This Might Just Be the Most Practical Kitchen Tool You’re Not Yet Using
Welcome to our new food series Eat It Up, where we’re sharing the products — edibles, kitchen tools, cookbooks, and more — that we can’t stop talking about.
With its cheffy origins, an immersion circulator (aka sous vide wand) might seem like the sort of kitchen tool best reserved for professional cooks, but we’re here to nudge you toward one for everyday use. While an immersion circulator can be used for elaborate Thomas Keller-type recipes (he wrote thesous vide cookbook), it *excels* at preparing basic staples like poached eggs, boneless skinless chicken breasts, pork chops, and steak. We’d even go so far as to say that we reach for our immersion circulator equally, if not more, often than either our Instant Pot or slow-cooker. Say what?! Here’s why a sous vide results in drama-free preparation of so many weeknight foods.
Cooking with this method allows for both precision (you are, after all, heating things to a precise temperature) and wiggle room (most foods can hang out in the temperature-controlled bath for a relatively large window before overcooking). The latter is particularly handy when trying to juggle the doneness of multiple dishes — for this reason, it’s our secret weapon for dinner parties. When you’re ready to eat, there’s not much to do besides take whatever protein you’ve cooked up out of its sous vide bag (more on this in a second), and, in some cases, give it a quick sear for presentation and flavor. It is pretty much foolproof.
As for which immersion circulator to consider purchasing, most on the market will cook your food evenly and pretty-darn-perfectly. We lean heavily toward ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide ($179), as it is much smaller and sleeker than the competition (hey, looks do count for something), is easily operated via an app, and incorporates smart features like a waterproof body and a magnetic bottom (for securely sticking to the bottom of a pot). You probably don’t need to invest in a vacuum sealer. Yes, traditionally this gadget is used to package up whatever you’ll be cooking, but we very rarely bust ours out and instead rely on the water displacement method and resealable plastic bags or — better yet — reusable silicone bags.
Share your kitchen creations with us on Instagram @britandco. Bonus points if you cooked them sous vide!
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.
(Photo via ChefSteps)