No, I am not a professional chef…but I that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be one. I mean, that’d be a nice little bonus right? Hi, I work in advertising, I have a life & style blog..AND oh yeah, I am a professional chef.
I always wondered how restaurants manage to cook steak perfectly EVERY TIME. It has to be chaos in those kitchens (my kitchen is chaos cooking for two – I still can’t get stuff to cook properly!), how do they keep track of how much time each steak requires?! Well, I hate to break it to you, but most restaurants don’t keep track. They have this magical device called the sous vide.
There are different variations of sous vides – ones used by large restaurants vary from those made for us wannabe chefs. I purchased a home-friendly sous vide, the Joule by ChefSteps, to see what all this hype was about (& because I wanted to make progress against my #chefgoals). The device came with a hefty price tag at $199, but curiosity inspired me to pull the trigger.
Sous vide = “under vacuum” in French. It’s a method of cooking that involves vacuum sealed bags & water. I know that sounds insane, but hear me out! So…you put the sous vide (looks like a large thermometer) into a big bucket of water and it heats it up to just the right temperature to cook whatever it is you want in your tummy. That food you want? You zip it up in a plastic bag (one that is BPA free, of course), and put it in the water. And wait…And wait…
Keep waiting. No, another 15 minutes. 5 more. Okay, yeah now it’s ready.
It takes a LONG time to make your food with a sous vide. When you’re hangry and devouring all foods at arm’s length (me at 6pm everyday), this thing is not a good idea. Save it for another day when you can plan your meal. Otherwise, you will eat everything in your pantry in the time it takes to cook a steak.
BUT…I will admit, if you’re willing to put in the effort and wait it out, it does amazing things (exhibit A below with the most perfectly cooked egg). Yes, that tastes as good as it looks. I’ve made steak with the Joule as well, and it came out equally amazing. It does require an extra step of searing for a 1-2 mins on each side to get the crispy surface.
There are plenty of other things I can sous vide that I haven’t yet tried. ChefSteps has a recipe hub on their site & app (everything with the Joule is controlled within the app – including turning it on & off) which makes it really easy to follow recipes. Some I’m looking forward to trying next – caramelized carrots, jam?!, octopus, roasted beets.
Is sous vide cooking worth it? All in all, as long as you level-set and plan ahead, sous vide cooking is a nice-to-have. I’m not sure it’s worth the price tag, but in the meantime, I am enjoying my perfectly cooked steak and eggs.