- Sous Vide: Where Science Meets Cooking -
Written by Milk Tea
* What is Sous Vide?
Sous Vide (pronounced "soo vee") is a method of cooking in which food is prepared by placing it inside a sealed bag or container, then submerging it in warm water to heat it over a longer period of time than standard cooking.
Although the temperature of the water will vary depending on the type of dish being prepared, the fact that boiling water isn't used may seem a strange departure from standard cooking practices.
Dishes prepared a la Sous Vide are incredibly tender, as both the inside and outside are heated equally, and generally have a moist texture, as the water and juices within the food are wholly preserved during cooking.
A steady temperature and precise cooking times are crucial aspects of Sous Vide cooking. This is because both must be carefully controlled to draw out the natural scent and taste of the ingredients being prepared.
A difference of only a few degrees can completely alter the texture of your favorite meat! In many ways, the first people to experiment with Sous Vide cooking were as much scientists as they were chefs.
* Why Choose Sous Vide?
Sous Vide dishes are so prized because this cooking method loses none of the natural taste or nutrients of the food, resulting in a nutritious, delicious dish. The reason the moisture is retained is because the food is vacuum-sealed in a container before being immersed in the warm water.
That means that instead of, say, the natural juices of a piece of meat evaporating in the high heat of a frying pan, it's absorbed back into the food via osmiotic pressure. Thus, a piece of meat that would ordinarily lose volume will remain nearly as big when cooked with Sous Vide techniques!
But that's not all! Because Sous Vide heats the food at a lower temperature for a longer time (versus a higher temperature for a shorter period of time), the heat is distributed equally throughout the food, which helps it to retain all its nutrients. It also helps the food achieve a more consistent softness throughout.
Sous Vide is also a great solution if you want to cook a bunch of things at the same time, because the vacuum-sealed bags allow you to store what you've cooked for a longer time.
With its focus on inventive methods of cooking and attentiveness to time and temperature, you can please your inner chef AND your inner lab researcher as you prepare a meal, knowing you'll get to enjoy maximum flavor. That means no more dry chicken breast salads - I think that's an innovation we can ALL celebrate!