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During the recent Prime Day sale, I finally purchased a sous vide device from Amazon. In my family I tend to be the gadget king. I also tend to be the “gourmet”. A device that combines eccentric gadgetry and pretentious gourmet foodiness? Nothing could fit that bill more than sous vide.
If you aren’t familiar, a sous vide device is essentially a combined water heater/water circulator that allows you to hold a body of water at a precise temperature for an extremely prolonged period of time. When combined with food in airtight plastic, it combines slow cooking and boiling food to essentially cook something without any part of it evaporating or cooking unevenly.
In other words, it is supposed to make a damn good steak.
And it does. I bought the ChefSteps Joule Sous Vide and it seems to work incredibly well. It feels like an alien way of cooking food, especially given the fact that there are no buttons or controls on the device. Instead, I do everything within a required app on my phone.
I didn’t go all out yet. I don’t have the vacuum sealer for the plastics, but Ziplocs have worked fine thus far. I also don’t have a specialized container since my stock pot has plenty of room. Despite how complicated it can seem and expensive to get everything you will need for this newer means of cooking food, the damn thing works fine with just a pot of water.
My results thus far have been mostly good. I did a roast, steaks, and ribs. I have yet to be blown away like I had hoped since sous vide has some real evangelists out there, but I don’t feel like I wasted my money either. All three were tender.
More importantly, despite the outrageous cook times (24 hours for the ribs), I feel like the real selling point for me thus far is worrying less about cleanup (slow cooker) or having to rush home to heat up the oven and apartment. With planning, I should be able to augment my normal weekly and daily routines to incorporate using the sous vide for safely preparing proteins for later consumption with minimal effort and attention.
My sous vide is no Instant Pot. It has not revolutionized my cooking routine nor is it something I would witness to others so they may accept it into their lives. It is pretty damn cool though and for the first time in a long time it has me excited to get back into the kitchen, less as a culinary artist, and more as a beef cooking mad scientist.
Also, the ribs were delicious and I didn’t have to go outside to grill them. Win-fucking-win.
5 responses to “Sous Vide or Not To Be”
For that flame grilled, pan seared finish, I’d recommend an Oxy-Acetylene Torch :)
I didn’t mention it here, but I also bought a food grade torch as well. I justified it by saying I could use for creme brule and sous vide things, but I really just use it to toast marshmallows.
I’m not at all a foodie – well other than that I like to eat good food when it’s offered. But hearing about cool gadgets and interesting techniques makes me understand why it would be fun for those that are into it!
Always time to learn!
Maybe I will! Not short of great hobbies though! :D