How Sous Vide Cooking Provides The Perfect Consistency For Your Meals
Looking to produce restaurant-quality meals from the comfort of your own home? Sous vide cooking to the rescue!
The popularity of TV shows such as ‘The Great British Bake Off’ may fool you into thinking that Brits are excellent in the kitchen, but the reality is that 5 million adults in the UK can’t even boil an egg. Whether the problem lies with a lack of culinary skills being taught during childhood, or it’s a deeper issue related to Britain’s growing obesity crisis, the truth is that 1 in 10 of us relies on microwave meals and takeaways to provide nourishment. If only more people were aware of a simple way to produce delicious and nutritious restaurant-quality meals right in their very own kitchens. Sous vide cooking may sound incredibly technical, but it’s the perfect method of cooking for everyone from complete beginners through to professional chefs.
What Is Sous Vide Cooking?
The French expression ‘sous vide’ translates as ‘under the vacuum’ and means that ingredients are placed inside a vacuum-sealed bag before being immersed in a boiling hot water bath. Some people prefer to invest in a specific sous vide cooker, whereas others prefer a more DIY approach and try out their skills in a stovetop pan or even using an insulated cooler that you might keep beers in. So long as you have some zippable plastic bags and a thermometer, then it’s easy to get started.
Why Do Sous Vide Meals Taste So Delicious?
With traditional cooking, chefs need to take control of heat and consistency, two factors which are very complex to keep on top of. Finding the right temperature to heat your meal all the way through to the core can result in a crispy overdone outer layer and a pinker, underdone centre. On many occasions you might find that only a portion of your food is cooked to the consistency that you desire, while the remainder is left dry in texture. With sous vide cooking, the contents of your plastic bag are cooked at a precise temperature for a pre-determined period of time, and there is no worry about overcooking. The juices from your meat or vegetables for instance, will be fully retained, ensuring that your meal is incredibly juicy and tender.
From a health perspective, using a sous vide cooking style to prepare your meals also leads to better nutrition. When comparing the treatment of vegetables, studies published by NCBI found that a higher concentration of minerals was present in those that had been sous vide-cooked, in comparison to those prepared using traditional methods of cooking. As the vitamins in the vegetables are unable to leach anywhere, they are retained by the food rather than becoming lost and discarded in pan water.
If you’re interested in getting started with sous vide, but don’t know where to begin then why not pick a simple meat and vegetable dish with less than 5 ingredients? With this pulled pork and taco recipe, you will need to be prepared as the sous vide cooking time is slow and steady. Place a 2-3 pound shoulder of pork into a plastic bag along with half a cup of taco seasoning. Immerse the bag in your sous vide cooker for 18 hours, which should be set to 74C. Leave it overnight and when the time is up, remove the shoulder, dry it thoroughly and cover with another half cup of seasoning. Crisp it up in the oven for 45 minutes, then serve on top of your tortillas along with a salad.
Many sous vide recipes are just as simple as this but taste delicious. Try one out today and be amazed at the quality of meal you can produce at home.