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VIEWTutorials & Tips

An Introduction to Sous Vide Cooking

What is sous vide? 

“Sous vide” is a French term that literally means “under vacuum” and refers to a method of cooking where food is vacuum sealed and cooked in water heated to a precise temperature. 

A sous vide circulator was once thought to be an expensive appliance found only in commercial kitchens and restaurants, but that perception no longer stands true. 

Sous vide cooking has entered the home kitchen and is the perfect tool to help cook food freshly harvested from the field, farm or waterways. It’s a great way to cook tough cuts of meat that need a long time to cook, like short ribs or a venison roast. Fish and vegetables can also be perfectly cooked; since they’re sealed up during the cooking process, they retain their nutrients and flavors.   

Why sous vide?

Sous vide cooking provides consistent results every time as well as flexibility in timing and preparation for entertaining and serving a crowd. Most foods can remain in the water bath for hours without overcooking since the temperature is kept consistent. That means you can cook your food ahead of time and be ready to serve in just minutes with a quick finish on the grill, frying pan or a torch if you really want to wow your guests.  

How to cook using the sous vide method

There are 4 basic steps in sous vide cooking: Prep, package, cook and finish.

1) Prep: Set up your cooking vessel (this can be anything from a stockpot to a lexan container or even a cooler), clip the sous vide circulator to the side and add water at least above the minimum level indicated on the sous vide unit. Set your sous vide at the temperature and time you desire. Add oil to your bag (either a vacuum bag or a resealable plastic one), as well as herbs or garlic as desired and the protein or vegetable you are cooking. 

2) Package: Seal what you are cooking in the bag with a vacuum sealer or by hand if using a resealable bag. 

3) Cook: Once your water has reached the desired temperature, submerge your bag, ensuring that the food in the bag is completely under water. Double check the time and temperature settings (see below for some suggested times and temperatures).

4) Finish: Once your food is ready, remove it from the bag and pat dry with a paper towel.  You can finish it with a quick sear on the grill, in a cast iron skillet or with a torch to achieve a caramelized and crispy crust.

General cooking times for different types of meat and vegetables:

What are the benefits of the Weston Sous Vide Immersion Circulator?

Ready to start cooking sous vide? Pick up your own Weston Sous Vide Immersion Circulator here

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