How to Get Started With Sous Vide Cooking

Sous Vide Cooking (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sous-Vide) is one of the most popular modernist cooking techniques that is recently popping up everywhere.

In fact, it is pushing back the traditional cooking techniques as most chefs and everyday restaurants are making it a substantial part of their techniques.

The irony that sous-vide is becoming mainstream technique of cooking, although it can be difficult conceptually and intimidating for beginners. And despite the fact that it doesn’t follow the traditional process of cooking, most people still want to learn more about it.

If you are new to this cooking method, you will have to learn and work with a couple of equipment.

This starts with knowing the various sous vide cooking equipment, being familiar with sous-vide cooking best practices, and trying to ensure optimal safety while cooking sous vide. If you are a beginner, all of these may sound strange and confusing.

However, with a nudge of practical knowledge, you can be on your way to making your own sous vide.

Although you may need to learn a lot more and work with a lot more equipment (that may be strange to you at first), the benefits (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf300692a) of cooking your own foods with this method makes it worthwhile.

In this article, you will learn what Sous Vide is all about and the tools you need to derive maximum benefit from this cooking style.​

What is Sous Vide (and Should You Care?)

When you are using this technique, you need vacuum sealed bags for keeping the item you want to cook. This is often referred to as “sous vide) in the name. The name “sous vide” is actually a French term and it means “under vacuum”.

Nowadays, people refer loosely to a cooking done in a precisely temperature-controlled water bath as sous vide cooking. People still call it this name even when the vacuum sealed bag is not used - as long as the temperature used is precise.

Unlike traditional method of cooking, sous vide gives you complete control over what you are cooking (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/fsn3.469/full).​

Whether you are looking to cook steaks, lobsters, shrimps, vegetables, this technique removes all the guesswork for you. You just don’t need to jab your finger or poke a thermometer, and you certainly don’t need to cut or peek anything.

It allows you to jump most of the time-wasting, stress-inducing process you encounter in traditional cooking methods and get right to the real thing.​

Essential Tools for Sous Vide

For basic sous-vide cooking, you don’t need a lot of gear to get started. In fact, using no more than a zipper-lock bag and a cooler, you can cook sous vide and be done in an hour.

This will be on the barest minimum. For longer cook and more benefits, here is some equipment that you can’t do without:​

Immersion Calculator

An immersion calculator is a very important tool to add to your toolbox when you are just starting out. You insert this tool into a pot of water or a tub and it takes up water from the pot.

It then hits up the water to a precise temperature and spit out the water back into the pot, thus performing heating and even water circulation at the same time. For best result, you need an immersion calculator with a single degree precision and accuracy.

While they cost thousands of dollars in the past, some immersion calculators can be gotten for as low as $200. This shows they are now cheaper and readily available to those on a budget.

There are many options available. The popular one is the Anova Precision Cooker. It has an excellent interface.

It is produced by a company with a track record for producing high-quality precision devices. And it comes with notably nice connectivity features. Another option to look at is the Joule from ChefSteps.

Cambro Containers

While you can use an immersion calculator with your pot, a Cambro container might be much more effective.

Depending on your recipe, you want something that not only allow for flexibility but can also give you full control when you cook larger batches. Moreover, plastic are better insulators and often perform excellently.

And since Cambro Containers are made from plastic, they are often more ideal for sous vide cooking than your pot.

There are two types you can choose from: small and large.

If you are going to be cooking for a group of people at a time, the larger container is the perfect choice. And when your family finally takes on your sous vide adventures; you will have ample space to cook big chicken breast or steaks for them when you choose a bigger cambro.​

A Cast Iron Skillet

You may want to give a deep brown crust to your sous vide once you are through. That will give your food some textual contrast and some flavor. A ripping-hot cast iron skillet is your best choice for doing this. And fortunately for you, they are cheap.

Other Gears You Might Need

A few things you can add to your arsenal include zipper-lock freezer bags for holding the sealed food. They are durable and sturdy, making them ideal for longer cooking. You may also need binder clips to keep bagged food submerged in water bag.

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