What Is the Point of Sous-vide?
The basics of heat transfer in a vacuum. Sous-vide literally means under vacuum. This is a cooking process in which the vacuumed (airtight) food is placed in a water bath and cooked at a fixed, set temperature. Cooking is done at a much lower temperature and for longer periods of time than normal.
There are many tools, machines, and thus kitchen technology that were previously only available in restaurant kitchens. But now they are more widespread in average households.
Rapid technological advances also affect gastronomy in a positive way. Newer kitchen appliances are constantly appearing, opening gates in directions that have been closed till now.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of TV chefs shows, “contests,” because they are quite far from a real competition or everyday chef’s life. At the same time, they do have a very positive effect. And it is in simple home households, they bring new technologies and devices that they have never encountered before and they brings cooking to a whole new dimension.
In my article today, I will represent to you the most defining and one of the most useful kitchen innovations, the sous-vide (suid). But before we dig a little deeper into the subject, I have to warn you that it’s not about looking for a bargain sous-vide bar, vacuum machine, and foil, buying it, and from there you will become an emperor.
In fact, if you start learning sous vide with the wrong expertise and knowledge, you can put yourself and others to make a serious mistake. I am going to present to you how to choose the right vacuum bag for sous-vide, adhering to food safety rules, etc., but I will discuss these in more detail later.
Why Sous-vide Is an Amazing Process?
- The vacuum does not allow moisture to escape from the raw material, thereby reducing the meat weight. It can be up to 30% during cooking, while it does not reach 10% with heat transfer. and taste and flavoring substances remain in the food that would be lost during cooking.
- If you roast meat in a frying pan and finish it in the oven, by the time the center is done. It will reach the right temperature and the outside will be overcooked and dry. In contrast, thanks to the vacuum and the good heat conductivity of the water, the sous-vide process produces food to the same temperature everywhere.
- Foods cooked under vacuum, sous-vide cooking have a much longer shelf life than, cooked or fried food and the airtight also prevents oxidation.
- With sous-vide technology, we can be sure that your food will always be exactly what you dreamed of, no need to worry about food being overcooked or drying out.
- Foods prepared in a vacuum almost completely preserve the nutrients they contain, so foods made with this method are much healthier than cooking or frying.
What Tools Do I Need for Sous-vide Cooking?
There are two types of vacuum wrapping machines: external and closed chamber machines. The former is especially recommended for home use. Because it is small, compact, relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Its disadvantages, however, are that they can only be used with special air-ribbed or textured foils, or they cannot completely aerate the products, only after approx. 70-80%. And it is not suitable for vacuuming liquids. Chamber machines, on the other hand, are no longer designed for home use but for industrial use, making them larger. They are capable of displacing 99% of oxygen and also for vacuuming liquids.
First, we start with the most important thing that manufacturers do not always mention on the products. Not all vacuum pouches are suitable for sous-vide cooking because the wrong choice of the pouch can lead to toxins that are harmful to the human body. For Sous-vide cooking, use only a special multi-layer (minimum 3), 85-115 micron thick, heat-free chemical and toxin-free vacuum foil with an inner layer of food, complying with food hygiene standards and an outer layer for longer temperature conditions.
There are two options when buying a SUID device. One option is a head unit, which is essentially water circulating device with a heating rod. And the other option is a pool with an integrated heating rod and water circulation. The advantage of a runner is that it is more accurate and takes up less space. But for this, you will need another GN container of sufficient size, or a larger pot (or a tub specially made for this purpose). When choosing the right sous-vide device, be sure to consider how much water it can heat and circulate properly, how accurately it can maintain the set temperature, and last but not least. It is worth buying a machine from a local authorized dealer with the tool, you can easily arrange for warranty service.
Temperature / time:
It is obvious to everyone that sous-vide is nice and good, but how do you know how long and at what temperature a chicken breast should be cooked until it is perfectly juicy and soft?
Since we are talking about a more widespread technology that has matured in restaurants, there is a wealth of books and online materials that have been tested and compiled by professional chefs, so ordinary users just need to enjoy the benefits of the suede. For most of the ingredients, we cannot speak of a specific time-temperature pairing, since the intervals vary depending on the degree of maturity (mode).
The base, by the way, is always the temperature at which a given piece of meat is as perfect as possible, but otherwise, it can be lower or higher, depending on how do you like it. In the following picture, in each case, I present the most optimal, average temperatures, with their respective times:
Frequently Asked Questions:
“What else should I put in the bag beside the meat or basic ingredients, how is it worth to spice?”
For meat, I swear by the combination of salt, pepper and some fresh spices (thyme or rosemary). However, salting is not recommended directly, but with saline (10%), since salt crystals tend to displace moisture and this can adversely affect the final result. In the case of drier meats, always put a small cube of butter in the bag.
In the case of vegetables, the nature of the vegetable depends on the seasoning, but butter or some other fat should always be put in the bag.
”Do you have to roast the meat before suwidation, or do you just have to fry it at the end?”
I can’t give a clear concrete answer to that because everyone says something different and thinks it’s good. Personally, I tend to fry skinny meat (eg skinny chicken breast, salmon, skinny loin, etc.) because after soaking, we just have to toast it again and get a divine crispy skin, but there are some who fry everything to seal pores. I think it’s really a matter of taste.
Hazards of Sous-vide:
As I said before, you should pay special attention to the selection of the appropriate vacuum bag and to the vacuum itself, since both are considered to be potential hazards. Including that if any external contamination may have entered the vacuum bag, under no circumstances should we use it, but rather choose another.
Always keep the time-temperature pairs. Because if you take the raw material you want to prepare out of the water bath before the bacteria in it are killed, they can eventually multiply in the food and cause various diseases to the consumer. Inadequate cooling can also cause quite a few mistakes, so always place the prepared food in ice water immediately and do not touch it until it has cooled completely.
The Future of Sous-vide Tools:
As modern technology evolves like an explosion, and people want to control as many things as they can with 1-2 buttons on their phones. Sous-vide is no exception. Nowadays you can get a lot of devices that connect to your phone via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology, so you can easily control it with a downloaded application. When you enter the program, you select the raw material you want to make, its thickness, and if there is any mode, you get the time you need, after pairing the devices, clicking the start button starts the sous-vide. And after the cooking time is over, the phone will tell us wherever you are in the apartment.
Sous-vide at Home: (Affiliate)
This book provides the reader with a basic understanding. Designed specifically for home users, it shows you a variety of recipes on how to make restaurant-grade meals in your own little kitchen at home. I personally recommend this book to those who are still familiar with technology, and sometimes want to give their guests something special, but don’t want to go into much detail.
Thomas Keller – Under Pressure: (Affiliate)
This book represents a much higher level than the previous one. Thomas Keller, 3 Michelin Star, explains why sous-vide technology is one of the most accurate and reliable cooking methods and how to play with different textures, temperatures and time. The book is the result of years of experimentation, including detailed, well-written recipes and a fairly solid knowledge base for professional or aspiring hobby chefs.
Salvador Brugués, Joan Roca: Sous-vide cuisine: (Affiliate)
This is all without blemish and a hint: THE BOOK! So, all in capital letters! It provides such comprehensive knowledge of your SUV as never before. Contrary to the foregoing, this is exclusively for professional chefs, as it goes completely into the smallest details. Explains what-why-and-what happens in exactly the different raw materials. Not only does it examine what happens during heat transfer, but it also covers preparation and finishing operations, including the optimum temperature for the raw material to be prepared before entering the water bath and what to do after it leaves.
In addition, the book has been designed to follow the relevant food safety legislation and introduce technology as a result. This book is for those who want to delve into the details and to acquire knowledge to use this technology at a professional level.
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