Cooking innovations are making it considerably easier for people of any skill level to quickly pick up techniques that create quality meals. Sous vide cooking in particular offers unparalleled control and can help deliver perfect results every single time. Sous vide – translated as “under vacuum” in French – refers to cooking that takes place in a temperature-controlled water bath, often keeping the food in a vacuum-sealed bag. This method can benefit anyone from those looking to gain online cooking certificates to restaurant owners and home cooks. Let’s take a closer look at how to incorporate sous vide into your menu.
1. Make that perfect steak
Steaks are often the go-to cuts of meat for a nice night out. However, they can be expensive for restaurants and home cooks alike, making it essential to cook it just right from the very beginning. No one wants to eat steaks that are overcooked, tough or rubbery. According to Serious Eats, with sous vide, all you have to do is set the cooker to 130 degrees Fahrenheit, and you’ll always get a medium-rare steak. You can cook any type of steak this way, but the thickness and the temperature can affect how long it needs to cook. For a medium-rare steak, two and a half hours is the sweet spot. After taking it out of the water bath, throw the steak into a hot cast-iron skillet to give it a rich crust.
2. Enhance your vegetables
Along with a protein should come a perfect side of vegetables like carrots, potatoes or asparagus. However, overcooking these products can leave them rubbery and dilute their flavor. Use sous vide to prepare consistently tender and delicious fruits and vegetables. According to Webstaurant Store, green vegetables, squash and root vegetables like potatoes should all be put in at 185 degrees. While squash and potatoes are good to cook for one hour, green vegetables should only stay in for about five minutes. You can also cook fruits to be warm and ripe or to be soft for purees. Sous vide ensures consistent results every time, making it a positive addition to restaurant quality assurance.
“The end result is a moister, juicier pork chop.”
3. Pig out on pork chops
Grilled and barbecued pork chops are a delight for summer cooking, but creating the perfect chop has become more difficult over the years. Modern pork has been bred to be lower in fat, meaning it dries out quickly if not handled correctly. Thick, double-cut chops are even trickier as the edges can overcook while you get the center up to temperature. Rather than worrying over your chops, use sous vide for the best results, no matter the cut.
First, season the meat well and seal it in a heavy duty plastic bag. According to Serious Eats, you’ll want to set the sous vide cooker between 135 and 140 degrees, for a minimum of 45 minutes. After pulling the chop out of the water bath, sear it in a pan with browned butter. This will create nice charred flavors in the pork chop. Make sure to get the sides, edges and fat cap on top. Once your meat has been seared, let it rest for a minute or two to stabilize and redistribute juices. The end result is a moister, juicier pork chop than with other cooking methods.
While sous vide might not be a conventional cooking technique, it’s certainly effective. It can be used on almost any protein to create juicier cooked meats, and can also enhance fruit and vegetable flavors. Students pursuing their online culinary certificates should experiment with sous vide in their menus to improve food consistency and deliver better quality meals.