Sous vide uses lower than normal cooking temperatures. If not done with care, this can create conditions that promote the growth of harmful bacteria. For an excellent guide to safe sous vide cooking temperatures and food handling practices, as well as time and temperature charts, see Douglas Baldwin's book and web-site "A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking"
A good first test for your new cooker is a 'perfect egg'. Eggs require no special preparation for sous vide cooking. And, since they are very sensitive to small variations in cooking temperature, they are a good test of the accuracy of your temperature controller.
Different chefs have different ideas on exactly what constitutes a perfect egg. But the precise temperature control of your sous vide cooker will let you achieve your perfect egg every time.
As with an egg, the precise temperature control of your cooker will allow you to cook steaks to the right level of doneness with 100% repeatability. No more overdone edges and raw in the middle. Your steak will will be cooked the same from edge to edge. Brown them on the grill for just few seconds on each side before serving.
Sirloin Tip-Strip with Grilled Zuccini
Cooked 90 minutes @ 57C.
Fish can be tricky to cook. Just a few seconds too long in the skillet and goes from moist and flakey to dry and crumbly. With sous vide, you can be sure that it is cooked through, but not overdone.
Haddock Fillets with haricots verts and orange saffron sauce. (one of our favorites!)Cooked 20 minutes @ 54.5C