What is a sous vide and why do I need one?
I understand. Your kitchen is full of gadgets already and you are resistant to the idea of getting one more cooking appliance that you already get along fine without, right? I feel ya. I live in a 100 year old house with little storage and not nearly enough cabinet space even after replacing my broken dishwasher with another storage cabinet.But a sous vide is totally worth finding space for.
So, what exactly is a sous vide? A sous vide is a device that simply heats a water bath and circulates it, keeping it at a very precise temperature. When cooking meats it allows you to achieve amazing tenderness by setting the sous vide for the finished temperature and holding it there for several hours. Unlike conventional cooking, which uses a much higher temperature that starts on the outside and works its way inward, the sous vide uses the target temperature and extended time, much like your crock pot, but with more precision. The meats do not get overcooked in a sous-vide. A ribeye roast that starts in a sous vide set for 135 degrees F for 8 hours will be perfectly medium-rare and delightfully tender! A sous vide is like a crock pot in that you can do a few minutes prep in the morning and let the appliance take care of the rest.The only thing that is needed afterward is to remove the meat from the sous vide bag, blot and give it a hard sear to caramelize the exterior. No more wondering if it's going to be cooked enough on the inside or whether you have turned your meat to shoe leather on the grill. This works for steaks, roasts, and even stew meat kabobs! And it doesn't heat up your house as much as a crock pot!
But they're expensive, right?If you read the reviews for the "best" sous vides you might get the impression that you have to spend something north of $100 for this appliance. However, that's only if you feel the need for your appliances to have a working relationship with your phone. A sous vide does not have to be complicated. The sous vide I have (pictured here) cost $40. It has simple time and temperature controls on the top and instead of telling my phone, it simply beeps at me when the time is up.
So, it's a $40 meat tenderizer?
Nope, a sous vide does much more than tenderize and precisely cook your meats. Here are 17 ideas from Chef Steps. My favorite use for my sous vide (besides perfectly cooking my Eden Pure Beef Ribeyes!) is yogurt making, followed closely by making Starbucks-style sous vide eggs. https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/17-foods-you-didn-t-know-you-could-cook-sous-vide
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