Since the 1970’s, Sous Vide cooking has been confined high end restaurants and industrial uses. The advantages of this style of cooking is now available for every level of cook.
The question is does it fit your particular cooking needs.
Sous Vide cooking places raw food in vacuumed sealed plastic bags. Then in a long, slow process it is heated in a bath of low temperature water. This precise method of heating yields succulent, flavorful, perfectly textured food every time. The tastes, vitamins and nutriments are preserved, not lost in the cooking process. Less seasoning is needed because every bit is sealed into the bag. Less oil and fat is required. The chance of overcooking is virtually zero.
These are advantages every cook can understand and desire.
If presentation is your thing, Sous Vide cooking bring out the bright natural colors of fruits and vegetables. The visual character of food enhances the eating experience. The food will look good along with being tastier and better for you.
While overall, it may take between hours and days for a Sous Vide meal to be ready, there are advantages in management of time. Preparation is the critical step.
Every meal needs to be sealed with the best vacuum sealing machine in a vacuum bag or sturdy Ziploc. During this stage, portion size and season is done, with less being needed of each. Low cooking temperatures in sealed cooking bags trap in the seasonings and moisture.
There is significantly less shrinkage than traditional high heat methods because ovens, broilers and grills break down the internal structure and connective tissue in the food. With Sous Vide, less food feeds more, sometimes up to 30%. The same applies to seasonings and spices used. Enhanced flavor with less than half used.
Meals can be prepared days prior to cooking. They can be safely refrigerated until needed and then simply cooked and served. Frozen food can be taken from the freezer and immediately put into the warm water. Just extra cooking time is needed. Conversely, extra portions of food can be cooked and then refrigerated, extending the time these “leftovers” can be stored. They have already been seasoned, cooked and sealed, reducing any threat of bacterial growth.
Restaurants have always loved the uniformity Sous Vide cooking offers. Steaks, chops, fish and vegetables will be cooked to perfection every time like clockwork, because it is clockwork. Less heat over more time equals an evenly cooked food.
Texture is a factor in the enjoyment of food. Salmon and other types of fish easily lose theirs in traditional cooking methods. Low temperature Sous Vide cooking prevents the collagens from breaking down, preserving a rich taste and velvety texture nature of the fish.
Concerning beef and vegetables, the texture is contingent on the time spent cooking. If the cook desires a tender feel, more time in the water is needed. If a more crisp texture is desired, less time will be spent in the bath. Once the “perfect” time is determined, the results will be uniformly pleasing each time that food is prepared. This consistent perfection is something every cook can benefit from.
The Sous Vide method of cooking allows several items to be prepared within the same water bath. Each item, whether that be fish or fowl, vegetable or beef is sealed. It is protected from the water and the flavors of the other bags beside it. So in one best Sous Vide Water Bath or in a large cooking pot being heated by an Immersion Circulator, several different entrees and side dishes can be prepared simultaneously.
From the economic side, once the initial investment is made there can be savings by cooking in the Sous Vide style. Less food, less seasonings, less energy is used to prepare the food. The meals can also be cooked in a reusable silicon cooking bag, removing the need of Ziplocs and chamber vacuum sealing food machines. These are obvious savings.
Sous Vide offers savings also in what you can cook. Certain cuts and grades of beef are tough and usually avoided no matter their price. The low heat of the water slowly cooks every portion of the meat, uniformly. Once the desired internal temperature is reached, even the cheapest beef is tender, yet with a texture that mirrors the more prime cuts.
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