How do professional chefs consistently recreate great food with such confidence? They use an industry art perfected in the finest restaurants called sous vide, and you can easily try it in your kitchen.
Sous vide simply means “cooking under vacuum” in French. How it works is that the food to be prepared is vacuum-sealed in a reusable container, then immersed into a “water bath” until done to the correct temperature. Cooking sous vide is a slower preparation method, making it ideal for fish, vegetables and tougher cuts of meat. You’ll use less oil, fat, and salt and the food will retain more nutrients for a healthier lifestyle.
You don’t need much in the way of equipment and can start with immersible ziplock freezer bags, mason jars or silicone cooking pouches and a pot to hold the water. But you’ll get more uniform results with a standalone immersion circulator designed for home chefs, such as the Anova Precision Cooker. It clamps onto the side of any pot to circulate the water and regulate the temperature. There are countertop appliances approximately the size of a microwave also include the water bath or water oven. Some home chefs get their own vacuum sealing system, such as the Miele vacuum drawer, to get the air out of each seal for longer-lasting freshness.
While there’s nothing new about submerging a sealed packet of food into water, sous vide techniques allow you to cook, freeze and reheat food with the ease of a master chef.