Cooking is a wonderful pass time. Not only are you able to create truly inspirational dishes that are healthier than eating out, research now talks about how there are significant social benefits for treating family and friends to a home cooked meal. But if you’re one of those people that can barely manage to toast bread, and who has delivery on speed dial, there’s a near magical device that will help you cook restaurant quality meals at home. We’re talking about a Sous Vide!
A sous vide, which means “under vacuum” in French, uses sealed bags and precise temperature controls to cook your meals in a water bath. It’s been used for a long time by the culinary world to achieve the perfect doneness on meat, seafood, and vegetables! It works by keeping water at a precise temperature you set for as long as needed to achieve the best possible cook result. And using a sous vide couldn’t be easier:
- First, pick your recipe. You can find these online or in countless cookbooks. Each will give you a precise temperature and cook time to use with your sous vide, depending on selected food;
- Second, seal your meat, seafood, or vegetables in a bag, removing all the air. While you can absolutely buy vacuum seal machines, any freezer bag or canning jar will do just as well. Make sure it’s closed well;
- Third, attach your sous vide, also called an immersion circulator, to the side of a pot of water. Set the time and temperature on the device according to your recipe and allow the water to heat up;
- Fourth, clip your food bag to the side of the pot as well, ensuring it’s fully immersed in the water;
- Fifth, remove the bag at the designated time and turn off the sous-vide; and,
- Finally, enjoy your meal and impress those around you with your cooking skills! If you’re feeling really adventurous, feel free to finish that application to MasterChef.
Amazingly, unlike regular cooking, these steps will not change depending on what your making that night for dinner. Except for adjusting time and temperature, the sous vide is about as easy as it gets for making restaurant level meals. Beyond ease of use, however, there are plenty of other reasons why you need to own a sous vide!
- Food is Healthier: Sous-vides are better for cooking healthier meals for two reasons. First, because everything stays locked in the bag, you don’t need to worry about boiling away essential vitamins and minerals. Second, as the sous vide makes sure your food is tender and delicious, enhancing its natural flavor, there’s little to no need for additional salt or fats to improve taste.
- Improves Texture: Boiling meat and vegetables is an immediate recipe for gummy, tough meat. Indeed, overcooking your food using pretty much any kitchen appliance will achieve the same result. But with a sous vide, you can kiss that problem goodbye, as it ensures your food is cooked only for the right amount of time at the perfect temperature.
- Consistent Results: With a sous vide, you’re in complete control. No more forgetting to set an alarm on the stove. Or guestimating the right cook time in your microwave. Because of its precision, a sous vide will give you perfect food each and every time! Consistency at its finest.
- Saves Time: Just like a crockpot, a sous vide can give you back precise hours in a day. With its ease of set up, you simply get it started and move on with your day. Go clean the house for guests. Play with your kids. Exercise. No matter what you choose to do with your extra free time, know that a sous vide will give you incredible flexibility for scheduling your day, without compromising on meal quality.
- Bulk Cooking: If you have a family, or even if you’re just a fiend for time management, many of us love to prepare our weekly meals in advance. In this case, a sous vide is your new best friend. Bulk cook as much food as you can fit into your water bath, with individual bags for different dishes. Or, immerse a huge portion of one particular meat and have it every day. The choice is yours!
- Minimize Food Waste: Every year, Americans waste about 30-40% of our food supply. We can do better. Much of the food we waste comes from undercooking or overcooking. We don’t eat something because it is unsafe or doesn’t taste good. But with a sous vide, you’re guaranteed perfect results through the whole of your steak, chicken, or other food. No more throwing out pieces that aren’t up to snuff.
- Minimize Mess: Cleaning at the end of dinner can often feel like the worst participation medal of all time. What if it was easier? No cutting boards wash, no baking sheets to scrub. With a sous vide, once you’ve remove that beautiful piece of meat from its plastic bag enclosure, just toss the packaging away. And with the proliferation of biodegradable bag options out there, you won’t have to worry about hurting the planet when making mouth-watering meals.
A sous-vide is your ticket to restaurant quality food at home. It’s as if a three Michelin star chef was at your beck and call, twenty-four hours a day. With this genius device, you’ll never have to settle for mediocre food again. Get excited about cooking, and do it with a sous-vide.
What’s your favorite sous-vide recipe? Tell us in the comments below.