Friday, November 15, 2013



Ok, you have invited some of your best friends for dinner, now you need to decide what to cook to prove that you have the quality of a professional chef.
You are not the most experienced chef and spending hours of preparation time is not your thing also.
Well sous-vide cooking is your best friend or will definitely become your best friend after you have given this cooking method a try. And that try is so easy to do.
Sous-vide, it sounds soft and sweet like the finished products it achieves, means nothing more than “cooking in vacuum”.
Sous-vide has taken professional restaurant cooking by storm over the years. It can now turn your home kitchen to a level you never imagined.   
All you need is a vacuum sealer, good quality vacuum bags, a stockpot and a digital thermometer. 
This will do for starting sous-vide cooks. When you fall in love with the concept and you will, believe me, you may want to invest in a thermal water circulator.
The whole secret is to bring meats and vegetables in a vacuum sealed bag under low temperatures in a hot water bath, to the desired serving temperature. 
To achieve this part of the process, you need a good quality thermometer and a bit of effort to keep that temperature steady. 
Once the serving temperature has been reached and that may vary, pending on the cut of meat you use, you need to keep that temperature steady. Preferably you should not have any variation in temperatures and maintain the temperature within the range of one degree Celsius in temperature.
This can be a bit tricky but with a bit of dedication you can overcome this hurdle.
A good way of keeping temperatures of water steady is to keep the water moving or swirling, I know of people who use a small aquarium pump for this, the pump creates bubbles and swirls the water, it proves to be a really good tool.       

To keep things simple, let’s take an example, a sirloin steak of 2.5 cm or 1 inch thickness.
Season the steak to your liking, salt, pepper, a rosemary twig, onions, garlic, the choice is yours.   
Place the steak in a vacuum bag and vacuum seal the bag, using one steak per bag.
A good quality vacuum bag is important. This is to avoid any leaking if or when the bag submerges in the water bath. 
Now you need to heat your water. 
There are many guides about sous-vide cooking temperatures and times but for the steak in our example you can follow this guide.  

A rare steak 120 F or  49 Celsius
A medium rare steak 130 F or  56 Celsius
A medium steak 140 F or  60 Celsius
A medium well steak 150 F or  65.5 Celsius
A well done steak 160 F or  71 Celsius
It will take about 45 minutes for a steak of this size, straight from your fridge, to reach this temperature.
Now here is the good part, if your guests are an hour late, no problem. Just leave the bag with the steak in the water and it will be perfect, but make sure your temperature is steady.
When you are ready to serve, remove the bag from the water, take the steak out of the bag and let it rest for 1 or 2 minutes, the slow sous-vide cooking method ensures that the steak is evenly cooked so there is no need for a long resting time for redistribution of juices.
The only, little, disadvantage of sous-vide cooking is that the method does not brown your meat.
To get a perfect looking steak on a plate just pan sear the steak in a hot pan with a little oil until nicely browned on both sides. This will take about 30 seconds on each side.
And there you are, the perfect steak. 
Five minutes preparation time, more time to greet and chit chat with invited friends or family and the applauses are all yours.
Once you have mastered the temperature control, sous-vide cooking will become an integral part of your cooking adventures. I am sure of that. 

Written for PMG 
By Chef Marinus Hoogendoorn 
Culinary expert in recipe development and proof reading.



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Anonymous said...

very good blogs and i am Appreciate this....

Thanks for important information written below..

A rare steak 120 F or 49 Celsius
A medium rare steak 130 F or 56 Celsius
A medium steak 140 F or 60 Celsius
A medium well steak 150 F or 65.5 Celsius
A well done steak 160 F or 71 Celsius

Cooking Sous Vide

Anonymous said...

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