How to Try Sous Vide Cooking in Your Kitchen
For the past couple of years, sous-vide cooking has been one of the major trends in award-winning kitchens and on competitive cookery shows. More and more chefs, both professional and amateur, are discovering the amazing benefits of this cooking method – ensuring ingredients retain moisture and are cooked evenly.
Although the method has been around since the late 18th century, sous-vide cooking disappeared from our kitchens for a couple of hundred years – only to be picked up by leading chefs in recent times. Busy kitchens enjoy the accuracy of the method, whilst amateur chefs benefit from the control it gives them over typically difficult-to-perfect foods.
It may look and sound a complicated cooking process, but even the most amateur of chefs can try their hand at the discipline, they just need a few basic facts and helpful bits of kit. Here is our guide helping you discover how to try sous-vide cooking in your own kitchen.
What is Sous-Vide and How Does It Work?
At the very heart of sous-vide cooking is the process of vacuum sealing food to ensure all the flavour and moisture is retained during the cooking process. Food should be vacuum sealed in a plastic pouch and then plunged into a water bath or steam environment for a set amount of time until cooked.
Being sealed in a vacuum, none of the water in the food can escape, ensuring the aroma, flavour and moisture are perfectly retained. This is ideal for amateur cooks who sometimes find that their food loses flavour during the cooking process.
Using a vacuum sealer, secure the food and place in a water bath set at the desired final cooking temperature. This guide from Chef Steps is great for first-time sous-vide chefs looking for the temperatures and times to set.
These times will ensure you remove the food just as it reaches its final cooking temperature, so it is cooked through perfectly. The food can then be quickly seared or poached to add a little texture to proceedings.
Can I Use FoodSaver to Sous-Vide?
Although the FoodSaver food storage system is primarily used to store foods and extend their life, the FoodSaver vacuum-sealing bags and rolls can also be used in the sous-vide process. The FoodSaver system removes the air from the storage bags and rolls, keeping the food within preserved in a perfect vacuum – this makes it perfect for sous-vide cooking.
Simply use your FoodSaver storage device as normal, securing the food within, and then place the bags in the water bath set to the desired final cooking temperature.
Benefits of Sous-Vide Cooking
There are numerous benefits to sous-vide cooking, beyond the perfectly moist and cooked through results. The process is perfect for cooking with your favourite marinades. Whether you're sous-vide cooking vegetables, fish or meat – coat your food in the marinade before placing in the vacuum-sealed bag and dropping in the water bath. The marinade will then infuse the food throughout the sous-vide process – creating delicious results every time.
Another great benefit of sous-vide cooking is that it provides consistent results time after time. The timing and temperature are both set – ensuring no mistakes are made and the food can be perfectly presented. This is great for home cooks who have busy lifestyles – so no more burned dinners, after being distracted by the kids.
You don't even need to attend to the food whilst it is cooking, simply vacuum seal and leave to cook on a timer. So, you can go about other household tasks or simply pop your favourite boxset on the television.
And with this added simplicity, you may be encouraged to try new recipes and dishes to wow and delight your family. If you're always overcooking salmon, or don't know how to time a medium-rare steak the traditional way – sous-vide cooking could help open up a whole new world of amazing recipes.
If you're keen to enjoy the full sous-vide and vacuum-sealing benefits of the FoodSaver range, all our products can be found in our online shop.