If you’re a keen home chef looking to up your game in the kitchen, then sous vide cooking is something that you may want to try out.
With sous vide, you can achieve consistent results no matter what it is that you’re cooking, from steak to perfectly done vegetables, and the best thing is that even the most inexperienced chef can get great results!
With that in mind, we’ve created a quick introduction to the sous vide cooking method so you can get started!
What is sous vide?
Sous vide means ‘under vacuum’ in French and, in a nutshell, it involves sealing food into airtight plastic bags and cooking them in a water bath that is kept at a consistent temperature for a length of time. The time you need to leave it for varies depending on what you’re cooking, but the great thing is that it’s very hard to overcook things when you’re using the sous vide method.
This is great news if you’re somebody who likes to be able to pop things on to cook and then go about your day, or you like having your evening meal ready and waiting for you when you get home from work.
If you’re not at all familiar with sous vide yet, you may want to check out this article from Modernist Cuisine which explains a little more about it.
So what will you need?
Believe it or not, there isn’t actually too much expensive equipment involved in the art of sous vide and the biggest purchase you’ll need to make will be the circulator. While it’s true that these can be quite pricey, you can pick up reasonably priced sous vide cookers that are aimed at the home chef.
Then, you’ll need bags to vacuum seal your food into, which need to be food grade, but you can get by with sandwich bags if you need to. If you really want to take it to the next level, you can buy a vacuum sealer, but if you just want to test the waters you can actually vacuum your food using the water displacement method as explained in this article from Serious Eats.
The last thing you’ll need is a water bath! This can be any container, such as a large crock pot or a coolbox.
So, once you’ve got your equipment sorted, next you need to decide what you’d like to cook! You’d actually be surprised at just how many different things you can make using this great cooking method and there’s virtually no limit to what you can achieve.
From perfectly cooked steak that’s the same ‘doneness’ throughout to poached eggs and crisp vegetables, you can make just about anything!
You’ll also need to work out how long you need to cook your ingredients for. This will vary depending on what it is you’re cooking and how well done you’d like it, but we like to use the cooking time calculator from Sous Vide Tools as a guide.
If you’re cooking meat, once the time is up you’ll want to make sure you brown it to finish it off. This is called a reverse sear and you can achieve it however you want to, whether that’s a couple of minutes in a hot skillet, under the grill, or even with a blowtorch!
So, we hope this has given you a little bit of an idea as to what sous vide is all about and hopefully inspired you to try it for yourself!