So, you’ve already tried to make grilled food and barbeque, stir fry technique, as well as just roasting, cooking and so on. But your protein dishes usually turn out either half-raw or overcooked? This simple method will let you enjoy perfectly cooked meat every time.
What is Sous Vide Technique?
Sous Vide method, which translates from French as «in vacuum», is a way of cooking that has been known even since VIII century. But this technique became popular in the majority of high-class restaurants only in 1970-80-s when plastic became widely used. Later it started being used in catering, hotel kitchens, companies that produce food for airplanes, and now has finally reached our kitchens.
Sous Vide helps flawlessly cook any products from meat to fish, from pastry cream to cakes. Don’t worry, you won’t need any complicated gadgets to make a vacuum: you will easily make air-free area with your own hands.
How to Cook According to Sous Vide Technique?
You will need Sous Vide cooker, pot with water, vacuum sealer and binder. Also make sure the electricity is working, and get yourself clocks or watches to keep track of time.
To make chicken breast, fill the pot with water, attach Sous Vide cooker to the pot with the help of clips and set the water heating temperature on the cooker to 149°F.
Next, season the chicken breast with salt and pepper, add seasoning or greens of your choice, and put it all in a plastic bag with vacuum sealer. As the chicken should be completely doused in water, let as much air out as you can from the bag before sealing. It’s better to use special vacuum sealer for sous vide for sealing products in the bags. Here you can learn detailed information on the best vacuum sealers for souse vide, including comparative table, reviews of the best models and buyer’s guide.
As soon as the display on Sous Vide cooker shows the desired temperature, put the bag in the pot, attaching it to the side of the pot with binder. Make sure that the chicken is fully covered with water.
If the meat stays partially above water, squeeze more air from the bag. You can open the bag just a little bit and let the air out by hands, or suck it out with the help of cocktail straw. I’d like to note that using vacuum sealer for sous vide will spare you from such problems.
When the chicken will be buried under the water, note the time or set the timer, and do anything else you need in the meanwhile.
In just an hour (or two, if the chicken was frozen) you will be able to treat yourself to an amazing, not very hot (149°F), luscious and flavored meat. It will be so tender, that you will be able to “cut” it with fork, and it will be soaked with the flavors of all the greens and seasoning that you put in the bag. If you think the chicken is undercooked, just let it stay in the water at 149°F for 10-15 more minutes.
New York Strip Steak
To make New York strip steak, set the device to 130°F and leave meat in the water for 1 hour. I usually season meat with just salt and pepper, so as not to spoil the taste. After that you can complete your cooking by quickly roasting meat on the skillet with a drop of vegetable oil or butter. But it is not necessary and is only done to make the meat look more appetizing.
To make salmon, season it with sea salt, add fresh or dried dill, sprinkle with lemon juice, put it in the bag and cook for 45 minutes in 115°F water.Don’t remove the skin: it will make removing the fish from the bag easier. Skin will make it slide from the bag right to your plate.
Barbeque ribs can also be cooked with sous vide technique. Rub or grease them with barbeque sauce, put in the bag and cook for about 12 hours in 165°F water. Add more water to the pot from time to time so that the ribs stay covered with fluid. In the end, the meat will turn out so tender, that it will debone by itself.
This method is also great for preparing amazing caramelized carrot: put carrot, butter, sugar and salt in the bag and cook for an hour in 183°F water. By the way, this time and temperature setting is relevant for cooking any vegetables.
Can You Overcook Dish with Sous Vide?
It is really hard to overcook dish with sous vide technique. On the grill or in the oven food gets cooked really quickly at high temperature. Left unattended, the dish will instantly get heated to the temperature of the heat source and get spoiled. As for sous vide technique, the product can’t heat more than the temperature of the water it stays in. And the water temperature is controlled by the device, that doesn’t allow it do get overheated.
The only note is: don’t leave the food in the water for too long. In, let’s say, 6 hours your steak or chicken will turn into a mess. But overcooking them for 2-3 hours is still okay. It definitely won’t be okay with the grill!
Advantages of Cooking with Sous Vide Technique
- Cooking becomes easier. You can put several bags in one pot, adding different seasoning into each of them. Just put the bags in the water, set up the timer, and forget about them while cooking other dishes.
- The device is more than worth spending money for. The majority of cooking techniques make meat lose volume due to the loss of moisture. Sous vide technique helps preserve all the juices in the meat.
- You have more opportunities to control the cooking process. Setting up the correct water temperature, you can get a steak of your favorite degree of doneness and tenderness level.
No need to wash a “mountain” of dishes. Sous-vide device always stays in the hot water, so you can just rinse it. The food is made in the o