Continuing with last week’s theme of shining a spotlight on potential gifts for the home chef, we’re showcasing the latest trend in home cooking for the holidays: sous vide. Cooking food sous vide (or “under vacuum”) first started in France in the 70’s, all with the goal of keeping as much flavor in the dish as possible. When that first foie gras was served, it had managed to retain more flavorful fat than any other cooking method.
The same sous-vide methodology has made its way from French restaurants to American cookeries and now the American home. These precision-cooking machines are made for flavor, and cost surprisingly less than you might imagine. That makes them the perfect gift for any home chef (including yourself), whether they’ve been looking for the right sous vide device for a while or might love to try the latest trend. Other benefits of making meals this way? Anything you fear you’ll overcook can be temperature controlled, there’s little to no cleanup involved, and you’ll have an easy time prepping food. Simply vacuum seal all your ingredients, freeze or refrigerate to preserve, then cook them using this method throughout the week.
Find Your Price Range: Anova
Abt carries Anova devices, with products and price ranges perfect for everyone from the beginner chef to the sous vide pro. Some devices show off additional features like smartphone functionality as well–make sure the product you pick can do everything you need it to, and start creating your dream recipes.
The perfect product for the sous vide beginner, this introductory immersion cooker is made with reliability in mind. Anova’s budget-friendly cooker is easy on the price, keeps a temperature dependably, and still doesn’t skimp out on smart features. This device can connect to your phone via Bluetooth, allowing you to check up on your delicate roasts, fish filets and veggies all from the sofa. Even control the water bath temperature within .1 degree Fahrenheit for lab-grade quality. And with a body design that’s lighter and smaller than classic models, the Nano is easy to store and ready to go. Explore the app to find exciting recipes and tips for beginners.
When cooking New York strips and other steaks, don’t forget to sear in a pan once you’re finished cooking. Hoping to learn more about this new type of cooking? Check out our sous vide guide.
An upgrade over the entry-level Nano above, this full-sized version lends higher cooking power to any home chef. A boost in wattage gives you 25% more power over its previous generation. A full 1,000 watts lets you cook all kinds of savory bites, from delicate shrimp appetizers to thick filets. The improvement in power allows home chefs to cook larger portions faster, too, shrinking cook times down to make sous vide a convenient option (yep, even for weeknight meals).
Instead of connecting to your smartphone via Bluetooth, this immersion circulator uses Wi-Fi. That means you don’t need to stay within close range of your soon-to-be dinner. Instead, leave your ingredients to cook for hours at a time, all while you check its progress from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection. Ready to change the temperature or shut the unit off? Open the Anova Culinary app to control the device from your smartphone, or adjust by using the digital interface on top of the unit. Looking for dinnertime inspiration? Explore the app for tips, how-tos, and trending recipes.
Looking to brush up on your knowledge of immersion circulating cooking? Check out our blog post on the basics of sous vide.
Looking for a product that can match a professional chef’s wants, needs, and desires? Go for Anova’s top-tier model, the Sous Vide Pro. A 60% boost in power over the Nano, this high-powered cooker is designed for precision. And with the ability to heat over 100 liters of water, you’ll be able to make meals in no time. Thanks to its engineered stainless steel and water-resistant components, the Pro model is designed to run for long hours (as many as 10,000 hours in a row, in fact).
Upgrades aren’t always intimidating. Controlling this version is just as easy as using the classic or Nano versions. Connect to the Anova app via Wi-Fi or simply use the buttons located on the top of the device to adjust. With help from Wi-Fi connectivity, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your food even when you’re away from home. You’ll be able to cook everything from tender filets to full-sized roasts with this professional-grade equipment.
Once you’ve picked out the perfect sous vide device for you (or your gift recipient), don’t get your ingredients sliced yet: you still need a couple of accessories, like a vacuum sealer and the accompanying bags. While the combination of appliance and accessories might seem like a bit of an investment at first, keep in mind that vacuum sealers can be used for more than just sous vide. Use yours to store meat in the freezer, preserve ingredients as they come into season, reseal packages you’ve already opened and more. Their multifunctionality makes these accessories a feature, not a shortcoming.
For a deeper dive into techniques and step-by-step instructions, check out our article on How To Sous Vide at Home, or contact our experts in all things kitchen at 847-954-4100.