May 18

Sous Vide VS Boiling | Cooking Temperature, Time, Control, and Results


Author: Ana Stanar and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Sous vide and boiling are two cooking methods that may appear similar at first glance, but in reality, they differ greatly in the way they cook food. While both involve cooking food in water, the approach and end result are different.

Sous vide vs boiling: sous vide cooking utilizes a temperature-controlled water bath to cook food in a sealed bag, while boiling involves submerging food in boiling water.

It is therefore important to understand the differences between them to achieve the desired outcome in your cooking.

Key Takeaways

  • Sous vide and boiling are two different cooking methods.
  • Sous vide involves cooking food at low temperatures while boiling involves cooking food at high temperatures.
  • Sous vide takes longer to cook food unlike boiling but produces delicious and flavorful food without nutrient loss
  • Sous vide requires special equipment and is a modern way of cooking while boiling is a traditional and simple way of cooking.
  • Temperature for sous vide is controlled, resulting in perfectly cooked food, while boiling can result in under or overcooked food

Sous Vide vs boiling: A Comparison of 2 Great Cooking Methods

Cooking is an essential aspect of our lives, and we all have different preferences when it comes to cooking style or method.

Two great methods of cooking are sous vide and boiling. Sous vide is a French term that means "under vacuum," and it involves cooking food in a temperature-controlled water bath.

 On the other hand, boiling is a traditional cooking method that involves immersing food in boiling or hot water.

Two different ways of cooking

Cooking Temperature

One of the most significant differences between sous vide and boiling is the cooking temperature. With sous vide cooking, food is cooked at low temperatures ranging from 130–160°F or 55–71°C, which is below the boiling point of water.

 This low temperature allows the food to cook slowly and evenly, resulting in a tender and flavorful dish.

 In contrast, boiling involves cooking food at high temperatures of 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius), and above.

Cooking Time

Another difference between these 2 cooking methods is the cooking time. Sous vide is a slow cooking process that can take between three to four hours to cook food. The slow cooking process ensures that the food is cooked evenly and retains its flavor and nutrients.

In contrast, boiling is a faster cooking method that can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, depending on the type of food being cooked.

Meat, vegetables and rice on the plate

Types of Food

Sous vide and boiling are ideal for cooking different types of food. Sous vide is ideal for cooking meat, vegetables, and eggs, among other foods.

In contrast, boiling is ideal for cooking rice, potatoes, cereals, pasta, eggs, and meat, among other foods.


Boiling food and sous vide method have different effects on the taste of food.

Sous Vide Meals Are Delicious

Sous vide produces delicious and flavorful food since it doesn't come into contact with water.

The food is vacuum-sealed in a bag and cooked in a temperature-controlled water bath, ensuring that the flavors are locked in.

On the other hand, boiling involves cooking food in water, which can sometimes dissolve nutrients and flavor compounds, resulting in less flavorful food.

Meat on the plate

Temperature Control

Temperature control is another area where sous vide and boiling differ. In sous vide cooking, water temperature is precisely controlled, allowing the food to cook perfectly without the risk of undercooking or overcooking.

In contrast, boiling food doesn't offer the same level of temperature control or consistent temperature, and there's a risk of under or overcooking the food.

Infusing Food with Flavor

One benefit of sous vide is the ability to infuse food with flavor. Because the food is sealed in a sous vide bag, it is possible to add herbs, spices, and other seasonings to the bag before cooking.

The flavors are then infused into the food during the cooking process, resulting in a more flavorful end product. Boiling, on the other hand, does not allow for the same level of flavor infusion.


Sous vide and boiling require different cooking equipment. The investment in equipment and preparation time pays off in the quality of the food that is produced.

Images of two cooking methods

Boiling Is One of the Traditional Cooking Methods

Boiling is a simple and traditional way of cooking that requires only a pot, water, and a heat source.

Sous vide cooking, on the other hand, requires special equipment, including a vacuum sealer, a water bath, a vacuum-sealed bag and a sous vide cooker.

The Equipment Allows Food to Be Cooked At Your Desired Temperature

While this equipment can be expensive, it allows for precise temperature control, resulting in perfectly cooked food.

FAQs Related to Sous Vide vs Boiling

Images of sous vide and boiling

What Are The Disadvantages Of Sous Vide Cooking?

Sous vide cooking has become increasingly prevalent among home cooks and professional chefs alike. However, despite its benefits, this cooking technique also has some disadvantages that must be considered before investing in the equipment.


One of the biggest disadvantages of sous vide cooking is the cost. It requires specialized equipment such as a sous vide machine, a water bath, and a vacuum sealer for sous vide, which can be expensive. This can make sous vide cooking inaccessible for some home cooks.

It is a Slow Cooking Method

Another disadvantage of sous vide cooking is that it is a slow cooking method. Food is cooked in a sealed bag at a low temperature for some hours. This may not be practical for those who are short on time or looking for a quick meal.

What Is the Point Of A Sous Vide Machine?

The point of the sous vide machine is to make cooking easier with a more precise cooking temperature, allowing for consistent and delicious results every time.

Allows Time and Temperature Control

The machine heats water to a specific temperature and maintains that temperature for a specified amount of time, allowing the food to cook evenly and without overcooking. The machine also circulates the water to ensure that the temperature is consistent throughout the cooking process.

Ideal for Meat, Vegetables

Sous vide machines are particularly useful for cooking meat, as the even temperature allows for a perfect medium-rare, medium or well-done result. It is also great for cooking vegetables, fish, and even desserts.

About the author

Ana Stanar

An Art Teacher, entrepreneur, and a mother of three, Ana considers cooking a form of art - pleasure for all senses as well as a process that requires creativity, passion and devotion. Since she leads a busy life, Ana just loves testing various kitchen appliances for Kitchen Gearoid, especially those that save her time while preparing food and cooking but also make every meal a masterpiece!


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