Does Sous Vide Kill Bacteria? – Get a Clear Idea

When choosing the best cooking method, you need to check on the safety measures of the process to cook the food. What brings the difference in the safety of food between Sous to vide and the traditional cooking methods is the time it takes the Sous to vide to cook food and the environment it works with, which has low oxygen and controlled temperatures, mainly with the immersion circulator method.

Therefore, consider checking the safety of food and the kind of bacteria they contain. If they are essential to the human body, you should maintain them in the food rather than kill them. Sous vide does not kill bacteria as it cooks at low temperatures that keep the taste and nutrients in food.

The article below describes more about Sous vide and the bacteria it contains after cooking the food. The different types of bacteria found in food, the temperatures that can kill bacteria in food, frequently asked questions, and lastly, the conclusion.

Does Sous vide kill bacteria?

Does Sous vide kill bacteria

Sous vide kills bacteria with the different kinds of food it is cooking, but it also helps make the food you are cooking safe. In this case, Sous vide does not kill bacteria as it cooks with low temperatures without air or oxygen, and it takes time to cook that, creating a conducive environment for the growth of bacteria. However, cooking the food by setting a specific temperature and the Sous vide’s internal heating helps reach the optimal conditions that make the food stay safe. Below are some of the ways you can use to kill bacteria when Sous vide cooking:

Techniques to use to kill bacteria

TechniqueFunctionEssential product
Get the correct internal temperature using a thermometerTo ensure the temperatures are accurate to kill bacteriaCheck Amazon for the best meat thermometers
Pre sear steaks and other types of meatKills bacteria before cooking the food with low temperatures 
Pasteurize with Sous videIt increases the life cycle of food after cooking. 

1. Get the correct internal temperatures

Get the correct internal temperatures

If you want to kill bacteria in the food you are cooking, check the internal temperature of the food, not the temperature of the water bath. Long ago, most chefs used the meat thermometer to check the temperature of food they were cooking, which was different from the Sous vide method of cooking. Below are some of the tips to follow when killing bacteria with Sous vide:

i. Check the temperature of the immersion circulator and ensure you are accurate with the readings. Not every time you are using a thermometer is accurate since thermometer readings fluctuate at some point of measuring. Therefore, as a chef, consider getting quality thermometers for your food, then check the temperatures of the Sous vide to its accuracy. Check Amazon for the best thermometers for use.

ii. Maintain the right temperature for cooking since you are cooking for an extended period. The length of time to cook depends on the size of the meat such that if it is thick, it will cook for long, and if it is thin, it will cook for fewer hours. The good thing with Sous vide is that it does not overcook food even though it cooks for long. The only steps here are to set the proper temperatures and follow the recipe when cooking.

2. Pre sear steaks and other types of meats

The other technique of killing bacteria is pre-searing steaks and different types of meat. With the Sous vide method of cooking, there is always use of low temperatures, and we all know low temperatures the bacteria cannot go away. Therefore, for the steaks and rare meats, you need to sear and brown them first since it helps kill the surface bacteria available, then you can Sous vide it at any temperature you want.

3. Pasteurize with Sous vide

To pasteurize the food, consider using the immersion circulator on the Sous vide, which helps kill the bacteria and increases the life cycle of the food after cooking. Pasteurizing food involves setting the correct internal temperature to kill bacteria that should not be high to cook food and store it for cooking later. To pasteurize food, choose to use the specific temperature guidelines for the food you are cooking to avoid using high temperatures or low temperatures.

What temperatures can be used to kill bacteria in food?

When you want to kill bacteria, ensure a perfect internal temperature for cooking the food. Research on the different temperature guidelines for different types of food such that there are foods to cook at high temperatures like the poultry and leftovers followed by eggs and fresh meat and fish at last. After cooking, choose to wash the foods properly and store them safely.

Types of bacteria that live in food

Types of bacteria that live in food

Several types of bacteria live in food that activities like washing the bacteria, cooking, and storing it safely prevent the growth of the bacteria. Bacteria can make us sick if we consume food that has it. Below is a list of the types of bacteria living in food:

  • Norovirus

The virus is mainly found in vegetables and shellfish, resulting from fecal matter contamination. The bacteria can easily cause gastroenteritis, and we need to prevent its growth in food.

  • Salmonella

Salmonella bacteria are found in most types of food like meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and sometimes processed food. The bacteria can cause typhoid if you consume food rich in it.

  • Clostridium perfringens

The bacterium above is a natural bacteria that exists from the soil, sediments, and decaying vegetation. You can also get it from beef, poultry, and gravies that cause food poisoning in most cases.

  • Campylobacter

In most cases, if you have poultry, unpasteurized milk, and some contaminated foods, they can easily be affected by the bacterium and quickly cause gastroenteritis.

  • Vibrio

Vibrio bacteria are mostly in salty water and can cause effects to the body that consume salted water, food, or seafood; then, you undercook them.

  • Listeria

The bacteria is a common pathogen in food that you can quickly get in unpasteurized dairy products, raw fruits and vegetables, processed meat, and salty water foods.

Frequently asked questions:

  • What are the most common effects of the bacteria in Sous vide

If you consume bacteria-rich food, you can quickly get diseases like typhoid, food poisoning, and gastroenteritis. Therefore check on the food you are consuming to prevent consumption of bacteria that is not for the body

  • Which types of food are high in bacteria?

The most common types of food that have bacteria are meat like beef, poultry, fish, and shellfish; the bacteria can also be found in vegetables, fruits, and even ingredients used to prepare the food.


Sous vide cooking is one of the best ways of cooking in the world today that you can use for killing bacteria in food to make it safe for consumption while retaining the flavor, taste, and all the natural ingredients in the food. Check on the methods to follow when killing the bacteria in the guide above. The best thing is knowing the exact temperature for the food you are cooking.

Choose to use the immersion circulator method for Sous vide cooking as it allows you to set the proper temperatures for use that will not lead to overcooking of the food that you only set and leaving it to boil. If you are not sure of the temperatures with the Sous vide, you can purchase a thermometer for use.