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  • Sous Vide

    This page tells you how to sous vide, provides sous vide recipes, a history of sous vide, sous vide troubleshooting, and sous vide tricks and tips

What is sous vide?

Sous vide is a new way of cooking that allows you to get your food to the perfect temperature every time, control it's texture, and time your courses better at home. It achieves this by letting you dip your covered food into a bath of water heated to a exact temperature. Like you steak 135 degrees and perfectly medium rare? Since the water you dip it into is that temperature it will never over cook.

What are the sous vide basics?

 
The cooking technique requires three main components
- A precise temperature controlled water bath
- A container that you put thefood in where it fully touch all sides. Like a vacuum sealed plastic bag or sealed canning jar (for liquids)
- Something to cook in the container (a steak, vegetables, or anything else)
Almost everyone uses water heathers with thermometers integrated in them called immersion circulators. Frankly, most people simply call them sous vide machines. People used to achieve the technology on a low budget using coolers with things called PID's and aquarium heaters. This was because the initial Polyscience branded machines were were too expensive at $1000+. Now you can find the machines used for under $100 dollars if you try hard. So the hack methods aren't worth it. We have some reviews of the equipment below if you're curious. We also cover how to use them below.

What is the history of sous vide?

Sous vide has hit the mainstream in the last few years and we're seeing it all over. But where did it come from? Most places describe that sous vide technology developed in the 1970's in France. The story is a lot more complex than that. Initially people wanted to find a more exact and efficient way to transfer heat to a object cooking. The classic way to do this was poaching or cooking food in an oven. Both these methods required a lot of skill, were harder to scale, and required a lot of oversight. The first documentation of a more controlled method of sous vide was in 1799 by a American born British man named Sir Benjamin Thomson. He used air instead of water as the medium to transfer the heat. After that initial test there is some argument over the first uses. The Modernist Cuisine book states that is was invented by hospitals to help with food at scale. Thomas Keller's "Under Pressure" says that American and French engineers developed it as an industrial preservation method. What we do know is that in the late 1980's and early 1990's sous vide swept the high end culinary world by storm. Lucas Carton, Joël Robuchon, and Ferran Adrià brought it isnto their kitchen and the world noticed. However, it would take until the 2010's until sous vide would be affordable enough for the home cook.

What can I make with sous vide?

Sous Vide Recipes

We have a lot of simple sous vide recipes to get you started on this wonderful technique.

Sous vide tricks, tips, and troubleshooting

 

 

The sous vide bags I have contain too much (potato, celery, vegetable) so the keep floating. What do I do?

Take a few butter knives and seal them in the bottom of the bag with all the rest of the material. They will drag the bag to the bottom and not effect any of the flavor or texture.

 

The meat I made came out super mealy or soft and had no site to it. How do I make it more firm?

This is normal on super long cooks. Check the cook time and possibly lessen it if you don't like how soft the texture is.

 

I'm cooking vegetables and I can't get the machine hot enough. How do I get it to keep 85C.

Either move to a smaller water bath container, cover the water bath container with plastic wrap, or cover the surface of the water with ping pong balls.

 

I can't afford a vacuum sealer or a sealer machine. Can I still do this?

A lot of people use zip log bags in the beginning. The water circulator is the key component.