What is Sous Vide?
Once thought to be exclusively for higher-end restaurants, sous vide cooking has quickly taken off in the at-home market in recent years. So, what does sous vide mean? Sous vide, pronounced soo-veed, is a French term meaning “under vacuum”. The process itself involves vacuum-sealing food into an airtight bag and submerging it into a water bath heated to a designated lower temperature. From there, the food is cooked low and slow, helping to maintain the food’s natural flavors and overall integrity. The term itself makes the cooking method sound relatively difficult, however, it’s actually a very easy technique to grasp, and once you do, you won’t want to turn back. Not only is there little to no preparation work but there is also very minimal cleanup required with this cooking method, as well.
Common Questions about Cooking Sous Vide
It’s natural to feel slightly intimidated, especially when learning a new cooking technique. However, the sous vide cooking method is a relatively easy one to master, and once you have, you’ll be glad you did! Outlined below are a few common questions chefs have before jumpstarting their journey into sous vide-style cooking.
How does sous vide cooking work?
The food is initially placed into an airtight, vacuum-sealed bag. You will have a relatively larger cooking vessel to use for your water bath, and once the water has reached its designated temperature, the food should be properly submerged in the water. According to Food & Wine, the hot water within the vessel is then circulated around the vacuum-sealed bag, helping to create a gentle cooking process that will cook the food low and slow until it reaches its desired temperature and doneness. The sous vide method also helps to ensure the food is heated to a maximum temperature that matches the water’s temperature and doesn’t exceed it.
What equipment is required?
If you’re just starting out, luckily very minimal equipment is required. As long as you have a larger pot to use for your water bath and Ziploc-style bags to vacuum-seal your food into, no other equipment is technically required to sufficiently carry out the sous vide technique. However, after developing a knack for the cooking method, you may consider purchasing equipment designed for sous vide cooking such as an immersion circulator, Cambro containers, or a vacuum sealer machine.
Is It expensive to cook sous vide?
Although the cooking method sounds higher end, the method itself isn’t expensive. Again, all that’s actually required is the larger cooking vessel and Ziploc-style bags. However, the food you choose to cook using this method may be relatively more expensive. If you decide to purchase equipment designed for sous vide-style cooking, that too could be relatively costly.
What can I cook using the sous vide method?
There is a large misconception that the sous vide method is only to be used for cooking meats. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the sous vide method has gained traction so quickly because it can be used to cook just about anything and everything you could desire. The sous vide method is extremely popular when it comes to its ability to cook tougher cuts of meat, primarily because the low and slow process helps to break down the tougher tendons and ligaments typically found in those cuts of meat, producing extremely tender and flavorful results. However, you can also cook a plethora of other sous vide products such as vegetables, eggs, seafood, custards, yogurts, cocktails, and so much more.
Is sous vide cooking for everyone?
Although cooking sous vide may sound relatively intimidating at first, it’s actually a super easy and simple cooking method that just about anybody can master! It’s relatively cost-efficient and doesn’t require any fancy equipment. As long as you have the basic equipment needed to cook sous vide, you’re bound for success. The only time-consuming aspect of cooking sous vide is the actual amount of time it takes to cook the food itself. Aside from that, the answer is yes. The sous vide cooking method is absolutely for everyone willing to give it a try!
Now that you have a better grasp on what exactly sous vide means and how the cooking technique works, consider trying it out for yourself. Who knows, it may become your new personal favorite!
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