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Is Sous Vide a fad, or cooking method that's here to stay?

I've been using a DIY sous vide rig, but I see more and more retail solutions for sous vide cooking. Do you think it's a fad or something that will work it's way into the kitchen as a standard appliance? And what recipes do you use if you use this?

Sam is a trusted home cook.

asked 7 months ago

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11 answers 875 views
C0956478 0cc8 41f4 944a 6e548c03083e  fb avatar
added 7 months ago

I've done many recipies sous vide that I normally would conventionally cook. I have found very little serious application except for time management type apps. EX: if I know I want chicken/fish/steak but I don't know when I want to eat. It's super easy to throw it in and given a certain time, just take it out, sear and it's perfect. But, I also did pulled pork and it took 24 hrs, which to me is just silly, considering you have to refill it with water every 3 hrs or so. all and all, I like it for very specific applications. as far as retail apps, if you want freshly seared never dried chicken/fish/steak, find that balance between how many you go through and when they are going to be ready. EX. chicken breast will last for an hour-an hour an a half depending on thickness, so you want just enough in the bath early that you will meet demand, but they won't get mushy from overcooking, even though they will always look beautiful. Hope that was helpful!

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159fa81e df11 417f b133 59c3df6008c7  food53
added 7 months ago

Plastic is a known, proven endocrine system disruptor, and especially so when heated. Heat leaches toxic molecules directly into the food, so it's a toxic way of food preparation from an autoimmune perspective. Hard to know if those health issues will affect its popularity as a kitchen tool. (Oh, and try to avoid acidic foods/beverages in plastic. A lot of leaching there as well.)

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3299dd0b a953 46f5 8a98 a0241f3b893a  256
MMH
added 7 months ago

I tried to ask this question less pointedly a couple weeks ago. We got the attachment for Xmas and I'm still asking why. We are good cooks and like to cook and I think it's the fad of the season. Why would I want that? Both dishes I've tasted were horrible - the texture is Aweful. It's an expensive fad that we be taking up space in our kitchen.

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 7 months ago

This hasn't been my experience at all. Everything I've had from our machine has been excellent, although I haven't attempted poultry yet. I could see how that might not have a texture that you're used to. I wonder what we're doing differently?

4a133dad 72d1 43e3 84bb a8b5e6921f22  jesse avatar
added 7 months ago

I got the Joule sous-vide setup a few months ago. Its great for me. For things that need to be done to just the right temperature - eggs, steak, fish, shrimp for instance. I takes the stress out of a meal where several things need to be ready at the same time. When my green veg is ready to go in the pan, I take the pork chop out of the SV and sear it and let it rest while the chard is wilting. Both get plated at the perfect time. I don't use it everyday - more like once a week or less, but it is definitely not a fad for me.

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added 7 months ago

This is my experience too. It's great for those of us who fail at getting all the dishes ready at the same time. I've got a full system, not just an immersion circulator, and I can't wait until I've got enough counter space for it to have a permanent home.

It's excellent for things that you tend to over- or under-cook (like steak for me), and for things that have a tendency to get dried out if not cooked correctly (haven't tried yet, but it's supposed to be awesome for turkey).

23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
E
added 7 months ago

I don't think it is a fad, but it's definitely not a technique for everyone. I don't buy meat that often, but when I do, I spring for the best that I can get. So for me, sous vide has helped me make sure my proteins are cooked exactly the way I want, with minimal issues. I use my ANOVA once a week at the least. I primarily use Kenji Lopez-Alt's recipes on Serious Eats to great success. But I have friends who eat meat more often, and but dealing with the rig set up isn't for their lifestyle. I have a vegetarian friend who loves her sous vide set up, because she loves making those perfectly runny eggs so she's a different example of a person who utilizes sous vide as a real technique as opposed to as a fad.

For reference, my friends and I are staunchly average / above average in our interest in at home cooking, as we live in NYC and SF and eat out often, so when any of us utilize a cooking technique more than once, it's because it makes our lives easier. None of us have professional cooking ambitions either. So at least in my friend group of amateur cooks, sous vide is a cooking method here to stay.

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0f493ab9 068f 4498 ba2c 95c992214d52  sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added 7 months ago

My wonderful husband built me a controller for the crockpot. It cost about 16 dollars for the main part and we had the other bits on hand. That was last fall. I've been using it a lot, mostly to turn chuck roasts and cheap cuts of meats into something close...but not exactly like prime rib. I like it. I'll get a stick unit eventually.

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731da808 0ee6 4688 813c 05a2a7f1ca9b  16463817 10154453650334385 2720521257626860247 o
PieceOfLayerCake

PieceofLayerCake is a trusted source on baking.

added 7 months ago

I think its just a natural progression of cooking technology. If used properly, its very useful (I would say about as useful as a microwave) and takes a lot of guesswork out of cooking. It took me a while to get used to but now that I have the basics down, I'm doing some fun, experimental stuff with it.

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4a133dad 72d1 43e3 84bb a8b5e6921f22  jesse avatar
added 7 months ago

I think that with time it will never become a must-have appliance, but many cooks will use it effectively - about on par with a pressure cooker - a niche device that is truly useful for those who roll that way.

74ae45ce 244b 4655 8a1e a8655c72047a  img 4116
added 7 months ago

For my family the $150-200 appliance is completely worth it and that's even if I only ever used it to cook pork shoulder and cheap cuts of steak for tacos. I used to throw a bone in pork shoulder in the crock pot for 18-24 hours to make carnitas for tacos, which is a great way to do it since it cooks only in it's own juices. However due to the imprecise nature of the heating element in a crock pot sometimes it would get up to temperature too fast and make the meat seize up, it would always get tender cooking for that long but if you cook it too fast at the beginning there is a certain amount of dryness that will remain no matter what. With a sous vide I can increase the temperature slowly and purposefully.

And in my professional life as a personal chef I use it often to cook vegetables. Many of my clients have found my service to change their diet and blanching green veggies with sous vide means they have a great crisp-tender texture and retain the majority of the nutrients. For those in this feed who were gifted a sous vide setup and are skeptical try throwing asparagus or haricot vert in with a splash of lemon juice/your favorite vinegar and pinch of salt, set the temp to 180F (be sure to only add what your cooking once it has reached the desired temp) and cook for 10 minutes (for vegetables they cannot stay in the water bath until you need them, they will get mushy, take out at no longer than 20 minutes).

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