When cooking sous vide, you have complete control no matter what type of food. You won’t need to reach for the meat thermometer, cut, or poke the dish to make sure it’s done how you like. Another benefit to this style of cooking is having the ability to leave your dish quietly cooking in the kitchen while you continue your day. It’ll be cooked to perfection, even if you aren’t watching it the entire time.
Sous vide cooking might sound difficult, like something only impressive chefs can pull off. But we’re here to tell you that is not the case — you, too, can master sous vide cooking in your own kitchen.
“Do some research into the way to cook via the sous vide method — it isn’t for everyone. Search for recipes using this method to see if there are meals you actually want to eat,” says James Hines, co-owner of CookShop Plus West Hartford, based in West Hartford, CT.
Once you’re ready to get moving, Hines says you’ll need the essentials: A sous vide machine and a deep pot. The pot should be large enough to hold the machine. You also might need some clips (if you don’t have a lid) to help keep your food in the water.
Hines recommends a few other accessories once you’ve started experimenting with different recipes. Including large, clear food containers. The clear tubes will help you see what you’re cooking and give you the volume you need to make larger/more food. “They resist heat very well but it’s surprisingly lightweight. You can find this in any restaurant supply store,” he says. Hines also notes a culinary torch is a must-have, as well as a vacuum sealer to ensure your food is sealed enough to trap the juices and the flavor. “If you’re looking to buy one, we recommend FoodSaver. They have a great reputation for quality machines for the price,” says Hines.
The culinary torch is necessary to help finish sous vide meat. Since you’re slow cooking meat in its own juices, the meat may look discolored when it’s done. You can finish your meat by searing it in a pan or with a torch, as Hines recommended. Whichever method you choose, you must dry the meat first by thoroughly patting it with a towel. If you don’t, it will take longer to sear and there’s a chance your meat will cook more. Searing the meat with a torch also gives the meat a nice, complex flavor, more texture and overall a better look.
Another tip to help you start your sous vide journey is being flexible. As you start to look through recipes, you’ll notice they often include a “window of time,” or a recommendation for the least and most amount of time you should leave the dish in water. The more you practice, the sooner you’ll know how long it takes to cook the way you prefer.
Hines had one last piece of advice for those new to sous vide. “The number one rule for sous vide — put your fears aside. It’s not as difficult as you think — have fun.”
Now you have the tools, tips, and tricks, we’ve included two recipes to welcome you to the sous vide world.
Good news for anyone hosting Sunday brunch — these eggs are cooked in their shells, so you can make many at once.
When you’re ready, place the machine in the pot and set the desired temperature. Neighborhood Food Blog’s recipe cooks the eggs at 167 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the water heats up, use a slotted spoon to add the eggs.
Wait 12 to 18 minutes depending on the machine and size of the pot. Remove the eggs and put them immediately in an ice bath until they’re cool enough to handle.
Serve these poached eggs with toasted bread or English muffins, hollandaise sauce, and Canadian bacon for an eggs benedict that’ll wow your bougie brunch friends.
Buying an expensive piece of steak and realizing you overcooked it might be one of the most annoying things that can happen. Sous vide cooking eliminates that option altogether. “I buy a nice big piece of steak, I really don’t want to ruin it by being distracted by the grill-side, so the sous vide becomes my best friend,” says Hines.
Serious Eats shared a guide for cooking perfect sous vide steak. Start off by seasoning the meat with salt, pepper, maybe some rosemary or thyme before putting it in the bag. Then once the meat is cooked to your liking, make sear the meat for added flavor and texture! Plus, the sear marks add those appetizing lines to the meat.
Be sure to add your favorite sides for steak — a more traditional route would be potatoes and greens like broccoli. But if you’re looking to spice it up, try using couscous as your starch and cut up and sauteed zucchini.