Can You Use Silicone Molds IN Sous Vide?

Sous vide cooking has become increasingly popular in recent years as a precise and consistent way to cook food. The sous vide method involves vacuum sealing food in plastic pouches and then cooking it in a water bath at a precise temperature for an extended period of time.

One question that often comes up with sous vide cooking is whether you can use silicone molds instead of plastic pouches. The short answer is yes, silicone molds can absolutely be used for sous vide cooking with great results.

Silicone molds offer some unique benefits and advantages over traditional plastic pouches when used for sous vide cooking. At the same time, there are also some potential downsides to be aware of when cooking with silicone molds using the sous vide method.

 


Sous Vide Products I Use Every Day

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Anova Culinary AN400-US00 Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker, 12.8" x 2.2" x 4.1", Black
Anova Precision Cooker Container 12L
IMPRESA [10 pack] Sous Vide Magnets to Keep Bags Submerged & In Place - Sous Vide Accessories to Stop Floating Bags & Undercooking - Great Alternative to Sous Vide Weights, Balls, Clips, & Racks
Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00 Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer, Includes 10 Precut Bags, For Sous Vide and Food Storage
Wevac Vacuum Sealer Bags 8x50, 11x50 Rolls 2 pack for Food Saver, Seal a Meal, Weston. Commercial Grade, BPA Free, Heavy Duty, Great for vac storage, Meal Prep or Sous Vide
Anova Culinary AN400-US00 Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker, 12.8" x 2.2" x 4.1", Black
Anova Precision Cooker Container 12L
IMPRESA [10 pack] Sous Vide Magnets to Keep Bags Submerged & In Place - Sous Vide Accessories to Stop Floating Bags & Undercooking - Great Alternative to Sous Vide Weights, Balls, Clips, & Racks
Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00 Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer, Includes 10 Precut Bags, For Sous Vide and Food Storage
Wevac Vacuum Sealer Bags 8x50, 11x50 Rolls 2 pack for Food Saver, Seal a Meal, Weston. Commercial Grade, BPA Free, Heavy Duty, Great for vac storage, Meal Prep or Sous Vide
$99.00
$127.44
$24.99
$59.95
$18.99
Anova Culinary AN400-US00 Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker, 12.8" x 2.2" x 4.1", Black
Anova Culinary AN400-US00 Nano Sous Vide Precision Cooker, 12.8" x 2.2" x 4.1", Black
$99.00
Anova Precision Cooker Container 12L
Anova Precision Cooker Container 12L
$127.44
IMPRESA [10 pack] Sous Vide Magnets to Keep Bags Submerged & In Place - Sous Vide Accessories to Stop Floating Bags & Undercooking - Great Alternative to Sous Vide Weights, Balls, Clips, & Racks
IMPRESA [10 pack] Sous Vide Magnets to Keep Bags Submerged & In Place - Sous Vide Accessories to Stop Floating Bags & Undercooking - Great Alternative to Sous Vide Weights, Balls, Clips, & Racks
$24.99
Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00 Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer, Includes 10 Precut Bags, For Sous Vide and Food Storage
Anova Culinary ANVS01-US00 Anova Precision Vacuum Sealer, Includes 10 Precut Bags, For Sous Vide and Food Storage
$59.95
Wevac Vacuum Sealer Bags 8x50, 11x50 Rolls 2 pack for Food Saver, Seal a Meal, Weston. Commercial Grade, BPA Free, Heavy Duty, Great for vac storage, Meal Prep or Sous Vide
Wevac Vacuum Sealer Bags 8x50, 11x50 Rolls 2 pack for Food Saver, Seal a Meal, Weston. Commercial Grade, BPA Free, Heavy Duty, Great for vac storage, Meal Prep or Sous Vide
$18.99

Last update on 2024-07-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Benefits of Using Silicone Molds in Sous Vide Cooking

There are several reasons why cooking with silicone molds can be advantageous for certain sous vide recipes and preparations:

  • Versatility – Silicone molds come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and designs. This allows you to cook food in interesting shapes and patterns that would be difficult to achieve with plastic bags. You can make egg bites, muffins, mini cakes, and more.
  • Easy removal – Food tends to release much easier from silicone molds compared to plastic bags or glass jars used in sous vide. The flexibility of the silicone makes it easy to pop foods out.
  • Reusable – Quality silicone molds can be reused many times for sous vide cooking. This makes them a more sustainable and cost-effective option compared to constantly using disposable plastic bags.
  • Space efficiency – Silicone molds allow you to pack and cook food very efficiently in the sous vide water bath, maximizing the space.
  • Better texture – Cooking in silicone molds can sometimes lead to better texture, especially for foods like custards, flans, and silicone baking molds. The molds provide even heating and support.
  • Easy assembly – Assembling dishes like egg bites is much easier when ingredients can be layered and assembled directly in silicone molds before cooking sous vide.
  • Better presentation – Food cooked and served in shaped silicone molds often looks more visually appealing than cooking in plain plastic bags.

Potential Risks or Downsides of Using Silicone Molds in Sous Vide

While silicone molds provide some advantages, there are also some potential downsides to consider:

  • Sticking – Foods with high sugar or fat content can sometimes stick to silicone molds after cooking sous vide, making removal difficult. Proper mold release spray or greasing is necessary.
  • Collapsing risk – Very soft or liquid-based foods can cause thinner silicone molds to collapse during extended sous vide cooking if not properly supported in the water bath.
  • Overcrowding – Putting too much food or overfilling silicone molds can lead to uneven cooking.
  • Food safety – Make sure to only use food-grade silicone molds that are BPA-free. Inferior quality silicone may degrade over time.
  • Less sealing – Unlike vacuum sealed plastic pouches, silicone molds will allow some evaporation and water exchange during prolonged sous vide cooking.
  • Size limitations – Individual silicone molds hold much less volume than a large plastic bag, so works best for smaller, individual portion recipes.

Proper techniques can help minimize most of these potential downsides when cooking sous vide with silicone molds.

How to Use Silicone Molds in Sous Vide Cooking: Step-by-Step Guide

Using silicone molds in your sous vide cooker takes a little finesse, but can be easy to pick up with a bit of practice:

  1. Choose an appropriate recipe – Opt for recipes suited for individual portions in molds, like egg bites, sous vide dessertssous vide vegetables, etc. Very liquid-based recipes may be challenging.
  2. Prepare the molds – Wash molds in hot soapy water. Apply mold release spray if needed for sticky foods. Grease molds if called for in the recipe.
  3. Assemble ingredients in molds – Layer ingredients evenly into each mold according to recipe instructions. Do not overfill.
  4. Seal molds – Place each filled silicone mold into an individual sous vide bag. Vacuum seal the bags to prevent water from entering.
  5. Cook sous vide – Submerge sealed molds in preheated water bath, clipping bags to the side. Cook for the time and temp specified in the recipe.
  6. Remove from bags – Carefully open bags and remove hot silicone molds using tongs or gloves.
  7. Unmold – Allow molds to cool slightly before gently flexing the silicone to release contents.
  8. Clean molds – Wash silicone molds using dish soap and hot water after each use. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.

Choosing the Right Silicone Mold for Sous Vide

Picking the right silicone mold makes a difference for ease of use and best results with sous vide:

  • Opt for food-grade silicone molds made without BPAs and approved for high heat.
  • Look for thick, reinforced silicone baking molds that won’t collapse when submerged.
  • Molds with some rigidity from plastic or stainless steel frames maintain their shape better.
  • Avoid very thin, flimsy silicone molds that could rip when removing from bags.
  • Molds with easy release surfaces prevent food from sticking.
  • Individual mini molds work better than one large mold.
  • Creative shapes like eggs, flowers, hearts, stars, etc. make for fun presentations.

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Silicone Mold After Sous Vide Cooking

Proper care keeps silicone molds in good condition for repeated sous vide use:

  • Remove any stuck-on food debris by soaking in hot water before washing. Avoid abrasive scrubbing.
  • Wash molds with dish soap and hot water after each use.
  • Occasionally sanitize molds by boiling for 5-10 minutes or washing with bleach solution.
  • Avoid putting silicone molds in the dishwasher, as high heat can cause deterioration over time.
  • Store molds in a clean, dry place and avoid high heat, sharp objects, harsh chemicals, and greasy residue buildup.
  • Replace silicone molds that become damaged, heavily stained, or begin deteriorating.

Best Practices for Using Silicone Molds in Sous Vide Cooking

Here are some top tips to get the best results when cooking sous vide with silicone molds:

  • Pre-grease molds as needed to prevent sticking, especially with eggs, cheese, pasta, or desserts.
  • Chill molds before adding liquid-based fillings to help prevent collapsing.
  • Do not overfill silicone molds, which can cause uneven cooking. Leave room for expansion.
  • Use sturdy, reinforced molds to prevent buckling and deforming in the water bath.
  • Weigh down delicate silicone molds in the water bath with metal weights or jars.
  • Seal filled molds in individual pouches to prevent water seeping in during extended cooking times.
  • Avoid quick temperature changes to prevent cracking by pre-heating and cooling molds gradually.
  • Gently remove food from molds while still warm – do not unmold piping hot.

Frequently Asked Questions about Using Silicone Molds in Sous Vide Cooking

Can any silicone mold be used for sous vide cooking?

No, you want to use silicone molds specifically rated as food-safe and for high heat like sous vide temperatures. Avoid no-name silicone molds.

What kinds of foods work best cooked in silicone molds sous vide?

Foods like egg bites, desserts, sous vide poultry, seafood, baked goods, and molded vegetable dishes all do very well when cooked using silicone molds with sous vide.

How do I prevent eggs or custards from sticking in silicone molds?

Lightly grease the molds first with butter or oil. Tap the molds gently after cooking to loosen before unmolding. Do not over-bake egg dishes.

Can I reuse silicone molds after cooking sous vide?

Yes, silicone molds can be washed, sanitized, and reused many times. Avoid abrasive scrubbing and use caution with sharp utensils to prevent damages.

How do I know if my silicone molds are still safe to use?

Inspect molds closely for deterioration like cracks, pits, and tears. Throw away any molds that become sticky, misshapen, or have a bad odor after repeated use and cleaning.

Sous vide cooking offers precise control when used with quality silicone molds. With proper care and techniques, silicone molds make an excellent vessel for cooking food with the sous vide method. Be creative and try out new shapes and recipes!