Modernize your kitchen with this beauty!
This countertop sou vide water bath is easy to use and perfect for people who regularly cook sous vide. Manages the temperature well and uses very little power.
Have you ever been to a nice restaurant and eaten a cut of meat that was so tender and delicious? You loved it and wished you could recreate that high quality dish in your own home kitchen? Well, now you can with the Sous Vide Supreme. The sous vide method of cooking is used in many fine dining and even Michelin starred restaurants. Sous vide is French for ‘under vacuum’ and using this culinary technique, meat, vegetables and/or other ingredients are vacuum sealed in a foodsafe bag. They are then immersed in a hot water bath at a set specific temperature. After the allotted cooking time, the bag is removed from the hot water and the food is plated. Some meats, like steak, are quickly seared in a hot skillet prior to plating. This cooking technique produces some of the most tender meat you will ever taste. Yes, it is really that good. The Sous Vide Supreme is a kitchen appliance that allows this method of cooking, previously only feasible for restaurants, now to be available for the home cook.
I was first introduced to the culinary technique of sous vide cooking while watching Masterchef Australia. The show moves really fast, especially while contestants are preparing a dish and sometimes it is hard to catch exactly what they are doing. I remember watching one of the challengers take a steak, vacuum seal it and throw it in hot water. Immediately, I wondered what they where doing. A couple of episodes later I saw another contestant use this same method of cooking meat and I heard the term ‘sous vide’, but had no idea what that really meant. Later that evening, I hopped on my computer to search for sous vide (not really even knowing how to spell it). Eventually, I discovered a bunch of information about sous vide cooking and quickly learned that it is regarding as an excellent way to cook meat that is succulent and incredibly tender.
Over the next while, I saw more examples of sous vide cooking on Masterchef, Top Chef and other shows. I was fascinated with this method of cooking and really wanted to try it out. You can imagine how excited I was to be contacted by Sous Vide Supreme to see if I would try out one of their machines, review it and develop some recipes specifically for sous vide cooking. I quickly agreed and could not wait for the sous vide machine to be delivered. Since getting the Sous Vide Supreme and using it many times, in many ways, I can say without hesitation, that sous vide revolutionizes the cooking of meat. I have never had steak or chicken breast as tender as this.
What is Sous Vide?
Sous Vide is French meaning ‘under vacuum’. Meat or other food is vacuum sealed in a bag and placed in a hot water bath. The temperature of the bath is the target final temperature of the meat. That way, the meat will be brought to that temperature gently and it will not be overcooked. This method ensures tender meat. Generally, meat is cooked at a higher temperature than the target temperature of the meat. Just think of a gas grill, stovetop or even roasting in an oven – the temperatures are much higher and the higher the temperature, the quicker the meat will cook. If the meat is cooked at a high temperature for a prolonged period of time, it comes out overcooked, tough and chewy. To ensure tender, properly cooked meat, it requires precise and exact timing.
In sous vide cooking, since the temperature of the water is the target temperature of the inside of the meat, once it reaches that temperature, it will stay there. This allows the meat to stay in the water bath for hours longer with no change in the quality of the meat. It stays perfectly cooked and even tenderizes while in the bath. I know this seems hard to believe, but it is true. Imagine a dinner party and the guests arrive late. You have steaks in the Sous Vide Supreme, so delaying dinner for 30 minutes will not ruin the food as the steaks have reached their target temperature and remain there. They will be just as tender and juicy. The stress and anxiety of timing a meal is lessened with this kitchen appliance. It is also possible to seal everything in the bags and throw them in the sous vide before leaving for work. You will arrive home to perfectly cooked meat. Get caught in traffic? No worry as the meat will not over cook.
How to Sous Vide?
Sous Vide cooking is easy, especially with the Sous Vide Supreme. Above, you can see the 6 step process I use for cooking meat. Cooking vegetables, eggs and other foods are just as easy. In fact vegetables are even easier, because they do not need to be seared quickly, like some meats do.
For more detailed instructions to the 6 step process for cooking meat in the sous vide check out my guide here.
Is Sous Vide Safe?
A couple friends asked me about the safety of sous vide cooking. The concern revolved around two issues: low cooking temperatures and cooking in plastic.
Regarding the low temperatures used in sous vide cooking, I never had any concerns. Since I use a smoker and have used low temperature methods of cooking before, I knew that while you do have to be careful, cooking in with a Sous Vide Supreme is perfectly safe as long as one follows the instructions and health guidelines. Some meat needs to be cooked at a higher temperature to kill bacteria (ie: chicken and pork), while others can be cooked at a lower temperature and still be safe (ie: beef, fish). The Sous Vide Supreme has a cooking chart with temperatures and cooking times. Following those guidelines will ensure a safe cooking experience.
Cooking in plastic was another safety concern some had. Is it safe to cook the food in plastic bags? This is a quote from the Sous Vide Supreme website:
Food safety is very important to us and all of our bags have been third party tested and veriﬁed to be free of Bisphenol-A, lead, polyethylene and any phthalates.
Using the sous vide method of cooking is perfectly safe. Like I said earlier, many of the top rated restaurants in the world use sous vide. Some of the highest regarded chefs endorse and regularly use sous vide. Even Heston Blumenthal, one of the top chefs in the world says that sous vide is not only safe, but a must have gadget for foodies.
How does it taste?
While not wanting to sound over dramatic, I can honestly say that many of the different cuts of meat I cooked in the Sous Vide Supreme were completely amazing. I have never had steak as tender as when they were done sous vide. Chicken breast was juicy, moist and cut like butter. Pork back ribs were fall off the bone delicious. Some of the claims that sous vide revolutionizes cooking is really not that far off. Browning the meat after it comes out of the hot water bath is essential for some cuts of meat. A quick sear of 30 seconds per side is all it takes to brown a steak to perfection. Brushing some glaze on ribs and placing them under the broiler for a couple minutes created some back ribs that were sticky, tender and delicious. Not all meat needs to be browned after cooking in the water bath. Boneless skinless chicken breast is perfect right out of the bag, as is salmon. I did not try as many vegetables as I did meat in the sous vide, but the asparagus was awesome. Tender yet firm and perfectly cooked. They were bright green and looked amazing on the plate. Realistically, I am not sure how much I will use the Sous Vide Supreme for food other than meat. Vegetables were good, but the improvement and texture of meat was far greater.
Like I mentioned earlier in this post, I had been eager to try sous vide cooking for a long time and it sure did not disappoint The statement that sous vide “revolutionizes cooking” is really not that far off. Here are the three things I liked most about the Sous Vide Supreme:
- Food tastes amazing. I am not sure if I will cook steak any other way than in the sous vide ever again. Yes, it is THAT good. All the meat I tried was tender and delicious.
- It is impossible to overcook the food. This was hard for me to fully grasp until I experienced it. Since you set the temperature of the water as the target internal temperature of the meat, the food will not overcook. I love that!
- It is so convenient. I used the Sous Vide Supreme for Easter dinner and it was great getting everything in the water bath early in the day. It made the time right before dinner far easier and less stressful and I had more time to relax and visit with family.
I love sous vide cooking so much that I am going to be posting specific recipes using this modern culinary technique over the next little while. Over the years there have been many kitchen gadgets that are fads and have a burst of popularity only to fizzle out and then collect dust in the garage or on a shelf in the basement. I do not believe that to be the case with sous vide cooking. I firmly believe that this is the start of a brand new way of cooking and, just like most everyone has a slow cooker now, I think that in years come, Sous Vide appliances will be on most peoples kitchen counters. I would highly encourage you to consider adding this appliance to your kitchen.
Disclaimer: Sous Vide Supreme provided me with the machine to test the product. They did not pay me for this review and the views expressed above are my honest reactions after trying the product.