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Food Vacuum Sealers - Latest Cooking Craze: Sous Vide Using Food Vacuum Sealers

temperature sealed bags bath

In French, sous vide literally means “under vacuum.” Placing fresh food under vacuum seal, commonly known as “cryovacking,” is the first step in an innovative, scientific cooking technique originally developed for industrial food production, trickling down to modern home kitchens. With the sous vide method, fresh food is placed in plastic bags and sealed using food vacuum sealers. The vacuum sealed food is placed in a tepid water bath heated by an immersion circulator. Using the sous vide technique, food is tender and cooked evenly throughout.

Successful sous vide cooking requires food vacuum sealers that leave as little air in the bag as possible. This reduces the risk of gases released or food bags floating to the surface during cooking, which prevents food from reaching its ideal cooking temperature. Removing air from the vacuum sealed bags also reduces bacteria growth.

Another advantage of using food vacuum sealers is the ability to accelerate marinating and rubs by infusing the vacuum sealed food with the rub or marinade. The absence of air in the sealed food bags concentrates and shortens the infusion process. Combined with sous vide water bath cooking, this makes for tender, succulent results not easily attained with other cooking methods.

Sous vide rule of thumb: the water bath should be the same temperature as the desired core temperature of the food when done. For example, if you oven-roast a chicken to an internal core temperature of 160 degrees, then for sous vide, the external water bath temperature should be maintained at 160 degrees throughout the cooking time.

The sous vide method seems to work best for foods that would ordinarily be braised, poached, or steamed. Food cooked sous vide at low temperature does not brown. For presentation purposes, many chefs quickly glaze or brown the sous vide-cooked food in a hot sauté pan or under a broiler before plating and serving.

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