20 reasons why we’re obsessed with Sous Vide
The advantages of cooking sous vide.
What started in restaurants as a technical trend, has now become a culinary technique that is here to stay....because of all these benefits
Cuts out errors and makes you a confident cook
Could you really cook everything perfectly, consistently every time, all by yourself – can you depend on that ? Sous vide virtually guarantees perfectly and evenly cooked food every time.
Even a beginner can use the sous vide machine to cook the trickiest parts of a meal consistently and precisely like an expert chef !
Improves the quality of the food cooked
It enhances and preserves the natural flavours and aromas, so it feels like the flavours are more intense from sous vide cooking
It retains colours ( not always a benefit when its raw meat mind you !) which is specially useful for food presentation especially for brighter fruit and vegetables.
NO messy kitchen
There is less cooking on the stove or in the oven, so first of all, fewer containers mean less mess.
You don’t have any mixed up food or smoke smells or stains to deal with either ( and that also means definitely no smoke alarm going off !)
It frees up the traditional cooking space too, so you can use it to do other things… so you can leave your kitchen looking nice and neat !
it’s intensely practical. You can just store and regenerate any leftovers. Just vacuum seal and freeze either prepped or leftover cooked food. It can then be easily cooked or ‘regenerated’ in the sous vide another time.
Traditional cooking tends to shrink food so it feels like portions are smaller. Sous vide cooking doesn’t shrink the food, so the portions feel bigger ! We find we now share a chicken breast if its cooked sous vide, rather than have one each when it is oven cooked, grilled or fried! So our meat goes further.
You can buy low cost cuts of meat and give them the long slow method of cooking guaranteeing the most tender of results.
As mentioned above, there is also less food shrinkage with sous vide cooking. With a minimum loss of humidity, weight and therefore size of the food, it feels like there is more food to go round !
Makes entertaining easier
You can pick a temperature and time that will cook your chosen food to the perfect point for you or your guests. Just think, you have a dinner party with 8 guests all wanting medium rare steaks. You can sous vide them all, at the same time, to exactly the same temperature. You could even take care of allergies or special requests by bagging them up separately with extra marinades or seasonings.
Because the cooking process is already perfected for you, you don’t have to spend time tending to it. As a result, you can spend your time on more interesting bits of the dinner like creating marinades, finishing and learning plating up skills with fancy sauces.
Gives you extra time
It does take longer to cook the food, but it’s mostly hands off cooking, so you can spend your time doing something better while it’s cooking.
If you are using a wifi system you can set the cooking off before you get home.
No need to worry about taking it out exactly at the ready time either. Once it reaches the cooked temperature, it just holds. You can leave it there probably for another hour or two. Our app tells us exactly how long the food is good to hold, depending on what we are cooking.
Healthier for you and your guests
Cuts down the stress of cooking, which is a big advantage.
It keeps the nutrients and vitamins in, rather than losing them when you cook or steam more traditionally, so your food is now much healthier for you.
You only need very little oil, fat or salt added to the raw food. You’ll probably use about the same oil for 4 steaks in a sous vide, as you would have done for one on the pan. I know what you’re thinking … that you still have to sear in a pan. However, there’s no need to coat the pan because you are only going to sear for a very short time.
Sous vide preserves the flavour and texture of the food. The meat is very tender and succulent, with all the juices kept either in the food or the bag.
The vacuum maximises the penetration of the marinades, herb and spices that you add. Consequently, the flavour gets intensified.
Makes you a more creative cook
You can experiment in small portions with marinades and sauces, herbs and spices without making too much mess.
At the moment, I’m enjoying experimenting with a 1 egg / 1 portion custard cooked in a jam jar. I want to see if I can replace the sugar with stevia or something more healthy than a half cup of castor sugar! I’m also interested in using the jars and want to explore different herbs and spices with vegetables and fruit.
It's a safer way to cook !
With sous vide, you have massively reduced any risk of fire in your kitchen. Just pop the vacuum pack into the sous vide container when you are out at work, or doing errands. It’s got everything under control so you don’t have to worry about the gas being on. You don’t have to be there at the precise moment it’s ready either, it will keep at the same constant temperature and not dry out or overcook. (See temperatures and times post for more considerations here.)
It's ideal for batch cooking
You can batch prepare meals for the whole week. Just vacuum seal your raw food all prepped with extra seasonings and freeze.
You can even batch cook in advance, freeze, then just regenerate ( check out our FAQs to see what we mean by that ) the food when you need it.
You can use Ziplock bags
You don’t need a vacuum sealer really to get started.
As long as you use BPA free plastic, ( a food grade, freezer type bag usually), there are also no known concerns over using plastic.
Yes, it's safe
You don’t need to worry about low temperature cooking not killing bacteria. It still kills bacteria through pasteurisation, caused by cooking in a vacuum seal for a long time.
As long as you use BPA free plastic, we believe there are also no known concerns.
When food is cooked sous vide it reaches a temperature where bacteria is eliminated, so it is safe for pregnant women to eat. Pregnant diners craving for the sous vide goodness don’t need to worry about ordering a wagyu beef cheek prepared this way, because it will be cooked through even though it’s texture is still soft.
So simple to use
It’s unbelievably simple to do. All you need is an immersion circulator wand, a pot of water and a ( BPA free) plastic bag for the food.
It really is something a beginner can do, especially with the visual aids and guides on the smartphone from Joule to take you step by step.
It's more efficient
The transfer of heat through water is eleven times more efficient than through air.
Makes you a more adventurous cook
You have the confidence that you can buy an expensive fish or cut of meat to play with, and know that you aren’t going to risk ruining it!
10 Restaurant operating benefits
- Precise and consistent cooking
- Time saving, by prepping meals in advance to free up time in busy periods.
- Better cost control, because the meals (product) shrink less, making portion control accurate.
- Less power consumed, compared to ovens.
- Keeps the chefs cool (literally). Less cooking by heat means that the ambient temperature of the kitchen (and any risk of fire !) is lower.
- Different dishes can be regenerated at the same time, without mixing up the flavours.
- Reduced cleaning times and less cooking equipment required.
- Brilliant for planning and organisation.
- Cuts down stress, which is a big advantage in an already stressful environment. For instance, it takes away any worry about food being undercooked.
- Improves menu planning.
this is only the beginning...
Sous Vide home cooking has only taken off in the last 5 years or so, and the technical benefits are just coming through now. By using the Joule, you just get the new developments over the internet so you keep on learning. As we own a Chefsteps Joule, today, they have just offered to send us a tip for the day, and will send us one every afternoon till we say stop! Now, that’s a beautiful thing !