Sous Vide History at a Glance

Whether you aim to enhance the tenderness of roast beef or the savory flavor of pork belly, you can use sous vide cooking. While this popular cooking method has been around for decades, few people know its history.

Understanding sous vide history can help you improve your knowledge of this cooking technique. This blog post will talk about how George Pralus and Bruno Goussalt discovered under-the-vacuum cooking and how they worked together to develop this fine-dining technique.

Keep reading to learn how this cooking method was developed and how it’s changed the culinary world today for both restaurant chefs and home cooks.

What Is Sous Vide Cooking Technique?

Sous Vide Cooker Immersion Circulator and meat .

 

If you are a cooking enthusiast, you have probably heard about sous vide cooking. While it hasn’t been around as long as more tried and true techniques, it’s become a favorite.

Sous vide cooking is a method of preparing or defrosting meals in a water bath. An immersion circulator evenly distributes heat to cook your food inside an air-tight plastic bag.

You could use vacuum sealers, but it is not mandatory. You can also use techniques like the water displacement method. Regardless of the method, you must remove all of the air from the bag, but you can use the water displacement method instead of a vacuum sealer.

Using the sous vide cooking style, you can ensure that your meal cooks properly in its own juices. This means the food won’t get soggy. Add olive oil to the plastic bag before submerging it in water to produce a restaurant-grade result.

It will also prevent overcooking because the immersion circulator turns off itself when it reaches the perfect temperature and cooking time. It is great for cooking meats, fruits, vegetables, and even runny yolk.

Why Is It Called Sous Vide?

Cooking meat in packages of the sous vide technology.

It has a literal translation. Sous vide means cooking under a vacuum. This comes from the process of sealing the food in a plastic bag, running it under a vacuum sealer, and cooking it to tenderness with a sous vide machine.

By cooking this way, you create a meal that is tricky to achieve under different circumstances. Water pressure, less oxygen, and the right temperature are all you need to achieve a consistent result for your dishes.

It uses low-temperature long-term cooking instead of a traditional cooking temperature. The latter is more prone to uneven cooking, making the sous vide style advantageous for chefs. It also creates an unforgettable texture and taste.

Sous Vide History

Concept of the idea of the sous vide cooking.

Sous vide began when George Pralus and Bruno Goussault independently discovered it was a great way to improve food quality.

History strongly suggests that Benjamin Thompson discovered low-temperature cooking back in the late 1700s. Using a pot that he had invented for drying potatoes, Thompson wanted to see if he could roast meat with this technique.

Almost four centuries later, in 1974, Pralus and Goussault used this principle to create sous vide. Though they began their work separately, they eventually came together to master the technique.

You would think these encounters would steer the world toward vacuum-pressure cooking, but the innovation didn’t come until later. When that happened, the sous vide cooking style wasn’t engineered for cooking, but for sterilizing food on a large scale.

Before then, the water bath and immersion circulation method were used in the science lab for tasks that involved heat transfers.

Pralus was a chef who was deliberately on the search for a better method to improve the taste of foie gras, a meal that achieved maximum flavor. He discovered that cooking the dish in its own fat made it taste much better.

Goussault was head chef at the food company Cuisine Solutions when he discovered the sous vide cooking method. The company was founded in 1971 and the owner, Pierre Troisgros, tasked Goussault with finding a solution to mass food packaging and preservation.

Around the time he discovered the heat transfer medium could be used to retain the flavor and quality of food in bulk, Pralus was finding that cooking lamb in its own fats made it taste better.

As you may have guessed, up until recently, the sous vide cooking style was not for general use. It was limited to the food industry. Not everyone could master low-temperature cooking at the time because the secret was still unknown.

At best, you would get a perfectly cooked dish at a fine-dining restaurant and spend the drive home wondering how the chef did it.

The immersion circulators were not the cheapest commodities in the market because they were new. It was primarily an industrial food preservation method, even though French chefs were also experimenting with it.

Now, you can get this handy device on Amazon for as low as $99! The modern ones have significant upgrades that also help you monitor your food. You can determine the exact temperature to cook your meals to perfection.

You determine how long you want your food to cook. If you prefer it tender or rare, look up the recipe to achieve that texture and get to work!

The Pros of Sous Vide Cooking

Sous vide cooks food to perfection. One of the perks of cooking sous vide is getting a meal that is the perfect texture and taste. If you have seen sous vide chefs in action before or prepared your meals sous vide style, you know that you must add every ingredient needed at the beginning.

By using sealed air and a regulated internal temperature, you can cook your food to perfection.

Lubrication ensures that your food does not stick to the body of the bag. Oil helps you cook perfectly. If you enjoy fish, you may not eat it often because cooking is not the easiest task. You must cook it to perfection to enjoy the taste, but it is pretty easy to be caught between overdone and undercooked.

By using a sous vide machine, say goodbye to the tussles involved in cooking fish.

It helps you achieve consistency. You can create consistent recipes for your meals by cooking them sous vide style. This is how restaurant chefs maintain the right amounts of fat in delicate dishes.

This also provides an undiluted flavor that increases how savory the food tastes. The best part is that you can consistently prepare meals without closely monitoring the cooking process.

Tips for Cooking Sous-Vide Style

  • Fill the surface of the water bath with ping pong balls to keep the plastic bag from floating to the top.
  • Avoid stainless steel containers because they are not great insulators.
  • Use the water displacement method if you don’t have a vacuum sealer.
  • Start with larger-sized vegetables because their sous vide recipes are easier to adopt.
  • There will always be air pockets, especially when you use the displacement method. But if you are uncomfortable with them, you can rotate the plastic bag during cooking for even distribution.
  • Use a trusted recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sous Vide Cooking Safe?

Yes, sous vide cooking is safe. It uses a constant temperature to cook food with delicacy, tenderness, and precision. But of course, you are putting the dish in a plastic bag, which raises questions.

Plastic is not the best material for the environment or your health. So, how do you bypass the apparent doubts regarding food safety?

Since sous vide was created, the food industry has created reusable, safe plastic bags specifically for this method.

Is sous vide cooking a 21st-century invention?

Yes and no. Part of the principle behind sous vide was first tested in the 18th century by Benjamin Thompson. However, innovations in the methods of cooking sous vide style did not come until the 1970s. Now, you can get one of these handy little devices anywhere.

Is sous vide good for cooking?

Yes, and some will argue that it beats conventional cooking. The low heat and pressure generated by the immersion circulator can be altered to suit the meal of your choice. There are many sous vide recipes that you can check for guidance.

Conclusion

Sous vide history dates back to the 18th century. Shocking, considering the intricacies and bells and whistles the modern versions come loaded with.

There are many reasons to be grateful for the water immersion technique, whether you enjoy a well-cooked meal every morning or would need it to defrost your food. Cooking food under pressure may be slower, but its precise temperature ensures that heat transfer circulates.

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