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Sous-vide: the ideal cooking method

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  • By Maxima Kitchen Equipment
Sous-vide: the ideal cooking method

In this blog, we take a closer look at sous vide: a preparation method that allows you to make perfectly cooked dishes with hardly any work at all. Doesn’t that sound like the ideal method? And it really is!

What is sous vide?

With sous vide, the aim is to cook food at a constant temperature that has already been vacuum packed. The French term 'sous vide' literally means 'under vacuum', but we also use the term 'vacuum cooking'. With sous vide cooking, you only work with vacuum packed food. Meat, fish and vegetables are all well suited to this specific method of cooking.

 

What is the advantage? There are no disadvantages! Your food cannot burn or overcook, and you have complete control over the preparation time. You set the sous vide device and then don't have to worry about it anymore until the cooking time is over.

 

How does sous vide work?

You can cook sous vide in two ways: with a sous vide stick or with a special sous vide appliance. A sous vide stick is a compact appliance which you place in any water reservoir. The sous vide appliance is also a kind of water reservoir with a built-in sous vide.

 

In both cases, the appliance will heat up the water and circulate it for even heating throughout. Both the sous vide stick and the sous vide device have a useful control panel for easy operation. Using this, you can set the preparation time and temperature.

 

The water is heated gradually so, for example, a piece of meat can be cooked evenly. Because the water cannot get hotter than 100⁰C, your food cannot burn or separate. Since the food remains in its packaging, you also don’t add any fat or salt during the cooking process. So it’s also a healthy choice!

 

Before you start preparing vacuum-packed food, you will, of course, also need a vacuum-packing machine or a vacuum sealer to first vacuum-pack your ingredients.

 

What are the advantages of sous vide?

The fact that you can achieve ideal cooking conditions is, of course, already great. After all, that is the goal for every dish. But the fact that you can also preserve all the flavour and nutrients is the icing on the cake. After sous vide cooking, if you take a look at the bottom of the vacuum bag, you will immediately notice that the food loses much less moisture than with other cooking methods. And we all know: a loss of moisture equals a loss of flavour.

 

Knowing that the loss of moisture is minimised, it is then a good idea to add herbs and salt beforehand (during vacuum packing process). All these flavours penetrate deeper into your dish and that will certainly be evident in the taste. So you can expect to always have a nice, juicy piece of meat or fish without grey edges.

 

Once you have some experience with sous vide cooking, you’ll know exactly what temperature is needed for a certain dish. You will consistently get the same results, which means that you can always put the same quality on the table!
Besides the preparation time, you also have full control over the cooking process in that respect. It is therefore useful to write down the preparation time, temperature and quantity for each dish.

 

Are there no disadvantages?

It is good to know that most vegetables keep their beautiful colour, thanks to sous vide cooking, however green vegetables can become slightly duller. 

Okay, if we are honest, the preparation time with sous vide cooking can be a bit long. But even that can be to your advantage. You can prepare much more food at the same time and, in the meantime, give your attention to something else in your busy kitchen. Start preparing other dishes and save yourself extra time.

 

At Maxima, we have made lamb shank with our own sous vide before. You can cook it, for example, at 75°C. If you’re using a large water reservoir, you also use it for other dishes that need to cook at the same temperature. In this respect, you actually save time on several levels. The total time you spend on a dish is much shorter. If you plan it well, many dishes can be prepared a long time in advance.

 

Do you also want perfectly cooked dishes? Then take a look in our webshop for the range of sous vide equipment.