The time has finally come, sous vide machines are taking over.
Home cooks and professional chefs alike who use sous vide have seen this coming for some time now. But things are moving faster than anticipate.
What is sous vide?
Essentially, a sous vide machine is a circulating hot water bath. Giving any cook the ability to efficiently and some say perfectly, cook their food. It is as simple as vacuum sealing food (or any water displacement method) and submerging it into a temperature-precise water immersion. The benefits are clear too, a sous vide will cook food at an exact temperature in a consistent medium for a set amount of time.
But it’s not just easy, its delicious. Keeping food enclosed in it’s own marinade prevents steam evaporation (read, intense water-bound flavor). In this sense, sous vide is superior to most forms of cooking. You could say sous vide is a culinary ‘miracle’, but it’s simple hydro- and thermodynamic physics, really, really delicious physics.
Sous vide has been a tremendous advent in professional kitchens since the 1970s (originating in France of course). You might not know it, but nearly all of those fine-dining restaurants in SoHo and Midtown have been using sous vide to consistently cook their proteins, jus, consommés and veggies. In that regard, the results also are up to snuff.
More recently, sous vide is starting to really dominate retail and commercial markets. The take over has been swift. I’d say at this point it is a good thing. For decades sous vide machines have retailed upwards of one to two thousand dollars a piece (thankfully water is free). At that price point, a stockpot and a zip-locked sirloin steaks is a passable winner. But, like calculators, roller blades and even automobile airbags, sous vide machines will only become more affordable (calculators were once the most expensive gadgets on the market, who knew). This anticipated affordability will give more cooks the opportunity to make amazing food at home without breaking the bank. And, this is a good thing especially in an inelastic culinary world.
If minimal effort and scientific cooking sound fleeting (or seamless-ly aggresive), think of the pros here. Families and cooks alike can enjoy the more pleasurable elements of hosting and cooking at home without overpaying or spending countless hours in the kitchen. That, and sous vide has already increased the quality and consistency of eating out.
Sous vide is the future of cooking so, act quickly and you’ll be able to grab yourself an amazing little kitchen helper too. Some sous vides even enable wifi and bluetooth, a welcomed technological pleasantry that gives you the opportunity to start an amazing meal with one touch of a button on your commute home (imagine a rib-eye steak ready to jump into a 145 F degree bath the second you step into your apartment, it’s pretty cool).
If that makes you smile, it’s time. Some sous vides on the market retail for just under $200. French water baths have come a long way. But, if now isn’t the time don’t worry, in the coming years sous vide will only grow in efficiency and affordability.
Sous vide can make home cooking a renewed pleasure. And, keep an eye out as more restaurants around the world enjoy the countless applications of sous vide, from perfectly cooked veggies, to meat-glued delicacies, or even the silkiest fruit consommés imaginable. Sous vide is here to stay.
If you have questions about sous vide, drop me a line. When I’m not thinking about recipes, I’m usually vacuum sealing weird combinations of food and cooking them for days at a time. I’ve seen it all, ask away!