A Modern Way of Cooking
Sous Vide??? Never heard of that? Well, while this may be something that is unfamiliar to some of you, it probably isn’t to the advanced cooking generation. The phrase is derived from the French language, and translates to the term “under vacuum.” It sounds complicated, but it’s actually pretty simple. In recent years, this method of cooking has become far more widespread and it is now no longer confined only to the kitchens of experts.
The Benefits of Sous Vide
Sous Vide cooking has countless advantages, which is why it has become so popular. The first two major benefits of Sous Vide cooking are that it is a very healthy way to cook and it brings out all the flavour in food.
The Basic Procedure
Our introduction might have given you a slight hint about how Sous Vide cooking works, but you will probably need to know more. The whole idea of this method of cooking is to cook your food in a vacuum-sealed pack or a plastic bag, but the cooking process is not the same as a conventional one. With Sous Vide cooking, a water bath with a fixed temperature is the usual cooking method used to cook the food and special appliances are available for this purpose.
If you are starting to get interested in this subject, and you want to try it, you will need two types of equipment try it at home; a vacuum sealer and a Sous Vide water bath.
Vacuum Sealer Machine
Today, vacuum sealers are the most reliable way of storing foods for longer periods of time. Vacuum sealing has the ability keep food fresher for far longer than the traditional methods of wrapping food for storage. Most people generally use vacuum sealer machines for this use only. For Sous Vide cooking the appliance that you use is the same, but the operation of the appliance is slightly different. Let’s first look at how you use a vacuum food sealer for Sous Vide cooking.
Firstly, you place your food items in a plastic bag, and then you place the open end of the bag in the machine. The machine will start operating and it will remove the air from inside the bag. It will then seal the bag closed with an airtight heat-seal. Once the sealing process is complete, your food items will be ready for cooking.
If you are cooking a solid food, then clamp vacuum sealers are the best choice, but most models don’t suit liquid foods, such as sauces or soups. Fluids may be sucked out of the bag along with the air if you use a clamp sealer, which is why this method is not really suitable for liquid foods.
To resolve this problem there are other vacuum sealer options, such as chamber vacuum sealers, but they can be very expensive to buy. Chamber vacuum sealers work by removing the air from the inside of a compartment and, when you put a bag full of liquid inside that compartment, the pressure will be constant inside and outside of the bag, so you don’t get the spillage that you would with a camp style vacuum sealer.
How to Choose Your Machine
The Sous Vide style of cooking produces exceptional results, but if you want to achieve the full effect of Sous Vide cooking, you need to ensure that there are no air pockets at all left in the bag and, to do that, you will need a high quality and dependable vacuum sealer system.
There are lots of different brands and models of vacuum sealer systems on the market, but not all of them are suitable for Sous Vide cooking. For the best results, you really need to be looking at some of the best vacuum sealer brands, such as FoodSaver, which are both efficient and good value for money.
If you’d like to learn more about how to choose the best vacuum sealer system for Sous Vide cooking and food storage, visit our Best Vacuum Sealer Reviews and Buying Guide for more information.
The second piece of equipment you will need for Sous Vide cooking is a water bath. You can cook Sous Vide without a special machine. You simply need a large pot of water and a thermometer, but using a Sous Vide water bath makes the process a whole lot easier, because the water baths are temperature controlled and some models circulate the water to keep the temperature even throughout.
To use a water bath for Sous Vide cooking, you simply set the temperature appropriate for the food that you are cooking and then you immerse the sealed, vacuum packed food in the hot water. Cooking food in a water bath does take longer than other methods, but the slow cooking of vacuum packed foods produces wonderful results.
An immersion circulator is a kitchen appliance that heats and circulates the water for Sous Vide cooking. The best water baths will have a built in immersion circulator, or you can buy smaller versions of the device that you can use with ordinary stove top pans. An immersion circulator ensures that the temperature of the water remains constant and the circulation of the water ensures that the temperature is consistent throughout the water, both of which are essential for perfect Sous Vide cooking. However, Immersion circulators for use with pots of water can be surprisingly expensive. It is much easier to use a proper Sous Vide water bath, and you will get better results.
The Sous Vide method of cooking traps all the goodness and flavour of the food inside the bag, and it also keeps food very tender, so you get healthy, nutritious food that tastes absolutely delicious. If you have never tried cooking Sous Vide before, we definitely recommend that you give it a go.