Professional chefs have been vacuum packing and slow cooking their food for years, but now sous vide is starting to make its way into the kitchens of homes up and down the country, with circulators and water baths becoming the latest must-have gadget for any self-respecting foodie.
So why are they so great, and why should they be your next big purchase? Here are ten reasons why we feel every foodie needs a sous vide machine!
1. Sous Vide Cooked Food Tastes Great
Of course, the reason we love food so much is the taste, and sous vide allows to produce consistently delicious, flavoursome results, time after time.
When food is cooked using traditional methods, because it has to cook from the outside inwards, it’s near impossible to achieve a consistent level of ‘doneness’ right through, with the outer edges always ending up overcooked compared to the centre. With sous vide, you get that same juicy taste right the way through.
Another reason we traditionally cook food at such high temperatures is to break down things such as fibres, tendons and connective tissue, but this invariably leaves the meat dry and bland.
But with sous vide, you can hold the meat at the right temperature to tenderise it, without drying it out.
The vacuum packing process also helps to intensify the flavours, locking all the juices and flavours inside the bag during the cooking process.
2. The Precision Is Unbeatable
The ability to control the temperature of the food which you’re cooking with such precision has been the stuff of dreams of chefs for years.
Whether it’s steak, eggs or anything else, cooking can be like walking a tightrope at times, trying to hit that golden point where your ingredients aren’t under or overcooked.
The thing is, that even if you do nail the perfect meal, it’s difficult to repeat that success. But with sous vide, the precision control means that you’re guaranteed to get the same results time after time, all while ensuring your food is cooked to the level where any dangerous bacteria are killed off.
3. It Gets The Most Out Of Ingredients
While sous vide works with more or less any ingredient, it really comes into its own with lesser used cuts of meat which are traditionally considered to be of a lesser quality, such as those from the leg and neck.
These cuts are usually avoided because they work the muscles of the animal the most, making the proteins much tighter and the meat tougher.
But the sous vide process breaks down these tough proteins, turning them into flavour.
What’s more, making use of lesser known cuts will also work out a lot cheaper than spending lots of money on the prime cuts!
4. It’s Used by All The Top Chefs
If you need any proof that sous vide is a respected and effective method, you only need to look in the kitchen of any of the top chefs working in the world today.
Sous vide has been used in the kitchens of chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Raymond Blanc, and Heston Blumenthal, who has been a particularly big advocate of sous-vide.
In fact, even though you might not hear them making a big fuss about it, there are probably more chefs out there who do use sous vide than don’t.
If it’s good enough for them, then it’s good enough for you!
5. It ISN’T Boil In The Bag
A common misconception about sous vide is that it’s just a glorified version of ‘boil in the bag’ cooking, and we’re sure you’ve all had your fair share of bad experienced as far as that’s concerned!
In fact, chefs such as Gordon Ramsay have been lambasted for using ‘boil in the bag’ restaurants, when in fact, they were using sous vide, which is completely different.
While the food is cooked in a vacuum packed bag, this is where the similarities end, as the food isn’t brought to boiling temperature, and is instead cooked at a much lower temperature.
6. There’s A Whole Host Of Nutritional Benefits
No matter what it is you’re cooking, when you use high-temperature traditional methods such as frying and boiling, lots of essential nutrients are lost through charring or evaporation, and there’s no real way to stop this.
However, with sous vide, because the food is sealed in its vacuum packed bag, all of the nutrients and juices are locked in throughout the cooking process, meaning that food cooked sous vide actually ends up being a lot better for you.
7. It’s Becoming More Affordable
There’s a reason that sous vide has largely remained in the kitchens of the pros, and that’s that they simply weren’t affordable for home foodies, but that’s all beginning to change.
However, if you don’t wish to go all-out for a water bath, you can also pick up an immersion circulator for even less, starting at £99.99 for our ‘Twist’ circulator.
You’ll also need a vacuum sealer, although you can buy these as part of a package along with your water bath or circulator.
8. It’s Simple & Straightforward
Much of the beauty of sous vide comes in its simplicity. Once your ingredients are prepared and vacuum sealed in the bag, you simply leave them in the water bath or container for as long as is required, with no need to check back on them until they’re done.
This means that you can create restaurant-quality meals, with only a fraction of the training that top chefs require.
9. It’s Convenient
The fact that food cannot be overcooked when cooking sous vide saves you a lot of time, which is invaluable in a busy kitchen.
It frees you up to get on with other preparation tasks, meaning you can relax safe in the knowledge that your food isn’t going to overcook or burn.
This also means that once your food is done, you can simply leave it in the water bath or container, perhaps overnight, or so that it’s ready for when you get home from work.
10. It’ll Impress Your Guests
We all like to show off in the kitchen a little bit if we get the chance, and this is exactly what sous vide allows you to do!
It allows you to create restaurant quality food, while barely requiring any time in the kitchen, leaving you more time to spend with your guests.
You can simply do all the preparation before people turn up, pop it in the sous vide bath, then leave it alone, knowing that it won’t be overdone, leaving your guests pleasantly surprised when you pull out a tender, flavoursome meal, despite barely having to go and check on it!