Sous Vide vs Grill-Which One for Best Results?

A juicy steak or flavorful seared vegetables is one of man’s best inventions, mainly because you can serve them for almost any occasion. Getting the right color, taste, and texture on food is an art and skill.

Whether grilling or using the sous vide technique, heat control is a valuable skill to learn if you’re looking to make healthy, restaurant-quality foods at home. So, sous vide vs grill- which method yields the best results? Let’s find out!

What Is Sous Vide?

Sous vide is a cooking method that focuses on maintaining even temperatures throughout the cooking process. Sous vide involves submerging a sealed food item, such as meat or vegetables, into a constantly heating water bath at the perfect temperature. 

Steak, for instance, cooks at 130°F (54°C), so you’ll need to maintain this exact water temperature. Cooking steak using this technique takes hours because it’s a slow-cooking technique. That being said, you can throw your steak into your water bath on a busy day, go to work or finish your chores, and it’ll be ready for dinner.

Placing food directly into a water bath will boil the food. For sous vide, you’ll need a thick plastic bag, such as a freezer bag, to immerse the water in.

Why Sous Vide?

Due to the temperature control and correct timing, you will get a perfectly cooked, thoroughly heated steak without having to monitor it every second. Sous vide is an excellent technique, especially for amateur cooks, because you don’t need extraordinary cooking skills to cook delicious food. In short, with sous vide, the food basically cooks itself! 

In general, sous vide steaks can last up to four hours. They should also be cooked using a sous vide machine and reach an internal temperature of 130°F.

Slow cooking is especially beneficial for tougher cuts of meat because they’ll be gradually tenderized by the breakdown of collagen. If well seasoned, the end result should be flavorful and tender. Vegetables take about ten minutes to cook at around 180°F, except for tougher ones such as beets which may take longer.

Disadvantages of Sous Vide

This cooking method requiresspecial tools, including a sous vide machine and a vacuum sealer, the best of which are more expensive than a standard grill. You will also need to purchase heavy plastic bags to cook with and binders to hold the plastic bags with.

You should get perfectly cooked steaks when using this technique. The problem is that you won’t get the sear that steaks are known for. The good thing aboutsous vide steaks is that they are evenly colored, so you’ll either get an even pink or gray color both on the inside and on the steak’s surface. 

Sous vide steaks also don’t have the smoky flavor that grilled steaks have. To get the browning, you’ll need to place the steak on a hot skillet on medium heat for a quick sear.

How Does Grilling Work?

Grilling is among one of the most traditional cooking methods, especially for steak lovers. Grilling requires intense heat and direct heat contact with what you’re cooking. For this, you can use charcoal or gas-powered for outdoor grills or electricity for indoor grills.

Grilling food requires constant monitoring due to the high heat, and you will have to turn your fish, beef, pork, or vegetables frequently to prevent them from burning.

You can also use a grill for indirect heat by heating one side of your grill and placing your food on the adjacent, non-heated side.

Grill

Advantages

Grilling is perfect for the impatient cook because you can cook a steak in a few minutes over high heat and get that perfect sear.

Grilling burns away the fat in steak, which creates an excellent flavor profile on your steak while reducing how much fat you eat. The perfect steak tastes smoky and is tender, and you’ll also enjoy a nice pink color depending on your preferred level of doneness.

Since you’re cooking fast, you’ll retain most of the nutrients contained in the meat. Keep in mind that the more you heat food, the more nutrients it loses.

Disadvantages

Grilling requires a keen eye, and any minor lapse could lead to gray, overcooked steak. Overcooked steak has no moisture and will be tough to chew. The fat that drains out of a grill also makes these devices greasy after a cooking session. Cleaning a grill is one of the most intense self-inflicted house chores.

Studies have linked roasted or charred food to carcinogenic chemicals, such asheterocyclic amines, which can cause cancer. You should only eat grilled meats once in a while to reduce the chances of developing this disease.

Which Technique Is Better?

Each technique has its advantages and disadvantages, and you can gauge the best method depending on what you prefer. If you’re looking for taste, then grilling might be the better option, but if you’re looking to make healthier food, you may want to consider sous vide. 

If you’re always busy, but still prefer a home-cooked meal, then sous vide is the best meal prep choice because you can run your errands and get a perfectly cooked meal at the end of the day!

Final Thoughts

We can’t choose either one of these cooking methods because they are different and beneficial in unique ways. Sous vide can be viewed as a more modern, scientific cooking method, while grilling is often associated with social bonds because you can enjoy cooking outside with friends and family.

Each of these methods has target users, but it’s always nice to try new things. If you’ve been leaning into grilling, we encourage you to try sous vide and vice versa!

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