Sous Vide is a cooking method in which food is vacuum sealed in a plastic pouch and then cooked at a gentle temperature in a precisely controlled water bath. Compared to other cooking methods, sous vide provides more control and allows for perfect, repeatable results every time. The method is easy to learn and takes much of the stress out of cooking. Food can be held at a perfect level of doneness for a much longer time than usual methods allow.
Benefits of sous vide include:
• Exact doneness for delicate foods
• Low-stress cooking by eliminating short windows of time for perfect doneness
• Meals can be prepared ahead of time and still taste delicious; even days later
• Serving delicious, tender and moist cuts from tougher cuts that are less expensive
The sous vide recipes provided on this site will allow you to gain experience from simple dishes to more complex. Once you have become familiar with the basic methods, you will realize how easily the techniques transfer from one item to the next.
In addition, PolyScience provides powerful tools with our Time and Temperature Reference Charts and our Sous Vide Toolbox application for iPhone and iPad. Use these tools to further develop your technique and understanding of the sous vide cooking method.
History of Sous Vide
While sous vide is a relatively new form of cooking, the fundamentals of sous vide cooking are ancient. Most cultures have traditional dishes in which the food is tightly wrapped and cooked at a low temperature for a long time.
The modern era of sous vide began in the early 1970s when food researchers and chefs in France searched for a way to reduce product loss when cooking foie gras. They found that by cooking foie gras sous vide, much higher yield and improved texture could be achieved. Since then, chefs have been inspired to step back and thoroughly re-evaluate at which time and temperature to handle ingredients while preserving maximum of its integrity, flavor and color.
Today sous vide has become standard in top kitchens worldwide. Food lovers have long admired the amazing flavors and textures that gourmet chefs achieved with sous vide cooking. With equipment and education being now more accessible for home chefs, the idea of guaranteed perfect and repeatable results with very easy steps has made sous vide extremely attractive for home chefs as well. It will add a new dimension to cooking for many aspiring chefs.