Many have heard of the sous vide cooking method, but still think of it as used only by chefs at high-end restaurants. Sous vide is a cooking method in which food is cooked in a water bath at a consistent temperature wrapped in plastic, then quickly seared on a stove or grill. In recent years, more and more at-home cooks have begun to discover this remarkable gourmet cooking technique. While restaurants typically invest in high end immersion circulators and other expensive sous vide equipment, a number of affordable home models have emerged that make it easier than ever to start exploring sous vide cooking at home.
With this post well cover the basics of the sous vide cooking technique and show you how to get set up at home, including a few of our current favorite sous vide circulator models.
What exactly is sous vide? Sous vide is a cooking method that uses a temperature controlled water bath to cook sealed food evenly and to your desired doneness. Whats unique about sous vide is that it allows for a predictable result of perfectly cooked food, with a surprising lack of oversight required.
Typical cooking methods on the stovetop or in the oven can often leave us with mixed, uneven results. Look away for a minute and you can easily burn or over cook a steak on the stove. Set the oven temperature too high and you can end up with a dry overcooked roast.
Sous vide is a different story. By using a temperature controlled water bath, the food reaches the exact desired internal temperature and stays at that temperature for the entire cooking time, allowing you to completely control the level of doneness.and resulting in evenly cooked food, every time. By sealing the food in plastic bags while submerged in the water bath, moisture and seasonings are locked for a flavorful and tender finished product.
Sous vide also provides the at home cook with lots of flexibility. While your food is in the water bath, you can prepare the rest of the meal, watch TV or do whatever! Because youre not using your stovetop burner, (just a pot with temperature controlled water) you dont have to constantly watch your food during the cooking time.
Which foods can you sous vide? Sous vide is most associated with cooking meat. As mentioned, it allows you to cook your meat to your desired doneness level, with perfect, even results every time. With most sous vide meats (like steak) the meat is seared quickly after the water bath to achieve a char crusted outside and juicy pink inside. The meat is most often seared for a quick minute on each side on a piping hot cast iron pan, but can also be done on a hot grill.
In addition to meat, you can sous vide everything from fish, to fruits and vegetables, eggs, and even deserts. Sous vide is also popular for making flavor infused spirits, like vodka and bourbon!
How to get started with sous vide at home? First you need a sous vide water circulator (which well get to in a moment). In addition, youll need a large pot, sealable plastic kitchen bags and an open mind and a willingness to experiment! We do recommend vacuum sealing your food but sealable bags work fine, just be sure to remove as much air as possible from the bag as you submerge it in the water bath.
There are many at-home sous vide circulators on the market, but we really like the following two:
The Anova Precision Cooker
The Anova retails for between $150-200. It comes with a sleeve that attaches to the side of your pot and holds the unit securely in place. It plugs into a standard outlet and has easy touch controls on top to set your desired temperature. Anova also has a smartphone app that allows you to control the unit via Bluetooth. The app also has recipes and other sous vide tips and tricks.
The Joule Sous Vide Cooker
The Joule retails for about the same as the Anova. Its also smaller than the Anova since it does not have direct controls on the unit. All functions are controlled through the Joule app. It has a magnetized bottom so you can place it standing anywhere in your pot, but it also comes with a sleeve to secure it to the side if you wish
You really cant go wrong with either product to get started on your sous vide experience at home. Once you have these few basic items, youre ready cook the best steak youve ever eaten, fork tender salmon, fall off the fork tender short ribs, and much more. Check back to Marqet Group for further sous vide posts.well get into sous vide methods for specific foods with great recipes!