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Tuesday 16 October 2018
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A Beginner’s Guide To Sous Vide Cooking

When it comes to foodie trends, there are lots of different fads that come and go as the mood changes.

From rainbow food to matcha cakes and raw diets, we’ve seen it all in recent years, with most trends falling out of fashion rather quickly.

However, most of us won’t have heard about the art of sous vide cooking unless you’re an avid viewer of MasterChef: The Professionals, despite its prevalence in top kitchens for decades.

So, to give you a bit more insight into this cooking gem, we’ve created a beginner’s guide to sous vide cooking so you can achieve expert results in the comfort of your own home.

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What is it?

‘Sous vide’ translates as ‘under vacuum’ and is essentially the method of cooking food using water baths and an exact temperature.

Sous vide allows you to cook your food perfectly every time as you set the exact time and temperature of your water bath, with the water heating up to this temperature and cooking the food in the process evenly, before keeping it stable for as long as you need it.

This means it’s virtually impossible to overcook or undercook your food and you don’t need to constantly check the oven, allowing you to relax or focus on a more difficult part of the meal.

For more detailed information about sous vide, check out this post by Chef Steps.

What do I need?

To get started at home, you need an immersion circulator and a large water-safe container, which will essentially become your water bath. You can often buy both of these together in starter packages.

You’ll also need to buy a vacuum sealer and vacuum sealer bags for the best results, as well as a guide for different food temperatures such as this one by Anova or this one by Chef Steps.

For those looking to perform sous vide to professional standards, you might want to consider a temperature-controlled water bath.

What’s the process?

The process of sous vide is a very simple one, often only requiring four basic steps.

Step 1: Prep your food

Preparing your food for sous vide is essentially the same for any other cooking method, although there are some tips and tricks that will help to achieve better results, including oiling the food, avoiding overcrowding in vacuum bags, and slicing food after it’s cooked.

Step 2: Vacuum sealing

Once the food is prepped, you need to seal the ingredients in bags and remove all of the air. If you buy a vacuum sealer, the machine will do it for you.

Step 3: Cooking

You then need to cook your food in your water bath. After you’ve determined the time and temperature required to get the finish that you want (by using the guides mentioned earlier), set the circulator to these and let the machine do the rest.

Step 4: Finish

The end bit is up to you!

What can I make?

The beauty of sous vide is that it can be used to make almost anything! From steak to desserts and even poached eggs, whatever you fancy having a go at, you’ll be able to do it sous vide!

Check out some of these sous vide recipes to get started.