs. It will do so as long as the food is vacuum-packed at 42 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

Sous vide needs a long planning time.

When cooking sous vide, you’ll need a long planning time, and it’s not ideal for emergency needs that need urgent and quick preparation.

If you are a slacker in food planning, this cooking method may not be suitable for you. Sous vide cooking necessitates advance planning. You should soak the meal in water for a few hours before consuming it. Even for foodies, this may appear to be too much labor.

It will be ideal if you’re preparing for a treat or a celebration ahead of time and you want to enjoy that precise output from sous vide. However, it’s not ideal for urgent needs.

Sous vide is slow.

Cooking with the sous vide method is slow, and when we say slow, we mean extremely slow. For instance, even if you can cook chicken for 15 to 20 minutes, sous vide cooking takes at least an hour or even more.

While the overall outcome will be a delicate, tasty dish, you may not always have the time to wait. In short, you’ll only find sous vide ideal if you want to enjoy the precise cooking and you are ready to wait for a longer preparation time.

Sous vide isn’t exciting.

If you enjoy the experience of cooking, sous vide may not be a thing for you. Sous vide won’t let you smell the aroma and see your raw materials turn into a pleasant scene for your eyes.

Cooking is an all-around sensory experience. You feel the food, smell the delicious spices, hear it sizzle in the pan, and enjoy attempting to get the desired flavor.

However, with sous vide cooking, you do not get to reap the same benefits. That’s why many cooks don’t enjoy just placing food in a water bath and letting it cook on its own. In a word, it can detract from the enjoyment of cooking.

You’ll have to wait to get the right temperature.

If you’re cooking sous vide, you can’t just dump your food in the water bath as soon as you seal it. In most cases, you’ll have to wait for around 15 minutes at least since it takes much time for the water to reach your cooking temperature.


In a nutshell, cooking sous vide remains an excellent method that many people would benefit from in most cases and for most needs. However, like other methods, it’s not perfect, and it’s not for everyone. 

The nine disadvantages above are more like a preference you need to consider if you plan to cook sous vide. You can make it as a guideline to see whether or not sous vide is for you.

In the end, it will all boil down to your preference whether or not sous vide is the best and the ideal cooking method for you.



Image credits – Canva

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