Sous vide is a method of cooking in which food is placed in a plastic pouch or a jar made of glass and cooked in a bath of water for longer duration of time with temperature that is precisely regulated. It is also known as low temperature cooking.
Most sous vide cooking takes a relatively longer time than usual to cook food. This makes many believe that sous vide cookers use a lot of electricity. The amount of electricity depends on the specific type of sous vide cooker that is used. The cooking is usually regulated to maintain a specific temperature.
This article will help us identify all the sous vide cookers and how they consume electricity and how different they are from other types of cooking. By doing so, it will act as a guide for users that want to buy sous vide cookers so that they pick the right one to use.
Sous vide cooking steps
Sous vide cooking involves three steps
1. Take a pot of water and attach it to your cooker. Then set the time and specify the temperature depending on the food you are preparing.
2. Seal your food in a bag and put it in the cooker.
3. Specify the food and boil it.
Differences between sous vide cooking and traditional cooking
i) With sous vide cooking, the temperature is regulated and maintained at a certain degree while controlling the temperature in traditional cooking is very difficult.
ii) Specifying the specific time to use for cooking when using the traditional method of cooking is very hard, it is only possible when cooking is done using sous vide cooking method.
iii) Food may be overcooked with the traditional method or you may find some parts that have uncooked food while when using sous vide cookers, the food is cooked uniformly and with no risk of overcooking.
Characteristics of sous vide cooking
It is possible to have consistent results with sous vide cooking as is done under regulated temperature within a specified duration of time.
2. Good taste
Sous vide cooking ensures that the food maintains its taste and is usually tender and juicy.
3. Reduces wastage
Food may be wasted when using the traditional cooking because it sticks to the cooking vessels which leave some portion of the food when serving unlike sous vide cooking.
4. It is flexible
It does not need much attention, once you have specified the time and temperature, the food can be checked when the time elapses.
Equipment needed for sous vide
a) Cooking device(sous vide)
b) Bags (resealable) to package your food.
c) A pot or a container for holding water.
Types of sous vide equipment
There are many sous vide equipment that include;
I) Sous vide immersion circulatory
It is a standalone cooker that can start without the addition of any other equipment.
Circulates heat evenly
It is easy to use
It is cheap
Does not require the addition of any other equipment
Examples include; joule, Nomiku, Sansaire and many others.
It is also known as a countertop water bath.
It is fully contained
Almost the same size as a microwave
Costs about 500 dollars
Do not circulate water
Examples include; Sous vide supreme, oliso, and many others
III) DIY sous vide hacks
Examples include; cooler, rice cooker and others.
IV) Sous vide packaging
Help to prevent evaporation
Transfer heat from the water to the food efficiently.
V) Jars and bags that are resealable
They are used to remove the water from the bag.
They are versatile
VI) Silicone reusable bags
These bags are made from silicone.
They can be used over and over again.
They give the same quality for different types of cooked food.
VII) Vacuum sealing bags
These bags do not require a vacuum sealer and sealing bags.
Mostly used for batch cooking.
They are cheap.
VIII) Canning jars
They are used to cook different types of food.
Mostly used for cooking beans and other grains.
IX) Sous vide conteneurs
They are of different sizes.
They have adjustable clamps.
Pros of sous vide
a. Flavorful food
Sous vide ensures the food retains its flavor unlike boiling and frying. Meat prepared by this method is always tender.
b. More healthier food
Sous vide cooking does not require the cook to add spices to the food that might be unhealthy to the body. The cooking is also done under regulated temperature so the nutrients are not killed unlike the other cooking methods that use too much heat that kill all the nutrients in the food.
c. Evenly preparation of food
Regulation of temperature helps to ensure that the food is prepared evenly.
d. Vegetables cooked by sous vide retain their color
Vegetables lose their color often due to over cooking. Sous vide ensures that the vegetables retain their color and nutrients.
e. Meat prepared does not shrink
Sous vide ensures that the food remains compact, preventing it from shrinking.
Cons of sous vide
1. Temperature fluctuation.
For containers that are not covered, the temperature may fluctuate which can lead to improperly cooked food.
2. Too enhanced flavor.
Natural flavors can be too much for some consumers and since sous vide ensures that food retains its flavor, it may not be suitable for all the people. Some metallic taste may also be transferred to the food which is unpleasant.
Frequently asked questions
Question 1: How much electricity does a standard Sous vide cooker take to prepare a meal?
Standard sous vide cooker takes approximately 1000W of electricity every 20 minutes to boil water to its boiling point and the temperature is maintained at 100 degrees Celsius.
Question 2: Is cooking in a plastic bag healthy?
Plastic bags are not healthy but there are bags that are certified and specified for sous vide cooking. Those are the only plastic bags that should be used, others may cause health issues.
Sous vide cookers give the best experience in terms of the quality of food prepared and time taken to prepare the food. It does not require technical skills therefore anyone can use them. They minimize wastage and are environmentally friendly.
It is very important for cooks to be very careful with the type of bags they use to seal their food. The plastic bags that are mostly used for sealing can be great causes of cancer. They are very affordable and easy to use.