If you have the best immersion circulator at home, chances are you want to test it out with the best foods to sous vide. Good thing a sous vide cooker can work on most ingredients and deliver more impressive results than traditional methods. Here are some food items that you’ll surely sous vide from now on.
1. Tough and Cheap Meat Cuts
You think sous vide is only a foolproof cooking method for those expensive steak cuts. Well, not until you try it with cheap neck, leg and rib parts that nobody wants to cook. You see, animals use these cuts of meat to move, making them tough and robust.
However, this slow-cooking technique makes it easier to break down these protein strands. The result is a super tender meat dish that’s delicious and budget-friendly. We get to reduce food waste and have more sous vide recipes to enjoy, too.
- Chicken feet, oxtail, beef tongue and short ribs are some of the best foods to sous vide.
- Depending on your sous vide recipe, you’ll likely cook these meats at 65C or higher for several hours. So, make sure to use high-quality vacuum bags.
- Cover your temperature-controlled water bath with a lid or some bubble or plastic wrap to insulate your tub and control evaporation.
2. Burgers, Sausages and Corned Beef
These are my absolute favourite fillings for bread. I also prefer making them homemade, so I can add all the flavourings I love. The problem is burgers and sausages are easy to burn on the outside and leave the inside slightly raw. On the other hand, corned beef tends to dry out when cooked at home.
For perfect sandwich bites every time, try making these with your precision cooker. The hot water-bath method will cook your meat through. Then you can finish cooking it to your personal preference without worrying about food safety or texture.
3. Easy-to-Overcook Meat
Sous vide is a more forgiving cooking technique. With this machine, it’s less likely for you to overcook your steak, make dry pork chops or turn scallops into rubber. That’s because, unlike ovens or stovetops, sous vide cookers allow you to cook at a lower cooking temperature.
Your water bath is an indirect source of heat that won’t burn your food either. Even if you let it cook for a few more minutes, your dinner will still have the perfect texture and flavour. Plus, the moist environment inside the vacuum-sealed bag means your food stays flavourful and moist.
Here’s a list of the best foods to sous vide that you won’t overcook from now on!
- Duck breast or leg. Tender duck meat with crispy skin cooked the sous vide way is perfect if you want to serve a restaurant-style dish. Duck leg confit is tasty, too. You can even substitute it with chicken legs and still impress your dinner party guests.
- Lamb. Are you tired of serving chewy lamb rump and chops? Forget about those when you can sous vide like a pro.
- Pork chops. For a quick dinner, sear your sous vide pork chops in oil or butter, then serve it with rice and vegetables. Pork loin and tenderloin are great for sous vide cooking as well.
- Salmon. Even professional chefs find this fish tricky to cook. But with sous vide, salmon fillets stay flaky, juicy and pinkish after cooking. They even retain their size as moisture stays inside the sealed bag.
- Steak. Say goodbye to hit-or-miss steak for your weeknight dinner! With precision cooking, you can get your ideal doneness every time without the guesswork. Just make sure to follow the suggested cooking time to avoid turning it into mush. After sous vide, sear the meat in butter or duck fat for colour and extra flavour.
- Chicken or turkey breast. Add seasoning, fat and aromatics in the bag so you can serve your turkey or chicken breast straight out of the bag. You can give it a quick sear, too, if you prefer. For meal prep, I like to sous vide these with only salt and pepper. Then I freeze them for soups, stir-fries or sandwiches later.
Cooking protein is hard to nail for sure. Good thing eggs are also one of the best foods to sous vide. This staple ingredient can be on any meal of the day. Plus, there are many ways how to serve it. So, cooking eggs to perfection every time without making second guesses is two thumbs-up for me.
The best part is you don’t have to watch the eggs as they cook to get the right texture. You can even directly drop in-shell eggs into your water bath. Also, batch cooking eggs is a great time saver and perfect for brunch!
Fried eggs are probably the only egg recipe that you cannot do with sous vide. But there are plenty of other egg dishes that suit this cooking process.
- Pasteurised eggs. These are ideal if you love making egg-based sauces, dressings, beverages or ice cream.
- Poached eggs. Eggs Benedict for a crowd? Now, you can easily do that with your immersion circulator! Make sure to try making the famous 63-degree eggs, too.
- Scrambled eggs. Pour your beaten eggs into a resealable plastic or silicone bag, add seasoning and butter if you like, then sous vide. And voila! Enjoy your creamiest scrambled eggs yet with toast.
5. Certain Vegetables
Like proteins, vegetables are easy to overcook as well. Moreover, most of them need to cook in water, which often results in nutrients leaching out. Your sous vide cooker solves these by cooking vegetables gently in a sealed bag.
Now, it’s even easier to serve nutritious meals at home. Just make sure you know how to prep and seal your veggies the right way.
If you love cooking vegetables, here are some of the best foods to sous vide.
- Asparagus. Add butter and garlic but hold the salt when cooking asparagus through sous vide. This way, you get to preserve its bright green colour. Once the spears are out of the bag, you can toss them in parmesan cheese or lemon juice with salt and pepper.
- Carrots. Before sealing your chopped carrots, put in your favourite herb, some garlic and fat. After sous vide cooking, let the carrot’s natural sugars caramelise on a hot skillet. You now have the same perfect side dish, only crisper and more delicious!
- Corn. When it comes to nutrients and flavour, sous vide corn is better than boiled or steamed ones. Plus, you can add butter and aromatics in the bag and enjoy your cob right away after cooking!
6. Dairy and Custard Desserts
Desserts by sous vide? Yes! As it uses the water bath method, your sous vide cooker works for bain-marie or steamed treats. You can try it with your crème brûlée and cheesecake recipes. However, instead of using resealable bags, it’s best to pour your mixture into single-serve glass containers. That way, after cooling your cooked custards, you can serve them straight away in small jars. Try making homemade yoghurt using your sous vide machine, too.
With so many best foods to sous vide, you do not have to stop at dinner for sure! Such a compact and versatile cooker will have you whipping up one perfectly cooked dish after another. So, go wow your family and friends from breakfast to dessert. Happy sous vide cooking!