What is sous-vide?

Sous-vide is French for “under vacuum,” and has been a technique used by gourmet chefs for decades to achieve precision cooking temperatures for meats and vegetables. With sous-vide, ingredients are vacuum-sealed and then immersed in a temperature-controlled water bath. The water heats the food to a consistent internal temperature, allowing for perfectly-cooked results without the risk of overcooking.

With sous-vide, cooking temperatures are much lower than with other cooking methods, as low as 115 ℉ for some recipes of fish and seafood, and up to 190℉ for some vegetables. Time and temperature are both factors in food safety, so many recipes require food to be held at these low temperatures for a longer period of time in order to ensure they are safe to eat. However, these low temperatures also allow ingredients to retain flavor, moisture, and nutrients. This means the food is not only safe to eat, but healthier than other cooking methods.

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Pro-tip: Alternative cooking methods for sous-vide.

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If you have concerns about using plastic during the cooking process, we’ve developed a work-around. Simply wrap your ingredients in foil, then follow the recipe as directed. The foil will help retain flavors and cooking juices without the need for plastic.

Advantages of sous-vide

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  • Food reaches the precise internal temperature as the water around it, meaning it cannot be overcooked.
  • Ingredients attain a consistent temperature throughout, so there’s no need to worry about food of varying thicknesses cooking unevenly.
  • Meats retain moisture and develop a tender, succulent texture, while vegetables stay crisp.
  • Sealed food retains more flavor, and ingredients can even be cooked in their own marinade.
  • Similar to steaming, the lower temperatures help vegetables retain nutrients which might be lost through other cooking methods.

Sous-vide with the CoolCooker

The CoolCooker allows for the precision temperature cooking and time adjustments necessary for sous-vide. Once you have prepared your ingredients, simply fill the cook pot with water, immerse them, and program your CoolCooker as you would any other recipe.

One important element of sous-vide cooking is that after your meat has been cooked, you will need to brown it to develop the crisp outer texture and flavors. You can easily do so in a matter of minutes using a grill, frying pan, or broiler. Doing so usually requires higher than normal temperatures, as the goal is to quickly sear the surface without further cooking inside. A grill or pan work best for steak or chicken, whereas a broiler is ideal for fish.

Unlike other sous-vide cookers, the CoolCooker will keep your food cool until it is ready to begin cooking. Program your CoolCooker the night before, or in the morning before you leave for work. When you come home, your meal will be ready: gourmet quality with precision results.

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