Recipe Shed: Guide to Sous Vide Cooking


Water boils – and thus turns to steam – at 100 degrees Celsius. Fact.

Muscle tissue is approx. 75% water. Fact.

If you cook meat at more than 100C a significant amount of the water in the muscle will evaporate. Fact.

Enter stage left, the Chef’s Sous Vide water bath.

Of all my prized kitchen gadgets, this is the star. My wife bought it me for Christmas because of my passion for cooking and my desire to produce restaurant-standard meals at home.

And one of the secrets of restaurant-standard cooking is the method by which you cook your freshest ingredients.

The key, in very simple terms, is to retain the moisture in food, be it meat, fish, vegetables, whatever.

Here’s how it works:

• First you vacuum pack your chosen ingredient (in this case, steak).

• Then you fill the water bath with cold water.

• Next you set the temperature at which you would like to cook, but also the temperature at which any dangerous bacteria is killed. This all depends on the tenderness and size of the cut of meat, or your chosen veg. For example, rib of beef for up to 10 hours at 55C; sirloin steak for 2 to 3 hours at 55C; chicken thighs for 2 to 5 hours at 64.4C; brocolli for 20 to 30 mins at 83.9C.

• Then once the water bath has come up to temperature, immerse your vac-packed ingredients into the water and set the time. The bath will be kept at this temperature for the duration.

• Finally, snip open the pack, and either serve straight away or finish it off – for example, with meat – by flash frying it in a hot pan. Voila.

All the water – thus the tasty juices that makes food taste the way it does – is retained. And because, in the case of meat, you are cooking at temperatures that break down both the fat and the collagen fibres that hold the muscle together, you end up with an end product that is not only incredibly juicy, but also amazingly tender.

• If you’re interested in exploring this revolutionary style of cooking for yourself, I got my Sous Vide from these guys.

• And if you’d like to share your experiences of WATER, why not head over to The Gallery.






Filed under Recipe Shed, Sous Vide Cooking

9 Responses to Recipe Shed: Guide to Sous Vide Cooking

  1. Gosh, sounds a bit too complicated and organised for me! An interesting take on water – I went for one of the obvious! Your wife is a lucky lady having such a fabulous cook in the house! x x

  2. Why do I always drool when I read your posts! Mmmmmm…..steakkk

  3. Hahahahaha – only a man could take the theme of water and turn it into two steaks!

  4. Sounds really juicy and delicious, you’re making me drool! 😀

  5. I am starving after reading that, I love steak too. Might have to pop downstairs for a pre-midnight snack (not of steak though, that would be a bit weird!). Never even heard of those contraptions before, they sound pretty good but I fear it would end up in the same place as my breadmaker! (Back of the cupboard).

  6. I wish I could cook better, must take mroe time to earn some new skills… deffinately a good take on water :)

  7. Oops… Somehow left my comment yesterday on the wrong post?! Sorry about that, here it is again…
    Clever take on the theme! Didn’t fancy using the (in)famous paddling pool on your terrace, then? ;0)

  8. Don’t think I’ve ever had steak cooked that way – makes perfect sense though as you describe it.