Sous Vide Tips for the Home Cook
Sous vide is gaining names for being the most popular modernist cooking technique. From the many fancy chefs and hit television cooking shows, sous vide can also be something you could do in your own home.
Getting Started with Sous Vide
The sous vide actual process of cooking is quite real simple. You only have to determine the right temperature you would want to cook your food, you heat some water to reach that certain temperature, seal your food inside a vacuum bag, and put it in the water until it reaches the same as the temperature of the water.
Choosing the Right Sous Vide Container
The right and the best commercial sous vide machines and tools are always essential for more sous vide cooking success. This includes having the right container for your water bath and there are a lot of choices you can choose from.
A plastic cooler can be a double duty tool that can also be used as a water bath container for your sous vide cooking. They are easy to work with and have insulated walls that are effective in holding the heat in, thus, reducing your power draw.
Another accessible option for a hot water bath is using metal pots. The biggest advantage a metal pot can give you is its flexibility to be used in other tasks other than sous vide. A big stockpot or even a pressure cooker can also do the trick.
Using a polycarbonate tank can also work perfectly as a water bath for your sous vide cooking. The plastic won’t transfer heat outside of the container and you can see through it making it easier to tell how your food has come along.
If you have no other choice, you could just use your kitchen sink ad this will just work right as a water bath container. Choosing the best water bath container will depend on what your needs and plans are. You can always experiment and find what works best for you.
Sealing Foods for Sous Vide Cooks
The sous vide cooking method involves sealing the food in a bag to eliminate all the air inside. Choosing the best way to seal sous vide bag can be a little tricky. However, there are popular and common ways to effectively seal it.
One of the best ways to seal your foods is by using a chambered vacuum sealer. This is effective in removing air from bags and also creates a strong seal that will not let water in the bag. Because of its strong seal, it won’t let your bag float that can cause uneven cooking.
Another option in sealing sous vide bags includes using an edge sealer. This is a small tool that helps pump the air out of the bag to create an airtight closure. They can also be a double duty tool that can be used in food preservation.
Looking for the best way to seal your sous vide bags will always depend on your needs and your personal cooking style. The thing that is more comfortable and reliable in your sous vide cooking is always the best.
Sous Vide and Ziploc Bags
A vacuum sealer can remove more air from your sous vide bags compared to when you using Ziploc bags. However, using the right method can help you remove more air than you might think in just using these Ziploc bags so won’t have a problem when doing a cooking technique that is based on vacuum sealing.
The main key in handling Ziploc bags is water the water displacement. So, to totally air out your bag, place all your food and marinades inside and zip it most of the way. Place the bag in a sous vide water bath until the water reaches just below the zip line.
You can then zip your bag fully while it is soaked in the water. Pressure from the water will force and help in airing out as much air from your bag as possible.
Reheating a Sous Vide Food
In the process of reheating sous vide foods, there are three key factors you should always keep in mind. This includes the time, balance, and the rest.
As time being the first to consider in reheating sous vide foods or any other type of foods, you need to know the time necessary to reheat it. For example, chilled foods need as a long time in reheating to reach the ideal temperature as reheating raw food.
The balance of the food is not only essential when cooking but also in reheating it. Overcooking any kind of food during reheating is not good at all. It can turn a delicious food into something that is dry and tough when not appropriately rewarmed.
Leaving a dish to rest after that is always essential. This will let the exterior of the dish to cool slightly and the interior juice to thicken, thus, completely preserving its moistness and its flavor.
Sous Vide Food Safety
Although sous vide safety is not entirely different and more complicated than other food safety practices, it is always helpful to keep these in mind.
One thing to remember about sous vide or just about any cooking technique, there is something that is called the danger zone. This is from 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Foods can still be cooked in sous vide in this temperature range, however, only for short amounts of time.
Another issue in food safety is the pasteurization process. The guideline you can keep in mind is if a food hits the temperature for an even a tenth of a second, it is already fully pasteurized. For example, the chicken should be cooked at 160 degrees Fahrenheit and for pork to be cooked not below 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sous vide cooking can be a really attractive cooking method. There are also practical uses involved in sous vide cooking. This will prevent you from freaking out over some undercooked or overcooked dishes at home since it takes away the guesswork in cooking. Most especially, if you have enough tips and tricks in your shoulder, you can ensure sous vide cooking success.