On the lookout for some new cooking methods to try out this new year? Sous-vide cooking has long been a secret, known and used only by the pros, such as Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay, but it’s increasingly becoming more mainstream, with sous-vide machines popping up in home kitchens across the world, with companies such as SousVideTools.com selling everything you need to get started.
But what is it, and why should you be considering it for your kitchen?
What is sous-vide?
When food is prepared sous-vide, the ingredients are placed in a vacuum sealed bag, before being placed in a water bath to cook.
These special baths are set at a very specifically defined temperature using a sous-vide device.
This is to ensure that the food is cooked through more consistently and exactly how you like it, which you can’t ensure with traditional cooking methods.
Finally, if cooking meat, you might wish to give it a quick flash in the pan just to give it that crispy finish.
1. Removes the guesswork
Especially if you’re something of a novice at cooking, one of the scariest things can be that there’s a lot of guesswork involved, but you don’t have to worry about that with sous-vide!
The beauty is that you can leave something in your sous-vide machine or bath for as long as you want, and it’ll never be ‘over-done’.
This is especially great for things such as custard or butter sauces because they’ll never curdle, as your water bath will be set to exactly the right temperature.
2. Better for you
Sous-vide cooking can also often be a lot better for you and more nutritious. Because you’re cooking the food in a vacuum sealed bag, it will cook in its own juices, meaning that it’ll retain a lot of the nutrients that would usually be boiled off.
You also won’t need to add any extra fat such as butter or oil to your meal, which is always good!
This post from Anova goes into more detail about the health benefits that sous-vide cooking can bring.
3. Great for tender steaks
Sous-vide cooking is particularly great when it comes to cooking tenders cuts of meat. Even cheaper cuts will taste incredible with sous-vide cooking due to the precise temperature control.
The sous-vide method will perfectly braise the meat and break down all of the tough fibres in the meat!
And it isn’t just food that you can make sous-vide! Not many people know that you can even create your own cocktails and liqueurs such as limoncello and infused spirits with sous-vide.
For some inspiration, check out this Munchies article on how sous-vide cocktails are taking over Bangkok’s nightlife scene!
5. Ideal for big groups
If you enjoy having people over for dinner, or perhaps are even just used to cooking for a big family, then sous-vide could be perfect for you.
Because your food will never burn or be overly cooked in a sous-vide bath, you can simply get it all done well in advance and leave it until it needs to be served, leaving you to get on with the rest of your prep, or just spend time with your guests!