Follow This Temperature Trick For Perfect Sous Vide

Once primarily limited to the kitchens of upscale restaurants, sous vide cooking has been adopted by home cooks who are taking on the precise cooking method with success. An important factor in realizing the perfectly-cooked vegetable or piece of meat is making sure that the temperature of the water is correct for the desired outcome. To know how to cook using the sous vide method, first you must understand the basics. Merriam-Webster defines sous vide as a method of cooking food in slow fashion using a vacuum-sealed pouch at a low temperature in order to keep most of the juices and aroma throughout the cooking process.

The origin of the method's name is French, meaning "under vacuum," according to Sous-Vide Magazine. It states that the technique was first widely used in industrial food production, but was then used by restaurant chefs to obtain the best texture and flavor of the foods they were preparing. To obtain those great results, however, the food must be prepared precisely. This can be intimidating for some home chefs, according to All Recipes. The water temperature used in the sous vide method is below the simmering point and generally ranges from 125 degrees F to 195 degrees F.

Sous-Vide Magazine breaks the temperatures down: 42.8 degrees F should be the temperature for the food before it's placed in the sous vide pouch and between 400 to 450 degrees F is the right temperature for searing or finishing a sous vide steak.

Temperature trick for perfect sous vide cooking

This emphasis on precision may make you feel like you need to be a mathematician to use the sous vide cooking method, but ButcherBox Head Chef Yankel Polak shared with Tasting Table a trick:

"Shoot for 5 degrees below your favored temperature for a rest, and about 10 degrees if you plan to reheat and not eat immediately," Polak said.

Overcooking meat with the sous vide method is hard to do, but it can happen. When it does, the meat will be tough and difficult to eat. By giving yourself a temperature buffer when cooking, you are helping to avoid that undesirable cook.

"Sous vide food temperatures translate to any other temperature when grilling or cooking meat," Polak said. 

Next time you consider cooking in a sous vide style, don't be intimidated. Simply use this temperature trick for perfectly cooked meat or vegetables.