What is Sous Vide Cooking or Precision Cooking?
On Episode 65 of my podcast, I attempted to educate everyone on Sous Vide Cooking. I wanted to write out this blog post for people who didn’t listen to that section, zoned out during it, or just got confused as to what I was talking about.
I started getting into cooking in 2013, and have had the awesome tendency to under or overcook food from time to time. It’s tolerable if I am cooking for just myself, but when I am preparing meals for friends or family there are 2 giant and important issues that stress me out.
- Making sure all of the food is properly cooked
- Getting all of the food done at the same time
Now I have gotten it down to where I can cook some pretty badass meals, and only forget that the fries are in the oven 10% of the time. I came across an article that stated putting food underwater to cook would give you the best steak you have ever eaten. I was of course confused and dismissed it as clickbait. I have cooked some AMAZING steaks over the last few years. After watching a few videos on sous vide / precision cooking I started to understand what it was all about.
Basically Sous Vide is a cooking technique which is French for “Under Vacuum”, but really what is going on is precision cooking. When you cook food, your pretty much just heating it up to a certain temperature. When you cook in the oven, grill or pan, the heat hits the outside of whatever you are cooking and moves inward. When cooking meat, you want the center to reach a temperature to your liking. Once it does there is a good chance the outside and even the outer part of your meat is over the desired temperature.
Precision cookers just maintain water temperature and never lets the water rise above or drop below the temperature you set. This means every bit of the meat, chicken etc you drop into the water (in a vacuum sealed package or bad of course) is cooked all the way through, with the same temperature throughout.
Because this process happens a lot slower, everything comes out a lot more tender and juicy. I was skeptical even after watching at least 100 YouTube tutorials, and even getting the Anova Precision Cooker for my birthday.
After making things from steak (fillets, London Broil, Sirloins) burgers, grilled chicken, fried chicken, Italian sausage and mashed potatoes all underwater, I must say precision cooking is magical.
The only 2 downsides that I have experienced are…
- The devices are way too expensive to purchase multiple cookers to have more than 1 type of food going simultaneously.
- Food takes at least three to five times longer to cook making it hard to cook meals after 6pm and still eat at a decent hour.
Both of those issues can be addressed by preparing what you will be eating out ahead of time. I don’t think this type of device is currently for everyone. I hope in the next year or so the price point will drop from $149 – $250 down to $79 – $125. Now I don’t intend the device to replace cooking for me. I am glad I can spend more time working on the sides or dessert portion of big meals while the stress of timing everything just right is decreased.
I will be making a review / tutorial video on precision cooking over the next few weeks. Until then enjoy the pictures of food that I have made using the Aveno Precision Cooker!