I am just starting out with my sous-vide project and ready to buy sous-vide equipment. I am having arguments with my partner, who thinks sous-vide is similar to cooking the chicken breast in liquid. I would like to convince my partner but it is hard for me to argue as I have no experience.

How different a sous-vide cooked chicken from one that is cooked in water?

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    The main difference is where the water goes in each case... Also once you get sous vide chicken right, you might be able to convince your partner more easily.
    – Luciano
    Jan 9, 2020 at 15:59

2 Answers 2


It's actually not that much different in some respects. Sous vide is simply a way to precisely control temperature (that's something you can't do very easily with a poach on the stove top). If you sous vide a chicken breast, remove it from the bag, and serve it up, it will be very much like the result you get from poaching. The difference is that you will be able to control the level of doneness, and impact the texture to a greater degree than simple poaching. Most sous vide ends with a searing or browning step, so that the exterior of the product more closely resembles a stove top or oven cook.

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    Another advantage of sous-vide, in that case, is that you do not dilute flavor of the chicken and whatever flavor you add to the bag in the poaching liquid.
    – Max
    Jan 9, 2020 at 14:38

Another key factor is that most everyone will tell you that chicken must have an internal temperature of 165℉ to be safe. That is true for pan,bake, or grills, but NOT true for Sous Vide because the chicken is cooked longer in the bath and the time to kill all bacteria is significantly longer, allowing for a lower final internal temperature and more tender, jucier chicken that is safe. We usually do chicken breasts Sous Vide for about an hour at 145℉. They are fully pasteurized after the 10-minute point at an internal 145 temperature when using this method of cooking! A quick sear if served on a plate makes them perfect. For things like chicken salad, I don't even bother with a sear.

Here's a chart... enter image description here

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    But this is no different from just poaching chicken in 145 degree water - I think you need something here about the precise temperature control afforded by sous vide. Also, your last sentence is a little misleading - the chicken is safe after the center is at 145 degrees for 10 minutes, not 10 minutes after you start cooking it in 145 degree water Jan 15, 2020 at 16:56
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    Poaching chicken in water directly results in a totally different final product than chicken cooked sous vide in a vacuum sealed bag...either alone or with aromatics, seasonings, and/or marinates. Also, I did clarify my last sentence in my original post. Had a brain cloud moment! LOL!
    – SittingElf
    Jan 15, 2020 at 17:01

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