Get Started With Sous Vide Cooking

Introduction

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Employing a new cooking technique in the kitchen when one wants to impress family members or a significant other with their culinary skills may turn out to be a big disaster on any given day.  How does one even begin with a Sous Vide cooker?  Fortunately, this technique can be easily mastered and broken down into four simple stages.

 

Getting Started with Sous Vide

But before delving into the steps in cooking Sous Vide style, one must prepare the appliance properly.  A Sous Vide precision cooker needs to be placed into a water bath or pot of water and calibrated to the right temperature depending on the food type being cooked.  The food is then placed in a sealed bag and clipped to the side of the pot of water and immersed in the water bath.  A few minutes or hours later, the cooked food’s outer layer is finished in a pan, grill or oven.  These are the basics to getting started with Sous Vide.

Step 1:  Prepare the food.  Some frozen food needs to be thawed, others seasoned or marinated, scales or shells removed, and washed.  Depending on the selected food item, one needs to prepare it pretty much the conventional way.

Step 2:  Pack the food in sealed bags.  Vacuum-packing the food item ensures that it absorbs all the flavors, oils and aromas naturally present in the food.  There is no need to purchase a vacuum sealer to be able to do this step.  Re-sealable bags or jars as well as silicone bags or canning jars can also be great packing alternatives.

Step 3:  Cook the food at the exact temperature and time.  Some Sous Vide machines come with a time and temperature table guide that is a handy reference when cooking different types of food items like shellfish, meat, vegetables or poultry.  Follow the precise temperature and time settings in order to achieve the desired results every time, or experiment for a variety of doneness.

Step 4:  Finish cooking by perfecting the outside part of food.   This is done through quick pan-searing or a brief grilling in the oven.   The last step ensures the restaurant-worthy appearance of the food and further locks in the flavors.

Tips for Better Cooking with Sous Vide

To optimize the Sous Vide cooking technique, one needs to keep in mind some tips while in the kitchen.  First, remember that this technique requires longer amounts of time for the food to thoroughly cook.  Plan the meal ahead or set aside half-a-day or a weekend.  Next, even though Sous Vide precision cookers are built-in with timers, remember to be in the kitchen before the set time is up to avoid overcooking the food.  Third, add as much aromatic herbs and spices when preparing the food and just before cooking it in the Sous Vide machine. This will enhance more of the desired taste and flavor.  Finally, experiment with the finishing stage by trying other cooking methods like deep frying instead of searing or grilling.  There is no limit to how many ways food can be presented.

Conclusion

The Sous Vide is probably one of the most unique ways in culinary techniques.  It may be a non-conventional, more precise way of cooking, but it surely beats fast food in nutrition and appeal.  Using the Sous Vide method as described above can be an easy and enjoyable cooking experience.




Gary McCaffrey

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