What is Sous Vide?
You might have heard or seen the term sous vide, and it got you curious right off the bat. But don’t be discouraged from trying this technique, because it is doable, even by amateur cooks. Sous vide, which you pronounced as “sue-veed”, is a French term that means “under vacuum.”
It is a technique where you seal your ingredients in an airtight container, and then cook it in a water bath with a precise temperature. Usually, chefs use a vacuum-sealed bag with a protein bathing in sauce or marinade. Note that the bag does not touch the metal surface or any direct heat like flame, smoke, or steam. At the same time, you maintain the water at a low temperature.
What Makes Sous Vide Different From Other Cooking Techniques
You might be wondering why you should go through all the trouble of preparation when sous vide seems like it’s just boiling your food in a bag. However, this technique is more than just that. Remember that you are controlling the environment. Therefore, you don’t risk overcooking or drying your ingredients.
Sous vide cooking yields a unique result that no other cooking method can copy. Because you are cooking at a controlled temperature, you will always get consistent food quality every single time.
You are also cooking the main protein in its juices. As a result, you will get a tasty dish that is tender to the bite. At the same time, your ingredients don’t dry out. This way, it also retains its original volume, and that your steak wouldn’t shrink as much.
And if these tasty benefits in sous vide cooking do not get you hungry, this technique does not even require your constant attention during cooking.
Overall, sous vide gives you a juicy and flavorful protein, without you having to exert a tremendous amount of effort.
Advantages of Sous Vide Cooking
Easy and Effortless to Do
Sous vide might sound like a technique limited to professional chefs, but it is actually very simple to do. In fact, if you’re feeling lazy, why not impress your friends or family with a gorgeous chicken breast has done sous-vide style.
You can create a perfectly cooked moist chicken breast with sous vide, and then do a quick sear to get crispy skin. Doing this seemingly simple-sounding dish sounds easy in a pan over a stovetop. However, you need to monitor your chicken breast, or else you might end up with a rubbery and dry piece of meat.
You don’t need to stress about any of that because sous vide prepares the dish for you. You won’t end up wasting your protein, and you won’t have additional dirty cookware to clean. And on the plus side, you’re cooking with less oil so, in a way, you’re also eating healthy.
Saves You Time and Money
Because you can jumpstart recipes, you get to save on both time and effort. You won’t need a lot of equipment or ingredients to get a tasty dish, which also saves you money in the long run. And if you remembered earlier, sous vide uses vacuum-sealed containers. Because you are thoroughly cooking food in a sealed container, it also elongates its shelf life.
Gone are the days where you have to cook small portions in fear of throwing any leftovers out. Gone are the days where you are afraid of ruining expensive cuts of meat by overcooking or undercooking them. This is why it is always a good investment to get the best vacuum sealer like this. Remember that you are saving time, effort, and money while also eating healthy and delicious food, so it’s worth getting the proper sous to vide equipment.
Another way how sous to vide saves you money is because you can buy cheaper cuts of meat and still turn them into dishes worth drooling for. Cheaper cuts of meat cost less because they are easy to overcook. Cuts like chuck are tougher compared to the more expensive varieties. However, these types of protein still do well with sous vide. The juice doesn’t seep out of the meat, so you’ll still get tender protein with all its flavor still intact.
What Will You Need for Sous Vide Cooking?
You might be having doubts about trying sous vide when we mentioned “equipment” earlier on. However, the basic takeaway here is that you will need a container for the water bath, and you can even use ordinary kitchen items like a slow cooker or rice cooker. As for your ingredients, you’ll need a packaging like jars or bags. You can use canning jars because they are durable and can withstand heat. And for the plastic bags, it’s essential that you check if they are BPA-free to prevent chemical contamination.
If you choose to use bags, we recommend you to get a vacuum sealer as well if you don’t have resealable. It is important that you seal your food perfectly to prevent evaporation. You can choose to use the water immersion technique, but a vacuum sealer is much quicker and easier.
However, more than the basic two items, manufacturers have also come up with specific machines to perfect the sous vide method. They are much more expensive, but still, you might want to get one for your kitchen if you’re looking into experimenting more with sous vide.
For example, there are sous vide immersion circulators and sous vide water oven. The former circulates the water themselves so that the temperature inside remains equal. While the sous vide water oven, on the other hand, is the water bath that heats itself.
Basic Steps of Sous Vide Cooking
Sous vide is not just boiling your meat, such as steak inside a jar or bag. The difference is that dishes that are done that way need boiling water. On the contrary, sous vide recipes do not need water to reach the boiling point. The food is not rapidly heated, and the temperature is always precise.
- Set your water bath in the time and temperature suitable to your desired level of doneness on the protein.
- Place the sealed bag or jar to the side of the pot.
- Afterward, you can sear, broil, or grill your food if you want it to have a textured exterior.