How to Use the Sous Vide Rack

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When you start cooking in a particular way that works for you, indulging in some equipment and tools that add to the cooking experience is natural. Do you know how to use the sous vide rack? If not, then get to know all about it so that you can enjoy the preparation experience as much as the delicious results.

How to Use the Sous Vide Rack

A sous vide rack is a metal frame with narrow, open compartments where you can arrange the vacuumed food bags and place them in the water oven. The temperature remains constant, so all the food items can cook simultaneously without getting piled up and getting uneven heat from the water around them.

This rack can be used as a time-reducing tool when you have to prepare more food, and the results will be equally good since the bags will remain untouched and will get water circulation around them. Moreover, the rack ensures that the bags remain submerged completely. This accessory can help with all kinds of recipes and food items that you want to prepare.

What You Need to Know Before Buying a Rack

You can buy this special cooking tool from various sources. However, there are a few things that you must know when you set out to buy it.

  • Racks are better for immersion cookers that have the circulator and heating unit attached to the side. This helps the consistent water heating, and the sous vide silicone bags do not obstruct the source of heat
  • Some racks are compatible with specific models or designs, so pick the one that suits your setup
  • Measure the rack, and the water oven you have at home. A misfit rack cannot be a good choice
  • Buy proper vacuum bags meant for this kind of cooking. Using a rack will require bags that are designed for this cooking style. Only buy a rack when you have the right cooker or bags to complete the setup. Additionally, get to know how to use this method.

How to Setup the Rack for Bags in the Water Oven

You can follow a few simple steps to ensure that your dinner party meals or preparation for the week ahead will turn out as you planned.

  1. Set up the immersion cooker and fill the water oven with water
  2. Heat the cooker and set the temperature that you need
  3. As the water oven is preheating, organize the prepared bags of meat or other foods
  4. Place the vacuum bags in the slots in the rack
  5. Once the water is ready at the desired temperature, lower the rack into the oven
  6. Ensure that the rack is sitting in the water oven and all the bags are free and not touching one another

These steps are all the preparation that you would need. Once the food begins to cook, you can carry on with whatever tasks you have at hand. There is no need to constantly check the vacuum bags as they will remain in place due to the rack.

Who Can Use This Special Rack?

This rack is designed for the special French technique of cooking. It is an ideal purchase for people who have to prepare more food items in a limited time. Moreover, you do not have to watch over the food as it cooks with this technique, so a rack will help you ensure that the results will be good.

Keeping the vacuumed bag still and underwater can be a challenge for home cooks who create their setup from any cooking vessel and a heating device that maintains temperatures. If the bags keep moving around in the water or get closer to the heat source, the results can differ due to uneven heating.

You can benefit from this rack in your daily cooking if:

  • You are a chef who needs to prepare food before the service
  • You have a party service to cater and need to cook many portions of similar foods that require the same time and temperature of the water oven
  • You have a large meal to prepare

Any Alternatives to Sous Vide Rack?

That should be fine if you do not have a rack ready at home. The concept is to keep the bags away from each other, and even if you have many bags that you need to cook simultaneously, there can be some conventional hacks that will get the job done.

One of the easiest ways that novice cooks try is the skewer hanger. This is a method that you won’t find on any cooking channel or cookbook so follow the steps carefully to understand how you can complete cooking steaks in sous vide or any other food at home and get the delicious and tender results you want.

  1. Place the meat in the zip lock bag and use a vacuum sealer machine to seal it
  2. Once the bag is sealed, pierce the top of the bag with a skewer
  3. Ensure that you pierce the part that is above the zip lock so that the vacuum is not disturbed
  4. Hang as many bags from the skewer as needed. You can even use two or three skewers to distribute the weight
  5. Now rest these skewers on top of the water oven, like a ceiling beam with bags hanging from it and fully submerged in water

The bags will not touch each other and will be far from each other, allowing the water to circulate around them.

Other Alternatives

Apart from this smart hack, you can use the following to ensure that the sous vide cooker works for your food:

  • Alligator clips
  • Lid holder to hold the bag down while it cooks in the water oven
  • Weights can help hold down the bag as it gets heated from all sides

There can be many ways to hold the bags in place and ensure the results are amazing. You can be creative in your own ways and create hacks that will keep the vacuum bags in place and also ensure that the cooking method completes properly.


Learning how to use the sous vide rack can help you get more organized while cooking and also become more efficient in preparing large meals. This cooking accessory can save time and add convenience to everyday cooking and professional services.

Nathaniel Lee is an avid cook, drawing on his decades of home cooking and fine dining experience. He is a contributing chef at Mashed, and his recipes and contributions have been featured in Tasting Table, Edible Arrangements, Insanely Good Recipes, and The Daily Meal.