All you need to know about the cooking method used by professionals.
French for "under vacuum," sous vide is a method of cooking that involves vacuum-sealing food in a bag and then heating it to a very specific temperature in a water bath. Results from this style of cooking are incomparable to those from any other manner of cooking.
Sous vide (pronounced "sue-veed") is a way of cooking that was once only used by pros that uses precise temperature control to produce consistently excellent results. Throughout the years, high-end restaurants have used sous vide cooking to consistently prepare food to the precise level of doneness needed. With the introduction of economical, user-friendly sous vide precision cooking tools like the Anova's Sous Vide Cooker, the method has recently gained popularity among home cooks.
Fancy a thick, juicy, and properly cooked steak from beginning to end? Visualize being able to cook perfectly every time. You must be familiar with the science of sous vide; fret not, we got you.
When did the sous vide trend start?
It's been common practice for a very long time to cook and preserve food in a sealed container (think back to when food was wrapped in leaves or stored in fat and salt). Nevertheless, the contemporary sous vide cooking method didn't come into existence until the 1970s when French food scientist Bruno Goussault created the first sous vide apparatus.
Due to cooking competitions and the shenanigans of famous chefs throughout the world, sous vide cooking has become more and more popular in recent years.
Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, published the first account of low-temperature cooking in 1799. He experimented to see if he could roast meat in a device he had built to dry potatoes, using air as the heat-transfer medium. The beef was, he remarked, "Not merely eatable, but wonderfully done, and most singularly well-tasted."
American and French engineers created the process of industrial food preservation that involved food preparation under pressure, with or without heat, in the middle of the 1960s. Like Rumford, the researchers discovered that the food's flavour and texture had improved noticeably. When this technique was invented, pressing food under a vacuum was frequently referred to as "cryovacking." Despite not being cooked, the pressure significantly enhanced the taste of fruits.
French chef Georges Pralus used the technique in 1974 at the Pierre and Michel Troisgros Restaurant in Roanne, France. He found that this method of cooking foie gras preserved its original appearance, prevented the excessive fat loss, and improved the texture.
Bruno Goussault, whom we have mentioned above, the French chief scientist of Cuisine Solutions, a food company situated in Sterling, Virginia, is another pioneer in the sous vide technique. He founded the service division of Cuisine Solutions, Centre de Recherche et d'Études pour l'Alimentation (CREA), in 1991. He became well-known for instructing elite chefs in the technique as a result of his research into how temperature affects the taste and texture of various dishes through CREA. He established the guidelines for temperatures and cooking times for various dishes.
Why sous vide is better for steak
The sous vide cooking technique makes use of a tool called an immersion circulator, which gives you complete control over how long your beef cooks and eliminates most of the cooking-related uncertainty. As there is no air in the bag during sous vide cooking, the liquids that are released as the proteins denature are kept inside, giving the steak its moist and delicate texture.
This cooking technique is perfect for people who either tend to overcook meat or who just want more time to focus on other things when they cook. It is not just for upscale restaurants and top chefs.
The merits of sous vide steak
There are many factors that can influence the outcome when cooking meat in the traditional manner over high heat, including the type of meat being cooked, the quantity being cooked, whether the meat is at room temperature or just taken out of the refrigerator, and the thickness or thinness of each piece. Particularly if you are cooking more than one steak at a time, these factors can frequently lead to more overdone or dry meat.
Tough, collagen-rich portions of meat can be transformed into exquisitely tender flesh via sous vide cooking. Similar to braising, you can tenderise steak by immersing it in hot water for an extended period of time at a low temperature. Through the preservation of the steak's natural flavours through sous vide without allowing the juices to escape, a moist and tender eating experience is ensured.
You must keep an eye on your steak as it cooks on the grill or in the oven to prevent overcooking and ensure it is done. Dinner may be destroyed if you leave your steak in the pan for two more minutes.
Sous vide cooking maintains food at a consistent temperature so you can take advantage of the laxer time constraints. Visitors arriving late? Unexpected delays at dinner? Have three little children? Until you're ready to rapidly sear and serve, you may keep your steaks in the water bath with sous vide while going about your afternoon.
Are there any issues with the sous vide's food safety?
Cooking with poor-grade plastic, cooking at low temperatures, and bacteria brought on by cooking with plastic bags have all aroused some concerns. But because sous vide cooking is precise and controlled, a lot of research has been done on it, and experts have found that it is safe. However, there are several guidelines you can stick to to make sure you're sous vide cooking safely.
- For sous vide, only use specified food-safe plastic bags. Ziplock freezer bags work well and are completely secure.
- Make sure your bags are submerged when cooking.
- To lower the risk of bacteria, cook at or above 130ºF/54ºC.
- Avoid sous-viding raw garlic
How to cook steak sous vide
A steak is cooked sous vide in two steps: first, it is vacuum-sealed and brought to temperature in a water bath; next, it is seared to render any excess fat and to develop colour, flavour, and texture.
What temperature do I cook steak in the sous vide?
Your preferred level of doneness will determine the length of time and temperature you cook it for.
- Set your thermometer to 130°F/54°C for a medium-rare steak.
- Set your thermometer to 135°F/57°C for a medium-rare steak.
- Set your thermometer to 145°F/63°C for a medium-well steak.
- For a few hundred dollars, you can buy a sous vide machine, or you can buy an immersion circulator that you put in your own pot of water.
Get yourself some premium sealable bags to cook the steak in, but if you frequently cook sous vide, you might want to invest in vacuum sealing equipment.
- A large saucepan and either a sous vide machine or an immersion circulator
- Ziplock freezer bags plus a clip, or a vacuum-sealing device
- 1 steak between 200 and 350gs in weight, preferably a tenderloin, rib-eye, or striploin
- A tablespoon of olive oil
- Add pepper and salt.
- Optional: sprigs of thyme or rosemary
Your immersion circulator should be put inside a big pot of water. Wait for the water to reach the desired temperature after setting it.
Season your steak with salt and pepper before putting it in a heavy-duty ziplock bag or sealable plastic bag. Any preferred herbs, such as rosemary or thyme sprigs, can be added.
If you possess a vacuum sealer, use it to seal the bag before lowering it gradually into the water.
In order to gently push the air out of a freezer ziplock bag, carefully submerge it in water. The bag will release more air as you immerse it. Carefully close the bag once the majority of the air has been removed, just above the water line. To ensure no water leaks from the bag, secure it to the pot with a clip.
Set the timer to 2 hours for a 200g-350g set.
Remove the immersion circulator from the saucepan and take the steak out of the bag after the timer goes off. Put it on a plate and dry it off.
Sear your steak for 30 seconds on each side in heated oil in a skillet.
The steak will have a lovely golden-brown crust as a result.
Serve after it has rested for five minutes.