Sous vide is a cooking technique that has become very popular in recent years and is often associated with other modernist cooking techniques such as foams and gels and other fancy cooking techniques.
But although investing in a sous vide machine may sound like a bit of a fancy and expensive thing to do for the average home cook and let alone any student, you may be surprised to hear that they are actually a very practical tool to have in the kitchen, particularly if you need to save money or are very busy.
There are actually a few reasons why sous vide is the perfect cooking technique for students, so read on to find out why we think you should consider it.
What exactly is sous vide?
If you’ve never actually heard of sous vide before, you may be wondering what on earth it even is. Essentially, sous vide is a French term which means ‘under vacuum’ and the cooking method involves vacuum packing your food and then immersing it in a temperature-controlled water bath.
The food then cooks to the exact temperature of the water. This means that it is pretty much impossible to overcook anything, and that’s great news if you love steak and hate mushy vegetables.
You will need to sear any meat you cook after cooking it sous vide, as this method can’t give it that brown crust as it isn’t exposed to direct heat, but that will take you mere minutes at the end of your cooking time!
You don’t need to watch over your food
One of the great benefits if you’re a busy student is that when cooking sous vide, you don’t need to stay in the kitchen and watch your food to make sure it cooks properly. You don’t need to stir it or adjust it in any way as you usually do when using a stovetop or grill, you just literally pop it in the water bath and forget about it.
You can even leave your food in for longer than you need to if you decided to do work while it was cooking and got into the swing of something. There’s no danger that your chicken breasts will dry out and become unappealing as the temperature won’t increase from what you’ve set it to.
Unlike a slow cooker, with sous vide cooking food won’t get mushier the longer it’s cooked, but you can still cook it all day or all night if you need to.
It’s great for meal prepping
If you’re really strapped for time, sous vide is a dream come true. You can cook several portions at once and then freeze them for eating later, and you can even season different pouches differently but cook them all at once!
This article from Bon Appetit explains how great sous vide is if you love meal prepping, and it just might change your life.
There is hardly any cleaning up to do after cooking sous vide, which is great if you are living with a shared kitchen and other people are waiting to use the space. You don’t need to wash up anything except perhaps one pan if you’ve used it to sear at the end, and you simply throw out the plastic bag you’ve cooked in.
If you’re trying to use less plastic and this sounds incredibly wasteful to you, you can actually buy silicone reusable pouches to use, which we think is a better solution all round anyway.