Is Sous Vide Safe? (All You Need to Know! Explained)

One of the many questions about sous vide is its safety because of its cooking method. In essence, sous vide is cooking slowly at a low temperature. Sometimes, these temperatures are low enough that rather than killing bacteria, they end up growing faster. Thus, if you plan on getting sous vide circulator, you may ask:

Is sous vide safe? Yes, sous vide is safe since it offers precision and consistent temperature control. While it’s true that sous vide cooks at a low temperature, you can cook food safely as long as you follow the proper measures. 

At a glance, sous vide is a method that seems daunting, and even complicated. However, as you understand it more, you’ll learn that it’s even safer than other traditional cooking methods. 

In this article, you’ll see an in-depth take on the safety of sous vide. This way, you’ll understand why you should consider choosing such despite the ideas of bacterial growth through this method. 

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Is Sous Vide SafePin

Is sous vide safe?

As I mentioned earlier, sous vide is safe as long as you follow the proper method throughout the whole cooking process. 

Sous vide cooks with consistent temperature, leaving lesser room for error and also getting the best output than other traditional methods. 

However, it’s not a perfect method since nothing really is. Like other options, sous vides can have some lapses, and it’s something you need to understand. It’s the only way to avoid and address such problems should they ever occur.

Is sous vide bad for health?

Technically speaking, sous vide is not bad for health. Many people wonder about this matter only because sous vide cooks food at a low temperature. 

If you aren’t familiar, low temperatures may not be enough to kill bacteria. Further, the bacteria may even grow rather than die. Such are the worries of many people which is why they opt for other methods than sous vide.

Now, while the idea may have a point, such an issue is rare to happen in sous vide since it uses precision and consistent temperature control.

For instance, when some chefs need to cook meat at an extremely low temperature, they try to sear or cook the exterior of the meat to make sure that the surface bacteria dies before submerging in the water bath.

In other instances, the temperature isn’t enough to let the bacteria grow, and it’s surely won’t be a problem since they would sear the cooked meat after the water bath.

In a nutshell, sous vide is not bad for health, but it will be if you aren’t careful in preparing your dish. As always, the health issues will depend on how you prepare your food.

Now that we established the safety and potential risks of sous vide, you may now wonder about the dangers of such a method.

What are the dangers of sous vide cooking?

Sous vide cooking also carries potential risks. However, you’ll usually encounter such due to improper handling. 

One of the common problems when it comes to cooking sous vide is bacterial growth due to low temperatures combined with long cooking time. Thus, some of the common bacterial growth caused by sous vide are salmonella and botulism, which we will discuss as we go on this matter. 

For this reason, you should always be mindful of safe food handling and proper hygiene when cooking sous vide.

Now, while it seems problematic, it’s not something you’ll have to worry about if you plan on cooking sous vide. As long as you follow the correct temperature and cooking time, you won’t have to worry about the dangers of sous vide cooking.

Can sous vide cause botulism?

Yes, sous vide can cause botulism. In general, botulism is often due to improper handling of canned goods. However, it’s also possible with sous vide.

As mentioned earlier, the low temperatures in sous vide cooking can cause bacterial growth, resulting in foodborne botulism. 

Now, while it seems problematic, you have nothing to worry about as this problem is rare and unavoidable with proper handling. As long as you follow the recipe and cook sous vide properly, you should have safe food to enjoy.

Can sous vide grow bacteria?

Yes, sous vide can grow bacteria, and it’s because of the low temperature and long cooking process. Bacteria can proliferate quickly in food cooked at low temperatures for lengthy periods of time. 

Thus, the food in the “danger zone,” is defined as temperatures ranging from 40°F to 140°F. In general, the more quickly bacteria proliferate, the more harmful they can become.

When the food in the pouch has finished cooking, you must remove it from the water bath and either serve it immediately or freeze it in your fridge. The cooling time from 130 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit must be lesser than 6 hours.

Sous vide food poisoning: is that possible?

Yes, it is possible to have sous vide food poisoning. However, it’s not something that happens frequently, and it’s only likely to occur due to improper handling.

Some tests show that extremely low temperatures in sous vide cooking can increase the risk of food poisoning since it allows bacteria to grow instead of dying.

Still, it’s not something to worry about if you’re not using sous vide in its proper way, according to what you’re cooking.

In general, you can find all the temperatures and cooking time in sous vide for all kinds of food. Thus, you should have safe food as long as you prepare them according to its preferred temperature and cooking time.

Is sous vide chicken safe?

Yes, sous vide chicken is safe, but only as long as you cook it at its proper temperature and time.

For instance, the best temperatures for cooking chicken in sous vide vary between 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You can go for the 140 degrees to get a very soft and juicy chicken by cooking it for between 1 ½ to 4 hours.  

You can enjoy a juicy, tender, and slightly stringy chicken which you should serve hot if you cook it in sous vide for 1 to 4 hours at 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lastly, you can get the traditional, juicy, firm, and slightly stringy chicken which you should serve hot by cooking it at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 to 4 hours.

Is sous vide fish safe?

Yes, sous vide fish is safe, but only as long as you prepare it at its temperature and time. If you are cooking your fish over 130 degrees Fahrenheit for a lengthy period, select only the type of fish that you would feel comfortable eating raw. Further, make sure you do this method only when you are not offering to immunocompromised persons. It is true not only for sous vide fish but also for regular cooked fish.

Is sous vide salmon safe?

Yes, sous vide salmon is safe, but make sure you follow the proper cooking temperature and time in sous vide. 

Normally, salmon is cooked above 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which kills the bacteria. However, numerous sous vide salmon recipes ask for it to be cooked at lower temperatures, which increases the risk of infection significantly. 

If you cook your salmon at temperatures over 140 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be alright with no need to refrigerate.

Is sous vide pork safe?

Yes, sous vide pork is safe. However, if you plan on cooking pork in sous vide, make sure you follow the temperature and cooking time of pork so you can ensure it’s safe to eat.

In general, you may sous vide pork at a variety of temperatures, and it is perfectly safe as it is heated to around 130 degrees Fahrenheit. However, some people enjoy their pork cooked at temperatures higher than 135 degrees Fahrenheit. 

From a safety standpoint, 135 degrees Fahrenheit is equally as safe as 165 degrees Fahrenheit as long as it is cooked long enough to pasteurize it.

Is sous vide beef safe?

Yes, sous vide beef is safe. In fact, most steak lovers prefer sous vide cooking for their beef above anything else. 

You have a little more discretion with sous-vide procedures since beef may be properly preserved at temperatures as low as 130°F if kept for long enough. It takes two hours to properly preserve beef at 130°F, but just 12 minutes at 140°F.

Is sous vide turkey safe?

Yes, sous vide turkey is safe, but make sure you follow the instructions and handle the turkey properly so you can ensure it’s safe. 

Sous vide cooking, by effectively pasteurizing meat, also allows you to safely roast turkey at temperatures lower than what can be accomplished in a regular oven, and lower temps result in moister flesh.


So, is sous vide safe? Yes, sous vide is safe and you can use it as a cooking method for many dishes without problems. Since sous vide is a method that offers precise and consistent temperature control, you’ll have no issues as long as it’s high enough to kill bacteria.

Now, it is still possible that your food may have bacteria growing. However, it’s likely to happen due to improper handling. In short, it all boils down to how you cook and handle your raw food.

As long as you handle it properly and cook in sous vide according to instructions, you can be sure that the food you’ll have is safe to eat.



Image credits – Canva

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