Sous vide cooking (pronounced soo-veed), is the perfect fool proof cooking method for anyone who doesn’t like to cook, doesn’t have time to stand in a kitchen for hours preparing a meal, or is more inclined to ruin the meal by overcooking or under cooking it, can now create a restaurant quality meal every time.
Sous vide, which translates to “under pressure,” is a French cooking method made prominent in the 1970’s, that involves placing the food in a vacuum sealed bag to remove all the excess air, then placing the bag is temperature controlled water bath to cook for several hours, similar to a slow cooker, which is a cooking vessel that cooks food at a precise low temperature for several hours.
By sealing food in the vacuum bag, pressure builds up in the bag as the water in the oven heats up slowly to a precise temperature that is maintained, to perfectly cook the food in its own juices, thus maintaining flavor and preserving the vitamins and nutrients that are often cooked out in traditional cooking methods.
Originally, sous vide ovens were made for commercial kitchens and too expensive for home cooks. A couple on vacation ordered room service, and the hotel kitchen delivered what they thought was the perfect pork chop; tender and not over cooked or under cooked, which is common with white meat.
After learning the pork chop was cooked in a sous vide water oven and seeing that sous vide ovens were generally unavailable to home cooks, they started on their mission to create an affordable sous vide water oven for home cooks. After a few years and several prototypes later, the Sous Vide Supreme Water Oven was created.
It’s All in the Heat
The benefit of sous vide cooking as compared to cooking in a slow cooker, comes down to temperature control.
A slow cooker, also called a crock pot, cooks food between 175 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit, depending whether you use the low, high or keep warm setting, and there is still the potential for the food to be overcooked, and ruining your meal.
A sous vide water oven cooks food at a much lower temperature than a slow cooker, usually around 140 – 150 degrees degrees Fahrenheit, depending on what is being cooked.
Sous vide works on precise temperature control that actually regulates the temperature to maintain the accuracy within 1-2 degrees F. You set the desired temperature for the item you are cooking, whether it is meat, fish, chicken, pork chop or foie gras. Once the water reaches the desired temperature, an immersion heater, regulates and maintains the desired temperature generally within about one degree Fahrenheit.
How Does Sous Vide Work?
Sous vide cooking is so simple, it can be done in three simple steps, as highlighted in the image below.
The only non sous vide step when cooking meat, is to put a light sear on the meat after being removed from the water bath.