If you’re a keen home chef, or even if you work in a restaurant, you may be looking to up your game. Sous-vide cooking is a method used by top chefs the world over, yet it is actually pretty simple, meaning that you can easily give it a try yourself.
Whether you are in a restaurant environment or at home, the process of sous-vide is the same. Food is vacuum packed into plastic bags and then submerged into a temperature controlled water bath for a specified time based on the type of food being cooked, and factors such as weight.
So what are the benefits of sous-vide cooking? Let’s run through some of the reasons you may want to give it a try.
Enhanced Flavour and Texture
Because the food is cooked in vacuum-sealed bags there is no way that it can lose its juices, meaning flavour gets locked in.
It also doesn’t become dry or experience the shrinkage that is common with other cooking methods. In fact, it was adopted by Georges Pralus of the Troisgros Restaurant in Roanne, France in 1974 when he realised it was the perfect way to cook foie gras to achieve the best texture.
No More Overcooking
We spoke to the guys at Sous-Vide Tools who told us: “One of the brilliant things about sous-vide is that you have far more leeway when it comes to the amount of time you can leave your food for before it becomes overdone, and you certainly can’t burn it.
For example if you are cooking a steak on the grill or in a frying pan and you leave it for a couple of extra minutes, it can very quickly change from ‘just the way you like it’ to overdone, whereas with sous-vide, once you’ve set the temperature it will cook to exactly your preference and stay that way for hours.”
Great For Batch Cooking
Sous-vide lends itself perfectly to batch cooking, as you can individually portion out your food and either cook it and save for later or freeze the bags to cook in the water bath at a later date.
You can either do individual portions per bag or fit several portions in together as long as they are in a single layer so the water can circulate evenly around them. This is great for preparing family meals that just need to be plated up!
When you cook sous-vide, the only time you need to be actively involved in the cooking is the preparation stage. Simply chop your meat or veg, season, and vacuum seal. Then leave your meal to its own devices in the water bath for anything from 30 minutes to 72 hours depending on what you’re cooking up.
If you haven’t seen sous-vide in action or need some inspiration, we recommend the YouTube Channel Sous-Vide Everything for a good idea of what works and what doesn’t work so well!