Sous vide: The next hot tool for home chefs

Sous Vide Cooking PB Kitchen Design Chicago IL

The idea of reasonably breezing through dinner preparation seems like a pipe dream at times, unless you want to feed your family something of the frozen or “drive through” variety. Sous vide (pronounced sue-veed) is a technique that professional kitchens have been utilizing for years. Ever wonder how a chef can provide evenly cooked main courses in a snap when serving hundreds of patrons in an evening?

Here’s how …

This precision approach to cooking brings the steak (for example) to an exact level of doneness for an extended amount of time. The meat cannot be overcooked simply because you are using this precision temperature control with water as the cooking method.

And it’s rapidly becoming a popular way of cooking for home chefs.

British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, owner of The Fat Duck, known for its creative dishes that tell “edible stories” reports that sous vide “has the potential to be the biggest change in domestic kitchens since the microwave.”

The food of choice, whether it is pork, poultry, fish, or a vegetable, is placed into a vacuum-sealed bag and immersed into a predetermined temperature of water. This specific packaging prevents the loss of evaporation and moisture from the food.

That mouth-watering steak you just enjoyed at your local upscale restaurant? It’s possible it had been cooking in a hot water bath, possibly for hours, just waiting for you to come in and place your order. The chef then removed the meat from the bath, seared it, and voila! You’re eating a medium-rare steak, perfectly crusted on the outside but just as tender on the inside.

GE has recently been providing commercial-grade opportunities for the home chef, in the form of induction cooking plus precise accessories like sous vide. Their Monogram Cooktop rounds up all the uncertainty of cooking and gives you the opportunity to select precise heat or carefully melt food like butter, without burning.

According to Joel Chesebro, Corporate Chef for Sub-Zero and Wolf in Madison, Wisconsin, sous vide is pretty fool proof and an easy way to upgrade your home cooking game.

“Sous vide is a wonderful option for the home cook,” says Chesebro. “The biggest value is it allows you to prepare ahead of time and control the cooking process, especially dinner parties.”

Bon Apetit journalist Elisabeth Donnelly took this method to an entirely new level, braving her inhibitions and attempting to bake with sous vide. Despite her first failed attempt, she found using canning jars was just the container she needed to successfully make a cake.

It sounds like the sky’s the limit when it comes to home chefs experimenting with sous vide cooking, with only limitation being your imagination.