Want to experience the tender deliciousness of a cut of meat or fish from a high-end restaurant without leaving your home or laboring in the kitchen for hours? If so, sous vide (pronounced sue-veed) cooking is right for you. For anywhere from under $100 to $300 for the sous vide precision cooker, plus a few dollars for plastic freezer bags and food cost, you can have a gourmet meal on the table in a couple of hours, with mere minutes spent in preparation.
This cooking method, which means “under vacuum” in French, requires placing food in a vacuum-sealed bag and cooking it at a precise temperature immersed in water. All you need to do is attach your sous vide precision cooker to a pot of water, set the time and temperature, season the meat or fish, place it in a sealable bag, clip it to the side of a pot, and cook. Finish it off by quickly searing, grilling or broiling the food. Some sous-vide cookers have an appliance app that provides instructions, recipes and real-time monitoring of cooking progress.