Sous Vide Cooking Can Make You Cook Like an Expert Chef
What is Sous Vide Cooking?
Sous vide is a unique and new cooking method that is quickly gaining traction in the market for at-home chefs! Once thought to be solely used as a cooking method in higher-end restaurants, the sous vide cooking technique helps to create flavorful and rich dishes each and every time.
Sous vide is a French term that translates to under vacuum, and it can be thought of as the process of vacuum-sealing food into an airtight bag and submerging it into a cooking vessel with a preheated water bath set to a relatively low temperature. The sous vide method can be considered a “low and slow” form of cooking, as the process typically takes several hours to complete. However, the great thing about using the sous vide cooking method is that it truly can make you cook like an expert chef!
The method allows the foods you’re cooking to maintain their natural integrity and flavors, simply because they’re cooked for an extended period in their own natural juices. As the food continues to cook in the airtight bag, natural flavors and juices are produced, and the food will continue to soak those in throughout the entire cooking process. Because of this, little to no preparation work is required either, eliminating the need for seasonings, rubs, marinades, or tenderizers. However, when you serve a sous vide style dish for your family or guests, they’ll think you went above and beyond to obtain all of the natural and rich flavors that will come through in your dish. But what is the best part about cooking using the sous vide method? It works to ensure that the food is cooked evenly and consistently throughout, eliminating the inconsistencies typically associated with other cooking methods.
Is the Sous Vide Cooking Process Easy?
When considering whether or not to try out the sous vide cooking process, you may begin to question whether you have the skill set to do so. However, the great thing about the sous vide cooking method is that it’s extremely easy, even for sous vide newbies! Outlined below are the steps involved with cooking using the sous vide method.
Preparation of food (optional)
As mentioned previously, the sous vide method requires little to no preparation work prior to cooking. However, that isn’t to be misconstrued that you’re not allowed or able to use marinades, tenderizers, or seasonings before cooking. That’s the beauty of the sous vide process – it’s completely adaptable depending on your personalized preferences. If you’d prefer to marinade your meat or vegetables prior to cooking, you can absolutely do so! It’s just not a necessary step in the process.
After completing any preparation work for your food, it’s important to ensure you properly vacuum seal the dish into an airtight bag. Again, this doesn’t need to be anything fancy, and can just be a simple Ziploc-style bag if that’s what you have on hand. The vacuum-sealing of the dish is the single most important step in the process, as this is what prevents the water the food will be submerged in from entering the bag, and it’s also what allows the food to cook for an extended amount of time in its natural juices – providing the dish with its rich and delicious flavors.
Determining cook time and temperature
Depending on what you’re cooking, you’ll also need to determine the temperature the water bath should be heated to, and the amount of time the dish will need to cook thoroughly. Again, these are two other critical factors when it comes to cooking sous vide. You can determine the appropriate cook time and temperature by doing a quick internet search, or if you’re really interested in becoming a sous vide expert, you can purchase an immersion circulator. Immersion circulators can be preset with the desired cook time and temperature on the device simply based on the dish that you’re cooking. However, again, this is not a required step in the process!
Last, but certainly not least, you have the option to sear your dish after the cooking is complete. When it comes to cooking sous vide, many at-home chefs prefer to sear their dish, especially if it’s a meat of some sort, after the cooking in the water bath is complete. This helps to add that char flavor typically associated with cooking meats in a cast-iron skillet or on a grill. However, it’s important to note that food should be removed slightly prematurely from the water bath if you’re considering searing them, simply because the dish will finish cooking while on the grill or in the skillet. This helps to prevent the potential for overcooking your dish!
What Are the Best Foods to Cook Sous Vide?
The options are truly endless when it comes to what you can cook using the sous vide cooking method, and the more you use it, the more of an expert you will become! Listed below are a few fan favorites when it comes to the sous vide cooking technique.
- Meats: Steak, pork chops, turkey, chicken, duck, etc.
- Vegetables: Brussel sprouts, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, etc.
If you’re interested in trying out a new cooking method, the sous vide technique may be a great option for you. Not only will your food come out tasting delicious, but the dishes you cook using the sous vide method are bound to be a conversation starter at your next family dinner!