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What is sous vide?

Maybe you're a little intimidated about the idea of getting into Sous Vide, but don't worry, it's simpler than you think.

Trust me when I say this. Sous Vide sounds way more intense than it actually is. True it’s used by professional chefs (and for good reason), but it’s probably the simplest thing a chef can even do.

So What Is It?

Sous Vide is a French word that simply means “under vacuum.” But really it could be better described by the phrase “hot water bath.” At its most fundamental process it’s just cooking food in a hot water bath that is held at a precise and controlled temperature.

Now, the key words there are precise and controlled. That’s what makes Sous Vide so unique and desirable:

It gives you the ability to control the exact temperature you cook your food at.

It does this by either circulating water past a heating coil (immersion circulator) or by using a water bath (also called a water oven) with multiple thermometers and a heating element to calculate the exact temperature of the water.

Vacuum Sealing your food allows it to stay submerged and cook evenly.

So where does this idea of “under vacuum” come in?

Well since you are cooking your food in a water bath you want to make sure that whatever you are cooking stays submerged.

The simplest and best way to do this is to put the food in a bag and get it under vacuum. This essentially means removing all of the air from the bag so that it will sink when placed in the water. Again, maybe this sounds complex and intimidating, but at its core all you are doing is putting your food in an airtight bag to make sure it doesn't float (this can even just be a Ziploc).

So what makes sous-vide so amazing?

So, a tub of hot water may seem insignificant, but when this process allows professional chefs to get perfectly edge to edge medium rare steak every single time, then you begin to understand the reason why almost every single restaurant uses this method. That means:

1. Never overcook your food.

Since the temperature is precisely controlled you never have to worry about overcooking your food because the temperature never rises higher than it should. This transforms some of the complex guesswork of cooking things like meat and dairy into an insanely simple process. You simply let the sous vide machine do its work and your food comes out perfectly cooked every time.

And it’s not just for steak, sous vide allows you to perfectly cook almost anything. You can make delicate and dense eggs for a lovely mock-Starbucks egg bite or even a simple but wonderfully juicy garlic butter chicken.

2. No more dry results.

Because you vacuum seal your steak (or whatever else) before it’s cooked, all of the juices get trapped inside and lead to a wonderfully tenderized and fresh result.

Never worry about a dried out steak or a chewy chicken ever again.

Now, because your food is being cooked inside a bag, this does mean in certain situations (like with steak, pork, and chicken) you will need to finish the cooking process with a quick sear in a frying pan, or in the Magnifique Everyday Rice Cooker, which has both sous vide and sear modes.

Now, let’s be real here. Sous Vide is not the quickest process in the world. Because it uses such a precise and delicate process to cook your food, this does mean that generally it will take longer than other traditional methods. To get that perfectly medium rare steak it is going to take you two hours (but nothing is stopping you from cooking more than one at the same time).

But again, here is the beautiful thing about the Sous Vide process, even if you leave your food cooking for hours longer than it should have, it’s still not going to overcook.

So, if you are willing to wait a little longer for your meal, you can have perfectly cooked food every single time. And all you have to do is put your food in a bag, put it in the water bath and then wait. Seriously, it’s just that simple.

Get Perfectly Juicy Steak. Every Single Time.

The gear

So what do you need to get started? Well, you really only need two things: A Sous Vide machine and some airtight bags (or vacuum bags).

As mentioned earlier there are two types of Sous Vide machines. Immersion Circulators (which are the long tube looking guys) and Water Baths (which often look a lot like pressure cookers).

Now both kinds of machines have their pros and cons, but my personal recommendation is the Magnifique Everyday Rice & Grain Cooker

A rice cooker? Yes, a rice cooker that can sous vide, sear, steam and more.

It's able to do so much because it uses an insulated and sealed container, and well as dual temperature sensors which make sure the water is at the same temperature in the top and bottom of the pot

The Most Versatile Rice Cooker. Ever.

Precise temperature control allows for amazing possibilities. Sous Vide, Sear, and more.

The Most Versatile Rice Cooker. Ever.

Precise temperature control allows for amazing possibilities. Sous Vide, Sear, and more.

Discover what's possible.

Let's compare between our machine and others.

Other Sous Vide Machines.

All-in-one machine.

You don’t need to buy any additional accessories and there are no attachments or applications to figure out.

It comes with everything you need to immediately get started and it has a really easy to use interface.

Accessories Required.

Most other sous vide machines are an immersion stick, which means you'll need to buy accessories like clamps and lids to prevent heat escape.

Newer machines also require an app to use and have little to no interface.

Easy to clean and maintain.

All you have to do is take out the pot, empty it out, refill it and you're ready to go again.

Moving and detachable parts require cleaning.

Because they use many small moving parts, most immersion circulators require constant cleaning and maintenance.

Small footprint, big results.

The Magnifique Everyday Rice Cooker has a counter-top footprint of only 12x12x12 inches, which means it won't dominate your kitchen.

And it can still fit two whole tri-tips.

Portable, but not compatible.

It's true, immersion circulators are more portable than water ovens, but this is because they don't have a cooking pot.

You'll have to find one you can use and then you'll have to find the right lid or accessory to prevent heat escape.

Sous Vide, Sear, steam, and cook any grain.

You can sous vide steak and sear it in the same cooker. Cook your rice and then fry it with some eggs, all in one machine.

Only sous vide, that's it.

No steaming, searing or anything else.

One simple price, everything you need.

One simple price. $99.99 With everything you need to start cooking, searing, steaming and more.

high prices, accessories not included.

Okay we don't mean to be so rough, but $100 or more for a machine that can only sous vide and doesn't include required accessories, seems a little rough.

Discover the Everyday Rice & Grain cooker.

The Most Versatile Rice Cooker. Ever.

Conclusion

So we learned that at its most basic, Sous Vide is using a machine to precisely cook sealed food in a water bath to ensure perfect results every time. It really is just as simple as putting your food in a bag, putting it into the water bath and waiting.

Now, if you are short on time, you might want to skip Sous Vide cooking as it can take longer to cook food than other traditional processes, but if you have the time, Sous Vide is a simple way to get amazing results that will impress your friends and family.