Sous Vide, the best cooking method
Cooking sous vide is easier than you think. You simply seal the ingredients in a plastic bag and place them in water to within a degree or two. When the food reaches your target temperature or time, you take it out, give it a quick sear or other finish, and serve it.
Sous vide is especially useful for cooking meats and seafood, for which the window of proper doneness is critical when traditional methods are used. When you fry a piece of fish, the flesh is most succulent and tender within a very narrow temperature range. Because the cooking temperature of the pan is at least 200 °C / 392 °F hotter than the ideal core temperature of the fish, the edges will inevitably be far more cooked than the centre when pan-fried. Other reason for cooking this way is to eliminate potential pathogens and improve the safety of the food.
The idea of preserving and cooking food in sealed packages is as old as cooking itself. Throughout culinary history, food has been wrapped in leaves, potted in fat, packed in salt, or sealed inside animal bladders before being cooked. We achieve the same results by vacuum sealing, this can arrest the decay of food and prevents it from drying out.
Such mastery over heat pays off in several important ways, most notably, freeing the cook from the tyranny of the clock. Traditional cooking with a range, oven, or grill uses high and fluctuating temperatures, so you must time the cooking exactly; there is little margin for error. With just a moment’s inattention, conventional cooking can quickly overshoot perfection wasting time and money.
Precise temperature control and uniformity of temperature has two other big advantages. First, it allows you to cook food to an even doneness all the way through, no more dry edges and rare centres. Second, you get highly repeatable results. The steak emerges from the bag juicy and pink every time.
A final important benefit is that the closed bag creates a fully humid environment that effectively braises the food, so ingredients cooked this way are often noticeably juicier and more tender. Food cooked sous vide doesn’t brown, but a simple sear adds that traditional flavour where needed so that you can have the best of both worlds.
The plastic that these products are made of is called polyethylene and has been studied extensively, it is safe. But, do avoid very cheap plastic wraps when cooking. These are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and heating them presents a risk of chemicals leaching into the food.
We have a special offer on a combination of Sous Vide and Vacuum Packing Machine, buy the Vac Pac and get the Sous Vide free.