Sous-vide is a cooking method that is most well known for its use by high-end chefs around the world. Adventurous home cooks have also picked it up from top chefs including the French Laundry’s Thomas Keller, who popularized sous-vide with his 2008 book “Under Pressure,” praising the “explosive flavor” one can achieve.
What Is Sous-Vide?
Sous vide cooking involves sealing food in an airtight vacuum sealed bag and immersing it in temperature controlled water or steam bath. So it makes perfect sense that the french term “sous vide” translates to “under vacuum”. When cooking with water or steam instead of a traditional super heated metal pan you can raise the temperature precisely to get the exact doneness you prefer in your food.
How Sous-Vide Retains Nutrients
While it might seem like a fad on the surface, the nutritional benefits of sous-vide are strongly backed by science (1)
How does this happen? It’s all about the low temperature cooking and the use of food-grade vacuum sealed bags.
Looking at the picture below, you can see how the raw ingredients are placed inside of a vacuum sealed bag then cooked with circulated water or steam.
At Grocery Pup, we heat the steam to 180° F. The food is cooked by this steam for over an hour until it reaches 160°F – the point at which pathogens are killed but no more to retain natural nutrients. The remarkable thing about sous-vide is that the food will never cook above the temperature that the steam is set, preventing any type of overcooking.
The second reason sous-vide retains nutrients better is the use of the vacuumed sealed bag. By cooking the food in these food grade bags, nutrients don’t leach out into cooking water and aren’t exposed to oxygen degradation like with traditional methods.
How Sous-Vide Cooking Enhances Flavor
The other big benefit of sous-vide is the delicious flavors that come out from the cooking process. By cooking the food gently for over an hour, the ingredients are literally marinating in the meat juices for over an hour (4). This meat marinating effect makes our food highly palatable to even the pickiest of dogs.