Cooking With Sous Vide: A Six-Part Series


SOUS VIDE is a method of cooking in which food is vacuum-sealed in a plastic pouch and then placed in a water bath for longer than normal cooking times (usually 1 to 7 hours, up to 48 or more in some cases) at an accurately regulated temperature much lower than normally used for cooking (typically around 47 to 80°C (117 to 176 °F) for meat, 84°C (183°F) for vegetables).

The intent is to cook the item evenly, ensuring that the inside is properly cooked without overcooking the outside, and to retain moisture.

Technology is now available to the public at affordable prices which means we can all emulate the best cooks on the globe, and surpass the ordinary. Sous vide levels the playing field!

Simply put the science and machinery is now on hand to make perfect dishes in animal and fish protein in particular.

All sous vide involves is the sealing of the food in plastic bags under partial vacuum so the food cooks evenly in an arena with little oxygen.

The real secret of this method of cooking is the ability to cook foods to an exactness not readily available in the past. The food is cooked right through, with the same degree of “doneness.”

Water baths are capable of holding temperatures within 1 tenth of a degree celsius, and they are now affordable to the general public.

Armed with knowledge of the composition of foods and the temperatures that affect the various components over specific times, the ordinary person can produce product that no professional cook can theoretically best.

All of the above is readily available to the general public. Essential reading is Douglas Baldwin’s A Practical Guide To Sous Vide Cooking.

Next time I’ll describe for you how easy it is to become a master chef using sous vide cooking techniques.

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