Sous Vide vs. Boiling – What Makes Them Different?

The water boiling point can be affected by altitude and the addition of salt. Boiling water is ideal for producing soups, stews, and sauces, as well as pasta and other grains. However, some foods do not like to be boiled. Sous vide is a fantastic way to cook at a lower, more mild temperature than boiling. Boiling food dates back to the Paleolithic era, but sous vide cooking is a relatively modern notion.

Sous vide cooking takes place at a significantly lower temperature than boiling, usually between 130 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The sous vide results have a more natural flavor, while the effects of boiling have a less natural flavor. Sous vide produces a tender and juicy texture, while boiling produces a tough and dry surface.

You pour a bag of food into a hot water bath to cook something sous vide, right? Isn’t that the same as putting it in a saucepan of hot water and boiling it? These are some fantastic inquiries. This article will address whether you need a fancy sous vide system to cook your food in a bag in hot water.

Differences Between Sous Vide vs. Boiling

1. Boiling’s history

sous vide vs boiling

Neanderthals may have used skin bags or birch bark trays to prepare stews over an open fire. One Paleontologist also suggested that one of the reasons Homo sapiens survived was the ability to boil food, which softens food and removes fat from bones for more nutrients. Cooking in the bark may appear illogical (wouldn’t it burn?), but it cannot ignite as long as there is a liquid in the cooking pan.

In the evolution of food preparation, boiling became a significant step. It improves food digestion and helps the body absorb some nutrients more effectively. It also broadened the range of foods consumed because boiling kills germs and other hazardous pathogens that can cause food poisoning.

2. Boiling techniques

Boiling techniques

Boiling food is widespread nowadays, and most people use either a “gentle” or a “rolling” boil. A rolling boil is defined as boiling water that does not stop bubbling when stirred; this is typically the water used to cook pasta or starchy vegetables like potatoes; the dynamic nature of the water prevents meals from adhering together. Foods that require a delicate touch, such as packed pasta (like ravioli) and dumplings, benefit from a “soft” boil.

A moderate boil is preferable when creating sauces, stews, and soups because the diversity of broth items, generally a mixture of vegetables, meat, and seasonings, do not break down as rapidly in a soft boil. A rolling boil can sometimes evaporate water too quickly, leaving the pot with insufficient space. Food may adhere to and burn at the bottom of a soup pot as a result of this.

3. So, what exactly is sous vide cooking?

what exactly is sous vide cooking

Sous vide is a cooking method that employs precise temperature control to create consistently high-quality outcomes. Professionals used to be the only ones who had access to it. For years, big hotels have always relied on sous vide cooking to the desired degree. The method has lately gained popularity among home cooks.

Sous vide is a cooking method that includes vacuum-sealing food in a bag and then cooking it in a water bath at a low temperature.

4. Is Sous Vide the same as boiling?

Is Sous Vide the same as boiling

Let me be clear about something right away. Sous vide cooking isn’t the same as steaming food in a bag. The water in the sous vide cooker never boils. Instead, the bag contents are progressively brought up to the water’s below-boiling temperature and cooked for a longer time at this “lower” temperature.

This approach produces food that is perfectly cooked all the way through and is incredibly soft and juicy. It’s also challenging to overcook food while using sous vide. You may even keep the bags in the water for an additional hour without overcooking them. On the other hand, throwing vacuum-sealed bags into a kettle of boiling water is a different matter.

In sous vide cooking, the water temperature is maintained at the temperature you specify. However, if you place a piece of meat in an airtight bag in a kettle of boiling water, the temperature of the flesh will continue to rise (and the meat will continue to cook) until it reaches the boiling water’s temperature (212°F [100°C]). Of course, this will continue until the pot is removed from the boiling water. As a result, your chances of overcooking the meat are much higher.

Compared to the temperatures utilized in sous vide cooking, boiling water is significantly higher (see my chart below). You’re more likely to obtain rough, dry meat that isn’t particularly succulent. Look at the table below for a breakdown of the fundamental differences between sous vide and boiling.

BoilingSous vide
The temperature is 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius).Depending on what you’re cooking, the temperature should be between 120 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit (49 and 71 degrees Celsius).
Can overcookNo overcooking
It has a rough, dry texture.Produces a luscious, delicate texture
As a result, the flavor is less natural.As a result, the flavor is more natural.

5. Is it Possible for sous vide to Boil water?

Is it Possible for sous vide to Boil water

Sous vide cooking is the cooking of food slowly at a temperature that never exceeds boiling.

You should never need to boil your water if you use your sous vide cooker correctly.

However, if you’re wondering if sous vide equipment can heat water to boiling point (212°F [100°C]), the answer is no.

Sous vide equipment typically heats water to temperatures of around 200°F (93°C). The Joule may reach a temperature of 208 degrees Fahrenheit (98 degrees Celsius), extremely close to boiling.

You might be wondering if sous vide cooking, because it never reaches boiling temperatures and is done at lower temperatures, produces a suitable environment for bacteria to develop. To learn more, go here.


Cooking pasta or other grains in boiling water is a terrific technique to produce a soup, stew, or sauce. Sous vide cooking is ideal for delicate items like shellfish, a fine steak, or veggies like asparagus (who likes overcooked asparagus?). (Not me.) Both are excellent cooking methods that have a place in the kitchen.

Hopefully, you’ve realized that sous vide cooking differs significantly from tossing an airtight bag into a pot of boiling water.  It’s all about precision and perfection when it comes to sous vide. Even though it takes a little longer, it’s well worth the wait!