What Is Sous Vide?

Here at Tom Hixson, we think the experience of cooking is just as exciting as the food itself, and we love experimenting with new methods and techniques. Today, we’re exploring Sous Vide – a technique originating in France in the 1970’s, which is now used by professional chefs all over the world. 

What is Sous Vide?

Literally translating to “under vacuum”, Sous Vide is a cooking technique which involves vacuum packing the food, then cooking in a temperature controlled water bath. 

Sous Vide is a commonly used technique in restaurants and steakhouses, delivering high quality results that simply cannot be achieved by traditional methods. 

What are the Benefits of Sous Vide?

Controlling the temperature throughout the cooking process means food is cooked more evenly and consistently, and retains the qualities that make it so enjoyable. 

Using this technique to cook also reduces the risk of under or over cooking. Sous Vide is an ideal technique for cooking a ribeye beef joint to perfection, as it cooks the meat evenly, for superb edge to edge doneness.

What’s the Best Steak for Sous Vide?

Though any steak works well with this technique, the best kind of steak to sous vide is one with excellent marbling and appropriate thickness – around 1 ½ inches. These qualities can be found in ribeye and T-bone cuts especially. 

So, how do I do it?

Sous Vide is a technique that anyone can try, all you will need is a thermometer and some ziploc bags. Begin by preparing a water bath, simply fill a pot with water and leave enough room to avoid overflow once the food is added. 

Next, heat the water to the correct temperature. You will need to monitor the temperature throughout the cooking with the thermometer. The time and temperature will vary depending on what you are cooking, and the level of doneness you prefer. 

Place your food into the ziploc bag – you might want to add some seasoning at this point. For example, for a chicken breast you might add some butter and herbs for extra flavour. 

Lower the bag into the water with the top open, this allows the air to escape. Then, hang the top of the bag over the top of your pot and secure it with a clip. 

After this, bring the water to the correct temperature and cook!

Just before serving, you might want to sear your food for a few seconds. This works especially well for steaks, brisket, and burgers.

Season to taste, and serve! 

Take a look at our full range of premium beef and meats here at Tim Hixson of Smithfield, and find the perfect cut for sous vide. Keep an eye on our food blog for more recipes, tricks, and cooking tips!

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