Why It Pays To Sous Vide Carrots

If it wasn't for Chef George Pralus, who created the methodical warm water bath method in the 1970s, we wouldn't be treated to perfectly cooked foods with unmatched consistency and taste. In other words, there wouldn't be the beloved technique known as "sous vide," per Sous Vide Supreme.

The ease of using a sous vide machine boils down to a two-step process: Your chosen food is sealed in a plastic bag and given a water bath at a controlled temperature, per Science and Food UCLA. It's almost like the "set it and forget it" mentality that comes with slow cookers since foods here are cooked low and slow as well. This results in ultra-tender foods with more natural-tasting flavors, as well as a heightened nutritional profile, and a decreased likelihood for evaporation and oxidation to occur.

Luckily, sous vide machines are welcoming to a variety of foods. Everything from eggs, tough proteins, and vegetables can benefit from swimming in a heated water bath, per Sous Vide Tools. This is especially true for carrots, and we'll be happy to share why carrots turn out so much better with this French technique.

What happens in the bag?

Perhaps "carrotier" isn't a word, but it's certainly the adjective that Sous Vide Supreme uses to describe the taste of carrots post-sous vide. Here's why: Carrots absorb their natural juices, as well as whatever you place inside the vacuum-sealed pouch, such as herbs, butter, or spicy seasonings. And unlike other methods of cooking, these flavors aren't going to evaporate away or infuse in some kind of chicken stock or broth. They have no choice but to infuse back into the carrots or whatever type of vegetable or protein you decide to use.

As Street Smart Kitchen explains, you get fork-tender carrots with a heightened "carrot-y" flavor. Serious Eats piggybacks on this by explaining that carrots become "sweeter" and "stronger" when cooked alongside butter, sugar, and salt in a sous vide machine. The source also takes it up a notch by glazing the carrots in a skillet after they've finished cooking. This is done using the liquid goodness from the sous vide bag, which helps to create a glossy sheen (on the carrots) after about two minutes on the stove.

So next time you feel like roasting or sautéing a batch of carrots, skip these methods and try your hands at the sous vide technique. You can experiment with varying seasonings and spices and marvel at how carrots end up tasting, well, "carrotier."