Test Kitchen tips: Sous-vide at home
In the professional kitchen, we cook sous-vide by encasing food in airtight plastic using chamber vacuum sealers (hence the name sous-vide, literally "under pressure") and then cooking them in precision-controlled water baths using a tool called an immersion circulator. Though these are now becoming available for home use, they are still quite expensive. ... Rather than cooking the food using an immersion circulator, you can achieve similar results using a large picnic cooler and a probe thermometer.
Yes, it can be done! And it makes a great weekend project. Check out Keller's article, then give it a try. He includes recipes for sous-vide chicken, steak, duck and sole.
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-- Noelle Carter
Photo credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times