I have been reading and watching videos about sous vide for the past few years, but I was unsure if it was as good as it looked. It seemed like an overpriced tech that is clogging up space at home.
I am looking at you universal multi-purpose all-in-one pot.
Past months of actually using my sous vide machine changed my mind, and I would like to talk to you about it now. Maybe I can tilt you to change your mind too.
Firstly, sous vide is an excellent way to cook. It will help you to have more time to work on sides or finishing touches of your meal. Secondly, it takes guessing out of the cooking. Time and water temperature are the only main points in sous vide games. And they will help you deliver!
Have you ever wanted to cook THE perfect steak? Or you want to be sure that the chicken is moist but cooked through? Succulent, tender, and juicy! Every single time?! Sous vide is the way to go.
I want to break down what I think is excellent about sous vide and why I believe it is a perfect way to cook, and my two cents about why it can be seen as a gimmick.
The good parts of sous vide cooking
With the rise of cheaper home cooking tech in the last few years, the sous vide was for a long time left behind. Its popularity spiked not long time ago, and the industry brought affordable tech to our home kitchens.
We have the option to make a restaurant-grade steak in our homes without years to learn how to cook or become a chef.
Let’s check out its PROs first.
#1 Sous vide expands your options
It does, mainly in terms of slow cooking. I know it sounds a bit weird, as you might already have and use your slow cooker, but hear me out here.
Sous vide operates over a much more extended period and at much lower temperatures. Usually around 130°F (54.4°C) for anything between 2 to 24+ hours. That’s a considerable amount of time. Everything will depend on your recipe and temperature, but still, this is a hefty time investment.
But in turn, it gives you options. Mainly for that restaurant-grade steak that you love. Or moist chicken breast stuffed with dried tomatoes. Or anything that is either fiddly to prepare or has a big room for mistakes.
With prolonged cooking times, you have a lot of space to prep and be ready. Now you finally have time to create those beautiful carrot flowers.
With sous vide, you prep the ingredients, vacuum them, set the temperature and time, throw in the sous vide bags, and forget about it. In a couple of hours, you have your next masterpiece done.
How awesome is that?
#2 Sous vide brings the extra taste
This is one of the most significant selling points of the whole sous vide. The claim is that the taste of the meals is vastly better.
I would not say that there is a massive difference, but there still is one. Everything is kept within the bag. All the juices and flavors stay within your food.
It may sound like a gimmick, but I would suggest trying it for yourself. Ask a friend or family member to have sous vide cooked your favorite meal with them. Bring the ingredients and make a fun day out of it.
What you will most likely find that there is something slightly different. All flavors will be a bit more intense. Bit more melted together. If you make a sauce from juices, they will carry over a bit more flavor.
The taste will be more profound, more authentic, and more enjoyable.
For me, that is a huge selling point, as I want to get the most out of my food as many times as I can.
#3 Sous vide helps with the plating
The advantage of plating can be debatable, but from my experience, the sous vide helps in this regard.
This point of view is based upon the typical sous vide cooking situation.
The meat is slowly cooking and getting ready for your finalizing sear. In the meantime, you can spend all the time you want and need to prep your sides. Caramelize baby carrot, deep fry onion rings, steam the bok choy, prepare the table or do anything else.
Everything can set up so that it allows you to complete the meal and serve quickly.
#4 A new way to play and have fun
I love every single piece of home cooking tech that I have at home. Cooking is my huge passion in life, and I like finding out what I can do differently whenever it is possible.
Now in sous vide, it is mainly about time and temperature, which sounds simple. Still, you will be dealing with increments of 1 degree, and here it gets more complicated.
There is a massive difference between a steak cooked at 130°F and 139°F (54.4°C and 59.4°C). The first one is perfect medium-rare, and the second one is medium. The same logic goes for slow-poached eggs.
Disclaimer: I recommend finding someone who loves you very much because asking to eat the poached eggs for the 8th morning in a row should be reserved for a great love.
#5 Sous vide helps you to show off
It does help you to show off, as most of your friends or family members will be amazed by your newfound master-chef skills.
Also, it is a great way to make yourself look good in front of your love interest. While your sous vide is running at full speed, you can invite the love of your life to help you to prep the sides with you. It is an easy way how to get to know each other a little better and have some fun at the same time.
You can finish with the grand sear finale, serve and enjoy the amazement of that special someone while hiding the fact that the meat has been cooking and tenderizing last 18 hours. ;-D
#6 Sous vide needs you
This one is a bit of a double-edged blade.
On one side, you have a machine that can bring greatness, but you have countless tries to master that meat on the other.
There is a long and sometimes painful learning curve with the sous vide. Even if you have the most to-the-point recipe, it won’t be the same when you try it. This won’t be the case of inexperience or lack of knife skills.
There are a plethora of things to consider. Time, temperature, the thickness of the meat, veggies, filling, and many other things.
For me, this is great, as I love to learn things. I debate and test different temperatures, create tables, discuss recipes with my friends left and right, and slowly get to that perfect meat, one mistake at a time.
Now that’s me. I am an active techie type of person. But you might not be. That’s why I am considering this a double-edged sword.
Because if you don’t like to play around with temperatures and times, this might not be the best home cooking tech for you.
Is sous vide cooking just a gimmick?
I have to be honest. Not everything is covered in sunlight with sous vide cooking.
Below I will list my most significant pain points that I have experienced.
#7 It is not made for everyday cooking
The fact that I cannot cook with sous vide everyday pains me the most.
Mainly this is caused by the size and time it takes to cook anything in sous vide. Also, if you count in the prep, you will not have enough time each day to use this.
Sous vide will most likely be reserved for a weekend or special occasion cooking. It makes me sad that I cannot use the sous vide more often than every other weekend due to the time constraints and the fact that my wife doesn’t trust it.
#8 Sous vide is a bit on an expensive side
Not because of the ingredients used, as in most cases, you will use cheaper cuts of meat and with sous vide turn them into succulent masterpieces.
The main issue is that you have to run a sizeable box full of water for a long time. Also, prep time is something you have to add to cooking time. It is not your trusty pan. So you have to plan a bit.
Another point is that the sous vide cannot be left alone without supervision if you have kids. This is more of the case if you are using immersion sous vide stick, but the machine is in similar danger. Kids like to pull out and play with the stick – on knights mostly 😀
#9 You can replace the sous vide
It is with a heavy heart, but I have to admit that you can replace the sous vide and live without it.
It does make cooking in many angles way more accessible, especially when it comes to juicy medium-rare steaks. Still, you can learn how to cook them without it.
You can learn how to use your pot and stove to play around with temperature to keep it at desired levels. It is fiddly and expects you to be present at all times, but it can be done.
What do you think? Is the sous vide a good way to cook, or is it just a gimmick? And what are your experiences? What do you like in sous vide, and what do you see as a gimmick?
Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time, have a great day and perfectly cooked steak.