Sous Vide machines are seen on countless televised cooking shows, but many don’t know how these appliances actually work. Viewpoints staff stopped by the Sous Vide booth at the 2014 International Home + Housewares Show and talked to Sous Vide co-founder Mary Dan Eades, who answered our main questions: What is Sous Vide cooking, how does it work, and what are its benefits?
Steps to cooking Sous Vide
- Choose your food- meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, etc
- Vacuum seal the food in a pouch
- Find the thickness of the pouch
- Set desired end food temperature
- Let the machine do the work
What is Sous Vide?
The Sous Vide cooking device, put simply, is a water bath machine. The machine can cook meat, poultry, fish, and even vegetables, to any desired doneness. It cooks food not in air like a convection oven, but in water using vacuum-sealed packages. Some Sous Vide starter kits come with a vacuum sealer, but if you already have one in your home, it will work just as well. This method of cooking follows the Sous Vide theory that cooking in water is better, and quicker, than cooking in air because water is a better heat conductor. Cooking in a convection oven requires timing skill from home chefs, while Sous Vide just requires setting a desired temperature and letting the machine do the work.
Thickness and Temperature
The trick to proper Sous Vide cooking is knowing the right desired temperature for your food to be cooked to. In order to determine this doneness temperature, you have to know how thick the vacuum sealed pouch is, and the desired doneness of your food. The thickness of the pouch is important because the heat in the water bath has to migrate across that distance to cook the food completely. The cooking time that results then is based on the combination of the food type and the thickness of the pouch. Suggested temperatures for various foods can be found on the Sous Vide website and in Sous Vide recipes online. Once you know your desired final temperature, set the temperature on the machine, and when that temperature is reached your food is ready to eat.
Sous Vide specs
Sous Vide Supreme comes in 2 models, the Supreme model and the Supreme Demi model, the Supreme model holding 11.2 liters (3 gallons) while the Demi is a smaller model holding 8.7 liters (2.3 gallons) and coming in white, red, or black. They are sold online and in stores across the U.S., the Supreme model priced at about $479.00 and the Supreme Demi at $349.00. Let us know what you think about Sous Vide water oven cooking, and write a review on Viewpoints if you have a Sous Vide machine of your own.