What Does a Sous Vide Machine Do?
A sous vide machine is a cooking machine that cooks meats, vegetables, fruits, cottage cheese and soy food the sous vide way. The sous vide cooking method is a very popular method of professional cooking. In this method, food is cooked in sealed vacuum packs placed in a water bath.
The temperature of the bath is not kept very high, and the food is cooked at a low temperature for an extended period of time.
A sous vide machine consists of a container that can hold water; a rack in which pouches containing food can be kept while being cooked inside the machine; and a digital device for controlling the temperature and cooking time. The machine runs on electricity.
The food inside the vacuum packs is cooked in slow heat; heat reaches the food by the thermal radiation property of heat. In the slow heat, the spices, herbs, sauces, cream, yoghurt and other condiments,in which the food has been marinated,slowly and evenly starts entering the cellular spaces of the food,and gradually spreads throughout the food’s intra-space till the entire intra-space area has been homogenously saturated.
In the slow heat, the food starts becoming tender and palatable, and the cell walls become more permeable but do not burst. The temperature control feature of the machine cuts off the electric supply as soon as the target temperature has been reached so as not to overcook the food.
Standard features of sous vide machines
- Requires less power
- Runs silently
- Digital temperature control
- High precision
- Can store heat for hours and even days
- Saves time and energy
- Uses clean fuel
- Easy to clean
- Nutrition and flavors are preserved
- Food gets thoroughly marinated
- Food cooks on its own
- Food is cooked in microbe-free vacuum environment
- Cooked food can be refrigerated in the same vacuum packs
- Vacuum packing preserves food for a long time
- Cooks difficult foods easily like meat, steak, ribs, turkey, seafood
- Food is cooked justright, is neither overcooked and neither undercooked
- Easy to use; even a novice can use it
- Food cannot be seared or turned golden brown or crispy
- Lapse in following instructions, safety measures can be detrimental
Sous vide cooking machines are becoming popular, they have been very much in vogue in restaurants and hotels, but now people are increasingly buying sous vide machines for their homes as well.
While purchasing a sous-vide cooking machine, you should ascertain that the machine bears the mark of quality; it should be of standard-approved quality. Standard manufacturers and dealers generally provide a warranty along with their products. The warranty can be for a period of one year or more.
You should also check the functioning of the machine and preferably get a demonstration done. Today, most manufacturers provide online or YouTube video demonstrations to instruct you in the operation of the product.
Along with the sous vide machine,you will also get a user’s manual, electric cord, food rack, recipe book, time and temperature chart, and a few other accessories as per the offer of the selling firm.
Sous vide machines are really time saving and seem like a perfect panacea to all cooking-related woes, yet a few cautionary measures need to be considered and practiced when necessary.
First of all,you should read the instruction manual and operate the machine as instructed. In the case of any abnormality, the machine should be immediately stopped, and troubleshooting measures applied.
You should use standard-quality vacuum food packs which have been made especially for cooking food under vacuum, and seal the packs with a vacuum sealer before placing them inside the machine. Using sub-standard or non-recommended vacuum pouches can be harmful.
The temperature and time chart should be referred to while cooking food; cooked food should usually be served within a few hours, though this might vary according to food type. Some food preparations may require food to be kept for one or more days in low heat, though in switched off mode.
Though vacuum sealing prevents microbial growth and slow heat pasteurizes certain foods, it is best to use previously pasteurized foods for cooking. Sous vide machines do not provide a crisp golden brown finish; if this is desired then food can be seared to get the desired texture after taking it out from the machine, and before serving.