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Cook like a professional

08 October 2020 / Team Cuisine /

THE SOUS-VIDE METHOD

Imagine you are cooking a steak. You want juicy on the inside, crisp on the outside, with a perfectly pink middle. You want delicate roasting aromas to fill the air. For an amateur cook, this is not always the easiest thing to achieve. Roast too long and your beef fillet is dry and tough, but not enough time and the middle is too red. This is especially frustrating with good-quality, higher-priced steaks. The good news – this will not happen with sous-vide cooking! But how? Below we explain how we achieved our perfectly cooked steak as well as the equipment needed for successful sous-vide cooking.

Table of Contents

  1. Sous-vide method
    1.1 What is sous-vide and what are the advantages of cooking with this method?
    1.2 How can I cook using the sous-vide method and what tools do I need?
    1.3 Step-by-step instructions for easy sous-vide cooking
  2. Sous-vide FAQs
    2.1 How long do I need to cook my food using the sous-vide method?
    2.2 I forgot to take my food out of the water bath – what should I do?
    2.3 What should I do if the bag opens during cooking?
  3. Tips for better cooking and amazing results
  4. From classic to modern: Recipe ideas for sous-vide chefs

 

 

1. The sous-vide method

1.1 What is the sous-vide method and what are the advantages of cooking with this method?

French for “under vacuum”, sous-vide cooking originated in the 1970s in high-end French cooking. Meat, fish, vegetables, and other ingredients are vacuum-sealed in a bag, placed in a water bath, and are slowly cooked at a constant temperature under 210F. There are many advantages of using the sous-vide method:

GUARANTEED SUCCESS

With traditional cooking methods, foods like meat, fish, and vegetables are exposed to much higher than necessary temperatures and end up being dry, burnt, and tough. With sous-vide cooking, your food will always be cooked to your liking thanks to the low temperature cooking process that evenly distributes heat.

MEAL PREP MADE EASY

The sous-vide method is great for occasions when you want to prepare food in advance. For example, if you are preparing steak for guests, simply prepare the meat as directed and a few minutes before serving remove the steak from the bag and pan-sear at a high temperature. If preparing food in advance, let food cool to around 35F immediately after cooking. The sous-vide method is also great for preparing starters and desserts. Our recipe collection has a wide range of culinary inspirations for all taste palates!

PRESERVES NUTRITIONAL VALUE AND FLAVOR

Sous-vide cooking is one of the most delicate cooking methods. The low-temperature water bath ensures no nutrients or vitamins are lost, while the vacuum-sealed bag prevents leakage of marinades and seasonings. TIP: Add things like herbs, spices, lemon, and oil to the bag contents before cooking – but do not overdo these seasonings as the sous-vide cooking process intensifies all natural and additional flavors.

VIVID COLORS

Sous-vide cooking prevents oxygen from coming in direct contact with your food. The result? Natural colors are retained! Enjoy perfect pink steak, deep green vegetables, and ivory-colored fish every time. Your food will look like it came straight out of the cookbook!

PERFECT RESULTS EVERY TIME

Once you find the ideal cooking time and temperature for your food, you are guaranteed to achieve deliciously perfect results at every meal.

1.2. How can I cook using the sous-vide method and what tools do I need?

To get started with sous-vide cooking, you will need the following basic equipment:

  • sous-vide stick or sous-vide water oven
  • vacuum sealer
  • heat-resistant foil
  • insulation balls, when required

1.3 Step-by-step instructions for easy sous-vide cooking

Follow our detailed step-by-step instructions for perfect cooking every time:

1.3.1 PREPARE YOUR FOOD FOR COOKING

Before sealing, make sure to rinse and pat dry fish and poultry. As for meat, remove tendons and unwanted fat before placing in vacuum-sealed bag. It is recommended to cook food as a whole before portioning it into smaller sizes.

1.3.2 FILL THE VACUUM BAG

Before filling the bag, roll the top third of the bag over the outside for easier filling and to keep the sealing area clean. When adding several pieces to a bag, make sure to place them next to each other to ensure even cooking. Add herbs, spices, or oil to bag and vacuum-seal.

1.3.3 FILL THE CONTAINER WITH WATER

Fill the pan or sous-vide water oven with the appropriate amount of water and set to the desired cooking temperature and cooking time. Most sous-vide sticks feature a minimal marking line for the water level. (TIP: Add lukewarm water to achieve desired cooking temperature faster).

1.3.4 COOK

Place your vacuum-sealed bag, and insulation balls if necessary, to the water bath and cook to appropriate temperatures based on foods’ thickness, type, and properties. Remove bag from water when total cooking time is reached. The sous-vide stick comes with instructions for duration of cooking for different foods.

1.3.5 ENJOY

If serving immediately, remove food from bag when cooking is complete and pan-sear or grill if a brown crust is desired. Alternatively, if you are preparing your food in advance, simply keep the food in the bag, let cool, and place in the fridge until you are ready to eat it. Bon appetit!

 

2. Sous-vide FAQs

2.1 How long do I need to cook my food using the sous-vide method?

The following table will help you determine the correct cooking time and temperature for your food. These are an example and we encourage you to refer to the directions that come with your sous-vide stick/machine for more precise directions.

2.2 I forgot to take my food out of the water bath – what should I do?

Don’t panic! The benefit of sous-vide cooking is that there is no way to overcook the food since the temperature stays consistent, so it is not a problem if food is left in the water bath a little longer than directed. Luckily, the temperature of your food will not increase if the cooking time is exceeded!

2.3 What should I do if the bag opens during cooking?

Many vacuum sealers come with a single seal that can come undone easily, so one way to prevent this is to double seal the bag. If the bag does come unsealed, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the bag from the water bath immediately
  2. Remove the food from the bag
  3. If water entered the bag, pat dry with a paper towel
  4. Place the food in a new bag and reseal, adding spices and oil if necessary
  5. Reset cooking time accordingly

 

3. Tips for better cooking and amazing results

By now, you should know some of the basic concepts of sous-vide cooking and by following these steps you will have tasty, flavorful food every time. If you are still uneasy, here are a few extra tips for even better results:

  1. Seasoning: Season bag contents accordingly with oil, herbs, and spices for more intense flavors. Be careful not to overdo seasoning as flavors become more intense when cooked in a sealed environment.
  2. Marinades: Sous-vide cooking and marinades are the perfect culinary match! Vacuum-sealing eliminates extra air inside the bag, letting marinades fill up any extra space and fully penetrate the meat. Read our magazine article called “The Magic of Marinades” for more information.
  3. Cooking time: Refer to the cooking table as each food has an optimal cooking temperature and duration based on things like age, consistency, and ripeness. You may need to practice to achieve perfection, but luckily this cooking process will never overcook, burn, or dry out your food. A general rule to remember is that meat requires a lower temperature than fruits and vegetables.. Refer to the table for more direction.
  4. Final touches: Some foods (i.e. beans) can be served immediately after removal from the water bath. Other foods (i.e. meat) must finish cooking on a high-heat grill or pan for a perfectly crispy crust and juicy, pink inside.

 

4. From classic to modern: Recipe ideas for sous-vide chefs

Are you eager to begin cooking with sous-vide products? The next step is to look at our many wonderful recipes, particularly well-suited for beginners.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-EOwWpRF5A

Image by sille23 from Pixabay

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