Sous Vide is the latest foodie trend that pretty much everyone is obsessed with. Today I’m sharing with you what it is and should you do it.
If you’ve ever seen one of those food show competitions on tv you’ve heard of ‘sous vide’. And if you follow pretty much any blogger on Pinterest, their blog, Instagram you’ve heard them rave about sous vide cooking. But do you know exactly what is is and why people love it? Sous Vide is a French term which means “under vacuum”. It’s a method in which food is placed in a plastic pouch (sorry not a baggie but a vacuum sealed pouch though I have seen it in a glass jar) and then placed in a temperature controlled water bath for a ridiculous amount of time.No for real. Typical cooking times are 1-7 hours and in same cases up to 48 hours. It’s cooked at a precisely regulated temperature.
“If it’s cooking for that long, won’t it overcook my food?” No. The reason being is that you food is often cooked at a low temp – like 130-140F. By placing it in a controlled water bath prevents overcooking as the food cannot get hotter than the bath it is in, similar to a bain-marie.
What’ you’re essentially doing is ‘cryo-vacuuming’ your food, all of the marinades, herbs and so forth in this pouch thus forcing all of that flavor into the item. Where as if you were to cook a traditional way as the food is exposed to higher heat levels thus causing you to lose some juice and or flavors. It’s honestly pretty low-key.
How’s it work?
The more house-hold ones you can get today are nothing more than a ‘stick’ that contains an internal metal coil that helps keep constant temperature. This means that the cooking process is gradual and controlled. The water, due to the sous vide piece of equipment helps circulate the water the whole time. This constant circulation results in an evenly cooked item. Like have you ever made a steak where one part if perfect and another part is overcooked or under cooked? With sous vide cooking you won’t have that.
Sounds easy, what’s the catch?
It is easy to be honest. The only ‘catch’ is that you need a sous vide, and a deep pot plus you need a vacuum sealer for the proper bags. You can use mason jars to cook your food BUT good luck finding mason jars large enough to hold a 12 ounce steak. So there’s the cost. I have heard that they do make silicone bags but I’ve not personally tried them.
What else do I need to know?
So full disclosure the food that you pull out of the sous vide is NOT pretty looking. You will have to still pan sear your meat to get that crust or golden color we all love. Meats will come out more grayish if you will but that logically makes sense. You’re not letting any direct heat touch it therefore it will not be crisp. But honestly this is a non-issue. A quick sear in a hot cast iron skillet of a steak takes only maybe a minute on each side and you have an amazing product. You’re just caramelizing the outside without really cooking the inside (as it’s already cooked). And FYI… most restaurants use sous vide cooking as it helps with repeatable quality and speeds up wait time on your meals.
Should you get one?
Like I always tell people, do what is best for you, your family and your budget. Will you use it more than a few times or will it go to that shelf and die like some of those other kitchen must-have pieces of equipment? I, personally love it, from a chef and home cook standpoint. You do not need a large family to use it. Again it’s your own personal choice but if money weren’t an option AND you were actually going to use it, then my recommendation would be yes.
Okay I’m sold, what would you recommend?
So this is NOT a sponsored post, only my own personal chef opinion. There are 2 top contenders for Sous Vide machines
- ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide, 1100 Watts, White Body, Stainless Steel Cap & Base It’s extremely powerful and both WIFI and Bluetooth ready. It works with the iPhone and Android systems. This is $199
- Anova Culinary A3.2-120V-US Sous Vide Precision Cooker, WIFI + 900W, Black is 900 watts plus WIFI and Bluetooth ready. This is $129.00
Next you need a vacuum sealer machine (with bags). Now these I’m a huge fan of as I often buy meats in bulk. These bags allow me to save money by buying in bulk and then freezing smaller portions of meats for the two of us.
Foodsaver FSFSSL4440-000FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer V4440 2-in-1 Automatic System with Bonus Built-in Retractable Handheld Sealer & Starter Kit, Black This item is $141.29 for the machine and starter bag kit
Additional vacuum rolls (cut it to the size you need) FoodSaver 8″ and 11″ Vacuum Seal Rolls with BPA-Free Multi-Layer Construction for Food Preservation & Sous Vide Cooking, Multi-Pack – this is $39.99
So as you can see it’s not exactly inexpensive and there are cheaper models but I can only give you my personal opinions. And yes those links are Amazon affiliate links which are all featured in my Amazon Influencer Store. All items in this store are items I personally recommend and love/use/own!