Cooking is an art that requires time and effort and that’s why for busy people, it becomes a challenge to prepare a home-cooked meal in their homes every night. Oftentimes, such people will prefer using appliances like slow cookers, pressure cookers, and sous vide machines to make the cooking work easier.
Sous vide cooking is easy, especially if you know how to go about it. This cooking technique is known for the preparation of juicy and tender meat, unlike the meat you can get on a grill or oven.
But there is a science to it and if you make any of the mistakes we are going to explain below, you will end up with uncooked or overcooked food.
Well, with any new endeavor, it’s imperative to familiarize yourself with some ground rules before you take the bull by its horns. Sous vide cooking is one of the techniques, though easy to get along with, if it’s your first time, you will want to arm yourself with information on the best practices that goes a long way with the technique.
Thankfully for you, in this article, we have shared some of the major mistakes when it comes to sous vide and how to avoid them.
Let’s get right inside.
Sous Vide Cooking Mistakes and How to Overcome Them
- Improper Submersion
It is true, you just need to put your food in a vacuum-sealed bag and immerse it in a water bath, but when done incorrectly, the results will be shocking. If by any chance the water in the sealed bag mixes with your food, you will not get the food you expected.
The solution to this mistake is to ensure your vacuum sealed bag also known as sous vide pouch is properly sealed before immersing it in the water bath. Another mistake to avoid is putting foods with sharp edges in the bag, this will get the sealed bag punctured, for instance, if you put meat with bones in the bag.
Always ensure the bag can accommodate the food you put inside and that the bag is well submerged. Another issue that could make the bag to float is the density of the food. If the food is lighter than the water, then the bag will be floating and this means the food will not be cooked with the right temperature required.
- Letting Water to Evaporate
Another mistake could arise as a result of the water levels in the sous vide bath. Remember, the sous vide machine follows a mechanism that, when the water in the bath is heated at a certain temperature, the heat is then transferred to the food. That’s how food is cooked.
Therefore, your submerged sous pouch should be covered with water all around. And because the sous vide recipes require one to leave the food for some time, chances are the water will evaporate. This means the water levels will go down and the sous vide pouch will be half-immersed. This means your food will be partially cooked which translates to a health hazard.
To avoid this mistake, it is advised to ensure the sous vide container is covered. The good thing is that some sous vide models come with special lids which makes the water that evaporates to go back inside. But for those that do not come with a lid, you could cover them with cling wrap to prevent evaporation.
Also, since sous vide machines come with the sous vide balls, you may not need to worry about water and heat loss since the balls help to prevent evaporation and so you do not have to refill the water frequently, particularly when cooking foods that require longer cooking times.
- Overcooking Foods
Well, it is true with sous vide machine, you cannot overcook food. The reason being, the food is cooked within pre-set temperature. But remember, different foods will behave differently when left in the sous bath for a long period of time. For instance, brisket is packed with intramuscular fat that needs to be broken down for hours for it to become ready for eating.
In this case, you will not only consider the temperature, but also the time required for a particular type of food to become edible.
Mistakes are prone to happen when cooking; whether on sous vide machine, pressure cooker or any other kitchen appliance, the only problem is that some mistakes could make it impossible for you to eat the food. So, it’s better to know them and how to avoid them beforehand.