If you have watched any kind of cooking show on television recently, you will have heard both professional and amateur cooks talking about the sous vide technique. Sous vide cooking is where you cook food by immersing it in water that is maintained at a constant pressure for an extended period of time.
The benefits of the sous vide cooking technique is that you are effectively poaching the food in a carefully controlled environment – locking in flavor, moisture, and tenderness – as the food is sealed in a plastic bag to avoid any direct contact between the food and the water.
If you have the right equipment the sous vide cooking technique is almost foolproof because you don’t need to monitor the food while it is cooking. Sous vide cooking equipment ensures that the water is maintained at the required temperature for the required length of time. Specialist sous vide equipment also ensures that the food that you are cooking remains completely submerged in the water during the cooking period – this is essential for getting consistent results.
There are lots of different types of sous vide cooking equipment on the market so finding the right equipment for you depends really on what type of cooking you are going to be doing – if you are working in a restaurant or the catering industry then you will need something more robust and larger than if you are simply looking to incorporate this technique into your home cooking.
If you are cooking for a small number of people, such as your family, you can replicate the sous vide cooking method by using a piece of equipment called the immersion circulator. The immersion circulator clips to the side of a pot and heats the water and circulates it. However if you cooking larger quantities then you will a professional water bath that comes equipped with the water heater and circulator.
You could achieve the same results as sous vide cooking even if you don’t have either a domestic or professional version of the sous vide equipment but it would be much harder as it would require constant vigilance to maintain the temperature and water circulation.
Are you ready to add the sous vide cooking technique to your repertoire?