Cooking with Sous Vide

Sous vide has been a popular term used in fancy French restaurants for decades and has now made its way into the kitchens of foodies and families around the world. Although it may seem like an ultra-high-tech and new-age way of cooking, it is relatively easy to do at home with the right resources.

The cooking process is known as sous vide consists of an airtight container or bag that is vacuum-sealed and then cooked in water. The French term translates to “under vacuum” and describes the unique method often used to cook meat or protein at a controlled, constant temperature. With this method, there is no contact with smoke, flames, or metal surfaces that can alter flavor and texture. Instead, protein or vegetables are combined with spices, herbs, or a marinade and placed in warm water—never boiling. The water is constantly circulated in the pot to maintain a consistent temperature. Bon Appetit called it a “dinner-making jacuzzi.” Although that description is simplified, this cooking process is slow and controlled, giving you cooked-to-perfection texture and flavor every time.   

The sous vide cooking method is also known as low-temperature long-time (LTLT) cooking or immersion circulation cooking.  Bruno Goussalut is often cited as the founder of sous vide cooking.

Cooking with sous vide takes longer, but the payoff is worth it. For example, a 12 oz steak will take just over two hours, but it’ll be perfectly medium-rare throughout. Followed up with a quick sear on a hot cast-iron skillet, and you’ve got the best-cooked steak you’ve ever had! When the food is sealed in plastic bags, the natural juices, aromas, and flavors are locked in, which are otherwise lost in other cooking methods. Further, by cooking at lower temperatures over a more extended period of time, the cellular structure of the protein or vegetable is maintained, preventing both undercooking and overcooking.

Having sous vide protein on hand reduces your prep time while simultaneously delivering delicious cuisine.

This is a great option for amateur home chefs. Whether you are hosting a dinner party, holiday lunch, or simply want help with weekly meal prep, having already-prepared sous vide items in your freezer will make cooking healthy meals easier. There are sous vide options for every meal.

Even coffee shops and quick-order cafes like Panera and Starbucks are taking advantage of the benefits of sous vide cooking. For example, Starbucks egg bites are cooked sous vide in advance and then quickly heated up after ordering, each time delivering the perfect taste and texture! The option is also great for busy families who can quickly sear up a fabulous mid-week meal and have it on the table in less than 30 minutes.

If you have the time and money to spend, you can also try cooking with sous vide at home. At home-machines generally start around $100 and are relatively easy to learn. The simpler immersion circulator devices involve a tube-like tool that is inserted into a large pot of water or “beer cooler.” The water is drawn into the tube, heated, and spit back out, both heating and circulating the water.

The sous vide cooking method will yield outstanding results that will impress dinner guests as well as yourself. By purchasing food that has already undergone the sous vide process, you can cut your cooking time down significantly while simultaneously enjoying the best steaks, fish, and chicken dishes you have ever had. Once reserved for high-end restaurants, sous vide has become more accessible and can now easily be enjoyed by home cooks of all skill levels

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