How To Sous Vide Quinoa and Other Grains | The Tool Shed

How To Sous Vide Quinoa and Other Grains

When it comes to foodie trends, sous vide is up there with the best and is becoming increasingly well known, even in home kitchens.

Providing the capability to achieve perfect results every time with minimal effort, it’s little wonder that it’s transforming the way we cook, whether that’s to produce the perfect steak or the best poached eggs.

However, one ingredient that is frequently overlooked when using sous vide cooking is quinoa, as well as other grains such as bulgur wheat and oats. These grains are perfect for use in sous vide and provide an easy way to mix up your diet, so it’s well worth learning how to incorporate them into your sous vide cooking.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a guide detailing how to sous vide these grains.

What equipment to use

Aside from the normal sous vide equipment of a water bath, circulator, and thermometer, you’ll also need to find some pint or three-quarter pint mason jars or canning jars.

Whilst most sous vide recipes work better in vacuum bags, grains are much better suited to a jar due to the large amounts of liquid they require to cook. By sealing them into a jar and standing them upright in the water bath, you can cut down on any potential spillage.

Plus, by cooking them in jars, you can also easily store them in the container in which they cooked.

What temperature to use

For most grains, you can use the same temperature as many of the most popular ingredients cook in the same way.

It’s recommended to cook grains at 85 (185) in order to give some leeway for any circulator discrepancies, although any temperature above 83.8 (183) will work fine.

The higher the temperature, the less time the grains will take to cook, so feel free to play around with temperatures depending on your time constraints.

How much liquid to use

The amount of liquid to use when cooking grains will vary depending on the type of grain being used and your personal preference.

For whole grains like quinoa, you will usually need ¾ cup of warm water for every ½ cup of grain, whereas oats will require 1 cup of water to every ½ cup of grain. For white rice, you will need ½ cup of water for your ½ cup of grain, while brown rice will require 1 cup.

The water levels to be used also depends on your personal preference. If you enjoy your oats runny then add more water and if you like your rice more al dente, add less water.

In general, feel free to play around with the water levels to find your desired finish as increasing or decreasing the amount of water used won’t have too much effect.

How long to cook the grains for

The time you need to cook the grains for will vary greatly depending on the type of grain being used.

Grains such as buckwheat and bulgur take around 20-25 minutes, whilst spelt and wheat berry take between 1 hour 20 minutes and 2 hours.

However, in general, sous vide cooking takes about 20% longer than the hob instructions detailed on the grain packaging, so make sure to work from the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Amazing Food Made Easy have put together a helpful timing guide here, according to typical servings and temperatures.

How to prevent any breakage

One of the downsides that comes with cooking grains in a mason jar, rather than a vacuum bag, is the potential for the jar to break.

Due to the hot water causing the ingredients and glass to expand, this can result in the jar smashing, if not properly cared for.

To prevent this, you can do multiple things. Firstly, use warm water in the mason jar rather than cold water. Secondly, keep all ingredients at room temperature before adding it to the water bath. Thirdly, place the mason jar in the water bath early on, rather than once it has reached the desired temperature, which allows the jar to gradually warm up with the water bath.

For more tips on sous vide cooking of grains, check out the rest of the Amazing Food Made Easy guide. If you’re ready to get started on some sous vide recipes, check out our Tool Shed here at Sous Vide Tools.