A sous vide stick is an appliance that cooks food with water at a precise temperature. The cooking process is done without any oil or fat, and it takes just minutes to prepare the meal.
This type of cooking is perfect for people watching their weight closely and those who have a committed lifestyle and don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. This article explains how you can use a souse vide stick at your home to cook food on the go.
Set up your rig
That involves attaching your immersion circulator to a preheat container (at least 212 degrees), then fill with water up to about an inch of its maximum water level. You have the option of sous viding in a stockpot, cooker, dutch oven or even a cooler.
You can cook anything from sous vide steak to desserts in a sous vide machine, though most people use it for cooking beef and pork. The size of the vessel you settle for will hugely depend on the volume of food you intend to cook and the amount of water the circulator requires to function correctly.
Tip: Avoid topping the machine with water to the maximum since adding the food raises the water level.
Tip: Settle for one that contains a magnet and clip bottom to ensure the machine is more useful
Select your temperature
Sous vide cooking gives you the option to set the bath to the final desired temperature of the food. The food settles in the bath, and when the water and food reach the same temperature, cooking commences, and there is no danger of overcooking.
However, some foods are an exception, including fish fillets and eggs, which are usually cooked at a higher temperature than the average internal temperature for a short time to ensure the food is evenly cooked. Thus you need to select a temperature that corresponds to your ideal serving temperature. Some of the recommended temperatures for different foods are as follows:
Turkey, chicken and other poultry-160 degrees
Fish-140 to 160 degrees
Steak, pork chop, lamb and veal -140 degrees.
Chicken breasts-140-167 degrees
Beef-135-140 degrees(medium), 120-125 degrees(rare)
Tip: Sous vide precision cooker lets you cook your meat at a lower temperature to ensure its tender and juicer. You can also maintain this temperature to kill all the bacteria in the food.
Tip: The best part about using a Sous Vide Immersion Circulator is that you don’t have to worry much or adjust its temperature since it will automatically bring water to a certain level without opening or controlling anything manually
Preheat the bath
You need to switch on the sous vide machine and let it preheat to your desired cooking temperature. Allowing the bath to preheat will ensure even cooking of your food. The amount of time you take to preheat the machine will depend on the foods you intend to prepare. Preheating time ranges from 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how long you want your food to be cooked.
Tip: Use plastic wrap to cover the bath to increase the preheating process.
Season and seal the bag
Season the food with the required amount of salt, pepper and any other seasonings you want to add. Add the meat to a zipper-lock plastic bag and add some vegetable or olive oil for fish and meats. When sealing the food in a pouch, make sure that no air is left inside so that your meat cooks properly.
Submerge the bags into the bath, ensuring all the unsealed corners are dipped in the water and seal them completely after the bath is preheated. You can use a vacuum sealer to dispel all the air. Removing the air is crucial because it helps to prevent bacterial growth and ensures that the food cooks faster.
Tip: Add olive oil to meat pouches to ensure all the pieces are coated with fat to cook faster while retaining moisture.
Tip: Ensure the pieces are of the same size and shape for the food to cook evenly. Only seal one piece of meat per bag, and all the meat should be spread as flat as possible in the bag.
Put the food in the bath
Place the sealed bag in the bath and let the food submerge completely. To retain the heat and ensure minimum evaporation, you need to close the bath with plastic wraps.
Tip: Ensure the bags don’t touch the cooking vessel, or the machine to prevent cold spots on the food.
Tip: Use a binder clip to attach the bag tops to the side of the pot of water. It will ensure the food is completely submerged and separated.
Wait for the food to cook
Unlike traditional cooking methods, you don’t need to worry much about time and temperature for sous vide food since the machine will regulate its temperature. However, you still need to check the time to prevent the meat’s texture from being affected.
Beef, pork or poultry only require one hour to be fully cooked and can last in the water bath for four hours without its texture being compromised. However, some foods such as fish and eggs, whose cooking time is short at higher temperatures, require much attention. Cooking a poached egg for a long time may spoil the taste and texture.
Tip: Using zipper-lock bags lets you seal the food using a minimal amount of water and hence reduces evaporation. Seal all the zippers correctly to prevent water from getting into the bags during cooking.
Tip: You can also vacuum sealing bag to seal the fish fillets. The best bag for snapper is a multi-layer system like freezer bag since it allows maximum contact with water when submerged in the bath. It’s also advisable to remove all air from the bag before sealing it.
Once you have attained your cooking temperature, you need to remove the food from the bath, open the bags and use a paper towel to pat the food dry. Several foods such as eggs, vegetables, pulled pork and fish fillets are usually ready to eat from the bath.
However, most of the meat cuts need to be removed from the bags and seared or roasted in a separate pan to give it a crisp crust. The searing method you use depends on the cuts and size of the meat.
Tip: Searing the meat before serving it will lock in the juices and ensure your meat is delicious.
Tip: Before you sear the food, ensure you dry the food and that your pan is super-hot to prevent the meat from sticking and reduce cooking time.
Enjoying your food
Sous vide has become an essential piece of equipment for professional chefs and can revolutionize home cooks. It is a simple and great way to cook your food and ensures it’s fully cooked without drying it out or causing bacterial growth.
Since sous vide gives you total control over time and temperature, it can help you prepare food with ultimate precision. The process enables you to cook your food using the same techniques and textures that professional chefs use in their kitchens.
Tip: Meat sous vide is a lot healthier and tasty due to less cooking fats added to the meat for preparation.
If you’re looking for easy and fast means to prepare your favorite dishes while using minimal effort and time, then sous vide is the best option. Not only does it give versatility in cooking times, but it also offers convenience by allowing you to set up the device once and leave it on without worrying about constantly checking if food is ready. Plus, there’s no need to worry about over or undercooking anything with this type of cooking. All-in-all, sous vide allows people who love eating good food but don’t want hours’ worth of prep to enjoy their lives more.