Quick History Lesson
You may have heard the word before, but quickly brushed it aside thinking its some fancy French thing. Well, technically it is (French for “under vacuum”). However, sous vide has a rather rich history dating back to the late 1700s when Sir Benjamin Thompson, a physicist and inventor who focused on thermodynamics, first described the sous vide cooking method in an essay. For those curious, his first sous vide meal was a mutton shoulder. It wasn’t until the 1960s that engineers resurfaced the theory and began adopting sous vide into Michelin-Star restaurants. Fast forward to today and extensive research has gone into understanding the cooking method including proper safety and pasteurization times. What was once exclusive to high-end restaurants is now introduced to the home cook at increasingly lower prices.
How it Works
There are two main types of sous vide cooking appliances – all-in-one sous vide machines and immersion circulators. Both methods serve a similar function, which is to cook food at a consistent and precise temperature throughout. This is done by vacuum sealing your food prior to cooking, and then immersing the packed food in temperature controlled hot water. Your food will then be cooked to the exact temperature you set on your sous vide machine.
Why Sous Vide?
You do not have to be a seasoned master chef to cook sous vide – in fact, the equipment and processes are incredibly easy. Cheap cuts of meat become juicy and tender, veggies become succulent while retaining more vitamins, and creamy desserts and perfect eggs become a breeze. Sous vide is a true “set it and forget it” cooking method, kind of like crock pots, but better. The reason sous vide is even easier than crockpots is because you can leave your food cooking longer if you’re distracted or busy and not worry about overcooking. That’s right, your food will NOT overcook whether you cook it for one hour or 24 hours; the length of time will simply determine its tenderness.
Sous Vide Infographic: Benefits
We compiled the major benefits for sous vide cooking in this fun infographic. Take a look and feel free to share!