It sounds sophisticated, and the kind of thing that is only done by professionals in swanky restaurants. However, sous vide cooking has taken a huge leap in the culinary world, and even home cooking enthusiasts have become fans of this cooking method.
What is the sous vide?
Sous vide is a French term that literally means “under vacuum.” It is a process of cooking for a more extended period, under controlled temperature, using a water bath where the food inside the food bag is being prepared.
How to cook sous vide?
What do you need?
- Immersion circulator
- Clamps, or makeshift ones as long as they can hold the food bags in place
- Sous vide water bath
- Vacuum-sealer machine
- Vacuum-sealer bags
How do you do it?
- Place the food inside the vacuum-sealer bag. If it has a marinade, include it as well.
- Vacuum-seal the bag with the food inside. Be careful that any liquid will not be vacuumed out as well.
- Fill the sous vide container with water. It should be deep enough to immerse the food bag.
- Use the clamps to hold the food bag in place along the sides.
- Check a guide online or the instructions that came with your immersion circulator to know how the temperature and length of cooking time depending on the food you are cooking.
- Set the temperature and time in the immersion circulator and start cooking.
- OPTIONAL: Some mobile apps can help you track the operation of your sous vide, and alert you when it is done.
The advantages of sous vide cooking
Many have tried, and have become believers of sous vide cooking. Here are the top reasons why:
- It is efficient in managing tasks. You can leave it alone after setting the temperature and time. You can do the dishes, wash clothes, do errands and multi-task.
- There is no fear of overcooking or burning. The temperature remains consistent, so the quality of the food is not affected. Because of the immersion circulator, there is no fear that the water will cool down.
- The food is evenly cooked. Since the food does not directly come in contact with fire, and is cooked only by the hot water around it, the food remains tender and juicy, and not dry and bland.
- No fear of food contamination. Because of the high temperature and the long period of cooking, it gets rid of any risk of food contamination.
- It is the healthier choice for our bodies as the food retains its nutrients and vitamins.
- Food is even more delicious and so tender. You can get the right texture and consistency you want, without the chicken turning chewy or the vegetables soggy. Meat is tender and juicy, and the greens are crunchy and fresh.
- Food is more flavorful. Because of the vacuum-sealing process, the food is trapped inside the bag with its marinade or its natural juices. It is not diluted by cooking oil or any other food ingredient that can alter the taste.
- No adverse surprises in taste. Because it is a science of cooking time and temperatures, the cooking remains consistent, and if the guests liked the steak tonight, they would like it again the next time you serve it.
- It saves on costs. You may buy a large quantity of meat, and sous vide it in one go before storing. Bulk purchases will give you big discounts.
- Food will last longer. After the sous vide of the bulk meat you bought, you can package it in single-serve packs, vacuum-seal it by your best sous vide vacuum sealer and store in the freezer for a long time. When you are ready to use it, just defrost. The food will remain juicy and in excellent condition, without freezer burn.
Have you ever wasted meat before by burning it?
Or maybe cooking it unevenly and some portions remained raw?
Have you ever had a family complain about tough meat?
Do you have health issues in the family where the use of oil is prohibited or discourage?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then it is time to learn sous vide cooking. With sous vide, all meat is juicy, tender and flavorful.
Your steaks will literally melt in the mouth. This novel way of cooking eliminates the use of oil and fattening substances, and the food retains its vitamins and nutrients.
Finally, put some color into that beautiful piece of meat by searing or grilling it quickly. Just enough to get the golden color, but not for too long that it would dry it up.