Rick developed a recent fascination with modern cooking styles. Are things done differently in fine restaurants that make their food taste so good? Can we replicate any of that at home? It turns out the answer to both of those questions are “yes.” One technique is “sous vide” — French for “under vacuum.”

So, here’s the latest addition to our kitchen — a sous vide machine.

Sous Vide

Sous Vide machine in a Cambro box (the yellow tool to the side isn’t part of it — that’s a meter!)

The food is vacuum-packed then cooked slowly at a consistent low temperature in a water bath. One thing I learned is that what we’re taught about food temperatures is a bit simplistic. Poultry needs to get to 165 degrees Fahrenheit if you’re cooking it quickly. But it’s just as safe to cook poultry for a longer time at a lower temperature.

Rick took the lid off so I could get a photo of the turkey legs in the water.

Turkey Legs Sous Vide

Turkey legs, vacuum-packed. The sous vide machine is clamped on the back of the box. The box is filled with water and the sous vide machine keeps it circulating and at a constant temperature.

This photo was mostly because we liked how the bubbles formed under the lid, but it also shows a close-up of the sous vide machine.

Sous Vide machine

We have our sous vide machine set in Celsius.

Enough juices came from the bag at the end to make gravy!

Making gravy

We made a roux and added the juices from the vacuum packs.

We had a yummy supper — salad with some of the first lettuce from my garden, stuffing made in the bread machine, tender turkey made using the sous vide method, and gravy!

Turkey supper with stuffing and salad

Salad, turkey, stuffing, and gravy

That turkey supper was our first sous vide success.

We’ve tried salmon a couple of times, using flash-frozen wild-caught salmon. The first wasn’t anything to write home about. The second was better — we brined it — but a little too salty. One of the reasons that we’re interested in restaurant-style cooking at home is because we eat low-sodium. Restaurant food is frequently ruined for us because it’s way too salty. So, we’ll need to work on our salmon technique — possibly shorter brining time, but I think Rick is looking at a sous vide technique that puts lots of oil in the vacuum pack to improve the texture of the fish.

Here was our second big win with the sous vide machine — baby potatoes cooked with salt, pepper, butter, and a sprig of rosemary.

Vacuum packing potatoes with the FoodSaver

Those of you who do much freezing probably recognize this machine — a FoodSaver vacuum packer.

We had our third delicious sous vide meal last night. It was another turkey dish. This time we cooked the turkey legs with the sous vide machine for 21 hours! Besides low-salt, we’re also a no-red-meat household. Rick, who has the meat allergy, misses some things — like pulled pork. Our new answer for that is turkey legs cooked until they’re falling apart and then shredded and served with a tangy sauce. We enjoyed that so quickly that I didn’t get a photo!

Is this the first you’ve heard of sous vide?

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First Sous Vide Adventures #WeekendCooking #Photos — 11 Comments

  1. This is the first I’ve heard of sous vide. Very interesting. I have been working to eat less salt and sugar and try not to add either anymore. It’s been amazing to me how quickly my taste buds have adjusted to a new norm. Lots of things taste too salty to me now. Good luck with your experimentation. The turkey legs sounds really, really good.

  2. This is definitely the first I’ve ever heard of sous vide! How interesting. Have fun as you continue to experiment with different foods. 🙂

  3. I’ve heard of sous vide, but have never tried doing it myself. In fact, I don’t know that I’ve had anything cooked in that manner in a restaurant either. On a side note, I spoke with a local chef recently and she was poaching eggs sealed in plastic wrap pouches (large wrap squares tied at the top). I wonder if you could so something similar with your machine? It could be a fun, inexpensive ingredient to experiment with. 🙂

  4. Wow- I’ve never heard of/seen such a thing. I have to be honest though, it kind of reminds me of a slow cooker/canning pot with plastic bags instead of jars. Still, looks like it can cook something delicious!
    ~Litha Nelle

  5. I’m impressed! I’ve never met a home cook who used sous vide before. It seems like a lot of time and work to me, tbh, but it’s kinda cool.

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