Did you know that simple sous vide weights could help keep your family healthy? It’s true. Floating sous vide bags can ruin the taste, texture, and SAFETY of our food. If the bags float to the surface, the food temperature will be too low. This leads to undercooked food which is a nasty breeding ground for germs. Yuck and Yikes! This food tastes bad and makes us sick.
Are they necessary?
Sous vide weights are some of the best solutions to this problem, but we don’t think they’re a necessity. They are a nice-to-have more than a must-have item. The necessity is keeping your bags submerged, and these weights are one way to do that. They ensure proper cooking and food that is both succulent and safe. Many of us have used spoons, butter knives, and anything handy to serve this purpose. These work OK. But if you do a lot of sous vide cooking or if you’re cooking for a large crowd, improvising is not the best fix.
Why can’t I just use a rock?
Sous vide weights are a simple solution to a simple problem. This leads many people to ask why they need another gadget at all. Some people have actually tried to use rocks as a “natural alternative.” The problem with rocks (and other items not made for this purpose) is that they can leech off nasty chemicals when cooking in water for long time. We prefer to spend a few extra bucks on weights that are inexpensive, effective, and designed to solve the floater problem.
Types of Sous Vide Weights
There 2 general types of weights: regular weights and magnet weights.
How to Use:
There are 3 ways to use these sous vide weights.
- Sealed in a sous vide bag – direct contact with your food
- Double bagged – seal the weight in its own bag before adding it to your sous vide bag
- Set the weights atop your sous vide bag
These methods sound simple (and they are), but they can produce different results depending on what you’re cooking, how you prepared it, and the shape and size of the food.
There are 2 ways to use magnet weights.
- Put 2 magnets on both sides of a bag to weigh it down.
- Attach to side of container – put a magnet against the bag in the water, and another magnet outside the container.
All the sous vide weights we recommend below are made of high quality, food-grade materials that won’t contaminate your meals.
The cores are stainless steel. Is this a safe material? We hope so. We put it in our mouths everyday. It is the same metal used to make of our spoons, forks, and knives.
The coatings are food grade silicone. This type of silicone is FDA approved as BPA free (also free of lead, BPS, phthalates, and other nasty chemicals in plastic).
You can safely seal all these weights in your side vide bag with direct contact with your food, if you choose.
This set by Gevoli is our top pick for sous vide weights. These weights have the best features for safety, functionality, value, and appearance.
The Gevoli weights are high quality, well made, and long lasting. The silicone coating doesn’t crack or tear even after many uses and cleanings.
The weights are over 6 oz. each, and there are 4 of them. This more than enough to hold down anything that would float in the first place. They also have a wide flat base that sits securely atop bags in the circulating water.
They also have small holes on one end. This can be used to tie them to very large items like a whole roast. Gevoli are the only weights we know of that have this feature.
In the bag
We like the idea of double bagging sous vide weights for extra protection, but we usually don’t take the time to do it. We like putting the weight in the bag for the most recalcitrant floaters, like veggies. This seems to allow for slightly better circulation than pinning the bag down with the weight on top. That being said the difference is minor between in the bag or atop it.
On top of the bag
We like the Gevoli weights for their shape. Having a relatively wide, flat base lets the weights rest securely. They don’t fall off as much as round, cylindrical weights. This method is also great for unexpected floaters. We sometimes find that some bags only start to float an hour or so into the process. In that case, just place the weight on top for a quick fix.
- Value – this set comes in a 4 pack
- Appearance – we like the subtlety of the dark maroon color and the general design. It goes with many decors with standing out too much.
- The included rings for hanging corrode quickly and should not be used.
This set by Kenley is our second pick. We love the triangular shape of these sous vide weights. They stay put better than most other. The only real issue is the appearance. They stand out too much. The color is just too loud for us. Otherwise these are excellent weights. At over 6 oz. each, they will hold down just about any bag.
On top of the bag
These weights have the widest most stable base for sitting on top. That’s how we like to use this one the best.
In the bag
The overall dimensions of these weights are smaller than expected, so they fit well in your normal soud vide bags. As we said before, we prefer to use them on top, because it is faster and more convenient (no clean up).
- Safety and Quality Coating
- Loud color clashes with some décor
We prefer regular sous vide weights to the weighted magnets, but they can stop floaters too. The KORE magnets are our favorite for functionality. They are the heaviest weighted magnets. They are meant to be used as a pair, and a pair weighs 5.6 oz.
Outside the bag
These are meant to be used outside the bag. You can put two together with the edge of the sous vide bag between. This should be enough weight to hold down almost every bag. You can also use one magnet inside the container and the other on the outside to pin your bag to the side.
In the bag
It’s possible to use these inside the bags as well. They are made with all food grade metal and silicone. But the manufacture doesn’t recommend it.
- Heaviest weighted magnet
- Strong magnets hold well even through the container wall
- Cost – only 2 magnets per set
- Bright loud color may clash with décor
This set by Familiar is decent but it has many limitations. The magnets are very light. Each pair weighs only 2.2 oz. But there are 8 total in the set. The magnets themselves are quite strong. They will hold typical bags against the container wall very securely.
Outside the bag:
Like the KORE magnets, these are best used outside the bag. Because they are so light you may need more than one pair per sous vide bag, but this will vary based on what you are making. They also work with the on-the-wall set up as the magnets are strong.
- Large set of 8
- Strong magnets
- Good value
- Small and light
- Less convenient to use several per bag
SO-VIDA Sous Vide Weights
We really don’t like the round sous vide weights by SO-VIDA. These have been on the market for a long time, but we don’t like their functionality. Their round shape causes them to roll off most bags. So you almost always will need to seal them inside the bag. We find this to be more inconvenient. And they are lighter than to the other weights we mentioned. Many people have these because they were one of the first on the market. And many people still like them, but we feel that there are superior products available now.
- Safe food grade materials
- Long track record
- Unstable – rolls off bags
- Often out of stock
Stop the floaters! This is the real necessity. Undercooked food is gross and dangerous. Sous vide weights are a cheap, easy solution. You have many options beyond sous vide weights. For example, a sous vide rack is another excellent fix. Whatever tool you use, the important thing is to stay safe by keeping your bags submerged.