Sous Vide (which translates from French to “under vacuum”) is a method of cooking food that has been vacuum sealed in a ‘water oven’. It uses the even heat of the water to cook food thoroughly and easily, without a whole lot of effort. While once upon a time, this would have only been a stovetop operation, Breville has release its own Sous Vide slow cooker, which makes the process a lot easier and safer.
Because each serve of something like steak or fish is sealed in its own bag, with its own seasoning, and without any juices escaping, the full, natural flavours are retained. The cooking process is not immediate – depending on weight, it may take around 2 hours to cook a steak. So, Sous Vide cooking places a much greater emphasis on the flavours, rather than speed.
One of the best things about it is the sheer control you have over how a piece of food is cooked. Temperature control is precise, consistent and easy to set. According to the time and temperature selected, a steak can be cooked rare, medium or well done, with a lot less margin for error than cooking on a grill. Plus, it won’t overcook either!
To get started, you’ll need the Sous Vide, plus a vacuum sealer (like the Breville Fresh Keeper) to seal ingredients in vacuum bags. Plenty of butchers charge a fortune for marinated meats in vac-packs, but having a sealer means all that can be done at home, at a fraction of the cost!
Obviously, the Sous Vide has a lot in common with the traditional slow cooker – they’re both about advance meal planning, and making dinner a lot easier. Plus, they’re both about less washing up. After a Sous Vide meal, all that’s left to clean are the plates. The vacuum seal bags are disposable, and there are no pots and pans to speak of!
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