I had to send back the Sous Vide Supreme today. I was expecting to learn a lot, enjoy the visit, and send it home without any longing. I was wrong. Though the necessary use of plastic deeply concerns me, the amazing quality of food produced through this water oven has gained precedence. I will definitely be buying one. Not right away. I will see if it arrives in the mail, as a gift, first. But, honestly, I no longer see my kitchen without it.
I have posted the following sous vide cooking experiences and recipes:
- Sous Vide Duck Confit
- Sous Vide Scallops and Key Lime Pie
- Sous Vide Ribs
- Sous Vide Pulled Pork
- Sous Vide Brisket
- Sous Vide Steak and Pork Chops
- Sous Vide Chicken Marsala
- Sous Vide Soft Boiled Hen Egg with Green Asparagus
I wanted to do so much more, but I teach school full time, and this was during year end: report cards, school celebrations and awards. I will have to wait for my own machine to arrive.
Why do I want my own?
- experience is priceless, really, and without this two week cooking experience, I would not know what I was missing: I learned a great deal and want to continue in that learning process
- the flavour of the food is intensified as it is distilled by not escaping through the air or into a pan
- the texture of food in the water oven is, at times, a completely new experience
- the food is more moist as the control of time and temperature is preset
- the nutritious value of the food is increased as the low temperature does not destroy vitamins and nutrients; they do not evaporate, either
- I am guaranteed an excellent product with little effort: to be honest, that is a great thing, and a bad thing. Most of us like to have control over our cooking and take the credit for the knowledge we have gained over the years. This is different. There is a time to use more traditional cooking techniques and there is a time to use the sous vide technique. That was very apparent in my duck confit post. However, I do need to measure the difference between the electricity used with the oven on for 8 hours compared to the 110 volt plug in of the sous vide machine for 12 hours. And, the traditional confit was cured differently. I would need to cure the sous vide confit in that same manner to have a true test comparison. That being said, sous vide cooking is a method that lends itself to some specific foods and preparations, more than others.
- This is not a drawback on owning the machine, but the information that comes with it is not thorough enough regarding food handling and food safety.
- it is critically important that you follow the directions precisely, particularly the food cooling process, and handle all meat with very clean hands, etc. as with any cooking; if the cooling process, or the cooking temperatures are fiddled with (too low) there is a danger of food poisoning. (This is a danger with cooking anything, but this is a new kind of cooking, and it is important to not be careless.)
- food will seal better in a vacuum bag if cold; I only learned this from other sources and it would be important for this information to be included with the machine and in all recipe instructions (As this is the case, it is a good idea to per-heat the machine to a higher temperature as the temperature will fall considerably when cold food is placed in it; then adjust accordingly.)
- The temperature controls the heat of the water bath within one degree, and to most home cooks, that is hardly an issue; however, one degree can make a big difference when cooking some items over time (and one cannot stand beside the machine for 24 or 72 hours plopping in ice cubes when the temperature rises)
- Everything must be cooked in a plastic bag; plastic is not biodegradable.
- The vacuum machine needed for sous vide cooking is one that is considerably better than the company sells; I didn’t evaluate it as mine was not working upon receipt of it, but the Foodsaver Vacuum machine I have is of considerably greater value in size and ability, and was almost not good enough for the kind of pressure and control over the vacuum consistency I wanted.
Five Simple Steps for Easy Meal Preparation (provided by Sous Vide Supreme):
- Season: Season the food as desired using anything from simple salt and pepper to combinations, such as seasoned butters, broths and fresh herbs. Because sous vide cooking magnifies flavours by locking in seasonings and oils, a small amount of seasoning goes a long way.
- Seal: Vacuum seal the food in food grade plastic pouches approved for cooking. Pouches can be sealed using common kitchen vacuum sealers or hand pumps, widely available for a range of prices in stores everywhere.
- Simmer: Submerge the food inside a SousVide Supreme water oven that has been brought to the targeted water temperature by filling with water, entering the temperature on the control panel, and pressing “œstart.” Allow 15-20 minutes for the water to heat. Less time will be needed if you start with hot tap water. Once the food is in the bath, put the lid in place and relax! For most recipes, setting the timer is unnecessary. Food can cook for several hours without overcooking. Some foods can cook for several days. There is no need to adjust the food, stir the water, or regulate the temperature””the SousVide Supreme maintains the target temperature with a high degree of accuracy and within a narrow one-degree range.
- Sear or Sauce: While some foods, such as vegetables, are ready to eat as is, meats typically benefit from a quick sear on the stove or grill, or with a heat torch. After removing food from the pouch, searing it for just a minute or two caramelized and browns the surface, providing a traditional appearance, taste, and texture on the outside. A separately”“cooked sauce can be used to complement your culinary tour de force.
- Serve: Dish up the sous vide meal, and enjoy. You can remove the food when you are ready to eat. There is no risk of overcooking or drying out the food, even if you leave it in the SousVide Supreme for hours past the planned cooking time. Working overtime? Guests late to arrive for the party? With the SousVide Supreme, your meal will always be on time and cooked perfectly.
This is how simple it is to use the machine!