What is Sous vide cooking?
Welcome to your kitchen of the future.
Do you remember the last time you messed up a recipe for a nice cut of meat?
It ended up way overcooked and nothing could be done to save it. What was supposed to be a delicious meal became a big disappointment
Now picture a steak cooked to perfection each and every time without stress… How does that sound? Seriously. Well, sous vide is really that perfect.
So what is it?
First, sous vide (pronounce soo veed) stands for under vacuum in French.
Sous vide in a nutshell
Sous vide is a slow process for cooking vacuum packaged food that is immersed in a water bath maintained at a precise temperature with a thermo-circulator.
Long cooking time at low temperatures
Similar to the crockpot, sous vide cooks your food very gently.
Long cooking time allows heat to penetrate progressively to the centre of the food.
To get more information on time and cooking temperature here
How does the thermo-circulator (immersion circulator) work?
In order to maintain water temperature stable, you need a thermo-circulator, also called immersion circulator or water oven. This appliance moves the water and heats it up at the same time. Its role is to maintain the whole bath at cooking temperature and make sure there are no hotter or colder spots. Colder spots would not allow pasteurization or proper killing of harmful microorganisms, which could lead to food poisoning. Hotter spots might overcook the meat.
To buy an immersion circulator here
Sear food before serving
When the sous vide process is over, searing of the meat is recommended in order to get a tasteful crust and an appetizing colour.
This step also makes sure that all microorganisms are eliminated . The outside surface of the meat always gets contaminated during handling whereas the inside is considered sterile (except for tenderized or ground meat).
Why does sous vide always produce perfect results?
The main benefit of sous vide is that the result is perfect because the temperature and cooking time have been scientifically determined to correspond to the unique properties of each food.
In the cooking process, proteins are transformed, and sous vide cooking ensures that this transformation occurs to produce exactly the desired outcome. Food can never overcook at this temperature so the result is the same or even if it stays there longer.
Optimized heat transfer
Food is surrounded by water so no heat gets lost. We can then use an internal target temperature for the whole cooking process.
In traditional cooking methods, much higher temperatures are required because lots of heat is lost in the air.
These high temperatures destroy the properties of the food on the outside and, in certain cases, don’t have time to penetrate to the center of the food.
No loss of humidity or anything else.
Because your food is under vacuum, there is no evaporation. This allows for reduced quantities of seasonings.
In traditional cooking processes, some of the ingredients, such as water but also spices and all sorts of volatile components, disappear into thin air. These make up the aromas that get released when you cook.
In sous vide there are no aromas during the cooking process. Everything is locked into the bag until the moment you sear the meat. You will be able to make up for those good smells then, while you will be amazed by the tender texture of your meat.
Well known chefs use sous vide
Almost all great chefs, such as Thomas Keller uses this method. It allows them to offer perfect and consistently delicious meals, reduce waste and prepare meals in advance. The restaurant industry being very fickle, it’s a good way for chefs to always offer the best to their clients without taking too much risk.
Now you too can cook like a chef by getting started with sous vide.
Professional cooking is within reach thanks to sous vide.
More time for yourself
Since the process is slow and food doesn’t overcook, you are now free to enjoy your time as you please. It’s like the crockpot that cooks your food while you get other things done.