We Tried Sous Vide Cooking for the First Time And Here Is What You Need to Know
Sous vide cooking has been a thing for a while, but I honestly had never heard of the term until this past Thanksgiving. One of the guests at my annual Friendsgiving reached out to ask if we could sous vide the turkey. I honestly thought it was an autocorrect, ’cause I had NO idea what he was talking about. I ended up googling it and telling him no, because it looked super complicated and I didn’t want to ruin my turkey.
Flash forward to the new year — and I’m seeing sous vide cooking all over my Pinterest feed. After reading numerous blogs I decided that I should take a stab at this type of cooking and see what it was all about. Believe me: I am no expert, but I decided to share my tips and tricks that I learned to help you get into the art of sous vide cooking. Follow along to learn how to make a basic steak, chicken, root veggie and fruit dish.
If you’re also like, “WTF is sous vide?!” no worries, I was you not too long ago. It’s pretty much a term for cooking food in a temperature-controlled water bath. It actually is amazing, and makes it basically impossible to undercook or overcook your food. What I love most about it is that you can set and forget. Place your meat or veggies in a vacuum-sealed bag, toss it into a water bath and then go on with the rest of your meal prep or household chores.
To get started, you’ll need the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker ($129). Now, it’s pricey, but just like a really good blender — it’s worth it. We decided to save money by purchasing the Ziploc Vacuum Starter Kit ($23), but if you’re planning to sous vide every night of 2017, you should think about getting a true vacuum sealer, like this CHULUX 2-in-2 Vacuum Sealer ($100).
Follow along with the infographic below to see the time and temperatures to cook each of the following dishes.
Now let’s get to some basic recipes for your sous vide meal.
Sage rosemary steak
Chop up the herbs and mix into the butter. Spread generously onto the steak.
Vacuum seal the meat into a bag. I enjoyed using the Ziploc bags, but note that they can only be used once.
Set your bath to your desired temperature and place your vacuum-sealed meat inside. Set your watch for a couple hours and then return to find perfectly cooked meat.
Place your meat on a really hot skillet to sear the top, bottom and edges. This will give your steak a crispy outside just like the grill.
And look at that! An even pink all the way through the steak. Honestly, it was delicious. I really don’t think I’d want my steak cooked any other way, but next time I might place my steak on the grill for a hot second to give it more of that charred crisp.
Lemon Parsley Chicken
Use the same steps as before for making the herb butter, then lather onto chicken and place in a vacuum-sealed bag. Follow instructions for the time and temperature you should set for the type of chicken you are looking to cook.
Sear the edges on a hot skillet, and you have perfectly even and juicy chicken.
Now this chicken was tasty, but wasn’t my favorite. Its texture is supposed to be *perfect,* but I am so used to eating drier chicken that this piece just tasted wrong. I am a fan of my perception of chicken and don’t think I would use the sous vide method for cooking chicken breasts in the future.
Chop up all the vegetables and place in a vacuum-sealed bag. Follow cooking instructions in the infographic above.
- acorn squash
- sweet potatoes
After the veggies cook, remove from the bag and toss with butter in a hot skillet. This will crisp them up!
Cut up the apples and pears, toss in brown sugar and place in a vacuum-sealed bag in the sous vide. Once they are cooked, place the cooked fruit and juices in a skillet on the stove. Add more brown sugar and cook down until it turns into a sauce. Add the cooked fruit to little pie tarts and top with whipped cream.
- brown sugar
In my opinion, the veggies are definitely worth the time, but the fruit — not so much. I honestly don’t like vegetables, so by placing them in the sous vide they came out tasting more like the herb pairing than the vegetables themselves. (It was amazing!) The fruit was just normal, warm, soft fruit. You can achieve that in more ways than placing them in a vacuum-sealed bag for three hours.
Overall I am pleased with the sous vide cooker’s results and am excited for more experimenting in the future.