One of the advantages of sous vide cooking for both the home cook and the restaurant chef is leveraging the cook’s time. It’s easy to cook a large batch of food (steaks, chicken breasts, salmon fillets, vegetables—whatever cooks at the same temperature will work) all at once for serving later. It makes meal planning simple!
If you want to refrigerate or freeze any food that has been cooked sous vide, we recommend that it be brought quickly from the cooking temperature to below 41F/5C before storing. This process is called quick chilling. Here’s how to do it:
Prepare an ice water bath (half ice and half cold water) in a container large enough to hold the pouches of cooked food you wish to chill.
Fully submerge the pouches in the ice water.
Chill the pouches of food for at least 30 minutes, up to 1 to 2 hours or more for roasts or larger/thicker packets of food.
Add additional ice as needed to ensure that the water bath stays below 41F/5C throughout the chilling process.
When well-chilled, dry the pouches, label them with contents and date, and refrigerate for up to 48 hours or freeze.
Tip: You can use one or more reusable frozen ice packs instead of ice cubes to chill the water. Then simply dry them off and refreeze for the next use.