A decade ago, if you ordered a steak or fish fillet described as being cooked “sous vide,” it would arrive pallid and alarmingly velvet-textured, flanked perhaps by dehydrated parsnip soil or rubbery spheres of watercress juice.
The technique of vacuum-sealing ingredients in plastic, then submerging them in water heated to an ultra-precise temperature, gives chefs the ability to cook steaks medium-rare from edge to core, egg yolks that diners can spread onto toast like ripe Brie, and tough cuts of meat braised into succulence with little monitoring.
When you clip a home circulator – which might be mistaken at first glance for an immersion blender – onto a pot or plastic tub, the device circulates water through a heater that you can control to a tenth of a degree.
Drop a strip steak in a sealed plastic bag and cook it for 90 minutes at 134 degrees, and the beef becomes completely medium rare, though its magenta hue at that point looks far from appetizing.
[…] there is a sous-vide community.
Several manufacturers have just launched new educational efforts, paying to insert recipe booklets in food magazines or, on Anova’s part, partnering with Serious Eats on a series of cooking guides.
Julian Cheng, 32, who works in finance in San Francisco, fits the profile of a sous-vide fan to a T. When he was single, he cooked sous vide three to four nights a week, coming home from work, dropping a steak into the water bath, then heading to the gym.