Hearing the term “Sous Vide” for the first time, I thought it might be some new type of beauty treatment, but isn’t remotely close!
Sous Vide is a way to cook food in a temperature-controlled water bath using a special machine.
Cooking this way has a lot of benefits. I wanted to know why cooks love it so much.
With a Sansaire Sous Vide machine, I tried cooking salmon. Here’s what I learned, and how my test turned out!
What is Sous Vide?
Sous Vide cooking (pronounced Sooo-Veed) uses a pot of water that is heated to a very precise temperature (by a Sous Vide machine) to cook food.
When you cook a food using heat you’re drying it out. You can overcook the outside, but the middle can still be raw or cold.
The high temperature of a skillet or grill can cause meat to contract and squeeze of the juices.
Demonstrating this is easy. The photo above shows a piece of salmon cooked sous vide on the left and traditionally on the right.
Which is more appealing to you? Which would you rather be eating?
Is It Poaching/Steaming?
Not really. Sous Vide isn’t really steaming or poaching, it’s a bit of a hybrid.
Food is cooked in sealed plastic bags with the air removed (not necessarily vacuum sealed.
The food is emersed in water and is cooked from the heat of the water, but water or steam never comes in direct contact with the food as it would be steaming or poaching.
So think of Sous Vide as just a different way to heat and cook food from eggs to eggplant, meat or fish or more!
The basics of using a Sous Vide machine are easy. I cooked salmon fillets for my test.
The first step was to assemble and plug in the Sansaire Sous Vide Machine. That was easy and quick.
I placed the Sous Vide machine in a container (I used a fairly large pot) making sure that the water covered the food.
I affixed the large silver clip to the side of the pot.
Then set the temperature ring (a large silver ring at the top) until the digital read-out displays the correct temperature for your sous-vide recipe.
Normally you would seal your meat and flavoring in a zip lock plastic bag. However, my salmon pieces were already vacuum sealed in individual packettes so I just put them in the pre-heated water.
The Sous Vide Machine maintains the temperature without wavering. The result is perfectly cooked, moist, flavorful food
The result is perfectly cooked moist, flavorful food.
Once your food is done, you won’t see a crust or grill/sear marks on it. It’s not a taste issue, but if you want that look and feel as you’d get in an oven, skillet or grill, you have to use a culinary torch.
I bought a budget-friendly culinary torch, but discovered that it wasn’t powerful enough to do much more than caramelize sugar on a creme brulee.
All it did was change the lovely pink color of my salmon to a slightly browned tint.
They type of culinary torches required for finishing food with Sous Vide cooking are quite costly. If you’re going to use Sous Vide cooking a lot, it’s worth the investment.
But blasting a perfectly pink and cooked piece of salmon with heat to give it a crust to me, seems to defeat the purpose of cooking “cool” with Sous Vide.
So I opted for a “beautifier” — a thin coat of teriyaki glaze on the top of my salmon.
The glaze made it look nicer, added more flavor, and my samplers agreed it was delicious: moist, flavorful, and completely cooked perfectly to our preference.
It was delicious: moist, flavorful, and completely cooked perfectly to our preference.
When you use a new cooking technique and/or a new appliance for the first time, you might possibly make a few mistakes. Here’s what I could have done better:
Freezer, burned me!
I didn’t completely defrost the frozen fillets before cooking them, so my fish was completely cooked, but a bit cold.
To make sure food doesn’t float you are supposed to hold the top of the ziplock bag open while lowering the bottom into the water bath.
You keep lowering the bag until the top of the bag is just above the water, then zip the top of the bag, closed.
The pressure of water against the bag is supposed to force most of the air out.
I didn’t do this so while my bags of salmon floated. I kept pushing them into the water so they’d cook evenly.
Sous Vide cooking is really “set it and forget it” and I should have had to even look at the bags again until they were cooked.
Read a Recipe, Silly!
I didn’t really read a recipe first, but since Sous Vide cooking is different from anything else it would have made sense to try one “Sous Vide” before I did my own thing. I would have had an even better result.
There are plenty of Sous Vide cookbooks or get free ones on the Sansaire website, don’t guess.
For those who want to know all about the Sansaire Sous Vide Machine:
|WEIGHT||4 lbs / 1.8 kg|
|DIMENSIONS||4 x 4 x 15 in / 10 x 10 x 38 cm|
|TEMP. RANGE||32°F – 212°F / 0°C – 100°C|
|TEMP. STABILITY||± 0.1 degree at 140°F / 60°C|
|CIRCULATION||3 gal / 11 L per minute|
|BATH SIZE||6 gal / 23 L|
|SAFETY||Overheat / low water level protection|
Worth The Cost?
Sous Vide cooking is not just easy and fun, it’s a way to cook without added fat and the results can be astoundingly delicious.
It’s a time saver. You can set your main meal and do something else instead of stirring and pot or staring into the oven, such as savoring a glass of wine with your partner or checking out homework with the kids, while dinner is cooking itself to perfection.
The Sansaire Sous Vide Machine retails for $199. For single, couples, and families, a Sansaire Sous Vide Machine will be a wise investment. Adding a good culinary torch such as Sansaire’s Culinary Torch Kit will be another $159.00.
Visit The Sansaire Web Site: https://sansaire.com/