For starters, the term “sous-vide” comes from the French language and literally translates to “under a vacuum.” So how does this relate to cooking? Put simply, it's cooking a meal in a vacuum sealed bag using water just below boiling temperature. There are a few benefits to cooking this way:
• Meals can be prepped well in advanced, sealed in bags then cooked at a later date to simplify daily meal prep
• Flavor transfer is intensified. By putting other ingredients in your sous-vide bag, like butter, rosemary, or garlic (to name only a few), you can get some really enhanced flavors in your meals
• Cook food evenly through and through, allowing you to leave almost the entire inside of a steak medium rare pink as opposed to other cooking methods that begin to brown the inside
• While cooking in a sealed container, you trap the nutrients in the food, as opposed to letting it leak onto your pan
• Low maintenance cooking allows you to place the sealed food into a Sous-vide well and forget about it until the meal is cooked. No flipping, turning, or stirring required.
Here’s a quick video showing just how easy it is cooking with sous-vide:
You’ll notice of course that due to all of the cooking being done in the vacuum sealed bag, you do not get any sort of searing or outer crust, but what makes the process so great is that once the item is done cooking in the bag you only need to give it a quick sear in a pan to add and exterior crust, and you are ready to go.
Over the past few years, sous-vide cooking has become much more accessible through countertop vacuum sealing units hitting the market as well as the new SKS line of ranges, now offering built in sous-vide wells.
While sous-vide cooking may not revolutionize the way you cook, it can certainly streamline the process. Are you a fan of prepping meals in advance, so you can quickly put dinner together for the family after work? What about cooking sides of vegetables that are packed with flavor? Are you a steak connoisseur who loves the blend of medium rare steak with a nice sear on the outside? Sous-vide excels at all of these.
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