What are the benefits of sous vide?
Convenience, quality, consistency. Your food is done when you’re ready for it, as you can never overcook your meal. You simply set it and forget it knowing the sous vide cooks to an exact temperature every single time.
Is cooking sous vide new?
The sous vide cooking technique has been used for decades in Europe, as well as in high end restaurants in North America for its consistency and efficiency. There’s a very good chance that if you have ordered steak in a restaurant, you’ve had food prepared using the sous vide technique.
Why would I want to “boil” my food in a bag?
While it may seem like this, it’s actually a little different. The water never comes to a boil, but is rather set to a specific temperature to optimally cook the food. This precise temperature of the water prevents overcooking while also being a healthier option than boiling, as the food does not lose nutrients to the water.
Do I have to use vacuum sealed bags?
Vacuum sealed bags are not required but do form a water tight seal that gives your meal more flavour. A good quality zip-top style bag can also be used.
Is it safe to cook in plastic bags?
Bags made for cooking sous vide are perfectly safe. The same holds true for oven bags and popular brands of zip-top bags. These bags are made of a plastic called polyethylene. It is found in containers used for the food industry and has been studied thoroughly.
I’m a barbecue expert, why would I need to use this?
Some like the challenge of cooking on an open flame. The downside, however, is most barbecues have hotter zones and cooler zones, which can make achieving precise temperature control difficult. Different thicknesses of meats and vegetables can also lead to more challenges when guessing doneness. The Kuraidori Precision Cooker takes the guess work out of it. You simply finish the cooking process on the grill. So even if you aren’t a barbecue expert, it tastes like you are.
If I have people that want to cook their steak to different doneness how do I do that?
There are three different options. The first is multiple Kuraidori Precision Cookers set to separate temperatures. The second is to cook the steaks at the lowest temperature (excluding rare), and when it comes time to finish them, place the steaks you want more well done on the grill or pan for a longer period of time. The third method is to begin the cooking process with the most done steak first (excluding well done). Once it has reached the desired temperature, lower the temperature to the next desired level of doneness and then add the steak that needs to be cooked to that temperature. Repeat this until each steak is done. The steaks that are cooked earlier will stay warm in the water bath as the other steaks cook.
Is cooking sous vide healthy?
Yes. Vegetables cooked this way will not give up their nutrients to the water like when boiling or steaming.
What type of vessel should be used to cook in?
Any vessel that is heat resistant and that allows the Kuraidori Precision Cooker to clip onto it. It should also be deep enough to allow for the minimum amount of water to run the unit. Vessels such as stock pots, large food prep containers, plastic totes and even coolers work well.
Does my vessel I cook in require a lid?
A lid is recommended to prevent water evaporation and heat loss especially on long cook times. If a lid cannot be used or modified, plastic wrap or aluminum foil can be used. Some people have even used ping pong balls to cover the surface of the water.
Can the water used for the water bath be preheated?
Warm water from your faucet can be used to reach the desired temperature faster. Water can also be heated in a pot or kettle to speed the process up but care should be taken to ensure the water doesn’t get too hot as it may damage the unit. A basic rule of thumb is to not heat it up past the desired temperature for cooking.
Can food be cooked from frozen?
Yes, food can be cooked right from frozen. This will defrost the food quicker than most methods but the time it takes to cook the food will have to be adjusted to account for it.
How many steaks can I cook at one time?
The Precision Cooker will work with up to 20L of water. A vessel that is large enough to hold 20L and allow for water to circulate around each bag of food is the limiting factor. It is not the quantity of food but the volume of water that needs to be considered.
There is a film that has developed on the metal cylinder of the Precision Cooker. What do I do?
This film is a result of hard water being used for the water bath. Consult the cleaning and care instructions in the manual.
Can I leave food in the water bath and have the Kuraidori Precision Cooker come on with a timer?
Do not use an independent timer to control when the Precision Cooker comes on. Leaving food in a room temperature water bath for a long amount of time is not a good practice of food safety. The water must be at the cooking temperature to be safe.
I cooked some food and want to store it in the fridge. Do I just place the bags in for storage?
Batch cooking or precooking is a great way to use the Precision Cooker. It allows for quicker cook times the following day. Food cooked using the sous vide method should never be stored in the same bag it was cooked in. Use a new bag or container for storage to ensure proper food safety.
Can I season the food before cooking?
Absolutely. Seasoning the food before placing it in the cooking bag is a great way to maximize flavour. Take caution when choosing your seasoning as the flavour added is usually greater than through normal cooking techniques and it may overpower the actual taste of the food.
After cooking, the food does not look cooked. What do I do?
Sous vide cooking does not allow for the food to be browned. Browning requires high heat and a surface for the food to stick on, neither of which occur using the sous vide technique. Foods like steak and chicken should be seared after cooking to give it that finished look. This searing provides a better texture and flavour as well.
Why does this unit not have wifi or Bluetooth?
They are not features that offer much benefit when it comes to sous vide cooking. Once the temperature is set and the Precision Cooker is running there is no need to monitor or change the temperature. You simply set it and let the unit do its job.
Should I place individual pieces of food into each bag or can I have multiple pieces in one bag?
Individual packages are preferred over multiple items in one bag. There will be greater water circulation compared to three steaks stacked on top of each other. Multiple items placed in one bag would require a longer cook time.
My cut pieces of salmon seem to have been bonded or “glued” together when cooking, is this normal?
Salmon contains enzymes that when cooked in this method bind together. Either package the salmon in individual bags or use a good olive oil on the surfaces of the salmon that are touching to prevent the bonding from occurring.
Can I use any recipe?
By all means try different recipes that you are familiar with or would like to test out. Please make sure that the temperature and time chart is followed for food safety.
My bag is floating and not totally submerged. Is this fine?
Even after using the water displacement method or using a vacuum sealer, food may float. Lighter foods or food that consists of several smaller pieces such as green beans or broccoli can make it difficult to remove all of the air from the cooking bag. Adding a small amount of liquid (oil or water) to the bag may help. If the bag still floats a weight such as a small ladle can be placed on the bag to help hold it down.
How do you keep food from sitting on the bottom of the cooking vessel to get good water circulation?
A wire cooling rack can be placed on the bottom of the vessel to elevate the food and allow for better water circulation. The food bags can also be secured to the sides of the vessel using a simple binder clip or even a magnet.
Can I just keep my food in the water bath once the food is cooked?
Yes. Food will keep warm at the temperature that the water bath is set to. There is a maximum amount of time that is given in the temperature time chart that food can sit in the water bath before it begins to lose its texture. It is recommended that the food not exceed these maximum times.
What methods can I use to sear the food?
Cooking torches, frypans heated to high heat, super-hot barbeques and even an oven broiler are all great options. Use what you find works the best for you.
Can I boil grains, rice and other foods in this unit?
The water never reaches a boil so things such as grains and rice may not cook well using this method.