When it comes to cooking, consistency is hard to achieve, be it in your home kitchen setting or professional chef life.
This inconsistency can vary in form of cooking temperature, the difference in length of cooking time among other things. However, the inconsistency in the kitchen can be solved with ease, thanks to sous vide.
Sous vide pronounced sooveed is a simple cooking technique that has been revolutionizing professional cooking and home kitchens for long. It allows you to cook any meal perfectly, every time.
Sous vide is a French word that translates to under vacuum. This means that you vacuum pack all your food prior to cooking in a water bath to lock in all its flavors and nutrients.
You will then need to heat the water bath to an exact temperature and cook in it for the right amount of time to achieve the desired doneness.Take note that the temperature that you cook your food with, depends on the dish as well as personal taste.
Nonetheless, it is the perfect way to minimize stress, which comes with cooking great dishes and improving food flavor.You just have to ensure that you are well acquainted with commercial sou vide cooking equipment options, before opting for one for your everyday cooking.
Apart from consistency when it comes to cooking, sous vide cooking technique is healthy with loads of benefits to your body.
Do you want to try out sous vide for the first time? Here are some tips on how to do it right.
- Always cover the water bath with a lid designed for it, a cutout for sous vide electronics or a plastic stretch wrap. This is because warm water evaporates, as it circulates through the tank of water, collecting on the electronics of sous vide machine thus reducing the depth of the bath. This can result in damages of the unit if the water evaporates below the circulator motor or heating coils.
Therefore, covering it with a plastic wrap returns the condensate to bath, preventing evaporation. It is also advisable to hold heat in the water bath, especially for extended sous vide cooking.
- Ensure that the vacuum seal is tight, no air gaps between the food being cooked and the plastic bag. Air gaps are often as a result of uneven cooking. Therefore, the bag should be in direct contact with the food.
- During sous vide, you should carefully select the seasoning and herbs that you are going to use in the vacuum bag. This is because certain herbs can overpower the flavor and make the taste sour if left for long in the bag with other food and vegetables.
For example, garlic and black pepper pre-seared with meat, cumin, and other strong herbs and spices will likely intensify the flavor in the bag. Freshherbs like thyme, garlic, and onion can change the taste of your food, thus making the flavor different.
Take note that dried herbs are ideal for cooking with this technique as opposed to the fresh ones. Also, be careful with seasoning during sous vide, especially if they are too many and strong.
- Do not over vacuum for soft and fleshy food. Good examples include salmon and haddock when you vacuum seal the bag their flesh compresses. This can leave you with fish cakes and not flaky fish.
Nonetheless, some vacuum sealers have a gentle cycle. Alternatively, you can turn off the vacuum manually and seal the bag once it has closed against the fish flesh, but make sure you do it before it compresses it.
- Before sealing the vacuum bag, put it in a freezer for about 5-10 minutes, to set the juices and allow for better control when using your vacuum sealer. This is because most of these vacuum seal systems tend to draw air and moisture out of the bag. The moisture is likely to prevent a proper seal.
Alternatively, you can use a vacuum sealer with marinade setting or moisture control, for easier work as it draws out the air gently.
- For the advanced in sous vide, you can use two temperature settings. For instance, if you are cooking pork, beef, lamb or bison, cook it at 120°F for 8 hours, before raising the temperature to the desired level for the rest of the cooking.
The lower initial temperature is supposed to break down the connective tissues better. This is unlikely to happen when you cook at a constant temperature throughout.
Conclusively, sous vide success is not hard if you follow some top tips on how to go about it. Therefore, make use of the above tips, and always be on the lookout for more.