What Does Sous Vide Mean?

sous vide cooking

Sous Vide – What Does It Mean?

If you have a knack for cooking or enjoy watching cooking shows in your free time, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the sous vide cooking method. But what exactly is the sous vide method and what does sous vide mean?

Sous vide, pronounced soo-veed, is a French term meaning under vacuum. It’s an innovative cooking method that involves cooking food low and slow in a cooking vessel. In other words, the sous vide cooking method involves sealing food in an airtight, vacuum-sealed bag and then cooking it at a slow temperature in a water bath. This method has quickly gained popularity in the cooking world primarily because of how simple it is. There is little to no prep work involved in the process, as when the food is vacuum-sealed, it’s using its natural flavors and juices to maintain the food’s natural integrity. This means that marinades and seasonings aren’t typically required. The method also helps to cook food thoroughly and avoids inconsistencies typically common in traditional cooking methods.

The Cooking Method Explained

The cooking method is extremely simple once you’ve learned it, as there are only a few steps involved in the entire process. Outlined below is the process for cooking sous vide.

Step 1: Prepare the food (if desired)

As mentioned prior, there is little to no preparation required for this cooking method since it uses the food’s natural integrity for flavor. However, you can still marinade, tenderize or season your food if preferred. This should be done during the prep stage before any cooking takes place.

Step 2: Properly vacuum-seal the food

Ensuring your food is properly vacuum-sealed is vital to this cooking method. This is how to ensure the food is cooked thoroughly and consistently. During the vacuum-sealing process is also where you can add any aromatics to your dish that you desire such as bay leaves, rosemary, or thyme.

Step 3: Cook to the desired temperature

To ensure your food is cooked to the right temperature and consistency, it’s best to do a quick internet search as to what the desired cook time and temperature of the device should be. If you’re really interested in becoming a sous vide expert, you could also purchase an immersion circulator that helps to set and regulate the temperature of the cooking vessel for you. However, this isn’t required for the cooking process.

Step 4: Sear the food (if desired)

Last, but certainly not least, you can sear your food if you prefer. Although this step isn’t at all required, many people prefer to sear their food, especially meats, after cooking using the sous vide method. This is typically done in a cast-iron skillet or on a grill to add more flavor and char to the food. However, again this step is completely optional based on the cook’s preference.

Is Sous Vide Cooking for Everyone?

Many people find themselves intimidated by the sous vide cooking method, primarily because it was once thought to be only used in high-end dining. However, although the term sounds relatively fancy, it’s a super easy and simple cooking method that anybody can do! No fancy or expensive equipment is required. In fact, as long as you have a pot to submerge the food in and Ziploc-style bags to vacuum seal the food, you’re golden! After trying out the method a few times, you may find that it becomes your new personal favorite. In short, the answer is yes! This cooking method is meant for everyone and anyone to try out.

What Foods Can I Cook?

Although there is a misconception that you can only cook meats using the sous vide method, that’s far from the truth. The sous vide method can be used to cook just about anything you may desire. Sous vide works great for cuts of meat where the doneness is critical. It’s also an extremely good method for cooking tougher cuts of meat, as it helps to break down the muscles and tendons found within them. Listed below are just a few of the many different foods you can cook using the sous vide cooking technique.

  • Eggs
  • Meats – turkey, pork, chicken, duck, etc.
  • Vegetables – asparagus, broccoli, carrots, etc.
  • Seafood – lobster, shrimp, fish, etc.
  • Ice Cream
  • Cocktails
  • Potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Condiments/Sauces

If you’re interested in trying out the sous vide method, it’s never too late to get started! You may decide it’s your new personal favorite!

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