How we cook food is always changing. Gone are the days (mostly) of cooking over an open fire, with little more than a stick to act as a "kitchen gadget." Though nothing can replicate the taste created by fire on food, new methods of cooking have always inspired chefs to take their recipes to the next level. From the hearth to the microwave oven, this journey has not been fraught with peril. (For every worthwhile kitchen gadget, there seems to be a dozen that aren't.) However, every once in a while, the home cook is faced with a new challenge (cooking method) from which to build upon and grow.
Sous vide literally translates to "under vacuum" in French, but that's only half the story when it comes to sous vide cooking. Using a water bath as the cooking medium, the method requires consistent temperatures over a long period of time. While most people will skip the recipes that take two days to complete (yes, a very long time to wait for dinner), most recipes do not require so much forethought. What has been a growing trend in professional kitchens is now available at home.
Enter the SousVide Supreme Water Oven.
The countertop unit works in tandem with a vacuum sealer. Simply seal your food in a bag, and then pop it in the water bath. The machine regulates the temperature of the water to a 1-degree accuracy. The food cooks evenly from edge to edge. This is the main difference between this method and others. Consider chicken, fish, beef, or pork: when cooked by traditional methods, the inside is never cooked exactly as the outside. With sous vide cooking, food has no other option but to heat consistently; the temperature never rises above a set point.
Good things never go out of style; as proficient as sous vide cooking may be, the final results still benefit from a quick sear over an open fire to give it added taste and flavor. There's something comforting in the fact that no matter how far we progress in cooking technology, we still always come back to fire.