Once just for pro chefs, sous vide cooking at home gives you flavorful food with the ultimate in consistant cooking.
Two of my small appliance musts are my Instant Pot and Air Fryer. Unlike my spiralizer and pasta machine which collect dust in a far corner of the kitchen I use both my IP and Air Fryer at least a few times a week. Enter the sous vide machine, the newest small appliance in my collection. Will it remain dust free? We shall see! So far I love it.
You might have seen the term “sous vide” (pronounced “sue veed” although some just say “soo vee”) on restaurant menus in usually fancier restaurants but lately even more down-to-earth places. Even Starbucks now has sous vide egg bites! It means “under vacuum” in French and chefs love this cooking method because it locks in flavor and helps retain the bulk of the food (meat for example dries out and loses volume) but more importantly offers very precise temperature control and therefore consistency.
This method has you put your food into a plastic bag, vacuum seal it and then cook it in a low-temp water bath for a longer time than usual, basically “low and slow”. You get more even and controlled cooking with more moisture retention. The “cryovacking” concentrates flavors, too, so you can add herbs and marinades to meat for example and it infuses throughout. Vegetables are fully cooked, but still a bit crisp to the bite. Sous vide eggs are delicious and have a wonderful creaming texture to the yolk.
It used to be that these sous vide machines were very expensive and only big time chefs had them but now you can get a machine for under $200 for home use.
I got the Joule Sous Vide which is one of the smallest. I can use an app to see if my food is done and it connects via Bluetooth or WiFi. ( $199). All you need is a pot, a zip-lock bag and a phone to use it. It also works with Alexa for voice commands. My first foray was to make a steak while my husband was away since he’s a vegetarian. I seasoned it with salt and pepper and added fresh rosemary and shallots all in the zip-lock bag. Seal it up (you can also vacuum pack with another machine) and cook. I cooked mine to medium rare at 129 degrees F. for two hours. Here’s the very nerdy guide I used. Since you can’t brown meats using this method, I finished the steak off in my cast iron pan just to sear it up. The meat was incredibly delicious, perfectly cooked and tender and the bag had all of the tasty juices. I made rainbow baby carrots with honey and plenty of butter as well. Also so delicious. The vibrant flavor of the carrots was kept as was the color.
I also like this Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker with WI-FI and Bluetooth which is now just $129 at 35% off. It also can be controlled remotely with smart devices, allowing you to escape from the kitchen while you cook. It notifies you when your food is done. Their app has more than 1,000 recipes. This book, My Joule Sous Vide Cookbook: 101 Delicious Recipes With Illustrated Instructions For The ChefSteps Joule Immersion Circulator is great, too.
Some accessories to consider are a container and a special lid, but it’s not necessary. And if you do want to get extra flavor, this kit with bags and pump is just $26 or go a bit more high tech with the automatic NutriChef vacuum sealer now 40% off at just $60. It’s also great for preserving and freezing food. You don’t necessarily need the vacuum sealer but it works better if you’re cooking for longer periods.
RForrest is a big consumer of all the latest gadgets and cool gimcracks and doodads that help make her life easier,and hopefully yours, too.
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