Sous vide cooking translates to ‘under vacuum’ in its original French; so, to celebrate this culinary art we have compiled the comprehensive beginner’s guide to sous vide cooking. Together, we will investigate the nuances of this artful method. We will make taste pop and food cook safely by using this efficient and cost-effective cooking method.
Whether you are vegetarian or carnivorous, sous vide is a great method to preserve taste maximize vitamin content in your food. Save time and improve your health by learning how to use this classic cooking craft.
What is Sous Vide Cooking?
Essentially, the process of the sous vide craft is simple, even for beginner cooks. Basically, it involves vacuum sealing the morsels which you plan to cook inside of a food grade bag. All of the air leaves the food and we leave it encased in high-quality plastic. The quality of the plastic matters, since we want to prevent these pesky polymers from leeching into our food itself.
From there, we submerge the food into a water bath. The temperature of the water is exact (in order to properly cook the ingredients). The heat your food requires is variable based on what you are cooking. Every meat protein and vegetable medley has a specific temperature need. The vacuum sealed food stays in the water bath for a pre-determined amount of time.
Just as the water’s heat is specific, so is the time we leave the food to cook. While it is difficult to burn food when we cook it this way, the quality of the morsel lessens if we do not leave the food to cook for the right amount of time. Follow instructions to the letter for best results.
Generally (and depending on what you cooked), you need to sear the remainders on a hot frying pan. This will crisp up the edges while leaving the center of the meat tender and cooked to perfection. Vegetables do not usually require this supplemental step.
Added Benefits of Sous Vide
When you are cooking in this manner, it is important to understand the benefits you gain from practicing this culinary craft. We’ve broken down these details here.
Taste is as much about consistency as it is the flavor. Steak may taste great, but if we don’t cook it to our exact taste specifications, then you will desire it less. Because the cooking time is so specific, and void of the wild card impacts of air and atmospheric pressure, the opportunity for flaws drastically reduces. This means that the texture of your food remains constant every time you cook the meal.
Since you are not boiling, frying, or baking the food, you can achieve flavor unencumbered by outside influences. Whether it is taste leeching into the water, or metal touching the food itself, small things make massive differences in taste. When you use this method, you seal the morsel by itself, so only the tastes you choose to come through to the final product.
Food is generally healthy, especially before processing. When we boil food, the water leeches away essential vitamins and minerals. If we fry food, we add fats that are neither necessary nor helpful to health. If we bake food, water leaves the item and takes with it essential micronutrients. Since, when we cook sous vide, we seal the food, there is no opportunity for the morsels to lose nutrition. This means that our food stays as healthy as possible.
We have all gotten home from a busy day at work to realize that we still needed to spend an hour cooking. This method encourages ease. Now, with a small bit of prep over the weekend, we can have meals done to order. Spend an hour of your spare time sealing your meals for the week. Since they are under vacuum, they will last quite some time. Over the week, simply submerge them into the water bath to make the most of this method.
Different Sous Vide Methods
There are different approaches to cooking food this way. In order to find your fit, consider the different methods and find the way that suits your personal needs.
Vacuum Sealed at Home
One approach to this cooking method is to use a store-bought vacuum sealer. It is critical that you only use food grade bags to prevent contamination via polymers. Food grade plastic does not leech into the items themselves and keeps you (and your loved ones) safe from edible harm.
Most major retailers sell vacuum sealers and accessories therefor. From there, you can get a metal clip and a large pot filled with water. Clip the bag to the side of the pot and leave it for the appropriate amount of time to fully cook the food item in question. Make sure, when removing the food, to be cautious of how hot the contents really are. Leave the item to sit for a few minutes before serving for best results.
Professional Sous Vide Cooker
This is probably the most popular option for sous vide cooking. It is easily the simplest method of executing the task. Major retail outlets will (more often than not) stock professional cookers. When we use these items, it provides the opportunity for unparalleled control of the water’s temperature.
Generally, they also feature a timer that makes sous vide cooking a precision art- almost a science. While these are an up-front investment, they save time and add ease to the cooking process. When you look at these cookers, be realistic about the size which you will need. They come in an assortment of sizes; though, for personal cooking needs, smaller ones are fine.
Pre-Sealed Food Stuffs
Many supermarkets will sell food that has been pre-sealed. Whether it is brisket or vegetables, there are wide varieties of foodstuffs available for at-home sous vide cooking. If you are looking to save on time, this is a very efficient method. Whether you are using a professional cooker or a pot and clip at home, this option makes sourcing items to cook very simple and straightforward.
A Final Sous Vide Word
While some posit that sous vide does not require vacuum sealing, it is generally better to follow stick to the proper method (especially at first). It will give you the best idea of the quality and taste of sous vide. After this, you can adventure with different products and types, from jars to glass containers. Until then, try out the method using technical correctness. This way, you get the full health and taste benefits sous to vide fans have grown to love.