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Sous Vide Cooking

Food Posted by Razorback 5 years, 2 months ago

I have been reading some lately on the various sous vide (pronounced sue-vee) cooking methods and devices. I am intrigued, mainly because I enjoy branching out and trying new things, especially if it involves a gadget. I see some benefits to using this style but was curious if anyone on the Mint has tried it or knows someone who has.

If you are not familiar with sous vide, here's some general background info:

8 replies

  • glen

    I have dabbled, but with a low-fi solution. Essentially I cooked steaks in a ziplock bag hanging over the side of water set at sous vide temperatures. Then I seared it in a pan when it reached what I was looking for.

    I think I still preferred the grill for the steaks, but it was very tender and juicy, which was really nice. I think if I'd given it a true try--or bought a gadget--I might be more inclined to try it again. The concept makes perfect sense... low and slow.


  • brian

    This past Christmas my girlfriend got me a Sous Vide machine from Anova. I was interested in the idea of Sous Vide and the Anova gadget is a pretty inexpensive and high tech way to try it out.

    The gadget itself seemed heavy and well made. It linked up to smart phones with an app you can download on Android and iPhone. The app wasn't as intuitive as I would have liked, but it got the job done. The display on the top of the machine actually came a little loose while I was using it, but that was simply because of a lack of adhesive, so I'd think that was more of an assembly defect and wouldn't take that to mean that it wasn't a durable machine.

    Basically I liked the implementation and execution of the Anova machine. It was a good way to dip your toe into Sous Vide without too much expense or time overhead.

    I cooked two things in the Anova while I had it. The first was a chicken breast and the second was a New York strip steak. I will say the results were rather impressive. Both items had very good texture and they were perfectly cooked when I pulled them out of their warm bath. After searing both in a stovetop pan, they had good flavor and overall it was a convincingly tasty way to make food.

    That said, we ended up returning it.

    The main reason I ended up wanting to return it is because I like to grill. When I think about cooking steak or chicken, I think about firing up the grill and enjoying the process of it. The results aren't always perfect, but it is fun to bust out the tongs and throw some marinated meat on a hot fire. Plus I am trying to improve my grilling skills and the only way to do that is practice as much as you can.

    The Anova machine produced perfect results every time, but you simply throw a piece of meat in a bag, hit a couple of buttons and then call it good basically. Which is awesome and may appeal to a lot of people, but it didn't end up being my thing.

    The only real downside to Sous Vide is that it takes a while to cook things and you are cooking things in plastic bags (which may or may not weird you out). I can't remember how long the single steak and chicken breast took to make, but I want to say it was 40 minutes to an hour. If you were cooking for four, it would probably take over an hour to get 3-4 chicken breasts to the appropriate heat level.

    Overall if you are wanting to try something different and have another option for cooking at home, I'd recommend it. The results were pretty impressive and although it takes a longer time to cook stuff, you basically just set it up and forget it until it's done. The food had a good texture and finishing it off with a sear really gives it the flavor of something that has been cooked more traditionally. I may even get back to it at some point. It really is a good option for throwing some tasty, healthier meals together with not a lot of effort.


    • Razorback

      Thanks Brian, that is great insight. Like you, I enjoy grilling immensely. I am always trying to adapt and perfect my techniques. I would only be interested in sous vide if it somehow allowed me to improve upon my grilling. I don't think it will but it would be fun to experiment. The time thing would be a major issue thiugh.