Foods you never thought to sous vide

There are tons of ways to cook. Most common cooking methods go from grilling and baking to sautéeing and frying, but few people think to use sous vide. This technique is somewhat similar to poaching because it essentially cooks anything in warm to boiling water. The primary difference is that whatever is being cooked is submerged in the water inside a sealed plastic bag. 

Essentially, sous vide allows you to cook anything you want, but especially meat, to a very specific point — like medium-rare. This is easier to control with sous vide because the technique allows for highly controlled heating (via Martha Stewart).

While sous vide can be done with nothing more than plastic bags, a thermometer and a pot of hot water, there are more sophisticated methods available, too. America's Test Kitchen devoted a segment to sous vide and testing a variety of machines. Sous vide immersion circulators cover a wide price range and essentially clip to the side of a pot to help circulate and keep the water within a couple of degrees of the desired temperature for even cooking. Use whatever method works best for you, and try cooking some new foods you didn't think to sous vide before.

Unexpected foods to sous vide

Tougher foods tend to do better in sous vide, but there are some surprising choices too. Vegetables like kale become significantly more tender while maintaining its chew in sous vide. Yogurt, custard, and purees are all great in sous vide too. These types of dishes are easily cooked with sous vide, and it's especially helpful for purees, as they can be made well in advance and reheat very well using this method. Finally, mashed potatoes can be done with sous vide for a delicious side dish in a relatively short period of time for this technique (via Chef Steps).

However, keep in mind that some foods are better cooked without using the sous vide method. According to Sous Vide Tools, those foods include hollandaise, liver, steak fillets, and filleted fish. Apparently foods like liver, steak fillets, and filleted fish are just too delicate to sous vide. The process makes them even more tender, which causes the meat or fish to just fall apart once it is cooked. So, it's best to stick to studier foods for the sous vide.