While it may sound like an elaborate and complicated cooking method, preparing food sous vide is really quite simple. Despite its elegant sounding name (which translated from French means “under vacuum”), when using this technique, you actually just seal the ingredients inside of a plastic bag or a canning jar and add it to a water bath, combi oven or any variety of cooker that you can set to hold a target temperature within a few degrees. Once your food has reached its target temperature or time, you remove it, apply a finish such as a brief searing (food cooked sous vide does not brown), and then it is ready to serve.
Whether you are preparing a steak, poached eggs, poultry, seafood or just about anything else, you will find that cooking sous vide delivers scrumptious food time and time again. Here are some of the greatest benefits cooking sous vide has to offer:
When you cook foods such as fish with traditional methods such as pan cooking, it is impossible to apply uniform heat throughout, leaving you with edges that are much more cooked than what you will find at the center. However, with sous vide, you are able to control the temperature very accurately so that you end up with incredible results you will be able to repeat over and over. Say goodbye to dry edges and rare centers forever!
The results delivered using the sous vide method are almost impossible to accomplish using other traditional methods which often leave an extremely small window for foods to reach their ideal doneness. The ability to control the cooking temperature in such a precise manner delivers incredibly uniform doneness. The closed bag or jar generates a humid environment that essentially braises your food, so you can enjoy meals that are more tender and juicy. If you crave the traditional flavor of, say, a grilled steak, briefly searing it will give you the taste you’re after without drying out the meat at all.
When cooking with conventional methods such as a grill, range or oven, temperatures can fluctuate and cooking times are quite delicate, not to mention easy to overshoot with even the tiniest distraction, leaving little margin for error. Cooking sous vide, however, allows you to relax because the majority of foods will taste great even if they are cooked a few minutes longer than planned at their target temperature.
When it comes to meats such as chicken and other poultry, cooking them sous vide ensures that they are held at a target temperature in order to kill potential pathogens and therefore increases the safety of the food. There is no mystery or guesswork when you know with certainty that your food has reached its target temperature or time, so you can rest easy and enjoy your meal with confidence.
Remember, while it may sound fancy, cooking sous vide is not expensive or complicated and will introduce you to a whole new world of juicy flavors. Bon appetit!