Sous vide cooking refers to the process of vacuum sealing food in a bag, and then cooking it at a very precise temperature in a water bath. This technique produces results that are impossible to obtain with any other cooking method.
It is in fact a cooking technique that uses precise temperature control to provide consistent, restaurant quality results. High-end restaurants have been using sous vide cooking for years to cook food to the exact degree of doneness you want. The technique has recently become popular with home cooks as well, thanks to the availability of affordable and easy to use sous vide precision cooking equipment.
Sous vide: much simpler than you might think
Sous-vide cooking is much easier than you might think, and usually involves three simple steps:
1. Immerse the sous vide device in a pot of water, and set the time and temperature according to the desired cooking level.
2. Put the food in a sealed bag, and hook it to the side of the pot.
3. Finish by browning or grilling the food to add a crisp, golden outer layer.
Why cook sous vide?
Sous-vide cooking uses precise temperature control to produce results that cannot be achieved with any other cooking technique. The reason: when using traditional cooking methods, you have no control over heat and temperature. As a result, it is very difficult and time-consuming to constantly cook great food. Food ends up overcooked on the outside, with only a small portion in the center being cooked to the desired temperature. Food loses flavor, spoils easily and ends up taking on a dry and chewy texture.
The advantages of sous vide cooking
With precise temperature control in the kitchen, sous vide offers the following benefits:
Consistency. Since you cook food at a precise temperature for a precise period of time, you can expect consistent results.
Taste. Food cooks in its own juices. This ensures that the food is moist, juicy and tender.
Waste reduction. Traditionally prepared food dries up and results in waste. For example, on average, traditionally cooked steak loses up to 40% of its volume due to drying. A steak cooked through precision cooking, loses nothing of its volume.
Flexibility. Traditional cuisine requires your constant attention. Precision cooking brings food to an exact temperature and maintains it. There are no worries or concerns about overcooking.
What equipment do you need to cook sous vide?
It is actually very easy to get started with sous vide cooking, thanks to the recent availability of sous vide devices designed for the home cook. You will need:
– A sous vide precision cooking device
– Vacuum bags or food jars
– A pot or water container in which to cook food