Erik's mashed potatoes

I don’t need to tell you about the benefits of sous vide immersion circulators. Devices like the Anova, Joule or Nomiku transform just about any pot of water in a temperature controlled, water circulating, precision cooking machine.

I mainly use my Anova for meats – it’s a fantastic way to bring up the internal temperature evenly without under or over cooking. But given that it’s Thanksgiving, it’s unlikely (and perhaps impossible?) that you’ll sous vide an entire turkey.

However, I came across two other unique uses uses for your sous vide wand that can help make your Thanksgiving even more awesome.

Mashed potatoes
First, if you are hosting, what are you doing reading this? Go prepare, you’ve got people coming over! But wait! Before you do, cook your mashed potatoes today. That’s right, get all that mashing and mixing and mess out of the way before the big day. Here’s a trick to re-heating the potatoes without scorching or ruining them.

On a recent episode of the Milk Street radio podcast, J. Kenji Alt-Lopez explained how you can keep your cooked and mashed potatoes in a ziplock bag, store them overnight in the fridge, and then place them in a sous vide machine at something like 150 degrees for an hour to re-heat them without scorching or drying the potatoes out.

Pumpkin pie
And while we are making things in advance, if you are more adventurous and willing to think outside the box and perhaps get a little more deconstructionist with your holiday meal, ChefSteps (maker of the Joule) recently included a recipe for sous vide personal pumpkin pies.

No, it doesn’t involve placing an entire pie in ziplock bag and submerging it. It does involve placing the pie filling in small, individual mason jars and sous vide-ing those. After they are done cooking and chilling, top them off with crumbled graham cracker streusel and some whipped cream. This way everyone gets their own individual dessert.

With a little bit of creativity the sous vide wand can help make your Thanksgiving easier and open up new avenues of creativity. And we’d love to hear about your creativity! How do you use the sous vide for holiday meals? Leave a comment and let us know.