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Sous Vide Supreme Lets You Sous Vide At Home Like Chef Thomas Keller And Chef Heston Blumenthal

The turning point in the war against dry chicken and mushy broccoli came in the 1970s, when French chef George Pralus invented sous-vide ("under-vacuum") cooking.

The technique is straightforward: Seal any ingredient–from fruit to foie gras–in an airtight bag, then cook it in a controlled water bath. Meat emerges impossibly tender, vegetables retain their vibrant color and eggs soften into custard.

As simple as it sounds, the equipment and know-how needed for cooking sous-vide has long been prohibitively expensive–and unobtainable by most home cooks (despite the best efforts of chefs like Thomas Keller).

But there's serious change afoot: British chef Heston Blumenthal, known for his culinary alchemy at The Fat Duck, has introduced the Sous-Vide Supreme, a home-friendly version of the commercial immersion circulator.

The machine–which he developed with Eades Appliance Technology and tested in the Fat Duck's kitchens—is a large stainless steel box that heats water via convection currents to ensure it stays at an even and constant temperature.

From there, the process is dummy-proof: Program time and temperature, slip your vacuum-sealed ingredients into the water and take all the credit for perfectly cooked food.

At nearly $400, this appliance isn't cheap (plus you have to buy your own vacuum-sealer), but for amateurs it's the best bet for re-creating Blumenthal's complex creations, like the foie gras with almond gel, cherries and chamomile from his just-released Fat Duck Cookbook.