As a Christmas gift from my sister I received my favorite new kitchen gadget. A tool to cook sous-vide.
What is sous-vide?
If you haven’t heard of sous-vide technique of cooking, you’ve probably eaten it. It has been a favorite of professional chefs and high-end restaurants for decades. It’s basically cooking your food using a water bath and it is almost impossible to overcook your food. In fact, it’s the best way to get perfectly cooked meat.
The way it works is you put your food in either a vacuum-sealed bag, ziplock or jar and set it in water. My sous-vide brand is a Joule by-the-way. I set the Joule into a large pot of water (enough to hold what I’m cooking) and turn it on. It keeps the food at a constant temperature without letting it rise above and drying out the meat.
You compare this to other types of cooking, for example grilling or broiling, the heat is always rising and lowering to try to keep the air at a constant temp. In order to get your meat to the preferred temperature you actually have to take it off the heat source before it is finished to keep it from overcooking. In other words, it’s really hard to get that steak cooked perfectly.
And this is the secret to how good restaurants serve you a medium-rare steak that is actually medium-rare to the edges or a juicy chicken breast.
How to do it at home (quickie version)
The way most modern home sous-vide tools work is through an app. Type in what you’re cooking, how you want it cooked (medium-rare usually), how thick the meat is and whether it is fresh or frozen. Then hit “go”. It turns on and cooks your food while you mindlessly go about your business. If you have to run an errand and know you won’t be back in time, no biggie. The meat can sit in the water for up to an hour without overcooking.
Then, when you’re ready take it out of the bag, quickly sear on both sides in a hot pan to seal the juices… and it’s done.
Here’s step-by-step how it works:
- Place a large pot or bowl of water on a hot pad or trivet. The water gets hot so you don’t want to damage your work surface.
2. Put your sous-vide tool in the water, plug it in and turn it on.
3. Go to your app and find what you’re cooking. Here, I’m cooking chicken legs, so on my app I found “chicken legs”, selected how thoroughly I want my meat cooked (they’ll give you a recommended temperature) whether “frozen or fresh”. It’ll let you know how long the cook time is.
4. Meanwhile, put your meat in a ziplock baggie or a vacuum sealed bag. Allow plenty of room in the bag. Don’t cram too much meat into one. You can use multiple bags.
5. Rub with seasonings and drizzle with olive oil. Here, I added salt and pepper, olive oil, crushed garlic and fresh rosemary. Then seal your bag.
6. Add your bag to the pot of water and hit “go” on your app. Now, you can forget about it! (The Joule is hidden behind the bag in the pic below)
7. Once it’s finished, you’ll be notified on your iPad, phone or watch and it can sit in the water up to an hour without overcooking. No need to rush back to the pot when it’s done.
8. Now, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Sear your meat on both sides just enough to seal in the juices and brown it up a bit. Usually 1-2 minutes on each side.
9. You’re done! All the seasonings you put into the bag are infused within the meat and it will be juicy as ever!
With my Joule, I’ve cooked amazing poached eggs, steak, hamburgers, chicken multiple times and pork chops. I’m basically cooking most of my meat this way these days. But, there are tons of ways you can use this thing. I’m excited to explore more to cook.
I really hope you get one and try this. As a busy mom I can cook meat without hovering over a pan or constantly checking the oven. And it always turns out the way we want it.
Click below to purchase a Joule on Amazon! By the way, I’m not paid to promote this. Just an avid fan 😉