“The key to successful cooking is precise temperature control, and no appliance gives a cook better temperature control than the immersion circulator — the appliance at the heart of sous vide cooking.”
DJ Khaled has never said this; it actually comes from American author Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking. Sous vide cooking has dominated the restaurant industry for the past 40 years, with advocates including Thomas Keller, Wylie Dufresne, and Heston Blumenthal. French for ‘under vacuum’, sous vide is the modern cooking method of placing vacuum-sealed food into a temperature controlled water bath. This method allows for even cooking in an accurate, regulated environment, which help to retain moisture and integrity of nutrients in food with little shrinkage in size.
Sous vide produces impeccably done medium rare steaks, perfectly cooked veggies, and silky fish (amongst other things) by using longer cooking times at lower temperatures. When cooking meat and seafood, the window of time for proper “doneness” is short and using traditional cooking techniques that require high heat (like grilling or roasting) can result in an overcooked exterior and undercooked interior if not handled properly. Sous vide allows for uniformity, not only when cooking proteins, but when making sauces and infusions too. Custards and cream sauces welcome even temperature cooking, which prevents curdling, and the infusion process is accelerated when heat is used to infuse alcohol and syrups with different ingredients.
Surprisingly, a successful sous vide setup doesn’t require too much equipment – just a pot, a thermal immersion circulator, and food safe vacuum-sealed bags (freezer safe bags also work). Now cooks at home can create sous vide meals, previously restricted to commercial kitchens, with tools like the Nomiku device. Based in San Francisco, Nomiku began on Kickstarter 3 years ago and produces the most compact thermal immersion circulator on the market. Nomiku is a device that clips onto pots to create temperature controlled water baths. Their newest model includes the addition of Wi-Fi, which allows cooks to control the device from their mobile phones – adjusting temperatures, extending cooking times, plus creating and sharing recipe ideas on Nomiku’s companion app, Tender.