Cooking food is an art form that many people take to heart. Before we take a look at what benefits there are to sous vide cooking, we need to know what it is. The word sous vide means ‘under vacuum’ when translated from French. It is a method of cooking where the food is sealed in an airtight plastic bag then placed in an oven or steamer for a long period of time. The temperature is controlled and consistent for the duration of the cooking time which could be anything from ninety-six hours. Now let’s take a look at how sous vide cooking is beneficial to you as a chef.
Firstly, why would it be better to cook your food in a bag? If you are cooking a chicken in a bag, for example, the controlled heat will cover the entire surface area of the chicken. This means that the heat will be evenly distributed over the chicken hence a properly and evenly cooked chicken will be achieved. For this even distribution of heat over a long period, you have to regulate the temperature at around fifty five to sixty degrees Celsius. At this temperature over ninety six hours, the chicken will cook thoroughly inside and outside.
Sous vide cooking seals in the flavor. With the food in the bag, the constant temperature creates a steam within the bag. This steam is unable to escape. The spices and the flavors that you’ve used to season the food in the bag will remain inside and not escape. This enclosed environment will concentrate the flavors in the bag, thus giving you tasty and aromatic food at the end of the cooking time.
Sous vide cooking ensures that the food is not overcooked. Because you are cooking the food in the bag at a controlled low temperature, the risk of burning the food is minimal. Strange as this may sound, but you’ll be able to save time. Your preparation time takes the most effort, however if you leave it alone to cook in a slow cooker or in the oven for the specified number of hours. You can continue with your other tasks.
Moisture is retained when cooking with this method. The food in the bag is constantly exposed to the steam within the bag. This ensures that the food does not dry out during the long cooking process.