Make Your Own Sous Vide Weed Butter Today!
Sous vide is French and literally translates to ‘under vacuum’. This is a gourmet method of cooking that has been used by top chefs around the world for many generations. Today. This method of cooking is available to home cooks though and is rapidly gaining popularity.
And as it happens, sous vide is also a fantastic way to cook marijuana edibles. Whether you’re dealing with chronic pain or you’re just looking for a fun way to liven up the party, this is a method that can improve the end results and it’s something that you should definitely consider taking up. Read on and discover what sous vide involves, why it’s so popular and how use it to create your own edibles!
How Does Sous Vide Cooking Marijuana Work?
Seeing as sous vide means ‘under vacuum’, we can safely assume that the technique involves creating a vacuum of some sort. That means sealing the food that is to be cooked inside an airtight pouch and removing all of the air.
This sealed package is then dropped into a vat of water that is gently heated. This heat will be transferred to the package in a high efficient manner, thereby resulting in very consistent and reliable cooking and a delicious flavor.
Meanwhile, because the food is sealed inside the vacuum pack, this means that it will end up cooking inside its own juices and becoming infused any seasoning that has been added. This is where the marijuana edibles come in: this is the perfect choice for infusing oils and the like into your food.
Sous vide combines this process with longer cooking times and lower temperatures. This yields different results to other forms of cooking: giving you a different texture than you could accomplish any other way. Flavors tend to flourish and the process provides much more consistent results in a more precise and controlled environment.
Why Do People Sous Vide Marijuana?
Sous vide is quickly becoming popular and that’s for a great number of different reasons.
The main benefit of sous vide is that it allows you to cook at lower temperatures than you would do if you were cooking in an oven. You cannot ‘boil’ a steak of course, which means that the best way to cook it normally is on a pan or in an oven. Compared with water, metal and air are relatively poor conductors of heat however and that means that you need to cook the item at a much higher heat than it would ideally be cooked at.
Consider broiling or grilling a piece of steak for example. This would normally be set at a high temperature such as 204C or 260C respectively, which in turn means exposing the meat to very severe heat. Often this results in the outside of the steak becoming charred and the inside being left medium or rare.
This is something that many of us have simply come to accept, when in reality the perfect steak would maintain a consistent consistency all the way through! Spend just a few minutes too long at this heat and you can completely ruin your steak or even badly burn it. Then there is the matter of the burned pan etc.
But with sous vide, the water is transferring the heat to and through vacuum sealed foods around 10x more efficiently. Thus, you can set the temperature much lower (56C for a medium rare steak) and it’s not even possible to overcook the food. Now you can go about preparing your vegetables and doing other things!
Oh, and there’s also the fact that you can much more precisely control the temperature when cooking sous vide, meaning that you know exactly what temperature the inside of the sous vide bag will be and therefore precisely how long the meat will take and precisely what the meat will taste like when it’s done!
This is also a big deal when it comes to infusing canna-oil, as we’ll see in a moment!
At the same time, because the meat is vacuum sealed as it is being cooked, none of those crucial juices will be lost and instead they will be perfectly infused with the meat resulting in something that tastes incredible. Some of those juices also include the beneficial nutrients found in steak such as
So, the benefits of sous vide include:
- Foolproof results every time
- A truly gourmet taste that you can create from the comfort of your home
- ‘Hands off’ – gives you the freedom to do other things
- Improved nutritional value
- Saves time and money by tenderizing less expensive cuts of meat
- Saves energy by requiring lower heat
- Is less ‘time critical’
- Reduces washing up and prep time
- Reduces the use of oils that can add calories to your meals
A sous vide machine is a fantastic investment for anyone that loves cooking or who wants to eat more healthily.
And it’s even more perfect for preparing marijuana edibles…
Top Reasons Why Sous Vide is Ideal for Marijuana Edibles
Here are just a few of the reasons that you should consider sous vide for your next edibles…
As you likely know, temperature control is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to infusing canna-oil. If you cook at a temperature that’s too hot, then you might vaporize some of the psychoactive ingredients resulting in a less potent dish and wasting a lot of money in the process! If the temperature is too cool on the other hand, then the THC will bind to the oil at a slower rate or it may not bind at all.
As we’ve already seen, cooking sous vide allows you to precisely maintain the temperature of the food inside the sealed package and this means you’ll be able to precisely predict the results every time. By using this method, you will be able to ensure that you enjoy maximum potency and don’t waste a single drop. Once you find a good recipe that works, you can reproduce it exactly every time.
Low Stress and Hands-Free
Infusing oil is not easy if you use conventional methods. In fact, it can end up taking all day and requiring your constant attention while you work at it. This is a little stressful to say the least and especially if you are cooking the weed because you have a medical condition. It’s supposed to be making you less stressed, not more.
So, by cooking sous-vide, you can make life significantly easier for yourself. This will let you rest up or even go and engage in other activities. All the while, your edibles will be cooking away and you’ll be able to kick back and enjoy when they’re done.
There’s another slight problem with regular methods of cooking marijuana edibles: it makes a stink and it makes a mess!
This process normally involves decarbing flower in the oven which can result in a dank smelling kitchen. This isn’t great for the neighbors and it’s even worse if you live in a house-share.
And let’s face it: not everyone wants to broadcast the fact that they’re cooking marijuana! For all these reasons, it’s a good idea to consider cooking sous vide. This way, you can simply drop all the substances into a completely air tight container and then open when it’s done. This creates no smell and no mess and is perfectly covert. No one needs to know and your housemates aren’t likely to try and get you evicted. Those are what we consider ‘pluses’!
Look, just because the food is being used as a vehicle to deliver marijuana, that doesn’t mean you don’t want it to taste great. The simple fact of the matter is that sous vide tastes great and that means you’ll get more enjoyment from whatever you cook with it. That’s a big added bonus.
Sous Vide Marijuana Recipe to Get Started
So that’s the benefit of cooking marijuana edibles sous vide! The next question is how you go about it…
Well first, you still need to decarb. That means decarboxylating – not removing carbohydrates – and this is going to convert THCA into THC. To do this without the oven, just grind up the marijuana, place it into one of the sous vide bags, seal it with a vacuum sealer, and then set the immersion circulator to 203ºF. Submerge the weed and leave for an hour. It will now be ready for cooking with!
If you know how to infuse oils with your sous vide, then you’ll already know how to do the next bit. Just take your chosen fat (butter, olive oil, lard, coconut oil) and infuse at 185ºF. The ratio is normally 16 ounces of fat or oil for every ounce of cannabis but in the case of coconut oil, it’s going to be 8 ounces.
Stir the decarbed flowers into the oil and then let it cook in the sous vide at 185ºF for four hours. Remove, cool and then strain through a fine mesh.
And now you have your weed-powered ingredient ready to cook into your next meal however you choose. You can spread butter onto toast, you can make brownies or you can make shortbread. And if possible, make it in your sous vide!
Cannabis in the CV: Making Your Own Cannabis-Infused Oil Isn’t Easy—but It Can Be Worth the Time and Money
Spending an afternoon or evening cooking with friends feeds both hunger and the soul—and adding cannabis to the mix can add a whole other layer of sociability and relaxation.
For many home cooks, the idea of first creating cannabis oil or butter, and then making edibles, can seem daunting. In theory, you could simply throw some raw flower into any dish—but doing so would not fully activate the THC, and it would probably leave you with some funky-tasting food. Beyond the time and work involved, the inconsistency of marijuana strength and the amount (and, therefore, the expense) of marijuana it can take lead most people to decide to consume only prepackaged edibles. I think is a shame.
If you have never cooked with cannabis, there are a few things you need to know before you begin. Let’s start with how much cannabis you want to use: A limited amount of cannabinoids—the active ingredients in the marijuana plant that include both CBD and THC—will dissolve in the oil. (By the way, in this piece, we’re using the words oil, butter and fat interchangeably.) By adding too much weed to your oil, you are simply wasting money and product. An ounce of cannabis infused into 16 ounces of butter or oil will give you a potent product that can later be cut with more fat as necessary. For my favorite lemon loaf, for instance, I use about two tablespoons of cannabis butter, and four tablespoons of regular butter.
Before using cannabis oil in a recipe, it must first be decarboxylated, a process that makes the THC into a substance that has intoxicating effects—not unlike how fermentation changes grape juice into wine. Heat is the fastest and most-effective method for creating this effect. So, when making cannabis-infused oil, temperature is vital: If your oil is too cool, the cannabinoids will either not all be released, or not released at all. If it’s too hot, you will vaporize your cannabinoids, losing potency and money.
Many people begin this process in a low-temperature oven (245 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 30 minutes, mixing the buds every 10 minutes or so, before coarsely grinding and transferring the buds into a slow-cooker with the oil, at 160-200 degrees, for three hours. But honestly … I hate this method. The time in the oven makes the entire house smell, which is not a major concern when we can have our doors and windows open—but come summer, when the house is shut up tight in 110-degree-plus temps, this is just not acceptable. Also: The amount of “active cooking” time is not practical for someone with a busy life. Finally, the unknowns around temperature make it difficult to get a consistent product.
Luckily, there is a great solution: the consumer grade sous-vide machine. Home cooks everywhere are discovering the joys of the precise time and temperature offered with this bath-cooking method. A sous-vide machine—several great brands are on the market for less than $200, including the Anova, which I use—allows you to place a sealed bag or canning jar in a water bath, with that water holding within a degree plus or minus, for as long as you need. Obviously, there is an initial cost, but once you have the cooker, you can use it for all sorts of cooking projects—and you’ll save money in the long run, because you’ll be making better, more-consistent oils.
You can “decarb” your flowers using a sealed bag under water, set to 203 degrees, for one hour. Then you coarse-grind the product, and place it and the fat in a sealed canning jar; put that in a water bath set to 185 degrees for four hours—and you are done. The beauty of the sous-vide system is that it can run without being monitored, so feel free to run errands or take a nap.
Once you have infused your cannabis oil, you will need to strain it. If you aren’t fond of the herbaceously green flavor of most homemade cannabis butters, I recommend lining a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth, and letting gravity do the work. Don’t worry about getting every drop of oil out of the plant material; if you squeeze the cloth too hard, you will only succeed in getting lots of plant dust and chlorophyll in your oil, which gives it an off-putting flavor.
Even if you use the sous-vide machine, you’ll have spent a lot of time and energy making your lovely cannabis oil. Now it’s time to use it—but first, I recommend consuming a quarter-teaspoon of oil before you really start cooking; wait about an hour, and see how it affects you. You can then make some educated guesses about the dose that works for you.
Check out sousweed.com for lots of recipes. The lemon cake mentioned at the beginning of this article is delicious when made with fresh lemons; I skip the medicated bitters and use limoncello.