You just see Sous Vide being used everywhere these days.
“Sous Vide” means under vacuum and it is defining a new style of cooking for the big public, this was an exclusive and fancy cooking style limited to expensive restaurants and now it reached all kinds of people that are doing sous vide cooking at home.
Some names can push people away, some of you may have heard this name before, but quickly became intimidated thinking it was some weird French cooking tradition. Funny thing is, this is not so far from the reality as sous vide is a French expression for “under vacuum” and the food might taste like a dish from a fancy restaurant! So yes, there are some good reasons for chefs from all over the world loving sous vide.
You can now hold your hats, cause we are in for a treat here. Sous vide is not your ordinary cooking, this is something special. Let’s understand a little bit more about this topic:
First of all, you don’t need special skills to use Sous vide equipment, they are fairly easy to use. You can start impressing your guests right on the next dinner, start with the name (this is fun!) You can start saying you did a chicken “Sous Vide” for them, what’s better with this technique is that it sounds really expensive, and tastes expensive, but it’s a simple way of cooking.
Sous vide cooking methods can be split into immersion circulators and sous vide ovens (or sous vide cookers) Both accomplish the same goal, to cook food at a much more consistent temperature. This is achieved by vacuum sealing your food before cooking and then cooking it on hot water, that process allows to retain more nutrients and to get more flavor from food in general.
Sous vide machines allow you to set your preferred temperature before cooking, you can even set it through an app on your phone, then you can let the sous vide machine do all the hard and hot work. When time is up, you will just find a perfectly cooked food waiting for you. It is that simple, like a microwave it’s “set and forget about it”.
Now you can understand why chefs love it! With sous vide while still cooking, they can also give their attention to other details such as dish-presentations, coordinating the team and the kitchen equipment.
Knowing the gear
So far sous vide have been a plain simple way of cooking, but to understand it a little more and why chefs love it, we also need to take a look at their equipment more carefully. The Best sous vide machines are designed with many features so that they can cook much more effectively. This equipment has created a breakthrough in the cooking world.
The importance of sous vide equipment
A Sous Vide machine cooks the food within the vacuum-sealed bag in a way that the nutrients do not break or get lost in the cooking process. As you can see this is not only about flavor enhancement, but it has a health concern behind it. The food within the bag is cooked in the absence of oxygen, potassium and other components that can cause harm to the body.
The History of Sous Vide
Sous vide cooking is an innovation process credited to a French Chef named Bruno Goussault, he is known as “the father of sous vide.”
Digging a little bit more we have found a different version of the story, that gives Colonel Ambrose McGuckian the props for discovering sous vide cooking to improve the food quality of a hospital while reducing costs, it reduced the number of dishes to wash while extending the life of quality food, with his method, food could be cooked and refrigerated for 60 days. The food also kept its flavor and volume.
Bruno Goussault crafted this process 50 years later and brought sous vide to the whole world through seminars at culinary schools.
Chefs love the fact that they don’t have to check the food all the time while it cooks, leaving them time to take care of other issues.
Another benefit of cooking sous-vide is, once your dish is finished, it can be held at serving temperature for quite a long time, without the risk of drying out or burning!
While it seems that Chefs are more concerned about presentation and taste on cooking contests and shows, in real life chefs also care about the nutritional elements of the food they’re preparing.
As a society, we are all so much more aware of the importance of good food and nutrition, we are a much more conscious society nowadays, and this reflects on chef’s work daily.
Balance and Heat
In our old-fashioned cooking methods with high-temperature, food just looses many important elements, such as antioxidants, water-soluble fats, a lot of that simply evaporates during the process. This is why sous vide cooked food tastes better and is better, with sous vide the nutrients are preserved to a new level, it’s all new to us, old mortals of cooking…
A very curious and fun fact about sous vide is that it seems to a lot of people, that the food is not well cooked when it comes out of a sous vide equipment, even though it is probably more cooked than the regular meat we eat, it just seems different than the meat made with the other methods.
Once the food comes out of the sous vide equipment, it’s a straight-forward process to finish a meat dish, for example, maybe you can use a blowtorch to create crispyness and aroma. All of that is part of what we call a dish from heaven when we eat it.
If you’re a professional chef and want to start implementing sous vide on your restaurant, start by learning more about what would be the best equipment for your goals and needs.