We’re all familiar with cooking methods like boiling, frying, and roasting, but there is a new culinary technique that has become quite the kitchen phenomenon in recent years: sous-vide cooking.
Sous-vide cooking essentially consists of preparing vacuum-sealed food unter a steady, controlled temperature. It is commonly used by chefs to make perfectly-cooked proteins, but thanks to the accessibility of this technology, you too can employ this cooking method in your home kitchen.
Benefits of Sous-Vide Cooking
There are a plethora of benefits to cooking using the sous-vide method. First off, sous-vide provides some of the best consistency possible. Because you are cooking in a highly controlled environment, and you know exactly the temperature at which you are preparing your food, your results will turn out the same every time, as they aren’t susceptible to unpredictable variables like uneven stove top heating or unreliable oven temperatures.
Additionally, sous-vide is a relatively hands-off cooking method, making it convenient and easy for you to cook great food even if you are short on time. While most traditional cooking methods require frequent, if not constant, monitoring, the sous-vide method allows you to program your food to cook until completion, meaning that you can complete other tasks while your meal is on its way.
How to Cook Using the Sous-Vide Method
One of the best aspects of sous-vide cooking is its simplicity. It requires very little material: to cook using the sous-vide method, you just need a sous-vide cooking device, airtight containers to put your food in, and a large pot or container to hold the water.
The sous-vide cooking method is similar regardless of the type of food you are preparing, which can include meat, fish, poultry, eggs, vegetables, and more. You simply place your sous-vide machine into a large pot of water to preheat the water bath to your desired cooking temperature. Once preheated, place your food, which should be sealed in an airtight container, into the water and program your sous-vide cooker for the desired cooking time.
Pros and Cons to Sous-Vide Cooking
There are plenty of benefits to the sous-vide cooking method, perhaps the main ones being its consistency and convenience. If you follow a recipe designed for the type of protein or vegetable that you are preparing, the results should always be the same, providing you with a steady method to prepare tender meats, fish, poultry, and more.
Additionally, sous-vide cooking is one of the most hands-off cooking methods around. You can program your device, preheat your water, place your sealed ingredients in the pot, and go on with your day until your dinner is ready.
One of the downsides to sous-vide cooking is that you won’t get the crispy, charred, or caramelized surface that takes most proteins to the next level. However, there is an easy fix to this. Simply remove your food from its airtight container once it is done cooking and quickly sear it in a hot pan before serving.