“Sous vide” is French for “under vacuum,” but it’s a very confusing name. In fact, you do not need a pricey vacuum sealer—or even an inexpensive countertop one—to successfully cook food at a low temperature in a water bath. To get started with sous vide, regular old ziplock-style bags will do just fine. In fact, for some applications they are preferable to vacuum-sealed bags. You can also use high-grade bags intended for vacuum sealers but not seal them. For more information, check out our complete guide to sous vide packaging.
However, we do strongly recommend using a vacuum sealer when you’re cooking vegetables with Joule. This is the only way to guarantee the fantastic results that make sous vide vegetables the best you will ever try. Properly cooked, vacuum-sealed veggies will also be fully pasteurized, so you can store them in the fridge for weeks at a time or freeze them without fear of freezer burn. But this doesn’t mean you need to invest in pricey equipment. We recommend three sealers on Amazon.com that range in price and will all work wonderfully. Once you get one, you’ll find its uses extend beyond Joule—sealers are great for keeping snacks and other foods fresh longer. To see how they work, head to the Vegetables section of the Joule app, and get excited to eat more veggies!