That said, you can cook yogurt-based dishes, prepare veggies like kale and lettuce, whip up roulades, purees, beef stock, custards, eggnog and cheese curds with this method. For sauces, you can always make your homestyle barbecue sauce along with a generous serving of mashed potatoes and French fries. Each of these items will come out incredibly well when you follow the sous vide method. If you’re looking for innovation, try cooking ham and oysters in this style. Either way, you will have incredible results.
Common Misconceptions About Sous Vide Cooking
Having first gained popularity during the 1970s, sous vide cooking has been wide and prevalent since the 18th century. The basic idea of this approach is to cook your meals in a controlled temperature at which your food will be eventually served. Owing to the simplicity, sous vide cooking has gained massive popularity for its approach, style, and final preparation. The meat and veggies cooked in this style are tender, juicier and full of natural flavors. But despite this popularity, this method comes with its fair share of myths. In this article, we will debunk these common myths.
1. You Must Use a Vacuum Sealer
Sous vide cooking has derived its name from the eponymous French term that refers to under vacuum’. That is the reason why most people naturally assume that this cooking style requires massive, expensive vacuum sealers. Luckily, such is not the case. You do not need to invest in these unwieldy sealers for trying your hand with this cooking style.
You can always use your zip-lock plastic bag for the job. In fact, most professional chefs consider this a better option when compared to the conventional vacuum sealers. If you are not comfortable with a ziplock bag, get the specific plastic designed for sous vide cooking. The plastic of this kind is BPA free and completely safe for culinary experiments.
2. Sous Vide Requires Expensive Equipment
This is yet another common myth about sous vide cooking. According to some individuals, getting the equipment required for excellent sous vide cooking experience can be expensive. This is another baseless myth because most of the cooking accessories for sous vide cooking are extremely affordable.
That said, we do understand why this myth came to place. When the concept of sous vide cooking was introduced in the late seventies, the accessories needed for the job were costly. That directly meant only the chefs working at swanky restaurants could access this technology. To add to this, only the affluent group came to know about the incredible taste and perfection this cooking came with. That is why they were never hesitant in investing money in buying the required tools for creating this cooking experience.
The situation, however, has completely transformed over the last few years. Thanks to the advancements in sous vide cooking technology, there’s a huge number of affordable accessories on board. This is also the reason why people from all walks of life can use and access the cooking method. That is why more people are creating restaurant-quality sous vide items in the comfort of their homes.
One of the most significant technical advancements lies in the creation of immersion circulators. Thanks to these circulators, you can easily slip them in any pot for cooking. The best part: this new range of equipment is cheap and therefore accessible to the wider masses. This makes it convenient for amateurs to get started with this cooking style.
3. It’s Not Safe to Cook Food in Plastic Bags
If you are reading this, you’re probably aware that sous vide cooking involves getting your food cooked inside a plastic bag. That is the reason some cooks get worked up about trying it for the first time. They are hesitant assuming plastic to be completely unsafe for cooking. To an extent, this concern is justified as several reports are detailing the dangers of coming with heating plastic. But it is important to note here that these dangers only apply to some specific variants of plastic.
Although there might be some issues with getting your food cooked in a plastic bag, sous vide cooking ensures that the temperature isn’t any higher than the boiling point. In fact, the cooks constantly check if the temperature is consistently low. Since the temperature is low, the risks of getting plastic heated don’t apply here.
But don’t plastic wraps transfer harmful chemicals to our food? Well, not in sous vide cooking. The plastic pouches used for this type of cooking is specially designed for this cooking method. Being free from BPA, toxic phthalates, and other harmful plasticizers, these wraps are, therefore, hygienic and completely safe.
Instead of getting concerned about this you should rather focus on getting the meals cooked in a perfectly clean environment. After all, the primary cause of food poisoning and other health-related issues happen due to the unsanitary handling of food. These issues are completely underplayed with sous vide cooking. Both the cooking method and its accessories involve no risk in terms of food contamination.
4. It’s Too Complicated
This is probably said by individuals who haven’t taken the time or effort to experiment with this cooking style. Usually, people deem sous vide cooking to be more complicated as it involves more time and effort when compared to the traditional methods. This is also the reason some people adamantly claim that you can only try this method when you have plenty of time in hand.
As with most other myths listed here, this one too is completely baseless. In fact, you will find plenty of simple recipes in the sous vide method. All you need is the right recipe and the best cooking equipment. Unlike traditional cooking methods, here, you also get to leave your dish completely unattended for extended periods.
This lets you carry out other chores. You will find plenty of these sous vide recipes with simple methods and easy accessories that let you whip up flavorful classics like mashed potatoes, fish soup, and similar other items. The best part: you get to do all of this in less than an hour. Unlike conventional cooking, this method of cooking also lets you control the temperature of the water and the cooking duration. This results in better, juicier and more tender meat. Unlike regular cooking, this method also ensures that no sensitive mineral or vitamin is leached out while the items are being cooked.
The accurate temperature and duration of cooking protect the natural juice and the essential minerals of your food. They, therefore, cannot leak out. This ends up preserving the rich, subtle and natural taste of your favorite food. Since the temperature fluctuates by only one degree (at most) when you use the best sous vide accessories, you can be assured of your food getting evenly cooked. What’s more, the risk of overcooking will be at the lowest.
5. The Food Can’t Be Overcooked
Since sous-vide uses low-temperature, many people assume that you can’t overcook food with this cooking method. However, this is a clear misconception. Although you won’t end up burning the food when the temperature is set at an accurate level, there is no assurance of the food not getting overdone.
Remember, sous vide cooking can be easy. However, just like any other cooking method, it requires attention. When you expose your food at a low temperature, its natural minerals are likely to be denatured. This might destroy the texture and get your food mushy. That is why you should be duly attentive while trying this method of cooking.
Chicken and seafood are two ingredients that have the highest possibility of getting overcooked. So, it is especially important to give extra attention while you are cooking these items. Always keep track of your cooking site and be fully focused while whipping up the meals. Once you try this method for a while, you will grasp the concept of proper temperature that will deliver great and consistent results every time.
6. You Can Only Cook Meat With Sous Vide
While meat is a common item in sous vide cooking, the method isn’t entirely limited to meat. Just like your protein-based items like chicken, beef, pork or fish- other items can be equally tasty when you follow this method the right way. Sous vide cooking can make everything taste incredible. So, whether you are having vegetables or your favorite dessert- this cooking will cover it all. Despite the variety, most people stick to the meat while following the sous vide style because this cooking method tenderizes meat like none other.
That said, you can cook yogurt-based dishes, prepare veggies like kale and lettuce, whip up roulades, purees, beef stock, custards, eggnog and cheese curds with this method. For sauces, you can always make your homestyle barbecue sauce along with a generous serving of mashed potatoes and French fries. Each of these items will come out incredibly well when you follow the sous vide method. Either way, you will have incredible results.
7. Stunts Creativity
If you’re an avid chef who has whipped up some of the tastiest dishes following conventional cooking methods, you’ve probably heard someone diss this cooking style claiming it to stunt creativity. Like the other myths listed here, this is not true. The equipment for sous vide cooking disrupts the conventional style of cooking food. But that doesn’t in any way mean the method takes creativity and sensations away from cooking.
On the contrary, sous vide lets you experiment much more than your regular cooking styles. With this method, you get to experiment with multiple spices and ingredients. Sous vide cooking requires very minimal equipment. Therefore, it becomes clear that this method can’t hinder your creativity. All you need to do is open your mind and explore various sous vide recipes to check how creative you can get with the cooking style. You can also mix and match various combinations for better and more subtle flavors.
8. You Can’t Make Sauces With This Style
Like we previously mentioned, you can practically make everything following the sous vide cooking style. That is because it doesn’t live by the common misconception. Remember, sous vide cooking gives you the kind of result you had prepared for. So, if you want gravy or sauce mixture, simply add more water than usual and team it up with some delicious seasonings before you place the bag in your pot full of water.
Doing this will render more concentrated, better preserved natural juices that’ll work well in creating sauces with a rich texture. Try this for a better result than your regular powdered gravy concentration. Also note that as you cook your meat in the sous vide style, you end up with tastier cuts of meat that are also incredibly juicy. This reduces the need for getting the extra dollop of sauce to team up with the meal.
9. Sous Vide Is Not Actual Cooking
For some seasoned chefs, the idea of cooking should’ involves plenty of strain in monitoring the food from time to time. It also involves making timely adjustments. Since sous vide cooking appears to be simpler, these people therefore naturally assume that this isn’t really cooking.
This again is another myth because sous vide uses a fair share of effort. The best part: it helps you get your perfect meal smoothly and more efficiently. You get to do this without compromising on the flavor or the texture. If you try cooking with the best range of sous vide equipment, you will get to enjoy the best results with complete consistency.
After getting your ingredients in the plastic bag and sealing it, you’re required to place it in a pot or pan full of water, before eventually setting a specific temperature and a duration for the cooking.
If you are looking to be busy while whipping up the meals, start working on your dessert or yet another dish as your sous vide accessory will automatically turn off after the meal is prepared. This will allow you to focus on other tasks better. If you’re looking to relax, you can always curl up with a book or a glass of wine while the delicious food gets ready.
Sous vide cooking might seem different but is undoubtedly one of the best ways to prepare meat and veggies. So, now that we have debunked the common myths, try this method and prepare the tastiest delicacies at home!