I am taking a new culinary course: sous-vide. Great to learn to use an appliance I have owned for years.
The first time I used my sous-vide machine, I put a vacuum-sealed steak in a lukewarm bath for 3 hours. Seemed strange. I expected the water to be hotter but that would boil the steak. Steak was okay but my traditional cooking method, straight on the bbq, was just as good. Sous-vide seemed too much to plan ahead for.
I’m determined to understand sous-vide and why it’s the fastest-selling kitchen appliance in the world now (I was told this?!). Many restaurants and hotels use this method. I have several books, including “that” one. I still don’t understand.
I’m always amused by my friends who have used a rice cooker, cooler in the bathtub, or the dishwasher for sous-vide. I use professional equipment, except for my vacuum sealer, which is not the $4,000 model, yet.
So far, I’ve learned that sous-vide creates consistency while giving time flexibility to cooking. The food holds at a constant temperature after a period of time (say, on average, an hour) and you have time to serve it or finish it. For instance, a salmon filet is ready after 30 minutes in the “bath” at 50 degrees celsius. You can serve it in 30 minutes or you can keep it in the bath until you need it, say, after an hour or two. It will taste the same. No risk of being over-cooked. There is a time limit but it is generous. There is no other cooking method that works like this. The salmon would be dried out otherwise.
It's all about time and temperature, as my Chef professor says.
The verdict: excellent. Sous-vide will change the way I cook, for the better. This blog is not finished. Come back...as I learn more from the course.