Make your Thanksgiving cooking easier by going Sous Vide. We give you ideas on how to use your immersion circulator for tasty side dishes will help you keep your sanity on turkey day.
As a bonus we will talk turkey and desserts as well.
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You know what the best thing about Thanksgiving 2019 is?
Its my first one where I can sous vide my heart out!
I got my immersion circulator for sous vide for Christmas 2018 and I have been using it for Thanksgiving ever since.
🍲 Side Dishes
Looking for some inspiration for the side dishes you can make via sous vide this year? Here are some ideas.
- Potatoes for Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brussels Sprouts
- Cranberry Sauce
- Frozen Green Beans and Carrots
- Hard Squash (like Butternut or Acorn)
- Stuffing/Dressing (haven't tried this....yet!)
🎧 Take a listen to our podcast episode entitled "How Sous Vide Saved Thanksgiving". We talk with fellow food blogger and sous vide cookbook author, Chelsea Cole about how you can use your immersion circulator for the biggest meal of the year.
🥔 Mashed Potatoes
I gotta tell you, that Sous Vide Mashed Potatoes are where it is at. I tried them once and fell in love.
A couple cool things about doing sous vide mashers. You can usually cook the potatoes in milk. I add frozen cubs of milk into the bag of cubed potatoes. If you tried this on the stove top, it's really easy to boil over and make a mess. Plus you need quite a bit of milk to pull it off. Here I only used a cup of milk.
The other cool thing is that the potato flavor is more pronounced. This is because you aren't cooking the potatoes in water which waters down the potato flavor.
For the potatoes I cook them at 194 degrees for 1 hour 30 minutes. Then drained the milk, added butter, add in just enough of the milk til get them to the right consistency and whipped them with a hand mixer. Yum!
🍴 RECIPE - Make Ahead Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
🥬 Brussels Sprouts
Sous Vide Brussels Sprouts are tender and delicious. You can cook them perfectly through without them being raw in the middle. Then to add some serious flavor, throw them under the broiler once the turkey is out and get some char on them.
This method is better than cooking them in a sauté pan as you don't smell up the house with that sulfur smell and you make sure that they are tender inside and out.
🍴 RECIPE - Sous Vide Brussels Sprouts
Same thing can work for carrots as well. Tender inside and out. I like to poach them in butter which I believe is the best friend to carrots.
To make this side more fun, choose mixes of different colors of carrots. Or you can even mix carrots with parsnips.
🍴 RECIPE - Butter Poached Sous Vide Carrots
🍠 Sweet Potatoes
No doubt, sweet potatoes can be done perfectly sous vide. Don't use any oven space or stove space on them. They are so easy to do, then use for whatever you want them for - sweet potato casserole, for a pie, mashed sweet potatoes, etc.
💡 Tip - If you can vacuum seal it and keep the water out, your sous vide is a great way to keep food warm, especially if your stove top or slow cooker are already busy.
I am just beginning to experiment with desserts done sous vide. We made Alton Brown's Immersion Circular Cheesecakes in 4 ounce mason jars. Absolutely perfectly cooked cheesecake. Moist. No cracks. Just perfect.
How fun would it be to have jars of pumpkin pie for all of your guests.
While Alton's recipe for the cheesecake called for the topping crumbled on top, you could actually bake a crust into the jars first, before putting them into the bath.
🍗 Can You Sous Vide a Whole Turkey?
We talked about sides and desserts, what about the main course - the turkey?
While I was tempted to try to figure out how to do a whole turkey sous vide, a friend reminded me of something that would make it a bad idea. White and dark meat are normally cooked to different temperatures, something that sous vide can't do. Can't believe I am saying there is something sous vide can't do.
Even if it wasn't for that, can you imagine trying to vaccum seal an entire turkey. You could try to spatchcock it, like I normally do, and still that would be hard to do it.
However, you could definitely sous vide turkey breast, thighs, or drumsticks. Smoked drumsticks would be really easy to bring up to temp in the sous vide until you are ready to eat.
You would have to forgo the traditional visual of bringing the big brown turkey to the table, but what you look in presentation you gain in flavor and juiciness.
🦃 Other Thanksgiving Posts You'll Want to Read
- Save Open Space with a Slow Cooker on Thanksgiving
- Everything Thanksgiving
- Buying a Turkey
- Thanksgiving Sides
- Troubleshooting Thanksgiving
Anything I missed here? Share your favorite Thanksgiving Sous Vide recipes in the comment section below.