Sous Vide Cooking: What Is It?

Sous vide is a cooking method that’s gained popularity on competition cooking shows and in fancy restaurants. But did you know that the sous vide cooking technique can now be carried out from the comfort of your own home? Although the method may sound difficult, it’s relatively painless once you have properly learned the cooking process. If you’re intrigued, you may find yourself wondering what exactly the sous vide cooking method is. If you’re considering it for your next dinner in, you’re not alone. Stay tuned to learn more about what the sous vide cooking method is, and some of the perks of cooking with this technique over others.

At the most basic level, sous vide is the process of sealing food into an airtight bag, then cooking it in temperature-controlled water. The bag is typically vacuum-sealed, hence where sous vide gets its name – which is French for under vacuum. The food is cooked at a constant, often low temperature, until it’s reached a perfectly cooked consistency the entire way through. Because the water is temperature-controlled, it helps to make the sous vide cooking process more reliable, as it produces delicious meals each and every time without a large margin of error. In the restaurant setting, chefs oftentimes vacuum seal the protein or food they are preparing in some sort of herbs, spice, sauce, or marinade. Because there’s no direct contact with a heated surface like traditional cooking methods, there is also no steam, smoke, or flames associated with the method either.

Perks of Sous Vide

As mentioned previously, there are several unique perks and benefits associated with cooking using the sous vide technique. Aside from exploring a new and innovative cooking method, let’s check out some of the other perks associated with the sous vide cooking method!

Control over what you’re cooking

According to Bon Appetit, the sous vide cooking method allows you to have more of a sense of control over the food you are cooking. It’s critical to ensure that your food, especially meat, is cooked thoroughly to the desired temperature. Because many people would rather be safe than sorry while trying to reach that temperature, oftentimes the food becomes tough, dry, and overcooked.

However, the sous vide method allows you to have complete control over what you are cooking and the temperature you are cooking at. It also helps to ensure that the food you are preparing is cooked consistently. However, if you have a preference for your meat to be more well-done, that’s perfectly fine as well. This cooking technique ensures that even your well-done meat will still be flavorful and juicy. This is drastically different than other cooking methods where the meat tends to get extremely dry the longer it’s cooked, such as pork chops and steaks.

Cheap meats are just as good

With traditional cooking methods, many cooks avoid cheaper cuts of meat because they are also much tougher. Cheaper cuts of meat traditionally include the areas where the tissue is much tougher due to more use, with examples of tougher cuts traditionally being pork chops, beef brisket, lamb, chicken breasts, and chuck roast. However, the sous vide method works to break down tougher proteins, meaning that cheaper cuts of meat can be just as flavorful and good as more expensive cuts. While cooking tougher cuts of meat at a low heat for an extended period of time, it helps to break down the connective tissue within the meat. Ultimately, you end up with a tender and juicy cut of meat every time!

Requires Less Cleanup

Another benefit of using the sous vide cooking method is the amount of time spent cleaning up afterward. According to The Kitchn, there is very little cleaning required with the sous vide method, as all that’s technically required is throwing out the plastic bag the food was sealed in. However, if you seared your meat after cooking sous vide, the pan would need to be washed, as well.

Sous vide is healthier

Lastly, the sous vide method doesn’t require fats, oils, and salts like traditional cooking methods. This is primarily because when you slow cook food with the sous vide technique, you’re retaining the food’s natural flavors and nutrients. The sous vide method is also a great option for those who are on a gluten-free, Paleo, or Keto diet.

If you have a knack for cooking or are looking to try out a new and innovative cooking technique, the sous vide method may be a great option for you! Once this technique is perfected, it is sure to provide flavorful and consistently cooked food each and every time!

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