If you’re new to sous vide cooking, you might be worried about the steps that you should take to do it right. Just about everyone experiences this when they’re first using sous vide to make delicious meals at home, but don’t worry, as you’ll get the hang of things before you know it.
Following a few simple tips, such as the five that are listed below, can help ensure you cook up your ingredients perfectly to make the most of this easy method.
- Start by Seasoning Your Ingredients
Before placing it into your bag, season the protein that you’re using. You could rub salt, pastes, and spices (examples include harissa paste, chili powder, black pepper, etc.) into your main ingredient. After that, you can put the protein into your bag and add in herbs like thyme, rosemary, or bay leaves, making sure they are on top, maintaining contact with the main ingredient you’re using. That way, once you vacuum seal the bag, all of those seasonings and herbs will be locked in place, and you can let your immersion circulator work by getting all of those flavors into your protein to make it taste just right when it’s ready to eat.
- Aim to Use Fresh Ingredients
The great thing about sous vide is that it can bring out the flavor of the ingredients that you’re using. This means that fresh ingredients will end up tasting really fresh, and they will be full of flavor—so why would you want to use ingredients that aren’t fresh? Instead, select the freshest ingredients possible, as this will only help make your sous vide meal even better. Also, while it’s okay to use small amounts of other natural ingredients, such as coconut oil, butter, or ghee, for additional flavor, just make sure you don’t overdo it. If there is too much liquid in the bag, it might prevent it from sealing properly.
- Know How to Arrange Your Ingredients in the Bag
Another thing to keep in mind when you start cooking the sous vide way: how you arrange the ingredients in the bag is important. It’s best to ensure you have your ingredients arranged in a single layer, but it’s also a great idea to ensure that they are cut to roughly the same thickness. This will help everything cook evenly, so it is worth putting in the extra bit of time and effort to get it right.
- Check the Seal, and Be Sure the Bag Remains Immersed at All Times
Using a high-quality vacuum sealer will help ensure every bag will be perfectly sealed, but be sure to read through the manufacturer’s instructions to get it right. The key is to make sure the bag doesn’t have any gaps before you immerse it for cooking. Always check that the seal is tight, and look for even the smallest spaces between the bag and the ingredients. Ensuring the seal is right will help all of your ingredients cook up just as they should, and it will also prevent air bubbles that would cause the bag to float to the top of the water during the cooking process. You want the bag to remain immersed the entire time.
- Use a High-Quality Immersion Circulator
Finally, even if you follow all of the tips above, your results might not be what you expect if you are using a lower quality immersion circulator. So, if you’re serious about giving sous vide a try and making it a regular part of your routine to cook up homemade meals, it’s worth investing in a high-quality sous vide machine that will be able to deliver restaurant quality results. Plus, today’s top sous vide immersion circulators help take the guesswork out of this cooking method, and they often come with recipes that you can try right away so you can dive right in even if you’ve never cooked sous vide before.
These five tips are a great starting point if you’re new to sous vide, or if you want to discover better ways of using this cooking method to easily put together tasty recipes, so keep them in mind the next time you’re using sous vide to make a meal for your family.