What IS Sous Vide Cooking Anyway?
Join Chefs Stacey Hawkins and Jason Shenefield and learn the (easy!) art of sous vide cooking! Check the Class Calendar
Sous Vide It sounds more intense than it is. The name conjures thoughts of scientists, draped in white lab coats or disgraced cooking competition show contestants, cowering in front of disappointed judges. Is it science-y? Sure it is. And do professional chefs use them for impressive, perfectly-cooked proteins? Yup. But what is sous vide, really?
At its most fundamental level, sous vide cooking is the process of sealing food in an airtight container—usually a vacuum sealed bag—and then cooking that food in temperature-controlled water. In French, the term translates to "under vacuum," which makes sense. Chefs vacuum seal a protein with marinade, sauce, herbs, or spices and drop it in a large pot of water. There’s no contact with a heated metal surface. No contact with flames or steam or smoke. The water never comes to a boil. Yeah, it's pretty low-key.With sous vide, there's no guess work. If you put a steak in a bath set at 140°, there's no chance that steak will go past that temperature. The steak is cooked to a perfect medium-rare throughout, and that's thanks to the sous vide's secondary function, water circulation. Constantly moving water ensures that there are no hot or cool spots in your pot. It’s an insurance policy, like some kind of perfectly-heated, dinner-making jacuzzi.
Sous vide used to be a method employed solely by restaurants, using extremely expensive, large machines to cook in large quantities. But that was then, and this is now. We're living in the golden age of at-home sous vide cooking!