The severe drought in California continues with no sign of abating. Water shortage is a difficult thing to go through, I’ve experienced it and it’s tough. Cooking a delicious meal for your family suddenly becomes much more challenging. We often take our water for granted and we assume that the taps will always flow.
But once you become conscious of how much water we use in the kitchen, you suddenly realise that wow, I need to find better ways of cooking that won’t require a pool load of water.
So how can you cook delicious meals for your family whilst saving water? Sous vide!
At this point you are probably thinking, “Wait a minute here. Sous vide cooks the food in a water bath! So how can you be saving water?”
VERY LITTLE WATER LOSS WITH SOUS VIDE
As long as you cover your water bath, you will actually lose very little water when you cook. Check out our post on the cheapest and most effective way to cover your water bath. We always make sure to cover our water bath when we sous vide. Not only does this help to prevent water from evaporating off, it also cooks the food more efficiently as less heat is lost to the environment. If you cooking sous vide for 1 or 2 hours, you will find water lose to be very minimal.
REUSE YOUR WATER BATH
Another reason why sous vide is good for saving water is that the water in the water bath is reusable! You don’t need to throw it out as long as you don’t foul up the water. So unless you have a accidental puncture in your vacuum-sealed bag, there’s really no reason why your water would need changing. Just make sure you keep the water bath covered between use so that nothing else goes into your water bath!
SOUS VIDE COOKING REQUIRES VERY LITTLE CLEAN UP
Even when you do a simple stir-fry, there’s definitely going to be a fair bit of washing and cleaning up. Don’t even talk about grilling, barbecuing or deep-frying, these cooking methods require massive amounts of water to clean up.
The beauty of sous vide is that you can get away with very little clean-up. Try our simple salmon or teriyaki chicken recipes. You’ll find that they taste great and clean up will be minimal. And if you are happy to skip the step of the final sear, your clean up is even easier! The final sear provides more aesthetic value than anything else and doesn’t really change the flavor profile of the food by a lot so this is a step you can easily skip if you want to conserve water even more.
With sous vide, the bag that you use to marinate and season your food is the same bag you use to cook your food. You save one step in the process and eliminate one level of clean up! In fact, if you were absolutely serious about conserving water, you could even serve your food in the very same bag! Just cut off the tops of the bag and you are good to go!
Let’s face it, when it comes to food, variety is the spice of life. We humans would prefer to have different flavors and seasonings in our meals. With sous vide you could cook teriyaki chicken in 1 bag and piri piri chicken in another bag and cook both AT THE SAME TIME! You certainly can’t do this in your wok, you’d have to wash and clean up the wok before you could cook the 2nd item.
We are well aware that sous vide isn’t the ONLY answer for drought conscious cooking. Our intention here is to give you an additional method of water conscious cooking that you may not have considered before. Steaming, poaching, or boiling stews and soups are other possible ways of cooking that minimise water use.
Here’s hoping that the rains will come soon and bring an end to this nasty drought. In the meantime, we hope you and your family enjoy your sous vide creations!
So sous vide soon and bon appétit!