Sous Vide introduction:
Or, how to cook meat to perfection every time. This site will show you the techniques behind Sous Vide, along with a list of recipes.
Sous Vide is French and means something like "under vacuum", and is pronounced su-veed
The technique behind Sous Vide is far from new, it was invented in 1799 by Sir Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford). But its relatively new to the modern private kitchen.
Slow cooked meat has been used for many years to produce tender and juicy meat. Basicly Sous Vide is doing the same, but under much more controlled circumstances. This enables the meats taste and juiciness to come to its fullest.
The Sous Vide technique makes it possible to get a uniform cooking level throughout the meat, and not like the traditional method, where a thick outer rim of the meat is overcooked, and only the center part is well done.
Before investing the money that a high end waterbath costs, its possible to try out Sous Vide with simple tools that is likely to be in your household.
Sous Vide in a beer cooler This is not real Sous Vide, but this technique will produce ok results, as long as its tender steaks thats used.
Sous Vide cooked:|
There are two main purposes behind Sous Vide.
1: Ensuring that the temperature of the meat does not increases the temperature set, and getting a uniform cooking level throughout the whole piece of meat.
This method does not require very long time, but can easily be 4-5 hours. Its often used for the more tender steaks.
2: Ensuring that otherwise chewy and tough peaces of meat, like brisket, is cooked to perfection. This method requires more time, often up to 72 hours. Meat cooked in excess of 72 hours can be a little like liver in texture, this is not favoured by all people.
What you need:
It is possible to get started relatively cheap with Sous Vide. A set up with a UT200 thermostat and a ricecooker, it is possible to make really good results.
This set up will not produce a totally stable heat curve, but for the most part acceptable. My first set up was this type, and it made both brisket and roast beef to perfection.
The optimal set up is a real waterbath with a PID controller. There are many on the market, and they wary in price and quality.
The advantage by this solution is that it is all packed in a box, and its only to connect it to the wall socket and setting the temperature, and you are set to go.
For the serious Sous Vide cook, a vacuum sealer and special vacuum bags is a must. The vacuum sealer packs the meat in a tough plastic bag under vacuum, so that the meat get optimal contact with the water in the waterbath.
It is possible to use freezer bags, where you suck the air out and then ties a knot on the bag. But these bags are not very thick and break easily, also they might not be rated safe for the intended temperature, so please make sure to check what temperature these bags can withstand.
Sous Vide and power consumption:
With a waterbath it is natural to think power consumption. A good quality waterbath does not use a lot of power, as one might think!.
Personal done tests where the temperature was 58,5 degrees and over a time spann of 12 hours, my own waterbath used 1,0 kwh. This amount does not seem as much when considering the improvement of quality in the meat, that sous vide ensures.
The most important part of a energy efficient waterbath is making sure that the lid is on all the time.
why this site ?:
This site is ment as a quick and easy introduction to Sous Vide, equipment, techniques and actual recipes.
For a more in depths article, please make sure to check out Guide to Sous Vide Cooking