For people unfamiliar with sous vide cooking, you probably experienced its value in the kitchen without knowing it. High-end restaurants have been using this technic for years to make delicious meals for their customers. Sous vide is a French term that means “under vacuum” and quite a simple idea, using very precisely controlled temperatures to cook food consistently every time. With the cost of sous vide cooking equipment lower dramatically in recent years, this precision technic has become popular in the household.
It may sound not very easy, but it is actually straightforward to cook the perfect meal time and time again. Placing a vacuum-sealed bag and immersing it into the water held by a sous vide container for a predetermined time and a predetermined temperature, you can sit back relax, safe in the knowledge that your meal will be cooked to perfection.
What are the Benefits of Using The Sous Vide Method?
Sous vide cooking offers several benefits over traditional cooking methods. Due to the equipment used and its ability to precisely control the temperature, you achieve the same desired results every time. Using traditional methods, it is easy to overcook foods, especially meats. This often results in the outside looking like it’s cooked to perfection, only to find out when you cut into it that the middle is undercooked. Overcooking also diminishes flavour. You don’t get that problem using the sous vide method, just an even and balanced cook each time.
Using the precision control of sous vide you can achieve these benefits:
- The taste: Sous vide cooking retains all the natural juices of the food due to the vacuum bag.
- Consistency: Traditional methods of cooking have many different variants to consider. The type of pan you are using affects the temperature, for example. Sous vide equipment controls the temperature and helps to maintain consistency.
- Time management: With so little time in a day, cooking can take up precious hours in our day. Constantly having to watch, turn and stir food, with the sous vide method of cooking once it has been started, you can walk away and spend your time with other activities.
- Reducing waste: We waste so much of our food by using traditional methods. A steak, for example, loses 40% volume when drying out. Due to the precision of temperature, Sous vide cooking loses none of the volumes of the food.
These are just some of the advantages that sous vide cooking can offer you whether at home or in a business environment.
What Kind of Equipment do You Need?
Sous vide cooking has been around for a long time but only for high-end restaurants due to the price of equipment and space needed. Big, bulky, expensive, and complicated to use, it wasn’t something that you would have at home. This has all changed now with the introduction of new technology that dramatically reduced the cost and space needed. Now everybody can own one. All you need is the following:
- A sous vide temperature-controlled cooking unit.
- Sous vide container to hold the water when cooking.
- Canning jars or resealable bags to keep all the moisture during cooking
It is really that simple to start sous vide cooking, with little cost for the equipment and resealable bags and canning jars being very cheap, it won’t break the bank to start cooking sous vide.
It’s Surprising What You Can Cook Sous Vide
One of the best things about sous vide cooking is you can pretty much cook almost anything. Part of the fun is trying different foods. You can’t really go wrong with whatever ingredients you put in. Some ingredients do seem like they are available for sous vide cooking, and some not so much. Here is a look at some of those ingredients:
- Eggs: One of the most popular foods to cook sous vide. Such a simple ingredient, but as any chef will tell you, one of the hardest to get consistently correct. With the sous vide technic you can make them perfect every time and have that golden yoke cooked just the way you like it.
- Tough cuts of meat: Generally, the cheapest meat to buy is the high protein level that the meat consists of, making it tough and difficult to cook. Sous vide eliminates this problem by breaking down the protein strands, leaving you with the juicy, tender cut.
- Lamb and Pork: Two types of meat that don’t always have a great reputation for cooking to perfection, it is very easy to dry them out during cooking but with the sous vide method, all the succulent juice is retained and can be finished of with a quick sear.
Hollandaise sauce, fillet fish, and liver have a bad reputation for cooking sous vide. Although many chefs and home cooks disagree, try for yourself.
With the price of sous vide equipment at its all-time lowest, now is a great time to buy and start enjoying the benefits of sous vide cooking.