What is Sous Vide Cooking

Posted on 21st September 2016 in Small Kitchen Appliances

sous vide cooking

Updated 1/5/2020

Sous vide cooking (pronounced soo-veed), is the perfect fool proof cooking method for anyone who doesn’t like to cook.  This French cooking method gets its name due to you cook the food in a vacuum sealed bag.  You cook in a sturdy plastic bag, which helps retain juices, flavor, aroma and nutrients.

You then placed the food is the temperature-controlled water bath.  The sous vide oven creates heat and pressure which cooks the food to perfection.

With this easy-to-master French cooking method,  you can now create a restaurant quality meal in your home kitchen every time.

For years sous vide cooking only took place in professional kitchens.  This is primarily due to sous vide ovens were too expensive for the average home cook to purchase.  In addition, the process of how to cook sous vide was reserved for professionally trained chefs.  Sous vide cooking is out of the bag, and now home cooks can prepare a meal using this French cooking method.

With new advances in the sous vide cooking technology, you can now use a small hand-held sous vide cooker in your own pots.  This has the potential to save you up to $500 dollars.  We will discuss this technology in this article.

 

What is Sous Vide Cooking?

Sous vide cooking, which translates to “under pressure,” is a French cooking method made prominent in 1974 by French chef, Georges Pralus. Sous vide cooking actually dates back to 1799.  It involves placing the food in a vacuum sealed bag to remove all the excess air.

You place the bag in a temperature controlled water bath, which cooks the food for several hours.  This is 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.

This helps to maintain the food in its own juices.  This is important to maintain flavor, texture and to preserve the vitamins and nutrients.  Nutrients are often cooked out in traditional cooking methods.

Originally, sous vide ovens were made for commercial kitchens.   They were often 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.

You can learn more about the Sous Vide Supreme Water Oven Here.

 

 

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.  This depends whether you use the low, high or keep warm setting.  There is still the potential you can overcook the food if you cook it too long. This mistake can ruin 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. This depends on what you are cooking.

Sous vide cooking 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 heaterregulates and maintains the desired temperature generally within about one degree Fahrenheit.

 

 

How Does Sous Vide Work?

 

Sous vide cooking is so simple.  You season the food, seal it in a vacuum bag and cook in a water bath.

The only non sous vide step when cooking meat, is to put a light sear on the meat.

 

SousVide cooking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Sous Vide Cookers

 

The Anova Sous Vide Cooker sells for about $100, turns your own pots into a sous vide oven.  There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a bulky sous vide water bath.

Anova Precision Cooker wifi with cord and phone

Learn more about the Anova Precision cooker here

 

Sources

‘http://www.thesousvidekitchen.com/slow-cooking-versus-sous-vide-which-is-right-for-you/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sous-vide

‘https://www.sousvidesupreme.com/en-us/sousvide101.htm

 

 

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