There’s been recent discussion on message boards of late on whether or not you can safely cook a banana via sous vide.
While there may not be any present danger to eating a raw banana (heck, everyone does it every day), there could be a danger if it’s been improperly heated up.
What happens to the banana when it’s heated is that the molecules and nutrients break down in it. If it’s being cooked in a non-clean plastic bag, then the bacteria in the bag can go and bond to the molecules that are now loose.
This will make the banana appear as if it was cooked perfectly sous vide, when in reality it actually poses a great health risk.
On the flip side of this argument is the statement that you can just make sure you sterilize the plastic bag before you put the banana in it. While yes, you can do that, you’re not going to be 100% effective in sterilizing the bag, no matter how hard you try.
Now with all that said, the chance of you actually getting sick from cooking a banana sous vide is slim to none. Heck, I myself love to cook up some chocolate banana pancakes in my sous vide machine. It’s one of my favorite meals.
However, I do make sure that I thoroughly clean the bag before hand to reduce any chance that my banana will be ruined sous vide.
I also make sure that I use my immersion circulator rather than my sous vide machine. I feel that the immersion circulator does a better job of regulating temperature and water flow when cooking the banana. I don’t have any hard science behind this; it’s more of a gut feeling.
In any event, if you’re going to be cooking any food sous vide, it’s important that you take the proper precautions.
Make sure that your sous vide machine and accessories are clean and sterilized.