How to Easily Clean a Sous Vide Machine

Sous vide makes it easy to cook meals for your family, and the equipment that you need to use to get the job done is also surprisingly simple to maintain.

The key is knowing how to properly clean your sous vide machine, whether it’s a water oven or an immersion circulator, so you can be sure it will be completely disinfected and free of buildup. Check out our tips below to get started.

Wipe Your Machine and Dry It Every Time You Use It

After you use your sous vide machine, it’s important to clean it so you can store it away and use it again without worrying about it being dirty at all.

Just start by making sure the unit is unplugged. Then, simply wipe the machine with a damp cloth or a sponge. Wipe down the exterior, as well the interior, of your sous vide oven. Wipe the exterior of your immersion circulator. Then, dry it thoroughly with another cloth or just let it air dry.

Note: Don’t forget to gently wipe down the display too. You can use a soft, damp cloth. Follow that with a dry cloth to remove any moisture. This will help keep it clean and clear.

Remove Scaly Buildup

Scaly buildup is annoying and unsightly. It’s also really common because of the minerals that are found in the water that you use to cook. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to get rid of it.

You can start by setting up a bath that has water and white vinegar in equal parts. Fill up your sous vide oven, or fill your container and place your immersion circulator in it like you would when cooking.

Next, set the temperature to 140°F, let the water/vinegar solution heat up, and let it clean away any buildup that has accumulated on your machine. You can turn the machine off once the temperature is reached, or you can let it keep going for around 20 minutes if there is a lot of scaly buildup. Then, you can get rid of the water, dry your sous vide machine, and store it until you’re ready to use it again.

The best part is that this is an eco-friendly way to keep your sous vide machine clean, as it doesn’t involve the use of any chemicals.

Extra Tips

Here are some other ways to keep your sous vide machine as clean as possible so you can use it confidently:

First, always make sure that you are properly sealing your ingredients in plastic bags so they won’t end up leaking into the water. This can also prevent food particles from getting into the sous vide machine, which you don’t want, as getting the particles out can be a complicated process.

To ensure your ingredients will cook properly, and stay inside the bag you put them in, it’s a great idea to invest in a high-quality vacuum sealer. That way, you can completely seal the bags before putting them into the water bath, and you can rest assured they won’t end up breaking open and causing a mess.

Another simple way to keep your sous vide machine clean is by changing out the water before preparing a meal. Using the same water to cook multiple meals can cause it to become cloudy and contaminated, so adding fresh water to the bath every time is recommended.

Note: Follow the product manual that came with your sous vide machine to figure out how to open it up and clean out the internal components whenever necessary, such as when you need to remove food particles.

Be Careful So You Can Avoid Causing Any Damage

Your sous vide machine will come with instructions and precautions that you need to follow carefully. For example, if you are using an immersion circulator, you shouldn’t just rinse the whole thing under water, as that would damage its electronics. So be sure to read the instructions for keeping your unit clean before you start using it. No matter what, you are likely to find that it’s a snap to keep your sous vide machine hygienic, and that’s just one of the many reasons why so many people use this cooking method every day.

Photo credit: Mahony/Shutterstock

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