All Articles
All Articles
FOOD + DRINK

SousVide Supreme

Our experiments with the French slow-cooker reinvented for home kitchens

by Evan Orensten
on 01 June 2010
sous-vide1.jpg sous-vide-supreme-3.jpg

Most people already familiar with boil-in-bag cooking—where you plop a bag of frozen or pre-cooked food into a pot of boiling water—will easily grasp the concept of Sous-vide. Literally translated in French, the term means "under vacuum," and the method refines the simple concept by slowly cooking seasoned, vacuum-sealed foods in warm water at very precise temperatures. Therein lies the art and science of sous-vide; obtaining and controlling the temperature of a water bath for long periods of time (up until now) required much larger and much more expensive professional equipment. Sure, you can try this at home with basic tools, but it's very challenging to achieve a degree-specific temperature and to hold it for hours at a time with make-shift equipment.

The invention of sous-vide cooking, credited to Chef Georges Pralus, dates to 1974 when, as the chef of Restaurant Troisgros in Rouanne, France, Pralus discovered that cooking fois gras sous-vide preserved its color and texture. His efforts, along with those of Bruno Goussault, created the standards for the temperatures and times required to cook various foods sous-vide, and the two have spent much of their careers since educating chefs around the world about the technique.

sous-vide-supreme-2.jpg

Benefits of sous-vide are simple and rather anticlimactic. Cooking slow at optimally low temperatures ensures that it never gets overcooked. Once the food reaches the temperature of the water, it can remain in the waterbath without overcooking. The slowness creates fully cooked food at sometimes surprising textures. Food cooks only in its own juices, retaining nutrients and enhancing both natural flavors and the intensity of any added seasonings.

The SousVide Supreme, the first sous vide cooking appliance marketed for home use, can also certainly be used on a small scale in a professional kitchen. Testing one of the devices for the past week has impressed us with how easy it is to use and how tasty our test meals have been. Cooking with the machine is as simple as filling it with water and setting the temperature (and timer if you need it). Put the pouches in the water. Wait until done. To clean up, empty out the water and dry.

We cooked eggs multiple ways, steak, Branzino and Salmon. Creating creamy soft boiled eggs took 60 minutes at 146°. (Whole eggs cook in the machine without vacuum sealing.) Scrambled eggs that had a custard-like texture required 25 minutes at 167° and a few squeezes along the way to break up the eggs as they firmed. The salmon cooked to perfection in 40 minutes, the steak took two hours at 140°, resulting in a perfectly cooked medium rare, unbelievably tender piece of meat. The best meal was our whole Branzino, which we seasoned with lemongrass, ginger, garlic and coconut milk. (See the photo below.)

sous-vide-supreme-6.jpg sous-vide-supreme-9.jpg

While sous-vide eliminates the need to stir or monitor meals-in-the-making (with eggs as an exception to the time rule, as their three-part protein structure requires exact timing to achieve desired results), setting the temperature to the precisely accurate degree is important. All temps are kept below boiling, but the difference of a few degrees can affect the overall outcome. Though written for the professional kitchen, Chef Thomas Keller's Under Pressure cookbook offers great insight on how to achieve the best results for each type of food. We also found the recipes on the SousVide Supreme site to offer some guidance, and multiple blogs cater to sous-vide enthusiasts. (We recommend SousVideCooking.org.)

sous-vide-supreme-5.jpg

For amateur and experienced home cooks alike, the SousVide Supreme makes an awesome tool for experimentation and rounding out your kitchen tricks. It sells online and at Sur la Table for $450.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible
Loading More...