Sous vide (soo-veed), which means “under vacuum” in French, is a centuries-old process of vacuum-sealing food in bags, and placing in a water bath. However, you don’t need to vacuum seal your food to cook sous vide. Instead, this technique is really about bringing food to a precisely controlled temperature to deliver super-juicy, flavor-packed meats, veggies and eggs…without overcooking or undercooking any part of the food. It is somewhat similar to pressure-cooking, but without high heats. It produces the most perfectly poached fish and shellfish known to man. Some cooks choose to finish off meats, chops and fish under the broiler or on the stovetop, to give them a slight crisp or char.
Preparing foods in the sous-vide method can be very complex and traditionally only used in four star restaurants, where chefs like Grant Achatz and Thomas Keller confidently double as chemists.
Today, retailers have gotten on board, debuting gadgets for the home cook to try their hand at sous-vide. Electrolux recently acquired the wildly-popular $149 Kickstarter sous-vide cooker Anova Precision Cooker, which features bluetooth and WIFI capabilities to ensure the perfectly precise temperature circulation, with help from your smart device.
Here’s the slightly less smart and slightly more expensive Sansaire Sous Vide Machine, $199.
What does “perfectly cooked” sous vide beef look like?
I don’t know about you, but I’m intrigued. But conflicted: will this become another pricey kitchen gadget that will rest aside my bread machine and rice cooker, only to be utilized annually? Hmmm.
images via williams-sonoma, wikipedia, anova