Everything You Need To Know About Sous Vide!
What is sous vide?
Sous vide is a long-practiced method of cooking food in which the food is sealed in a bag, and then submerged in a water bath. The idea of cooking in this way is that you will be able to control the temperature of the food within the bag to a very specific degree. Therefore, you can remove the food when it reaches a certain temperature, ensuring the same finish every single time.
For an awfully long time, this process was only available to professional cooks, as a home cook simply wouldn’t have the technology required to make this process possible. However, in recent years, a number of home technologies have been released that make doing sous vide at home perfectly accessible, and people have leaped onto the bandwagon.
The main reason that sous vide has become so popular is that it produces results that are completely impossible to achieve through any other means. It makes it extremely easy, for example, to produce meat that you would be all too happy to cut with a fork.
What makes sous vide better than other methods of cooking?
To answer this question, we need to explain why alternative methods are often lacking.
When cooking a large piece of food such as a steak or a lamb chop in a pan, it can be very difficult to get the results you want. Especially considering that you might want to do that consistently, for example, if you were making several iterations of the same dish for several guests.
Cooking in a pan combines precise temperature control and circulation to allow you to create extremely repeatable results. Where you might get food that was overcooked on the outside and undercooked on the inside when using a pan, the sous vide method will always produce food that is evenly cooked throughout.
Beyond this basic level, there are a couple of additional benefits that make sous vide really wonderful.
Firstly, the taste attracts a lot of people. No matter what you’re cooking, it will be sealed in an airtight bag before the cooking process. This means that it cooks in its own juices, leading to a delicious, tender, and moist result.
Food cooked in its own juices in this way also helps to reduce food waste overall. Cooking a steak traditionally will result in it losing roughly forty percent of its volume as it dries out. If a steak is cooked using sous vide, it will lose none of its volume.
Finally, we get to the number one reason that people adore sous vide – convenience. When you’re trying to learn a new thing in the kitchen, there’s normally a barrage of new skills to learn at every step. This could be new knife skills or seasoning blends, or, in the case of making a steak, new pan skills. If you’re cooking sous vide, however, it will always be easy. So easy, in fact, that you could walk away from the pan to go and focus on a side dish – it can’t get much easier than that!
How to cook a steak with the sous vide method
Cooking steak with the sous vide method is a really simple, easy way to get the perfect steak every time. We’re going to give you a quick guide to making amazing sous vide steak!
Firstly, you’ll need to preheat your sous vide water bath to the desired temperature. We’d recommend 133˚F or 56˚C – this will result in a medium-rare steak, which is our favorite way to cook steak.
While the water bath is preheating, you can season your steak. We’d recommend salt and pepper – just gently massage the spices into the steak, and then slip it into the sous vide bag.
Once the steak is in the bag, add in some olive oil and fresh herbs. As the steak cooks and the surrounding oil and herbs get hot, they will impart their lovely flavors. Go for whatever your favorite herbs are! We’d recommend using 1 bay leaf, and a sprig of rosemary.
Once the steak is in the bag, place the bag in the preheated water with the top hanging over the edge of the pot. Make sure you leave the top of the bag open so that air can escape, and clip the bag to the side of the pot to hold it in place. A steak that’s roughly an inch thick will be ready to eat in an hour.
This final step isn’t necessary, but it’s recommended. Heat skillet with some herbs and butter. Once the butter has stopped bubbling, place the steak from the bag onto the skillet. The point of this step is to let every side of the steak catch some color so that you get a nice, tasty crust. If you don’t want this, then simply skip this step!
Hope this helps.