You may have heard about Sous Vide cooking or saw it on a restaurant menu. This technique is getting widely popular and is being used in high-end restaurants all over the world. Today we will introduce you to all the basics. Read below.
What is Sous Vide?
The term Sous Vide is actually a French term and means “under vacuum.” This is a technique in cooking that uses exact temperature control in order to achieve the special texture and flavor of the food you can’t get with traditional cooking methods. The “under vacuum” part refers to the process of sealing food in a bag and then continue cooking it in a water bath with a precise temperature level.
This technique was first developed in the 70s by a French chef Georges Pralus. Besides being used by chefs, it’s popular among home cooks and food enthusiasts. So, why do they use it? When you finish with the Sous Vide method, the food gets cooked evenly. For example, when you’re preparing meat at home, often results are as follows: the meat either gets overcooked or is cooked from the sides and raw in the middle. Sous Vide takes care of that. Another advantage is the taste. Since the food rests in its own juices, the taste is more intense and the food is tender. Not to forget that since everything is prepared in a device, it’s super convenient for a busy lifestyle.
The process includes three main steps:
- Season. Add your favorite spices, herbs, and sauces to the food.
- Seal. The food is placed and vacuumed in a special cooking pouch free of BPA.
- Simmer. The pouch is placed into a circulator filled with water.
In the image below you can see the difference between Sous Vide and typical cooking methods.You may think only meat is prepared this way. However, there’s a variety of meals that can be made from veggies to syrups, sauces, condiments, compot. You can also make beef, chicken, vegetable, or seafood stock for soup, puddings, cheesecake fillings, creme Brule. Not to forget eggs, infused vinegar, and oils.
In the words of J. Kenji López-Alt, “Sous vide cooking offers unparalleled control of whatever it is you’re trying to cook, whether it’s steaks and chops, shrimp and lobster, vegetables, or even large cuts of meat like pork shoulders and legs of lamb.”
Sous Vide Essentials
The folks over at Huckberry made a special shop dedicated to Sous Vide cookers.
1 – Anova Wifi Precision Cooker
Some say this is “the best, most cost-effective consumer-grade sous-vide solution on the market”. The Precision Cooker uses a simple to use Anova App interface where you can set the time and temperature. Basically, this cooker is all you need for equipment. Simply use it with a pot you have at home, a plastic or silicone bag, and a regular electrical outlet. The Anova Cooker can reach the maximum temperature of 210°F and thanks to its 360° directional pump, it can circulate 8 liters per minute. As for the materials, it uses a polycarbonate electronics encasement and bottom cap, paired with stainless steel skirt. The cooker connects via Bluetooth to your phone and home wifi. One great feature is that you can leave the food cooking at home and the alarm will notify you when it’s done.
BUY | $199
2 – Silicone Stasher
Like we mentioned, the first step to Sous Vide cooking is seasoning and sealing the food in a pouch. This reusable silicone bags from Stasher are perfect for storing, freezing and microwaving. Some of the advantages of this bag are that it’s self-sealing, airtight, non-plastic meaning it’s free of harmful chemicals. Each one is made from 100% pure food-grade silicone, weighs 0.25 lb and has a capacity of 15 oz. Inside of it, you can place almost anything, not to mention it can even be used as a travel toiletry bag. In the set, you get 2 bags.
BUY | $23.98
3 – Cast Iron Skillet
When you’re done with the Sous Vide method, put your food into a skillet to give it a final touch. With cast iron cookware you can’t make a mistake. The surface of this Barebones Kitchen Skillet is smooth and triple-sanded, not to mention pre-seasoned so you’re ready to get down to cooking. With a 10” cooking surface, it can be used on a campfire, stovetop, oven, you name it. Finally, the ergonomic handle ensures a steady grip while the two-sided pour spouts make it easier to pour the sauces into a plate.
BUY | $22.98
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