Sous vide. Just the words themselves seem intimidating. Like the only people capable of doing it are highly trained chefs in french kitchens. However, sous vide is simpler than it seems.
It’s also a great technique to keep in your back pocket that’s super impressive but doesn’t add any more work for you. Better yet, you’ll have some energy savings as opposed to a slow cooker or pressure cooker, and you’ll run no risk of overcooking your meal.
So, what is sous vide cooking? Read on to find out more.
What is Sous Vide Cooking and What Equipment Do You Need?
Sous vide cooking is the process of vacuum sealing your food and cooking it in a water bath that’s held at a specific temperature until the food matches the temperature. Simply put, it’s a food bath.
What is the benefit? Because your food is kept at that specific temperature it will never go beyond that temperature. So, no more overcooked meats. Forever moist and juicy chicken breast, perfectly medium-rare steaks, juicy succulent pork chops.
You can include all different kinds of marinades, herbs, spices, and other seasonings in the vacuum bag itself. Then you can let the sous vide machine run as long as you need it to. Whether your food is in there for 4 hours or 24 hours it will remain perfectly cooked.
If you’re brand new to sous vide cooking, check out the best sous vide cooker starter kit here.
How Much Energy Does the Sous Vide Machine Use?
This question really depends on the type of machine you are using. The most energy-efficient sous vide machines will be a sous vide with a lid and not an open bath. This will also ensure less evaporation of your water as the cooking time elapses.
To get even more efficient use of your power you can place the whole rig into a cooler. This will allow the temperature to remain more consistent so the machine doesn’t have to work as hard. Think of it as shutting all the windows when you’re running the air conditioning.
By containing your unit you’ll get a faster cook and use less energy. Depending on your cook time and the price of power where you live you’ll determine your power cost. A typical Sous Vide immersion cooker will work at full power of 1000 Watts for 20 minutes to bring the water to cooking temperature, but only use around 100 Watts or less to maintain the cooking temperature. If you are preparing a medium-rare steak (about a 2 hour cook time), you can expect to consume 0.53 Kilowatt hours of energy (0.33kWh to heat the water and 0.20 kWh maintain temperature). This would cost about $0.08 at a rate of 15 cent per kWh.
This output matches a typical oven set to 350° but the sous vide isn’t going to heat up your whole house or create a fire hazard.
Are You Ready to Sous Vide?
We hope we have shown you that sous vide cooking is more simple than you may have thought. What is sous vide cooking? The best kind of cooking in our opinion.
Are you ready to sous vide? Check out our top sous vide picks here.