If you are a culinary enthusiast, you must have heard about sous vide. An impressive technique for perfectly cooked protein, Sous Vide is also one of the healthiest ways to cook meat. Its charm lies in giving the perfect texture and preserving all the natural flavors of food. You can have the perfectly cooked medium ribeye steak just like in any fancy restaurant at home.
This article will discuss all you need to know about Sous Vide; how it is done, why it’s a better way of cooking, its advantages, and some not too great aspects as well. Before further ado, let’s hit straight to our topic.
Sous vide is a professional style of cooking food, especially protein. It is a cooking method where water or heat does not touch food as it is packed and sealed in a plastic bag. A vacuum is created, and food is cooked in that vacuum at a consistent temperature.
It gives perfect results and preserves all the natural flavors of food. Though it is done with professional machines in the restaurant, it can easily be done at home with a few tools.
What is Sous Vide?
The French name means “under Vacuum,” making sense as the meat is cooked in a vacuum at a controlled temperature.
In cooking, Sous Vide refers to the method of cooking that takes place in a controlled temperature water bath. The protein does not get the direct heat or touch the heated metal container as in a pot or pan.
The temperature control in this method of cooking is unparallel to any other method of cooking. This controlled temperature makes perfectly cooked protein without losing flavors or change of color.
Whether you are cooking steaks, fish, shrimp, or lobster, the texture of meat remains as soft and juicy as you want it. You can thoroughly cook rib steak or make roast to your preferred doneness without any guesswork.
Why is Sous Vide Cooking Better?
We all strive for perfection for chicken, steak, pork, ribs, or fish, getting the perfect texture where food is neither chewy, dry, or tough.
Temperature control in other cooking methods is not always precise. With Sous Vide, you can have perfect results every time.
It removes all guesswork out of the cooking, and you don’t need to insert any thermometer inside your cuts to see if they are done—no more poking fingers on your steaks to wonder if it is thoroughly cooked.
Complicated cuts like pork shoulders and pork ribs are too tricky to cook perfectly. With sous vide, food is cooked with even doneness without any dry edges and raw centers every time you try it.
Cooking results are perfect without changing any color or loss of flavors. Meat cuts are tender and juicy, with minimum moisture loss.
How is Sous Vide Done?
Professionally, sous vide is done in machines. There are specific appliances for this purpose. You get this option in multi-cookers, digital pressure cookers, and even slow cooks.
However, the sous vide method is not rocket science. All you need is a concealed environment with a consistent temperature. Sous vide machine used heating coils to warm water.
Vacuum packing is another essential step of sous vide. It stops air or water from touching the food that slows the oxidation that changes color.
It also secures all the nutrients in the food and prevents leaching out into the water. So vacuum packing is done in zip-locked plastic bags and specifically made to withstand the temperate, so they are entirely safe to use.
Can I Do Sous Vide at Home?
Yes, like we said, even if you don’t have fancy machines that are solely designed for sous vide, you can do it at home with zip-locked bags and some binders. A temperature controller also helps to keep an eye on the temperature. Many multi-cookers and instant pots also feature the sous vide option.
What are the Advantages of Sous Vide?
Let’s look at some of the advantages of Sous Vide:
Perfect Results Every Time
The most important advantage of sous vide is its perfect result. As there is no guesswork, you can have the same results every time you use the technique. It’s pure science and gives perfection to your recipes.
Full of Flavor
People who are well acquainted with fine dining know-how sous vide preserves the natural flavors of your steak and ribs.
As food is not immersed in oil or water, there is no loss of flavors. If you cook food too long, it becomes tender, but you lose at least half if not full flavor. With this cooking method, you dont have to worry about tasing bland and chewy food.
No Chance of Overcooking
Whether you like your cuts raw, medium, or thoroughly done, there is no chance of overcooking with sous vide. The margin of time between these types of doneness is very slim. You can easily overcook just when trying to be on the safer side. With sous vide, it’s almost impossible to overcook.
Preserve All Nutrients
Sous Vide is one of the healthiest methods of cooking. The nutrient loss is very minimal. There is no loss of healthy fat from meat, and despite the tender and juicy steak, it’s full of flavor and nutrients. You dont need any oil or butter that makes the food all the more healthy.
Whether cooking in the oven or on the stove, one meat side gets more heat than the other. So having even texture is not possible.
In the sous vide cooking technique, the temperature remains the same from all sides.
Slow Cooking; You Can Walk Away
To ensure consistent results, you have to be present on the stove with other cooking methods, especially with meat, steak, or fish. With sous vide, you can walk away and perform other chores conveniently while your food will cook to perfection. To busy moms and dads, it’s the most convenient benefit.
Meat Does Not Shrink
With sous vide, meat does not shrink or discolor like any other cooking method.
Disadvantages of Sous Vide
Here are some of the disadvantages of Sous Vide?
You can’t do it on whims, and you need to plan the meal at least a day before due to the time involved in cooking. For many, it is the most deterring factor.
The process is long, making you feel too much work is involved. If you can cook a normal portion of chicken within half an hour, with sous vide, you can spend more than an hour.
Too Strong Flavors
As with this cooking method, you lose no natural flavor. In infact, it enhances the flavors, and it becomes too overwhelming for some. If you do not enjoy the natural taste of fish or meat, you probably dont enjoy the strong flavors.
Require Additional Tools
You need some additional tools for sous vide that you may not always have in your kitchen. Even if you are doing it at home, you need a thermometer or special lid to ensure it is done properly.
Lack of Color and Caramelization
Since food does not touch the bottom of any pan or tray, there is no searing or caramelization. So some people dont like the lack of crispiness and miss a charred exterior.
Sous vide is an interesting technique for cooking food to perfection. It requires a little more planning and expertise, but it can help you prepare fancy dinners cooked in restaurant style once you are ready.