BY HOLLY E. THOMAS
At this busy time of year, preparing lavish meals for friends and family becomes a labor of love. The problem with conventional cooking methods is that there’s often more time spent laboring—and fewer moments left for savoring the results with those you hold dear. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way, because sous vide simplifies cooking for large groups by saving time, oven space—and maybe even your sanity. Below, we’ve listed the top three reasons why you should embrace the method in time for your next dinner party.
LESS “COOKING” TIME
No one wants to be chained to the kitchen while others are catching up and having fun, so use sous vide to decrease the time spent hovering over a hot stove. Once you prep, season, and seal your ingredients, just set a precise temperature for your water bath and allow your vacuum sealed pouches to circulate. While they cook unattended (time in circulation could be anywhere from 30 minutes to three days), you’re free to spend quality time with loved ones. Or, take those extra hours to prepare other family recipes that make a holiday meal feel special, like homemade pie or dinner rolls whipped up from scratch.
Cooking meats and seafood by traditional means is an unforgiving process. Just a few minutes too long on the stove or in the oven—say, just the amount of time it takes to greet Aunt Ida and point her toward the appetizers— and you can end up with tough, dry proteins. With the sous vide method, the flavor and texture of most foods won’t be affected by a couple more minutes of cooking at the target temperature. Translation? You can achieve evenly done, juicy, tender results every time, even if you get distracted for a few minutes.
BIGGER BECOMES BETTER
Want to keep your cool come the big day? Prepare large amounts of food at once, in advance. With sous vide, you can cook multiple sides in big batches without having to rotate pans in and out of your oven or monitor several pots on the stove. For the budget-minded, consider this: Stock up on seasonal ingredients, such as Brussels sprouts, when you find them on sale. Cook them in batches and freeze, then just defrost in time for dinner.
Dedicated to the Art & Science of Sous-Vide
The first publication devoted to the art and science of sous vide cooking, featuring innovative recipes, visual inspiration, expert techniques for cooking sous vide at home, and exclusive interviews with world-class chefs.